Saturday, August 01, 2009

Weekend Special #2

Weekend Special #1 was successful and enjoyable to read through, so we'll continue right along, shall we?

Comments are now open. Feel free to leave your thoughts on whatever your reading, writing, watching, playing, experimenting with, etc. in the comment section and share with all the rest of the world.

Remember, if you're going to reveal spoilers, please be sure to put a SPOILERS tag up before you go in to too much detail. Thanks, and have a great weekend.


Krista said...

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks... Chapters 8-14 (Possible Spoilers)

Balinor, he’s a character that Brooks has done a wonderful job with, in my opinion. Balinor is much like Menion in many ways, then different in others. He, too, is a fast reactor and a quick thinker, but is more in tune with being a leader, which Menion has just shrugged off so far in his Kingdom. I do see Balinor as a role model for Menion, and who Menion might become like if they make it through this quest. They all seem to look up to Balinor for leadership and guidance. They've all put their trust in Balinor even before the mighty Druid. They all question the motives of Allanon, and what secrets he's keeping from them, and only Balinor has full blind faith in the Druid, and only because of this faith do the others trust Allanon.

Hendel, he’s a pretty cool and trust worthy Dwarf it seems, though he may be a bit of a grump (Which, of course, I like, by the way!)LOL! It was touching when Menion sees the old Dwarf, after his run in with the Gnomes, and Menion comes running out to give the old grump a huge hug. I just knew we hadn't seen the last of old Hendel; he's just much to smart to get himself caught by those crazy Gnomes(awesome trick he pulled, by the way!). Hendel must really believe in this quest, because he has sacrificed his life a few times in order to see that Shea reach his destination safely. I must say that I'm falling in love with this old grumpy Dwarf, as well as his teammates have, what a great character he has made so far. One of my favorite parts that really shows the true character of the Dwarf is…

Hendel felt a certain respect for the Prince of Leah. In time he would be unsurpassed by any woodsman. But the Dwarf knew as well that the highlander was brash and still inexperienced, and that in these lands only the cautious and the seasoned survived. Nevertheless, practice was the only way to learn, so the Dwarf grudgingly allowed the young tracker to lead the party, contenting himself with double-checking everything that appeared on the path before him.

Also, I think we have a ways to go before Shea truly believes in himself. Shea, unlike the others, even Flick, has not fully earned his right to be here with them on this quest (pg185). Shea is a little more scared and uncertain about the whole quest, and what he'll be able to do when the time comes. He seems to look up to everyone around him, and has yet to make a choice on his own. So, I think in the story to come there will be something great Shea will have to over come that may make him believe in himself a little more, and make him feel like a proud member of this group. But if there isn't, and in the end he doesn't believe in himself, then I don't believe the sword will wield to his command. It may also be a possibility that someone else, like Menion, who does believe in themselves with great force might be able to take up the sword.

pg 164:
"...Its power is potent only when it is believed, for it is power over the mind which can neither be touched nor seen through human senses. If the mind does not truly find some basis for belief in its existence, then it can have no real effect."

And pg 165:
"Only the blood and belief of a descendant of Shannara can invoke the latent power of the great sword."

Thank you and I hope I didn't bore anyone...LOL!

I must say, Logan, after getting past Chapter 7 the book really took a turn for the best. There have been some great new characters introduced, as well as some great action. I've been flying right through it, and am now on Ch21 (we haven't discussed this part yet, though.) So, it's safe to say I'm still really enjoying Mr. Brooks so far...

logankstewart said...

All this talk about Terry Brooks makes me want to re-read some of his stuff, but there's just not enough hours in the day for so many different books at a time.

I'm glad you're enjoying the book so far, and I'm sure when it's finished you'll be eager to see what's next for the land of Shannara.

One of the things I really like about Brooks is that he does such a great job with characterization and action. He doesn't spend too much time on scenery, and instead focuses on what's important: the people and their actions.

Thanks for sharing.

David Wagner said...

200 pages into Best Served Cold.

Well written, strong characters, brisk pace. Gritty, cruel, harsh, stinging humor, some great lines of dialog. A couple questionable choices, upon which I will refrain from comment for the time being.

Most of the books I read (usually from about 1 am to 3 am each night), I pick up and have to try and remember what I read the night before, to get myself into the right frame of mind to continue reading without feeling I'm wasting my time/effort. This is not one of those books. This is one of those rare books that I am tempted to read throughout the day as well. Like Abercrombie's First Law series, which I read practically non-stop over the course of a couple days, exhausting myself, because I simply had to see what happened next.

Best Served Cold has a solid story that is building momentum, and is a fun read, but it hasn't yet achieved that "absolutely must see what happens next" level yet. Thankfully.

Krista said...

Cool, David! I'm super excited about getting into Joe Abercrombie's First Law series, then after those I hope to get to Best Served Cold.

You know, it's sometimes really hard to refrain myself from dropping my current read, and grabbing up another one! But Alas, I can't do that, or I would never finish a whole book...

logankstewart said...

@David: You just make me want to read those books even more now. I've read amazing reviews for Best Served Cold, saying it rivals Name of the Wind, so I'll look forward to your thoughts once you're finished.

@Krista: I find myself struggling with the same thing, whether or not to put down a book and read something else, and I don't let myself too often, but sometimes I do. Good luck with the struggle.

On a side note, I think I'll be buying Warbreaker soon. Yay for more Sanderson!

Krista said...

Yay! Warbreaker is Awesome!! In my humble opinion, I think Warbreaker is Sandersons's best work yet. His Elantris and Mistborn series were fantastic, but I think Sanderson has learned a lot and really pulled the best together in Warbreaker. Awesome new magic system, great characters, and absolutely fantastic character development!

Can't wait to read your review...

logankstewart said...

I knew Warbreaker would be good, because the last time I was at Borders I read the Prologue and it was fascinating. I'll get it soon, mayhap.

Krista said...

I forgot to tell you, Logan, we actually just got finished discussing Warbreaker about a week or so ago, Great Stuff! I'm telling you, Sanderson's books have been the most fun when discussed (I should know, I've discussed ALL of them! LOL!)! He always keeps you on your toes! It's like putting a puzzle together, you’re always missing one piece until you get to the end.... His books should be in the Epic Mystery Fantasy section... LOL!

Man, I can't wait until Sanderson’s The Way of the Kings comes out!! Sanderson is THE MAN! Well, he's one of my favorite authors, anyway...LOL!

David Wagner said...

Looks like I'll have to bump Sanderson up on my reading list. Never read anything of his before. I'm still pretty much a Fantasy newbie, really... this time last year, the only fantasy I had read was GRRM's series and LOTR. That's it. I've read a ton since then though... so I'm catching up.

The First Law series is terrific, but The Name of the Wind is one of the three best books I've ever read, any category. The other two being "Gates of Fire" by Stephen Pressfield, and "With the Old Breed" by Eugene Sledge. So, yeah, Abercrombie's books are a terrific read, but I'd put Name of the Wind an order of magnitude greater... still, so many great moments in First Law that I'd love to spoil for you right about now, lol...

The books are slated to be shipped out on Monday. Good stuff, indeed.

Krista said...

David, you'd only be doing yourself a favor if you went to the bookstore now and got either Sanderson's Mistborn series(talk about Awesomeness!) or his newest Warbreaker!

When, or should I say if, you read them I'd love to know what you thought! Happy Reading!