Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Dubious Hills

The Dubious Hills

Pamela Dean

Date: 2005-07-21 17:32:37   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

There are times that I don't quite get what Dean is aiming at. In the Dubious Hills, knowledge is parceled out. One person knows what pain and injury is; another knows how to heal it. One knows stories and tales and another how to teach. But not knowing what pain is does not keep you from getting hurt, and neither does it keep you from acting badly when a subtle hurt— such as the abandonment by your parents— is present.

Such a hurt in her younger sister is what drives Arry, the resident Physici, the one who understands pain, to try and seek out knowledge. But before she gets very far, a threat to the village is presented in the form of wolves who offer the ability to understand things outside one's own purview; in other words, to make the residents of the Dubious Hills like those outside, who can know whatever they learn.

But how can people who only know one thing make such a decision? The Dubious Hills are the way they are for a reason, after all, that they might not be at war. And Arry has to try and figure out if such knowledge would be in her field, if such insights would hurt her people beyond repair.

And this book is a little too weird to me. Some people, however, identify with it right away, so don't let me discourage you from trying it.

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