Showing posts from December, 2009

Holiday Leftovers: His Majesty's Dragon, The Ruby in the Smoke, By the Mountain Bound

Due to constraints on time and inspiration, Faithful Readers (all 6 of you),  in place of a long article on one book, here are some brief thoughts on other books I've read recently, that don't quite have enough to get their own article.   Plus, my camera is broken. His Majesty's Dragon Naomi Novik, 2006 Sometimes I see a book that seems to say, "I was written just for you!"  This is one of those books.  In sketchiest outline, the plot is a little bit like Eragon , (person imprints on dragon, life changes), if Eragon were any good.  And set in the Napoleonic Wars.  And starred a Naval captain.  The author is, like me, a great fan of both JRR Tolkien and Patrick O'Brian, and it comes through in the writing. The protagonist, Captain Laurence, is a proud, hot-tempered man who clings to duty and responsibility when his life is turned upside-down.  His unexpected bond with Temeraire, a rare Chinese Dragon captured from a French ship, means that he

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia C. S. Lewis, 1954 (FYI, this is my goodreads review reposted for those of you who may have read it last year) Fair Warning: I am reading (in some cases, rereading) this as an adult, one who is most decidedly Not Christian, and somewhat against religious children's books. If that doesn't describe you, your mileage will obviously vary. The following is very long, as I sum up each book. Spoilers aplenty. After seeing the new Prince Caspian movie last summer, I decided that, as a fan of both classic children’s literature and fantasy literature, I should really take another look at The Chronicles of Narnia. As a child, I read what I considered to be “the good ones” of this series (Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, Caspian, Dawn Treader, Silver Chair) although the little I remember is mostly from the BBC TV specials. Overall opinion: Any book with the default plot of “kids fall into fantasy world, proceed to defeat evil” is going to have at leas

By Heresies Distressed

By Heresies Distressed David Weber, 2009 Vaguely Spoiler-y for the trend of the series and events of the book. Impossibly likable protagonists, creepy fanatical killers, six-legged lizards and a history lesson.  It could only be the latest from David Weber... This is the third one in the “Safehold” series, which I've previously described as Arthurian legend meets Protestant Reformation plus alternate Industrial Revolution...IN SPACE.  (Even though the IN SPACE part is mostly theoretical, more like IN THE FUTURE ON A DISTANT WORLD.) The third volume is better than the second, but still prone to brain-twisting naming conventions.  Conventions arrived at by (I presume) postulating what modern Earth names might look like after being wrung through the generations during 800 years of medieval society.  It turns out he's gone so far on that continuum, that he's come out the other end at fantasy names with too many Y's.  (Byrtrym?  Really?  Just call the man Bert

Animal Society: Just the Stats, Ma'am

As you probably noticed, I like books. I also like lists.  So, for your reading amusement (and not just because I'm super-busy this week), I'm wrapping up the Animal Society Theme with a quick statistical-ish comparison of the six books I read. Reviews, in case you missed 'em: Wind in the Willows The Rescuers Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Redwall Mouse Guard Watership Down Stats Away! Continuum of Anthropomorphism: Extremely human-like society Wind in the Willows Redwall The Rescuers Mouse Guard Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Watership Down   Slightly human-like Positions on various species: Weasels are jerks, along with all their kin Wind in the Willows , Redwall , Mouse Guard Cats are bastards The Rescuers , Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH , Watership Down Rats are evil Redwall , Watership Down Rats are great! Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH , Wind in the Willows Birds?  They're okay Redwall , Mrs. Frisby and the Ra