Time to get back in the old top five Tuesday game and I’ve picked a great week to come back in, because this week it’s books about a birth.
Meeghan really likes to give us a workout, huh?
Well, joke’s on her, this will be super easy barely an inconvenience. The only hard part will be thinking of books that fit post-2000. But let’s see how it goes, right?
Winter Warriors by David Gemmell
Yeah, nothing screams “about a birth” like a giant winged fuck hovering above some flames and dudes with swords, right? But a birth does form the throughline plot of this book, and has some neat symbolism too. I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of this book involves three tired cranky old men and a priestess protecting a pregnant queen, and we do indeed see a birth!
Night Watch by Sir Terry Pratchett
Another book where there’s a birth that is really rather vital to the plot of the book, and where there’s also some really great symbolism too. I don’t want to give too much away as if you don’t know, I think you deserve to read the Watch sub-series then this book relatively unspoilered if you want, as it’s arguably the greatest arc in all fantasy. Yeah, you heard me. But it involves time travel, a man giving birth for the first time, and a boiled egg.
Sorcerer’s Legacy by Janny Wurts
Time for a multiple choice quiz. You’re a sorcerer and your protégé is about to lose his throne because he can’t have no kids. Do you?
a) Find a magical cure
b) Encourage him to look into adoption
c) Burninate everything making an issue out of it
d) Go to another world, find a recently widowed woman who’s recently conceived and whose home has been invaded, and offer to get her out of there if she’ll agree to say your lad was the dad
If you answered d, you have initiated the plot of Sorcerer’s Legacy, which is actually a really sharp piece of court intrigue centered around a lady with a steel spine in Elienne, said widow. Damn fun book that’s been much forgotten.
Polgara the Sorceress by David & Leigh Eddings
Yeah, this list really is going old school. I wonder if it’s because fantasy from the days of the chosen one and the old lost bloodlines had a logical focus on birth, and now that’s somewhat out of fashion there’s less reason to include it in action-adventure fiction (which is the majority of my fantasy reading)? In any case, this book is the long life story of the main supporting woman behind a chosen one/lost bloodline story – Polgara, the maternal figure behind the Belgariad and Malloreon. It’s always kinda weird to think of one of the iconic parental characters in fantasy being written by two of the shittiest parents in fantasy authordom, but that’s what happened. In any case, there’s lots of births here – Polgara’s life revolves around them for a lot of the book – and I do have a soft spot for the memory of this book. And, let’s be honest, this one isn’t all that easy. Let’s have a little think before I commit to number five…
House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
Aha! It took a while to think of, but one of the binding thorns in this book is the character Françoise’s quest to protect her unborn child, even if it means putting herself at risk. Something of a subplot, but it’s a birth, and the book’s great, and with that I’m done.
I look forwards to seeing what Meeghan’s marvellous mind has for us next week…