Welcome to the eighth official Language Reading Challenge Update and Linkup! As a quick recap of what we’ve read so far this year, you can check out the previous months’ challenges here:
January // Book about the culture of the area you’re studying
February // Book in your target language
March // Travel book or travelogue related to region that uses the language you’re studying
April // Book about the language that you’re learning
May // A language course book
June // A book written by a language blogger
July // A book about the history of a country or region that speaks your target language
August // A book about the history of a language that you are studying
The guidelines to participate are available here and you can find out what we’ll be reading over the next few months, as well.
This month the challenge was to read a book originally written in your target language, and so, to fulfill the requirements, I opted to read Frère Ewen by Pierre Bordage.
A Review of Frère Ewen: La Fraternité du Panca 1 by Pierre Bordage
I originally picked up Frère Ewen from the local bookstore on our last trip to France. I usually bring back 3+ books with me each time we go out, and since I’m a huge fan of fantasy/science fiction, I always make sure to pickup books in the genre in French whether they are translations of works I love or new-to-me books originally written in French. Like this one.
This was my first introduction to Pierre Bordage and I found the series quite interesting. But what was even more fascinating to me was the differences in style between French authors in the genre compared to the styles of authors I was familiar with from the US (Brandon Sanderson, George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan, et al.).
It’s a bit difficult for me to explain how French fantasy/scifi and American/British differ, but if I were to pick one thing that really stood out to me it would be what the authors choose to focus on in terms of exposition. Granted, the focus varies from author to author and this isn’t just something that varies based on the author’s cultural background, so I’d really need to read more French authors in the genre and do a more thorough comparison to really offer any sort of authoritative opinion on the subject.
But back to the book at hand. Frère Ewen: La Fraternité du Panca 1 is the first book in a series of five. It is categorized as Space Opera (so it falls more within the Science Fiction genre than the Fantasy genre) and it follows a series of characters, namely Frère Ewen, a member of a secret society tasked with protecting humanity.
I really enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the experience of reading one of my first science fiction books originally written in French (up until this point I had only read translations of scifi/fantasy books originally in English in French).
I think that it’s really important to read a variety of material in your target language, especially when you’re at the intermediate or advanced stages. It will not only help keep your target language fresh, but it will also help you improve your vocabulary and grammar in a way that’s natural. I think that reading books that are translations and reading books that were originally written in your target language is essential. The writing styles of these two different types of books definitely varies and so it can be beneficial to ensure that you have exposure to both.
Title: Frère Ewen: La Fraternité du Panca 1
Author: Pierre Bordage
Pages: 571 pages
Publisher: Éditions J’ai lu
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Language Reading Challenge Linkup
1. Share your post discussing the book that you’ve read this month in the comments below. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.
2. Link back to this post as a part of your post.
3. Follow the hosts: Shannon from Eurolinguiste.
4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.