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6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Deep Wizar... · 0 replies · +14 points

Hi y'all, I'm back (after losing my password halfway through Melting Stones) and it's exciting to be seeing the Young Wizards novels here. I read them as a kid a while back, and I've lost most of what I remember of the plot, so it's interesting to listen and remember bits and pieces of how it felt to know these things the first time.

Like naming! I was super excited this week about the Calling spell, tbh. When I was reading this as a kid, I remember treating it as one of those weird fantasy tropes-- I never thought of names being important to the identity of Real Life People. This was probably influenced a lot by the fact that when I was younger, I could barely connect to my name at all. When I heard it, there was always a split second or two of "wait, who's that? oh, that's supposed to be me". Names were nothing more than a tool to an end.

Now that I'm older, I've figured out that I'm trans and I've picked my own name and it's changed so much about how I relate to this passage. The line about "knowing what a name means to a person" is especially important to me. It's not just about knowing the collection of syllables to yell across a room, there's this tangle of factors involved in using the right name and connecting name to identity. And for me now, and for a lot of trans people I know, (correct) names become shorthand for respect and acknowledgement of the totality of a person-- and man it is super weird to finally Understand a passage in a book from childhood. It's also interesting to acknowledge that full spectrum of "ways to feel about a name" that I've traveled through and that Duane might be referencing.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Melting St... · 1 reply · +15 points

Oswin sounds super cool and I want his job to be quite honest. He also seems super rad as a person which is great, especially for the kids he's sorta adopted.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 0 replies · +8 points

AAH!! I love the ending of this book so much!!! Sandry does right by her people, the Circle of Friendship is reforged, and Zhegorz chooses his own path. I'm so thrilled that the book ends with that, with him picking his own destiny and going with what makes him feel useful and heard. Especially with so many people intentionally or unintentionally rearranging his life, and disregarding his contributions, it's such a powerful moment for me to see him say he's not going to go to Winding Circle. I think working for Ambrose will be good for him.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 2 replies · +16 points

Yeah, watching that apology, especially if it was broad, would have been fantastic. An apology from the protagonists is like the author apologizing for our good guys backing prejudice. The note about grovling to Zhegorz is nice but I'd have loved the chance to actually see the goats' growth instead of just hearin about it secondhand

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 1 reply · +5 points

Because the drops are not real, I can't actually tell what the irl equivalent is. They're implied to have both sedative and anti-anxiety effects? Some treatments irl (especially in the past) are like that-- they stop constant anxiety by mellowing out all reactions. That's why I used both phrases in my description.

There's also a big difference between reminding a friend to take their medication (especially if it's a medication you should take regularly) and "shut up or I'll make you shut up (with medication)". I don't think Zhegorz takes this medication regularly-- iirc, it's on an "as needed" basis, so it's not that Zhegorz has gone off medication he needs constantly. "Either shut up or take these meds so I don't hear your fear" isn't friendly or helpful? It's dismissive.

I think you and I are coming at this from very different directions and backgrounds, and probably won't end up agreeing on interpretation of these scenes. I think I've said most of what I want to say without launching into a long post about disability rights movements and institutionalization, so I'm gonna stop now unless there's something specific you want me to clarify.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 0 replies · +4 points

It's super true that this is built up from earlier. I just always seem to run out of patience for the goats ignorance at this point, I guess. heh.

And yeah, super agreed about your rot13.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 3 replies · +7 points

Either Sandry or Briar (or maybe both) talk about being annoyed with Zhegorz and tell him to shut up or he'll have to take "his drops". In the past, the story's talked about the drops, basically magical equivalents of sedatives or anti-anxiety medication.

I think you misunderstood my bit about Winding Circle. The problem isn't that the kids are passing Zhegorz off to someone else, really. It's that they're seeing him as something broken to be fixed, preferably without inconvenience to sane people, and that in this section they're not thinking of him in terms of "what can Winding Circle do to make him feel better?" and instead think of him in terms of "what can Winding Circle do to fix him so he's less annoying to everyone?" And I know that Winding Circle is important to these kids, so it makes sense they think of it well-- they just don't seem to think of Zhegorz very respectfully. It bothers me so much because of the tendency to (in fiction and real life) treat mentally ill people as problems and to employ awful methods to 'fix' them. That's just why that part rubbed me the wrong way-- everyone else seems to have interpreted it differently.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 1 reply · +6 points

I took the liberty of getting lost in TVTropes for you: it's listed as a trope there, called "The Cassandra" of when someone is a totally accurate prophet and is consistently ignored. There seem to be a lot of trope examples, which makes sense to me, as it's a pretty common trope in certain types of fiction.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 24 replies · +22 points

Wow, I completely missed the "ignored prophet" trope at play here, though I can definitely see it now. I'll turn in my trope badge 😳

I'd managed to block from my mind the memory of the goats threats of using drugs to shut up Zhegorz because they're annoyed. They also talk about Winding Circle like it's a hospital they're gonna drop him in so he can be 'fixed' as conveniently for them as possible. That kinda pushes their behavior from annoying and dismissive over into genuinely scary for me. I know everyone's got different thresholds for things so I can see it being okay for another reader, but especially with Zhegorz's history of being warehouses and overmedicated I can't handle that.

6 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'The Will o... · 0 replies · +12 points

You're right about Tris not being the type of person to lie to Zhegorz about this. Any of the other goats might, but Tris wouldn't bother with tricking Zhegorz into going along. That's a good point I'm glad to see. I definitely wish the rest of the goats could have seen that and thought about what it meant about Zhegorz's skill.