The Oberlin Review

Book Review: “The Fork, The Witch, and the Worm”

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

March 8, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts

Christopher Paolini, the author of the popular Inheritance cycle, is known for taking a while to write books — so when he released a collection of short stories titled The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm without much warning at the end of 2018, most fans were pleasantly surprised. As one of Oberlin’s many fantasy nerds, I grew up reading Paolini and got a copy of his new book as soon as it was released.  The collection was a great read, providing a much-needed return to the world of Alagaesia and the characters from Paolini’s first series. Yet it fails to live up to the standard of the original series because of the limits of its format — the short stories don’t provide the same in-depth look at the nuance of ...

New Pullman Novel Fails to Live Up to Earlier Work

Kirsten Heuring, Staff Writer

March 30, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

I attended Catholic school for 12 years, and my first act of heresy involved the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. A high fantasy series rooted in the tradition of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the trilogy is set in a parallel world dominated by a powerful theocracy that suppresses dissent and free thought, commonly referred to as the Church. The world is full of wonderful details, like souls that live outside of people’s bodies in animal forms, powerful armored bears, and magic particles that glide and swirl through the air. But the series is also a scathing critique of the Catholic Church, and in 2007, the Catholic League actively campaigned against the first book in the series, The Golden Compass (titled ...

Tamora Pierce Pens Triumphant Return to Tortall Universe

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

February 16, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

After a long hiatus and much anticipation, acclaimed fantasy author Tamora Pierce has finally released a new book set in her Tortall universe, Tempests and Slaughter. The book is the first in her long-awaited new series, The Numair Chronicles. Pierce, whose books in the Tortall universe have frequently enjoyed long stays on New York Times bestseller lists and have earned a wide variety of prestigious awards, has proven time and again that her imagination is bound only by the careful structure that she weaves through her writing. Each of her many series is cohesive with and enriched by every other. With Tempests and Slaughter, she breaks away from a number of the patterns that she set in her previous works, offering ch...

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