Archive for March, 2014

PARABLE FROM A BOOK

Posted: March 29, 2014 in Thoughts on Reading

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It’s been a while since I have posted anything. I have been reading The way of Kings, which is not a short book. 1,000 pages. I won’t tell you what I think of it yet but I can tell you I am almost finished so I should have my review up In a few days.

As I have been reading I have occasionally come across a passage that I really liked. In this case a parable told in the book that I just wanted to share. The parable is told by Dalinar to High prince Sadeas. He is quoting a story from the book The way of kings he has been having read to him. It tells the story of a king who took a journey down a long road. Enjoy the story I really liked this passage.

“I walked from Abambar to Urithiru. In this, the metaphor and experience are one, inseparable to me like my mind and memory. One contains the other, and though I can explain one to you, the other is only for me.

 
“I strode this insightful distance on my own, and forbade attendants. I had no steed beyond my well-worn sandals, no companion besides a stout staff to offer conversation with its beat against the stone. My mouth was to be my purse; I stuffed it not with gems, but with song. When singing for sustenance failed me, my arms worked well for cleaning a floor or hog pen, and often earned me satisfactory reward.

 
“Those dear to me took fright for my safety and, perhaps, my sanity. Kings, they explained, do not walk like beggars for hundreds of miles. My response was that if a beggar could manage that feat, then why not a king? Did they think me less capable than a beggar?

 
“Sometimes I think that I am. The beggar knows much that a king can only guess. And yet who draws up the codes for begging ordinances? Often I wonder what my experience in life – my easy life following the desolation, and my current level of comfort – has given me of any true experience to making laws. If we had to rely on what we knew, Kings would only be of use in creating laws regarding the proper heating of tea and cushioning of thrones

 
“Regardless I made the trip and – as the astute reader has already concluded – survived it. The stories of its excitements will stain a different page in this narrative, for first I must explain my purpose in walking this strange path. Though I was quite willing to let my family think me insane, I would not leave the same as my cognomen upon the winds of history

 
“My family travelled to Urithiur via the direct method, and had been awaiting me for weeks when I arrived. I was not recognized at the gate, for my mane had grown quite robust without a razor to tame it. Once I revealed myself, I was carried away, primped, fed, worried over, and scolded in precisely that order. Only after all of this was through was I finally asked the purpose of my excursion. Couldn’t I have just taken the simple, easy, and common route to the holy city?

 
“For my answer I removed my sandals and proffered my calloused feet. They were comfortable upon the table beside my half-consumed tray of grapes. At this point, the expression of my companions proclaimed that they thought me daft, and so I explained by relating the stories of my trip. One after another, like stacked sacks of tallew, stored for the winter season. I would make flatbread of them soon, and then stuff it between these pages

 
“Yes I could have travelled quickly. But all men have the same ultimate destination. Whether we find our end in a hallowed sepulchres or a pauper’s ditch, all save the heralds themselves must dine with the night watcher

 
“And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived

 
“in the end, I must proclaim that no good can be achieved for false means. For the substance of our existence is not in the achievement, but in the method. The monarch must understand this; he must not become so focused on what he wishes to accomplish that he diverts his gaze from the path he must take to arrive there”

 

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RAGE OF THE DRAGON

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Book Reviews

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Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The 3rd book in the dragonships of Vindrash series. Warning spoiler alert in this review. I would recommend you read bones of the dragon and secret of the dragon first before reading this one. Also please feel free to read my reviews on those books as well.

Skylan and company have been taken prisoner and enslaved by Raegar and his new god Aelon. During their enslavement they befriend a Ogre who helps them escape as a fleet of ogres prepares for invasion. Raegar convinces Treia, Alyaen’s sister to summon one of the 5 vektia dragons. She makes a deal with a god who demands a sacrifice in exchange for telling her how to sumon the dragon which she fails to control and the city is destoyed.

Raegar and Treia escape the city in there ship while Skylan and company escape in there ship only to be surrounded by the Ogre war fleet. Skylan tries to convince the ogres he is a friend by returning the body of the new ogre friend keeper. While he is doing this Raegar summons his fire dragon to attack Skylan and his crew. Raegar soon learns that this is a mistake, summoning a fire dragon over water and his dragon flees humiliated after the devestating loss suffered against Skylans water dragon Kahg.

Not out of trouble yet both the ogres and Skylan’s ship get destroyed and attacked by a kraken and they are dragged down beneath the surface of the ocean, lucky for him and his crew they are resuced and saved by the Aquins, a human species that lives under the ocean only to find himself a prisoner yet again.

It seems skylan just can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble. This is a great addition to this series with one more to go. I really enjoyed the constant action in this volume. This one turned into a page turner with the fast paced action in every chapter.

Still quite predictable in alot of way’s but no less enjoyable regardless. I like that it is not such a complex story that you could wait several years for the next volume if you had to without having to try to remeber what happenned. Simple and easy read yet enjoyable and fun story that really brings you into the plot and really gets you loving or hating the characters.

It’s really to bad the others ones were not as good overall but it is nice to see these characters getting some more depth that the first volumes did not have. Though still simple making the characters quite easy to understand motivational wise. I must admit that characters that are hard to predict and understand make for a more intellectually challenging read. If you prefer that kind of story then this is not a story for you. I enjoyed it however so i’m sure you will as well.

I give this book 6.1/10 book worms

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SECRET OF THE DRAGON

Posted: March 3, 2014 in Book Reviews

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Secret of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The second book in the dragonship series. This picks up where the last one left off. Skylan and his crew have been taken prisoner back to a strange land as slaves. They are branded and punished if they disobey and attempt to go against there new masters.

Treia and Alyean are the only ones not branded as Raegar, Skylan’s cousin who captured them, plans on using them to his advantage. Skylan and crew are forced to particapate in the Para Dix games. A game of battle and war for the entertainment of the masses of this new land.

A Ogre war fleet is on its way to commence war in this new land as the Gods of the Ogres and the God of this new land battle for supreme rulership. This has become a 3 way war between the Gods of the ogres, The gods of the Vindrasi and the God of these new people they have become slaves to.

It is not 2 long before it is discovered that the people of this strange land have one of the 5 Vektan dragon bones which they manipulate Treia into summoning one of these dragons. She makes a deal with a God to learn the secret of summoning one of the vektan dragons.

As the Ogre fleet approaches the dragon is released but no one knows the secret to controlling the dragon, at least no one but Skylan

I really enjoyed this volume of the series. Skylan starts to grow up and mature in this volume and finds that he has been humbled quite a bit after everything that has happenned. His guilt for everything he has done wrong because of his selfish pride begins to come through and what was previously a 2 dimensional character starts to show some real human qualities.

The story moves at a decent pace and really starts to get interesting. Less explanation and world building this time around and more story telling. That made it much more enjoyable than the first volume of this series.

If there is one character I really like in this sereies so far It would have to be Wulfe. A strange orphan boy who can talk to faery creatures and seems to have some mystal powers. He is a funny kid and mysterious at the same time. He was raised by wolves and behaves like one much of the time. Most people in the story find him to be harmless but a bit of pest most of the time. Showing up just when you need him and the rest of the time not knowing where he is or what he is up to but somehow always around the help you out when you need it.

I am really enjoying this series of books. I do find it to be better than the dragonlance which it is comparable to. This volume ends with a cliff hanger that leaves you wanting to read the next volume which I will be sure to do.

I give this book 6/10 book worms

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