The Fantasy Fandom Tag

Do you ever notice how just when everything fun is going on in the blogosphere and you have several posts you’re dying to write, life decides to explode with busyness?

*cough*

Anyway, I still have two posts that I’m determined to squeeze in here at the tail end of February, before Fantasy Month ends and March (SPRING!) begins. The first one is this really cool tag that the lovely Jenelle tagged me for (thank you, Jenelle!). It’s about fandoms, which I’m restricting strictly to spec-fic fandoms because…because.

And for my purposes we are defining fandom as “a fictional thing you like,” because I don’t really know the official definition and I’m not sure I would fit it a lot of the time. (Need merch? I’m in exactly one fandom, Winnie-the-Pooh, thanks to my mom and those assorted stuffed animals she got me as a tiny child. Need to own the books? Imagine Merry saying, “That rules you out,” to a number of my favorites. Need to have at least one person you shriek with about it? That also rules out some of my favorites, although not as many since I’ve started blogging, which is lovely.)

All the pretty pictures are from Pinterest! The best thing about this tag is the excuse to look up ALL THE PRETTY FANART and share its beauty.

// the rules //

  1. Include the graphic somewhere in your post!
  2. Answer the questions!
  3. Tag two fangirls!

// the questions //

  • What’s the first fandom you remember becoming a part of?

Narnia! Which, incidentally, I just wrote a whole post about.

Narnia and I got off to a somewhat rocky start, actually – my mom started reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me several times but could never get past the moment when Edmund first stumbles into Narnia and the White Witch sweeps up to him in her sledge. I was terrified what she was going to do to him and refused to let Mom read any further.

When I finally read it for myself a few years later, it was almost a disappointment that she…doesn’t do anything to him. I could have just let Mom keep reading. Goodness.

  • What’s the newest fandom you’ve come to enjoy?

I have looked at dates and decided this is the Comic Space Opera, a delightfully un-serious mishmash of space opera and comic opera in which our protagonists (a charming thief, a coffee-and-Paul-Simon-loving senator’s daughter, a grumpy politician, an even grumpier mechanic girl, and a pizza man named Jeremy who is maniacal in the cause of justice, among them) romp across the galaxy getting into trouble. And making all sorts of pop culture references, intentional or unintentional.

Reading it out loud to my sisters is the best thing ever. My littlest sister ships Jude and Christina, and roots for Dar’s redemption, and lovingly cackles over Dick, with the kind of energy I aspire to create over my characters.

Actually, if that sounds fun (it is very fun) here’s a link to the first season! The second season is currently airing, one episode a week.

  • What’s a fandom guaranteed to give you feels?

Peter Pan. Or whatever the fandom is called. I wanted so badly to go to Neverland when I was a child, you don’t even know. And when Peter gives Wendy the kite when they’re stranded on the rock? And when Wendy grows up? And…

There could not have been a lovelier sight, but there was none to see it except a little boy who was staring in at the window. He had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be forever barred.

*sobbing*

  • What’s a guilty pleasure fandom of yours?

Why did I restrict this to speculative fiction? I could have answered “Georgette Heyer,” my only real guilty pleasure…

Oh, I guess Star Trek is a good enough answer. (The original series. That’s the only one I’ve seen much of.) I’m very aware of its flaws, and that sometimes the writing is just…bad. And yet I love it?

I have rather a deep attachment to several of the characters – Spock in particular. I love Spock. I get Spock. My sister went through a Vulcan phase – seriously. And the fun friendship between Spock and Kirk and Kirk and Bones…yeah.

Plus all the different planets they encounter, with the different aliens and cultures and stuff – the whole premise of they’re explorers in space, looking for new things that no one’s ever found before, always getting in over their heads and coming close to death but making incredible discoveries at the same time – I love that. Sometimes it’s impressively creative, and sometimes it’s impressively philosophical too. One of my favorite episodes remains that one where they meet this guy who’s being all 19th-century and playing a game with them, except they’re the toys in the game? Because his capabilities are so far beyond human capabilities that they are toys to him. Except it’s still wrong because humans deserve autonomy…but what is the standard by which we judge whether something deserves autonomy or not???

And The Search for Spock. Even Star Trek fans aren’t into that movie, but I really like it. (Which again is partly because of the philosophical issues it raises. But also partly because of Kirk’s and Spock’s friendship [I love me some angsty friendships]. And Saavik, because she’s awesome.)

The real reason this is any sort of guilty pleasure at all is that I remember someone asking, “Star Wars or Star Trek?” The second person answered, “Trek,” and the first person said, “Because…styrofoam rocks?”

so YES. I LIKE THE STYROFOAM ROCKS SHOW. Because I don’t care about those kinds of things. In books, prose can make it or break it for me, but in film literally ALL I care about is the story.

  • What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve heard of/are a part of?

Pretty sure that would be Alice (the books, not the movie. The movie tRaUMatIZed small Sarah). Wonderland is a weird place, but I LOVE it. The White Knight is my precious boi. ❤

  • Favorite popular/widely-known fandom?

The Lord of the Rings deserves every good thing anyone has ever said about it. So good. So morally complex. So beautiful.

Although again, not the movies…. I guess I’m just not a movie person. I like the first and second movies pretty well, but the books are infinitely better.

  • Favorite bookish fandom?

We are interpreting this question to mean “favorite fandom that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the other answers,” and…I dunno? 100 Cupboards? The Two Princesses of Bamarre?

Ooh, I actually really love The Two Princesses of Bamarre, so let’s talk about that one.

Because seriously, if I had to pick my top three fantasy worlds I want to live in? Middle-earth, Neverland, and the world of The Two Princesses of Bamarre.

It’s so atmospheric. The specters! The dragons! The gryphons! The FAIRIES!!!!! Everything about the story makes me so happy, not just the plot (I do love stories about people sacrificing for their siblings, and about finding courage, and this is both) but also the setting. It’s beautifully austere and medieval and adventurous, with just the right touch of danger, terror (the specters give me shivers), and MAGIC (again, the fairies. They have this remote quality that’s perfect).

Does anybody else like this story as much as I do??? Everybody else I know, besides the wonderful human who told me to read it in the first place, thinks it’s rather typical and far inferior to Ella Enchanted, and I…don’t get it. It’s so lovely. I like it every bit as much as Ella Enchanted (which is also a good answer for this question, I guess…)

  • What do you consider your ‘homebase’, a fandom you can always come back to?

Winnie-the-Pooh, for sure. Books and movies this time, though the books are of course the best. Particularly The House at Pooh Corner. That one is just a masterpiece. It is odd and hilarious and warm and sweet and homey. I love very few characters, and very few friendships, as much as I love Pooh and Piglet.

The Hundred-acre Wood is, like, not on my top three list of fictional places I want to live, but less because I don’t love it and more because I already almost feel like I can get there.

  • What’s a fandom you know all about…but aren’t actually into it?

Hmm…Harry Potter? I feel like I know a fair bit about that from cultural osmosis. I’ve never been interested in it, though. Even when I was little, and my mom didn’t want me to read the books, and you’d think the allure of the forbidden would have piqued my curiosity a little…no. I didn’t care at all, because I didn’t want to read them. The whole idea of a magical school just…no. I don’t like it. Magic needs to be wondrous and mysterious. Putting it into a school setting destroys that. And stories in school settings are unfailingly boring. (That’s my opinion, anyway. :P)

  • Which fandom has the best characters?

The Queen’s Thief fandom, of course.

Y’all.

I, um, can’t.

The fact that I love Attolia is impressive. Because I hated her. But now I love her…

I really can’t put this into words here. I can’t.

EDDIS.

EUGENIDES.

this scene tho. rip my heart

They’re incredible. I love them. Somebody PROTECT THEM.

  • Name your all-time favorite ship.

I have two (I’m such a romantic, you guys), but fortunately only one is fantasy. Faramir and Éowyn forever!

“Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still.”

“Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?” she said. “And would you have your proud folk say of you: ‘There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose?'”

“I would,” said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.

  • What’s a fandom you’re curious about joining?

Well, Robin Hobb’s assassin trilogy looks cool… And so far I’ve only read one book, Starflower, but I aspire to be initiated into the ranks of the Tales of Goldstone Wood fandom.


Well, that was fun! Which of these fandoms are you also into? What’s a fandom you know all about but aren’t interested in? Oh, and I tag any of y’all who still have a secret hankering to visit Neverland or are Two Princesses of Bamarre fans!

Published by sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

38 thoughts on “The Fantasy Fandom Tag

  1. TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE YESSSSS. that book was my childhood. Or like… 8-12 years old childhood. I couldn’t get enough of Gale Carson Levine’s stuff

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    1. YAY YOU LOVE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE *dances wildly around the room* I don’t think I read it till I was…14? 15? I would’ve loved it as a younger kid, though. I haven’t loved any of Gail Carson Levine’s books as much as Ella Enchanted and Two Princesses, but she seriously was such a DELIGHTFUL writer.

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  2. Narnia and Lord of the Rings❤❤
    You should seriously try Harry Potter, it’s not boring at all!!! On the other hand, I can’t read Alice in Wonderland. I just fall out of interest in two pages. I looove Peter Pan (the book, I haven’t watched the films) my newest fandom must be Avatar the Last Airbender. I love it so much!!! I haven’t read or watched Winnie the Pooh but I did watch Christopher Robin – I loved that film!

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    1. ❤ ❤
      People for sure have different tastes. I actually think it's partly my math brain, more than my reading brain, that loves Alice so much? My mom is like a genius mathematician and she LOVES Alice for this reason and I think I get a kick out of all the twists and turns of logic… Because I can totally see how someone would find it boring. And yeah, Harry Potter…I'm sure it ISN'T boring, exactly, but I really can't stand the idea of magic-as-a-thing-we-teach-in-school. I just CAN'T. lol
      Peter Pan ❤ (I've only seen the Disney cartoon…it's delightful, though the book is of course way better. Different, really. The book and the cartoon are going for different things.)
      OH MY GOSH AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER. I just discovered that last fall!!!!! THAT'S totally my newest fandom too and I just somehow…forgot??? Which makes no sense because it's AMAZING. Who's your favorite character?
      I want to watch that movie – I've heard it's good!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re a math student too? Same!!
        Yes Avatar the Last Airbender is the best thing ever!!! I first didn’t want to watch it but my sis dragged me into it and then I fell in love (lol I think that’s how most fandoms work for me😂) my favourite character is either Zuko or Suki. Please don’t ask me to choose😊 You should definitely watch Christopher Robin – it’s so sweet, I felt like reliving my childhood watching it!!

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      2. Well, engineering, actually, which does involve me doing my share of math xD High five for being a fellow person who doesn’t hate math though! They are sadly too rare in this world of ours.
        Girl, I know the feeling and I would never ask you to choose. That would be cruel. It’s really hard for me to choose between Zuko and Sokka myself… (Also yes. I have been dragged kicking and screaming into a fair number of fandoms myself. Why do we do this?? Why don’t we REALIZE?? XD)
        Sounds amazing! I don’t watch many movies, but if I get a chance to watch that one I’m definitely taking it now.

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  3. TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE, YES! I LOVE that book (it might actually be my favorite Gail Carson Levine book. Idk. I need to do a reread).
    Also, just yes to sooooo many of these fandoms! They’re all so good. Narnia was one of my first fandoms, too. My parents had a very big closet in their room, and I used to pretend it was the wardrobe that lead to Narnia, XD.

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    1. YES YOU ARE MY FAVORITE HUMAN NOW! 😍 (I need to do a reread too. Bc I can’t decide between it and Ella Enchanted. And also I just really want to reread it.)

      Oh my goodness I LOVE that. And hey, maybe it did lead to Narnia. You never know!

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  4. *screams because the Comic Space Opera is on here* *curls up into a ball like a pill-bug* *giggles uncontrollably* I’m so glad y’all like it. (and that your sister ships jude and stina.)

    NARNIA. ❤ I really do need to read it again. So funny you wouldn't let your mom keep reading. You know what, you must have been a sweet child. I was such a bloodthirsty one. If I'd thought something bad was gonna happen to Edmund I would have been like "Yes, bring it on! We likes Drama!"

    Lord of the RIiiiiiiiiiiiings. And Neverlaaaaaand. And dear, dear Winnie the Pooh.

    Hm, I should read Princesses of Bamarre. The library wanted it back before I could get into it. It sounded quite interesting.

    And The Queen's Thief series. I should try that sometime, as well.

    May have to steal this. Seeing as how I do like Neverland and all.

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    1. *resists the urge to poke that pill-bugs always inspire* We do like it, passing well! The Western spoof in particular has really entertained us. (My little sister is the only romantic in the family, and I’m glad we have her. :P)

      Not sure how sweet I was – I have it from reliable sources that as a baby I’d crawl around after the cat pulling her tail to see how many times I could do it before she got mad…but thank you for having that thought anyway. XD You sound, despite your bloodthirsty tendencies, like a very cute child.

      You should! I mean, it seems like your kind of book to me (though I’ve been wrong about this before)! Gorgeous medieval and fairy tale vibes, sisterly love, a cute romance, embroidery…it’s really lovely I think.

      Oh, I do hope you try the Queen’s Thief books sometime. And I hope you tell me ALL YOUR THOUGHTS as you progress book by book…because I’m truly curious what you’d think.

      Do it! Make Dar proud!

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  5. I prefer Star Wars over Star Trek, but I still agree that Spock is awesome!
    Yes, the Alice movies are far too disturbing. But I enjoyed the Through the Looking Glass play. I’m a little biased, though, since it was put on by my favourite group, and my brother played the White Knight.
    I feel much the same way about Harry Potter. I know enough about it to know I can’t be bothered. But what gets my goat about those books is how bratty Harry is.
    …I’ve actually never read the Princesses of Bamarre.

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    1. Fair enough, Star Wars is pretty great (and Star Trek ain’t for everyone). As long as you recognize Spock’s awesomeness. 😛

      That play sounds wonderful, and I envy your brother, getting to play the best character like that!

      Same.

      Ooh, you haven’t? Well, it’s fairly short. And the plot is driven by sibling love. And it has dragons. And, although it’s original, a bit of a fairy-tale-retelling vibe. Just…you know. If that piques your interest. At all. (I am restraining myself from shouting, “GO READ IT, BLUE!!!!” Be proud of me.)

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  6. *does a little dance* You did the tag! And you talked about basically all the fandoms I love!

    Narnia. ❤ ❤ What an excellent first fandom. (I think it was my…second or third. But I almost wish it had been my first. :))

    I've heard so very much about the Comic Space Opera, and I can't believe I haven't found time to read it yet! (*small embarrassed wave at Megan Chappie* Sorry Megan!) It sounds like something I'd enjoy reading with my siblings, so I'll have to give it a go one of these days when I have their attention! (I just went and looked at the pilot episode, and it was hard to tear myself away to finish this comment. So I think that bodes well. :))

    Okay, okay, okay, I was *already* convinced to watch Star Trek, you didn't have to go make me want to watch it *even more*!

    You're making me want to pick up Two Princesses of Bamarre again! I read it and enjoyed it when I was younger, but it wasn't a standout, to me, among GCL's works. I do remember really liking the dragon, though!

    Winnie-the-Pooh. ❤ Also need to revisit that. For sure.

    The Queen's Thief fandom!!! Aghhhh ALL of those characters are the absolute best. (And seriously, they do need protection. From themselves.)

    Eowyn and Faramir and ADORABLE and ARGH you picked good quotes.

    Yes, read Robin Hobb's assassin trilogy! (I guess…maybe I'm the one who you heard about them from? In which case, this is totally redundant…but if I wasn't, here's one more vote for you to read them. :))

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    1. 😀

      Indeed. But it’s an excellent second or third one as well. (I have in my head that your first one was Ranger’s Apprentice? Not sure if that’s right, but that’s a fun first one too.)

      YASSS go read it with your siblings. It’s a blast. And it only gets better from the pilot ep, imo. 😉

      Heehee.

      The dragon is one of the best dragons to ever exist. I love her almost as much as Smaug.

      Hey, always. 😛

      Right?! Someone protect Attolia and Eugenides from THEMSELVES. My poor self-destructive kids. ❤

      ❤ ❤

      You and Merphy Napier (Booktuber)! And yes, between the two of you, I’m highly excited to dive into them!

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  7. Hello! I’m a newcomer here; a friend of both Megan and Maya who found this place through their blogs, and I must say, it’s just my cup of tea. Quite lovely. 🙂 But the real reason I commented was to say that I don’t know if CSO officially has its own fandom, but if it doesn’t, we seriously need to make one, haha. Between all of us readers and all our siblings we’ve turned into fans, lol, we definitely need a proper fanclub. XD (Maybe a separate one just for Jude + Christina. ❤ So cute!)
    Also, Winnie-the-Pooh is the absolute best. Just gorgeous…
    I'm not usually one for commenting, but will be reading and enjoying in future!

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    1. Hello, Grim Writer! (I love your name btw 😂) Lovely to meet you, and good to know you’re lurking around. 😛 (And thank you! You’re too kind.)

      Okay but this is absolutely true. There’s quite an army of us, really, and something official does need to be done! How does one go about organizing official fanclubs? (Jude and Stina ❤ Seriously, if they keep it up, i will be hard-pressed to maintain my neutral curmudgeonly stance on shipping them….)

      ❤ ❤ ❤

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      1. Thank you! (It’s actually partially Megan’s doing. Her and the Doorman between them, if you know him. We’re all in the same writing club, you see–Belle Anne is too actually. *suddenly realizes just how many of her friends blog* Good gravy, lol.) Yep, I’ll be lurking, though I do tend to comment sometimes, ha.
        Yep, we really need an official thing going on. I don’t really know how either? That’s all right; the Space Opera is more or less an awesome story masquerading as something very unofficial, so an unofficial fan club might be more suitable, haha. Whaat?! You don’t ship them yet? HOW CAN YOU RESIST. (I might add that I’m like the opposite of a romantic and still ship them like crazy, lol.)

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      2. (Ha! Oh, I don’t know the Doorman, but I do know Belle Anne’s blog. And man, I miss my writing club. It was short-lived but so fun while it lasted, and then everybody except me had to go and get married or have kids or become missionaries or something. ALSO, you said “good gravy,” and I’d like to shake your hand if you don’t mind. My sister makes fun of me for saying that, but SEE, SISTER, I’M NOT WEIRD, OTHER PEOPLE SAY IT TOO.)

        This is true, an unofficial fan club suits it. We’ll have to see what transpires, I guess.

        Ha. Well. I don’t hate them together, okay?! That’s all you can reasonably ask of me. And last episode’s Warm Fuzzies moment certainly made me laugh, so…maybe I will join you and my sister soon. (Jude and Christina do not approve. XD)

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      3. (Yeah, we do it in an extremely low-commitment [read: lazy] fashion, so somehow we’ve managed to keep the old thing alive and well (by some standards) for two years despite multiple members starting college and stuff like that. Yaasss good gravy is an amazing expression. But you’re right, nobody seems to get it. As a wizened (lol, not) college student myself, anytime I say ‘good gravy’ in class small groups, all my classmates titter. I’m beginning to think I’m a tad strange?)
        Yes indeedy we shall, ha. Well, there’s that much at least! The ‘Warm Fuzzies’ moment was the bit that totally convinced me (I’m sort of a pre-reader, so I’ve been convinced for awhile, then.) Either that or the square dance. Or the…*realizes she’s been shipping them since the start of Season 2* *good gravy no, I shipped them from the end of Season 1* What is happening to me?! *commences immediate detox to purge any semblance of romanticism*
        Lol, I never even thought about how much they’d disapprove. XD

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      4. (Y’all are smart. It’s laziness that gets the job done, in the final analysis, and no mistake. [or, rather, accounting for laziness. but it sounds better the other way :P]
        Haha! Okay, so I’m not normal. We’re both strange. Fine then. Being normal is overrated, especially if you’re not allowed to say “good gravy”!)

        The Gallows Kiss (and subsequent reaction) miiiight have just started the convincing process for me…
        Hahaha!! You’re turning into a romantic. I have heard that one can never go back; I shall hope, for your sake, that isn’t true, but… *sadly shakes head*

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  8. Narnia, LOTR, Winnie-the-Pooh, Peter Pan, Alice- ABSOLUTELY. YES. And I need to reread The Two Princesses of Bamarre because I read it a long time ago and I know I liked it but I don’t remember it very well at all. It’s one of my cousin’s favorite books. 🙂
    I have read four of the Queen’s Thief books and I have…mixed feelings. I like the characters (especially Eugenides, Eddis, and Sophos) but not as much as I feel like I’m supposed to and there are so many things that BOTHER me…so yeah. I have a foot in the fandom but I am also tempted to stab someone every time I think about it. If I got into all of my feelings I would be ranting for a long time.
    I’m definitely a part of the masses that is obsessed with Harry Potter, though I totally get what you mean about school stories being boring. Because they usually are. And every time I think about it I wonder how these books are so good in spite of being so grossly overrated.I just love the characters so much.
    I kind of want to do this tag now.

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    1. The BEST. ❤

      I am highly curious now if this is the same cousin who ranted about Achilles in the Iliad to your sister…

      Okay. But. I really want to KNOWWW what your problems are. Because I can think of several candidates! And…I'm actually sitting here grinning because AT LEAST YOU HAVE STRONG FEELINGS. I've recommended those books to several people, always with the result of "it was fine, it was nice, it was okay" and I just??? NO??? You can passionately despise them, that's fine, but you are NOT ALLOWED to not have strong feelings!!! They deserve your strong feelings!!!! This is of course a very foolish way to feel, but it is how I feel, and hence why your threatened rant and mention of stabbing about some of my favorite books has left me overjoyed. Heh. (But seriously. If you want to rant, I want to listen.) (And oh. I totally know that ‘I love them but not as much as I feel like I’m supposed to’ feeling. It’s mildly disappointing. I think three-quarters of my love for Eugenides is…um, profound respect and profound pity. And then Eddis…well, I do just love her. A lot. I kind of want to be her. Anyway. Oh, and I guess the way the characters fit their setting is also a big part of my love for them. Fantasy and his-fic characters who feel like transplanted twenty-first century people are my PET PEEVE.)

      Characters are king! Time and again the truth of this statement is proven. Your setting may be as cliche as a dead parent in a fairy-tale or a Dark Lord whose name must not be spoken, but if your characters are amazing it doesn’t matter.

      Do it, do it! XD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it’s a different cousin- the cousin I speak of is Achilles-Ranter’s older sister.
        Okay. So. If you want to know… Here are some of my feelings. The first book was great. I loved it. The characters, the world, the plot- YES. But then…so possibly my biggest issue with the whole thing is the romance between Eugenides and Attolia. And that really gets going on book two. I never liked Attolia as much as I could tell I was supposed to, and their relationship feels SO WRONG to me. It has so much unhealthiness. SO MUCH. (Which I know is supposed to make it interesting or whatever, but…it bothers me too much.) The fact that he is like ten years younger than her and just barely old enough to be considered an adult is only one of the issues I have. I actually don’t have time to go into all of it. Anyway. So the thing is, when Eddis encouraged Attolia to marry Eugenides, that made me really disappointed in her. She was against it at first, but there is this one conversation they have where she tells her that she should and I was like WHAT. NO. So there’s that. THEN I also don’t like that Eddis and Sophos get married. Even though their relationship is not as disturbing as the other one, it still bothers me that she is so much older than him and when they are talking she almost comes across as motherly and just…no. So basically the romances kind of alienated me from the characters that I really liked. There are other things too, like the way the ending of A Conspiracy of Kings turned out (Sophos realizing the only way he can be king is to be a scoundrel like his uncle was? What? WHY?). I DO like that the characters don’t feel like they were transplanted from the twenty-first century! And I like how the world feels. So the good things are there. But my issues with Attolia. I haven’t exactly talked about that yet…Aside from the creepy romance (which is a huge part of my dislike for her) I find her…kind of irritating. I get that she’s supposed to be a tragic character because she had to be brutal and ruthless to keep her throne but inside she has all these feelings, but instead of caring, I just didn’t and I don’t know why. There are characters like this that I love to death and others that I hate and others that I don’t care about at all and I’m not sure what the pattern is. But yeah. Hopefully some of that ranting made some amount of sense. I will happily rant more if you have questions about any of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bamarre-Lover and Achilles-Ranter. The kind of names every doting mother bestows upon her children.

        Oh oh you love the first one!!! Yes!!!! You and your sister are the best. The first one is so delightful to me, it’s like on its own plane and I DON’T LIKE when people think it’s just okay and the other ones are better. Because no. The first one is sheer excellence (and the most fun). And I liked it so much I initially refused to read any further because what if the sequels ruined it. Also my sister has only read the first one and refuses to read any further because I sort of vaguely warned her about things and she was like yeah I’ll just stop here and so in her mind the first one is the only one there is and I kind of envy that… My littlest sister has read the first three and has mixed feelings because she loves them but also they’re so SAD and she wants things to go back to how they were in the FIRST ONE, THE FIRST ONE WAS SO PERFECT.
        So anyway. That was long. The first one is definitely the best though.

        I know what you mean about Attolia/Gen and totally respect it. It initially seemed terrible and unhealthy and I Did Not Like It At All, and I don’t really know why my opinion has mellowed? Except that I feel like over the course of book 3 you come to see that it IS improving. Attolia IS getting better. She’s trying. It’s not a good situation (and Gen was frankly pretty dumb to get himself into it – I was so mad when I first read QoA), but they’re doing their best? And that kind of mirrors real life because actually every relationship has SOME element of unhealthiness (mostly much less, hopefully), and the thing is for people to try and fix it and get better and…yeah. That’s not really a defense, more just maybe why it doesn’t bother me even though it maybe should. And I guess the fact that they’re royals in a highly charged political environment and they don’t exactly get to have normal lives or marriages kind of…also makes it more palatable to me?? Not sure why that would be but yeah.

        I don’t even remember that conversation with Eddis and Attolia, I need to reread… What was her reasoning for telling Attolia to marry him?

        Is it the actual age gap (with Eddis and Sophos) that bothers you or just…her motherliness (I would’ve called it more sisterliness) or something…? I guess I’m confused. I know age gaps bother some people but I’ve seen way too many happy marriages to feel that way…and I didn’t think she was WAY more mature than him, and they do have similar personalities and philosophies and…maybe I’m just not understanding what you’re saying.

        Okay, your interpretation of the ending of A Conspiracy of Kings is really interesting, because that’s not what I got out of it. What I got was that Sophos was, at the beginning of his arc, too much of a pushover, basically. Too averse to doing unpleasant things, making hard decisions, being the one in charge. Which, when you ARE the one in charge, is bad. You have to be decisive and willing for people to maybe not like you. And his arc (I thought) was more about learning to stand up for himself and take initiative and not always let justice and the good of his kingdom go by the wayside just because justice and the good of his kingdom required him to do things he didn’t want to do. I don’t know if that made sense, and I don’t know if I’m right. But that’s interesting, how differently we saw that.

        Hey, just Not Caring when it comes to Attolia’s tragic-ness is super valid. I care, and connected with her dislike of being helpless, but I can totally see how one wouldn’t. I don’t know how the pattern goes either, because some supposedly tragic characters…yeah. Why does everyone love this loser. XD

        Thank you for ranting! It did make sense, mostly, and was very interesting! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow, your reply is so much more lucid than my rant!

        I’m glad that you agree that the first one is the best though! And I’m glad that it stands perfectly on its own and leaves the option open to just stop there and not keep going. That’s great that your sister refuses to read more. 😉

        Yeah, I can see what you mean about Gen and Attolia’s relationship starting to improve in KoA, it’s just that the initial situation made me so mad that it kind of soured any improvement for me. I guess one thing is that I was kind of starting to sympathize with Attolia by the end of QoA, but when she decided to marry Gen I was totally alienated from her again. Because to me it seemed like if she really cared about him she would leave him alone- even if he was in love with her and wanted to marry her- because it didn’t seem like it would be a good thing for either of them. Gen was behaving like a kid and I just wanted him to grow up some more. It almost seemed like her marrying him at that point was taking advantage of his stupidity. He had no idea what he was getting himself into, but she did, and she did it anyway.

        Then again, the politics are so complicated. That also makes me mad though. Not that there’s anything they can do about it, but still. Maybe I just don’t actually enjoy stories that are so deeply entrenched in politics?

        Despite my aversion to the whole situation, I can appreciate that once they are married they are trying to make it work because they have to- and because they really love each other. It is admirable to work through junk and stick it out and try to redeem broken things. I do, in general, like that trope.

        That being said, I found it kind of unbelievable that by KoA their love seemed so (for lack of a better word) REAL, because I couldn’t quite fathom that a relationship based on what theirs was based on would grow into something good? Which is super cynical of me.

        Yeah, so I don’t remember exactly what the conversation with Eddis is myself (even though I JUST read it like a month ago because I have memory struggles) but I just remember Eddis basically being like “If you want to marry him then marry him” which confused me because I thought she disapproved of it. She was assuring Attolia that she wasn’t too old and stuff that like as well. And I did feel bad for Attolia that she felt like she wasn’t worthy of love and that it was too late for her and everything…but again, I just didn’t think marrying Eugenides was the right next step in healing from that. But I guess in this story it was. But back to Eddis, if I was Gen’s cousin I would do WHATEVER I COULD to prevent that marriage from happening. She didn’t fight it nearly hard enough.

        My dislike of Eddis and Sophos’s romance is WAY less extreme than the other one, and most of it is probably caused by how much I already don’t like the other…which makes perfect sense? I guess it kind of bothered me that both of the major romances are between women who are significantly older than their husbands and I just wasn’t sure why? It’s not that I think age gaps are always a bad thing, but honestly Eddis did seem a lot older than Sophos, partly because she has been ruling for years and he is just stepping into the political scene. The fact that he basically grows up during the course of ACoK shows how young he really is. And this might sound really backward depending on your views, but I kind of prefer it when the guy takes the lead in a relationship, and that doesn’t work as well when he’s way younger and way less knowledgeable/experienced than the woman. That was the main thing that bothered me with that. But honestly it wasn’t that bad.

        I can see that interpretation of the ending of ACoK. I definitely saw that he needed to learn to stand up for himself, and I liked where his arc was going for the majority of the book, but something about the end just felt off to me, and it might have been the execution of the plot or the writing or something, but it just didn’t quite work for me in the way it was meant to. I guess it gets into the messy politics thing that I don’t think I like very much. The fact that both Attolia and Sophos NEED to be scoundrels in order to keep their thrones bothers me, even if that’s a reality. How much is it really okay to compromise morality for the greater good? I don’t know, but I wish that that wasn’t just the way it was. I don’t know if I’m making sense anymore.

        Okay, Attolia’s dislike of being helpless is definitely something I get, but I wished it had been explored more. It’s funny because I talk about how much I want things to be subtle, but at the same time I find myself wishing that things were…less subtle. It’s awkward. I wanted Attolia’s character to be explored more in depth and I wanted more emphasis on the fact that she is NOT OKAY and that her dislike of being helpless is a symptom of how broken she is. I wanted her to be more broken. Does that even make sense? I’m not even sure it makes sense to me. I want to love people like this but not because of how powerful and intimidating they are. Okay, I’m just confusing myself now.

        Thanks for making such a thoughtful response to my discombobulated ranting! I am really enjoying this conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, I am glad you found my reply as lucid as I found your rant non-discombobulated. 😉 (Hoping I can repeat the feat, which is probably a lost cause.)

        (Yes, I love when books in series work perfectly as standalones! This is, in my opinion, How It Should Be Done.)

        Okay, so, we pretty much had the same reaction to QoA??? And the real difference is that KoA won me over, but it didn’t win you over.
        Because I mean, yeah, I pretty much agree with everything you’re saying about QoA (except it didn’t make me hate Irene that she decided to marry him, it just made me angry and sad in general and not a fan of the book). I actually read all the books pretty spaced out. Like, for a while I didn’t read any further than book 1 because I didn’t want to ruin it. And then for a while I didn’t read any further than book 2 because it HAD ruined it (despite being amazing in SOME respects). But it stuck with me, the way certain rare stories do where you just can’t get them out of your head?, so I finally caved and read book 3 and in retrospect I like book 2 now but I haven’t actually reread it so…who knows. Maybe I would hate the situation all over again if I did. But yeah, book 3 won me over and it DIDN’T win you over, and that’s pretty much all there is to it, I guess. Though I must say I understand your cynicism, even if I don’t, in this particular case, share it. Because I WANT stories to feature broken people working hard to make things better and actually succeeding at it – I WANT lots of redemption and healing in my fiction – but, at the same time, it’s SO HARD to do it convincingly. 99% of the time, books that attempt that just…I don’t believe it. I want you to prove my cynicism wrong, but you have to actually prove it wrong, which is apparently hard. I believed it in KoA, though, for whatever reason…and I really don’t know why, because everything you’re saying is totally valid and yeah. idek lol

        Yeah, even though I don’t remember the conversation, I DO agree that Eddis didn’t fight it nearly hard enough. Because same. If it’s my cousin we’re talking about, I’m doing EVERYTHING to get him out of this situation, whether he wants out or not. And I think it made a little sense to me, that a) Eddis can empathize a bit with Attolia in the similarity of their situation (esp. since Attolia has no Thief to make things easier on her, and different traditions), and b) she gives Gen honestly more credit than he probably deserves, for being mature and rational and clever and…yes it’s nice that you respect his abilities and let him make up his own mind but sometimes you just need to save people from their own folly, okay?!? And if I was Eddis I would DEFINITELY have thought this was one of those times…and that was one of the things I didn’t like so much about QoA, actually, Eddis being a little too passive in her role of Fond Cousin.
        (It’s really interesting to talk to you about this, though, because other Queen’s Thief fans don’t seem to have qualms about book 2 like I did, so I don’t talk about it, and because of my retroactive love for the book I don’t even think about it that much, but like…it’s very much there.)

        Interesting, interesting. Eddis is definitely way more EXPERIENCED than Sophos, though I saw him as fairly mature – just naive. (The way I think about it, you can be quite mature even if you’re somewhat naive. The two qualities aren’t connected at the hip or anything.) I can see how it’s a weird dynamic, though (especially with it being always the women who are way older, because it IS usually the other way around, and I kind of see why).

        “How much is it okay to compromise morality for the greater good?” is a good question and honestly I really don’t know. Because, if you say the ends NEVER justify the means, then….we should all be pacifists or something and I just…don’t believe that. I don’t believe you can’t lie to save someone’s life. &c. So where’s the line. I have no idea. To some extent Attolia’s and Sophos’s actions don’t bother me, though, because as far as I remember, people tended to deserve it? Definitely with Sophos, anyway. I think the guy deserved it. So I see it as Sophos being more harsh and decisive than he wants to, but still just, rather than a scoundrel. Maybe I’m remembering that totally wrong, though. It’s been like 2 years since I read it.
        (Really complicated political stories are very frustrating, though. I have no idea why I love them, because they tend to introduce elements like, characters being forced to be morally grey, stupid moral quandaries where there’s no right decision, etc, and I usually hate that, but for some reason I eat up the complicated political stories??? But if they’re just not your thing, which seems to maybe be the case, I would completely see why, too.)

        Huh. I guess Attolia’s dislike of being helpless IS a symptom of how broken she is; I never really thought about it that way. But she wouldn’t be so obsessive about it if it was just a normal, healthy, “I want to feel like I can protect myself” thing. Nope. She’s very broken. I thought she was kind of getting better in that regard in KoA, though? Which I very much liked. Reminds me of that C. S. Lewis quote that starts “To love at all is to be vulnerable.” Anyway. I see what you mean. I was too busy rejoicing over the subtlety (finally an author who GETS IT) to mourn that sometimes we really don’t get as much as we want from characters but….yeah I get it but I’m still too busy rejoicing over the subtlety. Haha.
        Oh, “I want to love people like this but not because of how powerful and intimidating they are” – THIS IS SO TRUE. And possibly where I diverged from a lot of QoA fans? Because I love Attolia SO MUCH, but it’s not because of how powerful and intimidating she is. Not at all. Blech, no thank you. And I kind of think it’s weird that people ever love characters for that reason…but…okay then….

        ANYWAY. I think that concludes my rambly thoughts. Thank you for discussing this with me!!! I’m enjoying this conversation so much too! (though it’s also making me realize how much I’ve forgotten and how desperately I need to reread haha)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, you have repeated the feat! I am impressed and pleased by this.

        So many good thoughts here! I am only going to respond to one though, because that’s all I have brains for.

        I have realized that the main reason that Gen and Irene’s relationship didn’t win me over in KoA is that the relationship seems to mend too quickly, so to speak. It’s not that I don’t love redemption because I DO, I love it to DEATH (despite my blatant cynicism, but whatever) and there were things about their relationship that I liked in that book- but only if I totally ignored where the relationship started. So what I think it is actually, is that I feel like it needed to get worse before it could get better. (This may sound ridiculous, as it was, arguably, quite as bad as it could be in QoA. But hear me out.) I guess it’s that, based on the Major Issues that their relationship had in QoA, they would have Major Issues that they needed to deal with and that would have been Really Messy (that’s what I mean by “worse”). One could argue that they DID deal with these issues and it WAS messy, but it kind of happened behind the scenes. Since KoA takes place a little later, and it’s mostly from Costis’s perspective, that would work. Sort of. But the story-telling kind of suffers and we are missing out on major character development of major characters, which doesn’t quite seem right. I am surprised that I’m saying this since I so strongly disapprove of their relationship as a whole, I actually wish we had seen more of it. I feel like for the relationship to have a chance to grow and get healthier, there would be a lot of opening of wounds and things would get pretty ugly in a really real way, different from the lying and manipulation that was happening in QoA. Not that I actually know anything about marriage…but as far as being satisfying as a story, I kind of want to see the progression, instead of just assuming that it’s happening. Clearly their relationship has improved in KoA, but since it was SO BAD before just showing me that it’s better now isn’t enough (for me). I need to see HOW this happened. Sometimes I don’t mind filling in the details myself, but in this instance it doesn’t work for me. You have to show me how we got from point Totally-Unhealthy-And-Destructive to point We-Have-Issues-But-We-Love-And-Support-Each-Other. I mean…how.

        Talking to you has actually helped me articulate this. For a while I could not figure out why I found the redemption unsatisfactory and it was driving me crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Wow, that makes total sense. (And huzzah for being able to articulate wordless feelings that have been driving one crazy!) It probably would have been a lot better to show more (even if still with the author’s trademark restraint and subtlety) so that we EXPERIENCED the redemption instead of just being like, oh hey, look, redemption has happened/is happening, cool. Not that I minded, but yeah, would have been nice. (The author does that a lot though, leaves key things to happen offstage. In a way I like it, because it makes the world feel so big and detailed and realistic? but their romance is probably the worst instance.) (Oh and also I wonder HOW unhealthy the initial romance was supposed to be, in the author’s mind. Maybe she just didn’t write the nitty-gritty of the redemption because she didn’t feel it was as badly needed. But also, being cryptic and coy with details is her MO, so maybe she totally did.)
        ANYWAY. COOL. It makes sense to me, and that is cool. Thanks for having this discussion with me! I’ve enjoyed it very much.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. All the beautiful FANART. *melts*
    I’ve always loved Peter Pan–first just because I thought it was fun and wanted to go to Neverland, and later because WOW HOW IS THERE SO MUCH DEPTH TO THIS STORY AND ACK PETER IS HONESTLY SUCH A TRAGIC CHARACTER LET’S UNPACK THIS. I actually did my final project for my senior capstone class on Peter Pan..so I’m pretty sure I’ve officially crossed into the realm of “nerd” on this subject XD
    Must reread Two Princesses of Bamarre. I know I really liked it when I read it, but it has been SO LONG.
    Eowyn and Faramir are the best and I love them dearly ❤
    I was playing Scum the other day (don't know if you're familiar with it, but it's a card game where you change seats/stations every round based on who can play all their cards first) and I went straight from being the scum to being the king and I was like "I AM EUGENIDES." (May or may not have done a victory dance then with my right hand pulled up inside the sleeve of my sweater…)
    Okay, but the cousin relationship between Eugenides and Eddis?? I am so here for cousins who are super close.
    Winnie the Pooh is the best forever ❤

    Like

    1. *also melts* SERIOUSLY HOW ARE PEOPLE SO TALENTED. (I wish I could draw. XD)

      This is so true. (Although I hated Peter Pan the first time I read it because it was too dark for baby me. XD) But seriously, the DEPTH. And the way it’s super fun but also super dark and tragic and…and…ASKLHL;;HKL. How did Barrie do this.
      That’s amazing. Was it about the book or the character? What was it about??? I’m so curious.

      ❤ ❤

      HA! Scum of the gutter straight to king. You ARE Eugenides. (I wish I could have seen this victory dance, it must have been a sight to behold.)
      Right?! I love cousin stories. Always. And Eddis's and Eugenides's relationship is just…everything.

      Forever and ever amen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *wracking my brain to remember and accurately sum up my own paper* It was mostly about the book (though I briefly touched on a couple of the adaptions in my presentation). It mostly focused on the character of Peter Pan and how he represents idealized childhood–but the reality of what that idealized child would actually look like and how dysfunctional and tragic that would really be (for example, in order to maintain his total innocence and naiveté he can’t really be allowed to hold on to his memories, etc.) …If that makes any sense? XD It’s hard to sum up an 18 page paper in a comment but, maybe that gives you a vague idea.
        (And my Eugenides dance was indeed a sight to behold–as my Sponge sister will no doubt attest to)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “*wracking my brain to remember and accurately sum up my own paper*” <<< wow I felt that.
        But, that sounds very cool and does give me a vague idea and I'm kind of sad I can't read your whole paper now. XD
        (This is kind of random, but being able to call someone one's Sponge sister must be fun. And tbh I'm somewhat surprised she has yet to avail herself of the opportunity to call you her temperamental sister.)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Now I have a hankering to re-read The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Also, it’s been far too long since I read Ella Enchanted. Also, I want to read Ogre Enchanted, and that necessitates an Ella re-read. Also, I need to finish the Queen’s Thief series… but I’m thinking that’s also going to require a re-read of the first 4…. sigh. Maybe I’ll make April and May my “re-read months”….

    I loved reading all your answers! But goodness, you can’t just leave me hanging on the ship question!!! Even if it’s not fantasy, what’s your other one?!?!? Eowyn and Faramir are fabulous. *nods*

    I spent so much time wanting to go to Neverland, too! Narnia and Neverland. Those were my places I always wanted to go as a kid. (I totally agree with you, the 100 Acre Woods are actually get-to-able… why is that?)

    Like

    1. Me too, actually. 😂 I want to reread both of them. Oh, and I want to finish the Queen’s Thief series too, which means I still need to reread books 2-5! (I don’t think I knew you were a fan of those books. I’m so glad you are. They’re AMAZING.) A reread month sounds like a lovely idea.

      Haha! My other OTP is from a book most people haven’t read (in fact, besides my mom and aunt and all the friends I’ve tried with varying success to force to read it, I don’t know anybody who’s heard of it): Assignment in Brittany, by Helen MacInnes. It’s a WW2 spy novel, and the main character is impersonating his eventual love interest’s fiancé…with whom she breaks it off the second she hears he’s back from Dunkirk. It’s very twisty yet lowkey and delightful…in my besotted opinion anyway. 😛 (and the two of them are such nice, considerate people)
      Faramir and Eowyn are…I do not have words. (Hence why I let Tolkien do the talking for me.) *nods in silent agreement*

      Yes! They’re both such a perfect blend of all the things we (or at least I) wanted as a kid. Not too much danger, but enough. And so very vivid and wondrous. (I don’t know why! That’s cool that you agree, because…yeah! It’s a curiosity for sure.)

      Thank you for tagging me, by the way! I had such fun with this.

      Like

  11. Reading this made me tremendously happy because everything that you mentioned is MY CHILDHOOD! Narnia, Neverland, Wonderland, etc. etc.! The only things here that I’m not part of the fandoms for are Star Trek and The Queen’s Thief books. But, I plan to read the latter soon. Soonish.

    All the love for The Comic Space Opera!!! Dar and Dick and Caroline and Jude and Raf and Ferdy and Christina are The BEST!!!! They never cease to amuse! Ack, they are such dear souls (though I’m sure that a few would object to being called that…XD)

    ANOTHER TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARE FAN?????? That is one of the few books that both of my sisters and I have read! We love it dearly even though it shredded all of our hearts. *sobs*

    (Yow, the fan art that you found is jaw dropping!)

    Like

    1. High five for the BEST literary childhood!! 😀 Ooh and I hope you end up enjoying the Queen’s Thief books! Because yeah…I kind of adore them. 🙂

      Indeed, they never cease to amuse. They’re really quite hilarious, every last one of them. And SUCH dears, even when you want to shake them. 😛

      WHAT?! Oh I had no idea you guys loved Two Princesses!!! That makes me very very happy!! It’s such a gorgeous book! And yes, it does shred your heart, haha. My sister kind of hates it on that basis, but I can’t hate it because it’s just too LOVELY.

      (I’m glad you appreciate it! I thought it was beautiful. I think it’s so cool that so many talented artists create fan art, honestly!)

      Like

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