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 Jim-Butcher.com 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 Jim-Butcher.com, 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. ;)


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