Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Call

The Chronicles of NarniaI insisted on reading the Narnia books to my kids before letting them watch the movies, and I've been doling out the movies for Very Special Occasions, which means they only just saw Prince Caspian for the first time during the week after Christmas. (Of course, Mommy saw Prince Caspian a lot sooner, because she's selfish that way.)

The song playing as the Pevensie children leave Narnia, and the movie comes to an end is The Call, by Regina Spektor, and it grabbed my attention. I was still reading Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest and it struck me as yet another song that worked well as a theme for Sorcha.

Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)If you haven't read my previous post, Daughter of the Forest is a (sort of) retelling of The Six Swans. I say "sort of" because I think Marillier does an excellent job of rethinking the story. While I enjoy fairy tale retellings, a lot of them never go beyond the original story, but Daughter of the Forest does an excellent job of making the story Marillier's own, not just a retelling.

The Call is maybe not an obvious fit for this book. (It would definitely be a more obvious choice to use it as a song for something talking about, say, King Arthur's return!) It's the way it starts, though - the description of the slow growth from feeling to battle cry - that makes me think of how Sorcha's determination to save her brothers never falters, no matter how difficult her situation, how that determination even grows stronger as the horrors she goes through pile up around her.

From early on in her task:
"They were dark times, and in the depths of them I would hear an inner voice that said, this task is impossible. Why not give up now? Look, your hands are swollen and ruined, you weep day in and day out, and what have you to show for it? A little spool of ill-spun thread, lumpy and fragile, scarce enough to hem a jacket for a butterfly, let alone a shirt for a man. Surely this task cannot be completed. Besides, how can you be sure the Lady of the Forest did not lie to you? Perhaps this is all some cruel trick, and your labors are for nothing."
- to the end, when she faces death rather than break her silence
"One night, I thought, my heart pounding. Only one night, and then my fate would be decided. I had to be strong, I must keep my mind away from fire, and from death. ... I did not sleep at all that night. There must be time to finish. There had to be. Did the Fair Folk set a task, and then make its completion impossible? I could not believe that it would be taken from me, so close to the end. I must finish. I would finish."
Sorcha never gives up, clinging to the shirts she has made even as she is tied to the bonfire, searching the skies for her brothers so that she can save them before her work burns with her.

The Call (Live In London)
Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

You'll come back
When they call you
No need to say goodbye

Books: Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier
            The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Music: The Call, Regina Spektor


Cari Hislop said...

I watched Prince Caspian over Christmas, but somehow missed the song...and never having heard of Regina Spektor I had to go off and hear what she sounded like, then I had to go buy the song...lovely! :)

I'll have to look up Daughter of the Forest...it sounds really good too. Your last Hopper day I went off to look at the sight mentioned and found a review of 'Maybe This Time' by Jennifer Crusie, which I now have in my Amazon basket. As long as you don't get me into a series with twenty books only sold in hardback I'll alright. ;)

Jennifer said...

You might want to avoid Cannwin's Wheel of Time posts, then! From everything I hear, it sounds like the series-that-will-never-end.

Cari Hislop said...

Avoid Wheel of time...check!

I don't mind series in paperbacks that never seem to end as long as the books are about the same characters; I don't like generational series. The Daughter of the Forest has a lovely opening. The author really paints an enchanting picture. I might read that first one, but the other two are generational. Though come to think of it I did like most of the Dune series and they were generational.


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