I’ve been struggling – struggling, I tell you – to get through Tamora Pierce’s book Terrier, first in the Beka Cooper series. It’s not that I don’t like the book, because I do, it’s just that I have SUCH a hard time reading high fantasy, and really long high fantasy (Terrier is 563 pages) just compounds the misery for me. Misery is actually too strong a word; discomfort might be better. Or perhaps I should go back to that word struggle.
Pierce is a good writer, and I know many teens who devour her books. And in fact, I’m reading Terrier because it’s the next Teen Book Group book, for our meeting on Tuesday – it was nominated by one of the group’s most dedicated readers, and the rest of the group almost unanimously chose it as one of this year’s books. I’ve already heard from another group member who loved the book so much that she asked me to request the second book in the series for her.
But as for me, well, the problem with me and high fantasy is that I just can’t get fully immersed in an author’s created world. I get frustrated by words that I have to look up in the appended glossary, and annoyed by needing to refer to the inevitable endpaper maps of the land. It’s not just Pierce’s high fantasy, it’s any high fantasy. Simply put, I’m the wrong person to read this genre because I’m a little too firmly rooted in reality and too unwilling to jump into an imaginary world.
And I’m only on page 150, with two good reading days to go before the book group meets. And I need to do our taxes in those two days. I’m in TROUBLE, and the teens in the group are bound to figure out that I wasn’t able to get through the entire book. I’ll just have to tell them it’s not for lack of trying. Sigh.