I'm trying to write more about the books I read this year.

I picked up Dragon Sword and Wind Child after... I think [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll or one of his commenters mentioned it for some reason, because I was already keeping an eye out for it when I saw the cover in the bookstore.

Long ago, the God of Light lay with the Goddess of Darkness and they produced myriads of children. The last child the Goddess bore was the God of Fire, who burned her horribly. She fled to the Underworld in her pain, and the God of Light slew the God of Fire with his sword. Then he pursued the Goddess of Darkness, but when he found her in the Underworld, he recoiled and fled back out then rolled a great rock over the entrance of the Underworld.

So the two forces have been separated. Neither can work directly in the lands of Toyoashihara, so their Children must. The twin children of the God of Light, the golden Princess Teruhi and the silver Prince Tsukihiro, work tirelessly to conquer Toyoashihara, bind up the other earth gods first created between the God and Goddess, and bring the people to the worship of Light.

The Children of the God of Light are immortal and unchanging. They renew themselves from all damage, though they still feel all the pain until the wounds are healed.

The Children of the Goddess of Darkness reincarnate constantly and work to stop the spread of the Light. They fight to free the earth gods from their prisons and to allow the people of Toyoashihara to worship the gods they wish.

Saya, a foundling in her village, is the incarnation of the Water Maiden, the Priestess of the Sword who stills the rage bound into the Dragon Sword. It is one of the most potent weapons of Darkness, but none of them can truly wield it. Even the Water Maiden can only still it, but the rage bound in it from when the God of Light used it to kill the Fire God is terribly difficult to control.

She, however, was raised in a village that worshiped the Light, and she is horrified when the other Children of Darkness come to reveal her heritage to her. She does not want anything to do with the Darkness; she wants only to serve the Light. They shake their heads but cannot and will not force her.

After they depart, Prince Tsukihiro happens upon her and he recognizes her as the Water Maiden. He pledges to take her to his palace and keep her as a handmaiden and eventually a wife. Saya is delighted.

She is far less delighted when she comes to the palace and meets Princess Teruhi, as well as the scheming and contempt of Tsukihiro's other handmaidens. She also gradually comes to realize that Tsukihiro does not love her, and is not capable of loving her - his immortality prevents him from connecting to her on certain deep levels.

One of the other Children of Darkness comes to be with her as her servant and to hopefully find the Dragon Sword, which Princess Teruhi stole from the previous Water Maiden. But he is found out and slated to die.

Saya realizes the only way to free him is to find the Dragon Sword herself. When she does, she also finds the priestess who has been stilling it - a third Child of Light who the world never knew existed.

I love this book and will happily evangelize it to anyone who holds still long enough. It's an excellent translation, the various tensions and wars make complete sense, and the way everything unfolds speaks happily to some of my inner story-loves.
beckyh2112: (Default)
( Jan. 15th, 2011 01:23 pm)
Gratuitously stolen from [livejournal.com profile] dark_puck

Now that I'm getting into the groove of writing, I'm sure y'all have questions.

Or maybe not, but I'm pretending you do anyway.


Pick an OC of mine, and ask me anything you'd like about their "canon" backstory.

Why specify "canon"? Because I like AUs. A lot. So it's easier to specify.

ETA: Please don't ask me things like "what is their backstory?" or "I'd like to know more about them". Please go with three specific or semi-specific questions. I may open this up to more later.

An OC list behind the cut )

ETA2: If you want to do a non-AtLA OC, go ahead! I'm just not making a list for y'all.

I'm at page 82 of "Troubled Waters" by Sharon Shinn and am completely in love with the blessing coins.

[Bex]: ... I think the blessings thing is going to make me roll in its awesomeness.
[Bex]: There are blessings associated with each of the five elements, plus a handful of extraordinary blessings. They seem to be individual? And physical symbols of them are kept. The heroine has hers as silver charms. Her father had his as decorative wall-art.
[Bex]: I do not know how one acquires them. I must read more.
[Pux]: oooooooh
[Bex]: One does not have any say in one's own random blessings, and so far they seem to come in threes.
[Bex]: ... Interesting
[Bex]: One goes out and finds strangers to beg random blessings for one's child.
[Pux]: huh.
[Bex]: The first two people her father asked for blessings had coins with symbols on them. But apparently the traditional way is for you and the stranger to go to the temple, pay the tithe to enter, meditate or not to achieve balance, then go to the big barrel of blessing coins and have the stranger pull one out.
[Pux]: *nods*
[Bex]: And the stranger draws a blessing for themself, and you draw a blessing for you.
[Pux]: *grin*
[Bex]: "that was the point of random blessings: you were not supposed to show caution or discrimination about the people you approached. You were supposed to rely on the people who'd been sent to you by the unchoreographed currents of the universe. You were supposed to understand that wisdom could be imparted by anyone, no matter how unexpected, that everyone had a gift to bestow."

'What is the boy's name?' Monk Gyatso asked as he ran his hands through the coins in the blessings barrel. )


beckyh2112: (Default)
Rebecca Hb.

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