Magisterium – Book 1: The Iron Trial – By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Hiya Jared,

This is one that Lisa read a while ago that I’d been meaning to read ever since. She described it kind of like Harry Potter but  the only thing similar is “magic school” and even that starts to get a bit frayed only a short way in.

TheIronTrial.pngTitle: The Iron Trial
Series: Magisterium; Book 1
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Teen
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Higher Magic, School
Synopsis: Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail. All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .
Recommendation: I would recommended this book for teens.

Continue reading “Magisterium – Book 1: The Iron Trial – By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare”

Magisterium – Book 1: The Iron Trial – By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy – Book 1: Crown of Vengeance – By Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

Hey Jared,

My review is a bit late but the book is still good. I’ll be interested to hear what you think when you get to it.

crownofvengeance.jpgTitle: Crown of Vengeance
Series: The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy; Book 1
Author: Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Dragons, Higher Magic, Prequel
Synopsis: Learn the truth about the Elven Queen Vielissiar Faricarnon, who was the first to face the Endarkened in battle and the first to bond with a dragon. She worked some of the greatest magics her world has ever known, and paid the greatest Price.
Recommendation: Adult or late teens. I suggest having at least some knowledge of the World of Obsidian before reading this. That’s not required but I feel it would make just an OK experience into a great one.

Being a prequel to some of my favorite books I was obviously nervous about what I should expect from this book. Thankfully that has been laid to rest and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

The book has a very historical feel to it. It’s definitely been written with an emphasis on the significant events in mind with the characters themselves taking a secondary role. The legendary Vielessar Farcarinon is the main character and she is every bit who you’d expect to her to be and from the legend or historical sense it’s spot on. But on a personal level she doesn’t have a lot of texture. The beginning does a lot to give her shape so when things start happening we have a sense of who she is and where she’s coming from, but we’re still lacking much of her internal process or how she feels. None of that’s bad, but might not appeal to everyone, especially with how it differs with the two trilogies already published.

The plot is focused almost entirely on Vielessar and the elves. We get little about the broader world or it’s other inhabitants. This works great since the elves are so far removed from how we see them in the later books. That in itself is fascinating. We see that the elves are deeply divided by caste and house and have fallen into a system of “wars” with rules closer to a game. And with Darkness looming it’s a recipe for annihilation.

All-in-all it’s a solid book but really shines when you’ve got some context. I loved discovering the connections between the various points in time and sort of discovering the bits between what you’d find in something like a history textbook. So as a standalone or something being read first I would be hesitant to recommend it, but as an expansion to the universe I think it’s perfect.

I don’t have immediate plans to read book 2, Blade of Empire, set to come out this Tuesday, Oct.24.2017, but I’m hoping to get to it in the coming couple of months. I’m not in a hurry because the third book isn’t likely to come out until this time next year even if all goes perfectly. So I’ll get to it soon-ish.

Robert


Links

 

Blade of Empire; Book 2 >>

The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy – Book 1: Crown of Vengeance – By Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

DNF – Bloodmage By Stephen Aryan

bloodmage

Ok, there’s nothing wrong with the book, it’s just not what I was expecting……at all.

The first book was pretty good with a sword and sorcery feel. This book was more like 3 detective stories, probably connected, that could not hold my attention. On top of that after getting 14 chapters in I’ve given up hope on any of the main characters from the first book making a real appearance. It’s basically a standalone novel. I say that because we don’t get a true continuation of characters or major plot arcs. It’s a sequel in the sense that it chronologically set after the first, but that’s it.

Lastly, the book has some strong “modern opinions” that just felt artificial and out of place given the setting and history of the world. These weren’t the main reason but they certainly did nothing to help.

In summary, the book was not as promised and while there aren’t any glaring issues it’s not what I want or like, especially right now. If anyone has read the whole trilogy and can tell me if things change, please let me know.

Robert

DNF – Bloodmage By Stephen Aryan

Adventurers Wanted – Book 1: Slathbog’s Gold – By M. L. Forman

Hey Jared,

Finally going back to this awesome series which I’d found and read right before we started the blog. In fact it was one of the reasons I wanted to start it because I kept telling you about it and you just sort of went “meh.”

slathbogsgold.jpgTitle: Slathbog’s Gold
Series: Adventurers Wanted; Book 1
Author: M. L. Forman
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth
ROTS Setting: EU/AU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: Upon entering Mr. Clutter’s shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eigth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red – and evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower. Alex’s adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship.
Recommendation: Highly recommend this series. Great for younger and older readers alike.

Continue reading “Adventurers Wanted – Book 1: Slathbog’s Gold – By M. L. Forman”

Adventurers Wanted – Book 1: Slathbog’s Gold – By M. L. Forman

Dragonlance Lost Chronicles – Vol.1: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Hey Jared,

In the original trilogy there were fairly large gaps in events of the world, some of them quite significant. So this trilogy helps fill in those gaps.

dragonsofthedwarvendepthsTitle: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths
Series: Dragonlance Lost Chronicles; Vol. 1
Author: Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: Tanis and Flint seek out a haven in the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin while Raistlin is strangely drawn to the haunted fortress known as Skullcap. Sturm seeks the legendary Hammer of Kharas, and Tika embarks on a perilous journey to rescue those she loves from certain death. But it is the Dwarf, Flint Fireforge, who faces the most crucial test. The heroes race against time to save the lives of those dependent on them and Flint is forced to make a difficult choice, one on which the future of mankind may rest.
Recommendation: Adult, maybe late teens. Any admirer of high fantasy should be familiar with this series.

Continue reading “Dragonlance Lost Chronicles – Vol.1: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman”

Dragonlance Lost Chronicles – Vol.1: Dragons of the Dwarven Depths – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman