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Stephanie Noverraz "crooty" (Lausanne, Switzerland)

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The High Lord: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 3
The High Lord: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 3
par Trudi Canavan
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 5,62

4 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A very engrossing story., 14 février 2006
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The High Lord: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 3 (Poche)
It's been a year since the Challenge, and Sonea is finally treated with some respect by the other novices.
This third and final volume first concentrates on the mysterious murders that have been recently committed in the city of Imardin. One thing is certain, Black Magic has been used to kill these people. Aware of the High Lord's secret knowledge of this forbidden power, Administrator Lorlen and Lord Rothen's are more and more lead to think that the murderer might be Akkarin.
However, Sonea knows these dead are actually Sachakan slaves sent by their master to kill the High Lord, so the latter was merely defending himself. But she still finds it hard to feel at ease around her Guardian, and Akkarin needs her trust. He has no choice but to share his secret story with her, telling her of Kariko's desire to avenge his brother Dakova's death, and of his impending invasion with other Ichani, outcast Sachakan black magicians, each a hundred times stronger than several Guild Magicians. As utter destruction threatens the city of Imardin, Kyralia and the rest of the Allied Lands face reduction of its entire people to slavery.
In the meantime, Cery has earned respect among the Thieves, and befriended a Sachakan woman who says she can help him predict the next murders. As for Ambassador Dannyl, he's back in Elyne to investigate on a band of rebel magicians.
I absolutely loved witnessing the evolution of Akkarin's character, as well as that of his relationship with Sonea. Their trek in the mountains created images that reminded me of the Kalbarri and Karijini gorges in Australia, the ambush in Calia was in the vein of a great Clint Eastwood Western, and the final chase in the twisted streets of Imardin was like a giant game of hide-and-seek. My only regret is I wish there were more loose ends tied up after the grand finale, which concludes a little too abruptly in my opinion. Otherwise it's a fantastic series, a very engrossing story.


The Magicians' Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 1
The Magicians' Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 1
par Trudi Canavan
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 4,90

18 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable and entertaining., 18 janvier 2006
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Magicians' Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 1 (Poche)
It's the beginning of winter in the city of Imardin, it's the day of the Purge. Like every year for thirty years, the streets are being cleared of beggars, homeless vagrants and suspected criminals, and Sonea, her aunt Jonna and uncle Ranel have just been kicked out of the stayhouse they've been living in for years. Sonea has been sent ahead to see if they can get a room at their old place before the guards and magicians drive them beyond the Outer Circle.
Reaching the North Square where a large crowd has gathered, she meets some street youths, among which her friends Cery and Harrin. As a row of Magicians begin to push people forward, the young boys start their yearly sport of throwing stones at them, the missiles expectedly bouncing off the invisible magical shield. When she hears a fair-haired, well-groomed magician insulting them through the barrier, Sonea's hand tightens around the rock in her pocket. Holding her breath, she watches as the stone flies through the air and in a flash of blue light, slams into the magician's temple.
Bedazzled, she quickly understands there can only be one explanation to what just happened: she used magic. She has to hide.
The first half of the book describes Sonea's flight through the city streets, convinced that the magicians want to punish her for hurting one of them, and because surely no "dwell" may use magic, it's reserved for the wealthy families of the Houses.
Her friend Cery will convince the Thieves to help her, but as she tries to master her newly discovered powers, they only grow stronger, uncontrollable and very dangerous. Fearing for the safety of the neighbourhood, the Thieves finally turn her in.
In the second half, Sonea is at the Magicians' Guild, under the guidance of the Alchemist Lord Rothen whose job is to teach her Control before she decides to stay and maybe later become a Healer, or leave and go back to the slums with her powers blocked forever. In the meantime Lord Fergun, the Warrior magician who was hit by the stone, is planning his revenge.
After reading several reference books and standalone novels, it's good to be back with a good old fantasy trilogy! Although the story is rather linear and straightforward, the intrigue woven into the plot makes it a real page-turner. As a whole, the book is not extremely mind-boggling, but all the same very enjoyable and entertaining, with loveable characters such as Sonea's friend Cery, or Lord Rothen and his former pupil Lord Dannyl. I'm excited to read the second volume: The Novice.


The Norse Myths
The Norse Myths
par Kevin Crossley-Holland
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 13,15

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Must-have reference., 4 janvier 2006
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Norse Myths (Broché)
Finally I've found it: the book of tales of Odin, and Thor, and Bifrost, and Ragnarok! What a pleasure to read the tales that inspired so much of the world's fantasy literature! Here you'll find the background stories behind and the likes of Beowulf, the Nibelungenlied or the Volsungs' Saga, and obviously the roots of Professor Tolkien's own Middle-Earth mythology, so numerous are the similarities.
Not only are the thirty-two myths comprised in this translation very well told and captivating, but the introduction and notes are very complete and interesting, not to mention the very practical glossary and index. I haven't read Snorri Sturluson's Edda so I can't compare, but I'm pretty sure Kevin Crossley-Holland's is one of the best reference books on the subject, a must-have on one's shelf.


Beowulf
Beowulf
par Seamus Heaney
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 9,98

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Something to read again., 25 novembre 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Beowulf (Broché)
This 3182-line-long Anglo-Saxon poem tells the story of Beowulf, a mighty Geat hero warrior, who comes to the rescue of the Danish king, Hrothgar, when the latter's mead hall Heorot is attacked by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills the beast bare-handed and gains great renown, and later sets off to slay Grendel's mother as well. After going back to Sweden and reigning for over fifty years, he'll die wresting with yet another creature, a dragon.
The poem has a nice cadence, which pushes you forward, and Seamus Heaney's modern English translation is very enjoyable to read. I regret not having been able to concentrate on the poem all the time (I was sometimes distracted by personal concerns and my mind started wandering off), and I think this is something I'll definitely read again.


The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer
The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer
par Jesse L Byock
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 8,75

1 internaute sur 2 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Neither difficult nor boring, but not what I expected either, 11 novembre 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer (Broché)
The saga of the Volsungs is a compound of old Norse lays. The first part tells the story of Sigurd's ancestry and of his quest to slay the dragon Fafnir. The second is very similar to the Nibelungenlied, with characters such as King Gunnar, Hogni and Brynhild.
Once again, even though Odin, the Valkyries and other supernatural beings appear here and there in the first part, I was expecting this book to comprise much more Norse mythology, such as tales of Yggdrasil, Bifrost and Ragnarok. Maybe I should give a try to the Prose Edda?
Anyway, it wasn't too difficult or boring, and of course it was nice to spots some of Tolkien's sources of inspiration.


Going Postal
Going Postal
par Terry Pratchett
Edition : Poche

5.0 étoiles sur 5 From pillory to post..., 3 novembre 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Going Postal (Poche)
This is the 29th Discword novel, but can be read as a stand-alone.
26-year-old Moist von Lipwig is a talented con artist. Or used to be: this morning he (well actually his "Mr Spangler" identity) was hanged. At least that's what the citizens of Ankh-Morpork witnessed. In truth, Moist von Lipwig was secretly and discreetly "rescued" by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari, and proposed a unturndownable challenge: to become the city's new Postmaster.
The book tells of how he'll get Ankh-Morpork's ancient postal service up and running again, with the help of Mr Groat the old postman, of Stanley the pinhead and keeper of the Rules, of Miss Adora Belle Dearheart of the Golem Trust, and of his parole officer Mr Pump.
Of course he'll face many obstacles, especially in this modern world where clacks can deliver a message in the blink of a shutter tower... yes, but there's been an unusual number of deaths on the clacks lately... Could he outrun them?
Going Postal hooked me right from the start. It was so exciting to explore the Post Office's old building, literally packed with old, undelivered mail, and to witness the invention of stamps... Of course Death makes his usual appearance (or apparition?), and the punny references (to The Lord of the Rings, the Internet, etc) are legion. The final race reminded me of an old film, the title of which I can't for the life of me remember, where some old fashioned service competes against the modern one... oh well. With this book, as well as with Monstrous Regiment and the Tiffany Aching sub-series, it seems to me that Sir Terry Pratchett is finally back on track after some years at half throttle.


The Nibelungenlied
The Nibelungenlied
par D. G. Mowatt
Edition : Broché

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good for culture, but not very exciting., 19 octobre 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Nibelungenlied (Broché)
The Nibelungenlied is an old Germanic poem composed of two parts.
In the first half we learn about the warrior hero Sifrid, the extremely rich and magically strong Netherlandic prince of the Nibelung and of his quest to win the heart of fair Kriemhilde, princess of Burgundy, King Gunther's sister.
Later, there's a rumour that Brünnhilde of Iceland has set up an impossible challenge where the prize is no less than her hand.
King Gunther travels to Iceland to take up this competition With the help of his friend Hagen of Tronege, among others, and that of Sifrid's special powers. But for this he has to pretend that Sifrid is only his vassal. This will lead to a terrible quiproquo between both brides, many hurt prides, secret plottings, and finally to the death of Sifrid by Hagen of Tronege's hand.
The second half tells us of Kriemhilde's incosolable grief, which will turn into an insatiable hunger for revenge against her brother and Hagen, resulting in total carnage.
Probably misinformed, or also mislead by childhood memories of Saint Seiya (where I first heard of the Ring of the Nibelungen), I was expecting tales of Odin and Ragnarok. The fantasy part is actually rather small, as it only consists of the special powers Sifrid gets from the cloak of invisibility he won from a dwarf called Alberich. The story is a bit repetitive, perhaps because of the stances structure (even though this is the prose translation), and I didn't really care for any of the characters. In the beginning, I was on Kriemhilde's side, but in the end she caused too much death and destruction. As a whole, I will say that this was good for my general literary culture, but not a very exciting read.


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
par Douglas Adams
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 5,83

6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not as hilarious as expected., 20 septembre 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Poche)
This is the story of an Englishman called Arthur Dent, and how he's saved from the destruction of the planet Earth by his friend Ford Perfect, who's in fact not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.
I read this book because I wanted to do so before seeing the film, and because I wanted to know the Answer to the Great Question to Life, the Universe and Everything (well to tell you the truth, I actually knew the Answer, but I wanted to know the Question, too), and because I'm a great fan of English humour (Pratchett, Monty Pythons). But overall, I was a teensy-weensy bit disappointed, probably because I'd heard so much praise about it, I really expected to laugh my buttocks off, and I didn't. OK, I chuckled quite a bit and even guffawed sometimes, but it wasn't as hilarious as I thought it'd be.
You've got to love Marvin the paranoid android though.


The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
par C. S. Lewis
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 5,45

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not much more to add., 5 juillet 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Poche)
This is the fifth (chronologically) Chronicle of Narnia (after The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian, and before The Silver Chair; The Last Battle).
This book takes Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their annoying bully of a cousin Eustace, once again to the land of Narnia, more precisely on the Great Eastern Ocean, on Prince Caspian's ship, the Dawn Treader.
Caspian and Reepicheep the valiant talking mouse, are indeed on a quest to the Lone Islands, where they hope to find the seven lords Caspian's tyrannic uncle Miraz sent into exile.
On this trip, the children will meet dragons and merpeople, as well as strange one-legged creatures called the Dufflepuds. Lucy will again be very brave, and Eustace will learn to become a better person. Together they wil travel to the End of the World, in search of Aslan's country.
I'm sorry I don't have many more comments to add since the previous volumes. I liked this book, but I can't say whether it's better than the others or not. I just wasn't captivated by the story, except maybe in a chapter or two. The overly talkative Reepicheep tended to get on my nerves, and although the passage with the boat treading the sea of lilies was quite enchanting, the ending was too allegorical for me. Gosh am I getting to old?


The Wee Free Men
The Wee Free Men
par Terry Pratchett
Edition : Poche

5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Absolutely loved it!, 16 juin 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Wee Free Men (Poche)
This is the story of Tiffany Aching, a 9-year-old farmers' daughter, living in a green, hilly, full-of-sheep countryside named the Chalk (DW). One day when she's walking by the river with her capricious baby brother Wentworth, she's attacked by Jenny Green-Teeth, a monster with long teeth and eyes as wide as eight-inch soup plates. Nightmares are invading the land.
Not long after, Wentworth is kidnapped by the Queen of FairyLand. Following the advice of Miss Tick, a witch she met at the village fair, and her talking toad, and with the help of the Nac Mac Feegles, the blue-skinned little pictsies with the strong Scottish accent, she arms herself with a frying pan and her Granny's book on Diseases of the Sheep, and sets off in searched of her brother.
Beside being extremely funny and packed with action, The Wee Free Men is also a really sweet book, full of Tiffany's fond memories of Granny Aching, who was a famous shepherd of the Chalk, and a kind of witch in her own way. It's a story both for adults and children, telling you to look at the World around you, and teaching you, in a light way, the respect of Nature or other moral values. This might well be my favourite Discworld book, I absolutely loved it!


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