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Funny the things you remember

July 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Its funny sometimes how memories creep up on you and associated feelings and periods in time that you had perhaps forgotten become important in an instance.

I was out this evening for a leaving do of a colleague from my current job,  in Guildford , a town that has played a significant role in a large part of my late teen and early adult years. It was strange walking through the town and seeing both the things that where the same and those that had changed so much so that the times I remember seem like a bygone era.

Thinking about it, an era is perhaps what it has been, it was the ages of 16-23 that I spent most of time in this town  over a decade ago now, which when put in those terms seems a lot longer ago than perhaps I would like it to be. Since then most of the friends have moved on, we still catch up on Facebook and comment on the important events like moves, funerals, new arrivals and perhaps even meet in person for the odd “special” birthday celebration, but to all intense and purposes it might as well have been another lifetime.

But returning to this evening, as I walked back from the top of town and (at least in my eyes) the newly christened MKB bar, the rain soaking me through and my feet taking me down back ally’s and through shortcuts that they still remembered but I had long forgotten, i was transported to not one, but an amalgamation of nights from my early twenties.

As I walked past the now abandoned shell of Old Orleans and past the (new) Odeon my feet could have easily carried me onward past the station on on to the then girlfriend, now wife’s student Diggs, that I would have crashed at on a regular basis a few hours later but a decade earlier.

I couldn’t tell you which night I was thinking off, or why this particular combination of rain, dripping clothes and alcohol conjured up images of those years gone past, but what I can say is that for a brief fleeting moment I was stumbling home from a night out at CR’s (Cinderella’s, Dusk or TIME as it was known across the years), having missed the last train and desperately hoping that girlfriend (now Wife) was awake enough and not mad enough to let me stay the night.

DAY 3. – The longest book you’ve read.

August 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Unfortunately it seems that my sleeping pattern still wasn’t quite back to normal, as a brief lay down at around 9pm yesterday resulted in me not waking up until gone 10am this morning hence the no post last night.

Anyways moving on to the next topic of the 30 day challenge, the longest book I have read.

Which I was fairly sure was going to come from one of two series, Wheel of Time or The Malazan Book of the Fallen and I am pretty sure I am right. It is possible that I have read others that are off a similar length or perhaps even longer but taking a good look around my book collection these are the ones that stand out.

After a little Googling and a trip to Wikipedia it turns out that 4th book in the Wheel of Time “The Shadow Rising”  takes the biscuit at a massive 1001 pages and 393, 823 words, almost 3000 words more than “Toll the Hounds” from Steven Erikson.

It also has some of my favorite parts of the story, the history of the Aiel, Matt gets his Medallion and Spear, and Perrin first steps up to become a leader in his own right.

I can’t really talk about it much more for fear of spoiling it for anyone out there who has not yet read the Wheel of Time so I guess that is the end of tonight’s blog, with the exception of telling that if you haven’t read it is worth doing so, all 4,056,130 words and 11,916 pages of it.

DAY 2. – Favorite side character

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Before I could make this decision I had to really think about what I would call a “side character”, it could technically apply to anyone who isn’t the main protagonist but many of the people that came to mind in my opinion are really main characters in their own right.

Matt or Perrin for example from the Wheel of Time are both favourites of mine for different reasons but whilst they are part of the group that surrounds Rand, they get to much page time to really be anything other than main characters.

Similarly Monk, Painter and Seichan from the Sigma Force series are all in contention but again the “heroes” are so interchangeable in the books that no one of them could really be called a “side character.”

Last of all before narrowing it down to final two, Death from the Discworld series was a strong favourite but again with a chunk of books in which he is the main character I decided it really wasn’t a fair choice.

So in the end it turned out be a battle between two characters from the same series, to be honest it is more than likely this is influenced by my recent reading material but it came down to either Shade or Darkhorse from Richard Knaak’s  Dragonrealm series.

It was a tough choice, but in the end I settled on Shade.

This shadowy warlock, first crops up in original book Firedrake introducing himself with his enigmatic statement “you can call me Simon, this time.”

A being both respected and feared by both his friends and enemies and character you never really know you can trust, cursed to walk the Dragonrealm as a result of his failed attempt at immortality he is torn between the powers that he tried to harness to achieve his goal, being reincarnated after each death never knowing if he will serve the powers of good or evil.

He has spent a majority of his years either committing acts so heinous they remembered across the centuries or desperately trying to make up for the destruction that he caused in his previous incarnation.

As the series goes on we learn about this shadowy warlock, which add depth to this already complex character. Its somewhat of a shame that the books detailing some of the history of the world and his first incarnation make it a little too obvious who he is considering that up until this point in the series he has never given his actual name, this could have been achieved with a little more suspense and surprise I felt.

I first encountered this book about 8/9 years ago and at the time was disappointed  it was a solo effort, it was only recently after reading some of Knaaks Warcraft titles that I even became aware a series existed.

Recently Shade has got his own book, but I have yet to have to chance to read it as  I still have one or two of the proceeding books to catch up on.

DAY 1. – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just end already.

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

As with most of these questions this one was pretty difficult, there are so many series that I have come to the end and genuinely felt sad that I would no longer be visiting that particular county of the imagination and any that I have wished would just end already were in a positive way simply so I could experience the ending or get the pay off that I had been waiting for as opposed to just hoping it would be over.

Two such series that would fall pretty much into either category would be the Dark Tower series and the Wheel of Time, there where periods in both where I wished that they would just get on with it and bring the epic conclusion that I knew would be waiting, at the same time upon reaching that end point I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss and a longing to return to both worlds.

Although after some careful consideration my nomination for this would have to be The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and it would definitely fall under the “Wish had gone on Longer” category.

I loved these books, whilst only a trilogy not the usual sprawling epic of traditional fantasy series it managers to deliver an epic story in those three books that can sometimes be lacking in many a 10 book marathon

With at least to my knowledge two unique magic systems, a host of interesting and unique “monsters” a band of heroes that you can really get behind and splattering of twists along the way this is one of my favourite fantasy series and it was my enjoyment of these titles that led to faith in him to finish the Wheel of Time.

If you haven’t yet read it I strongly recommend you do, it is one that any fantasy reader and writer should pick up as an example of someone trying to do something a little different with the genre. 

A Memory of Light

January 8, 2013 Leave a comment

Robert Jordan

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”

Robert Jordan

This evening I am filled with a massive sense of excitement, but it is tinged with a little bit of sadness and the reason for both these emotions is the same.

The End is finally here, Today “A Memory of Light” the 14th and final book in the Wheel of Time series has been released*.

I don’t remember exactly when I started reading “Eye of the World” I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t when it was first release, as I was about 11 then, and whilst I was already well into reading and had set upon the path that lead to my love of the Fantasy Genre, I think I was still in my Duncton Wood phase at that point.

So whilst I haven’t waited as long as some for the final instalment, I can safely say that it is over a Decade.

Its release to do has got me back into my reading habit, which whilst it has never gone away often takes a back seat to the blinking electronic screens. I’ve yet to start reading the first page as I really need a refresher before reading what, is probably the most anticipated book I’ve ever read and with approx 11,004 pages (4,056,130 Words) worth of catching up to do I better get back to it!

 

 

*Damn Kindle Version is not available until April 9th, whilst I would have also bought the Hard Back copy I realy wanted to read it tonight!

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