1988.02


The Star Scroll: A mild epic fantasy

The Star Scroll by Melanie Rawn

The Star Scroll (1989), the second novel in Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy, picks up fourteen years after the end of the first novel, Dragon Prince. You’ll want to read Dragon Prince before starting The Star Scroll. This review will contain spoilers for Dragon Prince.

Life has been pretty easy for Prince Rohan, his wife Sioned, and their son Pol since Rohan beat Roelstra, the evil High Prince, and claimed his throne for Pol fourteen years ago. Rohan and Sioned have become rich, thanks to a secret never-ending supply of wealth that is related to the dragons, and they plan to use their wealth t... Read More

The Stone of Farewell: A long rambling middle book

The Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams

Twenty-five years ago I read Tad WilliamsMEMORY, SORROW & THORN trilogy and since that time I’ve considered it one of my favorite fantasy epics. For years I’ve been planning to re-read it when an audio version was published and that happened recently, so here I am. A few weeks ago I reviewed the first book, The Dragonbone Chair, which you need to read before picking up this second book, The Stone of Farewell (1990). If you haven’t, stop right here because there be spoilers (and dragons) beyond this point.

After a quick synopsis of the first book, The Stone of Farewell begins where The Dragonbone Chair... Read More

The Sandman (Vol. 2): The Doll’s House

The Sandman (Vol 2): The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman (author), Illustrated by Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, & Steve Parkhouse, Todd Klein (letterer) 

"If you leaf through the series, you'll find either an image of a heart or the word HEART in virtually every issue. Hearts are a major part of what Sandman is about." ~Neil Gaiman (interview with Hy Bender)

Gaiman's words should be kept in mind as one continues to read what is essentially a horror comic. As we peer into the abyss, Gaiman makes sure we know we are not alone. I think Gaiman always offers hope through the possibility of human connection, often established through the power of telling stories. Keep these words of hope in mind as I summarize some stories that sound solely horrific; my overview can be misleading since I'm trying not to give spoilers. Assume the missing spoilers are often the essential moments in the stories when Gaiman surpr... Read More

Ares Express: This ain’t Mars like you’ve ever seen it before

Ares Express by Ian McDonald

There’s really something special about Ian McDonald’s Mars books. McDonald’s Mars is a place I love to visit in all of its crazy, off the wall, illogical glory. I’ve rarely seen the numinous, and irrational, nature of magic so well displayed in fantasy books, let alone in a sci-fi one (the exception would have to be Sean Stewart who is also expert at such depictions, though in a very different vein). Despite the strangeness of McDonald’s Mars, I’ve rarely seen such a consistently envisioned and joyfully painted world.

Ares Express is a hell of a lot of fun and it even taught me a few things: 1) Hell hath no fury like a failed art student; 2) If something is going to run your life it might as well be the Rules of Narrative, t... Read More

The Grand Tour: If you enjoy Jane Austen…

The Grand Tour by Patricia C. Wrede

We last saw the cousins Cecelia and Kate at the conclusion of Sorcery and Cecelia:The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, in which they had foiled a devious plot and found true love with their new husbands, Thomas Schofield and James Tartleton. The story was unique because it was told in the format of letters between the two cousins, each one telling the other about their separate adventures; and as they did with their previous collaboration, the authors Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer each take a character (Wrede is Cecelia; Stevermer is Kate) and write to one another, each one adding aspects to the story till they join up at its conclusion. Things are a little different this time around considering the authors write in the format of a journal and a testimony, instead of letters.

The Kate and Cecelia stories (... Read More