I've always wondered about this story, but never actually read it, maybe because I didn't have a copy, or maybe because it always seemed more like a mI've always wondered about this story, but never actually read it, maybe because I didn't have a copy, or maybe because it always seemed more like a myth than an actual story. As it turns out, it is an actual story and in this translated version, pretty damn readable.
The story is simple: King Arthur is having a party with all his knights of the round table (and many more), when suddenly a mysterious Green Knight appears. He isn't all that impressed with all these knights, whom he could easily beat in a proper fight, but he does want to play a little game with them. This game, however, is a strange one; one strike each, to chop off the other's head. The knight who decides to play, can go first. At first, King Arthur is outraged by this, picking up the gauntlet in rage, but then the more sensible knight, Sir Gawain, steps in. He is ready to take on this challenge, if his king will allow it.
Great story and I can see how many sword & sorcery writers have gotten some inspiration from this. Highly recommended....more
Ray Bradbury, there is a name that has made an impact on the world of science fiction, and in fact, literature in general. This book has a wonderful tRay Bradbury, there is a name that has made an impact on the world of science fiction, and in fact, literature in general. This book has a wonderful title, The Golden Apples of the Sun; a title that conjures both images of creation, I mean, an apple can be a great tool of temptation, as well as fairy tales and even science fiction. Why else mention the sun?
Reading the blurb at the back of the old paperback book, I am still no wiser on what to actually expect of this collection of stories, but I am intrigued. Now to actually dive into the stories of the weird and improbable!
This is a review in progress, and as I read the shortstories, I will add small reviews of each story to let you know whether or not this is an anthology right up your sleeve. Anyways, no more talk, lets get down to business!
The Fog Horn (8 pages) On a cliff near the Great Sea stands a lighthouse. Two men are the keepers, a young man, new to the business and an old man, ready to pass on the torch. However, this very night is special, on this very night, the old man has observed something special for the last three years and he is expecting to see it again tonight. This story is wonderfully told and reminded me why I love reading shortstories. With so few words at your disposal, you must choose them carefully, a precision that I love and respect. The Fog Horn is not science fiction, it is much closer to a tale of creation and myth, and yet, it is all its own. Simply amazing. (5 stars)
The Pedestrian* (5 pages) This story shows us a very bleak future indeed, where an artist (or writer) will have a hard time surviving. I mean, if you are not allowed outside, how are you supposed to get inspired? I read this story three times before I could really appreciate the story, but then it blew me away! Highly recommended! (5 stars)
The April Witch (9 pages) Cecy is a small April Witch who has taken a small trip away from her parents. She is out to experience the world and everything that it has to offer, when she gets the idea that she wants to be in love. Luckily, a beautiful girl, Ann Leary, comes along, the perfect victim for the schemes of this little mysterious creature. This story was somewhat of a surprise, as it is very different from anything I've read from the pen of Ray Bradbury, and honestly, I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. One thing is sure enough, it has been written with the same lightness and sense of the poetic as the rest of the stories. Very interesting. (3 stars)
The Wilderness (9 pages) Two women are waiting to leave earth. They are going to Mars to meet the men, however, Janice has a fear of the great darkness and is unsure whether or not she actually wants to go, until she one day gets a call from her man, Will. He doesn't have more than a minute to talk, and all that Janice actually hears is the word... Love. Ok, I deeply apologize to all who have read this story and actually knows what is going on. I guess if I had lived back in the year 1952, I might have had a better chance of understanding this, but living in 2016, I was lost when he started making a society where the men went to Mars, leaving all the women behind. (1 star)
The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (10 pages) A man, William Acton, has killed another man. Now he must try to cover it up. Prints must be found and removed! The walls, the cutlery... the fruit at the bottom of the bowl! There are prints everywhere! Reading this wonderful little story, it is nice to see the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, walking in the hallways of Mr. Bradbury's pen and paper. Yep, this story must be an ode to the old master of horror, and yet, it is all its own... of course. (3.5 stars)
Invisible Boy* (9 pages) Invisible boy is (finally) a fantasy story. I say finally, because the cover announces that the entire book is "A Masterwork of Fantasy". This story is about an old lady (incidently called... Old Lady) who, apparently, is a little lonely and therefore seeks the company of a boy. He eludes her, but is finally captivated by the idea of becoming invisible. An ok read, but with a rather tricky ending. I normally love tricky endings, but I am not sure that I got this one. (2.5 stars)
The Flying Machine* (5 pages) This is the story of how a farmer invented the Flying Machine a long time ago... in ancient China. However, when the Emperor sees the man flying through the air, he becomes afraid, for what if this device fell into the hands of someone evil... The story raises some interesting questions and even now, I am still unsure of what the emperor did was the right thing to do... (2.5 stars)
The Murderer (8 pages) Reading this little story about a man who is tired of all the voices that surround him, the phones, the tv, the radios, the advertisements... you wonder if Bradbury could predict the future. Sure, even in the 1950s, there were all these electronic devices, but imagine if he wrote the story today, with the iphones, ipads, iwatches, internet... you get the picture. This story has a nice little message, although, I would rather learn to cope with all the different voices that surround me, than sit in a small room surrounded by silence. Highly recommended. (4 stars)
The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind (5 pages) A tale of two cities, two cities competing, competing for visitors and traders. When one city builds a wall that looks like an orange, the other builds one that looks like a pig; a pig that will devour the orange, and therefore win the favor of the visitors. This tale is weird, and yet also quite insightful. This is sort of how the world behaves today, and therefore... the story becomes strangely relevant, even though its backdrop are two fighting mandarins and two chinese cities. Recommended. (3 stars)
I see you never (4 pages) This is the tale of a mexican named Mr. Ramirez, a man who is abort to be deported from the States, or more importantly, from the house of Mrs. O'Brien, where he has been renting a room. This story is very different from the others and has such a weird and open ending. (2 stars)
Embroidery (4 pages) Three women are sitting and embroidering. Are these ordinary woman, or maybe three goddesses, threading the fates of men, or maybe even, their own fates? Honestly... I have no idea, but there is something intriguing about this tale. (2 stars)
The Big Black and White Game (11 pages) Once a year, the black and white people play a game of baseball. During this match, the bounderies between the two races are broken down, or rather... the roles are reversed. Suddenly, it is the black people who are superior, and this does not sit well with the white women who has come to match their men beat the blacks. Another story that is surprisingly down to earth and extremely relevant today. I could easily see myself using this story in my teachings. Highly recommended! (4 stars)
A Sound of Thunder (12 pages) What if time travelling was a real option? What would you use it for? In this story, the time machine is in the hands of a big cooperation who use it to hunt down dinosaurs, basically... a time safari! This story might have been more original in its own time, but today... it feels like a story we have heard so many times before. However, I would recommend that you read this story instead of watching the movie. (2 stars)
The Great Wide World Over There (11 pages) A woman, Cora, lives in a valley far away from the rest of the world. This is her world, but she can't stop dreaming of the world outside her valley. If only her nephew, Benjy, would return. He could teach her to write and imagine all the letters she could write, and especially... all the letters she could receive! She would need a wonderful mailbox, a mailbox that was so much bigger than her neighbours, Mrs. Brabbam. I can easily imagine readers totally underestimate this little story. Not me though, I can totally relate. In fact, this story made me think of a time not long ago, 20 years, when the Internet was new and interesting. I read everything, and all I could think of was to get the next thing that would make the internet even faster, preferably better than what my friends had. Its even there, in the title... almost. (4 stars)
Powerhouse (9 pages) The story about a woman whose mother has died, about a woman who fears many things and her meeting with a strange house that changes her. Yeah, I wasn't totally hooked on this story, there was just something about the language and I don't think I understood what was truly going on with the woman. (1.5 stars)
En La Noche (5 pages) Mrs. Navarrez is crying all the time, screaming her husband's name. He has gone off to a war somewhere, and her sadness is just too great. However, Mrs. Navarrez is not the only one to suffer, all the other people, living in her building, suffers as well, perhaps even more so. There is just no sleep with all that crying all the time! Not much of a story, but I do wonder what it was that Mr. Villanazul did or said to her in the end. (2 stars)
Sun and Shadow (7 pages) Ricardo is tired of all these rich and pretentious photographers and models who come to his house and neighbourhood, to use his cracks in the wall for their pictures. One day he makes a stand to prove his point, to prove that he is more than what he appears to be. Nice little story with heart. I like Ricardo, an everyday hero. (3 stars)
The Meadow (13 pages) A night watchman is walking among a hundred cities and nations, seeing the shadows off all those who walked here before him. Unfortunately, these are only set pieces for a studio, and they are about to be torn down, maybe to make room for new places. But nothing is going anywhere, not if the night watchman has anything to say about it! Wonderful story with a lot of heart. Highly recommended! (4 stars)
The Garbage Collector (5 pages) Times are a-changin! The life of a garbage collector is no longer as simple as it used to be, now they have to help out in a time of crisis. Took me a while to get into this story, even though it is only 5 pages long, but I kinda like it, even though it's a bit over the top. (2.5 stars)
The Great Fire (7 pages) Honestly, I don't really know whats going on in this story. Something about the heat, a family and a marriage. Too much dialogue in this one and it lacks coherency, or maybe... just maybe... it's me who is stupid. (1 star)
Hail and Farewell* (9 pages) This is a story about a boy (or man) who does not age, at least, not in the same rate like the rest of us. It felt like it was going nowhere with its story and therefore... pointless. (1.5 stars)
The Golden Apples of the Sun (6 pages) A spaceship is hurtling towards the sun, its captain bend on dipping his Cup into the warm embrace of the everlasting fires. Man has always been obssessed with fire and the sun, and with good reason. However, where do you go once your obsession has been satisfied? Not my favorite story of the bunch, too many obvious symbols and not that much heart. (1.5 stars)
* these reviews have been taken from other reviews of anthologies that featured the same stories. I might read them again, and who knows, might opinion might change, but... I doubt it....more
The Dragon Keepers have arrived at the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra. It has been a dangerous journey, but having found the city of their dreamsThe Dragon Keepers have arrived at the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra. It has been a dangerous journey, but having found the city of their dreams, their troubles are far from over. The river is impossible to cross with Tarman and so they are caught on the far bank. If only the dragons had learned how to fly. One of them has, though, and she takes her keeper into the city to see its wonders.
I love the world of Fitz and the Fool, and it was nice to finally get to experience some of Chalced, however, the book has too many stories and not enough space to tell them. Also, to be honest, I was a bit sad that we didn't learn more about the City of Dragons... since that is the name of the book. Through the eyes of the Dragon Keepers, the city seems a bit too ordinary, and sure, being Elderlings (most of them) it should be more ordinary than how Fitz and the Fool would experience it, but still...
It is not a bad book, far from it, but it lacks the depth and immersion of a Fitz book, and doesn't manage to paint a big picture of the world with all those perspectives. And also, those short bird intros still bother me, yes, we get it, Dragon Keepers/Bird Keepers, and yes, we get that you try to mirror the events in the big world, in the small world of the bird keepers, but honestly, it's just not very... interesting.
This anthology was bought only because of the Robin Hobb story within, but who knows, I might eventually end up reading all the stories within. This iThis anthology was bought only because of the Robin Hobb story within, but who knows, I might eventually end up reading all the stories within. This is a review-in-progress, so I will add short reviews as I read the stories.
Blue Boots (by Robin Hobb) is the story of a young woman named Timbal and her love for the minstrel Azen. There is another story as well, of a crippled lord who cannot have children and who plans a hoax to get an heir. I love the setting of the Six Duchies and the Realm of the Elderlings, but honestly, this story was not all that interesting. It lacks interesting characters and a proper story to captivate the reader. Since this story adds nothing new to the setting, it should probably just have been set in a generic setting, but then again, had she done that, it would have had little appeal to readers. Honestly, I feel a little cheated by this story. (2 stars)...more
I have marked this anthology as being "read", but in truth, I have merely read a few of the stories. This is a review-in-progress, meaning that whenevI have marked this anthology as being "read", but in truth, I have merely read a few of the stories. This is a review-in-progress, meaning that whenever I read one of the shortstories trapped within, I will make a short review of it here, and so... with each passing day, the review will grow.
I will not start at the beginning, however, since I am more of a Robin Hobb fan than a Megan Lindholm fan, so, I shall start at the beginning of part II instead.
Homecoming is the story of a jamaillian noblewoman named Carillion, who finds herself an exile of the city of her birth, sent to the Rain Wilds to colonize this new land. Her fate seems a terrible fate, but she soon grows to love and understand the new land. The story is written as a diary, and while I love Robin Hobb's first person perspective, I was a little uneasy about this in the beginning. However, as I followed Carillion into the dangerous and musterious Rain Wilds, reading about her changes and those of her children, I was wholeheartedly convinced by the end. If you love the setting of Fitz and the Fool, who cannot miss out on this story, and I have a sense that this story might have inspired Robin Hobb to have written her Rain Wilds Chronicles... but that is just a guess on my part, and probably has no foundation in reality. (4,5 stars) ...more
It is admittedly a long time since I read the books about Fitz and the Fool, and I may indeed have forgotten the historic fragments that told of the PIt is admittedly a long time since I read the books about Fitz and the Fool, and I may indeed have forgotten the historic fragments that told of the Piebald Prince, but having finally found my courage to read this book, I have no regrets of my decision. This book, as all the books by Robin Hobb, is told with a sense of detail that is unlike any I've ever read. Should you happen to find a volume of this most precious books in the darkest corners of your library, you must consider yourself lucky, or indeed charmed, and instantly turn the pages, one by one, slowly devouring the wonderful contents.
The Story... I shall spoil as little as possible and say only this... this is the story about the Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince, as told by the maid, Felicity. I use maid in lack of a better word, because this woman was so much more... she was a scholar and a truthbearer in her own small way.
My Judgment... If you love the world of the Farseers as much as I do, you must not let this book pass unnoticed by you. It might have nothing, or very little to do with either Fitz or the Fool, and yet, in the ways of history, it has everything to do with both of those. And even if the book didn't, you can sense them in every tormenting line of the book...
I will finish my short review with only these words, that this book... bestowed upon me the need to go back to those wonderful books that captivated me more than... 10-15 years ago. And for that, if nothing else, this book has served a purpose unlike any other....more
I've always loved Charles de Lint since I read a story by him, about a man and the tree from his childhood. I don't remember all the details, as you cI've always loved Charles de Lint since I read a story by him, about a man and the tree from his childhood. I don't remember all the details, as you can clearly tell (its been maybe... 10-13 years since I read it), but I remember the feeling that I had when I read the story and it was a warm feeling, but also that this story was somehow directly connected to me and my life (I had a tree much like that in my backyard).
Anyways, years later I pick up this collection on a whim and drops it off at the Shelf of Lost Stories. I want to read it, but I also want to read about... 546 other books. However, maybe a year later, I start to read the first story, but it becomes clear to me that I am definitely not ready for the book yet, and so I put it back on its place on the Shelf.
But four days ago, I finally spot the book again and have this incredible feeling that I am ready to delve into its secret and lo and behold... I was, and... am.
Since this is a collection of shortstories, this will be another review-in-progress where I will write a short review of each story as I read them. As has become the norm of late... I will start at the very beginning.
Ten for the Devil (45 pages) Staley is a young woman who lives in the rez, in a trailer, and who loves to play her very special blue fiddle. One day she is dropped off not far from her home and when she plays her fiddle on a whim, she accidently summons something from the otherworld. She brings a rabbit, a skinchanger, with her to her friends, all in the hopes that they can tell her what is going on. Great story with a lot of mysterious insight into the world that we live in. The ending left a little to be desired, as it ended rather quickly, however, this story still comes highly recommended. (4 stars)
Wingless Angels (17 pages) A man finds a camera one day, with strange pictures dated a week later. Not only that, it also appears that the strange creatures on the picture is killing a man. Is the guy losing his mind, or is this another weird occurence in the town of Newford? This wont ever be my favorite Newford story as it lacks the beauty of other Newford stories, but... I might have to go back to it one day. (2 stars)...more
This little book doesn't look like much, which is probably why I had totally forgotten about it, however, when you look inside, you soon realize thatThis little book doesn't look like much, which is probably why I had totally forgotten about it, however, when you look inside, you soon realize that it is full of big and interesting names. I think it just might be time to read a few of these stories, if not all of them.
This is a review-in-progress, and I will post short reviews of each shortstory, as I read them of course. The first one, Pelt, looks interesting, so lets start there...
Pelt by Carol Emshwiller (11 pages) A galactic hunter has arrived at an ice-world named Jaxa. He has brought his dog and hunting companion. However, something ancient lives here, something that cherishes the freedom of all. Soon, the dog finds itself craving this freedom, but will the urge be strong enough for it to leave its master behind? Nice story, told in a very appropriate slow pace. I particular liked the point of view from the dog's perspective, and the alien nature of this new world. Recommended. (3.5 stars)
Triggerman by J.F. Bone (12 pages) A man is sitting in a small room below ground, in something called the Center. He has the power to unleash World War III... so what does he do when Washington is destroyed by a "bogey" and the president and Joint chiefs are killed? Well-written and surely makes you think, but today the thought of a button like that and one man on the trigger seems a little... far-fetched. (2 stars)
The Prize of Peril by Robert Sheckley (20 pages) In the future, being a reality star is actually... dangerous (perhaps deadly is a better word actually). What people won't do for money, crashing an airplane, diving with sharks and then... hunted down by actual, professional killers. In today's world, it is not so far-fetched, people will do insane things for money. The ending, though, seemed a little weird. I mean, now that he has done all that... and survived... why would he... (2.5 stars)
Hickory, Dickory, Kerouac by Richard Gehman (3 pages) A story about a hipster mouse who digs a lot of stuff and who has tried the pot, the pan, everything really... in the kitchen! A (very) weird story, with a certain charm for sure, but I fail to see how it relates to science fiction. (2 stars)
The Yellow Pill by Rog Phillips (14 pages) A murderer is presented to a doctor. Neither of them believes in the other one's reality, and yet, they both try to... only the doctor needs a yellow pill to help him along the way. This story has my head spinning, a true mindbender. I am still not sure what to think of the ending, but it is kinda a fun run while you are reading it. (3 stars)
River of Riches by Gerald Kersh (14 pages) A man enters a bar with a crazy story about emeralds, gold and a strange game of nuts. He seems like a charlatan, but the listener starts to believe that he might indeed be telling the truth about the River of Riches. A fun tale that will keep you captivated for sure. Not sure why this ended up in an anthology of science fiction stories, though. (3 stars)
Satellite Passage by Theodore L. Thomas (11 pages) Two satellites are apparently on a course to collide. One of them is american, manned, and guess what, the other one is... russian, and also manned. It feels very much like these two are playing a game of chicken, because if they are manned, they should have every chance for moving away from eachothers courses. There were a lot of things wrong with this story and overall, it just felt very outdated and weird. (1 star)
Casey Agonistes by R.M. McKenna (12 pages) This story has a very unreliable narrator, a person locked up in an insane asylum, and for that reason, the story twists and turns and you need to pay attention to follow it. It had a lot of heart, but felt somewhat out of its element in this anthology. (2 stars)
Space-time for Springer by Fritz Leiber (13 pages) Gummitch is a special kitten (a superkitten actually), he has figured out the idea behind the mirrors and windows (about the Gummitch Double), he can teleport and any day now, he will be able to talk. However, one day something goes terrible wrong, and even with an IQ of 160, there is no going back from this. Weird story, but also a little bit wonderful. I've had a cat... and they do seem to act this way. Like they are the Masters of the Universe. (2.5 stars)
Or All the Seas With Oysters by Avram Davidson (11 pages) This story takes place in a small bikeshop run by two guys, Oscar and Ferd. These two guys are very different from eachother, where Oscar is open, social and likes girl a lot, Ferd seems the exact opposite. Ferd also likes nature, and keeps talking about how some animals can change shape and regenerate missing limbs... but when he starts talking about how his racer has the same attributes, because its a special... creature, something is not right with the world. A weird story, and even if I can accept a world where anything is possible, it still pains me as a biology teacher, to have to accept... this. (1.5 stars)
Ten-Story Jigsaw by Brian W. Aldiss (9 pages) This is a post-apocalyptic story from the other side of the world, Sydney, Australia. It tells the story of a couple of junkmen who flies around gathering stuff from abandoned buildings, right before they are pulled down. It is also a story that focuses too heavily on the plot twist by the end, and therefore drops the reader halfway through it. I could have enjoyed this story... had it had a different ending. (1 star)
Fresh Guy by E.C. Tubb (16 pages) A small group of misfits have gathered near The Tombstone. There is a ghoul, two vampires and a werewolf and they are all hungry. Apparently there aren't that many humans left and they have all hidden underground after something happened abbove ground (probably the same thing that made all these... monsters) However, hunger drives anyone to do weird things. Not a favorite story of mine, it took me too long to figure out what was going on here, and having read it, I am still not entirely sure. (1 star)
The Beautiful Things by Arthur Zirul (5 pages) Man are no longer the rulers of earth, the bears are. Man is still here, though, but hiding... always fearing the domination of bears. One day, a bear traps a man and find out that he can make the Beautiful Things. He has a plan to get more of these, but the next humans that he traps, thinks that the Beautiful Things is something else entirely. Amazing story, but yeah, in order to believe in it, you need to believe in bears as the dominant race on earth... but it'll be worth it. Easily the best story in the anthology at this point. (4 stars)
The Comedian's Children by Theodore Sturgeon (46 pages) A spaceship is sent to one of Saturn's moons, and when it arrives, it crashes and somehow releases some kind of disease that only target children. Now, some people wants to figure out this mystery, while others wants to take advantage of the children. Yes, with this story you are in for a Sturgeon experience. The story takes a few twists and turns along the way, and eventually ends up far from where it started. It dropped me a few times, but I managed to keep reading. By the end of it, though, I still had a few questions I wanted answered, but aint that always the case with Sturgeon... not a favorite Sturgeon story of mine. (2 stars)
The Short-Short Story of Mankind by John Steinbeck (6 pages) This is exactly what it says on the tin... a Short-Short story of Mankind. It takes us from the cave, to the birthing of the United Nations. Not much of a story though... or satire for that matter. (1 star)...more
Ok, I needed a fast injection of Science Fiction and so picked up this "little" book that had been resting (and gathering dust) on my shelf. To be comOk, I needed a fast injection of Science Fiction and so picked up this "little" book that had been resting (and gathering dust) on my shelf. To be completely honest, I have yet to read a really good Baen book (they always seem to have the feel of cheapness..), and so, my hopes are not that great for this one, although it does contain a couple of interesting names, like Gregory Benford and Gene Wolfe.
This is a review-in-progress, which means that I will add a small review of each individual shortstory as I read it. Starting at the very beginning, of course...
Dog Soldierby Garth Nix This is the story about man's best friend, the mechanical... dog! We are somewhere in the far galaxy, far away from Earth (what they call Terra). Here man is fighting a new three-armed race called Xene's and today our hero, Gillies gets a new toy to test out. I am no fan of a heavy science fiction language, as I like to understand what I am reading about. This story started out with a LOT of new words to understand, and while most of them certainly lost me, the story actually ended by surprising me with its... warmth and heart. Not a great read, but a solid one. (3 stars)
The Girl With the Killer Eyesby B.B. Kristopher Yep, the title says it all. This, however, is not science fiction, but a story about superhumans. In it we meet Jodie, a woman who has her first day at the FBSI, sort of an agency for superhumans who help fight superhuman crime. Her first task: A simple robbery. Personally, this story didn't offer me anything. It tried to be funny, but it didn't really work. (1 star)...more
The Story... Try to hang on and if you have questions afterwards, well, you must clearly read the book on your own!
A man wakes up surrounded by waterThe Story... Try to hang on and if you have questions afterwards, well, you must clearly read the book on your own!
A man wakes up surrounded by water. He fights his way to the shore where he learns that another person has washed ashore as well. A woman. He describes her as a swimmer, built for the ocean. He closes his eyes and when he opens them in the morning, the woman is gone. She has been taken by a tribe called the spine kings. These savages are cannibals and will sacrifice the woman when they reach a place called Kataptron Cove.
The man does not know who he is and soon finds that while he has no recollection of anywhere else, this place and its people are very strange indeed. Some grow trees from their shoulders, while others know how to shapechange. Whenever he meet a new group of people, he asks them about the world and how it was created, but will these stories reveal anything of his identity and past?
My Judgment... What sold me on this book was a reviewer on Goodreads who had stopped after 50 pages because it was too weird for him. This is always a positive thing in my book and therefore I began to read. After 50 pages, I was completely involved in the beautiful and mysterious story. One thing you must understand before reading this... it is almost like a long poem with lots of symbols and metaphors. The story is pretty straightforward, but if you want to dig a little deeper than the obvious... you will be richly rewarded.
In many ways, this story reminded me about Tanith Lee's Flat Earth stories. It has the same poetic language and fantastic world, although you will not meet any demons here. The ending was a little unfulfilling, but maybe there was something that I missed. The good thing is, now I have a reason to go back and read it one more time.
Also, I was a little uncertain about the genre, and had originally classified the book as both fantasy, horror and sci-fi, but now that I've read the book it is unmistakeably... fantasy!
This book comes fully recommended, at least by me....more
Before reading my review, you should know that I read the danish version, so there is a good chance that I will not translate certain words perfectlyBefore reading my review, you should know that I read the danish version, so there is a good chance that I will not translate certain words perfectly (at least according to the original book).
The Story... Denzil lives in the middle ages around 12-something. He is a wizard's apprentice, yet have already read a lot of his master's spells, even though he probably shouldn't have. He might very well be an apprentice, yet, he is already a formidable wizard in his own way.
The story kicks off with Denzil visiting an old witch. He claims that his master sent him, but really, he was there to steal something. However, when the witch calls him a thief, he gets angry... Denzil is NO thief... he is a robber and apparently there is a great difference. Before leaving the old witch, she gives Denzil a warning that a dragon will slay him on Spy Wednesday! Denzil, however, does not believe that the warning is meant for him, instead he thinks the warning is meant for his master... Valvasor...
Spy Wednesday is in four days, so Denzil decides to use his magical amulet to travel into the future to warn his master. But something goes wrong and Denzil finds himself 7 centuries ahead of his own time... in the garden of the MacAllister family!
Will Denzil be able to do the math correctly and find his way back to his own time and will he manage to save his master from certain doom...
My Judgment... This is a children's book and it shows. However, this is not a bad thing. It has plenty of things to teach a child reading the book. It is unmistakably fantasy and there is plenty of magic within these pages, however, there is also a good story about being different from everyone else and come to terms with who (and what) you are. It is about finding your own destiny and allowing others to help you fulfill it. I feared early on that it would be far too predictable (because one of its great themes is time travel), but it really isn't. It is actually a sweet little story.
Highly recommended to children age 8-11! And don't be discouraged if you don't like fantasy... this is not pure fantasy, like the Lord of the Rings... it is more like Harry Potter....more