Sunday Status Update: July 20, 2014

This week, a big thank-you goes out to Kat for securing a status update from the mighty Chewbacca.

ChewbaccaWraauuugggh. Uhwooouuu mwhooh uhuhuhuh grruh aarrrh wraauuhh ooouuuu mwauauauo oo oo raaugh arrr. Ruhm rrrrurururur Hrah Rururu Xawwmohww xx hguahr wraauughh ggrh ruaaa. Mmmwwwwau errrrm. Grrrrruh mghrhugh! Mrruh uu mwwwwmph Hrah xx ru... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 13, 2014

From Sir Bors, another legend of the intrepid Sir Lancelot.

Bors: So Elaine of Carbonek came by this week. The last time she encountered my intellectual treasure of a cousin, she tricked him into her bed by hiding in a dark room and sending her maid to tell Lancelot that a certain other lady of his acquaintance was waiting for him in this dark room. So naturally Lancelot asks no questions (for example, how she got there, or why she sent someone else's handmaiden) but rushes off to do the deed. When he wakes up the next morning, he flies off the handle and promptly ruins any chance he had at being taken for the victim by waving a sword around and threatening to chop various heads off. Scandal for the family, mothers in tears, the usual Lancelot display. So this week Elaine came by the castle. And she sent the same maidservant to talk to Lancelot. To tell him the same lady was waiting for him, once again in ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: July 6, 2014

This week, many thanks to Marion, who managed to secure an update from Enira, the Banshee Queen from the video game Lineage II.

Enira: Listen and tremble, puny mortals! Heed my words! Cower and obey! I am Enira, the Banshee Queen. I will not be mocked. My will shall not be thwarted. You will return my copy of The South Beach Diet book, and right now, or I will rain down upon you the doom of thousand dark stars!

Kat: I read three good books this week. Shannon Hale’s The Unfairest of Them All is the second book in her EVER AFTER HIGH series about the children of famous fairytale characters. These are silly children’s stories, but they’re quite entertaining and have some nice life lessons, too. In Wint... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 29, 2014

As always when inspiration fails to strike for anything else, we're back to one of the big three: Drizzt, Supergirl, or Frodo. Lots of LotR lately, just read tons of Drizzt, so... yep, it's going to be a superhero week.

SupergirlUgh. First day of the Justice League's summer training course. Just got off three straight hours of sitting in a room watching Green Arrow flick through a powerpoint presentation on the structural integrity of buildings, and how we're all supposed to avoid hitting world-destroying supervillains into them. Stargirl was asleep against the wall. Lucky. I couldn't even do that, because Arrow still hasn't forgotten about that one time I collapsed a YMCA and he kept looking over at me. Now we get a piddling little half hour for lunch, and it's straight over to a lecture on -- I kid you not -- "Awareness of Your Cape while Flying."

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Skin Game: Exciting and Well-Crafted

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Reading a DRESDEN FILES book at this point is literary equivalent of sky-diving. I think I’ve compared the experience to a roller coaster before, but I was in error. Roller coasters, in the main, start off with a slow clickety-clack up a steep slope, and you sort of bob up and down and round and round after that before finally drifting to a long, hissing halt. Skin Game, however, dispenses with the trappings and simply shoves your exuberantly screaming self out an airplane door and directly into glorious freefall.

When last we saw Harry Dresden – wizard and Winter Knight – he had learnt that he had somehow been conned into becoming Warden for a maximum security magical prison called Demonreach, an island in the midd... Read More

Passage to Dawn: An Uptick for the Series

Passage to Dawn by R.A. Salvatore

Passage to Dawn, fourth and final book in author R.A. Salvatore’s LEGACY OF THE DROW quartet (and the tenth in his broader LEGEND OF DRIZZT series), is pretty good, by Drizzt standards. Hurrah! Cue the Triumph through Rome! Bring on the cheering throngs and falling rose petals! All right, so it may sound like I’m damning with faint praise here, but given the overall shakiness of the quartet it seems expected to tie together, Passage to Dawn’s being pretty good actually does seem like something worthy of a bit of celebration. That doesn’... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 22, 2014

Sir Bors returns with more complaints about his famous cousin this week (note: this actually happens in the Arthurian Legends).

Bors: Another nightmare for the family this week, and once again you-know-who is to blame. Apparently Lancelot was mincing around the countryside procrastinating on some quest or another when he came out of a forest and spotted a pavilion full of luxuries. Candles, buffet table, wine, feather-bed, the works. So naturally our man decides that God put it all there solely for his benefit. He stuffs himself, guzzles as much wine as he can hold, then totters off and falls into bed. Oh, but it gets better. The honeymooning couple who own the pavilion return separately. The wife gets scared and runs off, but the husband is a bit more nearsighted and thinks his bride is already in bed, so he hops right on in. Whereupon Lancelot wakes up, beats the poor sod about the head, dra... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 15, 2014

In honor of Father's Day, James Potter. The dads have it rough in fantasy.

James: Took Harry out in the yard today to have a look at the jack o'lanterns. It's remarkable to me how quickly children pick things up. Harry will be a great wizard, I'm sure of it. Hopefully not too great, of course -- all the great wizards and heroes in our world (and stories too) have this odd tendency toward being orphans -- but a nice, easy-going, moderate great. Ah, it's great that I have such a long and untroubled road to watch it occur. In fact, I'm so confident that neither Lily nor I have made any arrangements whatsoever in our wills for Harry's upbringing. But come on... what could possibly happen?

Kat: It was another long high epic fantasy for me this week:  Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 8, 2014

This week, Legolas confronts the specter of death.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3448957: The quest grows ever more perilous. Yesterday (as recorded last entry) Mithrandir fell into shadow. Should I too fall in battle, I leave this entry behind as my last words to the remaining members of my Fellowship (should any survive me, which honestly seems unlikely, but who knows?). To Aragorn I leave my heartfelt hopes that he will one day become king or whatever. Enjoy. I've been waiting to become king for a couple hundred years now, but my father's immortal so, you know, I know how you feel. To Boromir I would like to say that it is completely possible for someone's hair to be one color and his eyebrows another, so please stop harping on it because it makes you look ignorant. Thank you. To Merry, I apologize for briefly thinking he was a female Hobbit. No, your people do not... Read More

The Daylight War: Compulsively Readable

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

I’d hazard a guess that a sizable majority of readers become readers in the first place because at one point in time a book swept them away. An aesthetic appreciation for imagery or turn of phrase is all well and good, but most if not all of us hunger for a novel that seizes us by the throat and drags us into another world. Whatever else it may be, The Daylight War is such a novel, compulsively readable. I found myself putting off real life to finish it, and it was a good feeling. A lot of it is down to Peter V. Brett’s deft styling and plotting, keeping his reader hooked without sacrificing artistic integrity. He does it so well that he even manages to keep his reader enthralled despite the fact that — in comparison to his two previous novels — very little actually happens in The Daylight War.

In the aforementioned first two books, Brettintroduced readers to... Read More

Sunday Status Update: June 1, 2014

So, is the rest of Middle-Earth just kind of an Amish equivalent, or are the Hobbits just really advanced, or... ?

Oin: Today, I was trying to read Secrets of the Dwarven Smiths and How Elves Stole Them (fantastic read, I recommend it to everyone. Especially Elves). Trying, I repeat. Bilbo had to go off into another of his rambling monologues about how terribly uncivilized everything is, and Durin's Beard, shut up, SHUT UP! Yes, all right, we understand already: you come from some sort of quasi-Victorian society and we're stuck in medieval Scandinavia. Well maybe we like it that way. Maybe we don't want clocks and waistcoats and carriages and whatever else. Damned hobbit.

Bill: This week I read Watt O’Hugh Underground, the sequel by  Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 25, 2014

This week, an entry from Galadriel's early days as an elven political activist...

Galadriel: Week four of the power outage in Valinor, and I must say, I am glad that Feanor isn't bending to the Valar's pressure. Was it the elves' fault that the trees of light and life were destroyed? Not in the slightest -- look into these things, people, the blame must lie with the Valar, whose shoddy security and preposterously slow response time allowed Morgoth and (get this) a giant damned spider to waltz in and cripple all creation single-handed. Or... well, actually about ten-handed, if you count them up, but that's not the point. The point is that this is the Valar's fault and it is egregiously unfair for their error to be reflected in elven taxation.

Brad: Thanks to all of Sandy's excellent revi... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 11, 2014

Seasons change, years change, but good old Drizzt remains a constant.

Drizzt: This week I had occasion to attend a most doleful event. 'Twas a celebration of the life of Regis, a dear friend. I brought my dear panther Guenhwyvar, and she may have applied herself a touch too forcefully to a tray of hors douerves, but elsewise, the wake was conducted with solemnity befitting such a noble life and such a tragic demise. Each of us rose to speak of our great affection for Regis and the many delightful hours spent in his company (though, curiously, I noticed that all eulogies but mine tended toward brevity -- perhaps some memo was lost in the mail).

Ah, but here we come to the most tragic hour of the tragic day. I rose to give my speech. I waxed eloquent, my friends, I confess it. Many a tale did I recall, many a happy hour recollect. My audience was enthralled. Some went so ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 4, 2014

This week, we receive an update from the Great Detective himself.

Sherlock: My mind rebels at this stagnation. This week I have read some twenty-six treatises upon the chemical methods of detection -- there are, I shall own, at least some hopeful signs of progress in that quarter, and not before time -- as well as every newspaper at least a dozen times and Watson's latest lapse into mawkish literary expectoration.  Under ordinary circumstances, I could find at least casual diversion in discussing it with the man himself, but as yet I cannot forgive Watson after I discovered in him the culprit of The Mysterious Disappearance of my Drug Dealer last week. No doubt he has the miserable, tear-spattered write-up on its way to print as we speak, and I'll force him into a retraction the following day. Damn it all, why do we always do this?

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Sunday Status Update: April 27, 2014

Bit short on time this week, so no character update. I've sent out the owls and ravens for next week, though.

Kat: I had a three-star reading week. Everything I read was entertaining and recommendable, but not wonderful. Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind, the second in her CLOCKWORK HEART series, has an interesting setting. Mercedes Lackey’s first twoELEMENTAL MASTERS books, The Fire Rose and The Serpent’s Shadow, are unique fairytale retellings. Dreamwalker is the start of a new YA series by C.S. Friedman, an author I particularly admi... Read More

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