Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Letter

Dear Ms. Megan Whalen Turner,

I love you. Please don't be creeped out, but I love you. You are the Mount Olympus to my Death Valley, the VY Canis Major to my Sol (and I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about, you clever lady). Your genius and verve soar to the greatest magnitude, and I am in awe.

I first became acquainted with you in the children's section of my local library. A simple spine caught my eye, emblazoned with yellow type that read The Thief. Thieves were interesting, so I picked it up and took it home with me. I read the entire book in one day, certain even from the beginning that this was no mere children's book and that I would become good friends with your Gen. Then I reached the end and yelped out loud.

You tricked me, dear lady! You tricked me completely! Only the great Dame Agatha Christie has ever fooled me so thoroughly, and you managed to achieve her greatness in only one book.

For months, I returned to my favorite scenes. For months, I argued with Gen over this or that, just because I could. Then I went back to the library to borrow the book again, and my heart nearly burst with joy.

Not one, but TWO new books awaited me! TWO new adventures with Gen. TWO fresh opportunities to be tricked and deceived. It was like winning the lottery twice over.

I went home and devoured Queen of Attolia, falling in love all over again with tricky Gen, savvy Magus, staunch Eddis. Where The Thief kept my riding high on adrenaline, Queen dragged me down into the depths of pathos only to ride high once more in the thrill of the con. I thought I had you figured out, O Gen.

Then I reached the end and nearly threw the book against the wall, so excited was I.

On to the third book! On to The King of Attolia! But what was this? A new narrator? Who was this impostor, this Costis? Silly boy, to despise Gen so. Interloper, begone! But he was fixed, granted his position by your pen. Slowly, he told his tale; haltingly, like a fool who believed himself wise. He knew nothing!

But, as I read, I realized I knew nothing either. You teased me cruelly, making me despair for Gen and his sudden impotency. He was trapped, our tricky thief, like a dog in a kennel cage. How could you treat him so unkindly? He was our hero, our victor. But instead of respected and praised, he was treated with scorn by those who should fear him most.

And then... and then... How could I doubt you? I reached the denouement and crowed aloud. YES! Yes!  This is our Gen, conqueror of all! So crafty! So wise! Basileus?, I scoffed. Annux! Yes, Annux, indeed! You and Gen both, rulers of all. You tricked me thrice, long after I should have been able to catch on.

Now your fourth book sits on my shelf. From a foreign country, I ordered it, underwhelmed by exotic locales and breathtaking vistas when I knew that the wiles of Gen awaited me at home. I read it once. I rejoiced. Sophos, dear Sophos, friend and companion. A tale of love, of woe, of betrayal and triumph.

I read it once and was pleased. A satisfying trick, a satisfying tale, satisfying most in the promise of more. But I know that my pleasure has only begun. For I have read it once and no more. When I return to your words as a dying traveler returns to the oasis that gave him shelter, I shall lap up your words again. I shall discover new jewels in your tale, new tricks hidden in shadows that I hadn't noticed before. My appreciation will blossom anew.

I love you, Meghan Whalen Turner. You have given me a series brimming with joys and sorrows, love and loss, trickery and deceit. You have given me Irene. Magus. Sophos. Helen. Pol. Costis. Moira. Gen. Dear, dear Gen. Annux is he, and Annux are you. You conquer without mercy all who read your words, and gladly am I conquered.


Shelver 506