Zimmer Bradley & Lisle: Glenraven
Marion Zimmer Bradley & Holly Lisle
Glenraven is a land much like the mythical “Brigadoon”, a land that appears every so often and then vanishes, never to be seen again. It is a magical place, where – if you have the talent – you can see omens in bowls of water, you can alter the weather, and where soulmates really do exist.
I really like the portrayal of the land as a character itself, even if we don’t get to see much of that character until the end. I like the way so many things about Glenraven are similar to medieval Europe, yet slightly different. And I like the way the modern human women react when getting tossed into the backwards world that isn’t at all what they were expecting.
This book reminds me how much I like epic fantasy. It’s not – quite – an epic fantasy tale, but enough of the elements are there to serve as a reminder. It’s also not a contemporary fantasy, yet the two main characters are both from a modern world and so can speak as we do without sounding funny. Glenraven is a good mix of the two, just as it is a good mix of the two authors. Unlike some collaborations, I can’t tell where Bradley leaves off and Lisle begins.
The plot is compelling, with enough twists to keep you on your toes. The twists are all believable, though, and I found myself second-guessing characters’ motives up until the end. The character development works, as well, and I found myself rooting for characters I didn’t expect to like. One thing that bugged me is the way the characters’ thoughts were not denoted in any way (italics or quotes) but just formatted in the same way as the rest of the text. However, I think that’s because at the time this was written thoughts were probably not as commonly italicized.