Review: Jhereg by Steven Brust

Jhereg by Steven Brust
Jhereg by Steven Brust

Jhereg
Steven Brust, read by Bernard S. Clark
Audible Frontiers, 2012

The first of the Vlad Taltos novels, Jhereg, by Steven Brust has been on my “to-read” list for the better part of a decade and a half. Back in August, Audible.com released Jhereg (and just about all the other Vlad Taltos novels, via their increasingly impressive Audible Frontiers label. Jhereg introduces the readers to the assassin Vlad Taltos. Living in amongst a race of tall long-lived sorcerers called Dragaerans, Vlad has risen to a station of respect and power (if of a limited variety) despite his human heritage. Aiding Vlad in his endeavors is his Jhereg familiar Loiosh, earned after Vlad embraced the witchcraft of his human ancestors. The novel sees Vlad hired by a legendary figure called The Demon to track down a kill a thief (Mellar) who robbed the Jhereg Council (the clan that Vlad himself belongs to) of a great sum of money; so great a sum that if Mellar gets away the council will essentially be crippled.

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Review: Sharps by K. J. Parker

Sharps by K J Parker
Sharps by K J Parker

Sharps
K. J. Parker
Orbit, July 2012

I’ve heard a lot of good things about K. J. Parker, her/his (the author’s name is a pseudonym) Engineer Trilogy (amongst two other earlier series) has been well regarded amongst critics. With all the praise for Parker’s previous work buzzing in the background I decided to the give the author’s recent stand alone novel, Sharps, a shot. As the novel begins there is an uneasy peace between the nations of Scheria and Permia; two nations that have been at war for nearly 40 years. As diplomatic talks are begun a team of Scherian fencers are selected and sent (not all willingly) on a fencing tour of Permia; pitting themselves against the best that the other nation has to offer. Of course all is not quite as it seems and intrigue and betrayal dog the steps of our often hapless fencers across every inch of their journey.

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Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood
Kendare Blake
Tor Teen, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blooddrew my eye with its evocative title and subtle cover. Its jacket description reminded me in many ways of the CW’s long running Supernatural; in my opinion one of the more entertaining genre shows on television. The story centers on Cas Lockwood and teen who inherited his father’s athame and his father’s profession: hunting and killing ghosts. Along with his mother, a white witch, Cas sets out to investigate the myth of the titular Anna partly as a training mission to take on the ghost that murdered his father.

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Review: Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

Nine Princes in Amber
Roger Zelazny, read by Alessandro Juliani
Audible Frontiers, 2012

I first came across Roger Zelazny’s Amber series when I played the Amber Diceless RPG my sophomore year of college. At the time, having only really played D&D it was sort of a revelation and its reliance on legitimate roleplaying (literally no dice to fall back on) was a bit of an adjustment though one that has positively influenced my approach to other RPGs since. It also remains one of my favorite RPG experiences to date. As the semester ended and our time in Amber was over I did what any self-respecting geek would do: went out about bought the enormous omnibus edition of all Zelazny’s Amber novels aka The Great Book of Amber. It was a strange experience having “lived” in Amber, so to speak, going back and reading the source material; a sensation that I’ve yet to replicate with other series. Now that I am years removed from that epic game of Amber and Audible had released newly recorded versions of the Amber books (though I still wish the author-read versions were available digitally) I’m slowly revisiting the series.

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Rereading the Wheel of Time Part 1 of X

I might love the The Wheel of Time but I don’t always like it….

I had intended to embark upon this project much much earlier but it has proved more difficult than I initially thought. I seriously doubt I can pound my way through 9 more novels in the next 2 months but I will definitely be pushing forward as hard and fast as I can. I will try to post my experiences in reading things as I move along. This is less about a full straightforward review than it is about my experiences in this endeavor.

It would be almost silly of me go ahead a review The Eye of the World. The book has been discussed frequently in various locales across the internet and print and has been seen through rosy glint of nostalgia hued vision as well as the harsh light open criticism. It virtues and its flaws have been covered just about everywhere. I touched upon The Eye of the World’s importance to me in my post on the anniversary of Robert Jordan’s death, it is the novel introduced me to fantasy as a teen, and I won’t cover that again here. I will say that the community that spawned around the series, particularly wotmania, is what would eventually lead me to this blog and I’m not even sure it would exist without my having lurked so long on the Other Fantasy boards.

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Note: I am alive.

With Sandy having ravaged the east coast I’ve been a bit quiet here. I am alive and my home is intact and other than an brief interruption in power things have been relatively normal. However, working at a library things have been absolutely packed as we scramble to keep our services (and in some cases extend our services) to those still suffering from the massive power outages across New Jersey. Thanks to the lines at gas stations, downed trees, and lack of power commuting has been a bit of a hassle. Needless to say things are slowly edging back towards normal and I should be able to actually post more this week.

Several online news sources have some excellent photos to really cover how devastating the storm was to the area including the Huffington Post, The Weather Channel, and for a more individual look the Sandy subreddit.

If you’re so inclined to lend a hand the following agencies are accepting donations:

American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

AmeriCares