Patricia Wrede, The Seven Towers

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May 20, 2012
Patricia Wrede, The Seven Towers (1984). I had read that this was hard to find, but I think that was the first h/c edition. What I found at the thrift shop is the paperback. Back in 1984 it would probably have impressed me more. It's still a pretty good YA story, with a few unusual twists and an unusual sorceress. I found myself annoyed with the main viewpoint character occasionally, but that was part of the story. There are strong feminist elements despite the fairly standard faux-medieval setting. The multi-cultural element seems very modern; it certainly beats most of the products of the 1980s.

I think the part I like best is the sorceress.

The one thing I would advise a new writer to do, based on many stories, not just this one, is to write your story and then, when it's done, change all the names so they don't symbolize anything. This is an early book, and Wrede did pretty well at disguising them, but after over sixty years of experience, I'm pretty good at interpreting.

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