Wheel of Time Wednesdays: Script Read Through.

Wheel of Time Wednesdays: Script Read Through.

A few weeks ago the cast of the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show did a read through of the script.

Today, a short video was released.

Hope you enjoy!

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Mistborn Review: A Hero’s Struggle

Mistborn Review: A Hero’s Struggle

My Rating:  ★★★ ★ ☆

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Before I opened this book I wasn’t too sure about whether I’d like it. I love Brandon Sanderson and all the books of his that I have read so far have been amazing, but I read a few iffy reviews of Mistborn and was a bit nervous.

Those nerves quickly subsided when I started reading it though, cause I was hooked by the end of the first few chapters.

What really got me interested, which isn’t usually something I find in books, is that the entire plot of the book was laid out very early on.

The premise of the book is that there is a group of thieves and criminals, and they plan on overthrowing the government.

What’s beautiful about it though, is that their entire plan is spoken about. We know exactly what steps need to be taken in order for this all to work.

Some might think it’s annoying because there is less suspense, but I firmly disagree with that. I think there is so much opportunity for suspense and potential failure that the story benefits from it.

There are some cheesy moments that all books fall prey to. Two people falling in love after meeting one night, ruining the plans you’d have to kill them is the first one that comes to mind.

In knowing the overall story, we just know that something will go wrong. There’s no way that the story can go perfectly as planned right? There’s no way our heroes can do exactly what they need to, cause where’s the fun in seeing them succeed so easily?

There is a sort of joy in seeing heroes struggle, even though we want them to win.

It’s sort of weird if you think about it. We all want the hero to win, so why do we want him to suffer and struggle? Why shouldn’t he win easily? Why do we want the hero to get beaten, battered, bloody and bruised.

We should want him to complete his goals with ease.

But that’s boring.

A story wouldn’t be much fun if we didn’t overcome some obstacles. That’s what makes them a hero though. They are a hero because they overcome great adversity and triumph in the face of defeat and despair.

A hero that struggles and goes through pain is a hero because of it. Because all that pain and hardship is what relates us to the words on a page, or the character on the screen.

Mistborn gives us two main heroes. Two characters that are the same in so many ways, but so different too.


My one big complaint about Mistborn and the world it is in is the “magic” system. What’s cool about it, Allomancy as it’s called, is that it uses metals that are absorbed into your body.

What isn’t so cool is that you sort of forget what each power does over time. Some of the powers are used enough, or are written in a certain way that the meaning comes across in a memorable way, but there are just about as many that you confuse.

Without spoiling anything, there are 8 different “powers” and each sort of has an opposite. Some of the powers are easy to understand, and the names for them give away their meaning.

Some of them aren’t really used often enough, so when they are mentioned it takes you a second to remember what power is being used.

Overall, fantastic book. I have the other two books in this trilogy and can’t wait to get my hands on them, but I promised myself I’d take a crack at IT before going back to The Wheel of Time, which I need to read before coming back again to Mistborn.


My question to you is simple, what is your favourite magic system that you’ve read. Harry Potter’s straight up wand use, or maybe Twilight’s magical creatures? Is it Game of Thrones subtle magical world, or something else entirely? Let me know in the comments.

Book Review: Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

Rating:★★★★★ (MY FIRST 5 STAR REVIEW!!!)

Author: George R.R. Martin

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We all know who the Targaryen’s are. Whether you’re a fan of the show or the books we all know that the Targaryen’s are the masters of dragons.

Who came before Daenerys? We know she had a brother, and obviously parents, but turn the sands of time back far enough, and we start to wonder where the Targaryens first came from.

In The Song of Ice & Fire we know that Dragons have been extinct for almost three hundred years, until Daenerys brought Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion over from Essos and began her wars against Cersei and The Night King.

While I was reading the book, there were a lot of moments that were very similar to things Daenerys had done in her adventures, and the phrase “Those who are ignorant of History are doomed to repeat it”  coming to mind.

But, that’s enough of Daenerys, though I’m sure we all enjoyed her in last night’s episode, the season premiere of Season 8!!!

From what I took away from Fire & Blood, the Targaryen’s are this near “godly” offshoot of humans that people seemed more than okay accepting as their rulers.

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Now this could be because of their unnaturally light coloured hair, their violet eyes, or the fact that if you didn’t think that there was a pretty good chance you could be burnt alive by a two ton flying lizard at the drop of a hat.

Fire & Blood was an interesting look into the rule of the Targaryen kings and queens (along with a few other family members) that ruled over Westeros until Robert’s Rebellion.

I was a bit disappointed that it only covered the first half of the Targaryen rulers, but after finishing it up, I’m glad it did. I think if George R.R. Martin had tried to put the entire history of the Targaryens into just one book, it wouldn’t be the same, which ties into my next point.

As a history book, I never thought I would be fascinated with the inner workings of a kingdom more than people fighting each other with their dragons in the Dance of Dragons.

I mean the war was pretty cool, and there were some brutal moments during it that I was excited to read about, but I was more excited to read about Jaehaerys and his wife Alysanne, or Aegon and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya.

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The political aspects of the book had me sitting on the edge of my seat more than the aspects of war, which takes some great writing to be able to do that.

Fire & Blood takes a look at all of the Targaryen rulers from Aegon I ‘The Conqueror’ all the way until the start of Aegon III ‘The Dragonsbane’ and something really surprised me.

Multiple times in the book there is mention that Targaryen’s don’t suffer from normal illnesses, or live normal lives. They see themselves as this family that sits on a higher pedestal than the rest of the world, and as the world progresses, the people begin to see that too.

But that really isn’t the case. After reading the book you realize that there are a vast majority of Targaryens that are some pretty shitty people.

Incest aside, many of them are terrible rulers, kill innocent people, take multiple wives, kill babies, family members, friends, and countless other issues.

Some fly  off to the pleasure houses of Lys, some are so uninterested in all aspects of life they don’t have a place in society, and some even devote themselves religiously.

When it comes down to it, they are just like any other family. They have some shining stars, like Jaehaerys, and they have some real duds like Viserys.

In my opinion there were two good rulers. Two rulers who actually benefitted the realm and had an era of prosperity that benefited commoners and lords alike. Aegon I and Jaehaerys. Some of the others were okay, but they didn’t tip the scales. More of a figurehead than an actual benefit to the realm.

Some rulers were bad, killing innocents or screwing up the realm.

Targaryens weren’t this godly family that could do no wrong. Maybe it was due to the generations of incest, but many of them were very flawed in some way. There were always a few diamonds in the rough, but no matter if they were a good or bad ruler, one thing made them better than the rest.

Dragons.

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Dragons played two roles in the Targaryen’s history.

Weapon and Symbol.

On one hand dragons were used for exactly what people imagined them to be. They were weapons, flying over the battlefields burning their foes to ash. When they weren’t burning their enemies alive, their enemies were kneeling. Surrendering to that powerful beast and the man or woman on its back.

We see this in the Dance of Dragons, we see it with Aegon I, we see it through the entire history of the Targaryen’s until they finally died out during Aegon III’s rule.

This idea of dragons being a weapon was what made the Targaryen’s the rulers of Westeros after the kingdoms were united. I mean how could you stand up to such raw power. In an instant thousands of your men could be burnt alive, and you were powerless to stop it.

As the kingdoms were united, and warfare between the kingdoms died out, the dragons lost their role as a weapon, and became a symbol. A symbol of peace to be exact.

It wasn’t until Jaehaerys I that the dragons truly became a symbol of peace. I might be wrong but I don’t think he ever used his dragon in a battle. His dragon was used for efficiency. He would fly it around the seven kingdoms and meet with lords and ladies, commoners and royalty alike to learn from them.

He wanted to create a better kingdom, and learning from its people was the best way to do that, but horses were too slow. His dragon could get him across the world in a few days.

This efficiency, and his own nature made Jaehaerys the best Targaryen king in my opinion.

Now back to the dragon as a symbol of peace. Under his rule, Jaehaerys basically stopped all wars. There were some battles that took place during his time, but they were minor skirmishes for the most part, and it was in part to do with his dragons.

Imagine being a villager, living in a village you hadn’t been away from for more than a day, and a dragon flies overhead, landing in the next town. As cool awe-inspiring as that would be, it would be terrifying. This beast could kill you in an instant, and that’s how everyone saw it.

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Jaehaerys wouldn’t have done that. He would have found a peaceful solution to solve an issue, but the idea was there. Nobody wanted to fight against these dragons, so they became peaceful. They accepted peace, and didn’t look for war when there was no cause to.

I think Daenerys’ dragons are the opposite. Her dragons are weapons through and through, and come the end of the series I don’t think there will be a place for them.

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I don’t think the Westeros we have now, the one Danny wants to create has a need for dragons, and I hope she realizes that.

I could get in to how they are her children and maybe she can’t have human kids while they are alive, but I think that Danny might have to kill her dragons in order to get the world she wants.

She wants to break the wheel, and having dragons might help her do that, but it won’t help her make the new world that she wants to make.

What do you think the role of dragons will be for the end of Game of Thrones? Will they stay around? Will they survive the battle of Winterfell? 

And what do you think of the Targaryens as a family? This role as rulers has been put on their heads for nundreds of years, but maybe they arent as worthy as people think? Or maybe they are? let me know in the comments. 

Book Review: The World of Ice & Fire

This is a little known book in the world of Westeros, and I figured I would give it its moment of fame this week before Season 8 of Game of Thrones comes out this weekend. 

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: George R.R. Martin

I’m a big fan of history, as you probably know by now, and I’m an even bigger fan of fantasy book series, which you should know by now and if you don’t then you do now.

The World of Ice & Fire was a perfect combination of both worlds because it’s an annotated history of the Game of Thrones world that I’ve fallen in love with since reading the books and watching the shows.

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That’s one great thing that Martin has done with his Song of Ice & Fire world. He has built it up so well and so perfectly that you could probably make stories for years to come, just based on information that has already been written.

He’s created the history of these kingdoms and their stories that The World of Ice & Fire can feel like you’re reading a real history book sometimes.

If you want to pick this one up, don’t expect much of a “story”. It reads a lot like a history book. Each of the major houses in Westeros are written about, showing their history since their founding basically, with a few major events highlited for each.

Most of the names in the book one will be one’s you’ve heard before, but only the more dedicated fans will know how everything connects together. Just watching the shows and then reading this might make you a bit confused, but you can definitely do it.

Probably about half of the books gives a brief overview of what each of the Targaryen kings during their reigns. Since there has been so many it sort of glances over each of them and their more notable events, with the more important ones getting more pages than the less important ones.

The other half of the book is about the major houses’ histories, and the history of some of the other cities and countries in the world that you may have heard of at some point.

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It talks about white walkers, the first people in Westeros, some major battles, Old Valyria, Robert’s Rebellion, and everything in between. It’s a nice little book to read if you’re big into trying to predict theories for upcoming books or episodes.

What I really love about the book, and what really made me enjoy the experience of reading it is the beautiful artwork inside. Almost every page has some illustration on it, and some pages there’s nothing but.

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It almost feels like what I imagine the history books of Westeros to look like, which is a little added bonus I really enjoy. It’s really a piece of art, and if you want to consider yourself a Game of Thrones nerd you definitely need to give it a read.

I don’t really know what else to say. It’s a history book of the entire world, so there’s not even moments I’d want to point out that really stood out to me because that’s not the type of book it is, and I don’t think that was the intent of it.

The intent wasn’t to tell a story, the intent of the book was to help create the story that was already being told. I think that’s the case with all of the supplemental Game of Thrones materials.

They aren’t made to tell their own stories, they’re ment to tell the complete story of A Song of Ice and Fire, which they are all only an aspect of.

Next week I’m going to be taking a look at another Game of Thrones related book, but I’m not going to spoil it just yet. 

I would love to hear what you guys are most excited for in the upcoming season though. Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Lord of Chaos

So since I started A Crown of Swords this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to review the book right before it, The Lord of Chaos.

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: Robert Jordan

So this is my first time reading through the Wheel of Time series, and as you probably know by now, I am in love with it. Like I said in past reviews, I bought all 14 books before I had even finished the first one.

Lord of Chaos is by far my favourite of the first six books though, and probably by quite a bit.

Lord of Chaos doesn’t necessarily have my favourite moments for each character (though Mat is just the coolest 24/7), but all of the character’s stories put together as a whole provided the best overall story.

The one problem I found with Lord of Chaos is it comes at the point in the series where people are becoming ‘bored’. There aren’t many series out there with more than a few books, because it’s just the way things work. Turning a world and a story into three books is going to be much easier than into 14 books, but I still think Robert Jordan has done a pretty good job of it.

Over the first five books, the style of Jordan’s enemies are on the verge of being repetitive, but in Lord of Chaos, Jordan moves away from his regular plots/characters and changes up the style of bad guy, which is sort of just a less good, good guy.

Rand has fully come into his role of being the main character, but Perrin (he’s back from his honeymoon), Mat, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne are back in action and bad ass as always.

My favourite part of Lord of Chaos was that it set up A Crown of Swords, and yes that probably sounds dumb because all books set up the next one if it’s a series.

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What I mean by that is this book didn’t solve all of it’s issues. There are still a few story lines that weren’t resolved by the end of the book.

For the other four books before this one, Jordan has each of them contribute to the overall story line of the series, but each book has its own story line that is wrapped up. In Lord of Chaos it isn’t completely wrapped up, which came at a good time in the series in my opinion.

It’s an important thing for writers, more so those with long series, to know how to keep readers interested. That’s why people often shoot for a book series that is somewhere from two and four books long, because each book introduces more risk of losing readers.

If you’re writing a book there’s a big risk of becoming too in tune with your writing style, and you end up writing a bland story that is repetitive and makes people lose interest in your story.

I’m not a master of books, or literacy, or reading or anything like that, but I think Jordan did a good job knowing the status of his story at this point and changing it enough to keep people interested.

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I did a little bit of digging as I was writing this post, and it seems like Lord of Chaos isn’t one of the most popular books in the series, but it is generally ranked higher than all of the books coming before it, and usually lands about the mid way ranking in terms of popularity.

I think the reason is because Jordan switched it up and changed his formula enough to get people interested again.

What is your favourite book in the Wheel of Time series? Let me know in the comments, or give me your ranking of all of the books in the series!

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Author: J.K. Rowling

Before I even begin this review, I am letting everyone know that it wasn’t written by someone who is obsessed with Harry Potter. I am not the type of person that tells people the house I’ve been sorted into, if you want to know you can ask. If you don’t want to read a review by someone who just likes the books and isn’t talking about them every two minutes then it’s best if you leave now. 

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now I never said I hated Harry Potter, in fact I remember them being pretty good, but I don’t remember them being very special.

Yeah, I would get each of the books as soon as I could after they came out, and yeah I would read them as fast as I could, but I don’t remember anything really sticking with me when I read them.

I even gave them all a second read through a few years ago, and honestly liked them a little less, I think because of all the hype that has been put on them for years.

Rowling has done a marvelous job at creating a world that has kept millions of people around the world interested in and engaging with, but I am not one of those people.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone was our first peek into the magical world, and honestly I wasn’t too disappointed. We got to explore the world as Harry did, learning most things for the first time just like Harry did too.

Being a boy right around the same age as Harry, I was amazed by all the magic, and I can remember having ‘Harry Potter’ fights with my cousin when we were kids.

There are two things about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that bother me though.

The first is that it seems sort of rushed. I know it’s a relatively short book, and Rowling’s writing style is a faster paced one, but it seems like a lot more could have been hashed out in order to have readers better understand and enjoy this new magical world they had discovered.

My second problem is that Harry is just a boy being introduced to the magical world for the first time. I get that he’s the protagonist and eventually we find out is the chosen one and all that, but he’s an 11-year-old boy who is going up against a freaking dark lord!

Yeah, sure, Voldemort isn’t at full power, and yeah Harry beats him with luck more than anything (which happens again and again and bothers me), but Dumbledore seems to have all the answers and should be able to help Harry out, or at least have someone else do it, but barely lifts a finger to do so until book six.

I get that the protagonist needs to be the one to save the day and all that crap, but I find there is a difference between the protagonist winning on luck/skill/allies/masters his powers and the protagonist winning just because he has too.

It annoys me that Harry isn’t an exceptional wizard at all. He’s not smart, he’s lazy, and doesn’t really show much promise as a great wizard like Dumbledore, but constantly gets lucky with beating Voldemort every school year.

And yeah don’t give me that friendship is true strength crap either because I wouldn’t call  the trio a friendship. More like one guy who constantly depends on the other two just to survive most days.

Rant aside, I did really like the house point system that was introduced in the book, which we don’t see as often as the books go on. I thought it was a cool little mechanism to learn about the do’s and don’ts of Hogwarts, and was a nice little victory for the main characters, even if Dumbledore cheated and gave them the win for free.

I did also enjoy that the book follows the school year. It seems kind of cliché that all of the books only take place during the school year, but it’s a nice little touch, and it makes sense if you think about it. I mean yeah, the school year takes up a majority of the year, but at the same time it’s when Harry adopts his magical life. When Harry is home for the summer he basically becomes a muggle again, living an especially miserable life.

I hope you guys made it this far, and I am sorry that I’m not more of a fan. I did enjoy the books, I’ll never deny that, I just don’t understand the hype that everyone holds the books up to.

I would like to take a quick poll of my readers to see what houses everyone has been sorted into. For some reason I feel like I have a lot of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but we will see.

I don’t know what I’m going to be covering next week, not that I’ve been following it much lately anyways. I’ll have something for you I promise, I just can’t think more than a few hours ahead of me at the moment, but hopefully this will go away soon.

 

Weekly Recap

In case you missed any of my posts this week, here they are:

Monday: Book Review: The Once and Future King

Tuesday: Type It Out Tuesday

Wednesday: Wednesday News

Thursday: Why Reading is Hard

Friday: Quote of the Day

 

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