Orchids and Magician Kings

I’m an idiot.

Anyone would say so if they watched me set out confidently to drive to the T&T Chinese market for mushrooms and whatnot; and then I got lost. I turned one intersection too soon and, amazed, found myself driving down a totally unfamiliar Road to Nowhere. This happens to me all too often, but I’m learning to cope.

However I’m an idiot who had a city mapbook in the car, and soon found my way back on track. And then there was dim sum! Not indiotic at all.

Also, I may be idiotic on the roads but here at home I have a Vuvkstereara Cambria Plush orchid in full bloom, red and white with yellow falls, and it’s gorgeous. I’ve got a Miltonia in bloom too but its markings look bold and showy next to the delicacy of the Vuvkstereara. They’re both beautiful but it’s like a child’s drawing in felt pen next to good draftsmanship in chalks: Miltonia vs Cambria Plush.

Also, I may be idiotic (and besotted with orchids) but I’ve just read The Magician King. It’s great! I loved The Magicians, but there’s an obvious reason why it’s shelved in literary fiction rather than in the fantasy section. It is firmly in the literary tradition, being about an ordinary man’s flaws and failings (though true, against a wonderful pseudo-Rowling-and-C.-S.-Lewis mashup romp of a setting with side mentions of Tolkein, and who wouldn’t love that?) – but an absolutely great book, one that makes its point with crystal clarity. However, its point is that if you’re going to be neurotic, then even going to Hogwarts and discovering the door to Narnia won’t help, and that’s firmly in the literary tradition.

The Magician King is pretty firmly in the fantasy tradition, though. Its point is quite different … well, perhaps because it has no such definite point as The Magicians. If you read The Magicians and loved it as literary fiction, you’d be disappointed in its sequel. But if you loved the fantasy dress-up in The Magicians, you’ll adore the sequel because it is adventure in the same setting, with the universe’s magic at stake. Anyway. I adored it as such. It even has a happy ending, with room for a third book to come, and if there is one I’m going to go crazy and buy it the moment it comes out.

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