Archive | December 2013

Review: Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad #2) by David Eddings *spoilers*

queen of sorcery

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The Sorcerer Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the Sorceress were on the trail of the Orb – stolen by a priest of Torak – seeking to regain its saving power before the final disaster prophesized by the legends. And with them went Garion, a simple farm boy only months before, but now the focus of the struggle. He had never believed in sorcery and wanted no part of it. Yet with every league they traveled, the power grew in him, forcing him to acts of wizardry he could not accept.

 

Note: This is one of my favorite series. I read this series, it’s sequel The Mallorean, and Belgarath the Sorcerer yearly.

Queen of Sorcery is the second book in The Belgariad series by David Eddings. In comparison to the first book, Queen of Sorcery gives the reader a lot more information and a greater incentive to continue the series. One of the things I liked the most about this book is that the reader starts to get to know the side characters a lot better – and a lot of the things left unexplained in book one are cleared up in book two. Eddings is not one for a lot of loose ends, which I greatly appreciate.

Queen of Sorcery starts the same way Pawn of Prophecy does – with an info dump prologue – and then it proceeds into another info dump. The prologue tells of a famous battle that happened centuries in the past and the second info dump gives the reader a rehash of Pawn of Prophecy. It also reminds the reader that Garion is anguished and that the adults are keeping secrets from him.

Unlike Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery tells the questing group (and the reader) the exact nature of their quest at the beginning of the book: The Orb of Aldur has been stolen by Zedar the Apostate. They have to retrieve the Orb before Zedar can deliver it to the evil god Torak, waking Torak from an ensorcelled sleep to take over the world.

Queen of Sorcery also gives the reader a better sense of Eddings’ world. Each country is populated by a different racial stock and each racial stock is a stereotype. Thus far we have met the Sendars (who are sensible) and the Chereks (who are rowdy, drunks and war-like). Queen of Sorcery introduces us to the Arends (who are “not very bright but very brave” and who’s nobles engage in almost casual warfare while severely mistreating their serfs), the Tolnedrans (materialistic and obsessed with stature) and the Nyissans who emulate the snake. The Nyissans are also drug users and dealers, they sell poisons, are untrustworthy and are also slavers. Got all that? Good.
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BDSM on GR: January 2014 Books of the Month

Remember I mentioned being a member of tons of bookclubs?? I wasn’t joking, lol.

Here’s the BDSM on GR group reads and my early decision on reading them.

 
just a spankingJust A Spanking: Tales of Dominance and Submission – may read but probably will not

Just a Spanking collects eight of Lisabet Sarai’s hottest BDSM stories, including three previously unpublished tales. From the light-hearted fantasy “Ruler” to the raw intensity of “Limbo”, these stories explore the many variations of power exchange, demonstrating how whips, canes, candles, ropes, or handcuffs, as well as the classic palm on a bare bottom, can open doors to the ultimate erotic experience.

Is a pure spanking, stripped of any sexual manipulation, enough to make a submissive come? Can a Dom turn a woman into his slave using just his voice? Can a banana split be an instrument of torture? Find out in this lively, arousing collection.

 
bad girl goodBad Girl Good – will read

Chloe is a pretty brunette with a lot of spunk and not a whole lot of sense. After she experiences yet another failed relationship with a good guy, her long-time friend Todd enters the picture with romantic interest.

But being with Todd carries some weight. Instead of dealing with her behavior passive aggressively, like the other guys, Todd wants to spank her when she screws up. Can she submit to a guy who won’t put up with her when she’s bad?

“Bad Girl Good” is erotic romance, with sex, spankings, humiliation, and anal play. This novella is meant for an adult audience only.

 
 
Books for January 2014 (so far)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Steelheart (possible)
Bad Girl Good

Before you sign into Goodreads with your Amazon account…

Before you sign into Goodreads with your Amazon account…

I was recently privileged to have one of my blog articles posted at Genxposé.

This post is about internet privacy and security…and why you should not link your Goodreads account to your Amazon account (or link any account, to be honest).

 

I recently learned that Goodreads quietly added a “Sign In with Amazon” button to their log on options. No fan fair, no announcements, just a little button that appears on some (but not all) sign-in screens.

Signing into Goodreads with your Amazon does two things: 

1) It helps them to connect the dots. The company is now able to fill in some of the additional holes in your consumer profile. They are linking your real name, address, credit card/gift card information and purchasing habits to a social profile. While there is a limit on what and how much information a government agency can legally compile about you, there is no limit on how much information a private company can gather about you.

Read More Here.

Flights of Fantasy: January 2014 Books of the Month

I join tons of bookclubs. Tons. A lot of these bookclubs have one or more books per month for the members to read.

I am a member of 9 book clubs. Of those 9 book clubs there are 18 books scheduled for me to read in January 2014. Eighteen. That is NOT going to happen, lol.

It’s highly unlikely that I will read…even a quarter of these books, lol. If we’re being 100% honest, I might get through…two. I hate assigned reading.

So, here’s the January Flights of Fantasy group reads and my early decision on reading them.

 

the bookScience FictionThe Book (nope, will not read)

It begins, “Don’t read The Book.” All information, past and present, is controlled by The Book, a handheld digital reading device that exists in a paperless, sustainable, dystopian future that looks shockingly similar to our own. Among the multitude of Book lovers, we find Holden Clifford, a simple sprinkler fitter who is content with his small life. Through his favorite story, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden discovers an inconsistency between the digital version and a rare paper page, preserved in the form of “recycled” wallpaper in the bathroom of his favorite Chicago bar, The Library. His quest for answers leads him quickly beyond the page to discover a secret library of books and a man named Winston who explains the subtle, potent censorship of every story ever written. Equipped with excerpts from unedited novels, alongside a group of like-minded readers called the Ex Libris, Holden dedicates himself to freeing the world from the grip of the Publishing House. His heroic mission draws him hastily into a dangerous scheme to overthrow the Editors of The Book and save the last remnant of printed words left on the earth. As his mission unfolds and a haunting reality about the government’s capacity to outwit the minds of the public begins to reveal itself, Holden is forced to accept that the only way to succeed may be to sacrifice himself and the one thing they love more than life – books.

 
the lion the witch and the wardrobe
Young Adult (YA)
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #1) – yes, will read

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke’s house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who’s reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

This edition follows the original numbering scheme. Recent publishers have renumbered the volumes so they are ordered chronologically.

 
steelheart
Fantasy
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – might read

There are no heroes.

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 
swan song
Horror
Swan Song (nope, will not read)

“We’re about to cross the point of no return. God help us; we’re flying in the dark and we don’t know where the hell we’re going.”

Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen—from the President of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City—will fight for survival.

Swan Songis Robert McCammon’s prescient and “shocking” (John Saul) vision of a post- Apocalyptic nation, a grand epic of terror and, ultimately, renewal.In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth’s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity: Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets . . . Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station . . . And Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan’s gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself…

 

Books for January 2014 (so far)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Steelheart (possible)

An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 3

Ad previously stated, this is a group created list.

A few things you should know about this list:
*It was voted on by a large group of fantasy readers (majority rules)
*If a single book is on the list and that book is part of a series, it’s a recommendation for the entire series.
*I have read some of the books, but not all.
*I provide a link to the books I have reviewed.

An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 1
An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 2

stardust71. Stardust
2007 Movie

Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.

 

 

tigana72. Tigana

Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior. Brandin’s younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. After sweeping down and destroying the remnants of their army, burning their books and destroying their architecture and statuary, he makes it so that no one not born in that province can even hear its name. Years later, a small band of survivors, led by Alessan, last prince of Tigana’s royal house, wages psychological warfare, planting seeds for the overthrow of the two tyrants. At the center of these activities are Devin, a gifted young singer; Catriana, a young woman pursued by suspicions of her family’s guilt; and Duke Sandre d’Astibar, a wily resistance leader thought dead. Meanwhile, at Brandin’s court, Dianora, his favorite concubine and–unknown to anyone, another survivor of Tigana–struggles between her growing love for the often gentle tyrant and her desire for vengeance. Gradually the scene is set for both conquerors to destroy each other and free a land.

 
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An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 2

Like the previous list I posted – 20 Best Urban Fantasy Books – this is a group created list.

A few things you should know about this list:
*It was voted on by a large group of fantasy readers (majority rules)
*If a single book is on the list and that book is part of a series, it’s a recommendation for the entire series.
*I have read some of the books, but not all.
*I provide a link to the books I have reviewed.

An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 1

furies of calderon
81. Furies of Calderon
Series: Codex Alera #1

In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal, fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos-when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-Tavi’s simple courage will turn the tides of war.

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