Eragon – Review

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Illustrations by John Jude Palencar

Published in 2003

Pages: 503

Genre: Fantasy, young adult

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

Though it may initially look like a typo because the story focuses on a dragon and the boy who rides her in battle, Eragon by Christopher Paolini actually refers to the book’s main character. A story of swordplay, waiting, meandering, and possible narcolepsy, Eragon fails to deliver on the promise of interesting dragon action and instead finds itself bogged down by indecision and onerous world-building. Buckle into your dragon saddles, kids; this isn’t gonna be pretty. Continue reading “Eragon – Review”

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – Review

El laberinto del fauno (2006) [Pan’s Labyrinth]Poster.jpg

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Written by Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Doug Jones, Pablo Adán, and Maribel Verdú

Length: 1 hour and 58 minutes

Genre: Drama, fantasy, war

MPAA Rating: R

Description from IMDB:
“In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.”

Continue reading “Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – Review”

A Game of Thrones – Review

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Illustrations by 18 different artists

Published in 1996; 2016 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

Pages: 843

Genre: Fantasy

“We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.”

There are few fantasy series that have made such an impact in the 21st century as the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Ironically, the series began in 1996 with the release of A Game of Thrones, but didn’t receive mainstream attention outside of the genre until it was adapted into the HBO show that has garnered dozens of accolades and millions of viewers. Focusing on the lives of men and women living in a fictional world, A Game of Thrones takes the first step in a long, winding epic that turned the genre on its head and has made a lasting mark in Western pop culture. Continue reading “A Game of Thrones – Review”

Lords and Ladies – Review

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1992

Pages: 375

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“Now read on . . .”

Mystery abounds in Lords and Ladies, another entry in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Much like the first line, little is given in the way of direct explanation as to the strange and esoteric beings that give their name to the book’s title. A culmination of the events from previous witches stories, Lords and Ladies sees the return of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick as they face a dastardly and ancient evil. Continue reading “Lords and Ladies – Review”

Witches Abroad – Review

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1991

Pages: 342

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is the Discworld, which travels through space on the back of four elephants which themselves stand on the shell of Great A’Tuin, the sky turtle.”

Stories have power in the fantasy realm of Terry Prachett’s Discworld series, and they take center stage in the novel Witches Abroad. Fairy godmothers, fairy tales, and happily-ever-afters come into his satirical scope in a novel that is as entertaining as it is endearing. Granny Weatherwax returns, alongside Nanny Ogg and the timid Magrat Garlick, for an adventure that dives not only into stories in general, but her own family history. Continue reading “Witches Abroad – Review”

A Wizard of Earthsea – Review

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Published in 1968

Pages: 183

Genre: Fantasy

“The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards.”

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin, follows the young wizard Ged from his humble beginnings to his ascension to greatness. Taking advantage of many tropes of the fantasy genre, the tale spans years of Ged’s life and hits the highlights rather than diving into the everyday minutia of Earthsea. Though the story follows the well-trod road of the hero’s journey, there is little to elevate it above other spell-bound tales. Continue reading “A Wizard of Earthsea – Review”

Mort – Review

Mort by Terry Pratchett

Illustrations by Omar Rayyan

Published in 1987; 2016 Edition by The Folio Society

Pages: 222

Genre: Fantasy, satire

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“This is the bright candlelit room where the lifetimers are stored – shelf upon shelf of them, squat hourglasses, one for every living person, pouring their fine sand from the future into the past.”

The eponymous character of Mort, by Terry Pratchett, is an awkward, lanky, redheaded teen sent by his father to learn a trade because, well, that’s what parents do with children who can’t really contribute at home. When no one else picks him, Discworld’s anthropomorphic manifestation of Death appears and chooses Mort as his apprentice. Continue reading “Mort – Review”

Wyrd Sisters – Review

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1988

Pages: 360

Genre: Fantasy, satire, parody

“The wind howled.”

As befits a tale of witchcraft and regicide, Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett begins on a dark and stormy night. A mysterious baby (well, the circumstances of its origin are mysterious…the baby itself is fairly normal…as far as babies go) is delivered to three witches: Magrat Garlic, Nanny Ogg, and Granny Weatherwax. Taking on Shakespeare and common misconceptions about witches, the novel is ripe with wit and satire to rival the other books in the Discworld series. Continue reading “Wyrd Sisters – Review”

On the Subject of the Discworld Series and Terry Pratchett

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time have probably noticed a pattern of Discworld novels popping up every few reviews, and there is a reason for this. Terry Pratchett has become one of my favorite authors even though I hadn’t even heard of him until four years ago. Perhaps this puts my minimal knowledge of the greater realm of fantasy novels in perspective, but for the others who are ignorant of his existence, Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series which totals 41 books and takes place on the Discworld. Though I didn’t realize (or realise) the magic of his prose until relatively recently, his work has come to influence me heavily and I felt compelled to write a piece about how his impact.

Terry Pratchett.jpg
The man himself.

Continue reading “On the Subject of the Discworld Series and Terry Pratchett”