Harp of Winds by Maggie Furey

Written by: on Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Title: Harp of Winds
Author: Maggie Furey
Cover art: Steve Assel
ISBN: 0-553-56526-5
Back Cover:

Driven from the holy city of Nexis by the crazed Archmage Miathan, the flame-haired Lady Aurian has survived the deadly sandstorms of the South. But now, round with child and bereft of her magic powers, she and her beloved Anvar have set forth on the perilous journey back – bearing the incandescent Staff of Earth that may be the key to healing a world rent by cataclysm. Before them lies a land locked in the icy grip of eternal winter by Miathan’s powerful sorcery. Can they battle their way through and, fulfilling the destiny crafted for them centuries before, destroy the dark forces gathered there?

My thoughts:
I was almost intimidated by the “Index of Characters” at the beginning of the book. It’s the same thing as the first book, bouncing around from characters to characters, a lot of thinking going on, etc. It’s just there were so many characters that when Maggie Furey jumped to another set of characters, it took me a while to figure out who they were because I couldn’t recall them or figure out why we were reading about their struggles if the main plot going on is Aurian and Anvar.

Other than that, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t struggle to stay interested. I read through to the last page and the journey is going strong. I’m not sure whether to start on ‘The Sword of Flame’ or hold off until I get the fourth book, Dhiammara.

Aurian by Maggie Furey

Written by: on Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Title: Aurian
Author: Maggie Furey
Cover art: Steve Assel
ISBN: 0-553-56525-7
Back Cover:
To the city of Nexis, where Magefolk in their white-walled towers rule uneasily over a restive race of Mortals, a young girl comes to learn the magic arts. Aurian, a quicksilver swordswoman, has inherited the Earth-magic from her mother and Fire-magic from her father.

Unawakened within her lie far greater powers, coveted by the Archmage Miathan, who intends to possess her. But Aurian bravely flouts the Mages’ Code and takes a mortal lover.

Maddened by rage and jealousy, the corrupt Archmage schemes to destroy her, unleashing cataclysmic forces from a lost age. Aurian is the only Mage strong enough to oppose Miathan, but to do so she must take up forbidden weapons of long-lost magic, at grave peril of her own destruction… or the annihilation of her very world.

My thoughts:
I’m surprised I didn’t struggle to stay interested in this book. It’s interesting because I was told that stories need to follow a main character and it needs to be by his/her view through the whole journey. In this book, the point of view is through quite a few characters to get the story moving. There’s also a lot of thinking going on – which honestly kept reminding me over and over about how some role players can stretch one brief moment into four paragraphs of thoughts and movements and etc. It wasn’t much of a hassle in this book.

It’s slow to begin with, starting with Aurian’s childhood but then once she’s an adult, the action starts to happen. Then towards the last-half of the book, action and danger just keeps coming and coming.

The only thing that absolutely discouraged me was the last fifty pages of the book. The old fear came rushing back where you find out that stuff you created were already beaten to the punch by another author and now you’re left in a dilemma wondering if you should just keep using your creations or if you’re afraid someone else will think you took it from another author. To read it in this book was just… a big blow. Oh well.

The book didn’t bore me at all whatsoever so I will go straight to the next book and continue the adventure.

Ogre, Ogre – Piers Anthony

Written by: on Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Title:Ogre, Ogre
Author: Piers Anthony
Cover art: Darrell K. Sweet
ISBN: 0-345-35492-3

Back Cover:
Smash knew all about ogres. After all, despite having a human mother, Smash was an ogre himself. Ogres were not only huge and horribly ugly, as Smash was; they were also so stupid they could hardly speak, and they spent most of their time fighting, destroying, and eating young girls.

So what was he doing here with seven assorted females looking to him to guide them and save them? Even in Xanth, where magic made anything possible, why should Tandy the Nymph trust him and seem fond of him? And how could all that high-flown conversation be coming out of his mouth?

But that, it seemed, was what he got for going to Good Magician Humpfrey for an Answer – before he even knew what the Question was!

Spoilers beyond

The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volume II

Written by: on Monday, September 5th, 2011

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I read Volume I back in the very late 90’s and I remember I couldn’t get enough. I read through the stories and absolutely enjoyed it. Then once I hit Volume II, the excitement died out. I remember that by the time I got to “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, it was boring and dry. I was determined to make it to the end but never did.

For the last couple of weeks, I decided to pick up the second volume and give it another crack. I pushed and pushed and made it to the last page. I never recaptured the love that I had for Sherlock Holmes during the first volume.

What got me to pick up the second volume was that I was listening to some writer (I can’t remember his name) talk about when you create a character that everyone loves, you have to be prepared to carry that character on, you have to make sure you love this character. He then gave an example of Doyle getting so sick of Sherlock Holmes that he threw the guy right off the falls, then due to popular demand, he was ‘forced’ to bring Holmes back. I remember the first volume ending that way with Sherlock’s death and then the second volume resuming with Sherlock’s return.

It got me to wondering if the reason I lost interest was because Doyle lost interest. Did I find the stories boring because he lost interest in Sherlock Holmes? Or did I just grow out of it eventually? Ah, well… Another book checked off the list.

Myth-ing Persons & Little Myth Marker by Robert Asprin

Written by: on Friday, August 19th, 2011

Title: Myth-ing Persons & Little Myth Marker
Author: Robert Asprin

Back Cover:
Myth-ing Persons
To find his missing partner Aahz, Skeeve must sleuth in another dimension – where day is night, humans are monsters, and magic doesn’t work…

Little Myth Marker
When Skeeve bluffs his way into a high-stakes poker game – and wins – he’s saddled with Markie, a pint-sized IOU with a monster-sized talent for trouble…

Yes, what a shocker… I actually finished a book! Though, technically, two books. Twice as impressive, I dare say.

I read ‘Myth-ing Persons’ in July and then sort of crept through ‘Little Myth Marker’ through August. I think it was more of a struggle because it seemed to be a lot of talk, talk, talk. I guess the book was based on fleshing out the characters. Quite a few of them shared tidbits about themselves that Skeeve never knew. I pretty much figured out who was what and there didn’t seem to be much of a plot besides the whole ‘Dragon Poker’ business and ‘Ax’.

At least I got this one out of the way.

Five Important Books I’ve Read

Written by: on Monday, July 25th, 2011

The Daily Post asks:
List the 5 most important books you’ve ever read. Don’t think too much, just get a pen, or open a new post, and start listing books. When you’re done, go book and write a sentence or two about why each book ended up on your list. Do you think those books would have been more or less important had you read them at a different time in your life? Or would each one have effected you just as much regardless of when you read them?

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – I can’t pick which book so I might as well go with the whole line-up. This has been the only series where I just couldn’t put them down. I couldn’t get enough and actually finished each book within a day or two because I just had to know what happened. I’ve never been able to do that with any other book before and after.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams – I have learned from this book that it is a very bad idea for the first 100+ pages to have no action. No action at all whatsoever. It’s a very bad idea. I made it through the first 100 pages and had to call it quits. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I own these two volumes that are supposed to be the complete collection about Sherlock Holmes. While I devoured the first volume and part of the second (I died out during The Baskerville Hounds), it was a real lesson that it is very difficult to write a character that’s supposed to be much smarter than you. The fact that the author was able to pull out tons of little details and deduce major plots based on them and move things along… I loved it.

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony – This was my first leap into a fantasy world where things really pushed the envelope and still managed to work. This taught me that not everything has to have a scientific reason or has to be explained. Fantasy is truly where anything goes.

Desert Eden by J.M. Morgan – I’m not sure why this comes to mind. I just know that this was pretty much the first book that I willingly read outside of school. I remember liking it a lot and always wanting to get the other two books. I tried but libraries in the area never had the other two books or even heard of it. It wouldn’t be until years later when the internet came around and eBay was at its peak when I tracked down the other two books and finished the trilogy.


As for whether it makes a difference on when the books were read, I don’t think so. Harry Potter was consumed upon sight. I think the only thing that really would be affected is Desert Eden as I pretty much mark this as my first book despite my having read a number of books from the Great Illustrated Classics line-up. I figure the GIC books were often required to read in school so it wasn’t my true step outside to other books.

Letters to a Djinn – Grace Zaring Stone

Written by: on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

I don’t remember how I stumbled across this book on Google (eBook on Google Books). What surprised me was that I couldn’t find any reviews on the book or what it was about. I was immediately intrigued by the fact that it was published in 1922 and I wanted to know how a djinn was portrayed at the time.

Right away, the whole thing is a collection of letters written by a woman who signs her letters as “Sinbad” and she’s writing to a guy named “Hinbad” about her trip where she was hired to fetch a woman’s sister. After reading three letters, I closed it down and said, “This is boring.” However, after I kept thinking about it, I fired it open and kept reading.

Sinbad goes by boat and meets several people on it and visits places along the way. This Hinbad had made several appearances in the letters where she says something like, ‘then you appeared before me in the form of a djinn’… I kept reading because I wanted to know more about this djinn. As I read through the book, It became obvious that Hinbad was nothing more than her being alone and thinking of her friend about recent events that went on and what advice he would’ve given.

I guess it was more of a romance than anything else… I should’ve seen it coming from a mile away.


Written by: on Sunday, February 27th, 2011

On a selling site for my local area, I saw that someone posted a few dragon books and of course, I jumped on them. I figured I’d look them through and see what they had to say.

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons by Dr. Ernest Drake
Dragonology: Pocket Adventures by Ernest Drake
How to Raise and Keep a Dragon by John Topsell & Joseph Nigg

Is Dragonology still popular, I wonder? I remember the books, like Wizardology and other ologies, were talked about a lot a few years ago but haven’t heard a peep about it since. I haven’t read any of the books just yet (except one from the Pocket Adventures. Holy crap. Just 20 pages and a tiny adventure in each book? Eh.). I did flip through the pages to look at the art.

The books are in .. sort of damaged condition. Also, while flipping through “How to Raise and Keep a Dragon”, I came across a page that had a ‘registration application’. Some kid wrote in it – Not only that but one kid wrote in it before it as well since there’s a lot of erasing and re-writing. Looks like they were trying to register a dragon named Zartenox. The other kid who wrote in it first was trying to register a dragon name that started with the letter L. In Dragonology, I think a paper is missing from an envelope on one of the pages. I understand now why they were put up for incredibly cheap.

I think I’ll read through them and see whether I find them interesting or … most likely clash against what I think about my personal dragons. heh!

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

Written by: on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I think I have to call it quits on this book.  I’m 228 pages in but haven’t had the interest to pick it up and keep reading it. It’s been sitting on the edge of my desk for weeks now. I don’t think it’s boring or anything but it just seems to go on and on and on and on… Sunrunners and lots of people around… Tons of history being pumped in as well.

It does make me question my own writing style. I can’t sit and dwell on one scene forever. I feel the need to keep the story moving but this book just seems to dwell on so much. This book reminds me of my RPing woes where I can’t turn one scene into four paragraphs. I can’t handle that type of storytelling. I’d rather it’s a “She looked at him with a smile.” instead of a “With her red flowy hair as she craned her soft neck to look at her handsome love, once a boy that she loved playing and skipping in the meadows with, how they declared their love in the same place and yadda yadda yadda, brought a fond smile upon her face with the remembrance of it all.”

Yeah. I have to call it quits on this book. For now at least.

Trying to remember two children stories…

Written by: on Saturday, February 12th, 2011

While watching “Moon” (2009 – The one about Sam Bell and GERTY! It was slow and boring yet interesting at times.), the movie reminded me of two stories.

1. A story about Earth failing. I believe it was about a little girl who was told that she could only take one item with her and I believe she chose a book? They landed on a planet where the plants or grass was very hard that it was cutting through their soft shoes.

2. A story about how the author believed it rained on Mars for years on end except for one day when the clouds would part and the sun would shine. It focused on a little girl who couldn’t wait for this day! Through some mischief, some children locked her in a room. At the worst timing, the clouds parted and the sun came out. The kids forgot about the little girl and ran outside to enjoy the sun. She spent her time locked in the room and missed out on the sun.

I tried using Google to find them but I’m just getting random searches about water being discovered on Mars. I’m not even closing in on anything related to the other story either. Would anyone recognize what these stories are from?

EDIT: Wow, that was quick. Through some help, both stories are known!

1. The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh

2. All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury – This turns out to be on Venus, not Mars.