Friday, June 24, 2022

The Last War - Official Book Trailer

New authors always hope their books become bestsellers despite knowing how utterly beyond unlikely it is, and that goes for me as well. Yet I also always hoped again despite knowing the unfathomable odds against it coming true that The Last War would get its own Book Trailer (I know, I REALLY dreamed big). Well, if the downside of self-publishing is that you must do everything yourself then, by the same token, that is also the upside. So I put my admittedly very limited video and photo editing skills to the test and made my own Book Trailer which is now on YouTube. (Yes, I have my own YouTube channel; and no, it was not made for publicity purposes regarding my book.) I think it came out rather well, but I will let the public be the judge of that.

(The girl is Sakura, one of my main characters. Technically she wields a rapier, but no photo is perfect. Even as it stands I had to use Photoshop to change her eye-color to green.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Fall of Númenor (a new Tolkien book)

For an author who has been dead since 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien sure has been pumping out the books. The Silmarillion and The Book of Unfinished Tales of course, but also, within the last several years, Beren And Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin, all thanks in part to his late son Christopher Tolkien. Then came The Nature of Middle-earth, which we all fully expected to be the last new book ever to bear the name of the Founder and Father of Modern Fantasy; indeed, it was described as J.R.R. Tolkien’s final writings on Middle-earth.

Yet once again does Tolkien reach out from the Timeless Halls beyond the circles of the world, for now comes yet another book by J.R.R. Tolkien! The Fall of Númenor will be published on 10th November 2022! As stated by the Tolkien Society, "The book brings many of Tolkien’s writings together, and uses The Tale of Years in the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings in order to present the content in an order and a style that works well for readers. This convenient volume will tell the story from the foundations of Númenor, the forging of the Rings, and the Last Alliance against Sauron that ended the Second Age."

A solid and worthy tale as, before now, the only way to learn the full story of the Downfall of Númenor was to read The Silmarillion and The Book of Unfinished Tales (which of course I, and many diehard Tolkien fans, have). Perhaps now more people will realize that GRRM's Doom of Valyria was not as unique as all that, yet I digress. More the point, this book looks incredible, my single complaint being that Tolkien called it the Downfall of Númenor (or the Drowning) more often than the Fall, hence either of those really should be the title.

For those who desire context, Númenor was an island between Middle-earth and the Undying Lands and its people, Númenóreans would in time – following the Downfall – become the Dúnedain (i.e. the people of Gondor and Arnor). Elendil and his son Isildur, Aragorn's royal ancestors, were born on Númenor.

"Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinomë maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta." (Translation: "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.") - Oath of Elendil

Monday, June 20, 2022

Just started Sword-Sworn, volume sixth of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.

Just started Sword-Sworn, volume sixth of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
Back in the South. What could possibly go wrong? There are totally not any number of skilled sword-dancers ready to split Tiger's skull open, and certainly no fanatical tribes who would love to deal out death to Del. But dreams, both magic-born and otherwise, will not be denied and so once again must the deadly sands of the Punja be braved. To answer a call, to rebuilt a school, to settle a matter of honor, and to make a home. All of which requires stepping back into the circle.

Just finished Sword-Born, volume five of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
Just finished Sword-Born, volume five of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
Seriously, these two take getting captured and then escaping to new levels. First pirates then, well, there are several different types of captivity. But being a slave in the body and a slave in the mind are two distinctly different things, for the freedom of the latter gives one the courage to find (or make) the means to free the former. Thus is the Sandtiger born again, this time with a plan to build a more solid home. With Del, of course.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

My father and I just finished Five Little Pigs by Dame Agatha Christie

My father and I just finished Five Little Pigs by Dame Agatha Christie.
Tis always delightful seeing the immaculate Hercule Poirot solve cases, but this particular book was delightfully unique even by the standards set by Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For this is a murder-in-the-past plot, with Poirot striving to prove a woman innocent of a sixteen-year-old crime when all evidence points against her. Or does it? All I will say is that Dad and I are by now no strangers to the Mystery genre, yet few books have captivated us so utterly as Five Little Pigs. So few where we passionately, for nights on end, debate and trade theories about whodunnit.
(Yes, I am well aware that this is not a Fantasy. But I have posted about Dad and I finishing mysteries before, and honestly feel that this one was good enough, unique enough, to again break my otherwise hallowed rule. Besides, the genres Fantasy and Mystery are literary cousins.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes - Awakened Rivals Trailer

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes keeps looking more interesting and more...I have no idea what. Watching the below trailer, in concert with all previously known, I feel at once joyful and horrified. The idea of Byleth and Sothis being our enemy... Ah, Fire Emblem doing what its does best: twisting our heart in knots while we scream with happiness and sorrow. Two things I can say, though, is that it will be lovely meeting the Ashen Wolves this time I never played the DLC in Three Houses (not yet, anyway) and that, with all this uncertainty regarding who is friend and foe, I must trust in Edelgard all the more. Where I stood beside her in Crimson Flower, I shall again in Scarlet Blaze. For the fate of Fódlan.

(Yet I find one more thing quiet interesting. In none of these trailers is even hinted the status, or existence, of those who slither in the dark.)

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Quiz: Which Wizarding World Career Is Right for You?

“Well, Potter, this meeting is to talk over any career ideas you might have, and to help you decide which subjects you should continue into the sixth and seventh years. Have you had any thoughts about what you would like to do after you leave Hogwarts?” Professor McGonagall to Harry

As a Prefect with excellent marks in Defense Against the Dark Arts,
might I suggest a career in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement?
Sure, there's the Aurors; they're the most glamorous, but there's also the
Improper Use of Magic Office, the Magical Law Enforcement Squad, the
Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office, the Office for the Detection and
Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects,
Wizengamot and Wizengamot Administration Services,
and the Council of Magical Law.
We have all taken at some point in our lives a quiz to determine which Hogwarts House one would be in, and some of us for Ilvermorny. I am Ravenclaw for Hogwarts and Horned Serpent in Ilvermorny. Yet never have I found a quiz that asks the question Professor McGonagall does Harry and indeed and all Fifth Year Gryffindors in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Until now. Follow this link to learn Which Wizarding World Career Is Right for You? I got Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and while this might seem odd to those who know me since I am a scholar by inclination, keeping the world save from evils would take priority over anything else. In short, knowing the dangers of the Dark Arts I would bend over backwards to get tops marks in my Defense Against the Dark Arts class so as to avoid falling victim to them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Never thought I would see my own book on someone else's blog

Never thought I would see my own book on someone else's blog, so I offer my deepest thanks to livibrooks and her most excellent blog The Livi Chronicles. Here is her lovely review of my book:

"Do you want to hop on a train of adventure and go beyond the normal fantasy twist of stories? The Last War is filled with electric moments that keep a reader on the edge of their seat, and make you want to continue to read just to stand alongside the vivid characters!

This was a fantastic read! As an aspiring author, I always look for prologues that speak clearly and avoid info dumps, because I myself plan to write one for my story idea and personally do not care for them in other books. But enough about me, the point is that this story provided a fantastic prologue! The storytelling mixed with the authenticity of character and backstory makes this fantasy story have a realistic spark.

There are many obstacles intertwined with the action between the main characters, but that helps the stakes to continue to raise and keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The antagonism aspects of invasion works very well with the character Emrys, who is my personal favorite.

The story is so intricate and packed with detail that one page skipped could leave a reader in the dust. And for that reason, I can only say so much in this review in order to avoid spoilers.

The dialogue is a great leeway throughout the novel to understand the characters better and to foreshadow further acts, and the plot is most definitely driven by the characters.

If not already apparent from this review, I loved the characters! Adler does a great job making them jump off the page no matter how relevant one is to the story.

If you are a reader of fantasy or science-fiction or are just in the mood for a call to adventure, definitely pick this one up! And get ready, there are more from this author to come in the future!"

Unlike my humble self and Stars Uncounted, livibrooks and her The Livi Chronicles is blog dedicated to doing Book Reviews, so I highly recommend anyone interested to take a look.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Just started Sword-Born, volume five of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
Just started Sword-Born, volume five of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
Since the North and South are deathtraps, why not try to solve the mystery of Tiger's birth and set sail? Freedom (the truest kind) and adventure await, and what could possibly go wrong on the open sea? Well, let's see... storms, seasickness, oh and pirates! Cannot forget pirates, and I am sure they are just the prow of the ship. I wonder how many times the sword-dancer and sword-singer will get captured this round. At least once, I am sure. Either way, time to step into the circle.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

I just finished Sword-Breaker, volume four of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm. Time to step into the circle.
I just finished Sword-Breaker, volume four of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
Oaths and honor-codes and magic swords have their uses, but they are a means not an end, so when others be they religious zealots, rival sword-dancers, or evil sorcerers use them to try and write an end for Tiger and Del the result is both tragic, unsurprising, yet in end satisfying for each. For an end this was, but also a new beginning. They are free and new adventures await beyond the sunrise! It is also nice seeing Del loosen up and learn to laugh. Lovely to see Delilah shine through.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Editorial Review of The Last War (The Cynnahu Saga Book 1)

My book, The Last War, just got its first Editorial Review courtesy of Self-Publishing Review (SPR)! Naturally I paid them for the review, but the Five Star rating was their choice, their judgement, entirely.

"A fantasy novel replete with magic, lore, and epic stakes, The Last War by Ian E.S. Adler is a classic questing adventure in the richly imagined world of Nim-Semalf. The Order of mages and the entire archipelago they protect faces invasion by the naga, catapulting five unlikely companions into the fiery crucible of destiny. Amidst ancient riddles, embattled dragon shrines, fearless storm swords, and the mysterious motives of Archmages, the fast-moving plot is enthralling, as is this new realm taking shape before readers' eyes. Built on an elaborate mythology and supported by a classic fantasy plot of ultimate victory vs. complete annihilation, this first book in The Cynnahu Saga is a knockout start to a new series." Self-Publishing Review (SPR)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Mugglenet - Using Fantasy Literature to Cope With Mental Illness and Addiction

I typically avoid posting other people's, other Fantasy website's, posts when possible, but this is important as it ties in with much that I have said in the past regarding the power of Fantasy literature and its potential to positively impact the real world. It led the literary charge against the cross-eyed monster that is sexism, shows worlds without human racial stereotypes, and is now among the vanguard against the blind monster that is homophobia along with all other anti-LGBTG+ sentiments. Yet, as the great J.R.R. Tolkien says, "Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?...If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!" Hence it is that selfsame escapism, as described by this (linked) article on Mugglenet, that can aid those with mental health issues: "Mental health problems and addiction often go hand-in-hand to cause a variety of difficulties. But a growing movement towards comprehensive mental health care has helped to shape this world in many ways. Some people struggling with mental health concerns and addiction can turn to fantasy literature like Harry Potter to help them overcome their issues. Here are a few reasons why this is such a powerful movement that may be the right option for you."

I highly recommend reading the rest of the piece, as it affirms not only the power of the genre but, also and naturally, another Tolkien quote: "I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter."

Is there not an argument that for the mentally ill the prison is their own minds? I am far from an expert, but if such is the case as it seems to be then it makes perfect sense that, for some, the way to escape that prison is via the most escapist of literature that is the Fantastic. The same goes with addicts, who may be inspired by the courage of the characters as they face terrors undreamt of, purest agony both mental and physical yet against all odds come out on top to find love, hope, and healing.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

I just started Sword-Breaker, volume four of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
I just started Sword-Breaker, volume four of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
One quest ended, a new quest begun and this one quite possibly has the world riding on it. Not that the world is aware of the fact, meaning Tiger and Del will have to dodge religious zealots, assassins, and most of the rest of the South to find the fabled Shaka Obre. A near impossible task by itself, much less in the equally deadly Punja desert, but when your own sword is actively seeking to kill you...

Saturday, May 7, 2022

I just finished Sword-Maker

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.
I just finished Sword-Maker, volume three of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson.
It was a worthy read. It passed the test. I will continue with this series... which now shall change indeed as Del's song has at last ended. Vengeance is as vengeance does, sweet the taste when eaten cold, and Del's was bellow blizzard temperatures. Mind you, I hate soul-magic, false messiahs, and evil sorcerers but, thankfully one-and-half were taken care of. Sort of.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Ghost/Spirit Dragons

A while back I wrote three posts on Dragons and then a page combining them. However, for some reason it only just occurred to me that I left out a not uncommon sub-species of Dragon.

Ghost/Spirit Dragon: As their name implies, these are Dragons who died and came back after a fashion for much the sames reasons human shades return; unable to accept death, unfinished business in the material world, or an emotion so powerful it cheats death. Generally rare as few Dragons have such issues and fewer necromancers are mad enough to try and raise one, Spirit/Ghost Dragons are either beyond reason and, much like a human ghost, more interested in haunting and punishing intruders than talking, or highly intelligent and thoughtful
– having learned something from death itself and/or whatever mistake or mishap killed them (okay, maybe mishap is too light a word seeing as Dragons very rarely die accidentally, but I am sure you get the point). I guess one could also technically include Bone/Zombie Dragons in this category, but I do not since they are no different from regular mindless undead things and last only as long as their rotting flesh and bones do. What do Ghost/Spirit Dragons breathe? Typically pale, ghostly fire of course. What did you expect, ectoplasm?

Friday, April 29, 2022

I have self-published The Last War: Book One of the Cynnahu Saga

The red ship has landed! The crimson-eyed captain reveals himself! All my life I have been a Fantasy reader, and since 2016 a Fantasy blogger. Hence my excitement in announcing that today I join the hallowed ranks of Fantasy authors for, dear readers, IT IS OUT! The first book of the Fantasy series I wrote can be found and bought on Amazon; just search for The Last War: Book One of the Cynnahu Saga.

A scream cut across the sky...

Long ago a horrific war was fought between the native Dragonkin and invading humanity, a war that shattered into islands the continent on which they struggled. Now the descendants of the victorious humans must face a different yet still very old threat as the mireborn Naga, the snake-folk of Nag Isle, are again amassing their Black Fleet to send against them. An ancient prophecy speaks of a time when the Archipelago of Cynnahu must fight its Last War against the Naga, a time when five individuals – Traveler, Orphan, Survivor, Student, and Lord – will set sail to rediscover the secret of the Elder Song.

Myrriden, the footsore mage and single father.
Sakura, an orphaned and homeless girl seeking vengeance.
Volcan Darkrod, the enigmatic Fire Mage.
Emrys, Myrriden’s nervous son.
Archmage Hoth, the unflappable Leader of the Cynnahu folk.

Guided by an ancient riddle recently uncovered by the famed Loremaster Aneirin, these chosen five must a run a race of swords, spells, and dusty scrolls - for while the Elder Song was crafted to summon the primeval power of the Dragonkin, it has, down to its very name, been forgotten. Will the courage and wits of two eleven-year-olds and three vastly different mages be enough to free purposefully hidden secrets from forces older than the Isles themselves and reunite the scattered Song while fighting a desperate war on land and sea? Only one thing is certain: humanity stands at doom’s edge and time is against them.
This book has been a long time coming, its seeds first planted when I read Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle as a child and first sprouted as unremarkable writing exercises in my high school's Creative Writing Club (which I eventually became President of). Honestly, I did not even intend for them to become a book. I just liked the character and enemy I created on the spot that first CWC meeting of my Sophmore year and stuck too it until the other club members became familiar with the world I had accidentally created and asked me if I was going to write a book. Well, as they say, the rest is history.

For several reasons - each of which is too long to get into now - I chose to self-publish. So PLEASE, I beg you, write good Amazon reviews for The Last War once you finish it. Also, Would you all believe I got the cover custom made for only $35 and from a Ukrainian company no less.

I hope you all enjoy it (and again write good reviews)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

My father and I just finished In the Serpent's Wake by Rachel Hartman, sequel to Tess of the Road.

My father and I just finished In the Serpent's Wake by Rachel Hartman, sequel to Tess of the Road.
A classic Hartman book is, by definition now, simply a classic. The first two Seraphina books put racial tensions and religion on center-stage alongside love, self-acceptance, and roots and results of hatred to save the world and bring peace to humans and Dragons. Tess of the Road was a journey out of choking self-despair born from rape and fought uphill against religious-based oppression of women and mental manipulation, a journey not only the World Serpent of legend but also, without knowing it, a way to face her demons and love herself again while being herself.
In the Serpent's Wake continued Tess' journey and, like spark to tinder, she set the fires of truth ablaze (in addition to some actual fires) by doing what is right instead of what is easy while sailing archipelagos suffering colonization and all the oppression that implies. A journey of facing down the last of her demons, seeking forgiveness when necessary, showing those blind to the truth that comfortable neutrality and denial allows human evils to flourish; and, of course, finding the Polar Serpent to save a friend.
Farewell and lots of love to Tess and Seraphina Dombegh, Pathka, Kikiu, Jacomo & Marga, Hami & Spira, and all of native nations of the archipelagos. Luck to you as you continue your own stories.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

A second chance for Tiger and Del

He was Tiger, born of the desert winds. She was Del, born of ice and storm.

I rarely make mistakes regarding Fantasy books as nearly two decades of reading little else has given me what I like to call "my Fantasy instinct." Like anyone I read the back/inside cover and from that judge whether or not I think I would really like the book, but my Fantasy instinct allows me to feel the book in question, to sense its aura one might say. Call it esoteric if you will, call it a sixth sense/instinct born from long experience, but, regardless of name, the result is that 99% of the time I am correct. There is a reason, after all, why I can count the Fantasies I have quit using my fingers and still have some leftover. That said, and as the above statement affirms, I can be wrong and have quit books; rarely, rare enough as to be almost never, but it does happen and, alas, with increasing frequency since the grimdark (such as GRRM's and Kearney's) can fool my Fantasy instinct. Hence when I do stop a book I never look back, having quit only after long and deliberate thought. Naturally I remember them, but I never regret or second guess my choice to quit.

Until now. One series has haunted me for years, one I stopped shortly before starting this more or less humble blog back in 2016. One whose story and characters lingered, one I have been tempted to give a second chance. A temptation I now yield to, for I just restarted Sword-Maker, volume three of the Novels of Tiger and Del by Jennifer Roberson. Time to step back into the circle. Time to find out what wretched wizard is sending fell hounds after people and what the deal is with Tiger and that blooding-blade Samiel.

Time to determine once and for all if this series will have a place on my bookshelf.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How to become a Riddle-maker

Point of order, even Wizards of the Coast
acknowledged my skill once.

How does one become a Master Riddle-maker? By making riddles, naturally, and I will do my best to impart the lessons I give my students verbally here in written text. Unsurprisingly, the process begins with quote followed by two riddles of my own:

"Good riddles do, in general, provide us with satisfactory metaphors; for metaphors imply riddles, and therefore a good riddle can furnish a good metaphor." - Aristotle

What plays with words and logic, yet never tells a lie = ?

It can either be found by, or given to you, when found you understand it, when given you might not = ?

The answers are respectively "a riddle" and "the answer," the wording of each, plus the quote, describing how riddles work. Indeed, I use these riddles to teach prospective Makers and the point has never failed to get across. That said, I often tell my students that to make a riddle is to "describe something without really describing it, yet in such a way that it only perfectly fits a single answer." I will now walk you through the process.

  1. The first step in riddle-making is thinking of the answer. Look around and pick some common thing everyone knows about, for the best riddles have obvious answers. As Patricia A. McKillip says, "A riddle is a tale so familiar you no longer recognize it." Let us settle with a chair.
  2. Making the riddle involves describing it without being so obvious that a person will get it right away. For example "Something people sit in" is a bad chair riddle for two reasons: firstly, its is to obvious, and secondly it has several answers - such as a stool. So let us begin with "What has four legs yet never walks."
  3. Not a bad riddle on the face of it, until you realize it could fit a table as well as a chair. A couch too, perhaps, but that is close enough as makes no matter, being honestly a very wide chair meant for several people and/or napping. Remember, a riddle can only have ONE answer. Thus we must change the riddle. So what does a chair have that a table does not? A back. Thus our chair riddle becomes: Four legs that don’t walk, a back with no spine, weight gives it strain, yet it feels no pain = a chair. A solid riddle, and one that rhymes no less.
  4. Test the riddle. Give it to others to make sure it is solvable and ascertain its level of difficulty. The chair riddle here is not terribly difficult, yet is still a stolid Lower Middle-ranking riddle.

However, we only got the chair riddle after changing it, and that is a critical part of riddle-making. I do not bold this idly. So many times have kids come to me with a riddle they created and love one that even rhymes! and are so proud of. Until I point out that the riddle has more than one possible answer. At this point they have one of two reactions: they either dig in, stubbornly trying to assert that there is only one perfect answer because they do not want the change the riddle they worked so hard on since if they change it then it will not sound as good. Or they, while disappointed, accept it and work to reword/adjust the riddle until it has only one perfect answer. The final reaction is the mark of a true Riddle Master. As I often tell my students, riddles do not have to rhyme. Yes rhymes are fun and can add a special flare to the riddle in question, which is why I try to make mine rhyme when possible, but they are not necessary. Indeed, many of my finest and favorite riddles (such as the Grandmaster) do not rhyme.

Sometimes you even have to start making the riddle all over again from scratch.“Kill your darlings” is a common piece of advice given by experienced writers, meaning that one must sometimes remove characters, sentences, or entire subplots one has worked hard to create yet that must be removed for the sake of your overall story. Well, the same applies to riddle-making. Better a non-rhyming riddle that may not even role off the tongue that well yet works than a smooth rhyming one that does not. Believe me when I say that it pays to do the work, because if you do not then those you give the riddle to will point out the flaw by coming up with the other possible answer while trying to solve it and then explain why their other answer works when you say it is not the correct answer. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way and, besides from not being fun, it undermines your credibility as a Riddle Master. Today it is rare for my riddles to have flaws, but when one is pointed out, typically by someone trying to answer it and coming up with a workable answer I had not thought of, I thank them and vow to rework the riddle in question. Bottom line? Like a piece of writing, a riddle typically goes through multiple drafts (at least two) before it is ready. Remember that most if not all things are easier said than done and riddle-making is the opposite of the exception. Myself and the few Master Makers I have successfully trained can make solid riddles at will only after long practice. It, like lifting weights or doing any sport or test of skill, is challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, after months of practice, it becomes second nature.

Luck to you, and happy riddle-making!

I just finished Escape from Falaise, book #5 of the Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series by John Flanagan

I just finished Escape from Falaise, book #5 of the Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series by John Flanagan.
"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory," said the great J.R.R. Tolkien, so naturally a book with "escape" in the title that combines a rescue mission with daring escape has high potential for excellence. Make it a Ranger's Apprentice book, and potential becomes a dead-certain guarantee as once again Maddie and Will (with some help) save the day as well as a sniveling, pathetic excuse for a prince. Let's face it, a girl Ranger rescuing a prince-in-peril from a tower is far more exciting than a male knight doing the same for a damsel-in-distress. More realistic too.

Monday, April 18, 2022

There is news on the wind. It will come ere April's end. Will you sail with me on seas uncharted and fly on the fifth wind?

Friday, April 15, 2022

Seasparrow, a new Graceling book

Yep, I might have known. The old book series refuse to end, and thus this November we get yet another adventure with old friends. A new book in Graceling Realm Series, Seasparrow is a direct sequel to Winterkeep and this time we see through Hava's Graceling eyes as the group has a typically trying time getting back to Monsea with what could equally be called a treasure and a deathtrap. Regardless, it will be a deep pleasure seeing Bitterblue, Giddon, Hava, and hopefully Lovisa and Adventure Fox.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, new trailer and new expectations

Well, the new trailer for Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes just took our old assumptions and stabbed them.

Seems like Byleth is our foe this time instead of the player-avatar. Beyond that, I did some digging and learned the following:

  1. That red-eyed white-faced new character at 2:41 is "A mysterious being that appeared in the protagonist's dream. Rescued the protagonist before they were killed by the Ashen Demon and speaks to them as if living in their head. Occasionally acts as if something's missing."
  2. Shez is "A solitary mercenary. He / she sought to become a famed swordsman, but faced Jeralt’s Mercenaries on a mission and was felled by the Ashen Demon. While training to seek revenge, he / she met the Officer’s Academy students in the woods."
  3. Nintendo has updated its official overview of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes with the latest information, part of which is "Align with a leader to build and command an army in 1 vs. 1,000-style battles and deep strategy. The house you choose will bring you through one of three compelling stories, each with a different outcome."

So, judging from the full cover of the game coupled with what we just learned, I think Sothis may be a foe this time too, and this does not look like a Happy Ending story-route like Revelations was for Fates, but rather a new Warriors version of Three Houses. Not another route, but an alternate version of the game entirely, with Byleth and Sothis on the enemy side and Shez and red-eyed guy on the good. Regardless, I shall stand with Edelgard in the Scarlet Blaze route just as I did her in Crimson Flower.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

There is news on the wind. The crimson-eyed captain knows the Spell of Light, allowing his red ship to approach the shore unnoticed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The Dawn Will Come (Dragon Age: Inquisition) – Cover in Ukrainian – Зійде зоря

Shadows fall
And hope has fled
Steel your heart
The dawn will come
The night is long
And the path is dark
Look to the sky
For one day soon
The dawn will come
The Shepard's lost
And his home is far
Keep to the stars
The dawn will come
The night is long
And the path is dark
Look to the sky
For one day soon
The dawn will come
Bare your blade
And raise it high
Stand your ground
The dawn will come
The night is long
And the path is dark
Look to the sky
For one day soon
The dawn will come

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

I just started Escape from Falaise, book #5 of the Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series by John Flanagan

I just started Escape from Falaise, book #5 of the Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger series by John Flanagan.
A prince rescuing the damsel-in-distress from an evil lord's tower is tired old trope, which is why Flanagan is turning it around and upside down here, for the now Princess Ranger Maddie and Will must not only rescue a prince-in-peril from just such a place, but themselves as well. I love rescue mission and daring escapes as a rule, but when the two combine... heh, that promises to be quite the ride.