Happy Birthday, Oh Most Favourite Book (The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams)
I usually don’t pay attention to when books were published. But luckily I have friends who do, and who remind me, so…
Happy 25th birthday, Simon, Binabik, Doctor Morgenes, Rachel, Josua, Miriamele, Isgrimnur, Jiriki, Geloë (one day I will learn how to type your name), Deornoth, Dinivan, Ranessin, Towser, Maegwin, Gwythinn, Lluth, Tiamak, Sangfugol, Jarnauga, Qantaqa, Sludig, Haestan, Jeremias, Cadrach, Vorzheva, Gutrun, Einskaldir, Eolair… who else am I forgetting? Leleth, Grimmric, An’nai, Ki’ushapo, Sijandi, Judith, Strangyeard, unnamed woodsman #2… even to Elias, Pryrates, Fengbald, Guthwulf, Ingen Jegger, Inch… you may not be nice guys, but my life would not be the same without you.
Happy birthday to the Hayholt, to Thisterborg, to Nabban, to the Taig, to Aldheorte, to the Wran and Naglimund and Urmsheim and all the places in between.
Happy birthday to the piles of books in Morgenes’ chambers, to the view from Green Angel Tower, to creepy hilltop gatherings, to fleeing through tangled forests, to battles and dragons and deaths that make me cry, to Isgrimnur’s tantrums, to songs and jokes and Qanuc proverbs … oh, I can not describe all the reasons why I love this book. There are parts of it that are gripping, parts that are painful, and parts that just make me so happy I want to roll around in them and kick my feet like in a pile of autumn leaves. Happy birthday to so many lines I like to quote, even if most people have no idea what I mean by, “When it falls on your head, then you are knowing it is a rock.”
There are a few people in my “real life”* now that understand those quotes – I bought copies for my best friend and my apprentice and got them signed earlier this year, so I can talk to my best friend about books being traps, or give the apprentice a broom and tell him to dance with her, and they know just what I mean. And the apprentice’s mother – who also works with us – has stolen his copy and started reading too, and sometimes we forget to work because we’re so busy gushing about the description of Morgenes’ chambers…
And then there are my online friends, most of whom I ultimately owe to that copy of The Dragonbone Chair that my mother brought home from the library so many years ago. It’s kind of amazing when I think about the people this book has brought together, the friends I have made because of it… friends I’ve never met, and friends I’ve met several times even though they live hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away, friends that are old enough to have read The Dragonbone Chair as it came out and me, just a year older than the book we love so much… and, most amazing of all, the man who wrote it.
Happy birthday to The Dragonbone Chair, and thank you, thank you, thank you to Tad.
* I don’t really like the expression “real life”… just because some things in my life happen online, doesn’t mean that they are any less real.
(Oh, and my review of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Just in case you haven’t read it yet.)