For about seven years I’ve been attempting to write fantasy. Since I’m too much a realist, my fantasy world hovers right on the border–not fantastical enough for lovers of fantasy and not realistic enough for another audience (maybe too realistic. I’m not a good critic of my own work). I heard great praise of a writer who does what I aspire to, Keith Donohue. Well, I am a convert, a fan. Not a blind, one, though.
First I read The Stolen Child: Two points of view in alternating chapters: a changeling who has taken the place of a child; and a child who has been stolen by changelings. The fantasy world and the realistic world side by side, with boundary glimpses, hints of the other. The cost, though, is the collapsing of time, so many years pass in summary, and a few marvelous details suggest a century of habits.There are many fleeting characters I want to care for (the grieving parents) but can’t get the intimacy required for that caring. Still, I love the book. Now I’m in the midst of Angels of Destruction. The first half is so wonderfully balanced in the land where I live–right on the joining of all things celestial and glorious and the miseries of human, earthly reality. The first half leads in with all the wonder, and the second half, I learned two days ago, itakes up what transpired before that. I’m afraid to go forward. But I trust Donohue. His mind blends what we are and what we dream.
In addition to the rich appeal of characters and worlds is the sheer language. And the sensibilities. Donohue has to be in love with his fellow man. He has to champion all things good and abhor all misuse of one another and of the world. I’ll finish this book, and take up whatever else he’s written. Sometime in the future, I’ll write down some of his lovely, lovely lines. They’re like morsels of beauty I want to say over and over, aloud, and gobble up. Here’s to him!
(This is a repost from rmkinder.com.)