Random Reads

ehand It’s been nice being able to read again.I’d forgotten how much of stress reliever it can be. So here are a few books I finished a couple of weeks ago.

The Circle of Light, #1: Greyfax Grimwald, by Niel Hancock

I shall start with the one I disliked the most. I know there are many who are absolutely enchanted by Greyfax Grimwald: The Circle of Light and the whole Circle of Light series…to each his own. But I was bored silly. In fact, though I valiantly tried, I just couldn’t finish this book. Perhaps the ending was great and you’ll all tell me how I missed out on a life-altering experience by not finishing this book. The story is about 3 friends (though there are times “friend” is a stretch), Dwarf, Otter and Bear, leave their home in some mystical place across a “river” on some unknown quest that called them in a song. On the way they meet a couple of great wizards…one of them Grefax Grimwald…and we learn that the evil Dark Queen is trying to take over and replace all the Light with Darkness. Of course at one point Dwarf is charged with a magical “box”, but he gets kidnapped by the Dark Queen who is seeking the box but doesn’t know Dwarf had it. And of course Otter and Bear set of to rescue him…doing so by learning how to change their appearance to look human enough to journey through the Human world…who by-the-way are portrayed for the most part as barbaric, war loving, witless individuals.

I’m not a huge fan of Tolkien, but I have read most of his works. The Circle of Light #1 is, in my opinion, a very poor wannabe Tolkien classic. The transparent connections are almost laughable. And even though some of Tolkien’s famous works annoyed me with the way he would go back and repeat what had happened from one chapter to the next…The Circle of Light #1 went beyond annoying. It’s horribly frustrating to work through long laborious passages and chapters where an issue was resolved, only to rehash that same issue 3 pages over! I was also not fond or very amused by the way the 3 so called friends would constantly call each other not so flattering names and bemoan what each other had done or not done. It was all too frustrating and depressing. Not something I could recommend at all.



Caught in Crystal, by Patricia C. Wrede

I liked Caught in Crystal well enough, though I thought it was a little dark from time to time. And occasionally I had a little trouble with the flow of the story. Caught in Crystal is apparently a “Lyra” novel and I’m told that this is the darker of the whole series. Supposedly all of the novels in this series are stand alone readings, which this one was, but I think it would have been an easier read if I’d read some of the other Lyra books. Kayl is an innkeeper with 2 young children and a mysterious past. A Star sister comes into town and eventually tells Kayl that she’s there to seek her help on behalf of the Sisterhood. When another person from her past shows up and gives more warnings about a cursed Twisted Tower, Kayl and her youngsters are off on a quest. Eventually, it’s made known that Kayl was once a part of the Sisterhood and had once visited the Twisted Tower with another group of questers…with deadly consequences.

I liked this book enough to recommend it to others. There’s adventure, mystery, magic and even a little romance…just enough to warm the heart, but not be tasteless and vulgar. All in all, a pretty good read.



A Voice for Princess, by John Morressy

Apparently A Voice for Princess is the first in a series about Kedrigern, a great wizard. Being quite upset at the Wizard’s Guild for voting to admit alchemists, who he believes are the biggest liars and out to destroy the wizarding profession, Kedrigern moves to his Silent Thunder Mountain to be left alone. But after a while, with his only social outlet being his house-troll Spot, he talks himself into seeking a bride. That adventure alone is worth many smiles. Eventually he stumbles across a talking toad…who’s an enchanted princess of course. But in his haste to restore her to her former self, the talking toad becomes a croaking princess. And then of course the real adventures begin as he tries valiantly to restore his princess’ missing voice.

I have to say that I really liked this book. The author could have easily taken a lot of scenes into the gutter, but he didn’t…and that I admire. I found A Voice for Princess enjoyable, charming and very funny. I’d recommend this one in a heartbeat…and intend to track down the others in the series.



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