Saturday, August 20, 2016

Finished my re-read of Magician: Apprentice last night (spoilers)

And I can honestly say that I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. I think the re-read benefited greatly from the four years since I read Apprentice the first time. I had forgotten large chunks of the plot and certain events got switched around in my memory. Like, I thought that Pug's capture had happened at the very end, but it doesn't. Instead, he ceases to be the main POV character for the rest of the book and the POV switches over to Tomas, Arutha, Carline, Martin, and briefly a Tsurani. I think this was a very clever way of ensuring that readers would continue reading the entire book back when it was just Magician. It actually becomes an even better hook after the book was split into Apprentice and Master because you're almost compelled as the reader to immediately pick up Master just to see what's become of Pug. The ploy is still effective after a re-read because I'm just about to jump into the next book today!

But yeah, Magician: Master ought to be as good as I remember it. One of the things I'm looking forward to is revisiting Kelawan and the Tsurani culture. Feist says he mixed together elements of Feudal Japan, Sung Dynasty era China, Zulu, and Aztec cultures and it's a major difference from Midkemia, which is the typical European fantasy setting. It's a nice change up and I'm planning on reading the Empire Trilogy (set entirely on Kelawan) later this year, after I finish with the Riftwar Saga.

I'll probably post some of my favorite bits from Magician: Apprentice later today.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Re-visiting Midkemia

So for whatever reason I decided to do a re-read of Raymond E. Feist's Magician: Apprentice, the first (half) book in the Riftwar Saga. I originally read it and it's sequel (second half), Magician: Master back in 2012 and boy, did I ever need a refresher. Like, I'm reading Apprentice and there are just huge, huge chunks of the plot that I simply forgot. I remember important events, but not what happens between them.

An oddity about Magician: Apprentice is that it's only the first part of a book. Both it and Magician: Master are actually a single book call simply Magician, but when it was published in the U.S., it was split into two parts for whatever reason. I'm guessing it was due to size and printing big ass doorstoppers back in the day wasn't optimal. If that's the reason, then it shows how far both book making and the fantasy genre has come because the two halves combined would probably total less than a thousand pages, or one Wheel of Time book. Easily less than a Sanderson. Easily.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Queen in the North

She certainly would be now that a certain fan theory was confirmed on Game of Thrones.

(spoiler, probably still)

There was a fan theory that Jon Snow wasn't Ned Stark's bastard, but the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and the season six finale confirmed it. Currently, only Bran Stark knows this and Jon has apparently been "crowned" King in the North as the last known and eldest son of Ned. Of course, if his true parentage gets out, then it could lead to questions of who the true ruler of the North is. Sansa has the stronger claim as Ned's daughter and is considered (at least according to the GoT wiki) to be Lady of Winterfell. Jon does have a claim through his mother, but Sansa's is stronger as the daughter as and sister of the last two Stark Lords of Winterfell, respectively.

Of course, the question is whether or not the Northern Houses would accept a woman as Queen? House Mormont has been lead by two women so far and Lyanna Mormont seems to be widely respected by the other Houses, so it's entirely possible.

As for Jon, having the blood of Rhaegar gives him a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than his aunt, Dany. On the other hand, he's still a bastard and she isn't. He was legitimized by the Houses of the North when he was crowned King of the North, so it stands to reason that the same could very well happen there.

(Pic via HeroPress)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Belgariad by K-HUD

Credit: K-HUD.
I need to finish reading the series. Might have to start with a re-read of Pawn of Prophecy.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Now this is how Red Sonja should look

Credit: Michael C. Hayes.
I've made no secret about my strong dislike of Red Sonja's chain mail bikini. I understand why people like it and I'll readily admit that it can be an awfully satisfying look to the eyes, but it's also just awful and impractical. That's why I like depictions of the She-Devil in actual, practical, common sense armor because while it might not be as sexy as the bikini, as like she doesn't have to worry about disembowelment because her stomach is unprotected or the risk of losing a breast to an errant sword or ax strike.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Finished: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

(via Macmillan)

Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
A Darker Shade of Magic is something I took a chance on and ended up enjoying a lot. I'd seen it time and again on the shelf of the library's SF/Fantasy section, but didn't think it looked like the sort of fantasy I normally read. But you know, YOLO and all that, so I took the dive and I did not regret it even once. I fell in love with Kell and Lila and Rhys. I developed a solid, burning hatred of the Astrid and Athos. I dreamed of how amazing it it would be to travel to Red London and shuddered at the thought of going to White London.

I would easily, easily give this book a 10/10.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Just a head's up: Google's giving away an extra two gigabytes of storage if you do a security checkup on your Google account

Google did this last year and it's a ridiculously easy way of adding extra space if you use Drive, Picasa, or Photos. Basically, all you need to do is go to your account, scroll down to Security Checkup and click on Get Started. Once you finish the checkup (which takes all of a few seconds), the 2 gigs are added automatically.

https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/take-security-checkup-on-safer-internet.html

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-get-2gb-free-on-google-drive/

On a related note, I just checked to see how much space I have now and I'm currently using all of 118 megabytes (or 0.61%) out of 19 gigabytes. Clearly, I needed the extra space.
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