Paddy Samurai Registered User


I have a love /hate relationship with this book.I started this book a long time back ,but found it to be tough going.Put it down a good few times with the intention of leaving it,but the characters drew me back.Between starting and finishing it, I have read the 3 previous books in my log.IMO the whole story was too drawn out and would have been better,if told in half the time.Don't know if I will continue with this series.

In a remote mountain academy, the politically expendable younger sons of the Great Houses study for an extraordinary task. Most will fail, some will die, but the reward for the dedicated few is great: mastery of the andat, and the rank of Poet. Thanks to these men - part sorcerers, part scholars - the great city-states of the Khaiem enjoy wealth and power beyond measure, and the greatest of them all is Saraykeht: glittering jewel of the Summer Cities. There are those in the world, however, who envy such wealth. There are great riches to be had in the Summer and Winter Cities, and only the threat of the andat unleashed holds the enemies of the Khaiem in check. Conflict is brewing in the world. Alliances will be broken and friends betrayed. The lowly will be raised up, the mighty will fall and innocents will be slaughtered. And two men, bound to each other by an act of kindness and an act of brutality, may be all that stands between the civilised world and war. War and something worse ...

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Book 3 in The Night Angel trilogy

For a first time Author ,this was a top notch debut .Great characters on an amazing non-stop journey. Usually you have an idea about were a trilogy is heading,not in this case.No way could I have foreseen where this story would end , when I finished part one.
Tons of glorious(googled this word) characters involved in this epic trilogy but Kyler Stern and Durzo Blint in particular are memorable characters worthy of note.A great conclusion to a impressive trilogy ,looking forward to his new book.

If you like fantasy,give this trilogy a try.

In epic fashion, Brent Weeks brings his debut trilogy to a conclusion in Beyond the Shadows. The story here picks up directly after the events of Shadow’s Edge, and as such, this review will likely contain spoilers.
The revelation at the end of Shadow’s Edge was initially very surprising, but as it settled into how the story played out, it felt logical and perhaps could have been choreographed when put in relation to the story and the genre itself. That said, the effects of that revelation are played out to good effect throughout the majority of Beyond the Shadows. Weeks brought many of the dangling plot-threads together in this volume in a relatively satisfying manner.
..................................................................................The storyline is definitely wrapped up but Weeks has built a foundation for many stories within the pages of these three books. Whether they feature Kylar or some of the descendants of other characters like Logan and Solon, he’s got ample room to return and he will be doing that in the future as he’s signed to write some more books for Orib.

On some levels, the overall trilogy is firmly entrenched in the clichés of the genre – the honorable king, the assassin who wishes to work beyond his limitations, the hellcat/vixen of lust and desire, the hated despot, and the orphan of destiny. At times these clichés mix up with one character fitting multiple roles. However, Weeks talent for pacing and tension elevate the trilogy to a solid debut and worthy of recommendation.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Great book,easy to read ,really enjoyed this book big time.
Like most people I have heard of Blackbeard,but I never heard about John Roberts aka Black Bart the most successful pirate of the golden age.He took over 400+ ships and his story is well worth reading.

In If a Pirate I Must Be..., Richard Sanders tells the larger-than-life story of Bartholomew Roberts, aka Black Bart. Born in a rural town, Roberts rose from third mate on a slave ship to pirate captain in a matter of months. Before long, his combination of audaciousness and cunning won him fame and fortune from the fisheries of Newfoundland to the slave ports of West Africa. Sanders brings to life a fascinating world of theater and ritual, where men (a third of whom were black) lived a close-knit, egalitarian life, democratically electing their officers and sharing their spoils. They were highly (if surreptitiously) popular with many merchants, with whom they struck incredibly lucrative deals. Yet with a fierce team of Royal Navy pirate hunters tracking his every move, Roberts' heyday would prove a brief one, and with his capture, the Golden Age of pirates would pass into the lore and legend of books and movies. Based on historical records and journal and on writings by Roberts himself, If a Pirate I Must the true story of the greatest pirate ever to sail the Caribbean.

One of the satisfactions of Richard Sanders' book is the revelation of how close pirate mythology is to the truth.

This book is fascinating and a fast read.Richard Sanders admirably satisfies my love for swashbuckling and rollicking pirate tales, whilst providing historical and societal background in great detail.

This book is a great example of how narrative history can be used not just to tell stories about the past but also to illuminate the world in which these events unfolded.

Great book. Although a historical study it reads like a novel and is clearly written by someone with a love for the subject who is able to put the concept of piracy into a greater context.

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In 1964, 12-year-old Cory Mackenson lives with his parents in Zephyr, Alabama. It is a sleepy, comfortable town. Cory is helping with his father's milk route one morning when a car plunges into the lake before their eyes. His father dives in after the car and finds a dead man handcuffed to the steering wheel. Their world no longer seems so innocent: a vicious killer hides among apparently friendly neighbors. Other, equally unsettling transmogrifications occur: a friend's father becomes a shambling bully under the influence of moonshine, decent men metamorphose into Klan bigots, "responsible" adults flee when faced with danger for the first time. With the aid of unexpected allies, Cory faces hair-raising dangers as he seeks to find the secret of the dead man in the lake. McCammon writes an exciting adventure story. He also gives us an affecting tale of a young man growing out of childhood in a troubled place and time.

Alot of discussions online about Stephen King Versus McCammon(The Stand Verus Swan Song,They Thirst versus Salems Lot,etc,etc),but for me ,McCammon delivers more consistantly than far.
I don't agree with many reviewers that this is McCammons best book,and while IMO some of the american reviews are a bit over the top this is still a great read,and has something for everyone.
IMO this would make a great read for a book club,lots of quirky occurences and interesting characters.

270 X (5 star rating) on amazon

Sometimes I get to thinking that my mental list of the "Top 5 Books I've Ever Read" is going to remain cast in stone until the day I draw my terminal breath. Then, out of the blue, an accidental discovery like "A Boy's Life" will come along and prove that, while I may consider myself well-read, there's still way too much opportunity for bona fide treasures to remain hidden.

Once in a while you find a rare book which stays in your mind long after your finished it. Boy's Life is just that. The story is simply beautiful and still captures my heart and imagination after reading it the second time, 10 years later. McCammon is famous for his horrors. But in Boy's Life, Mc Cammon has written a brilliant story filled with sensitivity, humanity and emotional depth

I'm not going to tell you about this novel. Instead, I want you to do the biggest favor you've done for yourself in years... buy this book and read it. When you've turned the last page, go directly to the beginning and start all over again. That is exactly what I did three times.

I have been teaching 42 years; and in that time many students have brought books to me that "I must read." Beginning with a new Lord of the Flies, a new To Kill a Mockingbird, a new Cat's Cradle and a new Catch 22 through A Prayer for Owen Meany, Prince of Tides, The Power of One and Boy's Life, I have read the best of modern literature because I listened to my high school seniors. Well Boy's Life will be around schools for just as long as the previous mentioned books and their Catcher in the Rye counterparts,for those of us who love books and love to see students excited about reading rather than comatose with boredom will keep teaching books like Boy's Life. It's a wonderful book filled with many things to discuss and for today's youth so interested in the sixties it provides a non-historical approach to so much of that life without the inane trappings of drugs and flower power. I have spread the knowledge of this book to an extended community of former students to rave reviews without exception. It may not have the snob appeal of a Ulysses ( a book I love merely because I'm an Irish literate) but I defy anyone 60 or 15 to read it with being swept up in the magic of flying bicycles and boys and a prehistoric animal who is sent by a dead young man to rescue his still living buddy. And if you want this teacher's opinion; it's the novel Vernon Thazter couldn't write.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

This is my second McCarthy book ,tough going in parts but well worth the effort.
Lots of talk online about "Blood Meridian " versus "In the rogue blood".
For me In the rogue blood is my preferred book , more accessable, some say more violent and as a bonus based around actual historical events. Having said that Blood Meridian is the one that you analyse the most after reading.And the judge is a character that you never forget.

"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Great stuff!.If you like vampires,or are a fan of Salems Lot by King then this is the book for you.As the author intentionally keeps this out of print it can be hard to get a copy. But its well worth tracking down.I got my copy from abe books.

Prince Vulkan, master of the vampires, has loosed his army of the undead on Los Angeles in this seamlessly written horror novel by the author of Mine. Vulkan's plan is to replace humankind, city by city, with the living dead. Four people stand in his way. Homicide detective Andy Palatazin, a Hungarian immigrant who fled this scourge as a child, is determined to stop it now. Young Tommy Chandler, whose parents were killed before his eyes, wants revenge. TV star Wes Richer hopes to save his beloved by tracking Vulkan to his lair. Father Silvera, a dying priest, believes that God has chosen him to destroy the vampire prince. Wreaking death and carnage, Vulkan proceeds to a final confrontation between the forces of good and evil. McCammon delivers terror with skillful ferocity as he pays tribute to masters of the genre and raises the standards for the craft a notch or two.

As a horror novel They Thirst must rank up there with classic vampire novels such as Stephen King's Salem's Lot, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and Stoker's own Dracula. Robert McCammon takes an age-old legend and infuses it with a modern sensibility and a sense of the epic that even King's own classic vampire novel didn't have.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Part 3 of a well researched historical trilogy IMO ,following the Templar Knights ,their secret and their demise. Huge range of historical characters , Amir Baybars , King Philip IV of France , King Edward (longshanks) of England , William Wallace, Pope Clement etc. If you have an interest in the Knights Templar ,the end of the Crusades or like historical fiction , give this one a try

1295 AD. The Christian empire in the Holy Land lies in ruins. Returning to Paris, Templar Knight Will Campbell is at a crossroads. He has sworn to uphold the principles of the Anima Templi, a secret brotherhood within the Order whose aim is peace - but peace seems ever more impossible. The Temple has forged an alliance with Will's enemy, King Edward of England, vowing to help him wage war on Scotland. This Will now faces a bitter choice: to stay with the Temple and fight another war he doesn't believe in, or to break his vows and forge his own path to peace - even if that too means fighting - for the Scots. Soon caught up in bloody conflict, Will is unaware that an even more ominous threat is rising, for there is a warrior king on the throne of France whose desire for supremacy knows no bounds and who will stop at nothing to fulfil his twisted ambitions. The fight for the Holy Land has ended. The Temple's last battle has just begun.

'Young writes with remarkable accuracy, action-packed efficiency and gut-wrenching violence' (The Times 20060627)

'An outstanding contemporary writer' (Kate Mosse 20060627)

'A sweeping historical adventure as well as a cracking sequel' (Financial Times on CRUSADE 20060627)

'Swords clash in the first sentence of Young's latest and go on clashing throughout...plenty of action...attention to historical detail...pacey dialogue' (The Times on CRUSADE )

'El Cid meets The Da Vinci Code! Exciting, page-turning fiction' (Simon Mayo's book panel, BBC Radio Five Live on BRETHREN )

Paddy Samurai Registered User

I liked this book alot and read it over three nights.I have now read all of Wallace Breems books.Eagle in the snow is still my favourite .This book gives a good insight into the mindset of the tribes that lived and still live in that area of the world.As has been noted by other reviewers this is not a feel good book, i myself was saddened by the way it ended.

It is based loosely on a real incident from the nearly-forgotten Third Afghan War, which lasted for only 26 days in 1919

In 1919 war broke out between Britain and Afghanistan which severely destabilised the tribal areas. In the Waziristan area the Frontier Corps units became highly unreliable. The novel deals with the effects of this on one particular unit, its officers and other ranks - both tribal and British.

The book gives a very thorough exposition of tribal culture, the Frontier Corps and its operations as well as the employment of the Vickers Medium Machine Gun. As the other reviewer said it is useful in throwing light on the complex motivations of the Moslem soldier when his loyalties are strained, the difficulties of cross cultural relations in a military context and the problems of commanding para-military units in remote under-developed areas.

That aside, however, it is an extremely depressing book which makes "All Quiet on the Western Front" look quite jolly. This is why I have given it four stars. Expect to be educated, expect good, gripping writing - BUT do not expect to be uplifted.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Great little novella ,I read it in one sitting.If you enjoyed The warded man or The Desert Spear then try this out.Nice illustrations and an interesting little tale about Arlen as an apprentice messenger.
Still unable to find a copy of The Great Bazaar.

Brett spins another side story (after The Great Bazaar and Other Stories) off the deliberately harsh fantasy world first developed in 2009's The Warded Man. This novella is a slight but enjoyable tale with a light, almost YA feel. Newcomers will get an easy introduction as Arlen, still an apprentice Messenger, takes on his first solo excursion into the demon-haunted night. When Sandar breaks his leg, Curk, Arlan's mentor, is assigned to take his place hauling explosives to a far-off mining town. Brigands attack and Curk flees, but the ever-brave Arlan stands his ground, making himself new enemies and allies in what will become his long fight against the demons. The lack of female characters--other than one who needs Arlen's help to dodge her father's wrath over her unexpected pregnancy--will give some readers pause, but many will find Arlen's courage inspiring. (Jan.)

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The Wise Man's Fear continues the mesmerizing slow reveal of the story of Kvothe the Bloodless, an orphaned actor who became a fearsome hero before banishing himself to a tiny town in the middle of Newarre. The readers of Patrick Rothfuss's outstanding first book, The Name of the Wind, which has gathered both a cult following and a wide readership in the four years since it came out, will remember that Kvothe promised to tell his tale of wonder and woe to Chronicler, the king's scribe, in three days. The Wise Man's Fear makes up day two, and uncovers enough to satisfy readers and make them desperate for the full tale, from Kvothe's rapidly escalating feud with Ambrose to the shockingly brutal events that mark his transformation into a true warrior, and to his encounters with Felurian and the Adem. Rothfuss remains a remarkably adept and inventive storyteller, and Kvothe's is a riveting tale about a boy who becomes a man who becomes a hero and a killer, spinning his own mythology out of the ether until he traps himself within it. Drop everything and read these books. --Daphne Durham

Stories within stories,within stories.Maybe too many stories.
Name of The Wind was top notch ,and I have recommended it to everyone that I know.
I was a bit dissapointed with this sequel as I found this one a bit of a mixed bag .Brilliant in parts ,and not so billiant in others.
The bandit hunt dragged on IMO and I found the whole Felurian thing tedious ,and for me did not gel with the rest of the story............A personal thing I know,but enough to throw me off some.
Kvothe is a fantastic character and I loved his adventures at University and with the Adem.Overall I would have preferred if the main story had progressed a lot more.Mr Rothfuss is leaving himself a lot to do in the final part.
Still love Name of the Wind and I still love Rothfuss ,so I am looking forward to Patricks next installment.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

The conclusion of the bestselling Demon War series, which began with Rides a Dread Legion. Recent events have devastated the Conclave of Shadows; the discovery of the Demon horde on the heels of the taredhel invasion of Midkemia, the threat of the star elves themselves, and the terrible personal cost paid by Pug and his family. But grieving must wait. At a deserted fortress in the Valley of Lost Men, the Conclave's agents witness horror beyond their imagination, orchestrated by a familiar enemy. But Belasco's motives are as yet unclear. The Conclave must regroup and discover the true meaning behind the chaos seeded by the evil magician if they are ever to find a way to stop the destruction of Triagia before the demon horde even arrives

More of the same,...............predictable ending.As a long time feist fan I bought this and read it over a couple of days.Its an easy read with the old familar characters.As nothing special happens you end up reading this just to stay in touch with whats happening on Midkemia. Midkemia is a great world that Mr Feist has developed, but I think it is time for him to introduce some new main characters /storylines ,maybe show us a different region /a different era of Midkemia.
Does the indestructable Pug need to be in every book?.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

£5 new from 22 sellers

Originally started as an online fiction journal, ‘Day by Day Armageddon’ is written in a diary form from the perspective of a lone survivor in a post-apocalyptic world that is overrun by the living dead. The author, John Bourne has been writing this ongoing zombie saga in between serving as a U.S. Naval officer. His knowledge of tactical survival and weaponry is reflected perfectly within the pages of the novel. Sometimes quite clumsily written, the book gives off a realistic viewpoint of this harrowing and desperate situation.

Not my usual reading material,Came across this online,and ending up reading the free sample chapters available. Did'nt expect to like it ,but I did, so ordered the Part 2 is in the post.

If your a fan of The Walking Dead ,then give this try.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

From the raw clay of historical fact, James Carlos Blake has sculpted powerful novel of both a man and an America at war with themselves. It is the poignant and brutally honest story of William Anderson—a lover of music, poetry, and horse-thievery—who was drawn into a savage conflict of state against state. As Kansas "bushwackers" fly the black flag of no quarter, Bill and his brother Jim take up with the infamous Quantrill's raiders, the most notorious of the bushwacker bands. When a catastrophic loss unleashes a fury in his anguished soul, Anderson becomes the most fearsome guerilla captain of them all and earns a name some whisper in fear, some in reverence, some in terror: "Bloody Bill."

I loved this book big time,Historical fiction at its best IMO. This is the type of book that encourages you to find out more about the characters and the times they lived in.
Although Bill Anderson had a brutal reputation Anderson does succeed in humanising "Bloody Bill" and making you wonder what you would be capable of doing in similar circumstances.Quantrill,Frank and Jesse James also feature in this book.It details the Lawerence and Centralia raids ,showing the viciousness of civil wars.One particular Poignant scene
Spoiler (Show)

While "In the Rogue Blood " is still my favourite book by Blake ,this is a top notch read.

Paddy Samurai Registered User

Matsuoka continues the chronicle of Japanese nobleman Lord Genji he began in Cloud of Sparrows (2002).
East collides with West in this complex, epic tale by Matsuoka (Cloud of Sparrows), in which the ability to see the future is transferred from generation to generation in a Japanese clan. The mid-19th-century inheritor of the clan's visionary powers is Lord Genji, a powerful samurai warlord who favors western style modernization for Japan but faces fierce opposition from the antiforeigner element. Compounding his political troubles is his peculiar love affair . Emily Gibson has been in Japan for six years, doing her missionary work, trying to hide her feelings for Genji and translating a series of mysterious scrolls recounting the history of the clan. As she reads the scrolls, she discovers inexplicable references to her own life and her association with Genji's family. Meanwhile, flashbacks describe centuries of tangled relationships and events that result in Genji's rise to power, focusing particularly on beautiful Shizuka, Genji's 14th-century forebear, who has the sharpest vision of the clan's future. The convoluted tale is bursting with too many characters and jumps around in time too much to be a smooth read—a 13th-century Mongol invasion, assassination, clan warfare, romantic rivalries and an estranged son and heir to Genji's rule round out the packed narrative—but Matsuoka's rich, authoritative storytelling makes this an engrossing read.

While not as good as part one "Cloud of Sparrows" , Autumn Bridge is still
a good read.This could be considered a difficult read because of the books layout.The author jumps from different time periods back and forth throughout the book ,which can lead to confusion unless you pay close attention.
I read online that the Author toned down the violence in this book because of complaints about part one. This book has great characters and is set in the period of the last samurai.If you are interested in Japan and its transition to modernity give this one a try.

Takashi Matsuoka

Inspired by stories told to him as a child of his ancestors in Japan, Takashi Matsuoka transports readers into a majestic realm of samurai and geisha, ninjas and Zen masters in his debut novel, 'Cloud of Sparrows.'"

You have to love this kind of breathless introduction from publishers. In Matsuoka's case, those inspirational stories, instead of coming from some wise and wizened relative, probably came from his regular visits to the Kokusai and Nippon Gekijo theaters near Aala Park, where Matsuoka's father would take the impressionable Takashi to see the latest samurai movie, and his imagination was stimulated by archetypes of gruff samurai and refined geisha.

Who knows, in several years' time, "Tash" will attend a swanky Hollywood red-carpet premiere of the movie adaptation of his first published novel. In this world of snapping up "intellectual properties" as quickly as one can, the film rights to "Cloud of Sparrows" were purchased by Universal - specifically by the prestigious production team of Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, whose work has been most associated with some director named Steven Spielberg - a month after Random House bought the book.

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Although a top notch read , this is not Robert McCammons usual fare.In the past he became famous for his horror stories,competing with and IMO surpassing King.The subject matter of this book ,would not normally be something that would interest me.But given McCammons previous books I decided to give it a try.
This book is whats called a "Page turner",when you leave it down you can't wait till you pick it up again.You have to find out whats going to happen next.It was a pleasure to read.If you like fiction give this a try.Go on ,treat yourself.

I liked this book so much ,that half way through I ordered "Queen of Bedlam" and "Mr Slaughter".

A trial for witchcraft proves the tip of an iceberg of intrigues in this absorbing historical mystery, the first newly published novel in 10 years from McCammon (the book was written in the mid-'90s), a bestseller in the 1980s with such supernatural novels in the Stephen King tradition as Usher's Passing and Baal. Set in 1699 in Fount Royal, a coastal settlement in the colonial Carolinas, this latest unfolds the adventures of magistrate Isaac Woodward and his assistant, Matthew Corbett, who have been summoned to the struggling town to adjudicate in the trial of Rachel Howarth, a young widow accused of deviltry that is blamed for murders, wretched weather and other calamities driving settlers away. Though town leaders press for swift execution, Matthew is persuaded by Rachel's dignity and fortitude that she's innocent. Using skills honed living by his wits as an orphaned child, he pursues inconsistencies in testimony and throwaway clues and uncovers an elaborate plot involving pirate booty, animal magnetism and deadly deceit at the highest levels of town organization. This robust tale is as historically detailed as it is long, and its recreation of an era where superstition held its own with enlightenment is among its strongest achievements. Anachronisms, improbably fortuitous coincidences and private dramas that make Fount Royal seem a pre-Revolutionary Peyton Place lard the plot, but Matthew's race against time to save Rachel with the rudimentary tools to hand makes a compulsively readable yarn. McCammon's loyal fans will find his resurfacing reason to rejoice. (Sept.) Forecast: Those who enjoyed the author's last three novels (Mine; Boy's Life; Gone South), studies of the human condition that transcended genre labeling, will snap this one up, too. But McCammon also lost readers with these novels because in them he turned away from the horror themes that made his reputation. This latest could well gain him new fans, but it won't win back any horror readers.

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