Disbelief

Note: My apologies for the delay, but here’s another little piece of the story.

“I’m still not sure if you’re ready,” Tressa said.

“What makes you think that?” Gwen glowered at her.

“You didn’t even remember that fairies existed…I don’t want to overwhelm you.”

“Try me.”

Tressa sighed. “Well, there’s an army preparing to destroy our home and you used to be the only person who could reason with them.”

“Oh.” Gwen took a long swallow of her coffee, wishing that it was the sort she could get at the bar across the street. “Is that all?”

“And you don’t remember me, let alone them, so how can you be expected to solve anything?” She pressed her face in her hands rubbing it until her palms pressed into her eyes and she saw stars. Finally, she looked up. “It’s like you’re not even you. You don’t know how to stop a war and I bet you don’t even remember how to use your magic—”

“Wait.” Gwen cut her off.

“What?”

“I don’t have any magic. There’s no such thing.

Tressa stared at her with incredulity. “Then what the hell do you call me?”

“I still think that I’m hallucinating. Or still sleeping. And I hope that I wake up soon.”

“I’m a fairy. What more do you need to convince you that this is real?”

“You would actually probably be  more convincing if you weren’t a fairy,” Gwen said and then winced at Tressa’s facial expression.

“What is wrong with humans these days? You see a little bit of magic and automatically assume you’re insane. It’s like you’re so set on reality being crappy that you can’t accept any happiness or wonder that comes your way.”

“That isn’t true,” Gwen said quietly.

“Then why are you so adamant that this isn’t real? That there must be something wrong with you and not the situation.”

“What situation are you referring to?”

“Other than your excessive use of flavored creamer?” Tressa said.

Gwen just stared at her.

“The situation I’m referring to is the fact that you’ve lost a good portion of your memory. That doesn’t concern you?”

Gwen scrunched her face and returned her gaze to her coffee. “Can’t you cast a spell or something to give me back these memories?”

“It isn’t that simple.” Tressa sighed. “Magic doesn’t work that way, Gwen. “We’d have to request a meeting in front of the Fae Council and see if they would be willing to help us.”

“The Fae Council?”

“Yes.” Tressa finished her tiny mug of coffee and leaned forward to set it on the kitchen counter. “Maybe taking you to see more fairies would help to convince you that you’re not hallucinating?”

Previous Section                                                                                                       Next Section

 

 

Game of Thrones

 

Just a quick note before the actual review: review posts should be returning to Monday starting next week. I simply wanted to make sure that yesterday’s post happened yesterday.

Rating: 5game-of-thrones 

If you don’t watch or read Game of Thrones yourself, you’ve more than likely at least heard of it. George R. R. Martin‘s works of fantasy have attracted many many fans. And when HBO got its hands on said books, Game of Thrones’ popularity soared.

I’m currently just starting to dig into the third book, A Storm of Swords. There are five books in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series so far (each roughly 1,000 pages long) and Martin is still writing, so I have a little ways to go.

I am, however, caught up on the TV series. The fourth season just started on Sunday, April 6 and I was able to see both it and the second episode (on Sunday, April 13) as they aired. I had to watch season three just a couple of weeks before the first episode of season four started after my fiance bought the season on DVD.

And the first two episode haven’t been a disappointment.

Part of what’s amazing about Martin’s books is the way that he organizes the timeline his characters live in. All of the main characters take turns using their own voices to tell their stories as they sometimes take part in each others’. For example, in the third book, the first chapter is told by Arya and the following by Tyrion. These two characters are both important players in the battle for the Iron Throne. And they’re also two of my favorite characters.

george-rr-martin---credit-karolina-webb_custom-f55e7468bf1390094e2995cc4f26d8e6a8f7ab47-s6-c30For someone who isn’t used to reading a book with flipping perspectives, it might be hard to get in to at first. You’d think that with the large number of characters whose minds are entered, it might be hard to get attached to said characters. But it’s actually hard not to connect to them–all of them really. From my favorites–like Daenerys and Sansa–and the ones I love to hate–like Joffrey and Cersei–I have strong emotional attachment to each of them.

And the plot is masterfully complex. There are stories and stories within stories. There are knights, ladies, kings, queens, magic, dragons, fighting, and explicit scenes. A little something for everybody really.

My one major criticism of it all is just how explicit both the books and TV series are. You can’t read this to or watch this with your children. There’s a reason it’s on HBO–language, sex scenes, and bloody violence. Even if you don’t enjoy all of that, the stories are spellbinding, and well worth pushing past what might make you uncomfortable. And, if you have DVR or opt to wait and get them on DVD, you can utilize your fast forward button.

If anything, I highly recommend that you delve into this book series. Also, I suggest you click this picture of Martin and read the post that the link reads to.

Alanna: The First Adventure (1983)

Rating: 5

This novel is the first in the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I’ve read a couple other series by Pierce and I love her writing. She does an amazing job of bringing her characters to life. She advertises her writing as young adult fantasy and many “grown ups” feel like they’re not allowed to venture into the young adult sections of their bookstores. I’ve always loved that section myself; there’s a plethora of wonderful reading material. Just look at this list of Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, which is part of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013.

But that’s a discussion for another day. Back to this wonderful book that Pierce created.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS

At the outset of this novel, we’re introduced to a set of twins, Alanna and Thom of Trebond, who both obviously hate the paths in life that their father has given to them. But their father couldn’t care less about what they want, what they do, or even what their health is like. Essentially, he couldn’t care less about his children as long as they don’t interfere with his bookkeeping.

Alanna is going to be sent to the convent to learn to be a lady and hone her magic while Thom goes to the palace to train to be a knight. But Alanna wants to be a knight and her brother wants to be a sorcerer. In a panic about their fates that are about to unfold the next day, Alanna comes up with a plan and, after minimal convincing, her brother is on board. They decide to switch places.

But two people stand in the way of their new found hope–Maude and Coram. Two adult servants they grew up with who will be traveling with them to their destinations. Maude, the village’s healer and the woman who taught the twins the little they knew about magic, is supposed to escort Alanna to the convent. Coram, who used to be a member of the palace guard and the man who taught the twins how to fight and ride, is supposed to escort Thom to the palace and stay with him as his manservant. The easier would be the hardest to convince.

The twins manage to make their plans work and we follow Alanna through the rest of the novel as she attempts to fit in in a man’s world. She makes good and important friends as she goes through the intense training that all pages go through as a small boy. Through doing harder work than any of the other pages, she manages to earn her her place among them. There are, of course, moments of panic when she’s faced with the fact that she is a girl as she grows up, but she handles them when they happen. But Alanna disguised as Alan hates the fact that she’s a woman, fighting that part of herself along with her magic.

Alanna goes through dangerous adventures with her friends as she learns to accept and harness her magic and her growing fighting skills. The powers that be in this world obviously have something in store for her.

I love this novel and I recommend it, along with any of Pierce’s writing, to any adult or young adult. She has a beautiful way with storytelling and creating characters that you can’t help but fall in love with.