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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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so i stayed home from work today
children of dune - leto 1
So after setting svmadelyn free in The Republic of Pemberley, I suspected that it would not be the last I heard of Jane Austen fanfic. Further, I have been accosted with such gems of fanficcal giddiness that I cannot even describe.

A conversation now is not complete without a quote that is almost guaranteed to make me twitch for poor Jane, who probably had no idea that one day, a host of fangirls would variate the eternal love of Elizabeth and Darcy in ways that would make both author and characters blush exceeding.

I'm still waiting for Prostitute!Elizabeth and Whoremaster!Darcy living on the wild streets of Drury Lane. I hope.

But that does lead to my last book purchases, which is kind of half-embarrassing, half-amusing, where wandering through the A-B section, I picked up Linda Berdoll's Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Darcy and Elizabeth: Days and Nights at Pemberley.

Basically, I paid for my heroin this time. But the covers were seriously *awesome*. And so I grabbed both, as well as the new Anne Bishop novel Sebastian (for those who liked the Black Jewels series, there's a new one in that series as well, of shorter fic covering different aspects of the lives of the witches and warlord princes).

But okay.

Bawdy. I will not argue this is great literature. I won't argue that it's the finest use of the language since Shakespeare. I won't even argue it's anywhere true to character as established by Jane Austen. I won't state that her grammar is impeccable or the style flawless.

But Christ, that was fun. That was just *fun*. The prose is extremely--formal? I don't have the words, but her sentences are a wonder to behold. Luckily, you get used to having to slow down and pick your way through it in less than a hundred pages. It's just--I keep going back to giggle myself into incoherence at how *well* she's able to make me forget that the most dramatic expression of love in Pride and Prejudice was a touch of the hand, because Darcy and Elizabeth are just painfully chaste right up until their wedding night. The sex is not explicit, but it sure as hell isn't hidden behind draperies. It cavorts itself on desks, walls, floors, bed, carriages, chairs, stables, and the park of Pemberley.

Yes, the word tumescence does appear, but I forgive, because I had a blast. I can work with this; most Austen sequels make me twitch, but I just--I loved this. I wallowed in it. I loved Darcy's cool formality and utter mindblowing adoration of Elizabeth and I love how the author trips us down the path to the bawdy--that's really the only word I can use here, bawdy--side of the English countryside, in which we will see Darcy gather his greatcoat close and hop out a whorehouse window in pursuit of Wickham, with utter aplomb, where Elizabeth can meet Darcy's former mistress, Lydia faithfully continuing to amaze all with her lack of even *basic* rules of conduct and still accidentally find herself a decent husband, Fitzwilliam go to war and Georgiana run after him, and and and I am *ashamed* but I just fell in rapture with the sheer shameless take on post Pride and Prejudice. The author totally had me. I did not *care* that Jane Austen twitched in her grave; I did not care that the density of the prose was mindboggling.

The thing that actually kind of both annoyed and intrigued me was the OCs and secondary characters and how they entwined together. It's hard to explain, but if you've ever wanted what a French courtesan, her associate, Darcy's French relatives, Wickham, a Drury street prostitute, and a workhouse girl had to connect them, you'd be really surprised.

I feel good about the world. Seriously so.

Next up, Sebastian. From Anne Bishop, I have learned more about male castration than I ever wished to know. I am curious what she will do with an incubus who is bored with sex. For an author whose first three books were rife with sexual politics, sensuality, and lust, there was precious little actual sex. No, really, think back on the trilogy--how many times did anyone actually get naked and sweaty? Penises were around a lot, but not so much what they were used for other than torture of a male, which has to say something, though I'm not sure what. I'm wondering what she can make of an incubus. Reminds me of LKH's Narcissus in Chains, where two hundred pages of foreplay managed to produce barely one good sexual encounter, except Anne is, you know, *a better writer* and her Mary Sue is at least supposed to be one by virtue of how she was created, which was a novel way to go about it and still keeps the books at the top of my rotation for re-reading.

Um, yeah, stopping now. I'm kind of on a post Darcy and Elizabeth high. That was *fun*.

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as well as the new Anne Bishop novel Sebastian (for those who liked the Black Jewels series, there's a new one in that series as well, of shorter fic covering different aspects of the lives of the witches and warlord princes).

I thought it was really good. Different from BJT, but in a good way. Also, there is going to be a new novel in the BJT universe sometime in 2008.

Oh awesome.

I wonder what else she can do in that universe now? Maybe their kids I guess? Hmm.

I have no idea, except that on her website it says that Surreal, Lucivar, Jaenelle, and Daemon, "among others," will be in it.

I've read post-P&P novels *g*. In fact, I just started reading another one - Darcy's PoV on P&P. Heeee!

The trilogy one? An Assembly Such As This et al? I read the third one. I need to get the first two soon.

Yes! I found the first one in a second hand bookstore, so luckily I'll get to read them in order :)

dude, i loved P&P. one of my favorite novels of all time. when i saw Mr. Dracy Takes a Wife, i consumed it. in a day, i read it all. i love it. i'm strangely not one for the harlequin-y romances, but i loved this. even the summary on the back cover. as much as i know that austin is spinning in her freakin grave about darcy's "virility," i didn't care. like good fanfiction, i enjoyed it anyway. ^o^ two of my favorite parts: when dracy's former lover and elizabeth meet, and the boots. ;) i love it. i think i'm going to have to go and reread it. *g*

*grins* It was *good*. And it wasn't really harlequiny was it? I don't have the words, but it worked for me *really well*. Happy place, seriously so.

Oh, Anne Bishop. My brain broke when the one man assured his sister that he treasured the cock-ring she placed on him as a sign of their familial bond.

It was the incestiest thing I've ever read that didn't have incest in it. Also the cock-ringingest.

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Darcy and Elizabeth: Days and Nights at Pemberley.

humph! Now I'm going to have something else to do, darn you. *shakes fist*

Heh. --No, thanks for the rec. I've long wanted to investigate some fun post-plot Austen. This might be just the thing for when I have a little break over here. :^D

It's so--*waves hands*--I don't *know*. I love Austen and believe it or not, I thought I was a purist. But this just *sucked me in*.

That's precisely how I like my guilty pleasures. *g*

I have Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife waiting for me when I visit home next week. Hee, I'm glad to hear it is as "bawdy" as I have been told.

and thanks for linking to RoP, my week is now utterly lost. I'm a little dazed even.

It's such a romp.

*smug* My work is done here.

Madelyn's gone far afield for P and P. I'll have to remember to ask her to post recs soon. I'm telling you, I am *waiting* for Prostitute!Elizabeth *so much*. If there is any justice in the world, she will find it.

You know I haven't even touched the fic archive yet? I'm dazed just from the FAQ. All those resources and links and...*zones* and yes, please ask her to post recs!

and there has to be a prostitute fic. I mean, when Austen opened P&P with "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife," clearly she was referring to Darcy's chain of whorehouses and penchant for high class hookers.

*wide-eyed adoration*

Clearly, you are right. I have faith.

*sigh* I'm trying to get into LKH now, but after reading Anne Bishop, I feel as though LKH is trying too hard to be transgressive and sexy without ever actually going there. True, the Black Jewels Trilogy didn't have tons of sex, but it had sexual tension between all sorts of pairings of characters, not just heroine to everyone else. I thoughts Dreams Made Flesh improved on the trilogy in some ways; it delivered on all the sexual tension and menace of the trilogy and even de-Mary-Sued Jaenelle in some ways.

Is there an LKH you'd recommend? I've made my way through two, and I'm about ready to give up.

*g* I knew Jaenelle was practically a walking Mary Sue, but this is the one time I could deal with it, mostly because that was the point of her existence. She was *supposed* to be. Her entire existence was due to dreams of the perfect queen. *g* I think I'd have been disappointed if she had been anything else.

LKH--I liked her for the first--five or six books? It was pushing it at six, too, and once I got to Narcissus, I gave up. Just could not *deal*. the new series might be better, but those who have read it have flinched when speaking of it, so--*sighs*

I have high hopes of Sebastian. Heh. Incubus bored with sex! What could be more fun?

I enjoyed Sebastian quite a lot--I won't say more, so as not to inadvertently spoil anything. Have you read her other trilogy? I thought it was fabulous. I completely agree as far as Jaenelle, by the way, but I always liked how she never saw *herself* as perfect, and also never had an "I'm so imperfect" scene so another character could reinforce her perfection. Her humanity came through to the reader in the trilogy, but I thought it finally came through to the other characters in Dreams Made Flesh.

Sorry to ramble on; insomnia's kicking my butt, and I'm grateful to have something interesting to think about.

LKH's Merry Gentry series is similar to BJT in that it deals with politics, and deals with sex, and deals with some very virile-and-yet-so-emasculated men, but that's about where the resemblance ends. I liked it, but I'm... basically, sick and twisted is the only descriptor I've got.
Plus, I met and talked with LKH in person two years ago, so I'm still getting off on the buzz of that.
Although now that I think on it, Merry doesn't want to be Queen so much as she doesn't want her cousin to be King. Semi-similar to Jaenelle.

But yay! New books by Anne Bishop--who I loved before I'd ever heard of LKH. Seriously: if you haven't read the series she wrote about the witches and the Fae, stop whatever you're doing and read it now.

This has to be the first time I've come across other people who have even heard of, let alone read anything by Anne Bishop.

I read the BJT last summer whilst on holiday in record time as I had nothing else to do besides sit in the sun and read, and actually loved every minute of it. (Or should that be every word of it?) I must admit to a slight crush (by slight I mean embarrassingly big) on Lucivar, and so 'Dreams Made Flesh' was a great bonus to the BJT.

Her House of Gaian trilogy was a good read as well, although I wasn't so keen on 'The Invisible Ring', which was also set in the BJT universe. I've yet to pick up a copy of 'Sebastian'. Don't suppose there is any chance of a couple of comments on it once you've finished?

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