Kvothe by Mario Teodosio

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

Genre: (epic) FantasyThe Wise Man's Fear

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicles: Day Two

Rating: 10/10

“I’d heard he had started a fistfight in one of the seedier local taverns because someone had insisted on saying the word “utilize” instead of “use.”

This is Patrick Rothfuss second book and it is brilliant.  I’m not alone in this view, the book was a instant hit topping the New York Times list, garnering brilliant reviews at every turn.   George R. R. Martin is quoted as saying ,”The Wise Man’s Fear was worth the wait. I gulped it down in a day, staying up almost to dawn reading, and I am already itching for the next one. He’s bloody good, this Rothfuss guy.”.

“Death was like an unpleasant neighbor. You didn’t talk about him for fear he might hear you and decide to pay a visit.”

Kvothe, the eponymous king killer, became the most notorious living being only to give up his life of adventure and become a innkeeper in a backwater town.  He was sought after by Chronicler who convinces Kvothe to tell him his life story.  Kvothe declared that this would take three days; this is the book of the second day.

It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.

Continuing from the events of the previous book Kvothe decides to take a break from university life and to take up his search to uncover the truth of the Amyr and the Chandrian, the ones who killed his parents . Of course things are rarely as simple as they are planned to be. Kvothe begins his journey to become a living legend and fufil the requirements of the boast with which he introduced himself -

“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.”

This book has everything. It is seamless, mesmerizing book with wonderful prose – brilliant wit – stunning action and beautiful descriptions. It is incredibly enjoyable to read. To put it simply this and A Song of Ice and Fire are my two contenders for being the best on-going fantasy series. If you like the genre at all this is the book to read.

It was only then I realized I didn’t know the name of Elodin’s class. I leafed through the ledger until I spotted Elodin’s name, then ran my finger back to where the title of the class was listed in fresh dark ink: “Introduction to Not Being a Stupid Jackass.”
I sighed and penned my name in the single blank space beneath.

Love

“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”


The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
 

The Time-Machine by H. G. Wells

The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness.

Genre: Science FictionThe Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Rating: 10/10

The Time Machine, published way back in 1895, is one of the classic tales of science fiction. It was one of the first books to introduce the concept of a “time machine” ( a phrase that Wells coined) to the public. The story begins in London with the nameless narrator talking to his nameless friends at a dinner at which the Time Traveller (another nameless one) casually describes and the process of time travel – why it is possible and how it might be achieved. At the next weekly dinner the Time Traveller appears once more – severely battered and distressed – claiming to have travelled to the year A.D. 802 701. He then relates his truly extraordinary tale.

Instead of finding himself in a grand future society he finds the Eloi – small, vaguely human creatures who live above ground in run-down, crumbling buildings. They are peaceful, childlike but seemingly without intelligence or aim. However when he attempts to return to his time machine he finds that it has been take away by the Morlocks, caveman-ish beings who live in the dark underground, and hunt on the peaceful Eloi. He then begins the struggle to return to his own time and to understand how humanity degraded to this state.

Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.

Beneath it’s science fiction disguise the book is an expression of Well’s strong socialist views and his opinion on abundance (he really doesn’t like that) and industrial relations (in his time there was no actual relation – workers had long, arduous hours with little pay and less job security).

We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.

This book is became landmark in science fiction by introducing  the exciting and wonderful concept of a time machine. It is definitely a must read for any fan of science fiction or someone who wants a quick classic. Also as it is so old, it long ago fell into the Public Domain. Basically it means that it is legal to download the book as it is longer copyrighted. You can find it as a free e-book at Project Gutenberg. For those who don’t know Project Gutenberg aims at giving the public free access to all those classics which are now in the public domain.

And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers – shriveled now, and brown and flat and brittle – to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of men

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Genre: Fantasy (slightly dark)The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Rating: 7.5/10

Series: The Lightbringer – Book 1

Brent Weeks, author of the best-selling Night Angel trilogy seems to have decided  to create a world that is – thankfully – not as try-hard dark and gritty as his previous series. The premise is simple: Gavin Guile is the Prism (think high priest/emperor), the most powerful man in the world. He preserves the tenuous peace of The Seven Satrapies, with his wit, charm and the threat of the power he holds. For as the Prism he possesses the power to break apart the light around him and use it as a source of energy to wield how he wills it. But Prisms never last, and he knows exactly how long he has left to live – five years are left. Now after all of this I was pleasantly surprised – a fantasy story that doesn’t have a bewildered farm boy suddenly getting powers… but then I found out about Kip. A boy who feels that he’s “destined for something greater”. So there’s our usual farm boy, hooray! Balance being restored to the fantasy world we start meeting all the other characters and learn the back story of this epic.

Will covers a multitude of flaws, just as love covers a multitude of sins.

See Kip, one of the few survivors of a massacre ordered by the previous King, discovers that his father is the Prism (what a surprise) and that he to can draft the same extra-ordinary power. Despite the generic base Week still saved the day, with witty dialogue, surprising plot twists and a faced pace story that deviates suddenly throwing away all the reader’s expectations. That being said the book’s flaw is the luxurious use of clichés and stereotypes (can you guess the personality of Commander Ironfist?) with the characters. Although using archetypes everywhere he does depict his characters well, although at times the dialogue between them does feel stilted and slightly unreasonable.  However unlike the normal slow start of introducing all the characters, the magic system and setting Weeks decides to through you right in the midst at the beginning. This is interesting, energetic and fun. Until it isn’t. Then the struggle through the next hundred pages begins. And then the revelation of the actual plot – and what a plot. From writing straightforward character arcs and story progression to a twist so sudden and unexpected that the reader is forced to stop, think and ask, “Did that really just happen? But that means that….”.

You might want to think twice before you try to use a man’s conscience against him. It may turn out he doesn’t have one.

Although with a sudden start, and rapid cool down period, the sharp reveals, grand battles and brilliant climax saves the book. A warning that it’s a huge cliff-hanger but luckily enough the next book is already released (and it’s better).

It’s better that the innocent should live than that the guilty die

The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

Genre: FantasyThe Painted Man

Rating: 7/10

Series: The Demon Cycle (4 books)

Humanity has fallen from its glory; all that is left is small societies fighting to survive against the hordes of the night. For at night demons from the core arise, coming to slaughter and destroy everything around them. This is the premise of the first book of the Demon Cycle by the fairly new author Peter V. Brett. The Painted Man (also known as the Warded Man) is a very enjoying, medium length book (544 pages paperback) and for the first book of an author it is very well written. It isn’t perfect; there are some moments when the character’s actions are unrealistic with heavy reliance on stereotypes in the creation of the minor characters. However the book is still very enjoyable and with an interesting world and plot (once more details have been revealed) and excellent action scenes.

I don’t pretend to see the path, but I know it’s there all the same. One day, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever missed it.

In this (slightly) post-apocalyptic world travel has been virtually eradicated as no sane person will travel during the night – the demons can only be kept at bay by warded buildings. The wards, strange symbols and patterns, prevent demons from entering a space enclosed by wards. Once, long ago there were wards of attack but they are lost in the recesses of time. Now man cannot fight against the demons, only prolong their struggle with defences that are constantly tested to breaking. But there is one man who still has the will to fight.

The book conveys a sense of adventure and action throughout while still providing a good plot and world. It is not a hack-and-slash story like those of David Gemmell but neither is it a sprawling epic saga like A Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire. I would have to say that it occupies that middle ground between these two. It’s most similar to Brent Weeks’, Patrick Rothfuss’s or Trudi Canavan’s series and I would hazard that if you liked them then this book will be a definite enjoyment to read.

Every child finds a day when the realize that adults can be weak and wrong just like everyone else. After that day, you are an adult. Like it or not

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Crime (detective)The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Rating: 10/10

Quick Version: The best of the Sherlock novel’s – a must read for fans of crime

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle began writing his stories of the consulting detective, Sherlock in 1887. Famous for his logical reasoning and use of forensic science that allow him to make deductions in a seemingly effortless manner, his name has become a byword for detective. He left his mark in 4 novels and 56 short stories. The Hound of the Baskervilles is generally regarded as the best of them.

The novel marks the first appearance of Sherlock since his intended death in the short story The Final Problem and it’s tremendous effect led to his eventual revival in The Adventure of the Empty House. In BBC’s the Big Read the book was placed as the 128th “best-loved novel”.

Plot

In recent years Sir Charles Baskerville had become fearful over the legendary family curse, a spectral hound set against the family in 1742, thinking that the hound was chasing after him. Which was dismissed as an old man’s fantasy, until the same old man died. He seemed to have been running away from something when he experienced a heart attack – the only evidence near him being footprints of a enormous hound near the body. Fearing for the heir of Sir Baskerville his friend Dr Mortimer travels to London to ask Sherlock Holmes for help.

Conclusion

One of the staples of crime novels this captivating read is sure to leave the reader amazed at the wonders of Sherlock Holmes.

 

Working’s of the mind

I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.  A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands on it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic.  He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order.  It is a mistake to think that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent.  Depend upon it – there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before.  It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones. - Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Boredom

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.” - Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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