Book Review 35 // Equal Right by Terry Pratchett

So comically I had a very popular blog back in the day called The Fallen Princes. It followed purely my adventures with wargaming and tabletop games. Then I lost momentum and the blog felt like a chore, the painting didn't come naturally. So I stopped blogging, years past and the old blog haunted me. It haunted me so much I deleted it. It is a decision I've always regretted. I wish I still had that out blog so I could revisit it and make fun of myself and my writing.

Now jump forward in time to this blog. I thought I could recapture those early blogging days and improve, instead making it a more rounded hobby blog, wargaming, beers, books and comics. I wouldn't force myself to blog instead I would just let it happen. And so far that is exactly what I have done and it seems to be working for me. Though the blog is more focused on my reading than anything else, it has helped me to express my thoughts more and has helped to push me more. Especially on the reading front which is amazing. I believe this book is number 20 of the year and I could not be more pleased with myself. At the start of the year I felt I would not complete the task instead I'm going stronger than ever before. So let's jump into this newest review:

Book Stats


Title: Equal Rights (Discworld #3, Witches #1)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Corgi
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 228 Pages
Commercial Fluff: They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…

Review

My third step into the discworld and my first into the Witches series. I love the fact that it holds strong links to the earlier books (with the unseen university), but I love it more for showing us a completely different aspect of the disc. This story focuses on two characters Granny Weatherwax and Esk. Esk is meant to be the focus of the book as she comes to terms becoming the first female wizard on the disc.

The book plays upon the idea of what men and women can and can't be. With Pratchett jumping on age old ideas and forcing the citizens of the disc to get with the times!

The true highlight of the book is Granny Weatherwax. A witch from Bad Ass (hehehehe). Granny is just as bad as the wizards for a lack of open mindedness. But as the story progress she sees what Esk could be come and helps her to reach her full potential. We also see Granny standing up and taking names throughout the entire story and I can now see why she ends up in so many tales. Low light for me is the ending, all seems a bit rushed. It felt like Pratchett suddenly ran out of pages and didn't fully realise the ending.

Overall a great read and a great intro to Granny can't wait to get to her next tale but I believe next up is Mort and D'eath :)

Book Review // 34 Crossfire by Matthew Farrer (Shira Calpurnia #1)

With my 2018 book challenge complete I am trying to not sit on my laurels and continue reading as much as I can. So with that in mind I picked up Crossfire by Matthew Farrer. This book showcases a different side to 40k and I was excited to jump into it.

Book Stats

Title: Crossfire
Author: Matthew Farrer
Publisher: Black Library
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288

Commercial Fluff: The busting dockyards in the Hydraphur system are home to the mighty Imperial warfleets. They dock, repair, rearm and depart in an endless cycle of war. But even in this heart of imperial space, conflict exists. A great religious festival provides the perfect catalyst for civil unrest, political intrigue and murder in the vast Hive cities. Newly arrived Arbites officer, Shira Calpurnia finds herself in the thick of the action when she becomes the target of a series of assassination attempts. Coping with corruption and betrayal from within the ranks of the Arbites, Shira must discover who is trying to kill her before civil unrest turns to all out heresy. Caught in the crossfire, can she survive the intrigues of the ancient and callous aristocracy of this vital naval base?

Review

I had tried reading this book a few years ago and had never finished it. So I decided to dust it off and give it another go. Unlike most of the 40k novels this doesn't involve a war or aliens or even Space Marines. This book instead follows Shira Calpurnia an Adeptus Arbitors (ie a Police/detective) and the story starts with her arrival on the planet of Hydraphur. This story is very much a detective novel, with new clues being discovered every chapter until the final reveal.

We are treated by the author to a great female lead and an impressive opening couple of chapters (I especially loved the descriptions of the chapels and shrines of the different Adeptus), but as the story continues it seems to lose momentum. Soon we are jumping from scene to scene chasing down a plot that has lost it way. Though it had a strong start I can now see why I didn't finish it the first time. But I am glad I continued to the end.

Overall a solid read. Not my favourite due to the slow pace. I am happy to have finished it and I am sure I will attempt the other tales in the series.

Pros: 
  • Descriptive environment which brings the city to life.
  • Strong female character in the form of Shira Calpurnia.
Cons:
  • Pace slows down.
  • The continued use of Culture Shock throughout the story.

Beer Review 62 // Blood Brothers Unify or Die

Welcome to Brew Review. With the summer now over and autumn chilly days settling in it is time to start drinking all the stouts. It's also a great time to finally start emptying the fridge out, so I can restock it in time for Xmas. Up first is Blood Brothers' Unify or Die aged for a year (or forgotten for a year).

Details

Name: Unify or Die
Style: Spiced Stout
Brewery: Blood Brothers
Country: Canada, Toronto
ABV: 7%
Commercial Fluff: Full bodied and gluttonous, this stout has been infused with locally roasted coffee, cinnamon and vanilla to create a beer appropriate for dessert... or any occasion.

Own Opinion

Label: It's their generic Hand logo. Though cool looking I would love to see more of their cooler labels.
Pour: Thick black pour with a wonderful mocha head. This is what I love about stouts, just looks delicious.
Aroma: Sweet notes of vanilla. chocolate and coffee.
Taste: Sweet chocolate, very smooth beer as you drink more and the brew warms the coffee flavours build and a gentle heat from the cinnamon joins in.
Would I buy it again: Yes! This was a great beer and aged really well! This brewery is on my must visit list for whenever I next visit Toronto (is it shocking that the last time I went was about seven years ago!).

I am so happy for it to be stout season again. What is everyone else drinking today?

Book Review 33 // The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Note to self - Always save your work before clicking away.

As you may guess I wrote this review once already today, then the laptop died and I discovered I hadn't saved. So here is take two.

It is with great pride that I announce I have completed my 2018 challenge to myself. In the waning days of 2017, I decided it was time to challenge myself and my dyslexia to read and blog about eighteen books. Now some may think well eighteen isn't that many, well it was for me. I feel I average at best six books a years so I was tripling my best score. But here we are in the first week of October and I am blogging about book eighteen of 2018.

Want to see which books I read this year? Then follow this handy link: Books of 2018

Now let us jump into book 18 of 2018.

Book Stats

Title: The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2)

Author: Sir Terry Pratchett

Publisher: Corgi

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 241

Commercial Fluff: In The Light Fantastic only one individual can save the world from a disastrous collision. Unfortunately, the hero happens to be the singularly inept wizard Rincewind, who was last seen falling off the edge of the world...

Review

So we are reviewing my eighteenth book of the year! What a great book to finish this challenge with. Now for those who missed the first book The Colour of Magic we are introduced to the world of the disc but more importantly two characters: Rincewind a bumbling, failed but comically brilliant Wizard and Twoflower the Disc's first tourist. As the first book finishes this pair were left in a dire situation with Rincewind falling to his death over the edge of the disc. Here starts the second book.

I felt the start was a bit forced with Pratchett using the spell that is trapped in Rincewind's head to save the character. Soon after though the story really gains pace and you feel like you are on adventure with talking trees/hired thugs/crazy wizards and sun cults. The main premise of the book is that the disc is moving towards a Red Sun and as it gets closer the more crazier the people of the Disc get. Soon Rincewind and Twoflower are wrapped up in the middle of a power struggle for the soul of the Unseen University and that the only way to save the world is for Rincewind to read the eight spells of power.

I enjoy how Pratchett is able to combine tales from folklore, myths and biblical sources but putting on his own twist to make them truly his.The best example is Cohen The Barbarian, a warrior who is out living his own legend and is now an aged and ruined old man. We also get to travel to the realms of the Dungeon Dimension and Death's domain (I can't wait to reach Mort) along with discovering a high advance race who travel between realms within a magical shop!

The tale wraps up their adventure with a nice bow, with Rincewind leading the repairs on the Unseen University whilst Twoflower is heading back to his homeland with his picture box. This is a sad end to such a great adventure. I can safely say I'm hooked, so expect much more Discworld reviews coming this way. Next up will be Equal Rights (the first of the Witch series). But the next review will be back into the Grim Dark worlds of 40k.

The Gods of the Aeldari

In my continuing adventures to clean up my Aeldari Encyclopedia , I turn my ancient eyes to the Gods. As always this is a personal enjoyment...