I've read my fair share of fantasy. Joe Abercrombie is quietly writing his way into a great fantasy world of independent stories. To be fair this is nI've read my fair share of fantasy. Joe Abercrombie is quietly writing his way into a great fantasy world of independent stories. To be fair this is no Game of Thrones, this is better.
Along The Shattered Sea, is a collection of kingdoms dominated by The High King who is old and not entirely popular. He has asked that all of the smaller kingdoms not wage war until he has finished his Temple to the One God. This request is ignored and war in sues. During a raid party, a king is killed along with his son; therefore, the second in line must be installed. This feeble young man, Prince Yarvi, is studying to be a political minister not a king for battle. He is too small to wear armor. Too weak to carry a shield, born with only one good hand, and too dumb to know that his loving Uncle wants the crown. After a failed raid against their enemies is taken prisoner, sold into slavery and begins to plan his revenge. With the help of his oarmates, and some dumb luck, he gains his freedom and begins the long journey home.
The book is a great look into a broken world full political distrust, slave trading, sea merchants, and kings bent on glory not leadership. What is not here is the epic battles on open fields with orcs and sorcery. No this is a story about living in a harsh world full of greed and anger. I looking forward to the next one in the series.
An amazingly simple and inspiring read to get up and be apart of your church. Highly recomend as a Church Small Group study and a jumping off point foAn amazingly simple and inspiring read to get up and be apart of your church. Highly recomend as a Church Small Group study and a jumping off point for any new believers class....more
**spoiler alert** Ever since Battlestar Galactica went off air, I have been trying to find something that fills the void. Capt. Black Jack Geary and t**spoiler alert** Ever since Battlestar Galactica went off air, I have been trying to find something that fills the void. Capt. Black Jack Geary and the Lost Fleet of the Alliance may just fill that void. Spanning the time of roughly a month we see the high speed pursuit of a butchered fleet as they attempt to return to their home space from deep within the Syndicate Worlds realm.
The book series is based heavily on an ancient Greek soldier, Xenophon and his army's retreat after a failed siege. What the book captures best: key ideas of military life at war, leadership and it's execution in the face of adversity by subordinates, bureaucracy and it's balance within a strategic alliance, and the foundations of skill versus talent. Some reviews have graded it lower because of a high expectation of combat. I would disagree. Geary even makes it a point, late in the novel that a naval tradition is to hurry up and wait before a battle. Too many other novels try to fill the pages with anyhow after battle; when, in reality no fighting force has an unlimited amount of red shirts.
If you are also looking to read a great guide on how to rebuild a broken or failed group, this book is a great place to start. Geary's poignant reflective moments give the reader an inside view of the challenges of leadership and command. I must admit that is the main reason I chose the book. The writing is heavy on the military and light on the scifi but it still holds up and I'm going to move on to book two, Fearless, asap. ...more
**spoiler alert** Has to be one of my all time favs and for more than just one reason. First, the story is completely original. Instead of depending m**spoiler alert** Has to be one of my all time favs and for more than just one reason. First, the story is completely original. Instead of depending more on paper thin Shia and Sunni bad guys, Davis Bunn creates a menagerie bad guys and misguided Americans. Second, the action tugs at you for a good reason. Instead of forcing you to read your way through a set of violent events, Bunn is asking/demanding that you cheer for Marc Royce and Sameh el-Jacobi to succeed. Third, both of the good guys are in it as a self-sacrificing act. Neither wishes to gain from a new Iraq or manipulate the Americans Fr monetary gain. Royce and Sameh are wanting to save innocent people and as a result the possible future of Iraqi governance. Finally, hope for a better Middle East is the center-point of the action, not regime change or pro-Israel/anti-Muslim ramblings. This book wishes to see a self-sustaining pro-active and strong democracy begin to heal the wounds of the past millennia.
In the end, Bunn has created what has to be the first selfless spy novel. No dark agendas of New World Order or vengence but simply a man, Marc Royce, trying to find his missing friend, an operative attached to the Green Zone in Baghdad. As a result, God has set him on a course that leads him straight to Sameh el-Jacobi, the last honest lawyer in Baghdad. These two men, in course of a week, save the lives of over 40 children, divert a bombing, save the life of a future the Grand Imam of Iraq, and foil an Iranian plot to arm Shia radicals in Iraq with missiles. Not bad for a Christian lawyer in a Muslim country and an ex-CIA field operative now turned widower. Davis Bunn has redefined what a spy novel should become, selfless adoration for the possibility of true peace....more
**spoiler alert** So, I must say that my understanding of Islam and it's tenants is above average. I also have a special place in my heart for the Per**spoiler alert** So, I must say that my understanding of Islam and it's tenants is above average. I also have a special place in my heart for the Persian people. All of that given, this is a great book and one heck of a ride through the ideologies of the current regime.
The story is given from the POV of an American born son of two Iranian ex-pats, they are refugees from the 1979 revolution. In addition, the wild card of 9/11 is tossed into the deck as an unexpected event that plays out well and not contrived. This pushes our protagonist David to join the CIA and vow to kill Osama. Now since the series started before the assassination this universe might deal with his death at a point but not in this book.
With his training and field experience almost complete, David is thrust into Iran as an IT telecom guy. This gives him access to a world of high-end tech that the regime needs to integrate. On top of this the leadership, both political and religious have been planning for the revealing of the Twelfth Imam and a nuclear Iran to protect the coming global caliphate. Toss in a nuclear scientist who is assassinated by Mossad, a trigger shy US President, and a Shia cleric having a crisis of faith, you have a really interesting scenario that could play out in any number of ways.
The strong point of the entire story is that the relationships developed between the characters provide a needed balance for the the overwhelming amount of diplomatic complexities and religious ideologies. I really want to know what will happen next for David and the whole group not just the nukes or the impending apocalypse that Rosenberg is eluding to throughout the story. ...more
Great book but still a little short overall. Other books have more but I found much of this in other readers with more direction connections to a singGreat book but still a little short overall. Other books have more but I found much of this in other readers with more direction connections to a single verse or bible segment. ...more
My biggest issue is that this is deep. It is no light bedtime read. Tozer's writing is easy to follow but difficult to digest if you are not 100% withMy biggest issue is that this is deep. It is no light bedtime read. Tozer's writing is easy to follow but difficult to digest if you are not 100% with the reading. All that being said if you add this read to a daily devotional cycle, your faith will be deeply challenged and rewarded. ...more
The big difference between Marzano and other writers is the amount of research. Wherever he was lacking, he used his access to other research to develThe big difference between Marzano and other writers is the amount of research. Wherever he was lacking, he used his access to other research to develop his philosophy further. In addition, his theories are based on the data not the other way. Easy to read and great for developing a PLC around...more
By no means concise but in every aspect, brilliant. This work should be studied by every 20th century or Asian history student. His attention to detaiBy no means concise but in every aspect, brilliant. This work should be studied by every 20th century or Asian history student. His attention to detail and rhetoric makes a daunting text readable and immersive throughout. I've used excerpts from this text almost year I've taught. ...more