Rising from a premise that could be described as a fantasy twist on "The Jungle Book", Lady Blysse (AKA Firekeeper) is a teenage girl who was raised b...moreRising from a premise that could be described as a fantasy twist on "The Jungle Book", Lady Blysse (AKA Firekeeper) is a teenage girl who was raised by wolves after her parents (suspected to be disowned royalty) and all their retinue die in a fire.
"Discovered" by the Earl Kestrel (who is trying to find members of that royal party that haven't been heard from in 12+ years), Firekeeper decides to leave her wolf-pack and travel back with him and his crew to learn about how humans live. She's accompanied by her wolf companion (Blind Seer), and a peregrine falcon (Elation), both of whom she can communicate with. She learns how to survive in a royal court and her instincts serve her well in a number of situations where court intrigue puts her in peril as the King decides on who will become his heir to the throne.
The book starts off pretty slow, and is definitely more character-driven than many fantasy novels I've read. However, it does pick up the pace a little towards the second half of the book and I'm eager to see how it ends. Probably won't pursue reading the rest of the series, but if someone gave it to me, I'd be willing to give it a read.(less)
Interesting fantasy world where the youngest sons (non-heirs) of royalty join a monastery-like environment in the hopes of becoming "poets", or indivi...moreInteresting fantasy world where the youngest sons (non-heirs) of royalty join a monastery-like environment in the hopes of becoming "poets", or individuals who can capture some intangible embodiment of an idea ("Andats") and turn it into a human-like being capable of being harnessed for some use. For example, the Andat "Seedless" is used by his poet (Heshai) to make all the seeds fall out of the cotton that is harvested in his country to allow the weavers in his land to hold an edge in the industry over those in surrounding lands.
The book follows the plot of a group of people who are trying to break Heshai's spirit and force him to release his Andat. The planning, enactment, and follow-up of their actions is interesting to read about and is really what kept me moving through this book. The character development is pretty strong, but I don't feel like the author always characterized the main players consistently.
It was an interesting read, and the struggle/dichotomy of the enslaved Andats is an idea I'd like to see explored more. With that said, I probably wouldn't want to go purchase any books in the series myself - more of a library read for me.
Triplanetary is the first book of the Lensman series by E.E. Doc Smith. Like the rest of the series, it's a pulp-era space opera full of action, adven...moreTriplanetary is the first book of the Lensman series by E.E. Doc Smith. Like the rest of the series, it's a pulp-era space opera full of action, adventure, and "state-of-the-art" inventions and technology rolled into a non-stop ride through the galaxy (and beyond).
Like a lot of the genre at that time, the book's characters are a little wooden and stereotypical. There's the brave, quick-thinking, and capable secret agent Costigan, the stolid-yet-capable ship's Captain Bradley, the brilliant scientist-cum-engineer Lyman Cleveland, and the brave and not totally helpless damsel-in-distress Clio, who falls in love with Castigan during his many efforts to save, rescue and/or protect her from space pirates and then later, invading/kidnapping aliens.
Despite its shortcomings, Triplanetary is a quick and enjoyable read that envisions one possible way things could go with our first alien contact - assuming humanity is quick enough on the uptake to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and determined enough to dig in when the going gets tough. I personally like the rest of the series a little bit more, but it's important to read this book to get the background for the next few in the series.
Hal Spacejock is the kind of guy who always wanted to be a space pilot, but doesn't really have any of the qualifications for it. That doesn't stop him from trying though!
The first book of a series, this one introduces you to Hal Spacejock and the rusty old robot who joins him early in the story as he attempts to dodge repossession of his junkheap of a space ship by transporting (smuggling) a load of cargo from under the noses of a war fleet on an embargoed world. When one of his employer's main competitors tries to steal the cargo, things get really out of control.
The book itself was a fun read, but nothing stood out to me as extra-special. I found the characters likable but not extraordinary, and sometimes it seemed like Hal was a little too stupid for even his character. It would make a pretty good series for a younger teenaged reader, I think.(less)
I found myself enjoying it at parts, and wanted to finish it, but there was something about the narration that just didn't keep me interested. I think...moreI found myself enjoying it at parts, and wanted to finish it, but there was something about the narration that just didn't keep me interested. I think partly I felt that the writing was spending too much time in the protagonist's head and not enough time outside it - the meandering thoughts and pages of explanatory backstory turned me off a bit.(less)
Interesting premise - in a fantasy world where the mages rule the city-kingdom and their magic is studied, ordered, and strictly applied for society's...moreInteresting premise - in a fantasy world where the mages rule the city-kingdom and their magic is studied, ordered, and strictly applied for society's wellbeing, the son of the lead magician discovers the "wild magic" (or it discovers him). Banned from the city, he is forced to set out on his own, running from forces behind him that are set out to kill him.
The structure of the magic in this series is what is so interesting - Wild Magic trades "favors" for spells, with interesting and sometimes unforeseen implications. Although the characterization was just so-so, I can see myself checking out other books in the series to see how they fare after the fairly-exciting first book of the series.(less)
Another interesting story set in the Lensman universe. Obviously not part of the Lensman saga, it uses some of the technologies and abilities of those...moreAnother interesting story set in the Lensman universe. Obviously not part of the Lensman saga, it uses some of the technologies and abilities of those series of novels to explore an entirely different idea and new races/cultures. As a companion story to the Lensman series, it provides more of the same for folks who just couldn't get enough, but doesn't have any more depth than the Lensman novels, and doesn't have the over-arching plot of that series to save it from mediocrity.(less)
Book 11, but takes place in between books 3 and 4, timeline-wise. Asprin was trying to recapture the old feel of the previous Myth novels, but it lack...moreBook 11, but takes place in between books 3 and 4, timeline-wise. Asprin was trying to recapture the old feel of the previous Myth novels, but it lacks some of the spark that the original three do. The characters keep it moving, along with an interesting take on cowboys and vampires, but it still isn't quite as good as the others. Recommended only for die-hard Myth fans.(less)