Monday, February 24, 2014

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

The Last Battle has started.  The seals to the Dark One's prison are crumbling  The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.

Perrin Aybara is now hunted by the specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of the wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership.  All the while, an unseen foes is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck  To prevail, he must seek answers in the wolf dream and find a way - at long last - to master the wolf within him or lost himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of is life.  The creatures beyond the stone gateways - the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn - have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men's lives.  He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won.  The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fat of a friend long lost.

So I'm still not sure how I feel about Perrin after this book.  He tends to get a little too dark for my taste, but it's those around him that keep him grounded.  Faile isn't so bad anymore, though I never grow to love her.  Berelain is around and quickly gets with Galad, who I'm actually starting to like for the first time.  As with Faile, I never grow to love him, but I like him a bit more.  My biggest heartbreak is what happens to Hopper in this one, I hope Isam is condemned to something really, really horrible.

Egwene is running away from Gawyn, who not only wants to be bonded, but to be married as well.  I love them together, but since I've already read the last book, I'm heartbroken as well.  I like her strength, Sanderson has done a marvelous job turning her into a unique character, one not to be taken lightly.

Mat, what can I say about a man who is willing to help Thom and Jain rescue a character that should never have been taken off the board.  He has grown up so much over this serious, it's so fun to watch.

Rand isn't a huge focus of this book, other than his mind is finally set right and he is intent on what he needs to do.  He comes back to the world and starts to right some of what the Dark has been able to do.  Min is around, and at this point in time, I simply could care less about her either way.  I do like Rodel though I know it's not wise to get attached to any character this late in the series.

And the battle between Logain and Mazrim is heating up.  Can I say I would love to be in the middle of those two, but that's neither here nor there.  Mazrim is the bad guy I would love to have around, but Logain is the reformed bad guy your mother always wanted around.

Other Books In  The Series:

The Eye of the World
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven 
Lord of  Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Winter's Heart
Crossroads of Twilight
Knife of Dreams
The Gathering Storm

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Bell At Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip (Plus A General Message)

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean... with a big secret.

I'm thinking right now that some of you may be surprised by this post suddenly appearing in your reader or as an email message.  To tell you the truth, I'm rather surprised that I'm sitting down and the computer and writing a review.  I had made up my mind back in late December that I wasn't going to be coming back to the blog.  I was just going to let if fade into obscurity, and leave it alone.  But over the last few weeks, my fingers have been itching to get back to the keyboard, and my brain has really missed the effort and thought process required to write a blog post.

Now I'm not saying I'm back for good, or that I'm going to go back to writing 3-5 posts a week, I'm just not sure at this point in time.  I think right now I'm going to be taking it one step at a time, writing posts whenever I feel like it, and seeing what happens.  I'm probably not going to be accepting review requests right now, because I don't want to feel obligated or bad about any decisions I may make in the future.  But that's neither here nor there, right now I'm just want to get back into the groove of getting my thoughts out there for others to peruse at their leisure.

Those of you who have been around a while now that I'm in love with Patricia McKillip's writing style, and the lyrical beauty that blossoms on every page.  She is a true wordsmith, and she didn't disappoint me with The Bell at Sealy Head.  She took a few basic storytelling cliches, and turned them in to a brilliant patchwork of loss, betrayal, and redemption.

From the opening scene of a inn on the edge of a wave battered cliff, the author was able to transport me into her world, and it was a world I never wanted to leave.  As in the previous books of hers that I have read, her world building is seamless and it's inhabited by characters I would love to know in person.

Now I'm sorry this review has more to do with me coming back to the blogosphere, more than it has to do with the book itself.  But other that saying how happy this book made me to read, there isn't much more that I can say about it.  I guess I could make up some fake analysis mumbo jumbo that I really don't mean, or even understand myself, but that's never been my style.  Whether my review are rambling or concise, I've always tried to say what I think and felt about the book, no more, no less.

So I hope you still have patience with me while I try to get back into the rhythm of blog writing again.  And for those of you who have stuck with me over the last few years, I thank you.  You have no idea how much your support has meant to me over the years.