“I suppose it’s not really my business,” the lad broke into her thoughts, “but is it a nice sort of love you’re in?”
She shook her head to clear it. “I’m not—in love,” she said, blushing. “I was just thinking how nice your farm is. It is a very lovely piece of land.”
The lad nodded, shoving his hands into his work-clothes in a careless gesture. For a moment he regarded Andor askance, who sat patiently gazing up at him, hoping for a pat. “Aye. It is a good sort of love, then. An’ it is a good place,” he agreed: “an horseshoe place.”
Her mouth twitched. “Yes.”
Here's another theme that runs not only through all three novels (in varying degrees) but also through my life: the sense of belonging: the sense of a place reaching out and pulling you in and loving you as fiercely as you love it. There are a lot of novels written about people trying to find their place in the world (whatever world that may be, this one or the next one, or one completely imagination), and we're all acquainted with that painful story of rebirth as a character grows into himself. What we don't often see is the world growing into the character, of the world finding a weak point in the character's armour, of flying through the chink and stabbing him through the heart and never leaving off that acute and loving pain of ownership. A world like that of Faerie, weird and wild and totally foreign to our determined but naive heroine, while trodding on her skirts and catching her up with danger at every turn on the one hand, on the other steals over her heart with a sense of the anguished slavery of love. Her tenderhearted nature answers to the land with a sense of belonging and being owned and the whole land takes on for her - as it has taken on for me - an image of grace. A living genius. A canny place.
a horseshoe place