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text 2017-07-25 21:11
Which Fantasy to Pick?
The Shadow Of What Was Lost - James Islington
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - Jonathan L. Howard
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
The White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in ZombielandThrough the Zombie GlassThe Queen of Zombie Hearts - Gena Showalter
The Wheel of Time: Boxed Set #1 - Robert Jordan
The Malazan Empire - Steven Erikson
The Night Watch Collection: Books 1-3 of the Night Watch Series (Night Watch, Day Watch, and Twilight Watch) - Sergei Lukyanenko
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

I want to read a great fantasy series. I like it when there are lots of mythical characters/creatures. I like it where the main characters are not normal human type. I do like Tolkien, but I want something a bit grittier. I uses to read a lot of fantasy book, but lately have found myself zipping through para romance. I have recently not been enjoying them as I uses to though. 

 

I have most of those above in complete, or near complete series. I also have King's Dark Tower books, most of Brooks' Shanara books, a lot of Robin Hobb, and Sanderson. Most of what I have I have not read past the first book and do not remember much of what they we're about.

 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't mind if it is something I don't have, I will get it. 

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review 2016-07-31 19:54
Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers - Rev. Judith Laxer

The publisher kindly gave me a  copy of  this book  in exchange for an honest review.   This post is part of this books  blog tour.  I  don’t really have a lot to say about this work.  The stories were pleasant reads.  They had a diverse cast of characters.  Many forms of relationships and sexualties were highlighted.  They were a pleasant heartwarming read. They had a strong message.  But, as stories,  they felt rather insubstantial.




In the preface to the work the author says that  this book was written for a specific reason;  

 

“For years, students, congregants and friends have been asking me when I was going to write a book. However, by now so many books on magick-making are available. Does the world need another how-to book on the subject? I didn’t think so. But then it occurred to me I knew of no books of fictional stories that depicted everyday people engaged with nature in a magickal way. .. stories that could enhance sabbat rituals, or help readers connect to nature spiritually. So I began to write them.” (preface)   

 

I  think that may have been the problem.  These stories were slight because  they weren’t stories they were parables.  The characters at times felt like plot points in the narrative rather than fully fleshed out people.  In addition, there was very little jeopardy involved.  Since,  you knew that the character would take the prescribed spiritual path,  The language was workaday and good but you couldn’t call it poetic or lyrical. As you can see from the following extract;

“The blankets were too warm, her pregnant belly too heavy, and its pulling and tugging kept her awake for most of the night. And now, late morning, this spasm in her sacrum told her that her baby was on its way. As she had done a million times before, she imagined her birth canal to be smooth and wide, open and relaxed, but it didn’t seem to ease the tension in her body..”



The author made no attempt to play with form. It reminded me of one of those books that I was given as a Sunday School prize.  Books where the spiritual message came before story or writing.  

 

But,  to be fair,  this book was not written as a literary masterpiece.  As the quote above tells  us, the author intended it to be an introduction to her faith.  So,  let’s  look at it from that perspective. It does offer a fairly useful introduction to paganism, as it operates today.  Each story has an informative introduction. The stories work to illustrate the points made in the introductory text   Therefore, if you want a literary work,  or even a good fantasy,  this is not for you.  But, if you want a spiritual, life affirming introduction to paganism, then you should reach for this book.  It would make a great morning meditational reading.

 

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text 2015-12-05 10:37
Wheel of Time Fans Gather Round..
The Wheel of Time Companion - Robert Jordan,Harriet McDougal,Alan Romanczuk,Maria Simons

So, you thought you knew everything about The Wheel of Time, that you needed to know huh? Well.. Shall I present to you the Wheel of Time Companion?

 

Since its debut in 1990, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series has captivated millions of readers around the world. Over the course of fifteen books and millions of words, Jordan created a rich and detailed world. Yet only a fraction of Jordan's imaginings ended up on the page, with the rest going into his personal files.

 

The Wheel of Time Companion finally reveals a wealth of previously-unreleased information about the world of the Wheel of Time, as well as expanding on many known details.

 

The Companion includes:

* A detailed entry for each named character

* An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue

* New maps of the Last Battle

* New portraits of many characters

* Histories and customs of the nations of the world

* The strength level of many channelers

* Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world

* And much more besides!

 

OF course, the first thing I did when receiving this, was flip to my favourite characters to find pictures. I went straight to my true love Loial, but alas, no cigar! Then, to my next love Perrin and Ta-daaa!

 

 

 

Then Min…

 

 

 

And then, I got serious and decided instead of pretending I'd just received a very large children's picture book, I would actually read some of the content…

 

I've been gradually flipping through this over the past few weeks, jumping around characters, countries, cultures etc. that have always intrigued me the most. And, it feels like I've suddenly been let in on some huge secrets. Want to know about the Aes Sedai? Well, this has enough information in it, you could possibly start your own real-life chapter.. (Don't though, I admit the rings are cool, but we all know what happens when people start cult like organisations based on speculative fiction..)

 

If you would like an example of one of the entries, check out this section of the Companion published on the Tor blog about Strength of Power for Men and Women. They have published a few on their blog, and it's a great way to get a sense of whether this Companion is going to tickle your fancy. 

 

This massive framework is why Robert Jordan was so prolific, and really a complete architectural genius. He sometimes gets a flogging these days; I personally don't agree with much of the whinging, as I love the immensity of the series - however, when you see the scope of  world from this companion, the true brilliance is just mind-boggling. You have to admit, Robert Jordan is the late King of Fantasy Architecture, no matter your views on the books themselves. When you read some of the entries, you'll also see he was quite an amusing guy!

 

The Companion is akin to reading an alphabetical bible for another world If I put it in a cave somewhere, will somebody think it's true history in a 1000 years time? with over 800 pages worth of references, portraits and maps! It reminds me why I don't write fantasy books, only write about them!

 

If you are a Wheel of Time fanperson, and you like to dig into the nitty gritty of the world's you visit, you must check this out! If neither of those apply, well at least you'll have a mighty doorstop if you buy it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just as a heads up: If you are buying this as a collectors type item, a gift etc. go for the hardback. My paperback's pages are straining so hard, some have already fallen out at the front and back! I'm not sure if it's just my copy, but just to be safe…

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text 2015-12-02 06:00
Ramblings Regarding November Reading
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan,Michael Kramer,Kate Reading
The Great Hunt: Book Two of The Wheel Of Time - -Macmillan Audio-,Robert Jordan,Michael Kramer,Kate Reading
Revival - Stephen King
Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick
Ink and Bone: The Great Library - Rachel Caine
A Darker Shade of Magic: A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1 - Tantor Audio,V E Schwab,Steven Crossley
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince - Serena Valentino

Favorite book of the month: I actually refuse to answer this. It is impossible. See below for reasons.

Honorable Mentions: I had a phenomenal month. Going to go with:

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Revival by Stephen King

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 Book That I Didn't Expect to Like As Much As I Did:  The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince by Serena Valentino, because let's be honest, this could go very very wrong, and it took some really weird turns.

Longest in pages: Revival by Stephen King (surprise, surprise...), at 416 pages

Longest in minutes: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan at 1,802 minutes (this would have beaten the above had I read it instead of listening.)

New Authors To Follow: Rachel Caine, Robert Jordan, Marcus Sedgwick

 

Total books ingested: 46

Re-reads/listens: 2

 

Total books read: 41 (Jiminy Bloody Cricket, though admittedly many of these were comics)

Total pages read: 7892

Average pages per book: 192

Average pages per day: 263

 

Audiobooks ingested: 5

Minutes spent listening: 5068 or just under 84.5 hours

Average minutes per audiobook: 1013.6 or just under 17 hours

Average minutes per day: 168.93 or just under 3 hours

 

I think I'm developing a problem, here.

 

Scores:

1: 2

2: 4

3: 29

4: 11

5: 0

Did not finish:  1

 

Average: 3.06

 

Reviews Written/Published: 18

 

This is moderately late because maths.

 

I got through a lot of books this month. I'm definitely developing both an audiobook problem and a Wheel of Time problem (oooh, I get new credits on December 2, and I know what I'm buying). I'm loving listening to the books, too.

 

I had a great month with new authors and with new series. I am moderately behind on my reviews (let's face it, I'll always be behind on reviews), though I have some scheduled out so I don't overwhelm people. Does anyone else write them in clumps?

 

I read a whole lot of comics via Scribd, which was fun and got me into another new reading thing, because clearly I do not have enough to read on my plate. I also read The Great Gatsby for the first time, since apparently I was the only person not assigned it in school. That was actually kind of fun.

 

I have absolutely no plans for my reading next month, which is fun (except for the next Wheel of Time book. I may be obsessed.) I'm going to spend a chunk of time cleaning out my TBR list of stuff I actually, on second though, do NOT want to read and tidying up my Goodreads account (and eventually my Booklikes account, but much as I love it here, sorting out the shelving process is an entirely new undertaking).

 

I do want to finish a few things to round out the year, though, including Winter. Anyone else have any other ideas on stuff I totally ought to read? How was everyone else's November?

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review 2015-07-09 20:28
The Great Hunt: Wheel of Time Book 2 - Robert Jordan

Better than the first. Still reserving judgement until at least Book 4.

 

Nevertheless, it's getting intriguing.

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