Review: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz By L. Frank Baum


FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

THE FITTINGLY WONDERFUL MODERN FAIRY TALE WITH BRAINS, HEART AND COURAGE THAT BECAME A TIMELESS CLASSIC

 

Book CoverThe Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
(The Oz Series, Book 1)

L. Frank Baum

Genre: Children’s Classic, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: Hesperus Press
Format: Paperback, 448 Pages
Date: 1st April 2013 (First Published 1900)

ISBN-10: 1843913909
ISBN-13: 978-1843913900

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

In the introduction to his defining work, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, American children’s author, L. Frank Baum mentioned that his purpose in writing the story was to bring about a new kind of fairy tale for children to enjoy. He was of the view that the traditional fairy tales of old should essentially be confined to the dustbin of history; that it was no longer required for children’s stories to be cautionary tales with moral lessons to impart, as morality was now part of a modern education. His goal was to make his book a modernised fairy tale that retained the excitement and entertainment, but did away with all the moralising. Whether his opinion of traditional fairy tales has merit or not is for others to decide.

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Review: The Lies Of Locke Lamora By Scott Lynch


THEY SEEK HIM HERE, THEY SEEK HIM THERE

AN ELUSIVE CON ARTIST FINDS HIMSELF EMBROILED IN THE DEADLY SCHEME OF A FOE EVEN MORE ELUSIVE

 

Book CoverThe Lies Of Locke Lamora
(Gentleman Bastard Series, Book 1)

Scott Lynch

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 544 Pages
Date: 1st February 2007 (First Published 2006)

ISBN-10: 0575079754
ISBN-13: 978-0575079755

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Warning! This book is liable to make your blood boil if (like this reviewer) you have a deep antipathy towards criminals and criminality. The “hero” of the story, and his associates, are not just criminals, they are the unrepentant variety who take great pleasure in their scumbaggery, and the misery they cause. If their victims were also criminals it would be less of an issue; however, as this is not the case, every misfortune that befalls these lowlifes will warm your heart, while, by the same token, any time they escape their just comeuppance will leave you bemoaning how unfair life is.

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Review: The Curse Of Chalion By Lois McMaster Bujold


A DARK CLOUD HANGS OVER THE HOUSE OF CHALION

A RELUCTANT HERO IS THRUST INTO THE ROLE OF SAVIOUR, TO PROTECT THE ROYAL HEIR TO THE THRONE FROM A SINISTER CURSE

 

Book CoverThe Curse Of Chalion
(World Of The Five Gods, Book 1)

Lois McMaster Bujold

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 448 Pages
Date: 11th April 2006 (First Published 2000)

ISBN-10: 0061134244
ISBN-13: 978-0061134241

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Lois McMaster Bujold is an author whose name is, perhaps, synonymous with science fiction. However, no reader could have any genuine concerns when a writer of her calibre chooses to step somewhat out of her comfort zone to write a high fantasy novel. Bujold is, after all, one of the most acclaimed and decorated genre authors ever, with four Hugo Awards for best novel to her name; equalling Robert Heinlein’s record. That being the case, it should come as no surprise to learn that The Curse Of Chalion is a splendid novel, coming as it does, from a writer with such a pedigree.

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Review: Prince Caspian By C.S. Lewis


THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO NARNIA

IN THE HOUR OF GREATEST NEED THE PEVENSIE SIBLINGS ARE CALLED BACK TO NARNIA TO SAVE THE DAY ONCE AGAIN

 
Book CoverPrince Caspian
(The Chronicles Of Narnia, Book 4)

C.S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 224 Pages
Date: 1st February 2009 (First Published 1951)

ISBN-10: 0007323115
ISBN-13: 978-0007323111

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Let’s get the trivia out of the way first. Prince Caspian was the second book of The Chronicles Of Narnia to be published, in 1951, though the events narrated therein make it chronologically the fourth story of the series. So being, effectively, the direct sequel to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, the book marks the inevitable return to Narnia of the four Pevensie siblings; Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. After all, once a king (or queen) in Narnia, always a king (or queen) in Narnia.

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In Coming: Brand New Releases For March (2016)


WHAT’S ON THIS MONTHS RELEASE SCHEDULE?

Take a gander at some of the most noteworthy book releases for the third month of 2016.

 

This month there are over thirty new titles vying for the attention of genre fans. These include a few first instalments of new book series as well as a several sequels to ongoing series. Which of these offerings will succeed in persuading you to add them to your reading lists this March?

Note:
Based primarily on UK publication dates.

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Review: The Phantom Tollbooth By Norton Juster


MAKING LITERACY AND NUMERACY COOL FOR KIDS

THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A BORED SCHOOLBOY WITH TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS

 

Book CoverThe Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster
 

Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 272 Pages
Date: 3rd March 2008 (First Published 1961)

ISBN-10: 0007263481
ISBN-13: 978-0007263486

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

The Phantom Tollbooth is one of those children’s books that should be one of the defining reads of every bookworm’s childhood; much like The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is. I certainly have fond memories of my first reading of it as a young schoolboy. But whereas C.S. Lewis’ classic is a very easy book to categorise and describe (being an age old tale of good triumphing over evil), Norton Juster’s story almost defies conventional categorisation. It is a story that is as unique as it is bizarre, making it all the more memorable. And as an added bonus, it’s hard to think of another book as likely The Phantom Tollbooth to spark an interest in literacy and numeracy in a young child.

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Quotable: The Left Hand Of God, “Solitude Is A Wonderful Thing…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

There’s no arguing with the insightfulness or truthfulness of these memorable words.

 

Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover

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“Solitude is a wonderful thing in two ways. First, it allows a man to be with himself, and second, it prevents him being with others.”

Paul Hoffman
The Left Hand Of God

 
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Review: The Wise Man’s Fear By Patrick Rothfuss


A MYTH IN THE MAKING

THREE THINGS ALL WISE READERS SHOULD FEAR: UNWARRANTED HYPE, MEANDERING NARRATIVE AND DIRECTIONLESS PLOT

 

Book CoverThe Wise Man’s Fear
(The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2)

Patrick Rothfuss

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 994 Pages
Date: 6th March 2012 (First Published 2011)

ISBN-10: 0575081430
ISBN-13: 978-0575081437

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

For bookworms who have previously read Patrick Rothfuss’ epic fantasy novel, The Name Of The Wind, this review could tell you everything you need to know about the second instalment of The Kingkiller Chronicle by simply stating: this sequel offers more of the same, only hundreds of extra pages more of it; and the review could end there. Whether or not that is a good thing will depend entirely on how much any given reader enjoyed the first book. If The Name Of The Wind’s six hundred plus pages was a chore to read, then you can be sure that the nine hundred plus pages of The Wise Man’s Fear will require greater patience, still.

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