Please help ID these fantasy books
August 3, 2008 5:52 AM   Subscribe

IDaBookFilter: I'm looking for the name of a female fantasy author whose last name is around the end of the alfabet. One of her books is a parallel world version of the French Revolution, another has the protagonist infiltrating a sect. Bonus points for another book inside!

The first book (not a series) is about a girl who comes from a rich family, and gets chosen to be handmaiden to the Queen or something like that. There's a revolution and she ends up poor on the streets. She refuses to prostitute herself and there's a bit later when she finds out that her sister/friend (?) did and she's shocked. There's also a very intelligent farmboy (anyways, a poor person) who her father provides an education for. I think the girl and the farmboy might end up together at the end. The writing is very flowery and descriptive.

There's another fantasy/science-fiction book from my childhood that I've been trying to identify forever. It's a world where children are raised all together apart from their parents. Some children get a sickness at a certain age and the survivors are "special". There's a scene that marked my when this girl's sister is chosen (perhaps because she survived the sickness), and is given dildos of several sizes to open herself up. I think the girl finds her sister and uses the dildos along with her to help her through the pain.

I've seen how good you guys are IDing crazy books before! Help me Mefi!
posted by snoogles to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The first one sounds like it might be Paula Vronsky.
posted by Jeanne at 5:58 AM on August 3, 2008

Oh, argh. I know I've read your first book, and cannot remember the author. I can see the cover in my head, even. For whatever it's worth, I'm pretty sure you're right about the end of the alphabet. I was thinking Joan D. Vinge, but looking at her bibliography online, none of them look quite right. I'll be back if the author eventually bubbles to the surface of my mind.
posted by Stacey at 7:40 AM on August 3, 2008

Best answer: Got it! Jeanne was right but the last name was spelled wrong - it's Paula Volsky you're looking for, and the French Revolution book is Illusion.
posted by Stacey at 7:53 AM on August 3, 2008

Response by poster: Oh you guys are wonderful! I'm not going to mark a best answer yet because I'm hoping someone will still come along and know the other book.
posted by snoogles at 10:14 AM on August 3, 2008

you say the 2nd book you remember from childhood - how old are you if you don't mind me asking? I think your book rings bells, but I'm not certain of either author or title and there's not much on the web about it - was it set in a post apocalyptic Ireland by any chance?
posted by kumonoi at 2:28 PM on August 3, 2008

Response by poster: Oh wow, I have no idea. It could have been... That little snippet is really all that I can remember. Honestly, if you have any guesses, however wild, please do let me know.

I'm 20 now and I read it about when I was around 11-12.
posted by snoogles at 5:15 PM on August 3, 2008

Best answer: Your second book sounds like The Maerlande Chronicles or In the Mother's Land (same book, one title for Canada, the other for the US) by Elisabeth Vonarburg.

In it, the children are raised in a spiral shaped nursery, go through illnesses which many do not survive, and even afterwards many are infertile. The main character is suposed to succeed her mother as leader of their city (who was literally called the "Mother" if I remember right), but is infertile (and thus cannot), and so her sister does. In addition to a large part of the population being infertile and reduced periods of fertility, there are also many more women than there are men, and heterosexual sex is more about procreation, whereas many women had female lovers; the sister was using the dildos to prepare for first male lover, so that she could start having children (which were desparately needed).

It's an amazing book - every time I read it I discover new things I missed the time before. It also helps to read the (not directly, but loosely related) earlier novel The Silent City.
posted by jb at 6:53 PM on August 3, 2008

Response by poster: Oh thank you thank you thank you! I recognize the cover!
posted by snoogles at 3:35 AM on August 4, 2008

« Older Is up/dowload to online storage secure?   |   How can I help my Mom during her marriage crisis? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.