Posts Tagged With: Dragon

high fantasy | “The Last Namsara” by Kristen Ciccarelli | Iskari 1

1Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Title: The Last Namsara
Series: Iskari 1
Genre: High Fantasy, Dragons
Pages.: 432
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t even remember when was the last time I’ve read a book so very greedily. I’d get upset every time I had to put it away to eat or even go to sleep. And the dragons! If you enjoyed Skyrim – you will like these. If you liked How To Train Your Dragon movies – you will like these. If you’re a fan of the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen – you will, absolutely, like this book.

About: Dragons are the most dangerous creatures to roam the land. They’re fierce, fast, and strong. They’re hard to kill and even their blood and bones are deadly poisonous. Just like the flames they breathe which not only burn, but poison the blood, so even the lightest of a lick might be deadly. But the most dangerous thing dragons wield are their stories. For behind those stories resides their power, their life, their very fire. Thus it is forbidden to tell the stories. It is a crime punishable, and the best example of their danger is the daughter of Firgaard king, Asha. Her mother died telling her the tales to sooth the child. They ate her life away and made her daughter susceptible to dragons, their lure. Thus the child told the stories too, unable to resist the craving, the urge. Until the power within her voice finally woke the most dangerous one, the very oldest of the dragons. The very one she must now kill.

Mine: I loved this book so much I am almost speechless. The story is long, but not complicated. There’s plenty of turns and twists, but they’re real easy to follow. It’s also one of those tales where some guy might seem the very best, kindest of soul, who’ll defend the poor and the weak, and then it turns out the bastard caused it all to begin with! The dragon stories, the way their power works was my very favorite thing. I felt so nostalgic to Skyrim game, that I can’t recommend this book enough to the fans of it. I loved it. The characters are well written, each one had their own story, and yet they all added to the main plot, making them memorable. The writing itself was very nice too, for, as I said, the story was real easy to follow. The only minus I got for this is the romance. But I won’t deduct points for it, because I’ve learned this kind of romance, exactly this kind, is something to be expected in YA books. Instead I’d like to add more points for the vivid, life-like dragon descriptions and chapters told by them. It was magical.

I am certain that Hiccup, Daenerys, and even your own dovahkiin would nod in approval to this book. All your favorite, best dragon tales? They’re rewritten here, made better. 5 out of 5 from me, with hopes that the next book will be as good.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

George R.R. Martin – A Dance with Dragons [#5]

10664113  Finally! I really dislike the print version of these books. Especially the Lithuanian ones. The moment I took an e-book into my hands – things got a lot better. A lot better, since first three quarters I read in probably same amount of time as it took me to read the previous two books. Or maybe fourth quarter was simply so much better it went by like a wind. Either way – here I am, done with so far the last George R.R. Martin book of A Song of Fire and Ice saga – “A Dance With Dragons” (eISBN 978-0-553-90565-6; 1125p; Goodreads). It was good, but seemingly very stretched out.

The first three quarters of the book kept me going only for the Arya stories. She’s becoming something brilliant and I just love it so very much. Tyrion jumped from ship to ship, used one name then the other, belonged to one man, got captured by a second one, went along to a third one. Dany sat on her bench, doing one job, and dismissing all the others, lay in her bed never sleeping, and nibbled on food, never eating, just thinking about her people, but not really doing much. Jon made all the good, but wrong decisions, and I understand why it ended the way it ended for him.

The fourth quarter of the book was heralded as a beginning of a new story (since previous book and this one overlap each other) by Cercei. She’s in a dearly tight spot, with friends she made enemies, with her brother far away, and her father dead. Jamie himself is as epic as always, I wish him luck. I missed Sansa a bit, but you can’t have it all. And I hope it all goes better for Theon. Ramsey Snow has made me think Joff wasn’t all that bad, truth be told. Oh, and let me just tell you, I always liked Varys. And that young little Dragon? You go, lad, you go.

So all in all, this book was very stretched. Too much sitting in one place, drinking, thinking, and merely looking. Too much doing absolutely nothing, just thinking about doing things. I said this before: I dislike when authors speak about what they’re going to speak about. Get to the point. And someone smarter than me once also said that every book over 200 pages smells of graphomany – I believe that. For Martin I can allow 600 pages, but after reading it all, I can tell you firmly, a lot could be taken out and non would be the wiser. Many things happened, and had absolutely no influence over anything later on in the whole story, not a damn thing. Yet I will still give this book a firm 4 out of 5, since it definitely is one of the best fantasy books I have encountered in the long run (others being books like A. Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga, J. Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy, etc). It is a good book, it is worth to go on with it.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crafts and paintings

Okay, this’ll be purely to show my progress on being an elven craftsman. Ever since those pointy-eared peoples flew into my life, I feel motivated to make pretty things (at least I’m trying to make them pretty) happen. Let’s start with digital art: DeviantArt 

Fenris_Preview_

Fenris: The Sun

Cotton_candy_Preview

Cotton Candy

Moon_Moth_preview

Actias Luna

Maleficarum_Preview

Maleficarum

These are the newest at least.

  And now lets roll to the crafts. Some are real old, some are brand new: Tumlbr

Tie-Bracelet_1

Made of Dior Silk tie and studs

Tie-Bracelet_2

Made of Dior Silk tie and studs

Pendant1_preview

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Occult_Pendant_1_Preview

Luck Talisman

Earrings_1_preview

Skull earrings, Burton earrings, Orochimaru earrings, Colorful earrings, Car-Crash Queen earrings

Rings_Bracelet_preview

Rubber cockroach ring, Vials and Goblet ring, Bracelet: Glass, wood, clay, paper, string

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Creations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solstice Scents and how I can’t live without them

Not so long ago, thanks to youtube channel of Grav3yardgirl, I discovered Solstice Scents. And now I’m going nuts.

The first pack of samples I ordered around Halloween of 2012, and they probably had event going on, for with my 3 ordered scents, they also gave 3 more samples free to go. I remember I’ve gotten myself two types of “Forest” smells (Spellbound; Black), “Manor” which stands among my favorites ever since, “Jack and the Devil“; “Dragon Blood” obviously and “Shoikat Grove“. While at first I didn’t like all of them and Manor struck me like a lightening, later other scents became more pleasing too, I guess that’s because of my wicked imagination that connects smells to visions. Jack and the Devil is a bit too strong, but when I smell it, I think of how this Jack could have looked like, thus I imagine a dark figure, strolling in dark, maybe a bit damp and windy night, with a smile on his face and the sense of devil somewhere by. Same way with the forest smells, I right away take in the image of a specific forest, of elves that live in that forest and this specific smell lingering in their dead-silent kingdom, when in disguise they wait for mere mortals to pass by and if you’re to listen carefully, you might hear a bow creak as they wait for a reason to bury an arrow into your neck.

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I put most of the scents in there, first and second order

   By the way, Inquisitor smells like Narnia. The first time the little girl enters it – snow, pines, coldness – yea, I can imagine an inquisitor-stature mean looking man with a pelt on his long black robe walking through there in seek of a path towards nearest village.

  Later I ordered more and honestly I don’t even remember what it was that time, but every order I got (and so far it’s four orders total) was bigger than the last. This time no particular scent really captured me and two of them were truly not for me. One got mixed up, as I ordered Cenobite and received Cocoa Mallow. While the latter one was interesting, with scents of pure cocoa in it, I don’t really like the sort of smells so I simply gave it to somebody who appreciated it more. Another I gave to my mother, for she said it smelled “clean”. Go figure, seriously. And one other I still have, wait, no, I just checked my drawer, I still got two of the ones I didn’t particularly like, those were Lace Draped Specter and Moonlight on the Grove.  Don’t get me wrong, scents are good, but some perfumes are too overpowering to me. For instance, the Spectre smell reminds me of grandfather’s aftershave with very old medicine mixed, all that mingling with bakery still in clay oven, baking. Moonlight grove I can’t even describe. It’s a lot more pleasant, but it confuses the hell out of me.

  My third bash is my favorite, for I liked every scent from the start AND found my new scent. Many people who feel themselves better when surrounded by fantasy-based scents are probably seeking “their own smell”. Pharoah is my scent.

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  Library and Master Bedroom intrigued me the most when I was ordering it. I ordered five (I took out the pharoah from the pack and just keep it by my side at all times. five means +1 free, they always give one free, but I guess there are events when they give more, remembering my first handful), and left out one blank. When you order it, they lead you to a page where you pick out scents if it’s more than one, if you leave few blank – you can later in order comments add which ones you want to be “filled into the blanks”, because usually not all are on the list. I left one blank and asked to drop me a Library in there and as always – they did exactly that. For free scent I took something Halloweenish but they very kindly contacted me and said they’re out of it, so I just asked for another sample of Manor (the girl said it’s her favorite too). So, as I received my pack (and I cut it with scissors thus ruining the usual presents they add in there – a bookmark, good one to add, a postcard where they thank you, I got two framed, and a card or two representing either the season or the main idea of your package, I think, I could be wrong. Also it’s filled with black confetti mixed with season-colored ones, so for Halloween it was orange bits, for winter it was green and for spring and the Valentine day so to say – hot pink, I keep them in a transparent bottle), I was obviously most curious for Library scent. I call myself a Nosferatu (reference to nosferatu’s, information rats from VtM: B ), and a book-rat, I figure it could be good. And it is good. It smells of leather bound book that got a bit moldy because the wooden cabinets in an old wooden house are slightly damp when it rains and warmth makes water vapor and seep through your windows, but they nevertheless collected dust and thus you open it – this is the smell. Others are great too, but as I said, I was struck even harder than with Manor, when I smelled Pharaoh. I don’t know what the hell it smells of, but I can imagine a parchment scroll, sandy smooth stone floor, incense clouds pouring out of golden pots, decorated with turquoise.

  This smell first time I ordered in a perfume bottle, after trying out this sample. I just don’t think I can get enough.

  Remember I mentioned they mixed up my order the one time? Well, I wrote to them, trying to be as kind and humble as possible, for it can happen to either of us and neither of us would want to be bitched at, and they with same attitude as mine – kindly and humbly gave me a “code” I was to enter in comments, so that with my next order I would receive a free extra sample of Cenobite.  You know, it’s very alike Cocoa Mallow so I slightly regret bothering them about it, but I’m glad never the less.

  In general I am damn pleased with Solstice Scents, got nothing but good experience  and my little treasure of scent vials keep me smiling. I can indeed recommend them.

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Anno Dracula: Bloody Red Baron [received]

Finally! This time Book Depository managed to overthrow themselves and my book arrived quicker than I could even expect. To add to that, they added a bookmark with famous monsters on black, who glow in the dark! Oh and how I love things that glow in the dark!

Of bookmark – pretty much, all of Book Depository sent bookmarks are interactive, either with useful information, or with something fun for you to ponder about. I got one with measurements, and this one is like a little quest on hard paper – how many monsters can you recognize? And, as I said, monsters glow in the dark, I am just fascinated by that!

Of book – it came in an usual package of cardboard, with a note to it, bookmark and of course, there’s the book. It looks a lot better in real than it looked in the picture, must admit, and it looks even prettier than the first book. Yet it’s not the first time I order a book and, say, bookmark has the corner bent, for it was packed a bit on the edge. But this time book corner was bent too… Don’t take me wrong, I will not go crazy just about a little corner of a soft-cover bent, but I do expect them to pack my book a little bit neater. Still, I will put no official complain, nor will write them about it, for I can only imagine how tired can be those people who indeed pack these books, by doing it day after day, long long hours. I will also admit I would love doing their work for them a lot…

Either way, here are pictures of what I found in the package. Received it two days ago, I believe? If not three. Went just in time to post office to pick it up, before it was closing! So, to rate Book Depository on this delivery, I would give them a firm 4 out of 5 with a plus. After all – delivery is free, bookmark is awesome, and it’s just one little corner bent!

Categories: Books: Everything, Treasures, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kim Newman – Anno Dracula [1]

  Thus, finished reading Kim Newman book “Anno Dracula“. It’s strange how every time I return from England, I bring back with me a book of Dracula, no matter fictional or historical figure of his. This one was a gift for me.

Kim Newman managed to use a damn load of all kinds of historical and fictional characters in his book, where plot rolls around in time, as I understood, somewhat right away after Bram Stoker’s book ended (not including the last chapter where Harker family already has a child). Just, in this book, Dracula didn’t lose a silly little fight with a hand-full of mortal men. As my vampiress once noted- even his brides were harder to kill, so why did Dracula die of a hunting knife stab?

Book is interesting, seeing how and what was used, say, story tells of Jack the Ripper who is also known as Silver knife. The man hunts whores, yes, but they’re all vampires-girls. Queen Victoria married Vlad Dracula. Oscar Wilde gladly took the immortality. And so on, and on, and on. Yet there are so many names and tiny little mentions, that me, being not an amateur in book reading, was left pondering of why the hell did all that matter? Some actions were explained by author himself at the back of the book, and he seemed to rejoice his clever ways of naming a list of borrowed characters, even when they were mentioned in the book by other characters. Well, Mr Newman, I’m glad you know so many of them, but I kind of… Don’t care. It filled this wonderful deep-blood-red balloon with too much cold air and didn’t let it rise above.

I can’t say the book was bad, no, I enjoyed it plenty. I enjoyed the classical view onto vampires, the Vampire the Masquerade type of depends-on-the-bloodline bloodsucker types and such. Dracula was a scary monster, a Dragon-Bat who could fill the night sky and cover the moon entirely. And I do like alternative-reality/history type of books, plus the writing style was so fancy!

Now I’m not sure if I told what about the book is. Vampires in the book stepped out of the dark, following their great leader, and live among the living people. Immortality can cost a penny, if you ask a common whore, she’ll be your Mother-in-Darkness even for less, so to say, for a good feeding that it will give her. Dracula’s bloodline is the most polluted of all, thus those vampires, and there are more and more of those vampires, are a dark trouble, dark plague onto the face of Britain. And the murderer who is killing vampire girls? Who is that monster, who is that madman? Or is he a hero, trying to clean the streets? Trust me, it’s a fine question, not an obvious statement that “yea, yea, he’s a hero”.

If I was to rate this book, I’d give 4 out of 5. And I already ordered second book from BookDepository.co.uk and preordered the third. Will wait for fourth to come down on the price tho.

Categories: Books: Everything, Treasures, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.C. Humphreys ‘Vlad: the Last Confession’

  It’s not the first book by C.C. Humphreys on which I placed my claw. Yet ‘Vlad: The Last Confession’ (ISBN 978-1-4091-0330-1; „Orion“ 2009; 446p.) is the strongest one. And while it was hard to dig into it at first, later it brought me a lot of delight and went smoothly until the very end. That is, if we don’t count the parts morally hard to read, for me, the one who admires Vlad The Impaler.

„ ‘I got careless,’ Ion replied. ‘I forgot that a man’s not dead until he’s dead.’ „ 169p.

Vlad Dracula the Impaler probably everyone knows as vampire Dracula from Transylvania, all thanks to Bram Stoker. Yet Humphreys was not up to make this man a supernatural once again, as many times already done. In the end his actions spoke for him and whole that bat-thing wasn’t even necessary. We all understand, I believe, why stories of him were so popular in all times, for as Humphrey himself told – people love violence and sex, and these stories have plenty of both. Back then – it was in pamphlets. Now – we got internet. Yet to separate the truth from nonsense, from wild fantasies and from tales of his enemies is a hard work and I thank C.C. Humphreys for doing amazing job here.

It’s a historical novel, telling a story from perspectives of those who were close to Vlad Dracula, those who are there to confess. Story leads us through life of Prince of Wallachia and his struggle against usurpations, traitors, criminals, differences between people – boyars with too much power, and most importantly – against a threat Ottoman brought for whole world. To this very day we are left with the question – who was this man? Dracula – the son of the Devil, cruel tyrant? Or Dracula – the son of the Dragon, the symbol of justice? This story will tell us about his teen years, his love, his will to act instead of passive sitting and waiting for somebody to come and help. It shows us a sea of both physical and moral pain, caused by traitors and injustice in hearts of men

It’s a very strong book, written in the most wonderful way by a truly talented writer. Every cruel and disgusting scene will make you shiver, and ending left me speechless, yet with a smile on my face. This book will suit those with strong nerves and deep love for historical books of steel. I will gladly rate it 10 out of 10 and recommend to those who can admire a true warlord, without judging what was necessary.

P.S. Dracul has two meanings – Dragon and Devil. The letter a (Draculeaea used/pronounced as –a means “son of [beginning of the word / Dracul] ) only states him as a son of either Dragon or Devil. Sometimes Vlad was called by both of those.

Official: Dracula. A name of horror, depravity and the darkest sensuality. Yet the real Dracula was just as alluring, just as terrifying, his story not of a monster but of a man… and a contradiction. For the one they called ‘The Devil’s Son’ was both tyrant and lawgiver, crusader and mass slaughterer, torturer and hero, lover and murderer.

Vlad’s extraordinary tale is told by those who knew him best. The only woman he ever loved and whom he has to sacrifice. His closest comrade and traitor. And his priest, betraying the secrets of the confessional to reveal the mind of the man history would forever remember as Tepes – ‘The Impaler’.

Categories: Books: Everything, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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