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 six 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.