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Recently read

This is a little something new, and different. One of the problems with constantly reviewing recently read books is, well the act of actually writing the review. Sometimes, I just don't know what to say about it. So here then, I've decided to just list them for you... Poke around, and enjoy.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia, take a trip on the Dawn Treader to an interesting country to help find seven lords who will save Narnia. Loved the references to the Voyage of Bran, here.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
The second in the beloved Lord of the Rings saga. Here, we see the Fellowship torn asunder, and Frodo set off (with his faithful Samwise at his side) for Mount Doom, leaving the others behind. Our intrepid heroes decide their best course of action and head towards Rohan, where they pledge their assistance to the ailing King Theoden, setting his rule back on course, and facing down the hordes of Mordor, at the battle of Helm's Deep. Will they win the battle? Will Frodo finally succumb to the Ring? Will Samwise lose all hope? You probably already know the answer to these questions, but if you don't, you'll have to read the book to find out!

The Burning of Her Sin by Patty G. Henderson
This is a novel written by a friend of ours here at Raven Queen's Domain, so I guess this is mini-review constitutes more fraternizing on our part, ;) but what the heck? The Burning of Her Sin is a mystery (or more correctly, paranormal mystery, I guess), and concerns attorney Brenda Strange, who finds herself in the midst of chaos one fine day, when a disgruntled ex-client walks into her firm, guns drawn and starts shooting. Brenda nearly dies but comes back from her encounter with the Afterlife with the disturbing ability to communicate with the other side. As she sets about healing, mentally, and physically, she and her lover Tina move to Tampa, Florida where they purchase a decaying old mansion, with a wild history of its own. Falling completely in love with the old mansion, Brenda doesn't know what to make of its history, and even less, what she's to do with the ghosts that come calling, demanding justice. Will she be able to set their souls to rest? Will she find the truth of the murders here? Will she lose Tina in the process? You'll have to read to find out. Patty's work is very well-done, (if, I must be honest, a little rough around the edges), but, friendship aside, I really enjoyed her novel and even found myself dreaming about parts of it, which is usually, to me, the mark of an intriguing story! Do check it out. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock.
(The full review to be found elsewhere on our site)
The first volume in the long running Elric series, concerning the brooding Emperor of Melniboné, Elric, and his cousin, Yyrkoon, whose jealousy drives Elric to make a pact with Arioch, Duke of Hell, and to leave the Dreaming City, on a desperate mission to save his beloved Cymoril. Along the way, he must enlist the aid of the Elementals, and specifically the intriguing Sea King Straasha, fight Earth elementals, overcome Yyrkoon's greatest weapon, and finally, enter the otherworld of Chaos, to recover the fabled sword Stormbringer, and finally defeat Yyrkoon, and bring Cymoril home safely. Can he do all this, without violating his own personal sense of honor, and can he keep his sanity in tact, in the process? You'll have to read to find out, and as a great lover of this fantastic saga, I highly recommend that you do!

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton
(re-read/review posted October 2008)
The third in the Anita Blake series sees Anita up to her ears in trouble. Typical of her, you say? Aw, well, this time, it's slightly different, for not only does she have a Lamia on the loose, and Jean-Claude's advances to worry about, but Jean-Claude's very life, as a millennium-old vampire comes to her, seeking information that will help him destroy her old friend/nemesis. She's a wee bit smarter than that, though, which leads her to all sorts of trouble, both from the vampires, and from the HAV. On top of all that, she's got a rookie animator to train, and advances to avoid from yet another vampire, and an intriguing werewolf to coddle. One wonders how the poor Anita doesn't collapse from exhaustion! How does she? Once again, the answers lie within. ;) Enjoy.

Night And Day by Virginia Woolf:
And yes, obligatory Virginia Woolf! :) Her second novel, Night and Day is her least-liked novel, yet, it is undeserving of that credit. On the other hand, it is easy to see why, being completely different than her later works, and in some way, even than her first. It relates the story of Katharine Hilbery, a young English woman, content with her place in life as Angel of the House (as it were), spending her days assisting her mother in the work of compiling the work and life of her famous grandfather into an eventually-to-be-published biography; and then there's Ralph Denham, the desperate young attorney, tethered to his family, but not adverse to escape. (full review elsewhere). Admittedly this novel seemed a distraction for Woolf, and was accused of being such by other writers of her time, but still, I found it very good, if admittedly, I didn't love it as much as Jacob's Room. Yet, for all the criticsm surrounding Night and Day, I found it yet another wonderful example of this master's work, and, as ever, recommend you give her work, this or any other, a look. (Please note: This is just a snippet of our review for this novel. You can find the full review elsewhere on our site.)

The Fortress of the Pearl, by Michael Moorcock.
A later addition to his Eternal Champion series, covering the period when Elric traveled in the Young Kingdoms, before all the hardships that befell him after his return to Melnibone, before his meeting with Moonglum and so forth. New monsters, new friends, new enemies are met and a dream journey ensues. As good an addition to the Cycle as any Moorcock has ever offered his fans; I think it stands well alone, but if you haven't read the original six before this, you'll probably be a bit confused.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
In a nutshell, the classic tale of the five Bennet girls become very attached to two newcomers, and the stubborn, lovely Darcy takes a liking to Elizabeth Bennet (and vice versa) and eventually, wins his suit.

The Son of Anovar, by Carol Berg.
A wife survives the "Inquisition-style" execution of her sorcerer husband at the hands of her brother and his cohorts, chucks the whole family, only to be drawn back into the intrigue, and eventually, upend society. I have to say, this is one of the best--original--Fantasy novels to come out in the last ten years.

King Rat by China Meiville.
The Pied Piper of Hamlin retold from the rat's point of view--which, about says it all. Oh, Urban puke--uh, punk, enough said.

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
A murder and an alibi leads the main on a wild goose chase back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth ad nauseum) across the California border. Who done it? You'll have to read and find out.

Project Princess: The Princess Diaries IV and a half by Meg Cabot.
Mia signs on for some summer's volunteer work, and despite the mosquitoes, bug repellent and sweat, hopes to get a little closer to Michael. This is a short one, but just as cute as the rest of the series.

The Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce.
Alanna is all grown up, and finally taking her place in Trebond, sets out on a quest to find the Dominion Jewel, the one thing that will solidfy John's power in the realm and maybe hold Trebon's enemies at bay. Meanwhile, an old nemesis resurfaces and wreaks a little havoc on she and her brother. Will they survive? Will John? Will Trebond? You'll have to read to find out.

The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
The follow up to The Golden Compass sees Lyra in a totally foreign world, devoid of humanity--or so it seems--and beset by strange, phantasms. Then she meets Will, a boy possibly guilty of murder, and together, they explore this new world, and find out, no, there's nothing serene about it at all. And that the only thing keeping the phantasms at bay is the one thing men travel back and forth through the Northern Lights to get, and those adults will stop at nothing to get it. For to hold it, means to control the entire universe, and possibly, Heaven and Hell as well. Very good, very dark follow up to the first volume.

Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden.
The tale of one Japanese woman's journey from her abandoment, to becoming the most famous Geisha in the world. Also a very interesting overview of Japanese history of the last sixty years, as well. According to what I've read that it got the author in trouble, but I'd read more than half of it before I found out what caused the trouble and it reads very well, fiction or not. Very lyrical and lovely, and truthfully, the movie doesn't even begin to cover half what's in the novel.

(Other--and in some cases newer--Romance reviews on our Romance pages)

More to come...

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Updated March 17, 2010