This time round, I thought I’ll recommend an epic fantasy novel with a twist. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the original Mistborn trilogy, which in turn are the first three books in the Mistborn series. A bit confuding, I know, but I hope you guys are still with me. If you are, then without further ado, let’s dive into why I recommend The Final Empire.
One of my favourite video game series is the Elder Scrolls, an open world fantasy role playing game that allows the player to do pretty much whatever they want. The game that introduced me to the franchise was the fourth game: Oblivion. Today, I thought I’d share with you guys, my top five quests to complete in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Be warned, as I am talking about some quests in detail, there may be spoiler if you haven’t completed these quests.
May’s been and gone and here is another update on my reading challenge. I’l admit that I did read fewer books compared to how many I read in April but I am still on track to achieving my goal of 50 books. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Wow, Thero is actually on time with her round-up post for once! I know, this must be a sign of the impending apocalypse. So while we wait for the end to come, let’s take a look at what I’ve been reading!
Yes, I know March finished a couple of weeks ago but to make up for it, I managed to read more books in March than in February. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
The first book of March was The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. This story is set in the Middle
Earth universe and basically is Middle Earth’s creation myth and tells the history of the First Age. In case you were wondering, The Lord of The Rings is set in the Third Age. Digression aside, the tone and writing style of The Simarillion is completely different to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It reminds me of The Iliad and The Odyssey which does make sense, as this is supposed to be a retelling of an epic story. For some people this maybe a challenging read, but I found it was worth it as it fleshes out Middle Earth and explains the origins of a number of characters including Elrond and Sauron. If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, this may be worth a look.
For a change of pace, my next book is The Disney Book, a DK reference book all about Disney (you wouldn’t have been able to guess, would you?). To be honest, the only reason I picked this book up was for the Disney Challenge (yay! Shameless plugging!) but this is actually a good introduction to pretty much everything to do with Disney. It doesn’t go into too much detail but instead covers the films, theme parks and anything else the company has done in its history. If you needed a quick reference book about Disney for some reason, then this might be what you are looking for!
The final three books for March all have the same theme, they are all video game themed. The first two are volume 4 and volume 5 of the Pokemon Adventures manga. I’ll admit to begin with I thought the manga series was OK but not amazing; now, however, I am loving the series. The manga series is much darker and has a far more complex plot than in any other medium in the Pokemon series. In these later volumes, you see the Elite Four as the main antagonists who are fighting against some of the gym leaders (and some of the gym leaders even work for Team Rocket!). Bearing in mind this manga series was written in the 1990s, it covers far more interesting ideas that we have yet to see in the Pokemon world. It makes me wish that the Pokemon video games would be as adventurous with the story. I will probably continue with the manga series and I’ll keep you posted on how I find the rest of the volumes.
The final book is the last video game themed book: Assassin’s Creed: Underworld by Oliver
Bowden. I picked this book up after completing Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which I thoroughly enjoyed. To be honest, I can’t say I hold this book in the same regard, as it didn’t really grab my attention like the game did. Underworld follows one of the side characters, Henry Green and tells the story of how he became an Assassin and what he was doing in London before the Frye twins arrived. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book but I do feel that it will only really appeal to fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise and want to explore the universe beyond the video games. I will most likely pick up a couple of the other books in the series, just to see how they hold up.
And there we have it, a far more productive reading month than the last one. Like always, the links take you over to goodreads.com, where you can read more reviews about the books. Also check out my 2016 reading challenge page for a list of ll the books I’ve read so far. Come back next month, where I’ll be talking about the books I’ve read in April. Until then, happy reading!
As always, all images were found on goodreads.com and do not belong to Thero but to their rightful owners.
This is just an update on my 2016 reading challenge. In January I read four books, not a lot I know, but the first book did slow me down. Speaking of the first book, Dangerous Women was an anthology of short stories based on the theme of women… who are dangerous. There are a good range of genres from historical to sci-fi. I found I enjoyed this one more than the other two anthologies edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois , Warriors and Rogues (bet you can’t guess what they are about…). If you are fan of A Song of Ice And Fire, then you may want to check out Dangerous Women for a novella set a couple of centuries before A Game of Thrones.
For my second book of the month, I decided to read a bit of classic literature- The Phantom of the Opera. This one took me by surprise because I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as I did. It was a very easy read, with a very concise plot. If you enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s horror/ghost stories then this book maybe for you.
The last two books I finished reading are Pokemon themed, volume 2 and volume 3 of the original manga. The manga doesn’t really follow the video games or the anime but has its own, much faster, plot. But there was an Eevee, so these books win bonus points (yes, I am easily won over). With Pokemon celebrating 20 years since the first games were released, rest assured this will not be the last time Pokemon finds its way onto these blog posts.
So there you have it, my first steps on my reading challenge. I’ve kicked off February reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, a fantasy Robin Hood/Ocean’s Eleven kind of story. Stay tuned for another update next month!
Oh dear, Thero is going all controversial! So I’d best start with a warning (or two):
This book contains strong language, violence and extremely controversial sex scenes.
There, I said it. So why pick it you ask? Because this book and the series it belongs to, A Song Of Ice And Fire, have certainly had a hand in shaping the epic fantasy genre. In case you haven’t seen the television show or read the countless online articles/reviews, A Game of Thrones is the first book in the series A Song of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin. It introduces a huge cast of characters (which only grows larger as the series progresses) and the land of Westeros, as everyone is affected by the political dealings in the game to win the throne (see what George R. R. Martin did there?) .
Now I will reiterate what I said earlier, this is an adult book, with adult themes. I say this because there will be plenty of people who disagree and dislike this book because of its content. However, I still think this book is worth a read (there’s parts that I don’t like but even those don’t prevent me from enjoying the book as a whole) especially since it has had a huge influence on the fantasy genre in recent years. And to be honest it’s not the worst I’ve read, that particular title is for the first book in the Thomas Covenant series. Anyway I digress, if you are looking for a fantasy epic, with a large cast of characters; a well-thought out world and more sneaky political backstabbing than you can shake a dagger at, then this may be the book for you.
Book cover image is from goodreads.com
Since I shared, my not-so wonderful, trip down memory lane with the Power Rangers; I thought I’d share some more memories with my top five books from childhood! So without further ado…
- The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
I remember this book was read to my class when I was about seven years old and it was probably the first fantasy novel I can remember. It’s about four siblings who discover the magical land of Narnia in the back of a wardrobe and the fight for the world between good and evil. Although I’ve read all seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia in series, this is my favourite because it was the first one I read.
- Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.
I’ve read quite a few of Roald Dahl’s books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG and George’s Marvellous Medicine but Fantastic Mr. Fox sticks in my mind, probably because it has an animal outwitting some humans (who wouldn’t enjoy that?). Even now, I love Roald Dahl’s way with description and wordplay.
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
This is another classic I enjoyed reading but one I didn’t really appreciate until I was older and re-read it. This is one of those novels that has many layers to it and, depending on how much you want to read into it, has some interesting allusions to nineteenth century America. Like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has inspired other fantasy novels. And let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with a book about a girl who goes against a witch with the help of a little dog, a scarecrow, a lion and a man made of tin.
- Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
This was probably not a surprise, especially since my childhood was mostly in the 90s. If I’m being honest, the Harry Potter series (particularly the earlier books) was probably responsible for revitalising my interest in the fantasy genre as I was entering my teenage years. In case you haven’t read the books or seen the films (or haven’t been on the Internet in recent years…); it’s about a young boy who discovers he is a wizard and goes off to a magical school.
The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss.
Let’s finish off this list with a nonsensical book about, well, a cat in a hat. The thing I love about this book is that it was written because Dr. Seuss didn’t like the books that were used in schools to teach children how to read and wanted to write something that would entertain children. Well, I can safely say he succeeded.
So that’s it, my five favourite books from my childhood (that I can remember…). I would like to point out that you don’t have to be a child to read and enjoy these books. So why not pick up your childhood favourite book and lose yourself in some nostalgia…
All book cover images were taken from www.goodreads.com . Thero does not own any of the images used in this post.