LADY OF CONQUEST By Teresa Medeiros

I don’t know if Teresa Medeiros has many books like this one, but if it is the case I want to find them all. I had a little difficulty to plunge into the story’s historical context of old Ireland but once I was into it, it was a page turner. If Conn of the Hundred Battles is sexy, Gelina O’ Monaghan is ruthless and brave. These two would make « Dynasty » look like the Hillbillies. I had such a great time following their passion/battles that I simply could not put the book down.

What attracted me to this story was that it really was filled with twists and turns. Boy, every two pages, these two either fight or have passionate sex. There is also more than meet the eyes and Conn’s or Gelina’s personal background has surprises in store. I do think that Gelina is fit for a king and she really finds a match in Conn. One minute, he can be a horrible person to her and the next, he’s worshipping her. This was well written and I could buy it.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the author tried (and succeeded) in making secondary characters important as well. Everyone’s favorite would be Nimbus, the Court Jester, who bonds with Gelina right away. They become fast friends and he is the one who really knows what’s happening between these two fighters. He is also funny and wise and I got really attached to this character all along. Some of the other secondary characters are also notable like Gelina’s awful brother.
Overhall, this is quite a thrilling novel. Part romance, part adventure, part fantasy, part myths. I loved it.

THE PILLARS OF CREATION – Sword of Truth book 7 – by Terry Goodkind

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

Amazingly enough, this book is entertaining without Richard or Kahlan being in it until the very end. I started reading the book thinking it might be boring since my heroes didn’t seem to be around. Then appears Jensen and her story of survival is all the more compelling as she takes us inside Jagang’s Imperial Order. I was fooled from the start as to the true resolution of the story. The character of Sebastian walking along with her in the story is great and just confuses us even more.

However, I was particularly repulsed by Oba, another new character we follow parallel to Jensen and Sebastian. All I wanted was for him to die. I really hated this crude, cruel and stupid character (even if his education is mostly to blame). However, he served a purpose in being a contrast to Jensen.

Overall, Terry Goodkind, as usual, has created a complex and clever storyline that makes you turn pages very quickly. Not my favorite « Sword of Truth » novel but still a great read.

 

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© Copyright January 2006. All Rights Reserved.

FAITH OF THE FALLEN Sword of Truth book 6 by Terry Goodkind

After his failure at convincing the people of Anderith to follow D’Hara, Richard & Kahlan (who’s recovering from an assault) flee to the mountain with their friend and bodyguard Cara the Mord Sith. In their retreat, Nicci, a Sister of the Dark, shows up and kidnap (with the help of a spell threatening Kahlan’s life) Richard and passes him for her husband.

Terry Goodkink is back to his greatness. Soul of Fire had disappointed me but Faith Of The Fallen is terrific. He shows how our two heroes have to live separately and without magic. Also, through Nicci, a complex Sister of the Dark, we see new aspects of the Order (Emperor Jagang) andthe lives of the common people under its rule in the old world. It is very interesting that Terry confronts, on a daily life basis, two different ideologies (Richard’s vs. Nicci’s).

This is a beautiful and soulful addition to the Sword of Truth series. And the ending is in pure Terry Goodkind fashion!

 

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© Copyright December 2005. All Rights Reserved.

ENCHANTER – The Axis Trilogy Book 2 in the Wayfarer Redemption Series by Sara Douglass

I just love her! She is getting better and better all the time. I deeply enjoyed the first novel in the series but I must admit finding the second one even better.

Now the plot centers more and more around Azhure and her hidden past and abilities. Axix tries very hard to recreate the land of Tencendor by fighting for the Avar’s, Icarii’s and the Acharites’ rights. The plot gets even better when Wolfstar, a legendary murderous SunSoar, reappears from death to haunt Axis’s family and his happiness. This all comes to an exciting end with the final confrontation between the two ennemy brothers Borneheld and Axis fighting one on one in front of…. Faraday. And there is also the Axis’ willingness (or lack thereis) to choose between her and Azhure.

Boy, this was exciting. I want so much go and read the 3rd one. Sara Douglass is becoming as good as Terry Goodkind and has won a place at the top of my favorite author’s list.

Highly recommended for fans of fantasy epics!!

© Copyright May 2005 – All rights reserved

THE HOBBIT or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien

We all heard the fuss made by the three movies in The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and I will bet a lot of people have never read the books, although a majority of hard-core fantasy lovers will no doubt have.

I love fantasy… but, shame on me, I had never took the time to undertake the Tolkien canon. However, thank you Peter Jackson, you gave me the kick I needed to buy into the Tolkien franchise. And what better way to start reading it than with The Hobbit, prequel of a sort to The Fellowship of the Ring.

Bilbo is the hero of the story. He gets embarked by a group of dwarves seemingly led by Gandalf! into the adventure of his lifetime. Even though he was reluctant to follow their goal, part of him started to like the adventure. In the end, he saves the day just as Gandalf knew he would (good old wise Gandalf as usual!).

I don’t want to spoil the story for those who, incredibly, might not know about it. However, I have greatly embraced this prequel to the big LoTR thing and I particularly enjoyed Tolkien’s talent of storytelling from a first person point of view. What a good way to make us loose ourselves into the story. The Hobbit is not just an adventure for Bilbo, it is also clear in there that the future events of LoTR are approaching. What is most interesting to me, having loved the movies, is how I can already picture the Bilbo of the future story as he is described in this one adventure. The Hobbits are detailed superbly as well as dwarves, Gandalf and… Elrond even makes his first appearance. I also love Tolkien’s sense of humor in some situations. This book is a true classic of the genre.

I am sorry if the purists out there get too many references to the movie canon but, hey, if it had not been for it, I might have passed Tolkien’s talent.

I eagerly want to start the Fellowship of the Ring as I can’t wait for descriptions of Frodo, Sam, Aragorn and Legolas.

 

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© Copyright April 2004. All Rights Reserved.

STONE OF TEARS – Sword of Truth book 2 – by Terry Goodkind

If you haven’t read « Wizard’s First Rule », you’d better skip this review altogether and go straight to my review of the book 1 below.

Here’s another big chapter in the adventures of Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell. My God! after all they’ve been through in the first book, you would think they might get some rest. Not in the least. Not only did Richard survive torture from Denna, the Mord Sith, now he has to survive his magic gift by putting a collar around his neck again. And we know how he feels about it. This is slavery to him and submission.

The one that really suffers the most though in this sequel is Kahlan. Her responsibilities as Mother Confessor really force her to take extreme measures. Wait until you read the part when she leads an entire army of young naked being naked herself. That’s probably the most memorable moment of the story, if not the weirdest. At the same time, both Richard and her are seperated from each other without having achieved their wedding plans.

This is a brilliant, gripping and exceptional sequel that Terry Goodkind delivers us. The author doesn’t lose his talent for strong, memorable characters, neither does he lose his sense of detail either. This sequel is as strong as its predecessor and even more. I can’t wait to read volume 3 « Blood of the Fold » which is full of promises.

In the meatinme, read « Stone of Tears » (and « Wizard’s First Rule » if you haven’t started the series yet!). As for the first book, I issue a strong word of warning though. This is not a children’s fantasy. The violence is graphic and the author doesn’t try to spare the reader. So, if you have a sensitive heart, forget about the « Sword of Truth » series completely. On the other hand, if you can bare with it, the story is incredible and the characters fascinating. I will personally go buy the 3rd book of the series « Blood of the Fold« .

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STONE OF TEARS at Amazon.com