Tag Archives: adventure

The Children of Lubrochius

Book Blast for The Children of Lubrochius

The Book Blast is Today! (Sorry about my tardy post—got caught up doing other Book Blast stuff)

Goddess Fish Promotions is sponsoring a Book Blast for the official launch of my book, “The Children of Lubrochius” on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The Book Blast will last the entire day and will include blurbs, excerpts, and perhaps the occasional review. Make sure you check out the sponsor of the Book Blast–Goddess Fish Promotions–it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

I will be awarding one randomly chosen commenter on the tour (for those who comment on the tour sites—not atoasttodragons) with a plastic Reaper miniature from the Chronoscope line. It is of a demon by the name of Krampus and is excellent for collecting, or to use in gaming, so make sure you comment on all the sites to up your odds of winning on April 2nd.

Hope to hear from you on the tour.
1: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
2: Deal Sharing Aunt
3: My Devotional Thoughts
4: Room With Books
5: Andi’s Book Reviews
6: Literary Lunes Magazine
7: Queentutt’s World of Escapism
8: The Bookie Monster (5* Review)
9: Multi-Verses of Liza O
10: Two Ends of the Pen
11: Reviews by Crystal
12: The Avid Reader
13: It’s Raining Books
14: Long and Short Reviews
15: Rose and Beps Blog
16: Let’s Get BOOKED!
17: Kit ‘N Kabookle
18: Jodie Pierce’s Ink Slinger’s Blog
19: The Cerebral Writer
20: Hywela Lyn ‘Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’

Book Review: The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss, 4*’s)

I was looking for a new fantasy novel to read and I’d heard good things about Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. So, I gave it a gander. It’s an interesting idea for a story. The main character is a man named Kvothe (pronounced Quothe) who, after living quite the life of adventure and glory, is now living the quiet life of an innkeeper in a backwater village on the edges of civilization under the assumed name of Kote. He has a companion named Bast (who appears to be a demon of some sort, but apparently a tame one, as he is apprenticed to Kvothe for reasons which are never explained in book I—yes, this is supposed to be the first book of a trilogy). Anyway, one day a certain scribe by the name of Chronicler arrives at the inn and is looking for Kvothe—actually, he is rescued by Kote from evil quasi-demonic spider-creatures called Scrael. Chronicler wishes to record Kvothe’s story, the real story from the legend himself. At first, Kvothe is hesitant, but then he relents. What follows is his story.

 

The novel begins with his early life as part of a company of traveling entertainers. His father is head of the company. One day the company takes on an old arcanist (kind of a scholarly wizard type of person) name Abenthy, or Ben for short. Soon Ben and Kvothe strike up a friendship even though Kvothe is only around ten years old. And Ben soon learns that Kvothe is a remarkably adept young boy, so much so, Ben begins to teach him the rudiments of the arcanist teachings: things like chemistry, alchemy, herbology, etc…. Eventually, Ben leaves the company but not without leaving the young Kvothe with the notion that he could really make something of himself if he were to go to the University. A short while later, the entire company except Kvothe is wiped out by quasi-demonic creatures called Chandrians. Kvothe swears revenge, but he has a long way to go. First, he lives in the wild accompanied only by his lyre (or is it lute?—I’ve forgotten) which he plays until it has but three of its seven strings left. After some little adventures, he gets to a large city and lives as a street urchin for a while, picking up the requisite skills of begging and thievery. Finally, he gets to the University and things really take off.

 

Strengths: the writing was good, very impressive for a debut novel. The concept was pretty good, too: everything told as a kind of reflection by the older Kvothe. The characters developed well and the action, the rivalries, and the tension were all good. Weaknesses: in terms of structure and writing there weren’t really any. However, the story did not grip me completely. Maybe fantasy literature is losing its allure for me … which can’t be good, because I’m a fantasy writer. Still, it was an impressive work.

 

I’ll give Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind four or maybe even four and a half stars (if I’m feeling generous) out of five.

Book Review: The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One

“The Unsuspecting Mage” is book one of the seven book series, The Morcyth Saga, by Brian S. Pratt. It tells the story of James, a high school student from our very own Earth who, when he answers an unusual ad in the paper, finds himself thrust into a strange and dangerous unknown world with little to help him except a short book on magic (which he quickly loses—of course).

 

The story is pretty straightforward. James needs to return home, but he has no idea how to get there. He’s given some clues on what he’s wanted for in this world by a strange little impish creature that keeps showing up to “help” him. Other than that, he’s on his own. Eventually, he finds himself on a quest for information regarding the good god Morcyth whose religion was wiped out several centuries ago. This leads him from city to city across the land with a young boy named Miko to accompany him. He makes a few enemies (and a few friends) along the way. The book reaches its climax in a besieged city called the City of the Light. I won’t spoil the ending.

 

Overall, I found this book to be … unexceptional. That is what describes it best. It wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination; I was able to read it without too much difficulty over the course of a week or so. However, the writing wasn’t good enough to persuade me to get the next book in the series.

 

Strengths: there are a couple: most notably the positive moral character of the main character James. He comes across as a decent enough guy who makes morally decent decisions. That can be a plus or a minus depending upon the reader. Sometimes, he seemed almost too much of a goodie-two-shoes (or is it goodie-too-shoes?), in an unrealistic way—he always had sage advice and a willingness to go out of his way to help people to whom he owed nothing.

 

Weaknesses: there were a few. Most notable, the work (at least the version I got) was riddled with typos. And some of them were quite serious—entire missing words and whatnot. It got kind of annoying after a while. Also, and this may even be more significant, there was very little tension. Most of the people he encounters in his travels are normal everyday-types who aren’t out to hurt anybody, or deceive anybody; there are one or two exceptions, but they are mostly on the periphery. It doesn’t make for an exciting story. There was a lot of useless dialogue consisting of “Hi. How are you?” “Oh, I’m fine. And you?” and similar type stuff.

 

On a side note, the book is written in present tense. That can work, sometimes, if it’s done correctly. In this case, I think it averages out to be a neutral, adding nothing special to the work, nor taking too much away.

 

Overall, I’ll give this work two and half, or maybe three stars, out of five, if I’m feeling generous.

 

This review was originally posted on Smashwords on 3/31/13.

Old Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to come out in the past few years, this one, The Curse of the Black Pearl, is by far the best. The next two in the series are decent, but by the time movie four comes around, it’s beginning to lose its luster. Anyway, this one was a creative imagining of the adventures of the pirate ship The Black Pearl. It is based on a ride of the same name in a Disney theme park. And I have to say, considering such humble origins, it is a remarkable tale (then again, it’s got Disney behind it). It stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as the blacksmith turned pirate, William Turner, and Kiera Knightley (I think that’s her name) as the governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann.

 

It’s a tale of swashbuckling pirates, cursed treasure, and cursed men. William Turner and Elizabeth Swann provide the romantic element to the story. There’s a bit of a clever preamble introducing the main characters and some of the tensions before the real action begins. Then, the Black Pearl, captained by Captain Balboza, lays siege to Port Royale (I think) the town where Elizabeth and William live. In her attempt to negotiate a cease-fire with the pirates, Elizabeth is captured and taken away with the Pearl. Shortly thereafter, William Turner, dissatisfied with the rescue efforts of the military under the command of Captain Norrington (another significant character), throws his lot in with Captain Jack Sparrow and sets off to rescue Elizabeth on his own. The adventures that follow are the stuff of legend and love.

 

There’s a great deal of lighthearted fun and comedy in this movie. Captain Jack Sparrow in particular provides a great deal of humor. Overall, there’s very little to complain about. The pacing is perfect. The humor is clean. The action is exciting. And the special effects are well-done. I’ve seen the movie a dozen or so times (I own it now), and normally, after so many viewings of a movie, I can usually pick out one or two logical flaws in the flow of the story. Not this one (at least, not off the top of my head). Everything fits together and flows very well. No glaring contradictions, and no gaping holes in the story line.

 

Anyway, I’ll give “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” four and half out of five stars. It might even be worth five stars, but I’ve seen it so many times it no longer holds any surprises, so that might be what’s holding me back.

Old Movie Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a fantasy, adventure film set during the time of the height of the Persian Empire. It, like several other movies in recent years, is based on a computer game. Nevertheless, it delivers a solid film experience. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the hero, Dastan, Gemma Arterton plays the beautiful heroine, Tamina, and Ben Kingsley plays the villain, Nizam, brother and cupbearer of King Sharaman.

The movie begins in a sort of Aladdin-esque way, with the young Dastan living on the streets causing problems for the guards. But things change quickly, and because of an act of extreme courage, Dastan finds himself taken into the home of King Sharaman who adopts him as a son. Fast forward a decade or so. The heir to the throne, Prince Tus, is misled to attack a holy city and is successful due to the efforts of Prince Dastan. However, things are not what they seem, and soon, Prince Dastan finds himself on the run with the beautiful Princess Tamina, accused of murdering King Sharaman. At first, Dastan is prepared to go to any length to prove his innocence, but soon finds out that much more is on the line than a simple assassination would make it seem. Indeed, the fate of the whole world may be at stake.

Overall, this was an excellent movie… assuming you can accept the whole time-traveling bit. The special effects were superb. The acting was good. And the story was intriguing and easy to follow. All good things. It was made by Disney, so it is family-friendly.

It wasn’t a pinnacle of cinematic glory, but I can’t think of any major flaws in it. I liked it enough that I bought it and I throw it in the old DVD player periodically.

Anyway, I’ll give it a solid four and a half out of five stars.