I first saw this in the early 2000ies when my wife's theatre company put it on (she was Marfa and the Archbishop and did a truly glorious job). I wentI first saw this in the early 2000ies when my wife's theatre company put it on (she was Marfa and the Archbishop and did a truly glorious job). I went to see it twice, I think, and I loved it so much that I even half remember lines from the play now, years later. ...more
Very solid epic fantasy with many tried and trusted ingredients in an interesting world. Which is mostly populated by manly men. I wonder if the scarcVery solid epic fantasy with many tried and trusted ingredients in an interesting world. Which is mostly populated by manly men. I wonder if the scarcity of women is going to be a topic in subsequent installments....more
This book opened up my world when I was nineteen and just starting university. I did a semester of Social Anthropology at my uni, and this neat littleThis book opened up my world when I was nineteen and just starting university. I did a semester of Social Anthropology at my uni, and this neat little overview of how people do culture and see the world was mind-blowing. It felt so incredibly good, too, to realise that my view of cultures being fundamentally equal because they did the same thing for people was shared by others. There are problems with this book that I see now which I didn't pick up on after ...more
Having read this book makes up a part of the fabric of my very being. It is strange since today I barely remember even what this book is about, but whHaving read this book makes up a part of the fabric of my very being. It is strange since today I barely remember even what this book is about, but when I was a lonely eleven-year-old who had two friends in the world and a couple of hundred who were made of paper this book is part of what made me want to stay alive.
It also made me fall in love with Arthurian myths and legends, taught me how to read carefully, and made me fall in love with Wales. Years later, when I took my first literature courses at university I still remembered how excited I'd been about taking out a stack of different versions of the Arthurian legends from the library, reading them and comparing hem to the one I'd read in this book. I was trying to determine which one Susan Cooper had used. It was part of the what drove me and keeps driving me to return to Wales. ...more
I can't even say why, whether it's the magic, the world, the fact that the main character is a middle-aged witch who's trying to balance her life as aI can't even say why, whether it's the magic, the world, the fact that the main character is a middle-aged witch who's trying to balance her life as a mother and her career in magic, the magic with its olfactory and msucial components, the fact that our manly hero is as much knight of the realm as pig farmer, the fact that our gallant prince valiant is a bookish short-sighted boy, the fact that our princess is tough and can handle herself in spite of her girlishness - I think it was everything.
I read it to my wife a few years ago, apparently it doesn't pass the test of time, but still, the characters have stayed with me. ...more
This is the first book in a long, looong time that I found that is 1.) centred more or less exclusively on female teenaged characters, 2.) whose mainThis is the first book in a long, looong time that I found that is 1.) centred more or less exclusively on female teenaged characters, 2.) whose main plot isn't a love plot, 3.) who don't get raped. This is so incredibly rare it really bears mentioning (Seriously. Try thinking of more examples of books that fit these characteristics). And it is a Fantasy book! Of course there are love plots, but they are a part of the story and have usually been established before the plot - teenage witches coming to terms with their powers - starts.
The different girls don't all differ that much from each other, but after some time were believable enough to be interested in. I'm definitely considering reading the sequels.
I don't understand why this book has been compared so widely to completely unconnected books simply because the authors are also Swedish when what we have here is a mix between Charmed with a bit of the Buffy scooby cast thrown in. Set in Sweden, though, sure. It most certainly doesn't have the least bit to do with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and as far as I'm concerned is a better book for that, because grittiness and female characters doesn't always have to be about sexual abuse. ...more
I have to admit that I've only read the book two or three times and have seen the movie version so often that I have no memory of how well the book veI have to admit that I've only read the book two or three times and have seen the movie version so often that I have no memory of how well the book version translates into the movie, which is one of my favourites. So I was not so much worried about the book as I was about my memories of the movie, but it translates, as I suppose this book does into all possible media. The short passages of text seem well-chosen, although as I mentioned I don't remember the text well-enough to judge, but my gut says they are.
The artwork is stunningly beautiful and I could stare at some of those panels for hours. The one thing that bugged me was that Schmendrick and Molly have undergone a serious makeover and the way the human unicorn looks is scary because she is so thin. ...more
Medieval England is also the time that I would also most like to travel to, given the choice, since it's the centuries most shrouded in mystery. HavinMedieval England is also the time that I would also most like to travel to, given the choice, since it's the centuries most shrouded in mystery. Having learnt Middle English at uni, this would be perfect. However, there's this drawback:
"I, Agnolo di Tura, called the Fat, buried my five children with my own hands. And there were also those who were so sparsely covered with earth that the dogs dragged them forth and devoured many bodies throughout the city. There was no one who wept for any death, for all awaited death. And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world."
"So that notable deeds should not perish with time, and be lost from the memory of future generations, I, seeing these many ills, and that the whole world encompassed by evil, waiting among the dead for death to come, have committed to writing what I have truly heard and examined; and so that the writing does not perish with the writer, or the work fail with the workman, I leave parchment for continuing the work, in case anyone should still be alive in the future and any son of Adam can escape this pestilence and continue the work thus begun."
Still, the main character, a time travelling historian, has picked one of the few comparatively safe decades to study medieval times, but when all hell breaks loose at home in 2060, things also start going wrong in her time.
This book is difficult for me to review because it made me laugh heartily several time but now, towards the end, I've just cried my eyes out about it. I don't cry easily at books, and I hate crying at books. I don't think there's anything satisfying about feeling sad about books, and I don't like it. This one made me profoundly, gut-wrenchingly, hopelessly sad.
Why only four stars, even though this book managed to make me connect so much with the characters and has one of the best priests I've read in a long while? Because it had parts that rambled on and on and while they did bring you closer to the characters also didn't always need to be quite so long.
The difficulties with telephones especially were recurring and got on my nerves fairly quickly, because really, with time travel being possible, I don't see how Star Trek-style communication devices couldn't make it into this universe. Especially if they have implanted recording devices and translators. That just seemed off.
Still, this book has engaging characters, 100% less graphic descriptions of rape than any other books set in medieval times that contain female main characters of marriageable age, the best man of faith that I've read in a long while, and also one of the most believable children I've ever read. I'll go read something funny now. ...more
Cpt. William Trent, used to the simple, military life on a ship and very independent, becomes the guardian of a country estate and four teenage girlsCpt. William Trent, used to the simple, military life on a ship and very independent, becomes the guardian of a country estate and four teenage girls he has never met after their father dies on his ship. Because Emma, the eldest is of age, he decides to offer her a marriage of convenience to ensure their financial well-being, which she accepts. When he gets to know the family on Christmas not all daughters are glad to meet the new owner of their crumbling home, and especially the second-eldest, Chloe-Anne has made up her mind to get rid of the intruder. As Christmas draws near, both discover that they may be closer than they expected.
Now, I hate romance novels. This is not a good book to begin with, and a romance at that, and yet it has something that drew me and a couple of my friends in. One of my best friends recommended it to me, I could not put it down and read it in one night, and another one of my best friend and I read it together when she came to visit me the weekend after that, finishing it in one night, too. It certainly does have something. The plot is very predictable, but it is very well-written and still a very enjoyable book that I devoured several times now. It's light-hearted fluff and very enjoyable even for people who don't usually read romance novels, like me....more
The experience of reading about this dystopian future of a society which has embraced Sameness and assigned spouses, children and jobs and a very striThe experience of reading about this dystopian future of a society which has embraced Sameness and assigned spouses, children and jobs and a very strictly regulated, safe life devoid of choices ages well. I think it makes sense that I loved it when I was eleven, but I am not sure that my students would still enjoy it as much as I did. I'm also very apprehensive about the movie adaptation, because Jonas looks quite a bit older in that one, so I am rather sure that Gabe did not make the cut and they'll focus more on Jonas and his budding lust for Fiona. ...more
A Christmas favourite, Mr Bennet still has the best lines, Mrs Bennet and Lydia still are annoying, and the subtle irony is still very much to be apprA Christmas favourite, Mr Bennet still has the best lines, Mrs Bennet and Lydia still are annoying, and the subtle irony is still very much to be appreciated. ...more