I could not put this book down. I haven't been this excited to read every time I pick up the book since, well I guess I've been reading lots of good sI could not put this book down. I haven't been this excited to read every time I pick up the book since, well I guess I've been reading lots of good stuff lately so... since very recently. But, great read nonetheless. This group of thieves piqued my interest when I heard they were called the Gentlemen Bastards and they didn't let me down. Thank you Scott Lynch, this was great....more
I read this a while ago, but all I remember is that the old adage, "show don't tell," was completely disregarded. Everyone was described as being everI read this a while ago, but all I remember is that the old adage, "show don't tell," was completely disregarded. Everyone was described as being ever so evil, good, awesome, super and yet never once did I actually believe it because no one did anything. Can't say I've been excited to read any of the other installments based on this one and 6 years later I still haven't.
I'm pretty sure it was Scott Brick who did the audio, so there's no complaints there....more
I remember liking this book, but not being as blown away as some people built it up to be. I liked Harry, liked the magic and the way he gets around wI remember liking this book, but not being as blown away as some people built it up to be. I liked Harry, liked the magic and the way he gets around with it and with other magic users.
Having read the first 4 books, I can definitely say they get better, though I have a long way to go to catch up....more
Catch-22 is known as an anti-war novel, but I didn't get that from it at all. It's more an anti-military novel and possibly just anti-organizations inCatch-22 is known as an anti-war novel, but I didn't get that from it at all. It's more an anti-military novel and possibly just anti-organizations in general.
Yes, there's a fair bit of expostulation about war, but Heller really goes into detail about the ineffectiveness of the military itself. Commanders focusing on tight bomb patterns rather than the actual mission.
I think one of the main reasons I read this, besides the fact that everyone else has, was just to find out what Catch-22 meant in the context of this book. It turns out that it has just as many applications within the book as it is commonly used today.
One of the first instances is when Yossarian, one of the main characters of the book, decides he's done flying missions and wants to go home. One way to do so is to be declared insane. The problem is, you can't be declared insane unless you see someone about it...but if you see someone about it, you're obviously not insane because you're worried about your sanity...catch-22.
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
'That's some catch, that Catch-22,' he observed. 'It's the best there is,' Doc Daneeka agreed."
It goes on to present other instances such as the general military sentiment that your commander is always right...unless they're not, then they're still right. Plenty of dialogue revolves around an officer speaking to a subordinate, the officer has his facts completely wrong, the subordinate tries to correct, and the officer then says, "You calling me a liar?" Of course, that would never happen, so...catch-22.
I think what makes this a classic is partly the writing itself. It's so circular, it often represents the idea it is presenting, catch-22. Not only is the dialogue repetitive all too often (way too often), the events seem to repeat themselves as well, going along with the idea that is catch-22, it's inherently circular, there's no way around it.
I have to say that this is more of a tiring novel than anything. I really enjoyed it from the very beginning, but it also begins to wear on you pretty fast. Each chapter deals with a new person, but almost always somehow connected to Yossarian. But as I complained about above, it's too repetitive for me and that was the beginning of a ruined joke for me. It's just not that funny after a while. This whole book could be so much better at just half the size.
Of course this is an anti-war novel even though I joked about it not being so (yes, that was supposed to be a joke) and that's the actual sad meaning behind Catch-22 comes in. Why is there war? Because of Catch-22. Why does Catch-22 give one the right to go to war? Because Catch-22 says so. If you can beat the other guy, then the law's on your side.
Good, even hilarious at times, but I just couldn't wait to be done.
3 out of 5 Stars
"What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for." "Anything worth living for," said Nately, "is worth dying for." "And everything worth dying for," answered the sacrilegious old man, "is certainly worth living for."...more
I got a Kindle last year and guess what was my first purchase? You guessed it, Atlas Shrugged! Okay, no, it was this one, Blade of Tyshalle. I was looI got a Kindle last year and guess what was my first purchase? You guessed it, Atlas Shrugged! Okay, no, it was this one, Blade of Tyshalle. I was looking forward to it, but it's all but impossible to get in paper form unless you want to pay out the nose. And 10 months is surprisingly a good time for a book I bought to finally make it to my "currently reading" pile.
Because I had such a long wait time between this book and the first in the Acts of Caine, Heroes Die, I had lots of time to read reviews and such and opinions are actually quite divisive.
On one side, you have those who absolutely adore the book and yet acknowledge how different it is from Heroes Die. These people tend to like Blade more than the Heroes. On the other side, you have those who just hated it, hated that it was a completely different book with a simple premise. I found myself in the former category (hence the 5 stars I guess).
I went into Blade not really knowing what to think, but having this idea that it would be a completely different book than it was. I had this picture that it would be a philosophical treatise almost. I was wrong. Not completely wrong, but very wrong nonetheless.
The thing is, Blade of Tyshalle is everything you would expect in a sequel to Heroes Die. It's easily one of the bloodiest, action-filled, killfests around. This was, for some reason, a big surprise to me. There is constant action.
At the same time, Blade is a very introspective book (this is where the philosophy comes in). There are lots of ideas thrown around about life and about living. I didn't even necessarily agree with all of them, but it got me really thinking.
Stover's "about the author" in some of his books reads something like, "Matthew Stover believes everything you need to know about life can be found in his books." I always thought that was pretty conceited, but now I'm starting to see why he believes this way.
One of the main arguments he puts forth here in Blade of Tyshalle is that you can really do anything you want. If you want it, do it. It's that simple. This kind of thinking really jives with me. I very much believe that life is what you make it, even as cheesy as that sounds. If you want to be rich, you can do it, you just gotta work your butt off to get it. Same goes for fame, for anything.
I think most of us fall in the category of 1) having multiple passions, which means all suffer and/or 2) getting comfortable where you are (or lazy in my case), which is why we're not rich or famous, but probably a lot happier. I'll stop before this takes over...
Anyway, tangent aside, the world that Stover has created is incredible. If the fact that his world contains a futuristic caste-based society that sends "actors" to a medieval fantasy-type world to reek havoc and practice magic purely for entertainment doesn't make you want to read a book, I don't know what would.
Seven years after the ending of Heroes Die, the first in the Acts of Caine, Caine finds himself it a bit un-Caine-like situation. He no longer has the use of his legs, what with that whole magical sword, Kosall, running him through to his spine. In fact, he hates when people remind him he's Caine.
His best "friend" (i.e., not really his friend at all, but worst enemy), Tan'elKoth, formerly known as Ma'elKoth or the bad guy from Heroes Die who found himself "transcended" to Earth, is the only one he can really talk to.
While "Caine" (or Hari now) pines for his old life, he now lives with his wife, Shanna, and daughter, Faith. He was even bumped up a caste to Administrator. So really, he's got it made. Well, not really at all because then we wouldn't have this fun story here.
Being Caine, Hari ticked of his share of people on both Overworld and Earth and that doesn't bode well for a nice, peaceful life of luxury. With a mix of old grudges and dark powers arising, Blade of Tyshalle ups the ante from Heroes Die in so many ways.
Not only does Blade deal with a medieval world that can be accessed from Earth, but the ideas Stover presents are epic themselves. Is it worth saving the world when you can't save a loved one? Is the world even worth saving? Is it worth saving one world while damning another? What if the first world has billions of more people, and especially children? These are just a couple of the questions that really had me thinking.
If there's anything I hate, it's plot-lines where the main protagonist, the hero even, loses his powers. This didn't work for me in Spider-man 2 or in Batman Returns. Although I still enjoyed the latter, I didn't love it because of this aspect. In this book, that seems to be the case, that Caine has lost his Mojo. It could be argued so, and I was definitely of this opinion for most of my read, but it's really not the case. Is it really the physical parts of you that make you you?
While at the limits of my gag reflex, Blade of Tyshalle comes highly recommended. It has EVERYTHING you could ever want from a fantasy and so much more. The pages turn themselves, the writing's spectacular, the world is insane and fully fleshed out (much more here than in Heroes Die too), and the action is the best you'll find. This isn't just puffery, I challenge you to find better action.
As bloody and brilliant as you would expect from the awesomeness that was Heroes Die and yet Blade of Tyshalle takes everything up a notch. Action-packed mayhem and ideas that make you think? Yes, you can have it all. Bloody brilliant.
Awesome. So much action in one night. I thought Esslemont's first foray into the Malazan universe was a great time. It took me about halfway into theAwesome. So much action in one night. I thought Esslemont's first foray into the Malazan universe was a great time. It took me about halfway into the book to get the real Malazan world feel, but it did happen and I was just as confused as I usually am. Not to say that being confusing is the way one feels at home in this world, it's just an added bonus. :)...more