Required Reading

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fortress of Frost and Fire by Mercedes Lackey and Ru Emerson

This is in the series of Bard’s Tales.   A dark elf that has renounced necromancy and become a bard and his apprentice must outwit a dragon.

This book was more simplistic than many of the Lackey tales.   It may be targeted more to the YA audience.   It was enjoyable in a fast read, easy to put down book. 

The proselytizing paladin did suggest some commentary on the evangelic, I need a private jet clerical community. 

I enjoyed the book.

web site:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers

This was outstanding!  The story takes place sometime in the far future where an empire has grown from a colony world found by India.  The empire is in disarray and the black sheep of the imperial family is thrust into the spotlight.

The matrilineal factor added some interest to the book.  The characterization of men in historically stereotypical roles helped to show how ludicrous misogyny is.   The heir, Hail, has left the womb of family to pursue justice or revenge on those responsible for her father’s death.   The empire is being assaulted both internally and externally and Hail is dragged back to the family to assume her imperial responsibilities. 

The character relationships are the key to this novel’s success.   Wagers’ character building is terrific.   She shows foibles and growth as well as two way loyalty.   The re-immersion into family life and responsibilities is shown to be a daunting task.

Incidentally, I am fond of and support strong women and strong female protagonist, Wagers character is both!

Great book,  as soon as I finish this review, I intend to find the next in the series.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Alas Poor Warner Brothers, You Are So Disappointing!

 I read an article in the newspaper (yes a honest to goodness paper newspaper, not a feed) that Warner Brothers is cracking down on all things Harry Potter that they don't run or own.  It is remarkable to me that such a successful franchise could make a decision to curb their fans enthusiasm.  True Potter fans have costumes, wands and other paraphernalia that has provide Warner Brothers with a profit.  Festivals and Quidditch tournaments allow Potter fans to revel in their love of all things Potter.   Warner Brothers seems to think this will dilute their brand.  Warner Brothers should be funding festivals and providing incentives to Quidditch promoters because it will lead to more purchases of franchised materials. 

Warner Brothers take note, there are many adults who will look askew at your decision to thwart their kids the pleasure of celebrating their “Potterism”.  As an avid reader, as a former literacy promoting non-profit  board member, as an author and as a parent and grandparent, I have tried to promote literacy.   The Harry Potter series has gotten kids who never picked up a book to avidly read.   Events that promote that series can only encourage new readers to pick up the series.   The cessation of activities associated with this book series is going to decrease the interest of new readers.  This book series  has inadvertently promoted literacy.  That fact is going to be negatively impacted by the short sighted policies of  Warner Brothers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Planet of the Damned By Harry Harrison

Once again Harrison has provided a story to make you think.    Two planets are at odds and a gladiator type is asked to intervene and prevent genocide.

Brion is the winner of a planet wide superiority game.   Hunger game-ish, the Twenties are a Olympics of mind and body that are akin to the bread and circuses of the Romans. 

Picked by a secret foundation to avert a war on a distant planet, Brion is torn over wallowing in the adoration of his victory or extending himself by diving into a situation that he has little or no confidence that he can prevail. 

Symbiotic relationships and alien life forms are addressed as well as the intervening aspects of imposed social order.   Sounds complicated but it was a fun read.

I recommend it.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Two Spells by Mark Morrison

This was a rip roaring fantasy.  A pair of twins find their heritage is magical and are learning that includes great danger.

Jon and Sarah go to visit their grandparents and discover that their grandparents and their mother are not what they seem.   A volcanic repostitory of books that is purported to be the world’s largest library is the set for the bulk of the story.

There is a wealth of imagination in this book.  Characters are abundant and I mean characters in the sense of somewhat odd or frightening odd folks.

Sarah and Jon must discover the secrets behind Two

Spells (the library) and do their best to survive with their faithful worm, Boose.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Relic by Alan Dean Foster

Foster postulates the end of mankind in this book.   The Relic is the last human survivor of a genetically tailored virus that has wiped out mankind. 

The Relic is discovered by the Myssari, an alien race that informs him that there are many other races and that humans arose in a back water of the galaxy that was only recently being explored.  

The Myssari are polite and alien.   Ruslan, the Relic, finds he is regarded as a specimen rather than an equal.  Treated like a revered pet he becomes reasonably comfortable until he is introduced to another alien race and some genetic surprises.

I recommend the book.  

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Alan Dean Foster </a>

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.