Archive | January 2014

2014 Series Challenge Update: Week of Jan 12-18

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Book#: 1 (Publication order)
Review: 5 Stars
January Goal: 1/1

Scoring:
Book in a series (re-read): 10 points
Review: 25 points
Completed monthly goal: 50 points
Total: 85 points

 

 

 

Prince Caspian
Book: Prince Caspian
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Book#: 2 (Publication order)
Review: 5 Stars
January Goal: 2/1

Scoring:
Book in a series (re-read): 10 points
Review: 25 points
Completed monthly goal: already achieved
Total: 35 points

 
 
 
Grand Total: 120 points

Review: Magician’s Gambit (The Belgariad #3) by David Eddings *spoilers*

Magician's Gambit

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Ce’Nedra, Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, had joined a dangerous mission to recover the stolen Orb that supposedly protected the West from the evil God Torak. And somehow, she found herself feeling quite tender for Garion, the innocent farm boy, who would be forced into the strange tower in the center of all evil to retrieve the Orb by himself.

 

 

Magician’s Gambit starts with the company on a ship sailing out of Nyissa.

While Belgarath and Silk were away from the company, they discovered that Zedar no longer had the Orb. Zedar and Ctuchick (also a disciple of Torak) fought and Zedar fled.. Ctuchick too the Orb to Rak Cthol in Cthol Murgos.

Belgarath received a summons from his Master – the god Aldur – so the company prepares to travel the 250 leagues to the Vale of Aldur. This will take them a month or more.

While traveling to the Vale the company (Garion, Ce’Nedra, Belgarath, Polgara, Durnik, Barak, Silk, Hettar and Mandorallen) is chased by groups of Murgos, all coming from different directions. At this time the company was close to Maragor, so Belgarath decides that the only way to avoid capture was to go through instead of around Maragor.

Maragor

Maragor is a haunted and empty land. The Tolnedrans declared war on Maragor – using the subterfuge of stamping out cannibalism – because Maragor is filled with gold. In their greed, the Tolnedran armies slaughtered all of the Marags (including non-combatants). Mara, the god of the Marags, was driven mad with grief over the loss of his children. Continue reading

Review: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2) by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian

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The four Pevensies help Caspian battle Miraz and ascend his rightful throne.

NARNIA…the land between the lamp-post and the castle of Cair Paravel, where animals talk, where magical things happen…and where the adventure begins.

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are returning to boarding school when they are summoned from the dreary train station (by Susan’s own magic horn) to return to the land of Narnia-the land where they had ruled as kings and queens and where their help is desperately needed.

A prince fights for his crown. A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.

I love the Narnia series and I’ve read it many, many times. Whenever I read this series, I always read it in original publication order – as it should be.

It’s hard to review books you love so this is more like…a smattering of a review combined with my general thoughts and feelings.

Prince Caspian introduces one of my favorite characters: the talking mouse Reepicheep. Reepicheep is fierce and I love him to pieces. When I first read this series, I was taken with Reepicheep and with every re-read I realize what a wonderful character he is! The bravery, loyalty and honor along with the slight arrogance make Reepicheep a very human character.
Continue reading

Old Skool Erotica Review: Warlord by Jaid Black

Warlord

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In the year 1052…

Euan Donald rules the Highlands with an iron fist. When a rival clan chieftain fails to deliver his betrothed to him, Euan decides to take matters into his own hands and acquire a bride the old fashioned way—he’ll go steal one.

Present day…

Janet Duval is in Scotland on business. One minute she’s leaving the local pub after having dinner and drinks with a friend, and the next she finds herself being chased—1000 years in the past—by a heavily muscled, grim-faced warrior hell-bent on possessing her.

Written erotica has been around for ages. I remember reading a couple of my father’s eroticas while in middle school (or younger!). During those days, erotica (at least, what I saw) was written and marketed primarily to men.

[Quite] some time later (about 1999), Tina Engler (Jaid Black) started writing and trying to sell erotica. Being constantly rebuffed, Engler started her own business to start selling her erotic romance fiction under the pen name Jaid Black. By 2001, Engler’s site was up and running – making Ellora’s Cave one of (if not the) first ebook erotica bookstore.

Erotica has come a long, long way since the opening of Ellora’s Cave and the publishing of Engler’s first novels. The cheesy covers have started to fade away, the language has changed, the plots have become increasingly complicated. Erotica has become…mainstream.
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An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 6

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.

I decided to break this into parts because it’s a pretty long list.

 

An Aficionado’s Guide to the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time – Part 5
 
 
moon called41. Moon Called
Series: Mercy Thompson
Review: 4 Stars

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

 
darkfever42. Darkfever
Series: Fever

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…

 
The Wizard of Oz43. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Series: Oz
Movies: 1939, 1978
Review: 3.5 Stars

In a terrifying instant of darkness, a tornado snatches up Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto, whirling them on the wild wind out of Kansas and straight to Oz.

In this wondrous world of sorcery and danger, Munchkins, flying monkeys, talking mice and fighting trees, all Dorothy wants to do is go home…

Together with the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Man who wants a heart, and the Cowardly Lion who wants courage, Dorothy and Toto must follow the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard of the Emerald City. But before the wizard of Oz will grant their wishes, Dorothy and her friends must do the impossible–Destroy the all-powerful Wicked Witch of the West….

 
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2014 Reading Challenges!

I am doing four reading challenges this year! That’s right. Four. Yes. I am a little obsessed with reading, lol. I’m doing these challenges in conjunction with two bookclubs and I’m rather excited about all of them.

 
The Challenges

1. Series Challenge: This challenge is the most complex and has the most rules. It’s geared to finishing up the millions of series that we’ve all seemed to have started. You know, since no author seems to be able to write standalones anymore. *rolls eyes* This challenge is scored but I’ve not included the scoring guide here (it’s too complicated).

The Rules:

1. This is a reward based challenge, with points assigned for meeting certain goals. It is not meant to be a competition between participants. That is, you don’t have to cut each other over high scores. Your competition is yourself, and your own habits of series reading.

2. The goal is to complete one series book per month. Or two, or three. Each participant can set their own goal.

3. The reward for reaching this goal (besides knocking out series books) is a credit that you may use to start a new series. Say I reach my goal in February, then I can start a new series without a scoring penalty.

4. There is scoring, but as I said it’s a self tracking system. Yes, we’ll have an overall leader in points, but since everyone will be setting their own self-goals, the scores will mean different things to different people.

5. Points are cumulative.

2. Review Challenge: It is what it is, lol The goal is to review all the books read during 2014.

3. TBR Decimation Challenge: The goal of this challenge is to try to read as many books off of my TBR (to be read) list as possible. Considering that my TBR list has grown to the point that I have dubbed it “Mt. TBR” I think I have a pretty large selection to choose from.

4. Purchase Challenge: This will be the most difficult challenge for me in 2014. The goal of this challenge is to try to limit my book purchases to no more than $20 a month. This is going to hurt but it is what it is. I’m pretty lucky because I bought a ton of books at the end of December 2013 (that are still coming in) so I think January 2014 will be the easiest month for book purchase control for me. 🙂

Debate with the Squirrels: Sexism in Fantasy

kiralynblue

Strap on your armor and sharpen your swords, it’s Controversial Topic Time!

Sexism in Fantasy

Oh yeah, we’re going there. I’m going to break this out into two posts. Today, let’s talk about cultural sexism in traditional fantasy and tomorrow we’ll talk modern fantasy.

Since I’m torn on the debate, you get to listen to me argue with myself.

The Epic Battle Between Feminist Kira (FK) and Devil’s Advocate Squirrel (DAS) Commences!

FK: I think it’s a problem that so many fantasy books are set in societies based on the cultural norms of Medieval Europe. Aren’t we just reinforcing the ideals of patriarchal societies and exclusionary gender roles where men rule and fight and women have polite tea parties and wear fancy dresses?

DAS: That’s ridiculous. Traditional fantasy also makes heavy use of kings and queens as rulers, but no one accuses the authors of being supportive of hereditary monarchies…

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