Friday, January 20, 2017

Fire Emblem continues

I have always been a passionate fan of the Fire Emblem video game series, for the stories are book-worthy and full of characters who I truly came to love and care about. Thus I am thrilled to say a new game, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, is in the works. Apparently it takes place several centuries before the events of Fire Emblem Awakening, on the continent where Chrom and co. found and awoke Tiki.
Hears to a new friends and adventures!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Opening of the World

Just started Beyond the Gap, book #1 of The Opening of the World series by Harry Turtledove.

One seldom gets a chance to read Fantasy in an Ice Age setting complete with mammoths, great glaciers, and saber-tooth tiger furs. This should be fun indeed.

Forced exit from Annar

Alas!! I must commit that rarest of acts and quit The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon, prequel to her Pellinor Quartet.

Though heartfelt and written with all of Croggon's unquestionable mastery, she made the mistake many an author will make in the writing of unexpected prequels (and even sequels). Hence The Bone Queen is, sadly, filled with several clear inconsistencies (one of them glaring) in addition to the fact that Croggon tried to expand her world and ratchet up the tension so much that the book became quite out of sync with the Pellinor Quartet.

Why am I quitting over such? Because I hold myself and all Fantasy authors to the same standard: one must follow one's own laws and keep series extensions within the boundaries of contextual sense.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Talk about unexpected

So my Dad and I are talking about books when, out of nowhere, he tells me that there is this classic epic Fantasy that predates Tolkien which he has not read and has been withholding from me for years!! AURGHH!!!
This edition was, of course, published
after The Lord of the Rings
Welcome to my reading list, The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison.

(As to why he did not tell me about this as well as why I had not previously discovered it, Dad said that he withheld it because he did not wish to encourage my usage of archaic language in my writing; forgivable, as this book appears to use such language even more than Tolkien. As to my not finding it, the book was written in 1922 and is out of print, hence easy to miss; even if otherwise, my sight in regards to finding Fantasies is not quite so all encompassing as many would credit it.)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee"

Gandalf the Gey
Gandalf is without question, in my not always humble opinion, one of (if not the) greatest wizard in Fantasy literature. In his Book of Unfinished Tales more properly called the Unfinished Tales of NĂșmenor and Middle-earth Tolkien describes him as such:

"The Enemy of Sauron, opposing the fire that devours and wastes with the fire that kindles, and succours in wanhope and distress; but his joy, and his swift wrath, were veiled in garments grey as ash, so that only those that knew him well glimpsed the flame that was within. Merry he could be, and kindly to the young and simple, yet quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly; but he was not proud, and beloved among those who were not themselves proud. Mostly he journeyed unwearingly on foot, leaning on a staff; and so he was called among Men of the North Gandalf, 'the Elf of the Wand'. For they deemed him (though in error, as has been said) to be of Elven-kind, since he would at times works wonders among them, loving especially the beauty of fire; and yet such marvels he wrought mostly for mirth and delight, and desired not that any should hold him in awe or take his counsels out of fear."

This being the case, and as is known from the mostly accurate movies, Gandalf Greyhame is a wellspring of wise quotes and his counsel quite literally saved Middle-earth. Still, I have recently come to the conclusion that possibly the most important thing he whom the Elves call Mithrandir uttered was a line we only heard twice and secondhand: "Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee."
That simple line, coupled with his love for Frodo, kept Sam with the Ringbearer through fire and fear, darkness and death, and a giant spider whom  – though a black terror to all  – he bested per the strength of overpowering friendship. A friendship and companionship that Frodo needed and would have ultimately failed without; hence, by extension, making it the quote that saved Middle-earth from a second darkness. Yet, interesting, Gandalf himself did not appear to recognize the power those words wrought upon Sam.

"Then you know about Frodo!' said Gimli. "How do things go with him?"
"I cannot say. He was saved from a great peril, but many lie before him still. He resolved to go alone to Mordor, and he set out: that is all that I can say."
"Not alone," said Legolas. "We think that Sam went with him."
"Did he!" said Gandalf, and there was a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face. "Did he indeed? It is news to me, yet it does not surprise me. Good! Very good! You lighten my heart. You must tell me more. Now sit by me and tell me the tale of your journey."

Well, perhaps in typical Gandalf manner he knew and did not know simultaneously. I certainly cannot truly fathom the mind of the White Rider. Still, I think the consequences of his saying "Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee" proved true another of his sayings, this time and poetically applied directly back to himself: "Even the very wise cannot see all ends."