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Re: Book discussion

Postby Dong Zhou » 12 Jun 2010, 15:10

Just finished the Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand; Golem's Eye; Ptolemy's Gate) by Jonathan Stroud

Written from 3 POV's (5,000 year old djinni Bartimaeus, young wizard Nathaniel and after the first book, rebellious commoner Kitty Jones), in a world where the wizard Gladstone overturned the houses to found a Magician government. The three main characters are very different minds and personalities, with contrasting backgrounds, making it for interesting clashes at times. Funny, particularly with Bartimaeus, it was an amusing and warm trilogy. Felt 3rd book suffered from having to wrap things up but a wonderful ending
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Jaerdean » 12 Aug 2010, 14:06

Cao Chao wrote:George R.R. Martin has published four out of the seven planned books. He's still working on the fifth, A Dance with Dragons. And in terms of characters, check this list out, it's quite epic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ch ... e_and_Fire

Uh . . . the last book of the Wheel of Time series was split into three by Brandon Sanderson who was picked to finish Robert Jordan's work - The Gathering Storm (released October 2009), Towers of Midnight (as of April 14, 85% finished), and A Memory of Light (2011 I presume).

If you want a good fantasy set in modern times series, I would suggest Simon R. Green. His Nightside and Secret Histories series are both quite enjoyable. If you liked Jim Butcher's novels, you'll like Simon R. Green's as well.

---

Haven't read any of Eisler's, Paul's, or Pratt's books. The Percy Jackson was good, though there are some who found it too kiddy. Cussler's novels are often quite straightforward and predictable. I enjoyed the Age of Five series.

That's eerie, I just randomly started to pick a few new books, and on the list were one from Martin, and one from Butcher.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Dong Zhou » 12 Nov 2010, 15:53

Read the Lionwolf trilogy by Tanith Lee, a fantasy series in a world that has long known only winter, a half-man half god is born and will soon change everything they have ever known. Got magic, war, romance, Gods (unsurprisingly :P ), ghosts, the tale jumps from character to character. Tanith Lee does well in creating her world and everything in it, is inventive and if anything can have too many idea's. Her writing style was descriptive and, for me, erratic but usually decent with sudden spurt of flair that helped light up passages of the book. Her characters all have a kind streak but a also a very nasty streak which I sometimes preferred on show, so well balanced and I had some favourites but sometimes she had too many characters

The second book was the best for me, partly because the first seemed like she hated the characters and the third went in a direction I wasn't a fan of. Not a great trilogy but an enjoyable enough one that finished strongly
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Dong Zhou » 16 Nov 2010, 07:52

The Death of King Arthur/La Mort Le Roi Artu, supposedly by Welshman Walter Map, probably by a Frenchman. Text by Professor Jean Frappier, translated by James Cable. Technically the third part of of the Prose Lancelot/Vulgate Cycle: Lancelot; The Quest for the Holy Grail and this one, never read the first two but Cable, through use of notes, managed to keep me from getting lost when book referred to the past.

The Prose Lancelot reflects who the main man is: Lancelot du Lac, a slightly too godly character, rather then the book title but the ancient King is still a considerable part of this story. Written in a style that remains me a lot of Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Slight habit of repeating itself, dialogue that goes for the dramatic, people sensing of predicting things based on their feelings, lots of swooning and crying, each warrior in a duel was the finest and bravest knight who withstands blows nobody else could... which loses it's impact after the 100th time. RTK better develops the characters but this book is a lot shorter, you could probably put in your jacket pocket, it is intresting to see how the values of the time in terms of Christianity and ideal knights affect the book.

There are things to poke holes in, including needing to switch brain off for some of the logic, but it shouldn't hide that it is a fun book. The basic tale itself is a good one and, after a slow start, I found myself gripped despite knowing what was to come, being entertained and saddened as it all drew to Arthur's final battle which was suitably dramatic and sad. There are some very good lines in there though it can be hidden by the way the dialogue is done and after the great battle, it does seem to just want to wind up the tale but I had a nice time reading it.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Dong Zhou » 02 Dec 2010, 10:29

The Death of King Arthur/Le Morte D' Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory, knight, MP and criminal, translated/edited/retold by veteran author/autobiographer Peter Ackroyd. Starts with the circumstances of Arthur's birth to sword in the stone and marriage, through quests like that of the Holy Grail, to, yes, the death of the King. Split into mini books/sections which are split into chapters which are split into sections with spoiler headlines.

Mallory worked from, what he called ancient books and each of the books he has reflects that, for example the Holy Grail adventure really ramps up the religion. Mallory also makes blatantly clear in the text once or twice his comparison of the knights in his day and the knights back then though he isn't always consistent. The dialogue style tends to short clipped sentences and at first, I had to read a few lines of dialogue then go back and voice them in my head but his style does improve to make it an easy read and shows a few glimpses of eloquence, including two speeches that compare love to spring.

Overall it's a fun adventure with magic, romance, plots, chivalry and fights. It has a lot of stuff that goes on and sometimes it can have an adventure that resolves itself in a couple of lines so pace is quick but all the little adventures seem to build up to a bigger purpose. Book not good on battles themselves which hinders the endings of the likes of the King, I preferred Walter Map's work in that respect but Mallory does flesh out the end of other characters better.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Han1977 » 15 Dec 2010, 00:32

Dong Zhou wrote:Just finished the Bartimaeus Trilogy (The Amulet of Samarkand; Golem's Eye; Ptolemy's Gate) by Jonathan Stroud


I read that one too, I just hope for better ending for Nathaniel, he's not that bad and for all the dramatic, glorious sad ending I still prefer the classic happy ending. :roll:
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Re: Book discussion

Postby XinRaiku » 05 Mar 2011, 00:32

I'm surprised nobody has noted the announcement that the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series was finally given a release date. July 12th is the fated day!
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Re: Book discussion

Postby UnholyBlade » 05 Mar 2011, 05:37

Jaerdean wrote:
I enjoy Sanderson's own stories, well, not quite Elantris, but his Mistborn trilogy, but it feels so wrong for me to read his version of the end to the Wheel of Time.

I would have enjoyed all the notes and what scenes Robert Jordan had already written to be published in a sort of compiled book as opposed to this guy's writing the end.


I agree. I had grown used to how vividly Jordan described everything, and it took me a while to start reading A Gathering Storm because the writing styles are so different. At first, I couldn't do it. It felt like Sanderson was cheating me out of material in an effort to shell out the books faster. That made me a sad panda, but then I realized I'd finally be able to see what happens next in the stupid story, so it'll be alright. I've reread the series up to Towers of Midnight twice, and I must say, It is my favorite book series. I would love to see his wife compile all of his notes into a book, or commentary. Hell, I'd be satisfied if she even took pictures of it and made a video reel on Youtube :lol:

On the plus side for Sanderson, I don't remember ever openly laughing at Jordan's writings as I did Sanderson's. The part where Mat tries to come up with fake stories and fake identifications for his cadre is downright hilarious, and the letter he leaves Elayne almost made me cry I was laughing so hard.

Not too bad for picking a book at random out of a Borders bookstore inside an airport at 7 in the morning, eh? :P
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Leung Sik Gai » 28 Mar 2011, 11:55

I'm Currently reading "Vimy" right now, an excellent book about WWI's most elite unit, the Canadian Corps. Its truly amazing how the unit persevered through many different adversities, and how a small well trained and innovative army can truly make a difference in a war. I really recommend this even if you aren't a Canadian (and if you are, please read it), as it gives unique insight in the Great War.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Jaerdean » 06 Apr 2011, 12:11

UnholyBlade wrote:I agree. I had grown used to how vividly Jordan described everything, and it took me a while to start reading A Gathering Storm because the writing styles are so different. At first, I couldn't do it. It felt like Sanderson was cheating me out of material in an effort to shell out the books faster. That made me a sad panda, but then I realized I'd finally be able to see what happens next in the stupid story, so it'll be alright. I've reread the series up to Towers of Midnight twice, and I must say, It is my favorite book series. I would love to see his wife compile all of his notes into a book, or commentary. Hell, I'd be satisfied if she even took pictures of it and made a video reel on Youtube :lol:

On the plus side for Sanderson, I don't remember ever openly laughing at Jordan's writings as I did Sanderson's. The part where Mat tries to come up with fake stories and fake identifications for his cadre is downright hilarious, and the letter he leaves Elayne almost made me cry I was laughing so hard.

Not too bad for picking a book at random out of a Borders bookstore inside an airport at 7 in the morning, eh? :P

Meh, as much as I liked the humor of it, I think the character who suffered the most with the transformation from Jordan to Sanderson was Mat (incidentally my favourite). in A Gathering Storm I hated just about everything that came out of Mat's mouth. I was rather upset with how he, in my thoughts, ruined the character. But he did make up for it in Towers of Midnight although the title was ridiculous. The Towers were only referenced once, I believe, mayhap twice if you actually looked it up in the glossary.

These just aren't Sanderson's characters, they're Jordan's. And at the ball-point of another man's pens, they just don't equate to the same thing. Though I have to admit, it is still my favourite series. Who would have thought to see the Verin curveball, eh? Lan's too stubborn in the last one, but I suppose that's to be expected.

Being broke and having to choose from borrowed books and the collection from the library, I've given in to reading some books about the "spirituality of golf" and the first of the Templar Knight series, The Road to Jerusalem which, after the first third of the book, isn't that bad at all.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Han1977 » 07 Aug 2011, 14:37

Harry Dresden : Ghost Story
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Cao Chao » 15 Aug 2011, 16:42

Han1977 wrote:Harry Dresden : Ghost Story

The whole shade thing was meh. The ending was kinda meh, especially when we found out that Dresden had ordered his own death. Aside from Dresden being pulled into the Nevernever and going to become the Winter Knight, there was kinda really little redeeming qualities.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Zhao Xiao » 03 Jul 2012, 21:42

A Song of Fire and Ice!

It's awesome. Everyone knows why (gritty, realistic portrayal of mediavel fantasy; subtly adding standard fantasy elements along the way; dragons, magic, etc.)

*SPOILER*

I read somewhere online on a theory of the parents of Jon Snow and I am now a full believer! I don't think Ned Stark was his dad. No, Jon Snow has Stark blood but not from his father - no, its from his mother! I think his mother was Lyanna Stark! So who was his father? I think his father was Prince Rhaegar Targaryan! There are a lot of "hints" in the books about Ned's guilt and his promise to his dead sister, I think it was the promise to protect Jon from the wrath of Robert Baratheon; the man who hated Rhaegar more than anything, the same man who mentioned more than once how Rhaegar had 'won'. And by won, I believe Rhaegar had the heart of Lyanna Stark. It never says that Lyanna was forcefully abducted by Rhaegar, nor does it ever say that she was mistreated or the Prince harmed her. In fact, Ned remembers back to times when the prince seemed to woo her. What if Rhaegar gave Lyanna a child? There are references to her death, when Ned finds her: in a bloody bed, guarded by the King's Guard. Why would the King's Guard protect one woman, unless she carried the royal blood?! I think Lyanna died in childbirth, and she gave the baby to Ned to protect from Robert's anger at Rhaegar. At the end of the day, Ned is the most honorable, loyal and courageous man in the seven Kingdoms - would he seriously have a bastard child? Everyone knows about the bastard, so why would he hide the truth of the mother so desperately? Also Jon is exactly fourteen years old, one of the only ones born at the exact time of the rebellion.

Phew! Yeah, the more I read about it, the more I believe hahaa.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Sun Tang » 15 Dec 2012, 05:14

I am on book 9 of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I I think I have a 3 way tie for my favorite character though. Of course Mat, how can you not love Mat! I think Morraine, doesn't get enough credit. She has some real gifted ability to predict things and so wise and she is overall pretty BA. Then of course, the glee man. This guy has a lot of intrigue. He is very wise also, but he is like a rogue too and very cunning an charming. I was really liking perrin for a while too, but he kind of annoys me sometimes. Rand just pisses me off though, but then again he's gone crazy. Awesome series, I wonder if they will ever make the movies. I been collecting the comics, I don't know of you guys know, but they did make a comic series, dynamite is the company.
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Re: Book discussion

Postby Mat » 15 Dec 2012, 11:30

Sun Tang wrote:Of course Mat, how can you not love Mat!


Awww...shucks. :oops:
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