Saturday, July 13, 2024

I just started Murtagh by Christopher Paolini, sequel of the The Inheritance Cycle

Kvetha Fricai!

I just started Murtagh by Christopher Paolini, the next and first true full book sequel to his The Inheritance Cycle.

Truly I cannot adequately express my excitement to finally, after long delay, begin this book as my love for The Inheritance Cycle is second to none save The Lord of the Rings itself, for Eragon was the first great Fantasy book I read on my own in the 6th grade (my father having read LOTR to me the year before)!

Ah, Alagaësia... land of the Dragon Riders and the Ancient Language. Both of which may be under very real threat. So, while Eragon rebuilds the Riders, tis up to Murtagh and Thorn to seek out a new evil. "Beware the deeps, and tread not where the ground grows black and brittle and the air smells of brimstone, for in those places evil lurk." So said Umaroth. So it is made plain that King Galbatorix was far from the only fell thing that needs felling. Now we have a witch woman and Dreamers. And the hope that Murtagh can reunite with some dear friends.

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass.

Friday, July 5, 2024

UPDATED Private Message to my Former Students

Greetings my friends!

I have updated my private message to you in a fairly major way, so I suggest you read it.

As before I have written it on a separate page accessible via this link; it is password protected, and password is the answer to the Grandmaster Riddle – which I trust you all remember. The first letter is lowercase. If you write it in uppercase it will deny you access and tell you "the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."

Best,

Ian E.S. Adler

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien

For a long dead author, Tolkien certainly is publishing a good deal. Come mid-September of this year one will be able to buy The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien. Here is the Official Description from the publisher:

World first publication of the collected poems of J.R.R. Tolkien, spanning almost seven decades of the author’s life and presented in an elegant three-volume hardback boxed set.

J.R.R. Tolkien aspired to be a poet in the first instance, and poetry was part of his creative life no less than his prose, his languages, and his art. Although Tolkien’s readers are aware that he wrote poetry, if only from verses in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, its extent is not well known, and its qualities are underappreciated. Within his larger works of fiction, poems help to establish character and place as well as further the story; as individual works, they delight with words and rhyme. They express his love of nature and the seasons, of landscape and music, and of words. They convey his humour and his sense of wonder.

The earliest work in this collection, written for his beloved, is dated to 1910, when Tolkien was eighteen. More poems would follow during his years at Oxford, some of them very elaborate and eccentric. Those he composed during the First World War, in which he served in France, tend to be concerned not with trenches and battle, but with life, loss, faith, and friendship, his longing for England, and the wife he left behind. Beginning in 1914, elements of his legendarium, ‘The Silmarillion’, began to appear, and the ‘Matter of Middle-earth’ would inspire much of Tolkien’s verse for the rest of his life.

Within The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien almost 200 works are presented across three volumes, including more than 60 that have never before been seen. The poems are deftly woven together with commentary and notes by world-renowned Tolkien scholars Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, placing them in the context of Tolkien’s life and literary accomplishments and creating a poetical biography that is a unique and revealing celebration of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Beyond that, one interesting fact is that since Christopher Tolkien has sadly passed to the Halls of Mandos obviously someone else had to put this together. Somebodies as a matter of fact, Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, Tolkien scholars both as well as wife and husband whom have worked on many Tolkien-related projects.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

I have finished Destiny, book three of Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages and final book of the Rhapsody Trilogy

I have finished Destiny, book three of Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages and final book of the Rhapsody Trilogy.

"Three shall come, leaving early, arriving late. The lifestages of all men: Child of Blood, Child of Earth, Child of Sky." - Prophecy of the Three

I am in awe. I have read countless Fantasies most of which are the acknowledged best, yet NEVER have I read a series like this – the possible exception being The Wheel of Time which, given their respective titles, makes sense. Invoking the cosmic vastness of Time with unique characters who feels its ravages in ways I never dreamed of, a breathtakingly original world dripping with lore, romance, and a struggle to avert pre-ordained apocalypse, the Rhapsody Trilogy is like a mix of the best of The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time. The best, yet so utterly unpredictable as to keep me at the edge of my seat, never sure what was coming next.

So it is that a demon younger than starlight yet older than the Earth is cast down despite the aid of the ambitious willing to sell their souls for power or revenge. So it is that the Cymrian people put aside the Past in favor of the Future. So it is that even as Dragons can be born in starfire, they may end the same way. So it is that a pearl-sealed memory is restored and a love that began on the lost island of Serendair where Time began now outshines the star for which it was named for all to see. So it is that the Three stood and saved their world, despite enduring torments beyond what most souls could endure.

So it was that Meridion successfully edited Time, laying the tapestry for a new, better Future to unfold.

Which brings up the question, will I read that Future? The Rhapsody Trilogy is over, yet true to its name, the Symphony of Ages is not – with six more books that span millennia, a nine-volume series in total. Yet unlike The Wheel of Time, and more like Terry Brooks' Shannara books, it is not a single story, no vast overarching plotline. Some might disagree and I have read reviews by diehard fans stating that Haydon clearly had the end of book nine in mind from the start, yet still others contest that assertion – saying that the Rhapsody Trilogy has a perfectly conclusive ending. I agree with the latter, having finished the trilogy, and I have researched a bit to see about the rest. So, will I finish the harmony? The answer: no. Like I did with Shannara I am sticking with the original trilogy. Never mind exactly why save that my soul cannot take the ravages and repetitions of Time that Haydon puts the Three and their friends through. I may, in the Future, change my mind, but for now...

I wish fondest life and lots of love upon Rhapsody the Namer & Ashe ap Llauron, Achmed the Snake, Sergeant-Major Gunthor, Jo, Oelendra, Llauron, Anborn, Stephen Nanarve and children, the great Dragon Elynsynos and, of course Meridion the Child of Time.


"When you find the one thing in your life you believe in above anything else, you owe it to yourself to stand by it—it will never come again, child. And if you believe in it unwaveringly, the world has no other choice but to see it as you do, eventually. For who knows it better than you? Don’t be afraid to take a difficult stand, darling. Find the one thing that matters—everything else will resolve itself."

"Ryle Hira: Life is what it is."

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

My father and I just finished The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

My father and I just finished The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat.
 
In the Mangkon empire where lineage is everything, the only hope for a conman's daughter is an adventure on the high seas to find and map a land out of legend. Little did Sai, Assistant Mapmaker, know that she would also be charting the courses of her beliefs both in herself and others, what she wants versus what she knows is right, and truths about her homeland and crew-mates. A splendid little Thai-inspired Fantasy filled with storms, discoveries, and wrecks both on and off the ship, this is a tale of self-exploration while boldly sailing into terra incognita. Here Be Dragons; or better yet, Slakes.
 
Fare ye well Sai, Master Paiyoon, Bo, Captain Sangra, and the rest of the crew. Good job pulling the tail from the teeth.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Fire in the head

Through my own experiences as a Fantasy author, I have learned how appropriate it is that fire is used as a metaphor to describe passion, inspiration, and creativity. Because it burns one out. Hence, like with an actual fire, one needs to take the time to refuel.

Talking of which, here is a wonderful song on the subject from the most excellent band Emerald Rose.


Friday, June 7, 2024

Fire Emblem Heroes: Book VIII - In the Shadow of Yggdrasill

I must admit that Fire Emblem Heroes: Book VIII has continued to be one of the most intriguing of the game, not the least because we are unsure of the motives of our adversaries, one that caused a family of cosmic healers to become assassins. We have faced conquest for conquest's sake several times from both gods and mortals alike, and even the living embodiment of apocalypse merged with a cyclical nature of time. But the current crisis has no even semi-obvious cause, adding a most appealing element of mystery that I dearly hope will not end is cosmic and, for Alfonse and Sharena, person tragedy. As Book VIII's official description says, "Deceptions lurk around every corner, yet there is no choice but to move forward..."