Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien

With a sad and fairly cliff-hanging ending of the Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers picks up right where it's predecessor left off- the choas of the orc attack and Frodo and Sam's exit. In this part of the LOTR series, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas search long and hard for Merry and Pippin who have been captured by the orcs. Yet, unknown to our three heros, Merry and Pippin eventually escape the orcs and join forces with the Ents (a tree shepherds) and head off to war against Saruman. Eventually, after a few twists in the tale, Aragorn and Co. head on over to Rohan. A land of horse loving people who are being "lead" by a reluntant and depressed king. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam meet up with a creepy creature who's been following them since Moria (at least that's where I first figure he showed up) and offers to lead them to Mt. Doom. Accepting Gollum's offer, Frodo and Sam continue their treacherous journey into Mordor facing many dangers along the way including soldier's of Gondor, Shelob, and Gollum's plots. This is the short version of the story, obviously.
Once again, Sam's extreme loyalty and optimism is wonderful. Frodo's mercy to Gollum is great. The virtues such as mercy, loyalty, sacrifice, hope, that fill LOTR are refreshing.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

I finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring yesterday. It took my quite a while to be honest. The Counsel of Elrond chapter had me stuck for around a month or more. I stopped reading it when they went back into the history of the ring. In fact, I read the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers and the first two of Lois Walfrid's Viking Quest books in between that chapter. But I pushed myself through those few pages, and am very glad I didn't quit there. The rest of the story is fairly quick paced and adventureous. When Bilbo leaves his young heir, Frodo Baggins with that ring he found in The Hobbit, Frodo doesn't quite grasp just what he's gotten into. That is until Gandalf gives him a history lesson and warning. Never use the ring. It is evil and gains control over it's "owner" although who owns who could be debated (especially in Gollum's case). Also, Sauron (the maker of the ring) is searching for it and is willing to do whatever it takes to retrieve it. Therefore, Frodo and his three other hobbit friends- Sam, Merry, and Pippin- leave Hobbiton to, hopefully, save it. Facing challenges more difficult and dangerous than they imagined, they are grateful for the company of Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf, which Elrond, the Elf sends with them on their journey. At, least I would be grateful, and they should be, but the book never says so... It is decided that simply hiding the ring wouldn't work or would throwing into a river or sea; it must be destroyed in the depts of Mount Doom. A volcano in Mordor, Sauron's country. Facing orcs, blizzards, and ringwraiths, the company makes their way south to destroy the ring once and for all.
I like the loyalty in the characters, especially Sam Gamgee to Frodo. The courage and friendship in The Fellowship of the Ring is a wonderful thing to come across in literature.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul

Twice as good as the first! DragonQuest was wonderful. Probably my favorite in the series. Kale has finally made it to the Hall with Dar and is still at the lowest rank as a leecent. But that meech egg she saved from Risto has hatched and is getting on Fenworth's last nerves. He wants Kale to come help out since she was the one who quicken the dragon and therefore has bonded with it. She is sent to the Bogs and the adventures begin! But the adventures do not stay in the Bogs. They range from battlefields to rowdy taverns, full of suspense and great characters along the way. Several new and main characters are introduced in DragonQuest such as Regidor, Gilda, Bardon, and Toopka. But let's not leave out the mystery of two women both claiming to be Kale's mother, the hatching of two new minor dragons, and invasion of Creemore spiders. So join Kale and her comrades on another quest in the land of Amara!

Friday, January 29, 2010

DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul

Dragonspell is the story of 14 year old Kale, a village slave girl with the remarkable gift of finding dragon eggs. This absolutely blows away the village council of River Away, so they direct Kale to the Hall where she will use her gift for Wulder. This blows Kale away. Leave River Away, the only place she’s ever known? She’s excited and nervous and bit stressed, but all that doesn’t really matter when she falls down a hill and is captured by a rowdy band of grawlings, who love to play catch. After enduring these disgusting creatures for a few hours and attempting a near failed escape, she’s rescued by a party of four warriors (not counting the dragons) of an assortment of sizes, and is turned her from her original orders. Two of her rescuers, a doneel named Dar and the young emerlindian Leetu Bends, take her along to the bogs in search of the reclusive Wizard Fenworth, whom they hope to enlist in their questing party. Their mission? Rescue a meech dragon egg from the wicked Wizard Risto before he uses the egg to make another low race, killing the dragon inside in the process. But when Leetu Bends is captured, Dar and Kale have to trust Wulder (God) to bring them through and save their friend and the dragon egg. Throughout this “uncomfortable” journey, Kale is transformed from a timid, self-deprecating girl, to a young lady who knows the love of a creator and good friends.
The characters where wonderful, some were humorous yet realistic. The setting and different races were fascinating. Some people found this over whelming, but really, if you get past that one sentence listing the seven races, learning the seven different races is a breeze. Ms. Paul introduces them at a nice speed so as not to make them confusing. She doesn’t throw them into the plot and leave it up to you to figure out what a tumanhofer or marione is. She describes the races so as to give one an idea of what they are like, but leaves room for the reader imagination as well. The plot and numerous adventures along the way will hold one’s attention, such as sword fights, fire dragons, several rescues, mind speaking, and earthquakes.
DragonSpell would make an excellent addition to an intermediate reader’s library.