Posts Tagged With: Fantasy

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Whos Afraid

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Me.

I had a dream a few nights ago about Red knowing the wolf for he was, yet she still feigned ignorance.  He called her on it, yet she still denied the truth of his character, his intent, his danger up until the moment he attacked.  In my dream version, the Wolf devours Red. I understand the fairy tale has a happy ending with the Huntsman showing up and destroying the wolf and saving Red, but we all know that’s not how it plays out in reality.  There’s never a Huntsman to save us from our own ignorance.

I don’t blame, Red. I fear of being like her. I fear being just as naïve, just as stupid, just as blind, or be just as deceived. Wolves are cunning and they seem to be getting better and better at stalking their prey.

I hate wolves.  Not the four-legged beautiful amazing creatures that live in the wild, but the predators who live next door – I’m talking about the deceivers, agents of deception, liars, cheaters, users, and vampires.  I’m talking about the cold-hearted, callus, selfish predators who destroy the souls of other human beings with their games.  The world is full of male and she-wolves, but God I pray not to be a Red, yet fear there’s more of her in me than I want to admit.

I don’t have a problem seeing wolves. I see them. I smell them. I recognize when they’re tracking, hunting, and stalking me.  I get their deceptive messages, I smell their scent of betrayal, yet I still walk through the dangerous forest alone, I still tell strangers my destination, I still trollop through the tulips with my basket of bread, with not much regard for my safety.  Being safe is being guarded, being suspect, being armored, and being cold and hard as steel.  I’ve been there. I’ve done that – and it didn’t protect me. A wolf disguised himself as another warrior and got me to lay my armor down before he decided to chew me up and leave me for dead.  So, even protected I was not safe.  Being aware, being awake, seeing the truth, and learning how to walk away, to change direction, to evade and avoid …is all I can really hope to do.  My weapons is now truth – by living in the light, not lurking in the shadows.  Wolves don’t like the light and they can’t play hide and seek or stalk prey sufficiently in the open.  So, I don’t hide. If a wolf comes at me, he will have to come at me in the light – and he will be met with a survivor who knows how to fight back, not a victim.

I hate the wolves of this world – both men and women.  Liars, deceivers, con-artists, players, users and manipulators destroy the souls of men and women more than anything else in this world.

“Grandma, what big eyes you have – do you see me, because I see you.”

“Grandma, what big ears you have – can you hear me? You will hear me roar.”

“Grandma, what big teeth you have – mine are sharper. You will feel my bite!”

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? I am – not that it could or would hurt me – I only fear being naïve to not recognize him before it’s too late.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Personal Epic Fantasy

My Personal Epic Fantasy

On my jog this morning I noticed something peculiar that set my mind pondering all sorts of odd ideas.  Not new ideas, but really a particular idea that’s been percolating in my mind for a very long time. It’s been years of study really. It’s also been a subject, or at least part of the subject, that’s come up recently in a few casual conversations.  Mind you, these conversations are with the male species ranging from 18 to 45.  You see, I’m an avid gamer, well, I’m a Destiny gamer, and 99% of the gamers I meet online are male.  So, it’s reasonable to expect that 99% of my daily conversations are with the male species.  I’m thankful at the moment that my roommate is female, so that way I get a splash of female perspective at times.  But, then again, she’s not your typical female roommate, because if we were a lesbian couple I’d definitely be the feminine aspect of that coupling.  Not to stray too far from the topic, let me bring it back to my peculiar finding.

It’s very populated where I live now. What a stark contrast from just a couple months ago when I practically lived in a Siberian wasteland and could go a whole week seeing only 2 or 3 people, if I was lucky, and only have to talk to maybe half of those if I was extremely lucky.  I now can’t walk out my front door without being greeted by a neighbor or two.  So, jogging around the bungalow complex, or down and around the park, or along the sidewalks by the various strip malls, I see a lot of people.  Typically, I’d have my earbuds blasting away an upbeat tune to keep me motivated and moving, but mostly as an excuse so I didn’t have to talk to anyone.  I also usually glance at the people I pass but keep my eyes forward to avoid contact.  Well, that’s NOT what I did this morning. I made eye contact with everyone I passed (mostly men, btw), smiled at them, waved, but kept moving.  Every one of them responded, even the ones who moved as I normally do with only a glance and eyes forward to avoid contact.

So, what was this deep thought I had?  It involves porn, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  Well, this thought occurred to me when this older gentleman, clearly in his mid-50’s, perhaps early 60’s since he’s running and in shape, made no subtle attempt in letting me know he really liked what he saw.  He stopped in front of me, took his ear buds out of his ears, and put both his hands up to his heart…as if to say he’s having a heart attack, but certainly not under any true duress.  The smile on his face lit up his whole countenance.  Against my usual judgment, I stopped.   “Darlin’, I just have to say, “Wowzers”.  There’s no other expression I can imagine that would fit any better.”  You must remember, I’m not 25 with legs that go on forever.  I’m 44, short, curvy, and have a wrinkle and a gray hair or two (with hair dye you’ll never see those).  Though I look young for my age, it’s clear to see I’m a mature woman, not a ‘young, hot, thang’.  I smiled and thanked him for his compliment and continued my run.

That’s not the first ‘older’ gentleman to hit on me since I’ve been here.  I live on the Space Coast in sunny Florida, where the rich recreate and the elderly retire out their golden years.  If I so choose, I could easily snatch up a “Sugar Daddy” or two, IF material possessions and money really meant anything to me.  Unfortunately, I’m sort of a gypsy, a wild soul looking for adventure more than possessions, love more than money, and living life more than just surviving it.  I’ve been in survival mode for too long.  It’s time I got back to being my wild, adventurous self.

I can’t help but think about what men really want in women.  What do the young want, the old want, or the lover want?  I listen to the guys talk in the game chats, and while they talk a big game (in most cases dehumanizing women into sexual objects, something to be fucked and tolerated… seriously… I NEVER hear the guys talk about how a woman is beautiful, smart, amazing, something to be cherished, adored, appreciated, and such… what a culture we live in), but I believe they all want the same thing; they just have different ideas of how to obtain it.  I.e.  I have this one friend that falls in love easily and often.  While he’s very wise on a lot of things, very knowledgeable on a lot more things, very brave in almost everything, I wouldn’t take love advice from him because he doesn’t even know what it is he really wants.  While being in ‘love’ with one woman, he keeps a small circle of good female ‘friends’ on a string (not too loose they disappear, not too close to be committed) just in case things don’t work out, more than likely so he won’t be alone until he falls in love again.  I’m pretty sure he feels deeply, but he doesn’t express those deep emotions, in a failed attempt at protecting his heart from getting hurt.  He hurts.  He’s human.  Failed relationships hurt, no matter how badass you might be.  He’d be quick to protest that he doesn’t fear anything, or isn’t affected when something falls apart. But what is it he’s really looking for?  What is it he hasn’t been able to find yet in choices he’s already made?  What was it about the women chosen before where he thought he’d found it, to only discover a short time later he can’t see that same thing to sustain it?

Not getting off topic, but shifting gears to come at it from another angle. There’s another discussion in my gaming chat groups about pornography.  The guys love it. Many of them watch it regularly, especially the friend mentioned above.  They think I’m a prude because I don’t watch porn.  I don’t not watch it because I’m a prude or think I’m too ‘goody’ to watch it, as if it’s garbage.  I don’t watch it because it isn’t necessary and I feel sends the wrong message about sex, love, AND relationships.  I love porn… but not to watch.  I love making porn with someone I love.  Not filming our sexual acts, but sharing our sexual, emotional, and psychological expressions together, using our imagination to play, have fun, and be together in every way. Being intimate.  Porn lacks ALL that intimacy and imagination.  I’m not anti-porn, I’m pro-intimacy.  I love to be kinky, sexy, and fun.  There’s NOTHING in porn that can beat my imagination, but when I feel a man expects what he watches in porn, it stifles my imagination. I can’t fake it, so I shut down.  What little porn I’ve watched was filled with a lack of emotion, lack of imagination, and minimizes sex to a mere physical act – with strangers. Does a stranger deserve to see and share that part of me, that part of my imagination, that part of my intimacy?  Hell NO. Yes, I’ve done it.  I’ve had a casual experience with a stranger.  While it was a little fun, and sexually charged, once it was over… it was over and I was empty.  Yet, I’ve had a better experience when a man I loved very much simply ran his fingers over my hair. So, I’m sorry… I just can’t get excited or get off watching other people who don’t love or care for one another fucking, and doing it in a boring way.  If your sex life is like a porn scene, that’s boring and I feel sorry for you, because your love life is going to be just as emotionally empty, because you’re training your mind and your body that ‘the porn way’ is the way sex is supposed to be done.  I also believe that this is the number one killer in relationships for guys, because they’ve set up their relationships like a porn scene < Boy meets girl, sparks fly, they fuck, think they’ve fallen in love because they had chemistry and the orgasms were great, but then the orgasms subside and when they look at each other all they see is a stranger.  They might fuck a few more times, but then that episode gets old, that page is starting to stick, and they want to see another one, meet another stranger>… and so the cycle goes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying ALL men are like this, but many are… and they don’t even know it.  I’m not harping on just men, either.  There are many women in the same boat.  I hope my friend someday learns to shut the porn off and swim into deeper waters, because I’d love to see him truly happy.  I hope all the Sugar Daddy’s out there finds beauty in the older women they may overlook, while they’re tripping all over themselves over the pretty plastic ones.  As for this gypsy, I’m still not going to watch porn, and I’ll still avoid the Sugar Daddy’s and their pockets of sweets, and keep running and smiling until I find my personal epic fantasy.  I suppose that’s why porn doesn’t work for me, I’m not into the small and empty, but epic and fantastical magic.  It’s no wonder my gamertag is Kvothe from The Name of the Wind.  The music this Edema Rue plays has a meaning so deep the Chandrian will try to hunt me down and silence me, and the Arcanum doesn’t have enough room to record it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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I Dance, I Ditch, I Die

I Dance I Ditch I Die

Feel the beat, beneath our feet as the music plays.

You take my hand, I feel the warmth of it as our fingers interlock. But I don’t see them, I’m too busy staring into your eyes, those captivating eyes.  They hold me prisoner in their gaze, hypnotized by their intensity. I’m spellbound.

You lead me to the dance floor.  I don’t see the other dancers, just you bathed in golden light.  Everything else is in shadow.  All I can see is your eyes, your smile.  We weave through the dancers with agility and grace.  You lead. I follow.

We stop in the middle of the dance floor.  You circle me, appraising me.  Though your eyes are locked on mine, I can tell they see all of me.  I’m your prey.  You’re the hunter.  I long to be devoured.

Your strong hand brushes across the small of my back.  I shiver.  Your other hand grabs the one hanging by my side.  Our fingers lace and you bring my hand to your beautiful lips, brushing their soft, plumpness against the back.  It’s like fire licking my skin and dancing upon the hair follicles.

You pull me close and we start to sway back and forth in time to the music.  You hold me so tight I can feel your heart beating in your chest. I feel so beautiful, so safe in your arms. Your aroma makes me dizzy.  Your warmth makes me melt.  Your intense gaze exposes my soul.  Your lips snare me, induce me, seduce me.

You dance with me.  It’s beautiful. I’m lost. I’m found.  I’m scared. I’m safe. I’m alive. I burn.  I worship you.

You kiss me, and I cease to exist. I’m yours. I’m lost in you, in your arms, in your love.

The clock strikes twelve.

I feel the façade fade. Fear consumes me.  I know you could never love the simple girl inside.  In fear, in doubt, and in confusion – I run.

Only in this fairy tale  – you don’t run after me.  I don’t lose a piece of me for you to find, because you’re not searching for me.

My heart now burns to cinder ash, and I’ve become numb.  Many ask me to dance, but I feel nothing – not the music, not the fire, not the passion.  The more I refuse, the more they want me, but I only want to dance with one.

Every day I am being transformed into the image of the princess I had once pretended to be – the one you wanted me to be – yet you can’t now see.  You dance with the other princesses, hypnotizing them with your intense gaze, seducing them with your cunning cleverness.  They don’t run.

My ashes cool and only a cold pile remains.  I hate it.  I smile, but I’m crying inside.  I want to live, but I also want to die.  I want the magic, but I have no wand.  I’m shriveling to nothing and soon will be nothing but ash floating in the wind.  My fairy tale has ended and my Prince is gone.  I’m trying to survive. I’m trying to move on. I can’t breathe.

I hate who I’m becoming.  She’s everything I despise.  I’m no longer Cinderella, but a big, bad witch in disguise.

Till next time,

~Wicked Witch of the World

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Philosophy, Poetry, Romantic, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Narflax Kills Dragons Dead by Jeff Suwak

Narflax Kills Dragons Dead by Jeff Suwak.

 

Artwork by Holly Eddy

 

Check out the latest short story publication by Jeff Suwak in SorcerousSignals.com.

 

Title: Narflax Kills Dragons Dead

 

 

Excerpt:

 

At first, Leaky wasn’t sure if it was a dragon that flew out of her chrysanthemums. She saw what appeared to be a small, reptilian creature with leathery wings dart out from her 

flowers, but lost sight of it when the shape disappeared amidst a cloud of robins. Her old 

eyes hadn’t been trustworthy for many years, and she told herself she’d been imagining 

things.

 

“Haven’t been dragons since I was little,” she chuckled, and went back to weeding her 

immense garden.

 

Over the days that followed, she heard rumors about more dragon sightings around town. 

Rumors had to be mighty loud to reach Leaky’s door. She didn’t talk to other folks very 

much. People felt she had a mean streak, and she supposed they were right. What else 

did they expect from an orphan that’d known nothing but liars and abusers all her life?

 

The only love she ever had, and the only peace she ever knew, came from her garden. 

That’s why she was so traumatized the morning she walked outside to find her favorite 

orchids charred black, smoldering in the morning mist, with dozens of dragons flitting 

about, nibbling her flowers and burping up little spouts of flame.

 

To read more of Narflax Kills Dragons Dead by Jeff Suwak, please visit SorceorusSignals.com.

 

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Fantasy by MS MR in SongPlaces.com

 

MS-MR-Fantasy-Xaphoon-Jones-Late-Nite-Mix

 

Check out my latest article in Songlplaces.com featuring the song “Fantasy” by MS MR.

 

Here’s a snippet:

 

“Every time I hear the soft, sultry tunes of “Fantasy,” clearly recognizable as the Brooklyn/London duo MS MR (pronounced Miz Mister – made up of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenaw), I’m instantly propelled into the most beautiful memory I’ve ever had. It was the first time I ever visited the beautiful mountains of the Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest.”

 

http://www.songplaces.com/Fantasy/Vassar_College_Poughkeepsie_New_York

 

 

Visit SongPlaces to read the rest of the article.

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Triumph Over Tragedy: Anthology Release

Okay, it is finally released! Triumph Over Tragedy: Anthology

Please, please buy this book and help support Hurricane Sandy victims in the process. Spread the word and tell everybody you know to do the same.

Book Description

Publication Date: January 7, 2013
In the days immediately following Hurricane Sandy, I found myself both awed and saddened by the devastation I saw on the news. In the past, I’ve donated money for various relief efforts, but the gesture always felt somewhat hollow to me. Disasters have ripped apart people’s lives and homes, and here I am, sitting on my couch in my nice, warm living room, donating a measly fifty bucks.

I wanted to do more, to give more, but my familial obligations precluded me from physically going to help while economic constraints prevented me from giving more.

That’s when inspiration struck.

I’m an indie author (at the moment) and have enjoyed some relative success. In recent years, I’ve attended a few conventions as an author and made some wonderful professional connections. I reached out to a number of authors I knew, inquiring if they would like to donate a short story to an anthology, the proceeds of which would all go to Sandy relief.

A bunch said yes, emailed their contacts, and…well, things sort of took off after that. Turns out, people like helping people.

This anthology is our collective way of helping. We hope you enjoy.

Authors included: Elizabeth Bear, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mark Lawrence, Robert Silverberg, Michael Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Philip Athans , Tobias S. Buckell, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Michael J. Sullivan, R.T. Kaelin, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Tim Marquitz, Alex Bledsoe, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell, Jean Rabe, Rick Novy, Bryan Young, Gregory Wilson, Elisabeth Waters, Donald J. Bingle, C.S. Marks, SM Blooding, Jaym Gates, Stephen D. Sullivan, T.L. Gray, Marian Allen, Sarah Hans, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, C.J. Henderson, Steven Saus, Addie King, Doris Stever, Matt Bone, Rob Rogers, Janine Spendlove, Tracy Chowdhury, Vicki Johnson-Steger, and Alex Shvartsman

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Review – Prophecy – R.T. Kaelin

*Review Published in The West Georgia Living Magazine – Nov/Dec 2012 edition
Book: Prophecy (The Children of the White Lions #2)
Author: R.T. Kaelin
Publisher: Terrene Press
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:
Publication Date: September 30, 2012

The God of Chaos is marching. The Borderlands are nearly over-run, shredded by his army. In a dusty village, ninety-four residents led by two soldiers make a last stand. During the assault, one of the enemies isolates Rhohn Larus, a Dust Man. Yet rather than kill, the monster gives him a cryptic message and begs he carries it east, claiming it could halt the war.

At Storm Island, Nikalys, Kenders and Jak are adjusting to their new lives as leader, mage and soldier. In the nation’s capital, nobles spar, some conspire with the enemy, while others ally together to halt Chaos’ advance. New friends will be made, old rivals rediscovered and secrets revealed.

The stage is set. War is here. And the Progeny must rise to stop it.

Review:

I feel very privileged that I was one of the lucky ones to receive an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of the second book of The Children of the White Lions series, The Prophecy from author R.T. Kaelin. I was so excited that I put aside another project I was reading to dive right in, and I was NOT disappointed.

This story picks right up where the first book left off, with our heroes having survived their first huge battle. They suffered loss and experienced a bit of tragedy, but instead of being defeated and depressed, they rose to the challenge and put on a shield of determination.

One of the first things I loved about this second installment was the way R.T. Kaelin brought us back to the basics and these powerful, wonderful heroes back to earth by showing their weaknesses and frailties. Though they may be the “Progeny”, something prophesied by the great heroes that come before them, and had won their first victory, they were still far from where they needed to be in order to fulfill their destiny. They still had a lot to learn, a lot more to overcome, and they realized they were inept and didn’t know everything. This is called Character Building, and is true in both life and fiction. THIS is what I love about story-telling – using fiction as a tool for teaching an inspirational message through example; giving readers something to think about and a hope to overcome their own challenges in life. Showing that our titles, inheritance and privilege (or lack thereof) isn’t what makes us who we are – but the choices we make during moments of adversity.

Kaelin does an excellent job with not only the progression of our characters development of magical skill, talents or latent abilities, but in personality, courage and strength of character. He doesn’t just instantly fill our characters with greatness and then sends them off into battle to prove it. Kaelin takes the time to build their true character through bits and pieces of moments that build that greatness within them – and expose their weaknesses. I’m not even sure he knows he’s doing this – but it’s done really well.

This section of the story is a little bit more mature than the one before (as it should be), so my recommendation would be for an older audience (but not too much older). It’s still clean, positive and an absolutely beautiful story. There are battles, magic, love and loss, but on a more mature level – on the same level of our characters. R.T. Kaelin is also hereby inducted into the Evil Author’s Guild, which is a club for authors with a propensity to kill off beloved characters. Be prepared to laugh out loud, but also to shed a few tears.

Thank goodness R.T. Kaelin is busy writing the third book of this series, because I’m sitting on edge waiting to get my hands on it – and you will too.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray
Author of the Arcainian Series

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Review – Progeny – R.T. Kaelin

Published in The West Georgia Living Magazine – Nov/Dec Edition 2012
Book: Progeny (The Children of the White Lions #1)
Author: R.T. Kaelin
Publisher: Terrene Press
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:
Publication Date: November 27, 2010

Nikalys and his sister Kenders have grown up living a peaceful life in the small village of Yellow Mud. On a blistering hot day, brother and sister head to the lake for a swim. There, they witness a mysterious stranger send forth a massive, living wave that swallows their village. Believing they are the sole survivors, the two strike out on their own, hoping to discover why their home and family have been destroyed. They must make their way through a countryside where magic is outlawed while struggling with the revelation that one of them can “weave the Strands.”

Through their travels, these siblings discover that their simple life was an illusion. An epic, divine struggle has been underway for ages, and Nikalys and Kenders are at the center of it. Ancient, powerful forces have sought them since before their birth and hunt them to this day. Some wish to eliminate the threat they pose while others want to help the pair fulfill a destiny of which they are unaware. Myths and legends come to life, whisking the pair along a grand journey neither could have imagined possible.

Review:

There are many reasons authors write stories. Sometimes it’s to share a little bit of magic in a practical world. Sometimes it’s cathartic, a release of pent up emotions and hurts that others can identify and share. Sometimes it’s to take a break from the harsh realities and escape in a bit of fantasy. Sometimes it’s a vehicle used to spread a message, a moral code, a bit of wisdom or advice to pass down to the next generation. There are many reasons. In history, story-telling was very crucial to the development and understanding of humanity’s way of life, passing down traditions, values and knowledge to educate and survive. Today, with the easy access to self-publishing and lowering of standards of excellence by traditional publishing, bookshelves and eBook readers are being filled most often with sensationalized stories, demoralizing values and re-telling of superficial history. I’m guilty of a bit of this myself. But, it has me wondering what future generations will look like because of this practice. It also caused me to pause and re-evaluate the stories I read.

R.T. Kaelin has reminded me in his Children of the White Lions series of what it was that first had me fall in love with reading as a child. It’s not full of sensationalism, pushing the boundaries of the moral code, or even re-writing history to fit modern-day ideals. It’s about coming-of-age magic, destiny and first loves. It’s about discovering who you are, regardless of what you’re told. It’s about facing fears and adversity, but finding the strength to overcome them within yourself – not waiting on a superhero to swoop down out of the sky to rescue you – most often from your own messes. It’s about failing and finding the courage to get back up. All these wonderful elements are brilliantly placed within a beautiful story centered on two brave teenaged boys and their rambunctious sister.

Surrounding the central heroes are powerful minor characters, full of flaws, beauty, scars and well-developed personalities, along with a refreshing and straight forward magical system, and a battle for dominance from an imperfect and fallible antagonist. This story isn’t just about the battles, the quest, freedom from oppression or victory of the war, but it’s about the lives that are involved. This is a character-driven story, my favorite kind. Kaelin stays true to the youth and inexperience of the main characters, allowing plenty of room for growth and development through the series. I absolutely love them all – including many of the minor characters.

I would recommend this book from young adult (10yrs – up) to adult. It’s a wonderful story of loss, love, and leadership. It’s a great example of reluctant heroes rising to the greatness that’s been thrust upon them. It’s clean, it’s magical and it leaves the reader with hope instead of despair. I can’t wait to read more.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray
Author of the Arcainian Series

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Review – The Dragonswarm – Aaron Pogue

Book: Dragonswarm (Dragon Prince #2)

Author: Aaron Pogue

Publisher: Consortium Books

Genre: Fantasy

 

 

Publication Date: December 20, 2011

 

The Kingdom of the Sarianne teeters on the brink. While its tyrant king plays out his petty vendettas, rebellion foments on the edges of his domain. Politics and power struggles gamble civilization on the tides of war.

Yet war is not the greatest threat to civilization. A far older enemy rises. The dragons are waking and these fiends of Chaos will swarm across the world of men, razing it to bedrock just as they have done in ages past.

But this time the world of men has a champion in Daven Carrickson. Once a beggar and still a fugitive from the king’s justice, Daven is also a hero with unrivaled powers. A brush with one of the deadly dragons left him forever bonded to the beast and able to tap into the ever-shifting maelstrom of Chaos that roils beneath man’s fragile reality.

It is a dangerous connection, one that threatens to consume him. Can he pay even that ultimate price if it means the salvation of humanity?

 

 Review:  

 

I try to read books that are part of a series consecutively, if I can, but in and of itself, that’s a problem, especially if only part of the series has been published.  That is not the case with this particular novel, being the second book in a trilogy, so there’s no excuse.  Dragonswarm by Aaron Pogue had the misfortune of being read directly following the Kingkiller series by Patrick Rothfuss.   Having said that, Pogue did an excellent job in having Daven pull me out of the magic cloud of Kvothe and drop me into the swarm of dragons – whose names are impossible to pronounce.

 

If you’re a reader who is more inclined to love a story that is more centered on action and plot development, than character-centered, much like epics like Lord of the Rings by Tolkien or the Gunslinger Series by King, then this is a story for you.  A majority of the writing focuses on the magic, the dragons, the quest, and the ensuing battle.  Pogue is able to create a great visual.

 

Being a character-centered reader and writer, I would have loved to see more development in the relationship between Daven and his lady love, his schoolboy friend, and more conflict with the King and the leaders at the Academy.  However, I loved the connection Daven had with, and against, the dragons.  I’ve never seen dragons depicted in this particular light before, and found it mesmerizing. The magic shared between the two is also a very imaginative element.

 

This was a good read.  I enjoyed it, and I would definitely recommend it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Author of the Arcainian Series

 

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Review – The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

Review – The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
Book: The Name of the Wind (The King-killer Chronicle – Day One)
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:
Publication Date: March 27, 2007

The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.

Review:
Being so impressed and absolutely enthralled with Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyeria Series, who better to ask for a recommendation for my next read? So, that’s exactly what I did, and the result was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

The more I read good quality epics, the better I like them, and appreciate the skill, talent and creativity it takes to write them. It’s no easy task creating a whole new universe. God himself found it so tiresome of a job He rested after every six days. Unfortunately, there are many who fall flat on their faces in their attempts to create successful epics, but I’m learning that it’s not so much these authors had a lack of imagination, but more of a lack of patience and discipline. I’ve been extremely blessed these past few months to have come across some really great epic writers and truly wonderfully crafted stories, part of me keeps wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

The Name of the Wind is an excellent example of the masterful strokes of a truly talented story weaver. For those who’ve followed my reviews for a time, you know how I’m more drawn to character-centered and character-driven stories. My favorite writing/reading style is active/third-person. Too many times I find that stories written in first person are often pregnant with too much telling and not enough natural character and story development. Nothing irks me more than a character that “knows it all (no offense to Kvothe and his genius intellect)– knows the right things to say – always makes the right decisions – and always saves the day”. Kvothe is full of mistakes, wild with fears and though highly intelligent, he’s highly naive. That’s awesome! A character that has plenty of room to grow??? Wow! What a concept. (Please note the dripping pools of sarcasm).

I love fantasy, not faery tales (my apologies to all fae). Saying all of that, I was a bit weary of diving into a story, being told by one of the characters, however, this is why I call Rothfuss a masterful weaver, because somehow this author was able to keep this story engaging, active and spell binding. I know those terms are overused by other writers in the industry, especially when it comes to the marketable blurb, but in this instance, it is the simple truth.

While the ‘present day’ part of the story is engaging, interesting, had me asking a million questions, it wasn’t until Kote started telling his story with young Kvothe, that I was not only intellectually, but emotionally absorbed into this story. The little, street rat has pick-pocketed my heart. His song calls out, not just to be heard, but to be felt and remembered. The way he yearned for knowledge, music, and magic felt so familiar, and so daunting at the same time, I am forever hooked.

This is a story, for story-tellers. I believe Rothfuss’ greatest praise will come from other writers like me, because this story is the story of a story-weaver, told by a story-weaver. I feel like I know this character, as well as I know myself.

So, thank you Michael J. Sullivan for your recommendation of this series. This was a good one. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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