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Susan F. Falknor
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile
In writing "To Carry the Horn: The Hounds of Annwn: I," Karen Myers has invented the Land of the Fae, a magical superimposition on the beautiful rural country east of the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. As with other fairylands -- the Land of Oz, Neverland, Brigadoon, Narnia -- there are hidden connecting ways that sometimes open to permit the Fae cross over to fall in love with humans and ordinary people to wander into that realm of adventure.
Myers draws on her personal enthusiastic participation in foxhunting with the hounds in Northern Virginia, as well as a photographer's eye, a talent for fiddling, a familiarity with the Welsh language, a knowledge of heraldic weaponry and combat, and much more.
Annwn is a land of court, castle, village, and the hunt, arrested -- by choice -- at the lantern stage of technology. Gunpowder does not explode there, so the weapons are limited to blades and bows. Its rulers are the tall, handsome, long-lived Fae, who have the talent of "glamor" (projecting an image to disguise one's identity) and who have sympathy with animals to the point of telepathy. The Lutins, smaller of stature but with great hearts, are craftsmen. Unlike Narnia, with its understructure of Christian ideas and symbols (notably Aslan the Lion) -- Annwn's god is a pagan deity: Cerunnos, Master of the Beasts.
But the same Blue Ridge rises to frame the west and "marches to the south" across both realms.
Myers explores what it would be like to live for hundreds of years -- to have that luxury of time to fully explore several schools and materials of art, to become adept in ruling, to master the management of foxhounds, to regret the excesses of one's youth, or to nurse a festering grudge.
Myers paints what might be termed a 21st century "post-post-modern" hero, protagonist George Talbot Traherne. He is a 33-year-old native of Virginia hunt country, 6'4" in stature, brought up to ride horses and take part in Virginia's still-flourishing custom of hunting with the hounds.
In postmodernist literature, all is skepticism, moral equivalence, cultural relativism, and in-your-face rejection of traditional relationships and ideals. The protagonists are not heroes but deeply flawed anti-heroes. George Traherne, in contrast, blends you might say, pre-modern, traditional virtues with a few good ideas from the current post-modern era.
George displays the ancient virtues of physical courage, honesty, virility, presence of mind, fair play, curiosity, intelligence, freedom from self-aggrandizement, loyalty to family, and an innate orientation to the good and honorable. His postmodern sensibility enables him to reject traditional ideas of staffing the hunt to bring in Lutins as "whippers in" and to take on a young woman as understudy for master of the hunt. It is the postmodern outlook that gives George an ease, even a sense of humor, in handling his own transformations.
Out for a ride on his large Percheron horse, George loses his way and meets an oddly-dressed hunting party, tragically halted in its tracks by the murder of Iolo their Huntsman.
Recognized by his name as a "kinsman," George is given charge of the Hounds of Annwn.
"To Carry the Horn" persuasively takes the reader into a magical world. This novel is fast-paced, endlessly inventive, and a thoroughly good read. Myers ennobles for the eyes of a new generation the ancient hunting compact between people, horse, and dogs -- and the chivalric virtues that go with the hunt. We can be glad that this is but the first novel in what promises to be an outstanding fantasy series.