May 4th, 2009

Narnia: Ed/pete

(no subject)

I know this is kinda weird but I'm looking for book suggestions that deal with consensual incest. I'm aware and love all the V.C. Andrews books dealing with that subject matter already.

Thanks =)
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The Alchemyst


Book #15
Book Title: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Author: Michael Scott
Category: YA fiction; fantasy; series
# of pages: 375
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: C
Short description/summary of the book: (taken from 15-year-old siblings Sophie and Josh Newman take summer jobs in San Francisco across the street from one another: she at a coffee shop, he at a bookstore owned by Nick and Perry Fleming. In the vey first chapter, armed goons garbed in black with "dead-looking skin and... marble eyes" (actually Golems) storm the bookshop, take Perry hostage and swipe a rare Book (but not before Josh snatches its two most important pages). The stolen volume is the Codex, an ancient text of magical wisdom. Nick Fleming is really Nicholas Flamel, the 14th-century alchemist who could turn base metal into gold, and make a potion that ensures immortality. Sophie and Josh learn that they are mentioned in the Codex's prophecies: "The two that are one will come either to save or to destroy the world." Mayhem ensues, as Irish author Scott draws on a wide knowledge of world mythology to stage a battle between the Dark Elders and their hired gun—Dr. John Dee—against the forces of good, led by Flamel and the twins (Sophie's powers are "awakened" by the goddess Hekate, who'd been living in an elaborate treehouse north of San Francisco). Not only do they need the Codex back to stop Dee and company, but the immortality potion must be brewed afresh every month. Time is running out, literally, for the Flamels. Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two.

My Thoughts: This book seems like it took me forever to read! I thought that it was difficult to get through the first half of the book because I read could not get into the story. I thought that the plot and the characters were not very well developed, but that could be because it is the first book in the series. I am hoping that as the series progresses, the main characters become more interesting as well. The last half of the book seemed to pick up and get a bit more intriguing. The book ends in a cliffhanger, so I will eventually read the rest of the series, just to see if the story picks up.

Books read this year: 15/50.

Pages read this year: 6168/15000

Next read(s): I have started reading Q&A by Vikas Swarup.
han shot first

Sword Song: The Battle for London by Bernard Cornwell

Sword Song (The Saxon Chronicles, Book 4) Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

London is in the heart of three warring kingdoms: Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia. King Alfred of Wessex is determined to secure the former Roman city along the Thames as part of his dream to create a unified nation he privately calls England. In the fourth Saxon Chronicle book, Bernard Cornwell continues Uhtred’s tale two years after the events of Lords of the North. In Sword Song: The Battle for London, Uhtred and Gisela are married and living under Alfred’s rule with two children and a third on the way. Given authority over one of Alfred’s burhs (a frontier-like settlement), Uhtred continues to serve out his sworn allegiance to Alfred.

A bit more philosophical than the previous books in the series, Sword Song also explores forbidden romances, abusive relationships, and loyalties where, once again, borders are little more than nebulous landmarks Uhtred and his Danish and Saxon friends are willing to cross when the need suits them. I thought I’d get tired of the fine line Uhtred has always walked throughout the series and of the thin loyalties he pledges, but I didn’t. I actually feel frustrated for Uhtred who really just wants to get back to Bebbanburg and reclaim his rightful throne. One often wonders, though, if perhaps this will never happen. Will Uhtred resign himself to a tortuous life under Alfred and his insufferable nephew or is Cornwell saving the best for last?

Fans of the series will be happy to hear the vivid blood baths, oath-breaking, oath-making, besieging, testosterone, and religious machinations are back in full force--a warring and tumultuous landscape for Uhtred’s conflicting desires: ambition, grudging loyalties, and a warrior’s thirst for battle. I think the battles and blood-letting might be even more visceral in this installment. Sword song is not for the queasy or soft-at-heart. Cornwell brings a passionate relish to his descriptions of the ever famous shield wall and Uhtred, our narrator, shares this passion. But behind his gruff exterior lies the foundation of Uhtred’s happiness and the source of his burgeoning fears. With his lovely Gisela pregnant again, will she survive the childbirth or will Uhtred lose his only joy?

The Christian religion shares in the extreme enthusiasms of Sword Song. With an exuberance never (at least than I can remember) seen in the zealous piety of Alfred and his Christian converts and followers, his nephew Aelthred goes to some lengths to protect his manhood and preserve his jealous insecurities at the expense of his wife’s dignity. I’m hoping in the next book, Aelthelfaed gets her revenge.

Sword Song builds upon Cornwall’s earlier foundations and brings back familiar characters, exciting adventures, and even more humorous moments to ease the growing pains of Alfred’s new kingdom. If you’ve read the first three, then the fourth is a must. It’s a great addition to an already entertaining action-adventure tale mixing fact and fiction into an irresistible, testosterone-charged fusion of politics, war, romance, and friendship. I can’t wait for the next!

View all my reviews.
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need a book about women

I need a book about the condition of women under the patriarchy of North and South America 100+ years ago. Off and on throughout my life, I have heard that women were abused and suffered under the patriarchy. I have no doubt and no question about that. I have read enough about the suffragists to know that things were terrible for women back then.

However, I have never heard any rough statistics or estamites of statistics. To what extent were women mistreated? Not every man beat his wife, even though the culture okayed it. Some men genuinely loved and cared about their wives. To what extent were women disrespected? Is there any book that gives a comprehensive view of what life was like?