A nominally young adult novel set in a dystopian world that mirrors our own past, The Left Hand of God is a book of impressive vision and puzzling inconsistencies that ultimately provides a gruesome, but highly enjoyable read. The book follows the trials and travails of a young boy named Cale raised in a brutal dogmatic monastery of a twisted parody of Christianity. His life is forever changed upon witnessing a deed horrifying even to his own warped perspective.
I bought R. Scott Bakker’s first book purely based on its appearance on ‘top fantasy’ lists and its comparisons to the ‘realistic’ fantasy authors of Steven Erikson and George R..R. Martin. Bakker comes from an English critique and Philosophy background and it shows. His prose is often quite moving: either beautiful in its poetry or sickening in its brutality. His characters, setting, and background all teem with philosophical underpinnings.
The Malazan Books of the Fallen is a mouthful to say, but really that’s for the best, because it’s also a whopper to read. Currently on book eight of ten, the universe also encompasses a bunch of novellas (which I have yet to read) and an entirely different author writing novels in a shared world. Steven Erikson was an anthropologist by trade and boy does it show.
Sanderson’s finale manages to both showcases the favorites in the series, shine light on characters that had previous escaped the limelight, and end the series with a enormous finale that both surprises but stays completely within the rules that Sanderson has set for himself in his wonderful world.
(Note: Spoilers for Mistborn included) Background: Initially taking up Brandon Sanderson’s novels as a means to gain an insight into the impending finale of Wheel of Time, I found an author with both a fertile imagination and a true appreciation for the craft of storytelling. Having finished The Well of Ascension, his third novel, and […]
Background: When Robert Jordan died I was surprised to hear the decision regarding finishing up his final novel, Memories of Light, was made so quickly. It fell to Brandon Sanderson, a young writer I had never heard of. Fast-forward a year or so later, and after stumbling upon his insightful blog, I took up reading […]
Title: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Author: Michael Chabon Year of Publication: 2000 Genre: Fiction Length: 656 Rating: 4/5 – Worth paying full price. I was first clued in to the existence of “The Escapist” via a limited comic series written by Brian K. Vaughn. The story was good, but I knew I […]
For everyone traumatized by the recent ending of another era-defining work, The Sopranos, the anti-Sopranos ending of Harry Potter will be sure to satisfy you. It ends, and it ends definitively, and in my mind satisfactorily (though I was satisfied with The Sopranos as well). In the minds of fans, this book’s primary function is […]
There’s a small change of pace this week in the Librarian’s Tome section. Instead of a book review, I’ve wandered into the film section of the library (not completely of my own free will, as I still prefer books, but spouses can be persuasive) and present to you Librarian’s Tome: Film Edition. Title: Hot Fuzz […]
On rare occasions, work that I complete in classroom studies becomes worth recommending to others. This is one such occasion. Scott McCloud, a writer and scholar of comics, released a black and white graphic novel entitled Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art in 1993. Within the pages, McCloud guides the reader through a thorough understanding of […]