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...

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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.


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