Friday, December 8, 2017

Small and simple lessons

One of the beauties of the High Fantasy is that it teaches critical real-world lessons in totally out of this world ways. For example, take the age old question of: What does one's race have to do with friendship?

None that I can see. And the above is just one example, the image (from MtG) so good as to be irresistible. Take Legolas and Gimli, Elf and Dwarf and about as different as different can be, as another and arguably the most famous instance. One loves gems and mountains, the other woodlands and flowers, and there is a long history of distrust, scorn, and even war between their races. Yet between them blossoms a friendship based on battle-born trust, a hugely funny love of slaying orcs, and a whole host of shared experiences coupled with being the sole representatives of their races in the War of the Ring as fought in Gondor and Rohan. Not enough? Well, who can explain why people become friends? Sometimes it just works and, in my experience, the strange friendships often turn out to be the best. The point though is that racial differences were overcome to the degree that, long after the Sauron's fall and the death of Aragorn, when they were last two living members of the Fellowship in Middle Earth, Legolas took Gimli to the Undying Lands with him.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Just for the record...

Just for the record, the following basically sums up my approach to life, explaining my dry sense of humor. As always, Diana Wynne Jones hits the nail on the head.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?

Dad is still reading The Book of Dust and it is, as of now, the Christmas Season. So why not read a book about bells?

The necromantic kind, of course. Hence I just started Goldenhand by Garth Nix, sequel and final book of the classic Abhorsen Series. This is literally the second full Fantasy series I read by myself (back in the 7th Grade), so Goldenhand is like a joyous reunion and journey continuation with old and dear friends! 

I swear the Old Kingdom never looked so good. And I am doubly excited because, if that expanded map is any indication, we will travel further North this time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just finished The Battle of Hackham Heath

Just finished The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flanagan, book #2 of his Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years series.
All I can say is that it was a pleasure to see how Halt earned his legend and helped send Morgarath, once Baron and now Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, packing. Interesting learning more about the Warguls as a race, too.
The epilogue was a killer, of course, but how much eye rolling laughter can a guy take.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Colors of Madeleine

My father and I just finished A Tangle of Gold, book #3 of The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty.
An utterly unique cousin of Pullman's His Dark Materials, this series is so unlike anything we have ever read that I am at a loss as to how to describe it.
But I can reaffirm that the end does not justify the means, that one should never believe another is dead until you see the body, and that love and the bonds of friendship can be found in the strangest and most unlikely of places. That and alchemy. And this book gives the terms strange and unlikely a new meaning.

May a Gold ever sprinkle upon you Elliot Baranski & Madeleine, Keira, Princess Ko, Corrie-Lynn Baranski, Sergio, Belle & Jack, King Cetus & Queen Lyra, Agents Tovey and Kim, Abel & Petra Baranski, and all else of the incurably odd and charming Kingdom of Cello.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Amazon announces Lord of the Rings TV adaptation

Yes indeed, and you doubtless did not hear it here first, Amazon has announced a TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Frankly, I am ambivalent 😶 as on the one hand I do not see how this could even begin to match the movies. Yet on the other, Amazon is working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line and it is hard to fathom that such a team could produce a poor imitation. Also, I think the movies are set in such a high place that this cannot touch them. After all, if it fails then the movies look doubly good, but if the t.v. series succeeds then we can cheer.

What I find hilarious is that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the series is Amazons attempt to find a challenger to the success HBO’s Game of Thrones and establish a big-name franchise. (I suppose that is one good GRRM's work did: showing the world that fantasy book adaptations are quite viable in T.V. series format.)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Just started The Battle of Hackham Heath

So my Dad and I had a little race going...whoever finished their current book first earned the right to be the first to read The Book of Dust. I lost by barely an hour, but luckily good books are never lacking and this seems to be the season for old favorites. Sooo...

Just started The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flanagan, book #2 of his Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years series. Time to return for a blast from the past and delight in tactical genius and and cheerfully insults of Halt and Crowley and all the rest. Morgarath beware.