I admit the trilogy was a bit hard to read at times, I am not a complete fan of Lawhead's writing style, like...moreDefinitely the best book of the trilogy.
I admit the trilogy was a bit hard to read at times, I am not a complete fan of Lawhead's writing style, like Ken Follett, it can be a bit long winded at times and get to be dry reading, but the story itself, the meat of it, the research and history infused into the classic tale, that's what kept me reading. And Lawhead, like Follett and the Pillars books, does it well, from the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the books to his author notes where some of the history behind his bringing this Robin Hood trilogy to be set in the Welsh lands comes out, you can tell the man did his homework and I am thankful for it.
But one of the best things about this trilogy to me is the main character of each story, from Rhi Bran to Scatlocke to Aethelfrith. It wasn't exactly like a story told from their perspective, but it focused on their perspective more then the rest of the Merry Men or Grellon.
My favorite touch of this third book that Lawhead adds is poetry. Tuck is broken up into 5 parts and each section begins with a very interesting catchy poem that, as your reading, continues a story that parallels the trilogy almost. The poem itself seems written in Middle English or is similar to it, and to me I kept wondering, who wrote this poem? Is it an actual early poem/song about Robin Hood or did Lawhead write it? It definitely didn't sound Lawhead'esque. It rhymed and was lyrical and really made the story more entertaining, and once you reach the end you realize it also foreshadowed the epilogue.
When reading or watching anything related to Robin Hood I oftentimes find myself searching for THE memorable characters that crossover from one to the next, the Little John's, Merian, Friar Tuck, etc. In this series after the first two books I was thinking to myself, "shucks, I guess Alan a'Dale isn't going to make an appearance in these stories..." then BAM! Out of nowhere he shows up, I have to admit it took me by surprise and I got a little giddy, he is a remarkable character and Lawhead did a beautiful job of writing him.
All in all Lawhead has added his unique perspective and twist on my favorite legend, that of Robin Hood. After reading the entire trilogy, I'm very glad to have read the historical gems he adds at the end, breaking down how revolutionary and deadly the longbow was at the time (especially when weilded by the Welsh). I can't imagine the story without it. The epilogue was also great, you have the trilogy, the meat of the legend and how it was created, and then the epilogue is how that legend lives on. Through Thomas a’Dale, traveling bard and songster, grandson of Alan a’Dale, the story travels to Nottingham and Sherwood Forest:
“so long as the singer took care to adapt it to his listeners: dropping in names of the local worthies, the places nearby that local folk knew, any particular features of the countryside and its people--it all helped to create a sense of instant recognition for those he entertained, and flattered his patrons.” Stephen Lawhead, Tuck, p. 432.
Beautifully done, we see one adaptation among many that a minstrel plays, playing to the crowd, adjusting the story so the nobles would like it, but this is the one we recognize the most and can therefore finally connect to Lawhead’s Rhi Bran y Hud, Bran ap Brychan, Robin Hood.
I grew up saturated with music in my household, my father could have opened a record store in our house with the amount of vinyl and cassette's he had...moreI grew up saturated with music in my household, my father could have opened a record store in our house with the amount of vinyl and cassette's he had (now cds omg... oh so many). All genres too, so I was exposed to everything, except Madonna and Prince he wasn't a fan of them whatsoever, so I could really relate to everything he says in Love is a Mixtape (80's & 90's) and Talking to Girls about Duran Duran (ALL 80's with a dash of 90's, minus the Madonna part). I can imagine his articles for Rolling Stone are great, after this book I want to read them. The Duran Duran book isn't a story so much as an account or exploration of Rob's falling in love with New Wave music in the 80's and pop artists molding the way, not only of how he thinks, but most girls of the decade, hence the title. He also explores the fascination with and cultural saturation this decade has had on the world, unlike any other decade. I love how it seems almost as if he has a photographic memory to remember the 80's, every awesomely bad bit of it, either that or he kept a diary and knowing his all Irish girl/woman household/upbringing AND his being a writer I'm going with the diary. I wasn't a teen in the 80's but due to my dad I feel like I was and reading writers like Sheffield and Nick Hornby really crystallize it for me, I was a baby of the 80's but those writers, and my father, make me wish I was a teen of the 80's.(less)
So so so great... People keep saying NOOO don't read it, you will be sucked in and then disappointed later, but I can't help myself. I do read books I...moreSo so so great... People keep saying NOOO don't read it, you will be sucked in and then disappointed later, but I can't help myself. I do read books I love slower then normal as I don't want them to end, don't ask why, it's weird, but this one was definitely one of them.
(Warning: do not read this review if you have not read "A Game of Thrones" the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series.)
This book was almost as good as the first one, though slightly different in execution. It slows down a bit in the middle, but is still very interesting and picks back up and is awesome towards the end, with a couple of the different plot lines becoming very intriguing.
There is more setup and dealing with politics in this book, but it may have just been more noticeable because of Martin's Tolkien-esque approach to battles -- describing them mostly after they happen or with someone who wasn't actually participating. The climactic battle in the book even mirrors the battle at the Gates of Mordor in "Return of the King" in terms of perspective and result. This style keeps the focus of the book on the characters (which he does a good job with), rather than the confusion and bloodshed of the battlefield, but makes these large action scenes flash by quickly, emphasizing everything else.
Picking up slightly after final events of "A Game of Thrones", George R.R. Martin's second novel in the Song of Ice and Fires series, "A Clash of Kings", continues to build story, pushing events toward a larger climax. Events in the east with Daenarys, at the Wall with Snow, and especially in the heartland of Westeros are all moved to the next level. Suffering no sequel blues, readers who loved the former will feast on this novel voraciously.
The title apt, "A Clash of Kings" is referred to internally in the novel as Westeros becomes a land of Four Kings. Houses Stark, Lannister, Baratheon (both Stannis and Renly,) and the quiet fifth king of the Iron Islands house Greyjoy, each vie for the iron throne at King's Landing. New characters introduced and viewpoints added, the plot expands to encompass the larger group at war. Favorites and the hated each being put through the wringer by Martin, once again nobody's fate is certain.
In focusing on the Stannis, Renly, and Greyjoy storylines, Martin simultaneously places new characters in the respective settings to witness events happening there. Theon Greyjoy, House Stark's the Stark ward in "A Game of Thrones", is a glass through which events on the Iron Islands are viewed. Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight, is a soft and sympathetic character with an eye on things happening in Dragonsport. And Catelyn, through a twist in fate, becomes an unwilling spectator to the dramatic happenings in the regal Renly's camp as he prepares to march on King's Landing.
Along with the introduction of additional viewpoints, old ones return. House Stark continues to be well represented by Bran, Arya, Sansa, and Catelyn, as mentioned above. Across the sea, Daenerys continues gathering power and forces for a return to Westeros, her dragons growing each day. At the wall, Jon continues fighting to keep his place, things beyond the wall starting to take shape. Nothing lost in the break between novels, each returning character's story develops in surprising yet fitting turns. Martin continues to show he has a firm grip on the overall plot's direction.
My one complaint is that Daenerys' story has become very slow and its separation from the main events of the book are even more obvious. It is obvious that something will come of it in books three or four, but in this volume it is purely setup with no real payoff. The threat facing Jon Snow in the north seems like it would suffer from the same issues, but is presented in a much more urgent way and with characters that are intriguing.
It is a very strong sequel. Those who enjoyed "A Game of Thrones" will find few faults, the story picking up seamlessly where things left off. Characterization, which was the strong suit of the first novel, remains at the fore of Martin's storytelling, while the plot continues advancing in unpredictable yet realistic fashion. Likewise, the constant storytelling within' the story interweaving Westeros legend with current events continues; the happenings at the climax of "A Game of Thrones" play an important role in determining allegiance and opinion among the various factions left vying for power in the battle for the iron throne.
Strongly recommend this one to any fantasy reader. (less)
I'd heard raves about "Tuesdays with Morrie," so I was went into this with high hopes due to hype,and this book delivered and enchanted me. It is trul...moreI'd heard raves about "Tuesdays with Morrie," so I was went into this with high hopes due to hype,and this book delivered and enchanted me. It is truly a book about teaching and teachable moments. A book for anyone that is looking for something that can help him or her through life when it gets hard. "Tuesday�s with Morrie" starts off as a teacher who watches his student, Mitch Albom, go through college and then later in life Mitch experiences this same teacher (or Coach, Morrie) struggle with a life threatening disease.
After college Mitch Albom was wrapped up in material things and career concerns until he was reunited with his dying professor. Albom's time with Morrie Schwartz, before his death, is chronicled in this charming little book. The lessons might seem cliché or overdone in the hands of another writer; however, because Albom had such a close relationship with Morrie the professor's personality really comes through in the book. What might've been super sappy, and at sometimes it is a little bit, otherwise comes through with heartfelt meaning and the sincerity with which it was so lovingly passed on to Albom as he talked with his friend in his dying days. This book is not all heavy and filled with seriousness though, there's a great deal of humor in Morrie's attitude, lessons, and stories and I found myself laughing every now and then.
I rated this book a five out of five because I think it's a book that every person should read at some point in his or her life. Morrie helps you look at life from a different angle or with a different lens. Morrie makes you realize how good life really is, despite his condition, and how we should value our time on Earth. He speaks on death not being a bad thing, but a good thing especially if you have lived the life that you wanted to. When Morrie was dying he explained that everyone should do what they dream of doing, don't let life get in the way of things. Money, power, etc. All that stuff is a cultural blinder, and that we should make sure we get a chance to do all of the things that we want to before we die.
In addition to the great story, I was also impressed with the layout of the book. Albom intermingles old memories from his college days in Morrie's classes among the short chapters dealing with specific life lessons like aging, love, and death. This method of layout made for an engrossing, and very fast-moving read. I blew through the book in only a few hours and was completely satisfied with its well roundedness. There was laughter as well as tears, and I came away from the book feeling enriched. I had a couple friends say to me that they had to read this book in school, now after reading it I say, I wish I had this assigned to me, it was a great read. Funny that I finished this book on a Tuesday, Morrie would say, "we're Tuesday people."
"In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive right?... But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well." - Morris Schwartz
"Have you ever really had a teacher? One who saw you as a raw but previous thing, a jewel that, with wisdom, could be polished to a proud shine? If you are lucky enough to find your way to such teachers, you will always find a way back. Sometimes it is only in your head. Sometimes it is right alongside their beds." - Mitch Albom (less)
Loved it. A great first book to a series, I sometimes hear comparisons to R.R. Martin and Tolkien, often trashing Martin and saying that his world is...moreLoved it. A great first book to a series, I sometimes hear comparisons to R.R. Martin and Tolkien, often trashing Martin and saying that his world is nothing compared to Tolkien and Lord of the Rings, but I beg to differ, I really like the dynamic of Martin's world, and he paints the picture so well. I love the characters and look forward to reading the next books, I know I didn't get the disadvantage some of the diehards have of waiting years and years for the next books but nonetheless I'm glad I have started this series. There are so many characters, the transition with time continuing Martin does well. There is a lot going on, all the families and their motives and I think Martin juggles everything splendidly. Winter is Coming.(less)