Tag Archives: Katherine Roberts

Bone Music

To see two points of view can be much better, and fairer, than just the one. In her new novel Bone Music, about the young Genghis Khan, Katherine Roberts lets the reader see three points of view, which is even fairer.

Katherine Roberts, Bone Music

First we follow the young, future Genghis Khan, for twelve years from the age of nine, as he deals with the loss of his father, meeting his blood brother Jamukha, as well as his betrothal to ten-year-old Borta. He’s a bit of a charmer, and I was hoping that my understanding that Genghis Khan wasn’t a nice man was going to be proven false.

There are perhaps too many chopped-off heads for that. But he does seem quite nice.

For the same twelve years we see the world through Borta’s eyes and learn that there can be other truths for the same occasions already mentioned. And following her tale, we find that Jamukha has yet another version of the truth. The same things do happen, but it’s not all the same.

Sometimes we do things that look wrong, might even be wrong, for the right reasons.

Theirs is a world of blood and fighting, living in rough camps and always having to defend or attack. The power of shamans is great, and there is a not inconsiderable amount of the supernatural involved.

It’s never easy when two men love the same woman, and who she loves doesn’t matter much in a world where the parents arrange marriages.

I’ve never been terribly keen on Genghis Khan, presumably because of that streak of cruelty I sensed. But as I said, there are two, or three, ways of looking at any given fact. I now feel I know a lot more about these Mongol tribes, and while I don’t enjoy the rolling of heads, I can at least understand it. A little.

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Daughters of Time

I was in the middle of the story by Celia Rees in the anthology Daughters of Time, when the captain on my plane made an announcement. I looked up. ‘She’s a woman!’ I thought. I know. Stupid thought to have, but I did, and she wasn’t even my first female pilot. Then I looked at what I was reading, which was about Emily Wilding Davison, and I told myself off for my reaction. I’m ashamed of myself.

After that came Anne Rooney’s story about Amy Johnson, so there we had the second woman pilot of the afternoon. And of course, it felt completely normal, because I knew she was female, if you are able to follow my train of thought. I just hoped my plane and ‘my’ captain wasn’t going to crash as spectacularly as Amy Johnson did. Preferably not crash at all.

Daughters of Time

This collection of stories about women, and girls, from various times in the past, written by women and edited by Mary Hoffman, was published last year, so I’m rather late. I knew I’d love it, though, and I did.

Arranged in chronological order the book begins with Queen Boudica and ends with the Greenham Common women, with girls/women like Lady Jane Grey and Mary Seacole and many others in between. The list of authors reads like a who’s who in young fiction, and I’m now wanting to read more on some of these history heroines.

With my rather sketchy knowledge of some British history, I have also learned lots of new facts. I had never really grasped who Lady Jane Grey was, and now I have a much better idea.

This is the kind of collection you wish there would be regular additions to. Maybe not one every year, but I can see plenty of scope for more stories.

ABBA festival!

First they steal my idea, and then they put it into action on a day when I can’t even enjoy it. Pah.

It’s ABBA. No, not the pickled fish and not even those people who used to sing. I’m talking about the Awfully Big Blog Adventure and the festival they are running this weekend.

Yes, I know. It’s ridiculous. How can you possibly have an online book festival? Can I take pictures of my authors? Can I have my books signed? Are there even any tickets left to all these events, and how do they expect me to get around from one event to the next without a break in-between?

PhotobucketI’m busy today. Very busy. I can’t just sit there and commune with my beloved authors through a computer screen all day long. But I want to. I’ll have to make a timetable of sorts, to see if I can fit in my bestest people that way. Maybe eat with them? (Hey, do you object to crumbs and slurps?)

Just look at that programme!

ABBA festival Saturday

It sort of makes a witch want to skive off for the day. How are they going to pull it off, technically? (My idea was for a normal live kind of in person sort of festival…)

Oh well, see you tomorrow.