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review 2018-03-05 21:38
Good Introductory Book Comparing Secular Humanism vs. Christianity
Kingdoms at War - Ron Jenson,Bill Bright

I really liked this book and feel it is a must read for anyone of the Christian faith. It has an extensive bibliography for further study and several appendixes and footnotes section. Kingdoms At War is a wonderful introduction and food for thought comparing secular humanism with Christianity. Even though written in 1985, it is still very relevant for today as the differing world views are even more evident in daily life and in the media, education, business and politics. Each chapter ends with study questions for the reader-- not so much question/ answer stuff, but more for reflection on what the reader personally thinks. Each chapter also summarizes with a table comparing secular humanism viewpoints with Christianity. This book has definitely sparked my interest in the subject and wish to seek out more of the books mentioned for further reading.

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review 2018-01-31 14:51
want more
Shadow and Flame: Book 4 of the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga - Gail Gaymer Martin

I had almost forgotten how much I liked Blaine and Kestrel and Connor.  How much they've grown through the series and taken on mantels they didn't want but realise within themselves that they are the best people for those jobs.  I realise that this is a conclusion to the series and the major annoyances have been dealt with (somewhat with a deus ex but it still took effort) and I want to know what the bargain will mean for Connor and how his relationship with the Wraith Lord will go over time.


Again actions have consequences and they have to learn to live in a world post-magical apocalypse.

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text 2018-01-16 22:44
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
The Goblin King (A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms) (Volume 1) - Michael Card

Out of the slush.


Looks like one of those hidden gems. I wonder how many others have been lurking around my kindle for years.

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review 2018-01-07 22:26
Sea of Wind finished! First book of 2018
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Elye J. Alexander,Alexander O. Smith

I'm not going to write a full review for this, since I've already done that a couple times and don't have much new to say. Instead, here's this quick thing:


Just finished my most recent reread of this book. It's both one of my top favorite books in this series and one of my favorite books period. I consider it a comfort read, even though the "comfort" is a little muffled by the knowledge that the book's happy ending turns sour really quickly in the series' timeline. During this reread, I realized that I really connect with Taiki's feelings of self-doubt. I also found myself more angry at Gyoso than I was during past readings of this book.

Not long after admitting to the oracles that he was worried about Taiki's future since Taiki was so riddled with self-doubt and couldn't consciously access his tremendous power, he decided he'd give up his sagehood, leave Tai, and become a mercenary. He was too ashamed of the fact that he hadn't been declared the new king to stick around, even though he'd have been a great help to Taiki and his future king.

(spoiler show)

  Taiki had some serious weaknesses, but I'd argue that Gyoso did too, even though they weren't as obvious.


What my reading dates look like for this book so far:



Lol. I haven't checked, but I suspect that 2015 might have been the year I reread my hardcover copy rather than this one, my paperback copy, so it's pretty much been a reread a year for a while. (As usual with these Tokyopop editions, I highly recommend reading the paperback versions if you can, because there are fewer errors. If I remember right, this is the book where they accidentally used the wrong pronouns for one of the kirin.)

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-07 18:37
Currently reading: on page 247 out of 318
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Elye J. Alexander,Alexander O. Smith

"'But you're a general of the kingsmen, so I'm sure I'll see you again,' Taiki looked up at Gyoso, forcing a smile - but the general merely frowned.


'Unfortunately, no.'




'I'm not returning to the kingsmen. I intend to relinquish my sagehood and leave Tai.'


Unconsciously, Taiki clenched his fists. 'But why? Why would you do that?'


'I am...unaccustomed to shame.'


Taiki's eyes opened wide; then, understanding washed over him.


'I'm not blaming you, my lord. If I'm an unsuitable vessel for kingship, there is nothing to be done about it.'"


Ono establishes pretty clearly that Taiki and Gyoso's upcoming fall is at least partly Taiki's fault. He's riddled with self-doubt and, although he has great power, he doesn't know how to consciously use any of it. I agree that Taiki's issues played a part in the Kingdom of Tai's future problems.


This is the first time I've read this and decided that Gyoso is at fault as well. He just had a conversation with one of the oracles in which he admitted that he was worried about Taiki's future and hoped that Taiki would have more time to adjust to the idea of being a kirin before choosing a king. Then, instead of preparing himself to wholeheartedly support Taiki and his future king, he decides that he's going to give all that up and just go off and become a mercenary or something. Never mind that he's widely respected and that his support would go a long way towards helping Taiki and his king. Never mind that he knows Taiki will need all the allies he can get. Nope, Gyoso is quitting because he's ashamed that he wasn't chosen to be the next king, even though he and everyone around him expected that he would be.


I remember not quite liking Gyoso the first time I read this book. This was due in large part to Taiki's initial fear of him, but I think I've come back around to not liking him again. Gyoso recognizes Taiki's weaknesses but doesn't realize that he has several of his own.


Ugh, I want Ono to finally complete Taiki's arc. I want some reassurance that he survives and comes into his own as a kirin. Considering what happens to him in the next book in his arc, though, I have serious doubts that a happy ending is possible. :-(

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