Monday, June 24, 2013

Top ten dynamic duos in fiction

Elizabeth Wein has lived in Scotland for over ten years and wrote nearly all her novels there. Her first five books for young adults are set in Arthurian Britain and sixth century Ethiopia. The most recent of these form the sequence The Mark of Solomon, published in two parts as The Lion Hunter (2007) and The Empty Kingdom (2008). The Lion Hunter was short-listed for the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2008.

Wein's more recent novels for teens mark a departure in a totally new direction. Code Name Verity is a World War II thriller in which two young girls, one a Resistance spy and the other a transport pilot, become unlikely best friends. Her latest book, Rose Under Fire, set towards the end of the second world war, also features a young heroine with plane-flying skills.

For the Guardian, Wein named her top ten dynamic duos in fiction, including:
Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien)

I confess it - I read The Lord of the Rings 20 times when I was 14. Any subtext of class or sex that might mar this pairing for me as an adult went straight over my head when I was a teenager. Frodo was the love of my life, and his under-the-radar heroism in the face of cosmically proportioned evil shaped every character I've ever invented. It's true that I only really adored Sam because he also adored Frodo; but there's no doubt that without their teamwork the One Ring could never have been destroyed.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Lord of the Rings also made Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten sources that inspired the dark storytelling of Game of Thrones, Rob Bricken's list of 11 preposterously manly fantasy series, Conrad Mason's top ten list of magical objects in fiction, Linus Roache's six best books list, Derek Landy's top ten list of villains in children's books, Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs' list of ten classic SF books that were originally considered failures, Lev Grossman's list of the six greatest fantasy books of all time, and appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best women dressed as men, ten of the best bows and arrows in literature, ten of the best beards in literature, ten of the best towers in literature, ten of the best volcanoes in literature, ten of the best chases in literature, and ten of the best monsters in literature. It is one of Salman Rushdie's five best fantasy novels for all ages. It is a book that made a difference to Pat Conroy.

Visit Elizabeth Wein's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elizabeth Wein (January 2008).

Writers Read: Elizabeth Wein (July 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue