Monday, January 24, 2022

I just started The Last Keeper, Book One of J.V. Hilliard's Warminster Series

At the author's request, I just started The Last Keeper, Book One of J.V. Hilliard's Warminster Series.

It is strange, for while blind seers and Elven Princesses are not uncommon in Fantasy games and world mythology, Fantasy literature seldom employs them and I have never seen them used jointly. Which is one reason why I agreed to J.V. Hilliard's request that I read and review this book, as quality unique Fantasy draws me like a bee to honey.
So it is that a mad seer, a betrayer Keeper of the Forbidden, threatens all, and it is up to the sightless yet Sighted Keeper Daemus, a mere boy, to save not only his order but the realm itself. With aid from Princess Addilyn Elspeth, of course.
(Naturally the Official Book Review will come after I finish the book.)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

I just finished Prince of the Blood

I just finished Prince of the Blood, book 1 of Raymond E. Feist's Krondor’s Sons Series (part of his Riftwar Cycle).

Book 1, but since the second book is not a direct sequel I am going to put Krondor’s Sons on hold until I read the Riftwar Cycle proper. One would not think that I of all people needed a reminder on starting from the beginning, but we all need reminding at times. Anyway, Prince of the Blood was a worthy book for all that Feist himself is not terribly fond of it, showing well the issues in maintaining a vast Empire and the problems of arrogance both cultural and youthful. Frankly, I lost my taste for royal intrigue after enduring GRRM, but I am absolutely going to give the Riftwar Cycle a try (though not at this moment, as I have a most excellent vow to uphold).
Farewell and good work Princes Borric and Erland, James and Gamina, Locklear, Suli, Ghuda, and She Who Is Kesh. Until next time.

Friday, January 21, 2022

The Rings of Power

So it is that we at last have a title for Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings TV adaptation, and it is The Rings of Power. According to the showrunners, "The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth's Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliances of Elves and Men. Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring — but before there was one, there were many... and we're excited to share the epic story of them all."
"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere Friday, September 2 on Prime Video, with new episodes every Friday (much like their The Wheel of Time adaption). What do I think of the enterprise? Well, interviews with the cast show that they know the colossal size of the shows they are attempting to fill; that it will be mercilessly compared with Peter Jackson's epic The Lord of the Rings movies. I have heard that the Tolkien Scholars Amazon hired are satisfied with it, which is a good sign. I know that not having Cate Blanchett play Galadriel is going to hurt us on an almost physical level, but I have high hopes for the new actress, Morfydd Clark, who reads a familiar verse in the teaser below. Ultimately the show will either be a masterpiece or a confirmed failure; it will either be worthy of Tolkien, as the movies were, or it wont.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Be a Bookwyrm

A Book Dragon or, of course, a Bookwyrm.
"Do you understand that you must always fail, as long as your goal is not truth, but guidance? That as long as you seek dragons around you, you will never become the dragon within you?" - Sarkhan Vol

Saturday, January 8, 2022

A Valdemar TV Adaption with a gay protagonist!

Vanyel Ashkevron
Truly HBO's Game of Thrones deserves a vote of deepest thanks, for not only has Amazon created TV adaption for The Wheel of Time and J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in the Second Age, but now Radar Pictures is bringing Mercedes Lackey's The Last Herald-Mage trilogy to the TV screen! I have little doubt as to the huge potential for success this has, for I have favorably compared Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, for like GRRM she makes a brutal and often graphic point of showing the extremely gritty elements of the world, the key being that she counterbalances them with characters of the highest ideals; characters who ultimately, if not unscarred, prevail. In short, while I have not read The Last Herald-Mage trilogy I absolutely love Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books! From Vows and Honor to The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy to The Mage Winds trilogy, and I intend to read more! However, I am not at all surprised that it was The Last Herald-Mage trilogy that made the cut for its main protagonist is none other than Vanyel Ashkevron, who will grow up to become the greatest Herald-Mage, Herald period, and hero the Kingdom of Valdemar has ever known, a legend in the centuries following his death for the characters in the Valdemar series I have read. But he is also gay. Aye, a Fantasy series with a Queer protagonist is finally coming to television! The Fantastic is typically only written, read, and in this case watched, by the open minded, so this represents another victory in Fantasy's battle for all inclusiveness to honor the essential humanity in all of us. Huzzah!

Mercedes Lackey had this to say about the trilogy finally being adapted for television: “I have hoped for decades that The Last Herald-Mage would be adapted for television. Now that Radar has optioned the trilogy, I am nearly breathless with excitement. I could not have chosen a better organization to take my work in hand, and Kit and Bri, the producers, absolutely know both their stuff and the material. I love the fact that this is going to be a longform series: episodic TV gives the story all the room it needs. I hope our fans will be as thrilled to see their favorite characters come to life as I am.”

And the importance of adapting a fantasy series featuring an openly gay protagonist is not lost on producer Kit Williamson: “Vanyel in The Last Herald Mage series was one of the first gay characters I encountered, and as a recently out 16-year-old I can’t stress enough the impact that these books had on me. The Valdemar series was far ahead of its time in the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, and Lackey’s writing afforded them a level of depth and complexity that is still very rare, especially in genre storytelling."

Sunday, January 2, 2022


Turns out the cold I am getting over is no cold at all. I just rapid-tested positive for COVID-19. It is Omicron. Worry not, as the symptoms courtesy of my being fully vaccinated plus a booster are those of a minor head cold. Actually, I got this 'cold' last week but did not realize until today that it was something more.

Get the vaccine, folks. I know this post breaks by Fantasy Only, no real-world affairs, rule, but I have spoken of the Pandemic once before and feel this matter is important enough to speak of it again. Get vaccinated, folks.

Side note: I can never hear the word
Omicron without thinking of how Star Trek's Lieutenant Commander Data was constructed on the planet Omicron Theta.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fun fact

Horror, Dark Fantasy, Sci-fi author Joseph Hillstr̦m King took up the pen name Joe Hill for his name in 1997 out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own literary skill rather than piggybacking off his father Stephen King's fame. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007, the year his first novel came out, after an article the previous year in Variety reported his identity. Not that I have never read eithers' books, but I love this sort of thing as it perfectly displays The Power of Names. It reminds me of how J.K. Rowling secretly published as Robert Galbraith for years without anyone being the wiser, before even The Casual Vacancy was published Рwhich was and is funny since that was the book that got all the publicity of being Rowling's first post Harry Potter and non-Fantasy book. I half suspect she used The Casual Vacancy as a decoy to keep people from wondering what else she might be writing and stumbling on Robert Galbraith.