So I’m reading P.C. Hodgell’s new book “To Ride a Rathorn.”

I love Hodgell. I love her work because it’s magic that’s actually magical, in the real, mystical, holy-crap-that’s-weird sense. It doesn’t turn into the dull stratified everybody-knows-their-abilities* kind of magic, it’s…hmm. If it wasn’t all so grim, you’d call it “whimsical.” Same kind of random, absurd, often really fun, but again, very dark. So I love her work.

I just wish it was easier to follow.

The first one, “God Stalk” is a classic to end all classics. But unfortunately, after that, this political fantasy element comes in, and I’m really bad at following those. The only writer who’s ever gotten me to follow politics with any success is Lois McMaster Bujold. I can, with a lot of pain and some glossing over, manage George R. Martin. But Hodgell’s politics are pretty rough.

It’s still worth it because such great stuff happens–she’s one of the few authors who is perfectly willing to have demented world changing things–but my eyes are twirling a bit.

*Except for the heroine who was abused as a child and now has unpredictable talents that surface under extreme stress and/or sex and cause her enemies to explode. (This is no particular book, this is about a dozen of ’em.)

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