Second book in the series, second book I've read in Spanish and I want more! The events of book two take place between 10 and 15 years after the conclSecond book in the series, second book I've read in Spanish and I want more! The events of book two take place between 10 and 15 years after the conclusion of book one.
Dana is the Mistress of the Tower. She is in charge of four students. Salamandra is the newest addition to the Tower. She is a young and impulsive creature who has a thing for mysterious elf-wolf Fenris ever since he saved her from the stake... though she probably could have done that herself. Let's just say that her name Salamandra is a name she's chosen for herself and not the one her parents gave her.
Following Maritta's death, Kai briefly visits Dana to warn her of the soon to come revenge of her old Master. Dana is split between finding a way to keep Kai by her sides and her duty as Mistress of the Tower to protect her students and her school.
But an elven powerful witch who has been entrusted the security and education of spoiled though talented elven princess, Nawin, visits the Tower. This only mean one thing for Dana: further complications.
I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one in the series. Gallego Garcia abandons Dana's sometimes flat character to explore the new members of the school, especially Salamandra who is nothing like her Mistress. This character brings a bit more spice to the overall series.
Additionally, certain revelations are made: we learn a bit more about Fenris's past.
If you've enjoyed the first one, this second one will also fulfill your expectations. A fantastic, light and fast paced read. Recommended to younger readers. ...less ...more
I'm fairly certain I don't have to introduce Cory Doctorow to any of you, but this book which came out in France two years ago is the first chance FreI'm fairly certain I don't have to introduce Cory Doctorow to any of you, but this book which came out in France two years ago is the first chance French readers got to discover this Canadian author. I'm sorry to say that the book almost went unnoticed on this side of the Atlantic. But then, when you see the (hideous!) cover art and the fact that it was immediately released in paperback and simply didn't get the attention it deserved publicity-wise, you can understand why. I'm hoping that it will still catch some French publishers' attention and that they will continue publishing Doctorow in France, especially considering the success of his latest YA novel "Little Brother".
Anyway, this was not my first experience with Cory Doctorow. Though I never reviewed it, I did listen to his own reading of his novel "Eastern Standard Time" on his podcast. So I knew what to expect of this author and what not to and well, knowing that, I wasn't disappointed.
Welcome to the future, where death is dead and so are money and work... so basically the world is nothing like the one we know. That's Bitchun Society for you. Only one thing matters and that is your level of whuffies which tells others about your social level and is defined according to your experience and good (or bad) deeds. Julius is one of the old ones, one who has experienced the world prior to the Bitchun Society. He has had the time to learn ten languages, compose three symphonies and currently lives in Disney World with his girlfriend. Everything is perfectly fine until an old friend of his, Dan, shows up. Dan wants to put a permanent end to his own days, no time off for a thousand years or so waiting for something thrilling to happen to humanity, no more downloading his consciousness into a new cloned body, Dan just wants to end this once and for all. He just can't seem to...
I've read elsewhere that some consider this a light and shallow novel. I disagree completely though I have an idea as to where this criticism is coming from. When you read a Doctorow novel (this has been my experience with the two novels of his I've read so far) you're not reading it for character development or psychology. Nope. You're reading to explore new concepts and see the conclusions and reflexions you can draw from them. In short, you're reading for the "science" bit in science fiction.
Let me point out the fact that I am in no way depreciating or minimizing Cory Doctorow's work. I really like what he does, his works have always introduced me to new perceptions of the world and made me realize how tied my thinking was to the contemporary world and traditional conceptions. This guy's really made me think. And he knows how to set up his stories and bring forth the reflexions and notions we wants to put through them. And that alone is pretty cool.
I'm just emphasizing the fact that it's not the characters you get attached to, it's the technological concepts of the story that stay with you. Overall, I would say that this is a short and interesting read that will easily appeal to cyberpunk or hard science fans. ...more
I might never have read this series hadn't it been for the TV show Legend of the Seeker. It's not that I found the TV series so good that it made wantI might never have read this series hadn't it been for the TV show Legend of the Seeker. It's not that I found the TV series so good that it made want to read the books. Quite the contrary, it was the irregular quality of the episodes that gave me the sense that something good lay underneath all this and I wanted to check out the source material for myself.
Again, this is one of those fantasy novels that begins like any other fantasy novel: evil leader wants to conquer the world, chosen one armed with his magical sword aided by a wizard and other supernatural beings and creatures will go on a quest to right the wrongs of said evildoer. The beginning is quite boring really, and then, something happens, something unexpected and which was probably even more unexpected back in 1994: the main character gets pretty graphically tortured by a Mord Sith and believe me that those SM scenes have nothing to do with Jacqueline Carey's. Like it or not, that's the moment when you realize that this is not fantasy for children. Pedophilia, sex and rape are among the subjects broached in the first book and so are issues of power, especially with regards to Richard's use of the sword (phallic symbol much? Let's not get too Freudian...).
So these delicate subjects are dealt with in the novel that doesn't mean that it is always done in the most intelligent way especially when it comes to the portrayal of women in Goodkind's medieval society. Again, this is a matter of perspective. As I've already mentioned in a previous review, I do not like the rape (or near rape) of women to be used as a plot device meant to trigger the narration. Plus, as far as female characters are concerned, the first book only gives us examples of women that are either broken creatures who take pleasure in inflicting pain or beings full of love but unable to control their powers (meaning their love) and condemned to be forever alone because of it. And I'll admit that I prefer Kahlan's character in the TV series to the Kahlan in the book but hey, there's a 20 year gap between the two so that might explain it.
The one thing that I appreciated throughout the novel is how Goodkind made a point at stating and demonstrating that all actions have consequences and that good and bad are two faces of the same coin. Evil is never purely evil, Goodkind always gives us the reasons behind the characters' actions and not giving into traditional Manichean fantasy settings. Same goes for good: the consequences of Richard's use of the Sword of Truth are pretty severe. Victory is not assured just because Richard possesses the sword. It's a lot more complicated than that and Goodkind smartly weaves issues of power with the rules of magic he's set up in his world.
This novel is far from perfect. I can understand how the treatment of female characters could prevent some readers from reading the rest of the series. I listened to the first one as an audio book and have the second one that I hope to be able to get to soon. While I do regard this series with a critical eye, I can also see in what regards it might have been ground-breaking at the time of its publication.
Once again, the myth of King Arthur is taken and made into fiction. While I found it at first difficult to truly get in the story, after a few pages,Once again, the myth of King Arthur is taken and made into fiction. While I found it at first difficult to truly get in the story, after a few pages, this first narration fiction really caught me. It’s a sweet children’s story and is not pretending to be anything more. It was entertaining and if you’re a sucker for Arthurian legends like I am, you’ll definitely enjoy it. I will certainly read the two following books of this series if I come across them....more
think I can honestly say that I *liked* this book. It was a light, funny read. I wasn’t completely cracked up but I wasn’t bored either. The idea of Hthink I can honestly say that I *liked* this book. It was a light, funny read. I wasn’t completely cracked up but I wasn’t bored either. The idea of Heaven and Hell is an ideal one for a parody, or at least a humoristic work. In Only Human, God and his eldest son Jay go away on a fishing trip leaving things in the hand of Kevin (God’s younger son)… well, things concerning the Cosmo are supposed to be in the hands of Mainframe, God’s computer designed by KIC… until Kevin decides to push a few keys and pouf! A several century old painting takes over the body of a young attractive accountant at KIC, Britain’s Prime Minister ends up stuck in a lemming, a bored machine takes the place of the human in charge of keeping an eye on him and a Duke of Hell switches body with a vicar… interesting beginning, isn’t? But things take yet another turn as Kevin who still doesn’t know what he’s doing, tries to make things right. Result: a permanent eclipse, an overzealous robot, an alien coming in peace, a living limited company throwing doughnuts at police officers. May I quote Joshua by saying “This is wack�? because there’ truly no other word. I think it was a nice introduction to this other’s style and I will probably pick other books from him in the future if I’m looking for an original light and entertaining read but I can’t live off humoristic fantasy. But then, that’s just me....more
I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoyed this book. It’s about 800 pages long and quite large but once I started it, I just had to keep it with mI cannot begin to describe how much I enjoyed this book. It’s about 800 pages long and quite large but once I started it, I just had to keep it with me at all times even just to read a few extra sentences between classes. This was mainly Morgan’s story though the way her mother, Igraine fell in love with Uther Pendragon, Arthur’s father is related in details. We also get detailed concerning the Lancelet-Gwenwyfar-Arthur triangle; often of Viviane’s point of view as well. I was a fresh new look at fantasy because, being written from a women’s point of view, there were no battle descriptions and such… and while I love epic stories, it’s nice to read something else once in a while. Other than that, it gave clear details concerning women’s condition at the time… opposing what Catholicism to Celtic beliefs (Avalon and the Merlin’s belief in the Lady). I’m a sucker for Arthurian legends but this book brought up historical notions that I never even suspected…; especially on a religious ground. While I am aware that the author had to bend history so that it would fit her story, the way christianism was brought to Britain and the way the Saxons settled there were nicely portrayed. I enjoyed the complexity of the plot, the way Morgan would constantly try to disentangle her emotions and what she wanted to do form what the Goddess wanted her to do. The author has done an excellent work at characterization, emphasizing the differences and similarities of those women and also the complexity of their relationships and interactions. Overall, every great men had a women at his side and she influenced him in a positive or negative way... even though Catholicism claimed that women should basically keep their mouth shuts. It gave a greater meaning to the saying “Behind every great man, there is a great woman"....more
This is the second book in the young adult series of Pendragon. I'm really enjoying this series so far... I like the whole traveler concept and the wrThis is the second book in the young adult series of Pendragon. I'm really enjoying this series so far... I like the whole traveler concept and the writing style is as light and funny as it was the first book....more
This is Le Cercle d'Atuan book club March title. It is a re-read though details are so blurry that it might as well be a first read. We're spreading tThis is Le Cercle d'Atuan book club March title. It is a re-read though details are so blurry that it might as well be a first read. We're spreading this one throughout the whole month. ...more
I really think the editor should've written a preface in which he explained exactly how much and how Fritz Leiber changed fantasy and more especiallyI really think the editor should've written a preface in which he explained exactly how much and how Fritz Leiber changed fantasy and more especially sword and sorcery. Because it really feels like an old and outdated story. ...more
Kushiel’s Chosen being the second book by Carey that I’ve read, I guess you can say that I’m slowly getting accustomed to her style and characters. ForKushiel’s Chosen being the second book by Carey that I’ve read, I guess you can say that I’m slowly getting accustomed to her style and characters. For one thing, it felt relaxing going back to characters I’d grown to appreciate in the first book, namely Phèdre and Joscelin but also Ysandre and Drustan. The question as to how Melisande had managed to escape from her cell was the main question throughout the first pages as well as to her current whereabouts. The writing is as in the previous book excellent, you always this impression of clear water flowing out of a fountain even in the most awful moments. The main plot is cleverly woven and is smartly intertwined with several subplots. Plan within plans as Phèdre points out. The political intrigues of both the court of Terre d’Ange and that of La Serenissima are a delight to those who enjoy such things in a novel, I know I do. Characterization is at its best. It’s nice to see Ysandre bloom in her role as queen and wife and we just wish the heroin could find a similar balance in her life. Joscelin and Phèdre split up in the first few pages, once she announces that she wishes to return to the service of Namaah… can hardly blame to poor fellow but then, these D’Angelines always have a surprising way of seeing things. Gods whether they be D’Angelines (Namaah, Kushiel and Cassiel) or foreign (Asherat of the sea) are omnipresent as Phèdre often claims that she is guided by them and it’s hard to believe she would ever have succeeded all that she has managed to without a little divine help. This only adds a touch of originality to the whole trilogy as religion is very little often treated in the way Carey treats it in other fantasy novels. One main criticism that I wish to mention however, would be the same as the one for previous book and more than likely will one in the third and final book of this trilogy, namely, the length of each tome. While I am never truly bored while reading Carey’s books and never finding any real flaws in her writing or plotting, I still find her books are a bit too long for comfort… perhaps some of the subplots weren’t quite necessary. I’m sure that after everything that Phèdre’s gone through, the reader wouldn’t have mind a bit less vicissitudes but then, that’s just my personal advice and it’s but a minor one… really....more