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madradubh (The Universe)

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The Dragons: 6 (Dragonlance)
The Dragons: 6 (Dragonlance)
by Douglas Nile
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent History, 9 Dec. 2007
The purpose of this book is to 'flesh out' the world of Krynn - it is the sixth in a series of 'Lost Histories', however it is considered the 'first' in canon reading by die-hard fans. Nile has done a decent job here - it is a large epic written at a great pace and yes, many leads die but it covers history from 9000 years prior to the first Catacylsm right through to the end of the Age of Might. Nile covers events at a good spped and has done a great justice to the species of Dragons on krynn. I will wholeheartedly admit there are flaws with the text - some glaring grammatical errors and erroneous plotting - but the purpose of the book is for a guide for die-hards. Worth reading if you are a loyal fan.


Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Lost Chronicles) (The Lost Chronicles)
Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Lost Chronicles) (The Lost Chronicles)
by Margaret Weis
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ill Conceived..., 9 Dec. 2007
This book slots into the end of books 1 & 2 of Dragons of a Winter Night and tells the story of the death of Feal-Thas in Icereach and how Kitiara recruits Lord Soth to the Emperor's legions. This should be a brilliant addition to the Dragonlance canon with Weis & hickman at the helm but sadly it is far from it...
The book's structure is alarmingly poor and you really do get the sense that they were writing to a deadline - they seemed to have decided that the second half of the book would resolve things very quickly. The first half is a very laboured series of recaps and Weis & Hickman trying to be clever with plot by putting minor characters into the 'same room' as the companions and letting their perspective unfold. This is most apparent in the siege of Tarsis section - the writing is very lazy and essentially recaps the assault on Tarsis from the perspective of three Solamnic knights. A particular low point is discovering that Aran, knight of the Crown who hit Tanis in the face with a tomato during the riot... poor.
Furthermore by the final 50 pages of the book it is so structurally bad that we have chapters lasting a mere 3 pages as the writers career recklessly from events in Icereach to Kitiara's journey to Dargard Keep. The whole conclusion to the book smacks of genuine laziness and a rushed deadline set. The drama promised in Icereach is disappointing to say the least.
No doubt stalwarts of the series will buy this book, I just hope you are not as a let down as I was. The real concern is the final part of this trilogy - Raistlin's gaining the Dark Robes, I hope they improve considerably with that tale. That is a story many of us have been waiting nearly two decades for...


DRAGONS OF THE DWARVEN DEPTHS: 1 (Dragonlance Novel: The Lost Chronicles (Paperback))
DRAGONS OF THE DWARVEN DEPTHS: 1 (Dragonlance Novel: The Lost Chronicles (Paperback))
by Margaret Weis
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.22

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a try..., 9 Dec. 2007
Undoubtedly many die-hard fans were waiting for a longtime for the gaps to be filled in on tales alluded to in the orignal series. This is Weis & Hickman's first effort at trying to answer those questions.
This is a work promised to us for nearly a decade by Weis & Hickman and it duly delivers. The plotting is good answering a raft of questions and keeping with the Dragonlance canon - something Weis (in particular)has been guilty of in the past - asserting their ownership of the franchise and smashing away Krynn history and canon - in their defence, they did create it...
However after the distinctly average 'War of the Souls' series, we find both writers on fine form here. The plot is fast paced (yes there are fillers -it is a common feature now of modern books that they recount plot ad infinitum - Trudi Canavan's 'Magicians' Guild' drove me crazy with the recap nearly every section in her trilogy)and very witty at times - Tas' sense of comedy has rarely shined better on occasion in this book. You can tell that Hickman & Weis are very comfortable around these characters, they own the page when they write as well as this. A great start to a hopefully very enjoyable series. Well done Weis & Hickman.


Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawnin (TSR Fantasy)
Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawnin (TSR Fantasy)
by Margaret Weis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Contribution to the Field, 9 Dec. 2007
Without a shadow of doubt the 'originals' are always the best. This brilliant collection holds the first 3 original Dragonlance books - Autumn, Winter and Spring. Weis & Hickman created a masterful series which still enthralls readers to this day. I have yet to find a modern series which rivals this - even Trudi Canavan's 'Magician's Guild' is not a patch on this work.
Published in the 1980s during the height of American 'D&D' craze, this trilogy has lasted the test of time. It a well rounded epic with all the important components which make great drama regardless of the genre. My favourite quote about this work is that a 'collection for what to read after the Rings...' surely there is no higher accolade than that. If you do not own this collection or the books seperately, buy them you will not be disappointed. A truly stunning achievement in my humble opinion.


Jla One Million TP (JLA (DC Comics Unnumbered Paperback))
Jla One Million TP (JLA (DC Comics Unnumbered Paperback))
by Grant Morrison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Comic Work, 14 July 2006
Morrison, who cut his teeth in the industry with UK stalwarts like 2000AD made the move to US comics over a decade now. He is a single-handed revolutionary force in the industry and this is the case with this seminal work. An innovative, imaginative work that grabs you from the opening, the JLA like you have never seen them, a must in for the genre.


Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience (PC)
Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience (PC)

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sorry end to the whole affair, 28 May 2006
This game was undoubtedly one of the most innovative games for its time and believe me, I lived on it. Sadly SOE (Sony) have messed it with on several occasions now to the point where it is unrecognisable. They created an NGE system which has aimed it at the WOW teenagers, and it failed spectacularily. Furthermore, this game is unique in that six months after the controversial changes former vets like myself are still writing and talking about it. This is an excellent example of how to truly destroy a game. I recently re-visited my old guild (Go AF!!) and found that out of 350 members no one and I mean NO ONE was left online. Mass exodus into better games, please avoid at all costs save your money and buy something. Truly devastating turn of events with this game.


Mao: The Unknown Story
Mao: The Unknown Story
by Jung Chang
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please be cautious, 15 May 2006
This review is from: Mao: The Unknown Story (Hardcover)
Jung Chang, author of the magnificent 'Wild swans' enters the murky political arena of Chinese politics. This is an engaging read with a great deal of research, which aims to dispel some of the myths concerning the rise of the CCP and most notably its' leader, Mao Zedong.

Herein lies the problem with this work which boasts on its' front cover; 'The Unknown Story', it claims to have unearthed controversial new evidence about the real CCP. This is the problem with this work, the truth is I bought this book eagerly on its' release and have to admit I was disappointed. The book offers little or no new insight into the hisoty of the CCP and more importatnly Mao. Anyone who has read the remarkable works of Terill or Short will come away from finishing this work thinking, 'what's new here?' Frankly very little, I will offer this advice, academically it carries little weight but is an excellent introduction to the history of the CCP - but it is no more than that, nothing new here.


Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings (Oxford World's Classics)
Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings (Oxford World's Classics)
by Thomas Paine
Edition: Paperback

34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cornerstone of modern human rights..., 20 Mar. 2006
Paine's work and life is the embodiment of human rights - he was exiled from England - fled to USA where he helped with the constitution - he was invited to France to help the new revolutionary constitution of 1789. He is a colossus in modern world history and his value can never be estimated high enough. A remarkable man who desired very simple but unattainable things - decent treatment for all. Paine's Declaration is a must for any student of politics or just anyone who cares about their fellow human beings...


Byzantium: The Decline and Fall
Byzantium: The Decline and Fall
by John Julius Norwich
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning conclusion to an amazing trilogy, 20 Mar. 2006
I defy you not to read this work in one sitting. Norwich's final hours of Byzantium are tinged with sadness, stupidity and remarkable valour on the part of the final Emperor. This is a beautiful book which leaves the reader's curiosity about this remarkable empire parched - you will want to study more about Byzantium when you finish this trilogy - Norwich's account of the siege of 1453 is amazing - filled with real empathy for the people he has divested a great deal of time he has spent writing about. A stunning conclusion to his 'magnus opus.'


Byzantium: v. 2: The Apogee.: The Apogee v. 2
Byzantium: v. 2: The Apogee.: The Apogee v. 2
by John Julius Norwich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the remarkable saga..., 20 Mar. 2006
Whilst this book is not an academic text it is a blistering account of the middle years of the Eastern Roman Empire. I like the fact that Norwich does not examine everyday life in Byzantium - we have plenty of texts which do that. No, this book's sole purpose is to introuduce the reader to a remarkable forgotten empire. His narrative pace is wonderful and he nevers leaves you behind on his whirlwind tour of Byzantine history. A great history book - you'll not be dissapointed.


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