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Wings of Fire Anthology Review: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin *spoilers*

Wings of Fire

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Dragons: Fearsome fire-breathing foes, scaled adversaries, legendary lizards, ancient hoarders of priceless treasures, serpentine sages with the ages’ wisdom, and winged weapons of war…

Wings of Fire brings you all these dragons, and more, seen clearly through the eyes of many of today’s most popular authors, including Peter S. Beagle, Holly Black, Orson Scott Card, Charles De Lint, Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula K Le Guin, Dean R Koontz, George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Garth Nix, and many others.

Edited by Jonathan Strahan (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Eclipse) and Marianne S. Jablon, Wings of Fire collects the best short stories about dragons. From writhing wyrms to snakelike devourers of heroes; from East to West and everywhere in between, Wings of Fire is sure to please dragon lovers everywhere.

GRRM is…an incredible writer. He manages to jam a lot of things and a lot of emotion into few words (when he wants to).

GRRM also seems to be a big fan of rape. I’m NOT saying that he has/wants to/dreams of raping someone personally…but he damn sure seems to be unable walk away from any opportunity to rape someone in prose. *rolls eyes* And that shit makes me upset. I don’t want to hear any BS about “realistic” either – these are GRRM’s authorial decisions and nothing more.

So. “The Ice Dragon” is the story of Adara and her family. Adara was born during a very cold winter and her mother died in child birth. Adara was “full of winter” – she could be outside and barely feel the cold, unlike her siblings. Adara was not just physically cold, she was emotional cold as well. She didn’t smile, didn’t cry and rarely showed emotion. Adara could play with ice lizards when others could not – the body heat that other people created would melt and kill the ice lizards. Adara also had an Ice Dragon. Made from ice with the breath of pure winter, Adara’s ice dragon would come to her in the winter…extending each winter year after year.
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Movie Review: Edge of Tommorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

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Oscar® nominee Tom Cruise (the “Mission: Impossible” films, “Collateral,” “Jerry Maguire”) and Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Adjustment Bureau”) star in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” under the direction of Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”).

The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.

Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.

But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

Liman is directing “Edge of Tomorrow” from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel entitled All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Erwin Stoff produces, along with Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs and Jason Hoffs. The executive producers are Doug Liman, David Bartis, Joby Harold, Hidemi Fukuhara and Bruce Berman, with Tim Lewis and Kim Winther serving as co-producers.

The behind-the-scenes team includes Academy Award®-winning director of photography Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”), production designer Oliver Scholl (“Jumper,” “Independence Day”), editor James Herbert (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”), costume designer Kate Hawley (“Pacific Rim”), and Oscar®-nominated visual effects supervisor Nick Davis (“The Dark Knight”). The music is by Christophe Beck (“Frozen”).

3.5 stars – Entertaining

I’m not a big movie person, I like to read. My husband loves TV and movies but I avoid them as much as possible. So I find it a bit ironic that I ended up watching two movies in the last few weeks.

It’s really hard for me to review/rate movies as there are so few that really catch my fancy. This movie was one of the very few that I actually wanted to go see – and hubby was happy to oblige.

Edge of Tomorrow was [very] adapted from a Japanese military sci-fi novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, named All You Need is Kill. Of course, as soon as I learned it was a book adaptation, I ran out and bought the book (two copies: DTB for me and audio for hubby).
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Review: Joust (Dragon Jousters #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Joust

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For the first time ever, national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey draws from her extensive knowlege of animals—and her professional background as an avian expert—to create something truly special…

The most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.

It is a richly conceived, fully realized vision, inspired by the culture of ancient Egypt, the legends of Atlantis-and the science of animal behavior and biology. This is how dragons would live, breed, hatch, hunt, and bond.

The first book in this thrilling new series introduces readers to a young slave who dreams of becoming a Jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon.

Joust, the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s Dragon Jousters series, is a wonderfully rich re-imagining of ancient Egypt. The story follows a young serf, Vetch, as he slowly gains agency.

Vetch is an Altan serf. He became a serf when Alta lost a major war with their neighbor Tia. Vetch’s father was murdered and the rest of the family were turned into serfs and bound to the land they once owned.

As a serf – which are considered less than slaves – Vetch was severely mistreated. He was beaten, starved and overworked by his master. During one of the many miserable days in which Vetch lived this spirit-breaking life, Dragon Jouster Ari happens to see him. Ari – noticing that Vetch was being mistreated – decides to take him and make Vetch his dragon boy. Dragon boys live in a complex with their dragons, Jousters and support staff. Dragon boys were not mistreated, overworked and they were fed well and regularly. For Vetch, starved as he was, it was like he’d almost reached Heaven.
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Review: Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon

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The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

There are no words. I just don’t have the words to describe this enough to get out a review.

I don’t have the words to express my relationship with Gardens of the Moon.

I am…my mind is BLOWN.

It’s genius.

It’s intimidating. The sheer scope of what was going on is amazing. There’s so much going on and I don’t know what to even say. The world is so textured and layered.

There are ten books in this series. O_O

I went through a gamut of emotions – the emotional roller-coaster had me strapped down and didn’t let me off until the end.

The sheer…magnitude of the book was on the scale of what I [previously] would have thought to be impossible.

During my reading of this book I felt confused, I felt astounded, tired, irritated, exhilarated, exhausted, engaged, exasperated, drugged, emotionally traumatized…and totally at Erikson’s mercy.

O_o
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Update: Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon

Bled dry by warfare, the vast Malazan empire simmers with discontent. Sergeant Whiskeyjack’s Bridgeburners and surviving sorceress Tattersail wanted to mourn the dead of Pale. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, holds out, Empress Lasseen’s ambition knows no bounds, and the gods intend to intervene.


Current location: 372/494 (75%)

So, I’ve been reading this book.

It’s part of a ten book series that has an additional only God knows how many more books attached. I’d never planned to read this series for that reason alone. When I told my husband I was reading a ten book series he told me that I was “getting hosed.” But the group chose it as a book of the month and I said I’d give it a chance. Took a month to get here from the library…I should have known it was gonna be trouble then.
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Review: Silver May Tarnish (Witch World Series 2: High Hallack Cycle #10) by Andre Norton & Lyn McConchie

silver may tarnish

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The Dales of Andre Norton’s Witch World have endured wars, natural disasters, the predations of strange creatures, and treachery. None loves the land as well as Lorcan, orphaned at birth, who has sought his birthright for as long as he can remember. Exiled from his native land when it was invaded by Alizon, he spent his youth in Paltendale where he was treated as an outsider, especially by Hogeth, an heir of that dale, who resented Lorcan’s presence when both were still young men.

When he came of age, Lorcan left to seek his own destiny. Since then, he has fought valiantly to rid the Dales of the Alizon invaders, but not even his efforts can prevent the deaths of many people, and the destruction of many keeps and garths. The war now over, he has survived, but so have those who would plunder the lands of the survivors. And among the plundering bandits is his nemesis from Paltendale, now more bitter and determined to vanquish Lorcan.

During his travels Lorcan has joined with five blank shields, who, fighting together for common cause, become his boon companions. Then he meets a young noble lass, from a dale known as Honeycoombe for its beekeeping. Her dale has been decimated by the war, but with Lorcan and his band, she will try to rebuild a home where they all can live in peace. Lorcan feels that he might at last find happiness with the valiant fair maiden. But Hogeth now leads marauders across the dales, destroying what they cannot rightfully have, and there will be no peace in the dales until Lorcan and Hogeth settle their old, bitter score.

This isn’t going to be the best review ever. I’ve read the book too many times. I love this book and this series too much.

This book is several books into the Witch World series but it is a stand alone. While it can be read without prior knowledge of the Witch World…Norton writes with the assumption that you know what she’s talking about.
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Review: Legend (The Drenai Saga #1) by David Gemmell

legend

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Druss, Captain of the Axe, whose fame was legendary, had chosen to wait for death in a mountain hideaway. But mighty Dros Delnoch, the last stronghold of the Drenai Empire, was under threat from Nadir hordes who had destroyed everything else in their path. All hope rests on the skills of one man.

As always, I enjoyed this book.

This isn’t a book to read if you want to think. Don’t read this for the prose, the characterizations or the dialogue.

Read this for Druss. For he is a badass.

If you like badasses who kill lots of people…and who just may laugh while doing it…I say to you:

Meet Druss.
5 Stars