I was surprised and delighted by the view of Iraq offered by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of Ahmad Chalabi, a leading opposition figure to Saddam Hussein'I was surprised and delighted by the view of Iraq offered by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of Ahmad Chalabi, a leading opposition figure to Saddam Hussein's regime. She begins her tale of history and family in the early 1900's, with her great-grandfather, the influential Abdul Hussein and the British occupation of Mesopotamia during World War I; from which Modern day Iraq was born. In the style of Iraq's oral traditions, the memoir encompasses the points of view and life events of several of Chalabi's relatives including her father, aunts, grandfather and her grandmother, Bibi. (Who I loved from her initial appearance in the family's story.) While she tells of the events occurring around the family in Iraq, the heart and soul of the novel lies within the lives, loves and losses of the family.
This story is neither a dry historical look at the country's past nor a boring slideshow of a family's history. To me, this memoir is a celebration of a family and the country they loved, were forced from and their eventual homecoming many years later. A masterful weaving of Chalabi's personal and political feelings, it offers insights into the hows and whys of Iraq's past as well as its current situation. It is an eye opening and insightful look at a misunderstood country and its people, which I would recommend wholeheartedly to those interested in history, the middle east or just a good read. ...more
After feeling the first book in this trilogy felt rushed and thoroughly enjoying the second one and watching the characters really come into their ownAfter feeling the first book in this trilogy felt rushed and thoroughly enjoying the second one and watching the characters really come into their own, this one took my breathe away and broke my heart. For the first time since I began reading these books, I saw Caramon as more than just Raislin's twin or the brute force of the group - I saw him as a person who has become whole and found himself, which I suspect, is what was intended. The appearances of both Tanis and Kitiara were nice touches and Tasslehoff was written as less of an annoyance than he came off in the previous two books, which I was extremely happy to see. What can I say, I'm a kender loving fool!
But, as has been the case throughout all of the books, my heart was with Raistlin. It was my desire to see if my feelings about him were going to be validated in the end that made me devour this book in one sitting. Throughout the trilogy we've seen him wrestle with his desire for power and the humanity that burns somewhere inside of him which he tries so desperately not to give in to. A being of seemingly total evil, willing to challenge the Queen of Darkness and attempt to take her place amongst the gods, he's done unspeakable things and is past the point of redemption - or is he?
After my dislike of the previous book I went into this one with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The story is more solid and well tAfter my dislike of the previous book I went into this one with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The story is more solid and well told and the characters were a lot less obnoxious, Axis is less of a self centered douche and Azhure's character grows into much more than a lovesick girl. I still feel that Faraday got a really raw deal and would have liked to have seen her do more than suffer throughout the book, but overall this was a surprisingly good read. ...more
A slow simmering tale of madness, superstition and prejudice set in a small town that could very well be your own. Told from the perspective of Mary KA slow simmering tale of madness, superstition and prejudice set in a small town that could very well be your own. Told from the perspective of Mary Katherine, who proclaims in the first paragraph that she is 18 but reads more as a young child, the tale chronicles the lives of the surviving members of the once affluent and prestigious Blackwood family. Poor dears, someone put arsenic in the sugar bowl. But, Merricat doesn't want to talk about that; instead she wants to tell you about the village that hates her, how she wishes they were all dead, about the treasures nailed to trees and buried in the yard to ward of change, about winged horses and her desire to live on the moon. What we know about the murder we glean are from snippets of conversation between Merricat's older and extremely reclusive sister, Constance and their ailing Uncle Julian as he tries to recreate the night in perfect detail.
This is horror in the the most subtle sense, where your emotions wrestle and twist in upon themselves. It is delightfully eerie and intensely human throughout. ...more
For Laurel Shelton, life has been as dark and gloomy as the cove where her family's farm in North Carolina lies. Taunted and tormented by locals who bFor Laurel Shelton, life has been as dark and gloomy as the cove where her family's farm in North Carolina lies. Taunted and tormented by locals who believe she is cursed or a witch, surviving the deaths of her parents and her brother's wounding in World War I, Laurel has grown up strong but lonely. She sees her life as unchangeable and dark, until one day follows the mysterious beautiful notes of a flute deeper into the woods and discovers a man, wounded and weak. Bringing him home and caring for him despite her brother's reservation, Laurel begins to walk a path to a happier life with Walter, mute though he may be, by her side.
But in a time of prejudice, superstition and war, when vigilantism and a hunger for pride and glory run rampant will their happiness last? Or will the life Walter ran from catch up to them?
A beautiful historical fiction piece, with extremely well developed characters. It is a story of small town prejudice, war time propoganda, family and love. The atmosphere is meticulously executed; I easily put myself into Laurel's shoes and lost myself in the gloaming of the Cove. ...more
**spoiler alert** It's almost as if they wrote this book to punish us all for reading this far.
Oh? You liked that character for the previous 6 books?**spoiler alert** It's almost as if they wrote this book to punish us all for reading this far.
Oh? You liked that character for the previous 6 books? Well, now they're dead... in a completely bland and lackluster manner. They killed off Tanis with the phrase 'and he breathed no more' or something similarly matter of fact. WHAT?
And the kids? Well, they kill off most of them as well. The ones that they left living were wet blankets who I wasn't the least bit interested in - I'll be honest, one Usha left the tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, I started skimming her chapters. I found I didn't miss anything. And Tas is back again, but they continue to write him like an annoying, sniveling child who is more irritating than helpful... but not in that loveable kender way.
And Raistlin... oh my dear, dear Raistlin... why couldn't they have just left you at peace, like your brother's dream said you were, instead of having you play wet nurse to a wet blanket? ...more