2005.10


The Emperor of Nihon-Ja: The gang’s all here

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, book ten in John Flanagan’s RANGER’S APPRENTICE series, was supposed to be the “final adventure” for Will Treaty and his friends. (It wasn’t, but I’ll come back to that later.) I suppose that’s why “the gang’s all here” in this installment. Flanagan has to work hard to get them all to the same place, but he manages.

The story takes place in the country of Nihon-Ja, which is modeled after the Empire of Japan (if you couldn’t tell by its name). Horace and George had travelled there on a mission and Horace went missing. All of his friends, including Will, Alyss, Princess Cassandra, Pauline and Gundar, go to Nihon-Ja to find him. When they get there, they discover that someone is trying to overthrow the emperor, and t... Read More

Halt’s Peril: Not much plot, like middle WOT

Halt’s Peril by John Flanagan

Halt’s Peril is the ninth book in John Flanagan’s RANGER’S APPRENTICE series. It’s a direct sequel to the eighth book, The Kings of Clonmel, in which we learned Halt’s backstory while he, Will and Horace attempted to save the country of Clonmel from Tennyson, a cult leader who was planning a coup. They did manage to save Clonmel, but now Tennyson and his followers have left the country and our heroes suspect that they are on their way to Araluen with similar intentions. So, naturally, they plan to track down the bad guys and stop them before they can bring grief to Araluen. During the process, however, Halt receives a life-threatening injury. Will has to make a long detour to seek help for Halt.

To get straight to the point, ... Read More

In The Dark of Dreams: So long, winter!

In The Dark of Dreams by Marjorie M. Liu

In the beautifully written prologue to In the Dark of Dreams, a young human girl meets a mer-boy on the beach near her family home. The moment is brief and the two are torn away from each other, but they never forget each other and see each other in dreams for many years afterward.

Fast-forward to the present: Jenny (the girl) and Perrin (the boy) have both grown to adulthood and have picked up their share of physical and emotional scars along the way. Jenny travels the world hoping to find merpeople again, while Perrin has been banished from the sea and is trying to live as a human man. Their lives are changed when they begin to have the dreams again — just in time to face a host of dangers ranging from mercenaries and thugs to an ancient, eldritch being who threatens all life on Earth. Marjorie M. Liu does a great job with the latter in particu... Read More