Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Broken Blade (Marston)

The Broken Blade, Ann Marston

I was incredibly happy when I got the call that this book had arrived at my local library, by my request.
I can't remember being so disappointed in a book. It was still a good book, but it wasn't up to the level of the previous two books, nor was it a satisfying conclusion to the first trilogy. (I wasn't too happy about that "first" business, either.)

Where the stories in the first two books spanned years, this book spanned four months -- one week followed by a four-month gap followed by another week. Most of the action is centered on a couple of individuals. We rarely, if ever, lose their point of view even though an entire island nation is under attack. One character was dismissed with "and we never saw him again". Is that a fitting farewell for a character that was supposed to be the King's greatest ally? (That designation was according to a prophecy, mind you.)

Yes, I went on to read the next three books.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Return of the King (Tolkien)

The Return of the King, J. R. R. Tolkien

After a long wait, I finally read The Return of the King. Great ending (or maybe I should say "endings") to one of the greatest fantasy tales ever told. By this point, I had already seen the Rankin-Bass cartoon, heard the BBC radio series, and seen the Peter Jackson epic. I still enjoyed reading it and making my own comparisons.

I didn't realize how much of this book was made up of appendices. The climatic scene actually occurs relatively early in the book.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Books 2004

Sometime in 2003, I stopped writing mini-reviews in my mini-journal (seriously, it's about 2 inches tall, so it fit in my jacket pocket), probably because I was taking classes at night. Likewise, there weren't many books read because I was commuting by car again, instead of subway, and I didn't bother listing the textbooks that I was reading at the time. (Psychology ... education ... ick)

In 2004, I started listing the titles of the books read only in a file named Books04. So the reviews for these books are new, based on five-year-old memories.

There were a lot of books read, but there were a lot of series books and children's books.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

OK, I'm caught up with the Potter books now. Liked it better than four, but I thought that some of it was either forced or unnecessary.

I believe this got me caught up with the Harry Potter books and I had to wait for the new books to be published. I thought that the tournament was a little strained because it didn't really fit into the one book per year format that Rowling had set.