Laughter and books make life a little easier

Posts tagged “terry brooks

Library of the soul (book read in August)

august

We all have a story. Mine includes where I was born, how I spent a lot of holidays as a child on the road, when I went to school, how I spent the majority of weekends in the library…
You can find pieces of a person’s soul in their story.

(more…)


Books read in August

August

I mean book read in August. Well, book and two short stories… And a few chapters of another book… Let’s just move on. (more…)


Books read in January

January

Two long overdue reads, as well as reading plans for 2015.

(more…)


Books read in October

October

A return to old-fashioned fantasy after the bleak reality of war, nightmares and dystopia of the last couple of months.

(more…)


Day 16 – Favourite female character: Part 2

Header2

This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

 

This is probably an odd one, I know. I was trying to choose who else to write about, because, as with the men, I was tempted to write about far too many people. I was also tempted to write about Éowyn from Lord of the Rings and also about one other character. However, I’ll still get my chance to write too much about LotR in the later posts, so I can work Éowyn in there and that other character will also get her turn on Day 25, so that is settled. I’ll write about Damson Rhee from The Heritage of Shannara-quartet today.

Damson Rhee features prominently in The Heritage of Shannara as the guide, helper and growing love interest of one of the main characters. In a few days, I will publish a piece in which I write about how much I hate it when some fantasy novels transform women into nothing more than attractive pieces of flesh. This happens especially when the woman turns into the lover of the male main character. It seems that as soon as that happens, she is transformed into a piece of cardboard and has no (and needs no) characteristics except for sex appeal.

Anyway, what I like about Damson is how she breaks this stereotype. She really is an admirable character: she is resourceful, independent, strong-willed and brave. She is actually the one who has to look after her boyfriend, because he is the “going-to-pieces-sort”. He does that rather a lot, though to be fair to him, he also has a lot to deal with and I can hardly blame him for getting nightmares after everything that happened to him.

 

Damson Rhee is definitely not a cardboard character. She is prepared to brave guards, sewers, shadows, nightmares, fights, imprisonment and hard weather travels in her fight for what is right. As a profession she is a street magician and so she can do all kinds of tricks with sleight of hand and so on. I love all the moments when she takes out her magic. Even though it is not real and everyone knows it, there is still a kind of magic to it. And I have a thing for a magic-show. 😉

One of the things that I like so much about the Shannara-series is that all the female characters that play any kind of role are well-developed. Don’t you hate those fantasy novels that have a boy and a girl on the cover… with the girl showing more skin than she covers? How sensible is it to participate in a fantasy quest in high heels and lingerie? It won’t be long before something in that outfits slips… but maybe that is what she wants. Well, I think that’s stupid. I don’t read those books with that kind of cover. I much prefer characters like Damson Rhee… she is sensible, not an air-headed doll.

 

Actually, this is how I prefer characters in general. I prefer the sort with common sense that does not get soppy, but it is just a pity how hard they are to find. Half the characters I’ve read seem to turn into soppy romantics at the least blink. That is one thing I can’t stand: having to read two characters cooing at each other. Bah! That’s something I’ll post about in a couple of days as well.

Well basically, that’s it then. If you haven’t read about Damson yet, go try it. Go experience her in her awesomeness as Free-born girl, street magician and great example. 😛

 

Tomorrow’s post is about my favourite quote from my favourite book.

Sig3


Day 07 – Most underrated book

Header2

This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

 

This was probably the most difficult topic for me. It had me stumped for the longest time, because I simply could not think what to write about. I went ahead and wrote the other posts, leaving this one blank. In the meantime, I’ve been racking my brains, trying to think of anything that I could write about. An overrated book? Ho yus, I can think of several. But underrated? I was not quite sure that I’ve met a book yet that stuck with me as underrated. Well, there were books that I thought were better than most people seemed to rate them, but still… usually I could accept their point of view as well and I did not think that a book was actually underrated, or under-appreciated, as such. Else, it was a book like… The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I wish that this book received more attention from fandoms and so on, but I can hardly call it underrated when it is often considered the fantasy book of the century, or whatever else these awards are called these days.

So… I was thinking and thinking what I could write about. Then I read Agatha Christie’s Passenger to Frankfurt. Before I started, I saw that it received rather low ratings on Goodreads and that most people severely criticise it, instead of praise it. When I began to read, I was wondering whether I had found my candidate for an underrated book. I have not yet read an Agatha Christie book that I did not enjoy, so I thought that there was a pretty good chance that I would. Then I read it, and… oh well, I found it rather “meh-ish”. I didn’t think it was quite as bad as some people make it out and there were bits that I rather enjoyed, but it ended on a sort of deus ex machina and I didn’t like that much. So when I was finished, I still hadn’t found an underrated book.

Then, when I was in the library the other day, I spotted an extremely worn copy of Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold! by Terry Brooks. I may have written an entire post on his Shannara-series a few days ago, but I haven’t read any of his non-Shannara work. Because I haven’t been able to find any. Except for his Shannara-series and his Word and the Void-series (now part of Shannara), I haven’t been able to locate his other works. I knew of their existence only because of the lists in the front of each of his books. Well, I snatched that book up in the library and started to read it.

And… it was good. It has very realistically portrayed characters. It has good character development. As always, I loved the descriptions of Brooks’s invented world. Also, it was really great to read early descriptions of what would become the demons of the Forbidding as featured prominently in The Elfstones of Shannara and the High Druid of Shannara-trilogy. That is really what it felt like. In my opinion, anyway. Winking smile This was a whole different series and a whole different world, but it still felt familiar, in a way, as if I was reading the author’s early notes and could then compare it to what he would develop in his later books. Perhaps it was just because I was so interested in the Forbidding, Jarka Ruus and the Straken in the latest trilogy, but I really enjoyed it. So I finished Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold! and I decided that I would want to read the others in the Landover-series. If I can find them that is. As I was thinking about how scarce they seem to be, I suddenly realised that I think this book is underrated. It is maybe not as good as Terry Brooks gets, but it has definitely been overshadowed by the larger series. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves in my opinion.

 

Finally, I found an underrated book. Ha! It was a hard mission, but I am glad I found it. I like it and I’ll read it again if I get a chance. Of course, it has to go back to the library, but that will hopefully not swallow it whole. It seems to be scarce enough as it is and that copy is foxed, beared and dragoned as Terry Pratchett calls it. Maybe I have not found a book that is actually underrated by one and all (except me, of course Smile with tongue out), but at least I managed to find a forgotten book. An overshadowed book. A nice book that I wish received more attention.

 

Tomorrow I’ll write about an overrated book. Prepare yourselves! Nerd smile

Sig3