What a surprising ride this book was. Wilson creates a short but amazing world in this novel that you cannot help but want more of. His use of languagWhat a surprising ride this book was. Wilson creates a short but amazing world in this novel that you cannot help but want more of. His use of language is bold, even abrasive sometimes, mixing modern slang from a handful of languages into his fantasy story to convey so much information about the setting, about the characters, than what you read at first. It gives this decidedly fantastic world where the left-behind children of gods still walk alongside humans a very contemporary feel without sacrificing the fantasy of it all. Wilson's prose is succinct at times, packing a lot more action than in a sentence than it seems at first glance. It makes for a novel that almost demands a second read-through to fully reveal itself to you, something I intend to do down the line. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps was a great treat of a fantasy novel, a refreshingly new expression of the genre from someone influenced by Middle Earth as much as by New York City. ...more
Excellent introduction to the topic of the Jewish world in which Jesus lived. The book is easy to read, acknowledging that it is going to avoid denseExcellent introduction to the topic of the Jewish world in which Jesus lived. The book is easy to read, acknowledging that it is going to avoid dense scholarship in favor of a conversational narrative, although Wylen takes care to present various viewpoints when available, and name check scholars whose work delve into further, more specific rabbit holes (included in the Reader's Bibliography).
The picture Wylen puts together of first century Judaism is fantastic, and does a great service to both Judaism and Christianity, showing how historical events (many commemorated still by modern Judaism) pave the way to the conditions of life in Judea during those years. To understand the Jewish world of the Era is to understand the context of what Jesus said and did, and while this is admittedly an introduction, there is enough here to get a good idea, with prompts should one wish to learn more. As a bonus, not only does the book explore the soil from which Christianity would bloom, Wylen shows how modern Judaism, rabbinical Judaism, grows from the same ground, and at times from similar concerns.
Armchair historians, and both Jews and Christians interested in learning about this period in history, and about the modern origins of their faiths, will find much to like, and think about, in this book....more
On the one hand, it is a simple story: Romeo and Juliet in the Star Wars universe. On the other hand, it is a harsh portrayal of rationalization in thOn the one hand, it is a simple story: Romeo and Juliet in the Star Wars universe. On the other hand, it is a harsh portrayal of rationalization in the face of unimaginable horror. Ciena and Thane are childhood friends who dream of joining the Imperial Academy in order to leave their isolated, fringe world (sounds familiar?). Along the way, as told through the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, and the aftermath of said events, opinions change, lives change, and lovers find themselves on opposite sides of the galactic civil war. Thane becomes our known point of reference, the recruit to the Rebel Alliance who wants to stop the Empire. But it is Ciena who is the more interesting character, as she struggles to reconcile what she downright recognizes to be acts of evil (like the destruction of Alderaan) with the Imperial propaganda and her beloved sense of honor. To what extent does honor demand you to turn a blind eye to, to rationalize, unspeakable crimes? This is Ciena's struggle and journey, and it is fascinating to watch. It is for this reason, for making me have to consider the Empire's side of events and how the indoctrinated would view them, that this is a great novel....more
I made it to 40%, and I stopped. Although Kay is a good writer, and the story starts out engrossing, ultimately it failed to keep me engaged. RetellinI made it to 40%, and I stopped. Although Kay is a good writer, and the story starts out engrossing, ultimately it failed to keep me engaged. Retelling the story of the Spanish Reconquista in a fantasy context sounds like an interesting exercise, but there was little else to carry the plot along beyond figuring out what real-life person/city/event was being referenced by the novel version. I started reading this because I wanted to see what a fantasy version of Judaism could look like, and in that the book delivered. As for the rest of the story, I doubt that I'll return to it, as I might as well read an account of the real Reconquista instead....more
I don't recall how I found out about Rat Queens, but I had to get the first collection for sure. In short, this is arguably the best Dungeons & DrI don't recall how I found out about Rat Queens, but I had to get the first collection for sure. In short, this is arguably the best Dungeons & Dragons/Fantasy RPG comic I have read, mainly because while it is set in a fantasy world, it sounds and behaves like the usual gaming groups I have known for decades. Beyond that, the four main characters are fantastic women that can kick ass, take names, and drink you under the table. Highly enjoyable, I await further collected volumes in the series....more