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review 2020-04-29 15:37
Empire of Sand
Empire of Sand - Tasha Suri

by Tasha Suri


This is a well told story with magic and mythology, as well as an exotic feel to it. Mehr is half Amrithi, as is her little sister, and they can see and smell Daivas; supernatural creatures invisible to ordinary humans. They are considered superstition and Mehr's step-mother is intolerant of Mehr's attempts to teach her younger sister how to deal with them.


An unexpected turn of events effectively forces Mehr into an unwanted marriage to a stranger and her independent nature is put up against the challenge of becoming a tool for political power, using her previously forbidden Amrithi abilities in ways that she recognises as wrong. Though she predictably falls in love with her husband, who is also Amrithi, both are enslaved by magical means and together they must find a way to resist the cruel machinations of the Maha, to whom they are in forced vows.


The one thing that bothers me about this story is that Mehr goes from one miserable situation to another. Even when something good happens, circumstances around it will create yet more misery. The poor girl never seems to get a real break!


It had a satisfying end though, and I felt I got a complete story which is important to me in the age of series books. The sample of the next book suggests that it will be the sister's story, so yay!


I liked the way that Indian mythology was worked into the plot. The characters were distinctive and I liked several of them, if not always completely. I'd say this is an author to watch, though perhaps her characters should be watching their backs!

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review 2020-02-12 14:41
White Sand (Volume I)
Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Volume 1 - Brandon Sanderson,Rik Hoskin

The desert planet of Taldain is locked between two suns so that that with one side is constantly in light and the other in constant darkness with powerful magic apparently only occurring amongst the sands on the dayside.  The first volume of Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand graphic novel trilogy is an introduction to a new world of the Cosmere and another unique magic system.


Kenton, a weak but skilled sand master, tries to earn a higher-ranking position in the guild of sand masters by running the Mastrell's Path, despite the disapproval of his father, the Lord Mastrell. The day after Kenton proves himself on the Path, the sand masters gather for a ceremony where new rank advancements will be granted. One man, Drile, is demoted for having attempted to sell out himself and others as mercenaries. Just as Kenton is grudgingly granted the highest rank, his father is shot with an arrow, and an army of Kerztian warriors attacks. The sand masters, being surprised and unprepared, are soundly defeated. Just before his death, the Lord Mastrell unleashes a wave of power that leaves Kenton buried beneath the sand.  After waking, Kenton is joined by Khrissalla, Baon, and two Darkside professors who are lost. They are searching for information about Khriss' late fiancé and the "sand mages" he sought. On the way to the nearest city, they are attacked by a small group of Kerztian warriors. Kenton's sand mastery suddenly proves to be inaccessible, but Baon drives the warriors away with his gun.  Upon arriving in Kezare, Kenton's powers return with greater strength than ever, and he stands before the Taishin, who plan to disband the Diem of sand masters. He is granted the position of acting Lord Mastrell and is given two weeks to convince the Taishin otherwise. Kenton returns to the Diem and drives away the rebellious Drile, who Kenton believes was responsible for betraying the sand masters to the Kerztians. Elsewhere, Trackt Ais works to catch a crime lord, Sharezan, amid threats to her family. The Lady Judge meets with Ais and asks her to spy on Kenton. Meanwhile, Khriss inadvertently locates Loaten, an infamous Darksider, in her search for information. He offers little direct help but sets her on a path to meet with the leaders in the city. Ignorant of the role of the sand masters, and of Kenton's new station, she arrives at the Diem just as Drile returns to do battle with Kenton.


The story has all the hallmarks of Sanderson book with excellent execution of character introduction and conflict amongst the important members of the cast.  The art of Julius Gopez and coloring of Ross A. Campbell bring this unique world and environment alive very well.  However, while the elements that makes Sanderson, well Sanderson, are there the book also doesn’t feel like Sanderson.  I do not want to blame scriptwriter Rik Hoskin for this, the change of format to graphic novel from the usual book could be the main factor and Hoskin could very well be the reason this story still reads like a Sanderson story but there is a noticeable difference from other Sanderson works.  The other main issue I somewhat have is more biological than story, the color pigmentation of the characters is reversed from what it should be given the planetary environment they are living in unless there was a cosmic shift that changed things.


White Sands Volume I is a wonderful addition to Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere and is given a unique place in it with the graphic novel format.  The art and color are amazing, yet the change from word medium to visual does have an impact on how Sanderson’s style comes across.  Overall a very good beginning with story, characters, and atmosphere.

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text 2019-10-18 10:45
Frac Sand Market Current Trends, Growth Opportunities, and Analysis Report

The global frac sand market is expected to display higher growth rate in the upcoming period. Rapid surge in the market is credited to the increasing oil exploration activities and rising demand from oilfield supply industry. Increasing adoption of frac sand for hydraulic fracturing in oil & gas industry is expected to drive the growth of the market over the forecast period. Globally, frac sand market is predicted to generate massive revenue over the forecast period, providing numerous opportunities for industry participants to invest in research and development of frac sands.


Frac sand is commonly termed as sand with small and uniform particles, thus allowing flow of fluids like water, oil, and gas easily through the spaces during fracking. Frac sand is increasingly used for process of hydraulic fracturing, also called as fracking, in which the sand is compressed onto the rock formation along with the water, thereby fracturing the rock. Rising number of mining activities across the globe is the key market trend associated with frac sand market over the forecast period.


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The market is broadly categorized into two major segments based on the application type such as oil & gas industry, and petroleum industry. Oil & gas industry segment is growing rapidly in the market with substantial revenue generation in the last few years. Growing popularity of frac sand in oil & gas industry segment is attributed to the increasing product penetration and several advantages over its counterparts.


The market is divided by region as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa. North America has shown major growth in recent years owing to the rise in implementation of latest technologies in manufacturing sector, surge in number of research & development activities and existence of well-established industrial infrastructure in the region. In European region, Norway, Netherlands, and Russia are projected to witness steady growth over the coming years.


Asia-Pacific region is estimated to hold a major share in the frac sand market with massive growth in forecast period. Countries such as Japan, China and Australia are leading the Asia-Pacific market with strong economic growth, rising oil exploration activities, increasing mining activities, and significant investment by leading industry players considering potential growth opportunities in the region.


The key players in the frac sand market are The HORIBA Group, Athabasca Minerals Inc., Frac Sand McLanahan Co., Sierra Frac Sand, Inc., and Black Mountain Sand Corp.


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review 2019-09-28 23:12
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri - My Thoughts
Empire of Sand - Tasha Suri

This book was getting a lot of chatter in my romance circles and that's pretty much what it is, a fantasy with romantic overtones. 

I enjoyed my read.  It was a slow read.  The author writes beautifully; it's the type of book/writing that you want to linger over.  I didn't really find an urgency to the plot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I liked the character of Mehr and I liked the character of Amun.  I enjoyed how their relationship grew and how they grew together and on their own.  Amun, the hero, is not your big warrior type, yeah, he's big and fit and strong, but it's his personality that is different.  He's gentle and patient and quietly heroic. 

This isn't a romance novel, but the relationship between Mehr and Amun takes up a large part of the plot because of their special powers.  Talk about a slow burn, though.  I don't mind that at all, but some might find it tedious. 

Anyway, I enjoyed my read and will read the next in the series.  This book pretty much wraps things up for these characters but there's more to tell about this world.  Should be good.  :)

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review 2019-05-22 00:51
5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior - Boya Sun,Matt Rockefeller,Xanthe Bouma,Mark A. Siegel,Alexis Siegel
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

It took me a little bit to get into this one, but on the whole it was a fantastic read. There were some parts that were a bit choppy or vague, which made it a little difficult to get my barrings at the start. As the story went on though, I really got caught up in the characters, history, and environments created in this book. Wonderful world-building and I especially liked the folklore elements. 

The characters were really interesting as well. An Tzu was instantly fascinating to me and I want to learn more about his backstory. I also really liked Jax, although his secret is pretty obvious right from our first up close and personal meeting with him. I could have done without Oona's constant self deprecation, but I get how it impacted the story. I do really hope Fern makes appearances in the other books in the series.

Overall, I thought this was a great intro book to the series. When I first started it, I wasn't sure if I would continue reading them, but three-fourths of the way in, I knew this was something I wanted to see to the end.
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