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DesertRose 
Posted: 19-Sep-2005, 06:22 PM
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I know we have several sections in here on different genres of books, but is there a book you have read that you either highly recommend or just the opposite, a book you just want to say don't waste your time and why. Or if you want to recommend an author. Post them as well, if you like. smile.gif



Well I have a book/author that I highly recommend.

This might set off the TOS violation, but the title is "Damn Rebel Bitches, The Women of the 45" by Maggie Craig. I had started it awhile back but had to put it down to read some other stuff, but I finally finished this book last night. It was one of the best history books on Scottish history I have read because it dealt with the women during the Jacobite Rising and aftermath of Culloden. I love reading about women in history and this one didn't dissapoint. It also helped that the author didn't write the book like a text-book. It was very easy reading, actually. Mostly it had to do with the women who supported the Jacobite Cause in 1745/46 and what they were willing to sacrifice (family, friends, financially,etc) for what they believed to be best for their country and for who they believed to be King.............Bonnie Prince Charlie.........and an independant Scotland once again. These brave women were not only involved in some way or another for the cause themselves, but some either urged their husbands to be involved or were there to support their men at all costs who were already. Some women just simply adored the Prince. Then there was the women who were against the Jacobite Cause as well and stories are shared about them as well.

I think what affected me the most about the book was reading about the women going to Drumossie Moor after the battle ended to either look for their husbands or sons to see if they either survived or to help the wounded. Women like Anne Leith, Mrs Stonor and Eppy went out there and did what they could. They risked their own lives to do this, but the horror they must have seen. Oh my goodness! I just can't even imagine.

You learn some about the Jacobite Cause, some about Bonnie Prince Charlie, but mostly about the women of the day. For me it was a very fascinating book that will make you either proud of your ancestors or break your heart.

Anyway, I highly recommend the reading of this book and the author and just had to share. smile.gif


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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 19-Sep-2005, 10:28 PM
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Rather than recommend one particular book, I would like to recommend a favorite author. His name is Charles de Lint and he is my favorite author. Charles writes in the Urban fantasy genre. If anyone doesn't know what that is, it is fantasy in a modern day setting. His books are incredibly detailed and just beautiful to read. He uses a mixture of Celtic and Native American mythology to supply the magical elements of his stories, and the two blend together so seamlessly under his magical patient and tender care and until sometimes I just have to wonder where one ends and the other begins.

The book that I am reading now is called Wolf Moon, and unlike most of his book, is high fantasy, meaning that it is set in a traditional fantasy setting. It is about a werewolf named Kern who is fleeing from a bard who is hunting him, using a magical harp to call up beasts to try to hunt him. Unlike most werewolf stories, he is not evil. He finds a place to hide in an inn, and begins to fall in love with the lovely young innkeeper named Ainsy. Here is a snippett of the story to expose you to his writing style... and hope fully hook you into reading the book! smile.gif

Tonight the sky was clear. The moon was the pale cream of the tallow candle in his room. They walked side by side, not touching, but Ainsy's scent filled his nostrils with the heady perfume that was uniquely hers and, close as she was, he could almost feel her body heat like fire on his skin. The night held its breath around them, pausing;,when they paused, sighing when they moved on. Underlying the pulse of their heartbeats, the soft footfall of their passage, the rustle of the dried apple leaves underfoot, the wind's murmur in the boughs above, the intake and exhaling of their breathing, all took on musical cadences and built up into a melody. When they trembled, it was not with the night's chill.

Stopping at the far borders of the orchard, they looked back the way they'd come, Ainsy leaning against the rickety stile there, Kern idly plucking at the twigs of the autumn-bare hawthorns that made up the hedge. The lights of the inn twinkled merrily through the apple trees, clearly visible now where in summer the laden boughs would enwrap the orchard into its own private world.

Within those stone walls were friends, Kern realized, did he only take the chance. And beside him ... Ainsy had won his affection without effort, simply by being who she was. She had his feelings skittering inside him as no woman had before. The moment was magical and he knew then, with absolute clarity, that she could have his hearty for the taking, that it was hers already. It needed but the one touch to bind him to her, time without end.

I cant wait to see how it ends!


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dundee 
Posted: 20-Sep-2005, 09:17 AM
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my oldest daughter is so in tune with me she often buys me books for my birthday or fathers day one that she gave me one year is called

"Round Ireland with a fridge" by Tony Hawks a british comedian.

from the cover flap:
"have you ever made a drunken bet? Worse still have you ever tried to win one?...

Part travelogue, Part Guinness-addled Ramblings
--"The Irish Times"

it is the true story of an englishman (tony hawks) making a 100 pound bet that he could hitchhike around ireland in 30 days with a refrigerator in tow.... the refrigerator itself cost him more than a 100 pounds.....

i am on my second read of this book, it is really a hoot, i HIGHLY recommend it.
my dream is to get to ireland and take the same route stopping at the same places he did and having my book sighned by the people i can find..... thumbs_up.gif


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Boadiccea 
Posted: 24-Jan-2006, 06:58 PM
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I know a book you shouldn't read, it's called The Winter Prince. I didn't even make it through the first chapter. thumbdown.gif


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CelticCoalition 
Posted: 24-Jan-2006, 08:08 PM
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Man, there are so many. I'll tell you my favorite book I've ever read is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

It is the story of a young boy in the future who is a genius. He is drafted by the government to be trained as the officer of the last human defence against an alien race known as the buggers. It is a science fiction novel...however it is mainly about growing up and facing not only your fears, but learning to love your enemies.

It's a wonderful book, and there are many other books written after it in the same world, but this one was the best.


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greenldydragon 
Posted: 19-Apr-2006, 12:42 PM
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I would highly recommend The Clan of the Cave Bear. It is about Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl (I believe she is Cro-Magnon) who after her parents are killed in an earthquake is taken in by a Neanderthal clan, The Clan of the Cave Bear. It is part of the Earth's Children series. This is the review from Amazon.com:
Amazon.com
When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.
Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through--especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Mostly, though, this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale. --Sara Nickerson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/055325042...glance&n=283155


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Apr-2006, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE (greenldydragon @ 19-Apr-2006, 12:42 PM)
I would highly recommend The Clan of the Cave Bear. It is about Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl (I believe she is Cro-Magnon) who after her parents are killed in an earthquake is taken in by a Neanderthal clan, The Clan of the Cave Bear.

These are wonderful books. There are five of them out now -- Ms Auel is writing what should be her last installment, although there is an awful lot of complexity to wrap up in just one more book, so who knows?

There's a great psychological under-drama there, about feeling different, being different, and trying to find the frame of reference for your own individuality and gifts when the people around you don't understand them or you. So the books have been very popular with young people who are working out some of the same issues.

A mild word of warning -- after the first book, there are multiple love scenes in each book, beautifully and realistically written but very explicit. A good friend of mine, knowing that I had read the books, wanted to know why his 13 year old daughter was so fascinated with them -- it seemed to him she was always carrying one of the books around. (I didn't rat her out -- I figure it's up to him to find out why his child likes something. smile.gif )
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Monarchs Own 
Posted: 21-Apr-2006, 01:59 PM
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I like in the fantasy genre David Eddings very much.

I read many of his books but my favorite trilogies are the ones of the knight Sparhawk.

His adventures start out in Elenium Trilogy:

The Diamond Throne
The Ruby Knight
The Sapphire Rose

and continue in the Tamuli Trilogy

Domes of Fire
The Shining Ones
The Hidden City

I read these so many times that I think I have to buy those books new since they are starting to falling apart biggrin.gif



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j Padraig moore 
Posted: 05-Feb-2007, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (CelticCoalition @ 24-Jan-2006, 08:08 PM)
... I'll tell you my favorite book I've ever read is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card...

I agree with CC. I just read Enders Game again recently. I have not read the follow up volumes, but was told they were not as good.
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TandVh 
Posted: 24-Jun-2007, 04:09 PM
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good reads-
Fire and Ice books by R A Salvadore
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Brothers Karamozov by Dostovsky
Dean Koontz usually delivers suspense real well- quite often with twists of weirdness.
I liked Eragon and Eldest, but I didn't think the movie lived up to the books. Great dragon animation, though!


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Lady of the Loch 
Posted: 26-Jun-2007, 10:10 AM
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QUOTE (CelticRose @ 19-Sep-2005, 06:22 PM)
I know we have several sections in here on different genres of books, but is there a book you have read that you either highly recommend or just the opposite, a book you just want to say don't waste your time and why. Or if you want to recommend an author. Post them as well, if you like. smile.gif



Well I have a book/author that I highly recommend.

This might set off the TOS violation, but the title is "Damn Rebel Bitches, The Women of the 45" by Maggie Craig. I had started it awhile back but had to put it down to read some other stuff, but I finally finished this book last night. It was one of the best history books on Scottish history I have read because it dealt with the women during the Jacobite Rising and aftermath of Culloden. I love reading about women in history and this one didn't dissapoint. It also helped that the author didn't write the book like a text-book. It was very easy reading, actually. Mostly it had to do with the women who supported the Jacobite Cause in 1745/46 and what they were willing to sacrifice (family, friends, financially,etc) for what they believed to be best for their country and for who they believed to be King.............Bonnie Prince Charlie.........and an independant Scotland once again. These brave women were not only involved in some way or another for the cause themselves, but some either urged their husbands to be involved or were there to support their men at all costs who were already. Some women just simply adored the Prince. Then there was the women who were against the Jacobite Cause as well and stories are shared about them as well.

I think what affected me the most about the book was reading about the women going to Drumossie Moor after the battle ended to either look for their husbands or sons to see if they either survived or to help the wounded. Women like Anne Leith, Mrs Stonor and Eppy went out there and did what they could. They risked their own lives to do this, but the horror they must have seen. Oh my goodness! I just can't even imagine.

You learn some about the Jacobite Cause, some about Bonnie Prince Charlie, but mostly about the women of the day. For me it was a very fascinating book that will make you either proud of your ancestors or break your heart.

Anyway, I highly recommend the reading of this book and the author and just had to share. smile.gif

I know this is an old post, but it sounds like an awesome book. I will have to check into it. thanks!!!!!
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 15-Sep-2007, 01:07 PM
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I found a "new" triplogy that really caught me and I got lost in the books - an experience I would like to share with you.

Jules Watson is an author born in Australia to English parents. This is her first trilogy. Though fictional novels they are very well researched and historically correct.

The first is "THE WHITE Mare", and here is a brief summary:

"AD 79 and Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain, is turning his attentions to the last unconquered territory in Britain - Alba, Scotland. Rhiann is a courageous and beautiful Scottish princess and priestess scarred by her violent past. Of noble blood, she faces what for her is the ultimate sacrifice - a forced marriage - to protect the freedom of her people. Eremon is an enigmatic Irish prince in exile, who must seek an alliance elsewhere to regain his throne. Will he prove himself to be the man who can unite the squabbling Celtic tribes against the more ominous threat of Rome? With war and chaos looming for her people, Rhiann finds herself drawn into an unexpected journey of the spirit and heart, which will reveal the true purpose of her life."

The second is " THE DAWN STAG", here's the summary:

"AD 81. Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain is intent on capturing the last unconquered territory in Britain - Alba, Scotland. Rhiann is an Alban priestess and princess who submitted to a political marriage to Eremon, an exiled Irish prince. Out of duty, grew love - a powerful and desperate love that will bind them together through conflict and betrayal. Now in them lies the hope of a nation. For Agricola's army is formidable - brilliantly armed and heavily supported. To the people of Alba it is a wall of steel and fire advancing across their homeland, bringing with it desolation. The predestined day draws near: the armies of Alba and Rome will meet in an epic battle to decide the fate of a country. Rhiann searches for guidance in the spirit world, little realizing how big a part she will play in this endgame. Eremon knows only that he must risk - and sacrifice - many lives, perhaps even his own."

The third and last and probably the best one is "THE BOAR STONE", this is what it is about:

"Roman England, 366 AD Minna, a Roman serving girl, loses family and home and is flung out into the brutal world to fend for herself. Desperate to reach her soldier brother at the northern frontier, she falls in with Cian, a tribeless youth with no loyalty to anyone but himself. A terrible mistake sees them thrust into the wilds of barbarian Scotland, a land in chaos. The Romans have sent scouts north from their frontier, seeking to subdue Scotland by any means possible. The dark Picts retaliate, raiding and pillaging Roman farms. And caught in the middle is Cahir, King of the Dalriadans in Scotland. Year by year he has watched his people fall under the Roman yoke, and wounded by shame, his power dwindles. At Cahir's fort, Cian and Minna must struggle to survive. Cian retreats into the pain of his hidden past, while Minna has an entirely unexpected path open before her. What are these visions and dreams of Scotland - full of battles and bloodshed - that plague her? Minna's visions reveal a destiny that she shares with the wounded king Cahir. Yet her journey to heal them both has far-reaching consequences."

I loved the books and can highly recommend them!


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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 08-Oct-2007, 09:19 AM
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Sharon Kay Penman is a terrific writer of historical novels. I came across her when I was looking for literature about Wales. Llewellyn the Great was what I was focused on. No kidding; I haven't read anything better yet. So I absolutely recommend her Welsh trilogy.

Here is something about the books:



HERE BE DRAGONS by Sharon Kay Penman

Set in the 13th Century, Here Be Dragons is the story of King John and his England. A paradoxical man, he was charming, generous, clever -- and he was unstable and brutal. He was capable of great kindnesses, but he butchered child hostages. He was the youngest son and favorite of Henry Plantagenet, but he would betray his father in order to seize the throne of England. For centuries, history recorded him as a bad king, upon whom the Magna Carta was forced. Yet history also tells us he was intent on bringing a measure of justice to his realm in the face of his greedy barons' refusal to accept the law.

But Here Be Dragons is also the story of Llewelyn the Great of Wales. At 14, he began a civil war; by 21, he held all North Wales. He was John's vassal -- and most bitter enemy. His dream of a free and united Wales, unencumbered by English laws or lords, was to spur a lifelong crusade that left little time for peace or pleasure.

And, at its heart, Here Be Dragons is the story of Joanna: daughter to one, wife to the other. Bastard-born, hidden from her father until her embittered mother's death, then brought, a bewildered five-year-old, to John's court. He would cherish her, cosset her, and yet use her as a political pawn, marrying her off at fifteen to a wild Welsh prince She was terrified, but he was the father she adored and obeyed. Wife to Llewelyn, whom she came to love, daughter to John, whom she worshipped, Joanna was trapped in the crossfire of their implacable enmity. Here Be Dragons will not disappoint Sharon Penman's loyal following. Told with a richness of detail that brings the England, France, and Wales of the thirteenth century fully to life, Here Be Dragons combines high drama, romance, adventure, and authentic historical fact. It makes for an engrossing, entertaining, and just plain wonderful read.

One of the best historical stories I ever read - and very well researched. The author drags you back into Wales and England into the 12./13. century. The story of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales and Joanna, bastard daughter of King John is definetely a keeper. It kept me enthralled from the first until the last page. It is not only the history which is so well written but also the main characters of the story. This book made me laugh & weep, fear & enjoy, loathe and love... I really value the time and work the author must have went through in researching the history of Wales and England 700 years ago considering the fact that there are not many records available for Welsh history during that time.




FALLS THE SHADOW by Sharon Kay Penman

This is the second part of Penman's Welsh trilogy, the follower of "Here be dragons".
Falls the Shadow

A sweeping novel of thirteenth-century England, Falls the Shadow is the story of a weak and willful king and a brilliant but uncompromising baron: once they had been friends, yoked by ties of marriage and by mutual if irksome need; ultimately they became implacable enemies enmeshed in a brutal war from which only one would emerge alive.

Falls the Shadow is the story of Henry III, cursed with the Plantagenet temper but lacking the Plantagenet will: faithful son of the Church, faithless liege lord; father of England's most famous warrior-king, wretched ruler of a rebellious realm. But for an accident of birth, he might have been a visionary architect, content in the role of paterfamilias. Instead, he inherited a crown -- and with it, all the problems left unresolved by the untimely death of his father, King John. Unable either to rule or to subdue, he would retreat into querulous impotence.

And this is the story of Nell, Countess of Pembroke, youngest daughter of King John, favorite sister of King Henry. Widowed at fifteen, she swore a holy oath of chastity -- then broke it to wed an upstart Frenchman, scandalizing the pious and infuriating the powerbrokers, who saw her as a rich prize rashly stolen by a lesser earl -- a foreigner at that.

And Falls the Shadow, finally, is the story of Simon de Montfort, youngest son of an influential French family, entitled to inherit neither land nor titles -- who talked his way into an earldom and marriage with the King's sister. Theirs would be a singular union: founded on a lie, defended by intense carnality, yet preserved by a fidelity unimaginable in an age of shifting allegiances based on self-interest alone.

Uncommonly able and dangerously outspoken, a fierce battle commander and a ruthless ally willing to risk all in defense of honor, Simon de Montfort embodied the chivalric code, stirring passions -- for good and for ill -- in all he brushed. It was inevitable that he would clash with Henry.

Falls the Shadow is a tapestry drenched in the color of its times, rich in drama and human foible. Filled with the stench of battle and the stink of betrayal, awash in intrigue and deception, it a tale of lost hopes and broken dreams. Yet it is also the story of one man's refusal to surrender his vision of a just and righteous society, for Simon's clash with Henry was no mere struggle for wealth and glory. It was nothing less than a courageous stand against arbitrary power and as such, it was centuries ahead of its time. In Simon's challenge lie the seeds of England's greatest gift: parliamentary democracy. In making that challenge, Simon forfeited life, but became legend.

It's such a pleasure to read a Sharon Penman novel, not only because she is a wonderful storyteller, but also because her intelligence and her rigorous adherence to the facts inform each page. She does what I believe every good novelist of past times must do -- make the characters [and their times] just as real as anyone alive now. On this score she deserves high praise for her skill.
Because historical fiction tends to be riddled with errors, historians often look down on it. But Sharon Kay Penman is an author who likes to get her facts straight. As a result, Falls the Shadow, like her earlier works, becomes a novel in which history returns to what it was once supposed to be: a kind of literature that entertains even as it instructs.




THE RECKONING by Sharon Kay Penman

"The Reckoning" is the last book of Penman's Welsh trilogy.

England, 1271: The last year in the reign of Henry III. Five years have passed since the brutal slaying of Simon de Montfort assured this puppet king his throne. In truth, though Henry wears the crown, his son Edward rules the kingdom.

For Simon de Montfort's family, these years have meant anguish and exile. For his Welsh ally Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, ruling uneasily over his fractious countrymen, they have meant a tense, unstable truce with Edward, now casting covetous eyes on Wales. Once plighted to Simon's daughter, Ellen, but released from that troth by her father's death, Llewelyn has never married. He has named his charming but untrustworthy brother Davydd as heir, knowing full well the dangers.

And so the players are in place and the game -- if life and death, love and war can be a game -- poised to play itself out to its bloody finale as English and Welsh cross swords in a reckoning that must mean disaster for one side or the other.

The Reckoning is a novel about a Celtic society on a collision course with a formidable feudal realm ruled by the most predatory of Plantagenet kings. But it is also a story of broken fortunes and grim vengeance, of the poisoned love between two brothers and the rare love between a man and a woman who overcame nearly insuperable obstacles to form a bond that would never break. Above all, it is about two extraordinary men whose dreams were so large and so antithetical that they were destined to clash in a conflict that brooked no compromise.

For Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, the dream of an independent and united Wales was all-consuming and would cost him dearly. A man of courage and vision, he was also single-minded and ruthless -- as only a dreamer can be.

For Edward, hot-tempered, unscrupulous, utterly fearless, the dream was of a crown unfettered by any opposition and of an England whose borders stopped only at the edges of the sea. In pursuing that vision, Edward would become England's greatest warrior king -- and possibly its most lethal.

The Reckoning is a richly textured mantle that is woven through with strong characters and intense drama. To wrap oneself in it is to become -- for an enchanted, timeless moment -- beguiled by the spell of a master storyteller, for Sharon Kay Penman, with her superb sense of story and her sure grasp of history, makes the thirteenth century so compelling it is hard to return to the twentieth.
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jime307 
Posted: 13-Nov-2007, 11:46 PM
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A Must Read, The Great Tree of Avalon- by T.A. Barron Great fantasy setting and descriptions, a new look at merlin and Avalon, to know even more about what you're reading, beforehand, I suggest Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin Epics. Also Fantastic.

A Stay-away-from
Magic Steps I forget who it's by, but its not very good, She is way to descriptive in her writing and There is a murder scene that is enoguh to make you sick, story is pretty ridiculous too...


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Posted: 16-Dec-2007, 01:46 AM
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Recently I read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Currently there are 11 books. The last book has been been delayed by the unfortunate death of RJ in September. He left many notes and audio tapes so that the next person to pick up the pen, Brandon Sanderson, can finish the story. Book 12 is due out possibly in 2009.

Anyway, it's about a young man, Rand Al'Thor, who is destined to fight the Dark Lord in the Last Battle. It's a world that is not full of magic, but of people that can wield the "One Power". It is too complex to go into in much detail. I would describe it as Lord of the Rings meets Dune.

It is a rich world full of many twists and turns and extremely well developed characters. If you love fantasy you simply must read the Wheel of Time series.


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Cheers!
Todd



Normal is a relative term. For some reason it is not a term my relatives use to describe me.


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