Thursday, August 14, 2008


So I haven't ditched the blog or moved onto other types of books. I've just moved again, and the place I'm at has no internet...yet, and I'm still learning the area. Probably tomorrow there will be a little write-up about the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin. It won't be a proper review, because I don't want to write about each individual book, but I do have some opinions I want to express :) Also, I just finished Tad Williams The Dragonbone Chair and I'm super stoked. I think it was Graeme that recently did a few write-ups about this series, and I want to say thank you! Anyway, good day, and I hope to be up on the web a little more regularly...


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turn Coat Release Date and Cover Art

So it is probably well known by now that Turn Coat by Jim Butcher will be released on April 7th of 2009, but this cover art just came out :) The artist Chris McGrath posted it on his website recently, and I just got wind!

My thoughts? I totally dig it. This cover is way more detailed than any of the previous Dresden volumes I've dug into...and I totally dig the sword! Fidelacchius? I don't know. But Butcher is the flippin' bomb for releasing his books one year apart. I mean, every December I get to lose myself in the newest adventures of Tavi and Kitai (Codex Alera), and each spring there is a new Dresden Files. What more can I ask for? Perhaps an ARC for Princeps' Fury :) But we'll see if that ever happens...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In the Usual Manner

So I've had Pixie Warrior in the currently reading section for quite a while now, and I think its time to stop trying. I'm not enjoying the book very much, which is sad because I usually try my best to like books. Someone, in the case Rachael de Vienne, spent a significant portion of her life writing that book...But I just can't do it. Anyway, Pixie Warrior, my deepest apologies to you but I'm letting you go.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle Comics #1, #2, #3, #4

Codex Alera by Jim Butcher is one of my all time favorite series, fantasy or non, and I have been known to own a Dresden book or few... So when I stopped by Outer Planes Comics & Games in Santa Rosa to buy #'s 2 and 3 of Butcher's four part comic book series Welcome to the Jungle, it was only slightly out of character.

Unfortunately volume 1 sold out early, so I wasn't able to pick it up with volumes 2 and 3. But I just bought it at the Dabel Brothers website for a few bucks more than the original price.

Also, according to #4 of 4 will be released next week on Wednesday July 23, 2008. Hopefully they will carry it at my local comic shop, otherwise I'm gonna have to hit up Dabel Brothers again...

I just pulled this off of

"In the city of Chicago, wizard for hire Harry Dresden switches from hunter to hunted as he continues following the trail of a supernatural killer haunting the Lincoln Park Zoo. The stakes increase and the tension ratchets higher as monstrous assassins and dark magic claim more innocent lives. Dresden must survive the killer's onslaught and turn the tables, and fast, before the body count rises -- and before the killer can reach her ultimate goal. Written exclusively for comics by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle is a brand new story set in the world of the bestselling series of novels, The Dresden Files, that's sure to enchant readers with a blend of gripping mystery and fantastic adventure!"

So far I'm really diggin' the new Dresden medium. I've always imagined the Dresden Files as comic books rather than novels just because of Butcher's fantastic visuals, so its pretty fun to see some Harry-kick-ass pictures. The T.V. show was swell, but there is no way any television show could present the same amount of action and entertainment as the books. I'm thinking that the comics are doing a better job keeping up the wow factor. I must say, Ardian Syaf's illustrations are impressive.

Also, kudos to Butcher for setting Welcome to the Jungle before any of the previously written Dresden Files books. There would've been a lot of panting and pacing in my house if he tried to make this part of his current sequence.

Now that Dabel Brothers has made an inconsequential Dresden story very successful, they're going to take on Storm Front, the first Dresden Files novel. They have my thumbs up.

(Yeah I know the of the post is pretty lame, it would be a lot easier to just say the graphic novel...But I'm not talking about the graphic novel, I'm talking about the comics. So don't fret it.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Last Wish Book Review

The Last Wish
Andrzej Sapkowski

First of all, thank you Orbit Books for sending me this book. It is probably my favorite book I've received in the mail since I started this blog.

So, here it goes...

(Check out the Of Blog for a good summary)

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski is a collection of six short stories, connected by a seven piece framework which begins, ends, and separates each of the shorts. Really, I didn't know what to call the short segments in between the stories, but I read some other reviews and the word framework sounded cool. So today we call it framework.

If I treat each story like a book, judging them individually, and separate from their "sequels" then A Grain of Truth, A Lesser Evil, and A Question of Price are cuts the rest. But I don't want to focus on each individual story, the reading just didn't go that way for me.

Instead, I read a whole book with a collection of stories that at the end, left me with a sense of rightness--not a sense of righteousness like I feel after reading Feist or Eddings--but more like the feeling I get driving by the three old guys sitting on their wall, or laughing at the probably homosexual man stopping at a green light to smile at me. It is just true.

I totally dig the whole collection of short stories thing. It reminds me a lot of books I read in school by Annie Dillard and Lewis Thomas. True, it doesn't really help the book's wholeness factor, but I'm not disappointed. It kind of made Geralt mysterious and handsome, or so it goes. And those scenes in the framing sequences with him at the monastery with all of the peacefully beautiful women didn't exactly work to divert that impression either.

Also, I'm freakin' glad Sapkowski saw fit to add the framework into the book. I feel like that was the most moving part of the novel. In fact, my only real complaint for the book would be the (totally overlookable) lack of grab me by the cajones material. The book was leisurely and humorous, witty and well written. But it didn't push me, pull me or move me anywhere. The framework being the most riveting part of the novel was a little weird to me...

Even so, it was totally worthy of my time. I'm totally hoping Orbit publishes more Andrzej Sapkowski, if only so I can learn a little more about the mysterious Geralt de Rivia. Rumour has it they are publishing The Blood of Elves sometime next out :)

Check out more The Last Wish reviews at:
Of Blog of the Fallen
The Wertzone
Fantasy Book Critic
Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

Friday, July 04, 2008


Wow, I had to say something... Its been a little while since I have posted because I've been in Lake Powell with my family. But I'm back in time for the 4th of July block parties. I finished The Last Wish, but other than that I didn't get to do too much reading. So expect a review in the next two days, and then maybe another in the middle of next week.

Luckily I did see Wall-E the night before my birthday :) It exceeded my expectations, and I am glad we saw it. I think I enjoyed it even more than my 9 year old niece... It's my impression that adults will enjoy Wall-E a little more than kids because of the lack of dialogue, but even so, Wall-E is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Happy Independence Day to y'all!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dark Lord Book Review

Dark Lord
Ed Greenwood
Falconfar Book One

Imagine you are about to die, and then imagine the sort of book you would write; it is your last chance to leave an impression on the world, a token of sorts. You probably wouldn't want it be like Dark Lord. I know you probably wouldn't even write a fantasy novel, i mean, nobody but Robert Jordan (may he rest in the eyes of the Creator) writes a fantasy novel on their deathbed, but give me a little break. I'm pointing towards quality people, I don't really care too much what sort of book you would write.

The fact is, that book was mediocre. Please don't get me wrong, it definitely served in battling my boredom, but I'm probably not going to remember anything about this book in a couple years.

My favorite part of Dark Lord is the world of Falconfar. I like the way Greenwood describes Falconfar as the setting for books and a videogame of which the main character, Rod Everlar, is the creator. His castles and forests and sunsets do stand out vividly, and I almost wish this was a videogame. I guess that isn't all too surprising considering Ed Greenwood is the creator of Dungeons and Dragons, but still...

Oh, I almost forgot. The art: I dig it. :)

I really liked the characters, and the world, and even the slightly overused plot. It just feels like Greenwood put in a less than 100% effort. So, if I ever find myself in the situation where I need a book, I think I will pick up the sequel, but in the meantime I'll just keep workin on my ever-growing reading list.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekly Favs

SFX Top 100 List cont... at The Wertzone

Congratulations to Pat at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist for reaching 1,ooo,ooo page views.

I enjoyed The Family Trade review by Chris over at The Book Swede.

Do Blogger's Give Honest Reviews? by Robert over at Fantasy Book News & Reviews. A good question and a great post by Robert.

Thx Robert, Chris, Pat, and Adam for some great posts. I wish I had energy to write more...but I don't. Happy blogging!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

A curious thing... Book Tag

So I've never seen one of these before...but I am sort of happy I have. John at Grasping for the Wind tagged me, and these were my instructions:

Grab the nearest book and turn to page 123. Write down the fifth sentence, post it, and then tag 5 others to do this.

The book nearest me was Dark Lord by Ed Greenwood, and it made me proud :)

Page 123 sentence 5: "No."

I'm not going to tag anyone...seeing as most people I know have already been tagged...and also I have two more chapters of Accounting to read tonight.!.! arg.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Favs

Recently there have been loads of positive reviews on The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearney, enough to make me curious. This week The Ten Thousand received two swell reviews from Graeme's Fantasy Book Review and The Wertzone.

If you are a fan of the Malazan, then you will probably enjoy an interview with Steven Erikson posted at Fantasy Book Critic.

Over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist there was an interesting post about "hype." Apparently an editor didn't appreciate Pat's use of the word hype when describing the explosion of positive reviews for The Ten Thousand.

Last of all, and probably my favorite, Brandon Sanderson blogs a little about A Memory of Light.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Empress Book Review

Godspeaker Book One
Karen Miller

Click here for Summary

So I am not used to being angry with protagonists. I mean, good guys are allowed/supposed to make mistakes; it makes for a better plot, and more defined characterization. But generally I enjoy liking the main characters of the books I read. It’s pretty unfortunate that I hated Hekat, the main character of Karen Miller’s Empress

What happened to the good ol’ morally correct, I’m a good role-model kind of protagonist? Well, it’s not present in Empress. Instead we have Hekat, a Lara Croft/Hitler/Zorro like slave from the wild north of Mijak. Sure, it’s cool that she is a totally attractive killer, good with a knife, and good to look at, (I know Zorro fights with a sword, but who’s known for knife fights? Maybe Zattera from 2002 film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo?) but her “I’m in the god’s eye, and I will kill you if you step in front of me” attitude gets pretty annoying. I hate how it is always her way or the highway. I definitely like the characters she kills more than I like her.

I even like the scary Et-Raklion godspeaker Nagarak more than I like Hekat. At least he is supposed to be a bad guy… It would’ve been easier for me if maybe she would just act more like Vortka in her worshiping of the God.

Well, a strange thing happened in reading Empress; after being dragged through almost 700 spiny, poisonous pages, I fell in love. Karen Miller is a master! Her characterization in Empress is supreme, and I feel as if the world-building is in every way complete. It all changed for me when, around page six hundred of Empress, I read an interview between her and Chris on The Book Swede and also another interview of hers with John of Grasping for the Wind.

Chris the Book Swede-

The magic system in Godspeaker is quite different to the Kingmaker/Kingbreaker duology and religion also plays a much larger part – was this a conscious move away, and what risks were involved?

Karen Miller-

…I feel there are huge risks in this story, and in this trilogy. For a start, Mijak is such a hugely different world from a lot of mainstream fantasy, and what I've done before. And it's not a pretty or comfortable world, either. It's dark and violent and confronting. But that's the way the story went, so I did have to take a deep breath and follow it. Hekat's a confronting character, too. The world of Mijak isn't as user friendly as the world of Lur, and so that's a huge risk in terms of upsetting readers. I knew it when I was writing it, and frankly I've scared myself stupid with this. Even though early feedback has been good, I'm still terrified. I tend to live my writing life in a perpetual state of terror -- I'm always convinced I haven't done a good enough job.

There's more lightness and warmth in bks 2 and 3 of this trilogy, with the new characters coming in. But that doesn't alter the fact that bk 1 is pretty damned full-on! *g* And there are moments all the way through the trilogy that aren't for the faint-hearted or the squeamish…

(This interview can be found at


Although Hekat is a sympathetic character at the beginning of the novel, we have come to dislike her very much by the end. How were you able to write a character that rather than having an upward spiral toward a “happily ever after” instead moved on a downward spiral filled with selfishness and hate? Was it a conscious choice to send Hekat down that path, or was in a natural outgrowth of her character?

Karen Miller-

Ah ha! My dastardly plan has been revealed! *g* Yes. Hekat was never intended to be ‘the good guy’ in this story. And that’s another reason for focusing so strongly on her in the first volume of the trilogy – one of the story threads is her downfall. Things could’ve worked out very differently, for everyone, if she’d made different choices. So yes, it was a conscious choice to send her down such a dark road. What she does affects her country, her people, and the people around her. It has an effect on the whole world. I wanted to explore what it’s like to take that kind of personal journey, and what happens to the people around you when you do. And she’s such a strong personality, she just forged ahead. There was never any question, for me, that she’d suddenly wake up one morning and renounce her bloodthirsty ways. She was never destined for happy ever after … and I find that quite sad, really.
(This interview can be found at

I didn’t like the harshness of Book One of the Godspeaker trilogy, but she told Chris that books two and three are not as harsh. Also, I hated Hekat…she just feels more like an antagonist than a protagonist. Again Miller relieved me of discomfort by telling John that “Hekat was never intended to be ‘the good guy’ in this story.” !!!! I am so happy that Hekat is not a protagonist! Kudos to the author for writing seven hundred pages about an antagonist. She is pretty darn gutsy…

So, I give an A to Miller for her characterization and world-building abilities, even though Empress is only getting 6.5 out of ten. I’m going to try reading more by Karen Miller before I make any kind of recommendations, and her Kingmaker/Kingbreaker duology has already been added to my reading list.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekly Favs

So Chris the Book Swede had two delicious posts this week. The first is his review of The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford, and the second is his Advice on Writing Speculative Fiction post.

Brandon Sanderson announced on his blog Monday that Dreamworks Animation has optioned his book Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians for an animated film. I'm really happy for this guy...His career is taking off like Po with fireworks in Kung-Fu Panda.

Last of all, Robert at Fantasy Book Critic has posted a Giveaway to Win a set of Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen!!! Check it out...

Off topic.!.!.

So yes it has been a week since I have posted...and I am just as disappointed as you must be :) Last week my dad and I worked fifteen hours a day in order to complete a restaurant remodel in four days. We actually went from 11 pm sunday night to 4 pm friday afternoon when the restaurant opened again for business...It was an extremely fun week, very exhilarating and fast paced, but there was no reading! No worries, I have taken it up again and Empress will be done in no time. I know this is a pointless note, but it is important! Its just sad to have two weekly favs next to eachother with nothing in between... There is something wrong about it, like a pb&j without the tasty tongue smackin stuff...just bread.

Happy to be back,

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekly Favs

Just a shout out to a few of my favorite posts of the past week...

Brandon Sanderson releases two Warbreaker chapters in celebration of the possibility of him making a movie. I'm looking forward to hearing more...

On Pat's Fantasy Hotlist--Ah Fu**...--The post was pretty funny, and there are some good comments too... Thx Patrick for giving me a good laugh.

Also on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, you can win Todd Lockwood's cover art for the US edition of Steven Erikson's Toll of the Hounds. That image is now my desktop background...I LOVE IT! Thx for showin' it to me.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Myrren's Gift Book Review

Myrren's Gift
The Quickening Series
Fiona McIntosh

Reading Myrren’s Gift was a rush. Every chapter is filled of twists, turns, and nerve-wrecking cliffhangers. Myrren’s Gift is one of those stories that makes me happy to be alive. The first book of The Quickening can only be described as pure entertainment. I almost think of it as a T&A version of fantasy books. In Myrren’s Gift there is plenty of sword fighting, love affairs, and shifty magic. The ending is stellar! And I want more…

I thought for sure that everyone would enjoy Myrren’s Gift. But apparently, from reading reviews on Amazon, there are almost as many readers who don’t enjoy the book as there are readers that do. I think it just comes down to whether you are looking to sit down and be entertained, or if you want to use your big brain a little bit, because this book isn’t really for thinking. My best advice would be to buy this book, or rent it, and read the first sixty or so pages. If you don’t like it at that point, don’t keep reading, because if you aren’t caught by then, you probably aren’t going to like Myrren’s Gift. With that said, remember that I loved the the book. I give it 4 stars.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ender's Game Book Review

Ender's Game
Ender's Game Series
Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game is a treat. It is a mystery to my why I never read it before. Everyone and their brother has recommended it to me, and I never took advantage… I guess its what I get for being a dolt.

In order to avoid total annihilation by bugger armies, Earth’s population has united in building an intergalactic army. They are as ready to fight the invading buggers as they will ever be, except for one thing. The army still needs a battle commander.

Ender Wiggin is a boy, smarter than most, but still a boy. At six years old he leaves home to join other advanced children attending Battle School. Even before he arrives at the school he is an outcast. Alone, Ender decides to gain the trust and respect of the other kids.

So I don’t want to summarize anymore. I just want to say this is one of the fastest books I have ever read. The prose is simple and it flows easily. I would compare the way Ender’s Game read to Harry Potter series. It was simple, easy, fast-paced, and very addicting! Ender is the man, kinda…

This is not a literary masterpiece, even Orson Scott Card said so in his prologue, but it is entertainment. I would take Ender’s Game over a movie any day. If you haven’t read it yet, you are a lamo! (don’t worry, I was once a lamo, read it and you will gain hipster status…)


Note: There are rumors of an Ender's Game movie on the horizon. But after researching for a couple hours, it looks like the movie has been in on the edge of preproduction for about 3 years. But, Marvel comics is converting Ender's Game into a comic series. That will be fun...Space suits and buggers :)
Hey Everyone!

I'm almost done with school for the semester! I just had to announce it...Math is done, Spanish ended this morning, and I am turning in my final English essay in 3 hours...YAY!!! Then it is back to the fun stuff, like reading all the sweet books Orbit sent me, and posting about Ender's Game, and reading Myrren's Gift, and Spirit Gate, and maybe sitting outside....Ahh I am so relieved! I hope you all have been swell.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Finals Week

Hey Everybody!

Im sorry I was totally absent this week...It was just the last week before finals...and it has been super busy... But! I will have a review on Ender's Game shortly. I hope everyone's reading is swell! Thanks


Friday, May 09, 2008

Free eBooks

If you don't already know about this then listen up. If you do, then I am just another lamo tryin to spread the good news. Here it is:

Tor is giving away a free eBook a week to any person who signs up for their newsletter. I wasn't sure how this would go down, but I just received Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot, and I am stoked! So head on over to Tor and grab some free eBooks. They are also giving away free wallpapers from some of their bestselling authors, and to top that off, every subscriber is entered into their Watch the Skies sweepstakes for a chance to win the Asus Galaxy EE mobile PC.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Princeps' Fury Cover Art

I am still trying to figure out when the cover was released, but anyway here it is. I couldn't find it on, but it is on if you feel like giving him a visit. Pretty exciting image--I wonder if the bird on the sail is the same symbol worn by Tavi's soldiers.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Darkness That Comes Before Book Review

The Darkness That Comes Before
The Prince of Nothing Book 1
R. Scott Bakker

This is one of those books that I picked up a thousand times, read through the first few chapters, only to set it down at page 75 due to its lack...well, due to my lack of interest. I think I actually read to page 100 three times, but its taken a full year for me to get the balls to read it all the way through.

Unfortunately my feelings about the book didn't change much after I finished it. It was almost always a chore to pick it up, and that is why The Darkness That Comes Before was listed under "Currently Reading" for five weeks... And now that I am finished with the book, I am a little interested as to why so many people are recommending it.

Of course, I have to give Bakker credit--his book is smart, but there are too many layers for me to really comprehend (I probably sound like an idiot, but that's inevitable, so don't worry about it). It is possible that people a little smarter than I get a kick out of this jazz, because, it really is jazzy in a tilted, dark, unpredictable way. Unfortunately none of that jazz caught my attention. It was an extremely boring read for me. Maybe if I was looking for the book's subtle attempts to mean life, then I might have enjoyed it a little more. Instead I was constantly looking for an end, all the way up until the actual end, when I just felt a great deal of disappointment.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Bakker actually did something wrong, instead I think that I just didn't find anything personally gratifying about The Darkness That Comes Before. I would think that this is one book you either fancy or you don't, and at first a didn't. But there is something fine about this book, and it's assembly of words that I cannot ignore. So I guess I didn't enjoy the reading, but now after pondering the book for a few days, I don't know if I liked it or not.

As for the actual writing, it is near brilliant. The characters are developed, galling, monstrous, and, except for the strange face stealing creature-people, extremely human. In fact, its probably their extraordinary ability to be human that irritates me; I just don't like imagining the aliens floating in space, carefully jotting down notes, and coming up with a book like The Darkness That Comes Before. If we are all just power hungry, lusty and confused men seeking for a pair of open legs, then its a sad thing to do the human, and I object. I believe that there are things the aliens cannot easily paint--like R. Scott Bakker writing The Prince of Nothing, and me reading it...

Back to the book...

Even though the world is detailed, with civilizations, religions, and individuals, I'm disappointed that Bakker didn't explain more about the magic system. I like the idea of the Chorae, a Trinket that shields against magic, but I want to know more about the actual magic. And I guess I can't say much more, because the longer I write the more my opinion changes of this book.

So, for being a genius, maniacal writer, Bakker gets a 10 out of 10. For actually entertaining me, The Darkness That Comes Before gets only a 3. Although, it has been four days since I finished and I am still thinking about it, so that if you think that warrants a new rating, then you can be the judge.


Note: This book is actually very good, it was just boring because I am somewhat of a casual reader, someone who enjoys reading word after word, instead of layers. I don't really know if I should recommend it or not. I guess that thought is interesting enough for me to make the recommend. Go on. Read it. And please tell me you enjoyed it more than I did.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Golden Compass--Movie

So getting ditched by my girlfriend is usually pretty sad, and yesterday when she called to tell me that I wouldn't be graced with her beauty that evening, I was sad. I had been looking forward to watching The Golden Compass with her, actually I waited all day. So I decided not to wait anymore, and I watched the DVD by myself last night. It was sweeeet! The movie was so funny at times, and cute, and well done I thought. Not all that action packed, but a strong story, and it was just perfect for making me smile. I just added The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Just in case you haven't seen the Golden Compass, I added a trailer for you :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Enchanter's End Game Book Review

Enchanter’s End Game
The Belgariad Book 5
David Eddings

Most of the first half of the book is occupied by the Battle of Thull Mardu, where Ce’Nedra’s mighty army fights the Angaraks and the Murgos. Their goal is to allow Anheg’s fleet time to get to the ocean, unmolested by the approaching troops. In the meantime, Garion, Silk and Belgarath are on the final journey to Kal Zakath in order to kill Kal Torak with the sword of Riva.

As with most series-ending stories, Enchanter’s End Game was completely irresistible. Again David Eddings uses a strong foundation and various viewpoints in his writing to develop a beautiful conclusion to his already noteworthy series. Enchanter’s End Game is Eddings at his best.

Each book in this series is better than the last. I loved Pawn of Prophecy for the sense of simple honesty, and I love Enchanter’s End Game for the well developed conclusion. The series structure is simple really; Eddings just started out small, and let it grow. It is that growth, in these beloved characters that is so enticing; we like to see change in people, just as much as we like to see good triumph. The Belgariad is a fast paced, well developed story, one worthy of reading with your friends and families.


Note: This review is somewhat small because I feel like I’ve already said what I need to in the past four Belgariad Reviews: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician’s Gambit, Castle of Wizardry. So check out the other reviews, and if something is lacking, let me know.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Castle of Wizardry Book Review

Castle of Wizardry
The Belgariad Book 4
David Eddings

In book three of The Belgariad, Garion and crew rescue the orb, and an infant from the hands of the evil grolim Ctuchik. Now, in book four, they journey to Riva, for Princess Ce’Nedra’s sixteenth birthday. The princess is not too pleased to be heading toward Riva, but Polgara is adamant in forcing her to comply with the Accords of Vo Mimbra. Also, there is a new addition to the gang. The ulgo Relg has found a match, Taiba, the only known survivor of the Marag civilization. Constantly she tempts him with her seductive curves, continuously bombarding his religious barriers.

In the meantime, Polgara is totally incapacitated by her careful administration to her near dead father. There is a need for some authority, and while Silk is the obvious candidate, he follows character by avoiding as much responsibility as possible. Instead of taking charge, he gives the power to Garion. It is a good way for him to learn how to handle power, in case a time comes when he is called to lead. The path to Riva is replete with twists, turns, and hidden dangers, but it is Riva that holds the biggest surprise.

David Eddings doesn’t disappoint with Castle of Wizardry. I enjoyed it more than the previous three books, because of the new writing elements. Eddings waited until this book, 70% through The Belariad, to introduce different character viewpoints. I love it. The foundation he built with the first three is sound, and now the ability to see Garion through others eyes is more than valuable.

It makes sense to me now why the omnibus version of the series groups the first three books together and then the last two books together. They are written in a total different style. David Eddings made a risky move in adding multiple viewpoints, and it definitely paid off. Castle of Wizardry is a structural masterpiece, completely gripping.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Magician's Gambit Book Review

For summary visit Here

Magician’s Gambit is an enthralling continuation of David Eddings’ series: The Belgariad. The characters are just as enjoyable, plus, there are even more of them. In Pawn of Prophecy, it was intriguing to me how simply Eddings painted his characters; and I like how, in Magicians Gambit, he is progressively complicating them.

The book is totally action-packed with magic, monsters, gods, and seeds of love (more interesting than love). The bad guys are pretty dang bad, and the good guys are getting cleverer. Also, the family values taught in PoP and QoS are still present in Magician’s Gambit. I was even reminded to love my mother a little better, and I got a sweet thank you from her just last night. Cute, right?

So, please remember, this book is not to be read alone. It would be somewhat chaotic to try to read this book before reading QoS and PoP, almost like reading something by Stephen Erikson. That was my sad attempt at a joke, and I do like Stephen Erikson, but unlike his Malazan Book of the Fallen, these books are meant to be totally comprehensive. So buy The Belgariad series, starting with book one, and enjoy.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Brandon Sanderson Free Online Book--Warbreaker

So Brandon Sanderson is writing a book that is only being posted online. Actually I'm not sure if he intends to publish it, but for now he is posting each chapter on his website as he writes them. I like the story, a lot actually; so much that I am a little peeved that he hasn't posted a new chapter for over a week. O well, I can't complain to much, it's free right? So yeah, check out Brandon Sanderson's Warbreaker, and don't be upset because it is a little rough. I am pretty sure he doesn't have any editors, and it's interesting seeing his raw stuff.

Also, I owe another apology, I said a review would be posted on Thursday, and I lied. But I had a reason! I realized that I would be writing the same thing for the Magician's Gambit as I would for the two remaining books in The Belgariad. It's just that each book is just better than it's predecessor. So right now I am writing a review for the three remaining books, or actually about The Belgariad in its entirety. So it will be up tonight, or else tomorrow, depending on how much I am distracted. For example, the clubs that are calling out to me from their place against the wall.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thank You!

I want to say thank you to all of my visitors who keep returning! It makes me feel like what I write is somewhat purposeful. It also means that I must be doing something right. You compliment me by returning every day to see if I posted.

I am sorry that I haven't been able to post in a few days, and I am even more sorry that it will be a couple more before I can put up my review of Magician's Gambit. School has me swamped right now, and unfortunately reviewing doesn't have priority over my grades. Maybe someday, but for now I have to write long boring essays for English.

Keep coming back please! My next post will be on thursday, with the aforementioned review.

Thank You,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flight of the Nighthawks Free on EOS!

Flight of the Nighthawks:Book One of the Darkwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist is free from Eos for a limited time only. This is an excellent opportunity to get a FREE book from one of Fantasy's best current authors. Dont miss out! Limited time only...

Click Here

Friday, April 11, 2008

Queen of Sorcery Book Review

Queen of Sorcery is David Eddings second book in his series The Belgariad. In Pawn of Prophecy (first book in series) I felt the prose was too forced, and it felt almost archaic. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved it, but I felt that was Eddings’ biggest problem in the first novel. Queen of Sorcery is faster, more complicated, and flows better. Also, as a side note, I’m a sucker for boy/girl drama; and Garion and Ce’Nedra are pretty entertaining.

The bummer about Queen of Sorcery is: it's not a stand alone novel. You definitely won't know what is going on if you don't read Pawn of Prophecy first. But The Belgariad, which QoS is a part of, is extremely entertaining. The plot line, structure, characters, etc. are interesting and compelling. It is definitely worth it to read Pawn of Prophecy before reading Queen of Sorcery.

Brief notes:

In Queen of Sorcery, Garion is no longer a naïve farm boy, but instead a traveled young man. His body is changing rapidly while on the road, and he is not the only one to notice. My favorite moment in the book is when a large group of Cherek sailors teach Garion to shave.

Aunt Pol, Garion, and the rest of the gang are still in search of Zedar, the thief who stole the Orb. The further south the party goes, the more danger there is. Garion meets his sworn enemy, the man who killed his parents, and reacts with surprising ferocity. It seems that along with the hairs growing on his chin, there is also a power growing inside of him.

Things get particularly interesting when the group picks up a new member, the half-dryad Princess Ce’Nedra. She is almost as mule-headed as is Garion, and their fighting is inevitable. At first Garion wants nothing to do with the little red-headed twit, but as they travel together, he silently grows fond of her. And by the end of the book he enjoys the arguments he has with her almost as much as she confuses him. In Queen of Sorcery friends are found, gods abound, and teenagers learn to grow up.

I recommended reading Pawn of Prophecy, and I am also going to recommend reading Queen of Sorcery. It is still safe for the family, and the books are full of hidden lessons and morales. To sum it up, The Belgariad is fun for everyone, so don’t miss out.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pawn of Prophecy Book Review

When reading Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, I am tempted to make big claims of understanding, such as: “One of the great pioneers in fantasy,” or “The last of his kind,” or something ridiculous like that. The truth is I don’t know that much about fantasy to make those kinds of judgments. I mean, most of the stuff I’ve read has been printed in the last fifteen years, whereas this book was first printed back in 1982, that is over twenty five years ago. So instead I will put it simply, as David Eddings does in Pawn of Prophecy, the first novel of his series The Belgariad.

This book starts out with a young boy, Garion, living on a farm with his Aunt Pol. Often they are visited by a stranger Garion only knows as the storyteller. Events force Garion to leave the farm with his Aunt Pol and the strange storyteller, now named Mr. Wolf. The stories and events arise from there as they are joined by various companions, stalked by unrelenting Murgos, and fail to attain what they sought to find. Aunt Pol goes on to explain little to Garion about his past, even though he is very interested. Unfortunately for Garion, David Eddings does a good job informing the readers, and not Garion of his history. After finishing the book, we have a pretty good idea of the events in store for Garion.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pawn of Prophecy and I finished it way before I meant to (one day). That isn’t exactly due to the fact that it is such a compelling read; rather there just aren’t that many pages. But, the book is somewhat compelling. The characters are likeable and easy to follow, even if they aren’t all that interesting.

David Eddings sentence structure is pretty safe, and his writing doesn’t really push the envelope. In fact, this book is like classic fantasy stories, and even like C.S. Lewis, in that it does a good job teaching principles. That makes sense when I realize that the woman who recommended me the series, read the entirety of The Belgariad to each of her children.

It was a nice change of pace reading this book. When comparing it to most of the stuff I read now, it’s like comparing movies made fifteen years ago to the Bourne Ultimatum. In my opinion the newer movies are in no way superior to those older movies; because while the newer movies are full of fast-paced action, sex and special fx, the older movies actually have dialogue, which is interesting. They are just different; art.

Pawn of Prophecy has a stripped down, let’s get to the nitty gritty, celebrate fantasy and good-nature the real way feeling. It is a safe read for families, and I recommend it to any fantasy fan.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Princeps' Fury Audio Book?

Princeps' Fury
I was searching for some news about his Codex Alera series, and I stumbled on something pretty strange... It seems as if Jim Butcher is releasing the audio version of Princeps' Fury a week before the release of the hardback copy (December 02, 2008). I wonder why.?.? If you have any thoughts about it, drop me a line or a comment.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Small Favor Book Review

Small Favor is the tenth book in Jim Butcher’s popular series, the Dresden Files. The plot for each book in the series is pretty similar; sure the conflicts have different names and new magic, but in all of them Harry Dresden gets assaulted, doesn’t know anything about his opponent, and takes an abnormal amount of beatings while trying to find his enemies. The end is always a well imagined battle, involving lots of luck and assumption on Harry Dresden’s part; he wins the girl, wins the case, and saves his own life. It was no different for Small Favor…

And in truth, I really liked it. The reason Jim Butcher can keep writing books like this is because people like them. It is fun reading about Harry not getting any action, because his girlfriend has been turned into a werewolf--kind of. But seriously, Butcher has a talent for grabbing a reader’s attention, and never letting go. Look at me for example, this is book ten, and I can’t get enough of it.

Although, as far as the series is concerned, Small Favor isn’t my favorite Dresden book. It was a little too hurried and unspecific for me. I like it more when Butcher gets down to the nitty gritty and talks about the magic; for example, in one book he gave a serious explanation as to how Harry was carving his staff with runes in order to give it more power. That kind of stuff is nice to have when the book is full of guns, swords, blown up monsters and wrecked cars. This one just didn’t carry enough specifics for me. It felt like he published it before it was all the way done, and I am kinda-sorta-maybe left wanting something a little more detailed.

All in all, it was worth the read. I finished it in an evening, and I am sure you will make short work of it too. But next time you go to, make sure you leave him a note saying, “I want more of the nitty gritty.”


Armageddon in Retrospect

I haven't yet read it, and in fact I am reading like five other books, but, I must mention it, because it is Vonnegut's first book to be published posthumously. He died April 11 2007, which means that someone else put this collection together. I don't actually know too much about Armageddon in Retrospect, except that it is an accumulation of many previously unpublished writings by Kurt Vonnegut, which now are published. So all of you fans of Vonnegut, go get this one please! I'm specifically talking to one fan whose baby is so excited for the new season of The Office, that he/she whatever it is, decided to pop out in time to see Jim mock Dwight for the first time in months. I am also talking to fans whose names rhyme with Kurt...
Go get Kurt Vonnegut's new novel and then maybe share what you thought about it with me. Leave me a comment. Send me and email. Whatever...I just want to hear about this man's previously unpublished, posthumously published writing. ;)


Monday, March 31, 2008

Furies of Calderon Book Review

Furies of Calderon is Jim Butcher's first fantasy novel, and in my opinion, it is better than his other series the Dresden Files. His writing is so fast-paced that it is hard to put down any of his books, but Furies of Calderon employs likeable characters, and a fun, involved plot, to make it one of the better fantasy series on the market. I find the book so attractive because of the characters. They are fun, exciting, and somewhat real. I mean, besides the magic thing, and possibly all the luck they have, they feel real. I couldn't put it down, and neither could any of my friends or relatives. Buy it on a Friday so you have a couple days to finish it. Definately dont buy it right before midterms...


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Princeps' Fury Release Date

Wow the release date has been found on Princeps' Fury will be released on December 2, 2008. Jim Butcher is really just pumping these out!!! I am pretty sure he has another book due for release in less than a month. Pretty amazing...


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Currently Reading

Hey everyone-

Right now I am reading Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. It's the third time I've read this book so I am sure that it will go fast... Well, its small and exciting so it goes fast anyways.

-Wearied Juggler

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deadhouse Gates Book Review

Deadhouse Gates is Steven Erikson’s second installment to his groundbreaking series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. If anything Erikson’s work is better than in his first novel, Gardens of the Moon. I found even more intrigue, more hidden plots, and a stunning amount of history to this complex world.

I absolutely loved it. This is my kind of fantasy, the kind that draws you in and spits you out hours later. It takes me days after I finish each book to stop thinking about the stories. Erikson’s imagination is contagious. I want more.

Pros: Super complex, great characters, interesting plot lines, intellectual writing, original work

Cons: Super complex, sometime loses the reader, almost too good


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gardens of the Moon Book Review

Inside the covers was a world so honest that it approached cruelty. It was beautiful. Steven Erikson created a world unrivaled in its vastness; only to give us a glimpse of it in Gardens of the Moon. The civilizations, and even the continents that they inhabit, are merely blades of grass to the fields of history Erikson has created.

This book is extremely intelligent and philosophical. I would like to say it is real, because of the way Erikson brutally delivers his truths. It is refreshing to find a story that doesn’t protect protagonists. I always feel cheated when movies or novels make the heroes into immortal gods. In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, heroes die. And so do gods.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. The characters are vibrant, and the world is complex enough to keep ones mind reeling for weeks at a time; it steers clear of the Tolkien rip-offs we often see in fantasy today, and delivers beauty in the form intrigue, magic, and stark cruelty.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Reading Continues


Right now I am 79% done with the book Deadhouse Gates, by Steven Erikson. I am going to recommend this book to anyone and everyone, it's incredible. And as far as writing goes, I am working on a review of Steven Erikson's, Gardens of the Moon. So stay tuned in and keep sending me emails.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


So, before I review any books, I want to give you a background on some of my favorite fantasy reads. My first real fantasy series was the WoT. If you don't know what that is, it means The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. In my book it tops LOTR by miles, and I'm allowed to say that because this is my blog. After Jordan, my favorite authors would have to be Fiona McIntosh (The Quickening Series), Jim Butcher (Codex Alera Series, Dresden Files), and Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth Series). I know having Terry Goodkind on that list doesn't help my image much, but the protagonist (Richard) in his books grabs me by my shorthairs. In effect, I am pulled into his books one after the other, I cant help it. Come back for more. I am thinking about posting reviews every friday. What do you think? Drop me a comment and let me know...

First Time


My name is Mark, or the Wearied Juggler. I do not actually get tired juggling, but i do get tired, and i do juggle. I just dont juggle enough to get tired juggling. Well, I've started this blog because I love reading Fantasy!!! But since I quit working to go back to school, my reading time has been seriously assaulted. I needed a serious excuse to keep reading, and here it is. I am going to review each book I read, and post a blog. This will help my writing skills, and hopefully entertain you. If I don't like a book, I will tell you why, and if I like it, I will sing it to you. So, please stay tuned in and read me!

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