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K. Henton "Japan Cultural Specialist" (Tokyo, Japan)
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The Deer & the Cauldron: Book 1: A Martial Arts Novel: Bk. 1
The Deer & the Cauldron: Book 1: A Martial Arts Novel: Bk. 1
by Louis Cha
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.72

5.0 out of 5 stars A very deep, important work., 22 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I cannot understand the negative reviews on this work, this book is fascinating and very well written. The author, Louis Cha, lent his full support to the translator, John Milford, and survives to this day to tell us all his many reasons for giving this first English translation his blessing. I'm sad it is still not available in paperback, and that it is so hard to get this and the other two volumes since it has been out of print for a while now. The Chinese original of Lu Ding Ji, The Deer and the Cauldron, continues to sell well anywhere Chinese is spoken / written and is considered a modern classic that can compete with the four great works of China, including my favorite Journey to the West, which is 500 years its senior. Its author, Louis Cha, is considered by Chinese everywhere as a living treasure whose signature work is Lu Ding Ji. Lots of non Chinese have trouble understanding the depth of the rifts between the Han and the Manchurian peoples, and therefore misunderstand the many factors that led to the Opium Wars and the handover of Hong Kong to England. This work embodies the feelings of a people that include history and recorded experiences dating back hundreds and thousands of years. It is written by a man from mainland China who came to Hong Kong and received the kind of freedoms that allowed him to write this book. It was written nearly twenty years before the Tienanmen protests in 1989 yet answers a lot of questions westerners have about why and how Tienanmen happened, and also why the goals of that uprising continue to be so difficult to realize. I hope more people see the beauty and importance of Dr Cha's work and John Milford's brilliant translation enough to support new editions in physical and e-book formats.


Wonderbook: Book of Spells Starter Pack (Includes Wonderbook, Move Controller, Eye Camera and Book of Spells Game)
Wonderbook: Book of Spells Starter Pack (Includes Wonderbook, Move Controller, Eye Camera and Book of Spells Game)
Offered by Monsterbuy
Price: £47.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great experience could be even greater!, 30 Dec 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a serious Harry Potter fan who has read all the books, seen all the films and who has played Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 and Years 5-7 to 100% completion on Playstation 3. I was waiting for the WonderBook of Spells ever since I heard it was coming out and pre-ordered it.

Though I am American, I deliberately ordered it from Amazon UK as I wanted all instruction to be in British English, the original language of JKR's series. I managed to complete all five chapters of spells, though not to my satisfaction, so I'll be going through the book again until I can do all the spells backwards and forwards.

I am very impressed with the technology and craftsmanship that went into the making of this activity; it is indeed the closest one can get to actually casting magical spells. The voice instruction is lovely and the interaction is a treasure. Of course, the new canon by J.K. Rowling is priceless and makes it worth going back through the Wonderbook over and over just to hear the history of the spells, if you are a true lover of the story. Learners of this Goshawk's Book of Spells will, through their efforts in casting, learn their true corporeal Patronus, something just as exciting as learning your true House on Pottermore and getting your personalized wand. The integration with Pottermore is wonderful and it is a real joy to earn points for your own Hogwarts House while you learn to cast spells. You can feel yourself going into this via your TV, just like Harry went into the Pensieve in the books / movies.

Though I was never bored, I was rather disappointed it ended after just five chapters. I hope Sony / Pottermore will:

1) Create new chapters with lots more spells for us to learn and practice, adding on to our original Book of Spells.

2) Add a chapter to cover dueling using any combination of all spells we have learned for attack as well as defense.

3) Add a chapter that lists all the spells in the order learned that can be selectable for practice in saying spells along with casting them. In both the books and movies, spells must be spoken while casting for nearly all witches and wizards not as advanced as Dumbledore or other notable wizards. Sony could make it necessary to say the spells each time at the basic level, then after a number of high scores could eliminate the need to speak the spell, indicating the caster has achieved a high level of mental concentration (which indeed will happen if one casts enough times).

4) Add an advanced chapter that lets casters go around designated areas freely, encountering others who need help or situations requiring defense or attack. This section could have an instructor you could select out if you want to explore an area without help. (This is similar to the way 'free play' works in Lego Harry Potter).

5) It would be great if the technology improved to the point where our screen images are more solid and clear (sometimes my hands seem to get swallowed up in the images, and I appear somewhat grainy) and the character movements more fluid and natural (as with the latest CG animated films). It would also be great if the wand were not so large, a bit more slender to match that described in the books and as seen in the films. Technology allowing shared screens with others via the internet so we could cast spells together would be great too!

All in all, Miranda Goshawk's Book of Spells is a wonder to do and to behold if you are a true Harry Potter fan. The set, whether it includes PS3 or not, is not cheap so I am sure some cannot see the reason to make the investment for a bit of new canon and the chance to cast a spell or two. All I can say here is that if you are a Potterhead with the funds you will NOT be disappointed. And you can also use PS3 to see some great Harry Potter Blu-Ray DVDs complete with lots of special features as well as for other games. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves the series and would like to feel what it's like to learn like Harry, Ron and Hermione.


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