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 http://thebookswede.blogspot.com/2008/04/interview-with-karen-miller.html.)


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 http://otter.covblogs.com/archives/028609.html.)

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.


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