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I found this series of books when it first came out and I have been blown away every time I have picked them up to read. Alanna is one of my favourite characters of all time - she is strong, funny, and sticks to her guns. The other characters around her like Prince Jonathan and George are like old friends who share their lives with you. Tamora Pierce has an amazing knack of bringing the medieval world they live in to life without dragging you down with too many details.
If you enjoy a great book that will have you on the edge of your seat then this is the book to try. Ms. Pierce has combined action adventure, knights and battles, magic, and romance all into one seamless book that appeals to boys and girls AND children and adults. My copy of this book is very well loved and I have continued to devour every Tamora Pierce book that has been written since.
If you do enjoy this series then you should also try other books by Tamora Pierce and also try reading Mercedes Lackeys Valdemar books.
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Aside from all of the amazing things about Lonesome Dove that won it the Pulitzer Prize, Lonesome Dove is a thoroughly enjoyable read. There was not one of the 945 pages that I didn't enjoy. The characters are well formed. You will love Gus and Newt, get frustrated with Call, and your heart will just break for Lorena. Their struggles and disappointments will reach you as little else in fiction does.
The setting(s) in this book are stunning. McMurtry draws amazing pictures of the the Rio Grande, the Texas panhandle, the American praire, old western saloons (and whorehouses), and many other places. While some readers will find the lack of dialogue in some places frustrating, I found the descriptions to be a treat. Having never been west to see any of these places, I felt truely transported.
Anyone who hasn't read this book and enjoys good fiction should read Lonesome Dove - now. Just commit yourself to reading the first 50 pages. After that, you won't be able to put it down. For myself, I stayed up past midnight with this book every night for a week. If I have any complaint about this book at all, it is that it was so good, I am afraid I will never be able to enjoy any other western fiction again.
Ella is cursed to be obedient, having to obey all commands. Even when Ella is cursed, she still tries to disobey, but when she does, she gets dizzy and sick. In Ella Enchanted, there is a stepmother with her ugly daughters. The step-family tortures her and her father is no hope because he cares more about money.
Ella tries to break her spell with the help of her fairy Godmother, who is a superb cook. As she tries to break the spell, she meets ogres, elves, giants and exotic creatures. With each creature there is an adventure that follows. While all this is going on, she's falling in love with Prince Charmont.
I think this is really a wonderful book and that all fairy-tale lovers should read this book because this is really creative and good!
All of the fantasy elements really added a little something to the book. Magic, hypnotizing ogres to save you life, faries and curses! I won't give away the books GREAT ending though. This is one of those books though that you'll want to read again and again!
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Iwo Jima's flag raising is etched in the memory of war veterans as well as baby boomers, at least the staged version of the event. And the film version showed the story, even if it was the Hollywood version. "Flags" is a compelling story of one of the men who won the battle of Iowa Jima and then went home -- very quietly -- to live out his life. Only his death allowed his children to read and understand the magnitude of what he and other war veterans achieved, the many veterans who did their job against horrendous odds and then moved on with their lives, with only their nightmares and private, silent, secrets to haunt them for the rest of their lives. They would not, or could not, speak about their experiences. And for good reason.
James Bradley delves into the story his father never told while he was alive, the story of unimagined terror on a tiny island, fighting a most savage, unforgiving and unsurrendering enemy. His father saw atrocities no one deserves to see. And, after all this, he led a quiet, unassuming life in Wisconsin after the war, returning to his roots and putting the war behind him as best he could. The son's pursuit of the full story results in perhaps the greatest tribute a son can offer, a glowing, sobering, startling story honoring a deceased father and his comrades. James Bradley's dad was a hero who knew that the real heroes didn't come off Iwo alive. He honored the dead comrades with a deep, unspoken respect.
Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" is the more popular and publicized version of these war veterans and their unrewarded heroics but his casual treatment of these great men can't come anywhere close to "Flags". I read it, cried, and passed the book to others who would appreciate it. Read it. And do the same.
Written by the son of one flag-raising Marine, this amazing story should be read by everyone. It tells a tale of heroism, horrible circumstances, and the lasting consequences of an unexpected event in a compelling, unforgettable way. This book rivals All Quiet on the Western Front for its revealing insights into the nature of war, comradeship, and courage.
To set the stage, Iwo Jima was the first Japanese soil the Marines invaded. The Emperor had issued orders that the ground was to be defended to the last man. Iwo Jima was filled with tunnels that harbored over 20,000 Japanese troops who could shoot from relative safety while Americans were out in the open. The tunnel system was so extensive that Marines would literally be kidnapped while standing next to their buddies, and no one would know where they had gone. Rocks would suddenly open up to reveal mortars.
Tough fighting went on for days. The Marines lost 7,000 dead and had another 15,000 or more wounded out of 70,000 men. Ironically, the worst of the fighting came after the flag photograph, and three of the six Marines in the photograph died in this later action.
As tough as Iwo Jima was, living with the aftermath of the photograph was even harder in many ways. Two of the three survivors had their lives deeply affected in negative ways. The story of all three riveted me more than anything I have read in years.
I read fairly few books about war, but I cannot recommend this book enough to you. As Americans we owe it to those who fought in this battle to remember what actually happened and what the repercussions are. You will be moved at a deeper level than you can possibly imagine by this outstanding book.
Remember Iwo Jima!
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And then, there's Sabriel. Size: one volume. Page count: just under 500 pages. I polished this off in a couple days.
But what a couple of days.
I like long things. If a book doesn't drag, then I don't care how long it lasts. Hell, I read all 1,400 pages of Les Miserables, unabridged, (took like six months) and it is quite a book. But that doesn't mean I dislike short books. Sabriel is a good read: a universe with simple rules that you are always on the verge of understanding, with inference instead of exposition. The opening is well written: it follows the tried-and-true method where you are given useful information that pertains to the plot, sucks you into the story, and allows the main part of the story to begin calmly all the same. The Fellowship of the Ring, film version, begins similarly.
The universe itself is impressive, avoiding the traditional swords, wizards, fireballs, and demons. The undead are familiar to any fantasy reader, but not these undead. Necromantic magic uses literal bells and whistles; death is a river leading from life to the beyond. Pure magic has its own set of rules, rules that are never explained so much as danced around. And modern technology exists, adding instead of taking away from the power of magic.
So, if you're looking for a quick read, without the length of the Lord of the Rings, much less the Wheel of Time or Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, then here's a treat for you: compact, but stirring for the time it lasts. One thing keeps you from begging for more: there's no need to say more.
The plot was fantastic and fast-paced; there wasn't a moment I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Exhausting chapters of worthless garble is a common trait in many 'classic' fantasies. Nix has created an extremely believable and well-versed world, without the fluff. Poetic, dark, and forbidding, the heroine and companions are worthy of the world they are placed in. I could simply close my eyes and fly across the borders of what is called the Old Kingdom, in all its dangerous beauty. We are foreign visitors, as is the daring Sabriel. The plot was clear, consise, yet not overly simplictic. It begins as a search and rescue mission, and ends in a rich battle to save both the old and new aspects of this odd world.
Characters - wonderful. As rich as the world they reside in, Sabriel, Touchstone, and Mogget fully impressed me. They all read amazingly like living people, rather than a work of fantasy. Mogget, especially - his duel personalities clash wickedly, and he is not always what he appears to be; a cat? free magic?
To end this tiring review of a not-so-tiring story, I will add that this work is new, creative, and bold. There is a striking combination of modern technology and medieval swords and bows; a wall devides the two areas of the world. Many embrace magic, and others fear it - rightly so, for the wall does little to hold back the Greater Dead, a fearful object of the Old Kingdom.
Following in her father's footsteps, Sabriel will not fail the reader in a quest for a good read. SABRIEL is a tale of necromancy, fantastical lands, Death, and much more. I have not read a good book in a long time, yet this has broken my stream of bad luck.
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I suppose the plot is what draws most people to this book. There never has been a more elaborate mystery in the annals of fiction. Ten people gather on an island, supposedly invited by a host who isn't present. We learn quite quickly that all the people are murderers -- murderers that the law can't touch. And the mysterious host who calls himself U. N. Owen ('unknown') plans to execute his guests.
The murders take place in accordance with a little nursery rhyme that is framed in each guest's room. And as people begin to die one by one, and an extensive search reveals that there's no one else on the island, it soon becomes clear that U. N. Owen is someone among the original party. The book soon turns into a psychological thriller as each guest becomes paranoid and suspicious of the others.
The last few chapters are nerve-wrecking and the Epilogue is shocking. Some of the last lines on the book will haunt me forever. "Definitely worth reading" is a huge understatement. Go read it!
"When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men. And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island."
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The novel begins at the Dursley's house where Harry lives with his "muggle" (non magic) aunt and uncle. Due to the differences between the two types, Harry is treated horribly by his family and looked upon with disgust. Things begin to spiral further downward when a creature named Doby shows up to warn Harry that he should not attend Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardy this year because "bad things are supposed to happen". However, Harry insists on going since it is the only excuse he has to leave the Dursley's home. Doby then decides to mingle with things in order to prevent Harry from going and in turn gets him into quite a bit of trouble. A few weeks later while at school, terrible accidents begin to happen to the mudbloods, the witches and wizards that come from non-wizard families. Then, a disturbing message appears on the wall stating that the chamber has been opened once again. This message provokes Harry and his two closest friends Ron and Hermione to investigate the confusing situation, providing for an interesting mystery full of twists and turns.
The theme of this book teaches a moral by denouncing the act of discriminating a group of people. By targeting the mudbloods, Rowling is showing how wrong it is to treat someone differently for an unavoidable reason. ... I think that she is teaching us all a lesson through her writing, and we should take the time to listen to the message she wishes to convey.
I loved this book for the simple fact that I felt able to escape from my world and enter the magical and enchanting Hogwarts school. While reading J.K. Rowling's novel, my imagination is given the option to run wild and I feel once again like a little child. I sincerely recommend that everyone read this book if given the opportunity. I believe that people of all ages would thoroughly enjoy reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Yes, the incident in it is "minor" compared to other Potter books, than say, the third or fourth. But the plot is tightly woven up. It doesn't ramble, like the third or fourth. And the first time you read it, face it, it's a lot scarier than the others. Why? Because students are being stunned --frozen in time-- left and right. Roosters are dying, GHOSTS are practically dying.
Meanwhile, excellent points are being brought up.
In the second (might have some spoilers here), Harry finds out that Voldemort transferred some his own powers when he gave Harry the scar. That means that besides speaking Parseltongue, Harry probably has some of Voldemort's strenth and "brilliancy."
Notice, too, that this is the first book where Harry truly realizes Professor Dumbledore's store of knowledge and how much Dumbledore believes in him when no one else will. Only after this book does Harry start asking for Dumbledore's help. I'd also like to note that Dumbledore was transfiguration teacher before principal, and when Dumbledore was gone, McGonagall, the current transfiguration teacher, became principal. Transfiguration teacher must be pretty powerful and high up on the hierchical ladder.
From this book on, Voldemort knows Harry's own past --his performance in school, his personality, his attitude. From this book on, Voldemort has a decided advantage over Harry.
Chamber of Secrets reveals the past --Hagrid's, Tom Riddle's, even Dumbledore's. Many people don't like this book as much because there's not as much "ambiguity" as some of the others. But I don't think it's meant to be that. I think it's meant to be a sort-of-background of the past.
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