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Limits of Power: Paladin's Legacy: Book Four

Limits of Power - Elizabeth Moon 1/11/14 ** Finished. I'd read other reviews that were less complimentary of this book - critique was that it seemed that there was too much summarizing to more quickly deliver background info needed for the final book. I disagree. More reflective w/ characters spending more time thinking/talking about problems for which they have no solutions; less action. However, some surprising plot twists, most of which were well foreshadowed. Can't wait for the concluding volume.

1/9/14 ** I'm seeing a parallel between the magery (illegal magic) in Moon's Paladin's Legacy series with gender identity in our culture. One of the things that I most appreciate about good literature is the way that it can provide both a window and a mirror for our own culture - and Limits of Power has had me thinking a lot about our own society. I woke up numerous times over night thinking about this, so I suppose I should write it. Then maybe my mind will "check it off" and leave me alone.

As early as 1988, in A Sheepfarmer's Daughter Moon portrayed same-gender couples as a natural part of society. As more people have come out, and as I've re-read Moon's books, I've appreciated her courage in including gay/lesbian characters. Though she doesn't explicitly link gender identity and magery, the religious and legal strictures against the having mage-powers seem to echo the conditions LGBT individuals face in America. Likewise, those children and adults in whom the magic appears haven't chosen those powers; instead, they are born with magic and it appears as the individuals enter adolescence. A major theme in Limits of Power (and I assume Crown of Renewal) is the efforts of individuals to halt the bigotry and violence toward those displaying mage-powers. These efforts provide a mirror for the same journey we face with regard to LGBT members of our own communities.

Hate/fear > Distrust > tolerance > acceptance = our path. We need to remember that tolerance is different than acceptance. Our goal is that being known as gay or straight isn't worth a comment because all are accepted as part of our community.