Skip to main content

Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution


Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translator' Revolution
, or as we will call it for the remainder of this review. just Babel, was nothing short of extraordinary.

I am not the biggest fan of any book that deals a lot with political and social issues, or that is too long, or, when the books are meant to be a fantasy book it has minimal to no fantasy elements until close to the end. And yet, once I started reading this one it was impossible to stop.

Are you a lover of languages? There is no doubt in my mind that the author spent hours, days, months, if not years researching the many intricacies of languages and translation. I love the study of languages. I am fluent in two, understand somewhat two others, and have studied a dead language (ancient Greek) at university. So needless to say, I was geeking out with the author throughout the whole book. I honestly do not believe this book will suit everyone, if you are not a lover of languages you might find this book very slow and very hard to get into. I just thought it was fascinating.

About halfway through, the story picks us and a little more action starts to take place. A sequence of events you do not see coming starts to unfold and it never stops surprising you, breaking your heart, and exciting you. 

Babel is told almost exclusive from the perspective of its main character, Robin Swift, a Chinese Immigrant in England in the 1800s. The Empire depends on the translations of immigrants, done on silver, to stay rich and keep on working smoothly. Immigrant kids are brought by English sponsors to study at Babel in Oxford and eventually become the translators needed around the country and the globe to keep England rich and prospering. Throughout the entire book Robin must come to terms with the inequality and unfairness of this. He was taken to Babel without a choice, his mother died and his sponsor (who also happens to be his father but never acts as such) brings him to England, gives him all the commodities he never asked for but has grown to enjoy and appreciate. As he gets older, he has to decide if his love for studying languages and the comfortable life he has gotten use to is enough. If he can truly ignore all the suffering and pain caused to others and to his motherland for the riches of the English. His close friends, also brought to the country at a young age, must decide the same.

Babel is passionate, heart breaking, and fascinating. But it is not a fantasy of dragons and slayers, assassins and magicians... it is a slow-paced magnificent work on languages, on the magic of translation, and as the title suggests, on the apparent necessity of Violence. 

Find the book here: Inklings Bookshop - Libro FM - Bookshop.Org



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Book Hater's Book Club by Gretchen Anthony

The Book Hater's Book Club  at first appears to be about a struggling bookstore and its imminent sale. Elliot, the co-owner of Over the Rainbow Bookstore, started  The Book Hater's Book Club , a newsletter of reading recommendations for the self-proclaimed non-readers of the world, because he believed there was a book out there for everyone. Something I wholeheartedly agree with! For years he and Irma have kept the store going and always had a recommendation in hand. When you finish this book, you will have yet another list of books to read.  However, this book is about more than just books and a struggling bookstore. It is also about grief, the price of secrets, and a little more grief.  You see, Elliot is gone, and his grief-ridden business partner has agreed to sell the store to developers. Problem is, she didn't tell that to anyone until the deal was almost done. Which is making her daughters ask questions. Why is she selling? Is it grief alone? Is there something else

Promises and Pomegranates (Monsters & Muses #1) by Sav R. Miller

I was very excited about this read. The reviews are good, the people recommending it were people whose recommendations I have liked in the past. And in the end, at did like this one. But I will confess from the start that Promises and Pomegranates  did not blow me away. Blurb: Elena To most, Kal Anderson is a villain. Harbinger of death, keeper of souls, frequenter of nightmares. Doctor Death. Hades incarnate. They say he stole me. Usurped my fiancé and filled the cracks in my heart with empty promises. Imprinted his crimson fingerprints on my psyche and tried to set me free. They’re not wrong, per se. Except it was my choice to stay. Kal To most, Elena Ricci is an innocent. Goddess of springtime, lover of poetry, angel of my nightmares. Little one. Persephone personified. They say I ruined her. Shattered her virtue and devoured her soul like a succulent pomegranate. Embedded my evil as deep as I could possibly get and tried to set her free. They’re not wrong, per se. Except it was she

Cruel Prince (Royal Hearts Academy #1) by Ashley Jade

Continuing with my newest obsession, bully romance, we now have Jace. Insufferable, hateful, vengeful Jace. Blurb: I never thought I'd step foot in Royal Manor again. But four years later, here I am... back to finish my senior year at Royal Hearts Academy. And forced to face Jace Covington. My first friend. First crush. First kiss. The one I left behind. Only—he isn't the same boy I gave my heart to. This new Jace is as cruel as he is gorgeous. And he's determined to make my life a living hell. Along with the rest of his glorified family and crew of tyrants. They expect me to worship the ground they walk on like everyone else, but I'd rather eat dirt. If Jace Covington wants me gone...he'll have to try harder. Because I've never been the kind of girl to play by the rules. Jace is cruel. Not as cruel as some of the other bully romances I've been reading lately, but he is definitely not a nice guy. Burnt by his past, still hurting from everything that happened