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Stephanie Noverraz "crooty" (Lausanne, Switzerland)

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The War Of The Flowers
The War Of The Flowers
von Tad Williams
  Taschenbuch

3.0 von 5 Sternen Nice but too long., 20. April 2006
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The War Of The Flowers (Taschenbuch)
Theo Vilmos is a 30-year-old rock singer from San Francisco. When we meet him, his world is slowly deteriorating around him: he doesn't get along with most of his younger band mates, his girlfriend dumps him after a miscarriage and his mother dies, leaving him only a diary who'd belonged to her uncle Eamonn Dowd.

So Theo acquires a forest lodge and retires there, trying to create a vacuum around him and take time to think about where his life is going. Having nothing better to do, at nights he starts reading his great uncle's diary, which turns out to be only a badly-written first person fairy tale novel.

Or so it seems, until the day Applecore arrives in his kitchen. The half-foot-tall, red-haired fairy explains she has been sent to watch over him and fetch him. But they soon discover that she's been followed by a hideous and deadly creature, and they have no choice but to escape by crossing to Faerie right away.

The rest of the book tells us of Theo's journey in this unknown world, discovering many different creatures and a much different society, sometimes making friends along the way. The fact that he finds himself in the middle of a war between the Flower lords -where he apparently has a role to play, telling from the number of people who are trying to get at him- and and that he's always on the run doesn't help, but he never seems to get used to this world, never understands how it works and seems completely lost throughout the whole novel. And us with him. It was nice but definitely too long, and I think I'm definitely not a fan of crossover fantasy.


The High Lord: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 3
The High Lord: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 3
von Trudi Canavan
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 5,40

14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very engrossing story., 14. Februar 2006
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 Novice: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 2
The Novice: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 2
von Trudi Canavan
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 5,40

5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very exciting!, 30. Januar 2006
Now that Lord Fergun has been sent into exile, Sonea is starting her first year as Novice at the Magician's Guild University, under Lord Rothen's guardianship. She's eager to learn, but being a slum girl she knows it won't be easy to be accepted by, not to mention make friends with, her wealthier and nobler classmates from the Houses. However, she far from conceives the depth of their scorn yet. Indeed one of them, Regin, probably because he simply can't stand a mere slum girl outdoing him, will rally the others and gang them up against her, bully her constantly, play pranks on her, repeatedly ambush her to exhaust her strength and destroy her notes. In other words, make her life hell.
In the meantime Lord Dannyl has taken up his new role of Second Guild Ambassador to Elyne. After an adventurous sea voyage, and after sorting out some of his appointed duties in the capital Capia, he finally has some time to himself to investigate Akkarin's journeys. Indeed, Administrator Lorlen, who suspects the High Lord of performing Black Magic, which is forbidden by the Guild's laws, has asked the young magician to retrace Akkarin's footsteps, ten years earlier. Doing so, Dannyl meets Tayend, a scholar who works at the Great Library and has an amazing memory. The handsome lad will aid him in research and they'll become close friends.
This middle novel is very exciting, I just couldn't put it down. All the loveable characters from the first volume are back, with the exception of Cery, whom we almost hear nothing of. Replacing Fergun, Regin is suitably despicable and irritating, and you can really feel Sonea's frustration when she can't find proof enough to expose him. The High Lord, although first depicted as the ultimate invincible villain, becomes more three-dimensional throughout the book, and I'm looking forward to reading the thrid installment to discover what his real motives are.


The Magicians' Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 1
The Magicians' Guild: The Black Magician Trilogy Book 1
von Trudi Canavan
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 5,50

7 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable and entertaining., 18. Januar 2006
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 (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library)
The Norse Myths (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library)
von Kevin Crossley-Holland
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,80

4.0 von 5 Sternen Must-have reference., 4. Januar 2006
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.


The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer (Penguin Classics)
The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer (Penguin Classics)
von Jesse L Byock
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,90

0 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Neither difficult nor boring, but not what I expected either, 11. November 2005
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 (Discworld, Band 33)
Going Postal (Discworld, Band 33)
von Terry Pratchett
  Taschenbuch

6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen From pillory to post..., 3. November 2005
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 (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Nibelungenlied (Dover Thrift Editions)
von Dover Thrift Editions
  Taschenbuch

0 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good for culture, but not very exciting., 19. Oktober 2005
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
von Douglas Adams
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,00

2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Not as hilarious as expected., 20. September 2005
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 Silmarillion.
The Silmarillion.
von John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 8,70

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A concise history of Middle-earth., 14. September 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Silmarillion. (Taschenbuch)
The Silmarillion is a quick glimpse into Tolkien's life's work, into his Creation. It tells of the making of Arda by Ilúvatar and the Ainur, of the coming of the Elves and Dwarves and Men to Middle-earth, but also of their corruption and the great battles that lead to the downfall of their civilization.
I read the Silmarillion for the first time 7 years ago, and I must admit my English wasn't good enough then, so I really struggled with the language. I wasn't as familiar with Tolkien's world as I am now either, having only read the Lord of the Rings in French two years before, so it only seemed to me like a confusing succession of names. I didn't enjoyed it.
Now, after a second attempt, I'm proud to announce I changed my view. Even though of course the Silmarillion still ressembles much more a history book than a novel, and even though I still found it hard to concentrate at times, and even though I still mixed all the characters' and places' names, I could match the words with John Howe's illustrations. Therefore everything took colour and became three-dimensional. And I even drew some of the scenes myself.
And now I want to read it again... so that must be a sign, right?


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