Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Rambling: Cleopatra

It struck me yesterday when I saw the new book on Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff: Cleopatra A Life (which I've bought) that there have been a number of books about Cleopatra on the shelves lately, both fiction and nonfiction. Stacy Schiff's is only the latest in a long series. We've definitely been fascinated by this Egyptian ruler for a long time. Shakespeare wrote about her, as have many others since, including a couple of my favourite authors: Jo Graham and Michelle Moran. Not to mention Colleen Mccullough's Antony and Cleopatra, which I think is part of her First Man In Rome series.

Cleopatra fascinates me, both the way she's treated in fiction, such as in Hand of Isis by Jo Graham, and in non-fiction, as in the book mentioned above. But, I'm also a little surprised at the number of books about her. There's the other recent biography by Duane Roller, which came out earlier this year as well. And those aren't the only books I have on her.

The other famous Egyptian women don't seem to have the same attention paid to them: Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and the like. Although, I guess I shouldn't quite say that. After all, Judith Tarr has done a novel on Hatshepsut, and one other that I can't quite remember, and Michelle Moran did one each on Nefertiti and Nefertari.

But why Cleopatra and not the others? Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adventures of Rusty & Ginger Fox - Tim Ostermeyer

Adventures of Rusty And Ginger Fox
Tim Ostermeyer
Synergy Books
Copyright: November 2010

The product description:
When two young foxes set out to explore the forest, they encounter all kinds of creatures. Some of them are friendly, while others would like nothing more than to eat the two young explorers! Rusty and Ginger may be able to outfox bears, bobcats, cougars, and wolves, but can they unlock the mysterious box that awaits them on Treasure Island? And will the little girls they meet there turn out to be friends or foes?
Join Rusty and Ginger as they travel through the woods. Author Tim Ostermeyer's beautiful wildlife photography provides a fox's-eye view of the forest. With a charming story to guide the way, and a fact page of wildlife information for every animal introduced in the book, readers can explore nature alongside Rusty and Ginger. 
Sent to me for review purposes, this book just arrived yesterday. The first thing that caught my eye as I opened the package was the spectacular cover photo - and all the pictures inside are just as glorious. Full colour photos of foxes, deer, wolves and other animals all illustrate an adorable story perfect for young children. Tim Ostermeyer's skills as a photographer really shine through on every page of Adventures of Rusty and Ginger Fox.

And for those of you that want something educational to go with it, there's a fact page for each of the animals in the story: sizes, food, habits etc.

The story is simple, but that makes it perfect for the suggested age group. Where I work, this would be recommended for 3-5 year olds, and Amazon suggests something similar: 4-8 years old.

Adventures of Rusty and Ginger Fox may be a perfect Christmas gift for that younger child on your list - especially for those that love wildlife and animals.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Just showing off the kittens, who have now been living here for a week. There are times when it seems as though it has been the longest week ever (trying to keep them off the table, or the late night play sessions) but over all, these two have been the best decision ever. They're so cute curled up by the fire, or on the bed. This is where I found them last night:

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - November 22

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted over at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books every week.

I've been doing a bit better with reading this past week, finishing two books:

New Spring by Robert Jordan. Fantasy. Depending on how you see things, this is either the prequel to the Wheel of Time series, or it is the first book in the series.

Get Spun by Symeon North. Non Fiction, about spinning art yarn. Now I want to try some of the techniques and materials shown here.

What I'm reading:

Dewey by Viki Myron. Still. I think that's enough said on this book. I'm enjoying it, but these other books have due dates.

The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan. Book one of The Wheel Of Time series.

What I'm planning to read:

The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd.

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Mailbox Monday - November 22

Mailbox Monday is currently hosted at the blog Knitting and sundries. One of my favourite memes, it is now on tour every month, but it's still so much fun to see what people are getting each week.

This past week was a quiet one:

Get Spun (My Review)

Symeon North
Interweave Press
Copyright: May 2010

The product description:
Pairing detailed instructions with clear, step-by-step photography, this dynamic guide of spinning techniques and demonstrations explores an array of fiber possibilities—such as wool, glitz, and sari silk—to create unique yarn for fiber art projects. Designed for the advanced beginner to the intermediate spinner, this reference covers a variety of subjects such as spinning fundamentals, techniques for wool and silk, spinning with nontraditional materials, introducing add-ins, and creating plying effects. Additionally, the comprehensive tutorial offers information on easy home dyeing and directions for using a drumcarder to blend colors and fibers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Geeks - Antique Books

This week's Weekly Geeks post is one that caught my attention for sure: Antique Books. The post question is as follows:
The other day I was noticing the old books on my book shelf. Old, meaning books that were "born" a long long time ago. Books that were published AND printed a long long time ago. (Not simply books that have been sitting on our shelves forever!)And it made me wonder what old books other readers have in their collection.

So this week, write a post sharing with us what old antique books you may have on your shelves, and tell us the story behind them. Did you inherit from a relative? Are you a collector of old and rare books? Did you just discover a certain book in a used book store and couldn't pass it up? What's the very oldest book you have? Do you even like old books? Or do they creep you out? Do you read and enjoy your old books, or is it more a "look and don't touch" thing?
 My answer is that I definitely have a few antique books, and I could easily see myself becoming a collector (if I only had the income). The two clearest examples I have are both more of the "look don't touch" category - but not because I don't want to, but because I can't read them!

The first is the Ancrene Wisse manuscript as edited by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's a lovely edition from the Early English Text Society, dating from 1962. To me at least, that makes it an antique! Why I haven't read it yet? It's in Old/Middle English and Latin. When I bought the book, I was under the impression that it was a translation. An "oops" on my part.

The other one is very similar: Also an Early English Text Society edition. This one is of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. I haven't read it because I have got other versions that I prefer: translation and facing page translation.

Other than those, I have a nice box of children's books that I haven't looked in for years. But, I remember that there should be some of the Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew books and Cherry Ames - and more than a few of those have the old brown cloth covers. I don't know if they count as antiques, but they were passed down to me from my mother.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Get Spun - Symeon North

Get Spun
Symeon North
Interweave Press
Copyright: May 2010

The product description:
Pairing detailed instructions with clear, step-by-step photography, this dynamic guide of spinning techniques and demonstrations explores an array of fiber possibilities—such as wool, glitz, and sari silk—to create unique yarn for fiber art projects. Designed for the advanced beginner to the intermediate spinner, this reference covers a variety of subjects such as spinning fundamentals, techniques for wool and silk, spinning with nontraditional materials, introducing add-ins, and creating plying effects. Additionally, the comprehensive tutorial offers information on easy home dyeing and directions for using a drumcarder to blend colors and fibers.
I don't often see books on spinning at my local bookstore, so when I do, I tend to take a closer look. The last one I found was Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning. Get Spun captured my attention right away with the colourful illustrations and ideas. Although the book is short, coming in at only 120 pages, it's packed full of wonderful ideas and inspiration.

There is a chapter on dying, and one on carding colour mixes as well. I will admit to skimming over in my reading of those two, as I simply am not set up to try that at this time. One day though...

The main part of the book though is made up of different ideas for unusual yarns and the techniques involved in making them: different types of fibres, add-ins, and even the different ways of spinning them. There are some suggestions for basic spinning techniques that I saw in this book, but not in the other one I have, and they really do make a difference.

I've never thought of spinning in beads before, but I'd like to try it now, or spinning with sari silk. I've seen yarns made up of that stuff before and it looked really neat. Or of spinning with locks of wool rather than batts or top.

It turns out that I've been inadvertently spinning some of the techniques, just because that's how the yarn turned out when I was plying it. Finally a good set of instructions for how to go back to spinning thicker singles. I've been trapped in the "they're getting thinner all the time" thing. Which I like, but I have a couple of projects where I was starting it with thicker yarn and I wanted to keep it that way.

Every photo in Get Spun is done in vibrant and inspiring colour. Recommended for spinners of all levels. If you're a beginner like me, it might just inspire you to try new things. I know it got me pulling out the silk/merino mix I'd bought a couple of years ago but hadn't wanted to risk screwing up. So far, so good, and I'm loving it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Kate Morton

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

Kate Morton's two previous books The House At Riverton and The Forgotten Garden have both been incredible best-sellers where I work, and have gotten a lot of readers talking. Now, her new book Distant Hours is looking like it's going to follow the trend. To be honest, I haven't read any of them, though I'm thinking I should give at least The Forgotten Garden a try. Both the descriptions and the reviews make the book look quite intriguing.

I'm getting quite a few people saying that they really liked one or more of the above books, and I'm not sure what else to recommend to them. Perhaps something like Sarah's Key? Suggestions will be gladly taken. What would you recommend? I'm sure that at least one reader of this post has read one or more of these books.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Bastet's Service - P.M. Griffin - Short Story

In Bastet's Service
P.M. Griffin
Catfantastic II
Daw Books
Copyright 1991

In Bastet's Service is one of my favourite cat related short stories. It's found in the anthology Catfantastic II, which came out in 1991. There's a lovely mix of fantasy and realism in the story, although it is a bit sad. I love the use of mythology with Bastet - and the cats are just so realistic. Now having two kittens of my own, I was inspired to go find and re-read this story again. I like the other stories by P.M. Griffin as well, but In Bastet's Service remains my favourite out of all five of the Catfantastic anthologies.

I know I don't often review individual short stories, but frankly, this one just stands out as being one of the best I've ever read.

A woman brings home a statue of Bastet, only to find out that she's gotten so much more than she bargained for, including at least one cat who needs a good, kind human to care for him. I can't say much more without risking spoiling the story, but if you're a cat lover and a lover of fantasy stories, please try and find it. I know you'll at least be smiling as you read In Bastet's Service.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - November 15

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. It's lots of fun to see what everyone's reading each week.

In the last week or so I've managed to finish only two books:
Magic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy novel, the sequel to Magic's Pawn.

Food Matters by Mark Bittman. (Linked to Kitchen Misadventures)

The books I'm reading are:
Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. I'm a sucker for cat stories.

A New Spring by Robert Jordan. The first book of The Wheel of Time. Something of a prequel.

Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey. The third book in the Last Herald Mage trilogy.

Mailbox Monday - November 15

Mailbox Monday is where we show off what we got in the last week or so. This month, seeing as the meme has gone on tour it is being hosted over at Knitting and Sundries. Lots of fun to participate in.

I`m posting a stack that is two weeks high.

The biggest thing that I got which is likely to affect All Booked Up in the future are these:
On the left is Madeline (Maddie) and on the right is Jenny Any Dots (Jenny). They`re three months old and I got them from VOKRA  on Saturday. As I`m typing this, Jenny is helping me out. First on my lap, now she`s prowling the desk. The two kittens are sisters. Correction, she`s sitting on the corner looking cute. Maddie is now on my lap instead. Now she`s tapping the screen where I`m typing

On to the books:

In Dreams Begin
Skyler White
This was sent to me for review. Fantasy novel.

The product description:

"Close your eyes tightly--tightly--and keep them closed . . ."
From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.
"Every passionate man is linked with another age, historical or imaginary,
where alone he finds images that rouse his energy." W. B. Yeats
Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de sicle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls--from an ocean and a hundred years away--passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats's poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.
With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats--the practical materialist and the poet magus--must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.

The Grand Design 
Steven Hawking

The product description:

When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation?

The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet—if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the “top-down” approach to cosmology that Hawking and

Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.

Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a “model-dependent” theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason.

A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform—and provoke—like no other. 
Trio of Sorcery
Mercedes Lackey

The product description:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.

Arcanum 101:  Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.

Drums:  Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.

Ghost in the Machine:  Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.  
American Vampire Vol. 1
Steven King

The product description:
This volume follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King. Snyder's story is set in 1920's LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King's story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire-- a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before with rattlesnake fangs and powered by the sun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magic's Promise - Mercedes Lackey

Magic's Promise
Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright: 1990

The product description:
The wild magic is taking its toll on the land, and even Vanyel, the most powerful Herald-Mage to ever walk the world, is almost at the end of his strength. But when his Companion, Yfandes, receives a call for help from neighboring Lineas, both Herald-Mage and Companion are drawn into a holocaust of dark magic that could be the end of them both. Original. 
 Magic's Promise is the second book of the Last Herald Mage Trilogy set in the world of Valdemar, and the sequel to Magic's Pawn. While not my favourite of the books, this one does have some of the most memorable bits of dialogue that have left me laughing every single time I've read the book. Of course, they don't make that much sense if you don't know the story or the characters, but still...
"Where in Havens has our peacock gone?"
"He got lost somewhere south of Horn," Vanyel replied. "I last saw him singing trios with my mind and my wits. I haven't seen either of them in a while either." (Magic's Promise. 35)
There are others too, that I'd meant to quote as well, but the page numbers have escaped me for the moment. Anyway, the story picks up at least a decade after the ending of Magic's Pawn, but it drops us right into the action of the events, leaving us to pick up the basics of what's been going on over the first few chapters. To be honest, the time frame is left unstated, but there are clues like the ages of various characters, i.e. Medren.

Its' a good story, and yet, it doesn't quit seem to fit with the overall story line of the first and the third book. I think that's perhaps why it's not quite one of my favourite books. It just doesn't seem to have any connection to the events of Magic's Price.

I was reading Magic's Promise in e-book format on my Kobo e-reader, and like I said with my review of Magic's Pawn, it's riddled with typos again. The same ones that were in the paper version of the book and then a whole lot more too: places where the italics stop early, or continue on into the rest of the book, a few typos that look like bad ocr scanning, and a few others as well.

Still, Mercedes Lackey writes a whole lot of my favourite books, enough that she's about the only author I regularly pre-order books for, and this is a good one. I do recommend it, though not without reading the other two as well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Would You Recommend? - Books on Writing

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

With NaNoWriMo going on right now (and going half-decently too - I've managed to keep on word count for the last four days), I thought it would be the perfect time to ask what your favourite books on writing are? For me, there are a couple that are tempting me, particularly The Guide To Writing Science Fiction And Fantasy by  Philip Athens and R. A. Salvatore.

The other books I really like are: Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today's Best Writers and Teachers by Sherry Ellis and Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood. Especially the second one. The book gives examples of bad writing and good writing as well as explaining why they are good and bad for each emotion.

So, what are your recommendations on the subject?

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - November 1

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. It's lots of fun to see what everyone's reading each week, and see their goals. Some are so ambitious (I know I was, but not any more), and others not so much, but everyone's reading.

I only got one book finished last week:
Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. The first book of one of my favourite series of hers, the Last Herald Mage trilogy. Fantasy.

Currently, I'm reading:
Food Matters by Mark Bittman. The book makes a lot of sense, and the recipes in the back look delicious. I'm planning to try one tonight. The review for Food Matters is going to also end up over at Kitchen Misadventures.

Magic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey. The sequel to Magic's Pawn. Fantasy

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World by Vicki Myron. I'm a sucker for cat stories. Honestly, I had this book for the last couple of years and I'm finally starting it.

Books I'm planning to read:
To be honest, with the three I've got going now, my recent track record and the fact that I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month, I'm going to be happy with the three books I'm reading now.

Mailbox Monday - Nov 1, 2010

I actually find it harder to participate now with this on tour, because I can't always find the Mailbox Monday post anymore (well, that and the fact I'm trying to buy fewer books these days). Aside from that, this is still one of my favourite memes.

Anyway, Mailbox Monday is currently hosted at Knitting and Sundries.

This past week I got sent two books from Random House:

The Tiger
John Vaillant
Copyright: August 2010

The product description:
It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.

As he re-creates these extraordinary events, John Vaillant gives us an unforgettable portrait of this spectacularly beautiful and mysterious region. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers, even sharing their kills with them. We witness the arrival of Russian settlers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, soldiers and hunters who greatly diminished the tiger populations. And we come to know their descendants, who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching and further upset the natural balance of the region.

This ancient, tenuous relationship between man and predator is at the very heart of this remarkable book. Throughout we encounter surprising theories of how humans and tigers may have evolved to coexist, how we may have developed as scavengers rather than hunters, and how early Homo sapiens may have fit seamlessly into the tiger’s ecosystem. Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator that can grow to ten feet long, weigh more than six hundred pounds, and range daily over vast territories of forest and mountain.

Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger circles around three main characters: Vladimir Markov, a poacher killed by the tiger; Yuri Trush, the lead tracker; and the tiger himself. It is an absolutely gripping tale of man and nature that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the taiga. 
And, the other book I got sent was a teen book:

Dear George Clooney
Susin Nielsen
Copyright: August 2010

The product description:
Violet's TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet's mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet's younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.

When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet's mom can't pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.

In Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, Susin Nielsen has created a truly original protagonist in Violet and a brilliant new novel that will delight readers into rooting for her, even when she's at her worst. 


I must be nuts! I signed up for NaNoWrimo again this year - and without a very clear story idea. 50,000 words in thirty days. That's a lot of writing. I managed it last year, and the year before, but to be honest, I don't know how much reading I'm going to be getting done. At least some though, I'm sure, so I have something to post here.

I promise not to just abandon this blog, even if it's just word-count updates for the next thirty days - unless anyone actually wants to read my ravings on NaNoWriMo. In which case, I'll be glad to post more.

Magic's Pawn - Mercedes Lackey

Magic's Pawn
Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright: 1989

The product description:
In Magic's Pawn, an ancient age in the history of Valdemar comes to life--an age when the kingdom was ravaged by the ungoverned fury of bandit warlords, ferocious ice dragons, and the wild magic of wizards. A new addition to Lackey's Valdemar kingdom--and her most powerful series to date!
The story of Vanyel, told in the Last Herald Mage Trilogy is honestly my favourite of Mercedes Lackey's many books set in the world of Valdemar, although of the three, Magic's Price (the third book) is my all-time favorite. Magic's Pawn tells of Vanyel's early years and the events that shaped him into who he was: his family and his first love.

This time around, I was reading on my Kobo E-reader and I was a bit disappointed with the book. It was rather full of errors - although there are some in the paper version of the book, and all those errors were transferred, but there were more added as well, with spaces in the middle of words and the italicization of mindspeech and thoughts being interrupted at times. Not the quality I was expecting when I purchased the book. None of which really affects the story at all. That was just as gripping as ever.

I don't think this series is for everyone though, even though I absolutely love it. The main character is gay, and some people might have problems with that, though I'd recommend giving Magic's Pawn a try anyway. You never know, you just might like it.

Other than that, this series is equally good for older teens and adults. There's nothing too graphic in it anywhere, either for violence or anything else - more just inferences than anything. True of a lot of Mercedes Lackey's books, I've found.


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