Anyone who has seen my library knows I'm a fan of Tamora Pierce (probably why my best friend bought this for my birthday) so it is crazy that it tookAnyone who has seen my library knows I'm a fan of Tamora Pierce (probably why my best friend bought this for my birthday) so it is crazy that it took me this long to finish this collection of short stories.
As implied by the title most of the stories take place in Tortall or the world in which Tortall exists, but there are a few that take place 'in our world' near the end and a few in an unspecified fantasy world(perhaps still in the world which Tortall exists but a place we've never read of before). Some of these tales (like 'The Dragon's Tale' and 'Nawat') are continuations of stories told in her books. One(Elder Brother) answers the question of what happened to the tree that was turned into a man when Numair fought with Tristan in Wolf-Speaker and its following tale(The Hidden Girl) stays in the same land. One thing all the tales share is strong female characters (usually as protagonists), but this should be no surprise to any fan of Pierce's work.
My personal favourites were 'A Student of Ostriches', 'Mimic' and 'Plain Magic', though I really liked the themes of 'The Hidden Girl' and wished 'Time of Proving' had been longer (I felt it ended too soon, but that's because I wanted more).
I recommend it to any Fan of Tamora Piecre and/or her Tortall novels and anyone who likes fantasy....more
The first quarter of this novel reads like a modern action adventure before it takes a fantasy swing. The book starts off following a team of AustraliThe first quarter of this novel reads like a modern action adventure before it takes a fantasy swing. The book starts off following a team of Australian SAS soldiers on a mission in Iraq. There is plenty of military jargon and talk about various weapons, a reasonable amount of which is explained so those not familiar with modern military aren't completely lost. The action is strong and fast paced and the comeraderie between the men is clear with their witty banter which made me laugh out loud at times.
Then the time portal is triggered (not counting this as a spoiler since its in the book's blurb) and they are sent back to a Norse village were they are greeted as messengers of the Gods. Unwittingly they bring great danger along with them so the journey to find a way home has just become that much more dangerous - not that they'll be any safer upon return!
The mythology and the actual day to day life of the Norse village are well researched and enrich the story. I particularly like that the women aren't stand-around damsels hiding under beds waiting to be protected but rather proactive and prepared to do serious damage to those looking to harm them. I really liked the extra detail of pointing out the fitness of the Norse warriors exceeds that of main characters. Some of the imagery is unique and shows quite an imagination, like: 'The track from an APC flying through the air like a girls hair ribbon'.
It was an unusual read for me, but I was eager to try out a new type of time travel novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. It has good pacing, great action, good humour, and plenty of realism. I also found the mix of ancient and modern combat quite interesting. Definately worth a read, even if it isn't entirely one of the genres you are used to....more