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The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson

The Ropemaker (2001)

by Peter Dickinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ropemaker (1)

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5101319,905 (3.79)27

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English (12)  German (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
It was interesting to contrast this enjoyable, well-written YA fantasy book with Ursula LeGuin's "Voices," which I read recently. Both deal with a pair of young people from a remote, isolated valley, and their families.
While both situation and family are, in LeGuin's view, unrelentingly negative, to Dickinson, this situation is just positive as positive can be... as a matter of fact, the whole point of the book is that the young people and their grandparents must go on a quest to find a magician to preserve the spells that keep their valley isolated, cut off from the larger, socially and politically oppressive empire beyond....
LeGuin took the opposite view altogether, where the young people had to attempt to escape the oppressiveness of the backwards, backwater valley and get out to the wider world to grow...
As I said, however, Dickinson's writing was fun and the story enjoyable - but I did find myself questioning some of his situations.... probably because it's a YA book, and he didn't want to really get into them. But having a young teen boy and girl who obviously like each other go on a long trip together - and have NO sexual tension develop was unrealistic. And, having two very elderly people experience a magical spell that makes them both teens again, to have them fall in love - and then to have them voluntarily give that up and choose to become old again, without a whole lot of agony, is also totally unrealistic. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Just plain awesome. ( )
  rwilliab | Nov 21, 2014 |
I can see that this is a very good example of a fantasy novel in which a character goes on a journey. I feel about this story as I do about The Hobbit: tedious, for me. I don't know why. I guess I'm not going to grow a penchant for this type of story.

Kirkus suggests a strangely specific age range for this novel -- I haven't seen many books for 19 to 20 year olds. Is there something special about that age? Maybe if I'd read this then...

I like the characters of Tilja and Meena and the cantankerous horse. They're great. But in the end, this book gave me up rather than the other way around. My eyes were moving but my brain wasn't taking anything in.

Onwards and upwards.
  LynleyS | Feb 8, 2014 |
Printz Award. RGG: Fantasy fiction. Slow; overly detailed writing.
  rgruberexcel | Sep 22, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Dickinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrew, IanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dinyer, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Cost of Living

For Robin

Go then, adventurer, on your vivid journey;
Though once again, of course, I cannot join you--
That is as certain as your happpy ending.
The one-armed captain in the pirate harbor
Would know me in an instant for a Jonah.
No gnome would ever speak with me for witness,
And so let slip the spell-dissolving answer
Before you'd even heard the sacred riddle.
I, as it happens, know it from my reading,
But the blind queen would ask it in a language
Not in the syllabus of my old college,
But which your loved, illiterate nanny taught you.

No, I will stay home and keep things going,
Conduct the altercation with the builders,
Hoe the allotment, fix the carburetor.
I'm genuinely happier with such dealings;
It isn't merely that they pass the seasons
Until I hear your footstep on the threshold.
The I will sit and listen to your story
With a complacently benign amazement,
Believing it because it's you that tell it.
And when you've done, and I have asked my questions,
I for the umpteenth time on such homecomings
Will say what's happened to the cost of living.
First words
It had snowed in the night.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385730632, Paperback)

Tilja has grown up in the peaceful Valley, which is protected from the fearsome Empire by an enchanted forest. But the forest’s power has begun to fade and the Valley is in danger. Tilja is the youngest of four brave souls who venture into the Empire together to find the mysterious magician who can save the Valley. And much to her amazement, Tilja gradually learns that only she, an ordinary girl with no magical powers, has the ability to protect her group and their quest from the Empire’s sorcerers.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When the magic that protects their Valley starts to fail, Tilja and her companions journey into the evil Empire to find the ancient magician Faheel, who originally cast those spells.

» see all 2 descriptions

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