I was kind of disappointed with the movie and decided to read the book as the original material tends to be better than its movie version. The movie u...moreI was kind of disappointed with the movie and decided to read the book as the original material tends to be better than its movie version. The movie uses several scenes from this book but with some major differences. I like how this book revamps the classic Greek stories for modern audiences and it has given me an urge to read the classic Greek tales.(less)
Let me start off by saying that if you're looking for an epic fantasy about a boy who would grow up to be king or about a journey towards salvation th...moreLet me start off by saying that if you're looking for an epic fantasy about a boy who would grow up to be king or about a journey towards salvation then you will not find it. What you will find here is a wonderful story about a grandmother and her devotion to protect her kingdom and also her family. Yes, that's right a grandmother. Not only is the protagonist a grandmother, she is also a Master Gardener with the ability to communicate with plants.
In the first story, "Toil, Trouble and Rot", Demetria discovers a fungus infection is spreading over the kingdom of Sage. The fungus infection not only damages crops vital to the kingdom's survival, it is also hazardous to humans. Demetria suspects it's one of the kingdom's enemies, the Rats, who are behind this heinous act. She then sets off with her family in search of these perpertrators while using their powers to help Sage defend against the attack.
In "Dungeons and Decay", Demetria receives news that her son Gavin has gone missing and she fears that he has been captured by the Rats and taken to Ratdom. Her husband, Ward, a Dungeon Master with the ability to manipulate stones joins her in her journey to Ratdom to free their son.
In the final tale, "Call to Arms", a forgotten king warns of dangerous beasts from the Slithering Kingdom making camp on the borders of Sage. Demetria and her family sets off to investigate this threat and to put a stop to it.
Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom is an original and refreshing tale in the fantasy genre. It is not overcomplicated by strange magic systems or burdened by an overwhelming cast of characters. I found the characters interesting and likeable, especially Demetria. It is such a simple and fun story that you will find yourself unable to put the book down and must finish reading it in one sitting. Maria E. Schneider has created such a rich world with these three tales and I feel cheated that there are no more stories based on this world. I can only hope that Schneider will revisit this setting again.
The action is on and off and slow to start. When some of the scene gets good it's really good but the rest is very mediocre. I wonder if I should cont...moreThe action is on and off and slow to start. When some of the scene gets good it's really good but the rest is very mediocre. I wonder if I should continue reading this series.(less)
Another epic story featuring Drizzt and the dwarves on their quest to get rid of the Orcs who were invading their home. This is a good beginning for t...moreAnother epic story featuring Drizzt and the dwarves on their quest to get rid of the Orcs who were invading their home. This is a good beginning for the trilogy, leaving a lot left unsaid so that you wish to read the sequel immediately.
I'm really impressed with this audio book, especially the narrator Mark Bramhall. He really brought the characters to life and made the book even more enjoyable.(less)
The Time Hunters is excellent first novel written by author Carl Ashmore and is a wonderful mix of time travelling, ancient mythology with a bit of mu...moreThe Time Hunters is excellent first novel written by author Carl Ashmore and is a wonderful mix of time travelling, ancient mythology with a bit of murder mystery thrown in. I had only recently finished reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan when I first encountered this book, and after reading the blurb, I thought, "Oh no, not another story about a Percy and the Golden Fleece". Despite this, I took it on and was pleasantly surprised by this gem.
The story begins with Becky and Joe being sent to spend the summer with their Uncle Percy. The children were never close with him and always thought he was some kind of eccentric loner living in his mansion. It wasn't long before the children unravel the secrets hidden within Bowen Hall and learn that their uncle is actually a member of a secretive group of time travellers. Soon afterwards they find themselves on an adventure across time to investigate the mysterious murder of their uncle's friend while being chased by a group of renegade time travellers.
I had a great time with this book even though its target are kids. I found it to be well written, fast paced and most importantly the story hooks you right from the beginning. I've always been a little wary of time travelling stories as they introduce all kinds of paradoxes and so far the story has handled them nicely. I especially enjoyed the re-imagination of classical characters. You think you know your Argonauts and Minotaur? Well think again.
This book has been called a natural successor to Harry Potter and indeed it has the same magical qualities that I found in those books. I look forward to reading the second book, The Time Hunters & the Box of Eternity which is due out Christmas 2011 and I wish Carl Ashmore the very best with his future books.
Interesting retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella where the author imagines her to be a witch fighting against the prince's curse. Like another revie...moreInteresting retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella where the author imagines her to be a witch fighting against the prince's curse. Like another reviewer, I did not enjoy the voice of Ember but I guess it fits into her character of a cynical witch who thought she would never love again.(less)
I have heard a great deal about this trilogy and I agree with them that it is a fast-paced action packed novel. I enjoyed seeing Azoth grow up from a...moreI have heard a great deal about this trilogy and I agree with them that it is a fast-paced action packed novel. I enjoyed seeing Azoth grow up from a street rat to the wet boy Kylar and the struggle he goes through to discover his Talent.
From this novel I get the sense that the world of Night Angel is very large and that we are only touching the surface of it in this first book. So far all the action takes place within a small country and it would be interesting to see if we'll explore the others in the later books.
What I didn't like is that towards the end of the book, the story becomes a little confusing when a lot of different plots, twists and turns converge. Minor characters make an appearance again but you are struggling to remember what role they had to play previously. Despite this flaw, this is still an impressive book and I would give this 3.5 stars.(less)
Another exciting story involving Percy, his half brother Tyson, Annabeth, Grover and friends in search of Daedalus to stop the attack on the half-bloo...moreAnother exciting story involving Percy, his half brother Tyson, Annabeth, Grover and friends in search of Daedalus to stop the attack on the half-blood camp and of the lost god Pan.
It is great to see Percy growing up in this latest installment and once again Riordan has done a great job in updating the Greek myths for the modern audiences. There were many instances where I had to google certain characters so I can better picture how they look like.
This adventure is action packed and is leading nicely to the grand finale.(less)
For me this book is a series of mysteries with a fantasy twist. The first case involves the case of the sabotaged glass orbs that help the Stormdancer...moreFor me this book is a series of mysteries with a fantasy twist. The first case involves the case of the sabotaged glass orbs that help the Stormdancer clan to capture the storms' energy; second case involves the swordsman Blue eyes's interests in Opal and finally the case of the fake diamonds.
This is the first time I've read a fantasy novel with a female protagonist and I think the author has done a marvellous job of describing Opal as a novice without confidence in her abilities. Towards the end of the book we finally see Opal accepting who she is and finally discovering what her real power holds. What I didn't understand is how quickly the two male characters became infatuated with Opal and would like to see those padded out.(less)
I love the characters of Drizzt and Guenhwyvar and its great to finally find out how Drizzt came to be an outcast of Menzoberranzan and how he acquire...moreI love the characters of Drizzt and Guenhwyvar and its great to finally find out how Drizzt came to be an outcast of Menzoberranzan and how he acquired the black panther as his companion. You will come to appreciate these books more if you have read them after the Icewind Dale trilogy as it gives a rich background to Drizzt's old way of life and how much he did not fit in.
The first book Homeland gives a detail background of life in Menzoberranzan and here we see how Drizzt was brought up and how much he did not fit into this chaotic and evil Underdark city. It is also interesting to see the great Houses scheming and plotting against each other, waiting for another's downfall.
The second book Exile, which I felt was the weakest book of the trilogy but necessary as it shows the transition that Drizzt goes through from a savage lone hunter to a more complete self.
The final book Sojourn is action packed, filled with one battle after another, barghest whelps, stone giants, orc invasion and a red dragon! A great finisher to the trilogy that shows the journey Drizzt took from his birthplace Menzoberranzan to his real home in Icewind Dale.(less)
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." This is an epic story of great houses battling for control of the seven kingdoms and filled w...more"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." This is an epic story of great houses battling for control of the seven kingdoms and filled with deceits, backstabbing, incestuous relationships and violence.
The story for me is more a study of human nature and what people do to achieve power. In the story none of the characters are perfect and each have their own flaws:
Ned Stark - The noble lord, honourable to a fault and doesn't understand the intricate politics involved with the Iron Throne. Catelyn Tully - The cunning mother that starts a war and splits the kingdom through a miscalculation, Robb Stark - The reluctant lordling who is suddenly given great responsibilities. Sansa Stark - The naive lady who believes in white knights and happy endings only to have her dreams brutally shattered. Jon Snow - The hot headed bastard trying to establish his place in the world. Tyrion Lannister - The quick witted dwarf that often gets into trouble with his mouth. Daenerys Stormborn - The little princess that is thrust into a strange world, makes costly judgements and have to grow up quickly.
Not only is this story a great character study, Martin also paints a vibrant world that leads the reader through the history of Westeros in its 800 odd pages.
I'm reading the book at the same time as the TV series is aired on HBO and it's interesting to see where the show sticks close to the source materials and where they differ. Both are great complements of each other and highly recommended.(less)