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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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About this blog

This is a literary blog, with much attention focused on Wheel of Time

Entries in this blog

Eye of the World, Chapters 42-47

When I first read EOTW, I felt the reader was being set up for a showdown with Elaida either in Caemlyn or in Tar Valon. But then again, I initially did not pay incredible heed to the Tinkers' message to Perrin about the Eye, or with Rand's dream sequences with Ba'alzamon concerning the Eye. I love how RJ used the 3rd instance of the Eye being threatened (through Loial's tale) that pivoted the forward action from Tar Valon to the Eye. For this alone, I feel that Loial is ta'veren as well. I

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Eye of the World, Chapters 36-41

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post for the re-read is that Rand is starting to assert his leaderships skills in Chapters 34-36. He implores Mat to keep hope that their friends are still alive, even though Mat is in the throes of the Shadar Logoth dagger. I just love the scene where he grabs Mat and tells him "We can make it all the way, if we just don't quit. I won't quit and and wait for them like a sheep for slaughter. I won't!" I definitely got a charge from reading that section

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Eye of the World, Chapters 27-35

I just have to say it's taken way too long since my last post. Granted I've been busy with work and reading other stuff as well, but man I gotta speed up if I'm going to complete my re-read before the AMOL release at this rate! Anyway...   While Nynaeve, Lan and Moiraine don't get much time in this section, the chapter with these three shows Nynaeve's growing animosity towards Moiraine-and foreshadows her animosity at other Aes Sedai throughout the series. When I first read WOT, I couldn't s

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Review of A Clash of Kings (Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire), by George R.R. Martin

A Clash of Kings (ACOK) picks up right where it's predecessor Game of Thrones left off. The red comet seems to appear as a sky as a result of the birth of Daenerys' three dragons at the end of the previous book. This ominous sign in the sky is commented on by all of the point of view (POV) characters throughout the first third of the book, and this sign cannot help but drive the subsequent actions by the characters.   The prologue is certainly longer in ACOK than Game of Thrones, but a lot

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Review of Magician: Apprentice (Book 1 of the Riftwar Saga), by Raymond E. Feist

I have just re-read Magician: Apprentice for the first time in over 20 years, and it still stands up after all this time. Even though the beginning may seem like a typical damsel in distress (Carline rescued by Pug from the troll), both characters quickly break out of their stereotypes. The appearance of the Tsurani near Crydee immediately sets fantasy tropes on their ear, and allows the Riftwar Saga to set its own path in the fantasy genre.   Feist does a good job of introducing and laying th

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Eye of the World, Chapters 19-26

Part 3 of my own WOT re-read before AMOL. The first time I read EOTW I thought Mordeth was simply a ghost in Shadar Logoth, who knew that he would become much more with Padan Fain!   It's amazing to re-read EOTW and see the foreshadowing that Jordan provides with the Tower of Ghenjei and the Choedan Kal on Tremalking. When I first read EOTW I did not feel that Domon would become a regular character in this series (although he's faded somewhat later in the series).   Re-reading the Whitebri

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Eye of the World, Chapters 10-18

I had missed the reference to Rand channeling on the initial re-read. It really is a marvel how well Jordan subtly inserts Rand's first channeling experience in Chapter 11. It is less subtle in his confrontation with the Whitecloaks in Baerlon, which I sadly missed as well the first time.   Very strong LOTR flavor in these chapters as well which Jordan does break from shortly to carve his own path. However, the introduction of Min and her visions immediately told me that this would be a long m

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Eye of the World, Chapters 1-9

I'll be posting blog thoughts as I re-read WOT in anticipation of the AMOL release. Some will be in line with Leigh Butler's re-read at tor.com, other blog posts will be at random.   One thing that jumped out at me from Chapter 4-how did Thom know Padan Fain from before they both appeared in Emond's Field? Perhaps it was in Thom's various travels, but I found that quite interesting on this re-read.   The LOTR flavor is unavoidable in these first chapters, but you can already sense Jordan ma

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Catching up

Since my last post, I've gotten even busier with work which has cut down on my reading time. However, I did give up on Fortress in the Eye of Time almost halfway through it. I had heard good things about the book and CJ Cherryh, but I simply couldn't get hooked into it. I may try it at some other time, but I've moved on for now.   I did read the short story version of New Spring that was posted in Legends. I simply don't get much out of this story. Part of the reason is that this was inte

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Back from hiatus

I haven't posted in awhile because I've been superbusy with life and work. However, I have kept up with reading outside of WOT, and am going to start a WOT re-read in anticipation of the AMOL release. I'll be posting my quick thoughts during the re-read on here, along with other books I'm reading in the interim.   I'm not sure if I'll backpost any reviews of other books I've read since I last posted several months ago, but this is what I've read since then: Heir of Sea and Fire (Vol.2 of Ri

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Review of Dune, by Frank Herbert

First off, Herbert has done an incredible job building and detailing his world of Arrakis. There is a clearly defined mythology, religion, political system, philosophy and ecology in this world. Despite all the introduced terminology in the book, I feel it is easy enough for the reader to pick up and understand these new terms.   Having said that, I did not find the main characters, or many of the other characters, interesting. Paul and Jessica are unappealing characters because of their se

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Review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter Thompson

There are several hilarious vignettes throughout this story, most notably surrounding the drug convention. The depiction of the convention hopelessly outdated between the sound system and the self-made drug expert is damn funny ("Their sound system looked like something Ulysses S. Grant might have triggered up to address his troops during the Siege of Vicksburg." Thompson/Duke's clear disdain of the drug expert resonates today, with a never-ending battalion of self-made "experts" that are ready

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Review of Bell of Sealey Head, by Patricia McKillip

I'm just amazed how a writer can spin out one great fantasy book after another. I truly feel sorry for those that have not read McKillip yet, but they are in for an eye opening experience for sure.   This book centers around Aislinn House-in our world it is slowly decaying, while in another world it is a castle locked in stasis. The castle is slowly unlocked to us, literally door by door. It falls to the youngest princess of the castle, Ysabo, to determine if she will continue the linear ri

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Review of Game of Thrones (Book 1 of Song of Ice and Fire)

I just finished re-reading Game of Thrones for the first time in about 14 years, and I'm struck by how tightly wound the narrative is throughout the book. Told through several different viewpoints, it shows the crumbling of the kingdom as it gives way to several splinters of forces contending through the throne. It is tense from the outset, as Ned Stark is being forced into a position he never wanted. The reader can feel Ned's agitation throughout the book at trying to hold together the kingd

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Review of Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson

While most fantasy readers know him as the one who is helping to finish the Wheel of Time, fantasy readers are doing themselves a disservice my not reading this tome. Sanderson puts the protagonist Prince Raoden into a fall from grace on the first page as he is inflicted with the curse of Elantris. As the cover description states, Elantris was once the home of godlike beings that could heal nearly any affliction. But 10 years prior, the curse of the Shaod struck and rendered the Elantrians impot

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Review of Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

As I read the first 50 pages of Brave New World, I could not help but compare it to Orwell's 1984. However, Brave New World definitely carves its own niche (not to mention it was published well before 1984). While quite witty throughout, it also gives a chilling look at the price of instant gratification at the cost of high art.   It's interesting how Huxley's viewpoints change from the Director, to Lenina, before spending a good amount of time on Bernard Marx. The focal viewpoint seems to be

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Review of Enchanters' End Game (Book 5 of the Belgariad), by David Eddings

The final book of the Belgariad continues the two plot threads begun in the previous book: one thread with Garion's quest to Cthol Mishrak, and the other chronicling the war. Strangely, the first part of the book (Gar Og Nadrak) is the part I found most enjoyable of the book. It shows an Angarak nation caught in the middle and desperately trying to stay out of the coming war. I really enjoyed the scenes in Morindland with the magicians. Eddings did a good job detailing the preparations made by B

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Review of Castle of Wizardry (Book 4 of the Belgariad), by David Eddings

I've been re-reading the Belgariad for the first time in 20 years, and was surprised at how strong this book was upon re-read. One can tell how Eddings has matured as a writer from Magician's Gambit to Castle of Wizardry. An example of this is when Garion creates the flower for his cousin, Adara-the reader can sense the quiet intensity of this scene as the flower is left behind while they ride away. This is the first example of such a scene in the Belgariad (although there are other examples)

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Review of Magician's Gambit (Book 3 of the Belgariad), by David Eddings

Magician's Gambit starts off a little slow, with an awkward scene where Ce' Nedra makes Mandorallen her personal knight to make Garion jealous. Even in that awkward scene though, Eddings deftly shows the dynamics between Durnik and Ce'Nedra, as well as between Garion and Mandorallen. One of Eddings' strengths is his ability to put two characters together in a scene where they normally would have no interaction, and in this case it comes off well. This is also the first time in the series wher

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Review of Queen of Sorcery (Book 2 of Belgariad), by David Eddings

Eddings begins his device of dividing up the parts of a book pertaining to the geographic area where the characters are currently located. The first part, set in Arendia, does drag from the ponderous and repetitive courtly dialogue. Mandorallen does come across as one-dimensional, even in spite of the soap opera side plot he has with a married princess in that realm.   The second part of the book brings the reader to Tolnedra, which introduces us to the imperial princess, Ce'Nedra. While ther

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Review of Pawn of Prophecy (Vol. 1 of Belgariad), by David Eddings

I just re-read Pawn of Prophecy for the first time in about 20 years. Although it's not as sophisticated as some other fantasy series (e.g. Wheel of Time), it doesn't need to be on that level. Eddings does a good job of introducing us to Garion, Belgarath, Polgara, Durnik, Silk and Barak. He starts off in the first quarter of the book covering Garion's perspective as he grows up on Faldor's Farm, and slowly increases the scope beyond the farm as Garion is slowly brought into the mix of a larg

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Review of The Boys of Summer, by Roger Kahn

I cannot believe it took me this long to finally getting around to reading this book, but well worth the wait. Roger Kahn is a remarkable writer, weaving his poetic imagery between the games he covered for the defunct New York Herald Tribune. While the book is about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950's, the book subsequently becomes about what happens to athletes when their bodies begin to break down and they are forced to begin the next phase of their life.   The pages are tinged with nosta

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Review of Shadowmarch (Volume 1 of Shadowmarch series), by Tad Williams

I am a huge fan of Williams' previous fantasy series Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, so I was excited to start up this series. The first third of the book kicks off nicely with a decent background of the land and how it was shaped to the present day of the series. This section also shows the challenges facing the March Kingdoms, especially the power vacuum created at Shadowmarch Castle.   However, the second third of the book draaaaaags. This section tries to detail the court intrigue not just in

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Shadowmarch, Part 2

Ok, Part 2 of this book definitely dragged. While there's always a segment required for setup of an introductory book in a series, it felt that little of import took place in this section. This section was devoted to a scouting mission that encountered the Shadowline and saw the Qar army, getting a glimpse of the threat facing Shadowmarch. There were other parts devoted to the new mistress of the god-king of Xar, along with sections with Chert trying to track down the boy Flint with the mouse

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Shadowmarch, Part 1

I had read some critical reviews of Shadowmarch indicating that this series was a copycat of Williams earlier fantasy series Memory, Sorrow & Thorn. While the initial section does center around a castle as well, Williams has certainly deviated from his previous series. He has expanded the scope to include several character point of views, whereas in Memory Sorrow & Thorn the initial section was told from one character's viewpoint. The races appear to be quiet different than what appea

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