Moiraine and Lan have brought Rand al'Thor and the others from the Two Rivers (and Loial) to the Blight. a great victory was won for the Light and spring has come at last. Rand al'Thor has discovered that he can channel the tainted male half of the One Power and is therefore cursed to go mad. There are other facts he'd just as soon mistake as well. Secrets to be kept. Moiraine tells him he is the Dragon Reborn, that he must defeat the Dark One in the Last Battle, and he may not survive it. Nynaeve and Egwene know, but he begs her not to tell Mat and Perrin or Loial. The Eye of the World had hidden within it the remnants of one of the seals of the Dark One's prison, the banner of the Dragon, and the fabled Horn of Valere. These are more proof that the Last Battle is coming. The Horn can summon the great heroes of all the ages back from the dead, but they will fight for the first who blows the horn - Light or Dark - so it is essential the Horn be kept safe.
Time has passed at Fal Dara while the members of the party recover from the battle and make plans for the future. Egwene and Nynaeve will go to Tar Valon to begin training to be Aes Sedai, Mat Cauthon to be Healed of his deathly bond with the Shadar Logath dagger, and Perrin will go with them before returning home. Lan is training Rand how to use his sword and making excellent progress. Rand stays to learn, but plans on making his escape. Time has passed, though, and the greater world is coming to Rand. The Amyrlin Seat, the leader of the White Tower and the Aes Sedai has come to Fal Dara and Rand knows that whatever her reasons may appear to be, she has come for him.
Then the Horn is stolen. Stolen by a corrupted villain with a personal vendetta against Rand, and with it he steals the Shadar Logath dagger. The Horn must be found for the sake of the world, but Mat's life is at stake. The dagger was killing him, but without it he'll die faster.
'The Great Hunt' divides our cast into two. The armored party of Shienarans, led by the proud Ingtar, seek the Horn and includes the three Super-boys [thanks fandom] and Loial. A man named Hurin is along who can track people by smelling what they've done. An Aes Sedai, named Verin Mathwin, figures out who Rand is (or will be) and rides after the hunt for the Horn for her own reasons. All three boys are Ta'veren, which means that the 'Pattern' (reality for shorthand) both weaves itself around them, drawing others into their path, but also in strange ways limits their choices and their ultimate destiny.
Egwene and Nynaeve travel to Tar Valon with Moiraine, Lan, and the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche. Nynaeve's enormous potential in the Power allows her to skip novice-hood and pass through the Acceptatron (again, thank you fandom) and become an Accepted. Egwene is a novice with Elayne, the Daughter-Heir to Andor, the kingdom the Two Rivers is supposedly in. After Elayne's eventful meeting in TEotW with Rand her destiny tangled inextricably with his, along with her brothers Gawyn and Galad (and...a whole lot of other people. More on that in a few books). Min Farshaw was befriended by Moiraine because of her ability to see visions and sometimes interpret them around people, but she knows after one meeting with Rand that she is tied to him as well. Many other characters with only a passing mention on the page often crop up hundreds, sometimes thousands of pages later, their lives twisted by their contact with the ta'veren - an excellent conceit that covers a lot of authorial necessity.
The hunt for the Horn is beset with problems for the boys, and the budding super-girls training at the White Tower are not as safe as they should be. There are some shocking developments, feats of strength, deeper villainy, and a dramatic climax that, while not the MOST satisfying of all the books, comes pretty darn close.
The Wheel of Time:
Next: The Dragon Reborn
Previous: The Eye of the World
A Drop of Blue is the first book in the Rifters series, and one I definitely want to carry on with.
Cate is taken from her time in 1972 and finds herself very far away from home, both in physical distance and also time. She is taken in and shown the ropes, but told to basically keep her nose clean or else. Over the time she is there, she forms an attachment with Angus, another rifter, and together, they plan to escape and return to their own times.
This was an extremely gripping and fascinating story that is full of adventure. One of my favourite parts were the different eras. I think Isa Briarwood has done a fantastic job of describing different times, whilst still making them accessible for everyone. With a whole host of supporting characters, there is something here for everyone. With a well thought out story, excellent world-building, and interesting characters, this is a story to make you think. I loved what was done in this one, and can't wait to see where it will go next.
With no editing or grammatical errors that I noticed, I have no hesitation in recommending this book, and I can't wait for the next.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
On top of having this super cool cover, within these pages I discovered some of the best short, dark fiction I've read in a long while! Let's talk about it, shall we?
When I was young and couldn't afford bookstores, I often went to the library. (I still do, actually, because I love them, not because I have to.) I developed a love of horror back then, but our library's collection consisted of about two shelves. Once I read those, I started reading all of their anthologies and collections, in the hopes of finding new authors. In this way, I discovered Richard Matheson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Dennis Etchison, Ray Bradbury and other writers that I still love to this day. DARKEST HOURS brought me back to that time of discovery-horror and dark fiction in all of its glorious, different forms. Reading this collection made me feel like a kid again.
This volume begins with the story HAIR. I knew right then that this book was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Coming unapologetically out of left field, Thorn hits you with this tale of unstoppable hair and then moves on to something out of right field, just to keep you off balance.
THE AUTEUR It's important to know who you're talking to when you ask for horror recommendations from people. You may find out a little too much about them otherwise, but by then it might be too late. Hair plays a role in this story too. (P.S. Always feel free to ask me for horror recs. You're safe with me. But employees from Verne's Video? Watch out for them!)
CHOO CHOO This story felt like it came out of one of those early collections that I loved so much. With an ending so unexpected that it felt like I got hit by a train, this tale made me laugh out loud with glee.
LONG MAN I never thought anything could compete against the Long Walker in my imagination. (Thank you to Nick Cutter's Little Heaven for that.) But now, now we have Long Man. He's even scarier-trust me on this.
ECONOMY THESE DAYS Here again is another story, completely different, completely unlike any other story here. How much physical abuse would you be willing to take to pay your bills? What would that abusive job look like? Of what would a promotion consist? This tale proposes answers to all of those things and oddly, I don't think it's that far out of the realm of possibility.
SABBATICAL If I hadn't felt the spirit of Stephen King in this story, the main character's names of Thad and Gage would've put me in mind of him anyway. I cannotdescribe this story, but it was just so much fun it made me want to do some kind of dance-the dance of my dark fiction people. The dance is delightful and it's only brought on by the best and most twisted of tales. This is one of them.
Stars will collapse and new lights will prick through the sky,
and screaming will not help.
SCHLUTER The most disturbing story I've ever read was written by Michael Blumlein who is a doctor. (Trust me when I say I have read some VERY disturbing stories.) I found it disturbing because in some universe it could happen. SCHLUTER has now taken THE MOST DISTURBING STORY EVER medal. What that medal would look like, I don't want to know, but Mike Thorn owns it. Take this one little harmless sentence for instance:
His mind screamed, but his sutured lips twitched noiselessly.
If that sentence doesn't bother you, okay then, to each his own. However, if that sentence makes you want to run out and buy this book, heed your feelings, man! You won't be disappointed.
There are a few themes that became apparent throughout this book, academia being the one that surprised me the most, but also: hair. I don't remember ever reading a collection where simple hair is used in such a menacing, disgusting, or just mentioned in passing but still in a creepy-as-hell- kind of way.
Okay then-to sum up: disturbing tales? Check! A wide-ranging variety of stories? Check!
Extremely well written? Check! It almost seems like this collection was written with me in mind-it was so perfect for me that I don't even know what else to say. Well, other than this: I think Mike Thorn is an author to watch. I think he's going to do great things in the world of horror and dark fiction, and I for one, will be there to watch it. Will you?
My highest recommendation. Period. Get a copy here: DARKEST HOURS
*I was provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
From the hardest goodbye to the sweetest hello, Harry and Molly get under the skin and make their way into your soul. Every Time We Fall in Love is at the mercy of time and the hands of fate. Andre spins a tale of love lost and hope revisited with characters that are as real as they are flawed. The first time around family got in the way. Ironic that the circumstances that broke them apart could be the catalyst that gives them a new beginning. I'm swept away every time I read a Bella Andre novel.