Monday, May 28, 2012

A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani

First sentence:

"Life is full of opportunities."


"Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for a whole year. Tiziano Terzni - a vastly experienced Asia correspondent - took what he called 'the first step into an unknown world. . . .It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent. I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.' Traveling by foot, boat, car and train, he visited Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Consulting soothsayers and shamans wherever he went, he grew to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity." -- from the back cover.

My thoughts:

This was an interesting memoir of travels in the Far East via train, car, and boat.

Date read: 5/27/2012
Book #: 21
Challenges: Off the Shelf Challenge 2012, New Author Challenge
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Memoir

ISBN-10: 0006550711
ISBN-13: 9780006550716
Publisher: Flamingo
Year: 1998
# of pages: 370
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan

First sentence:

"Grand Master looked even older than the Squire, but he had a hard trimness that age had not softened, as if he would still be deadly with that sword he wore."


As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall....Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm—The King's Blades.

A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward—if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates—with absolute loyalty.And the greatest Blade of them all was—and is—Sir Durendal.

But a lifelong dream of protecting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. Yet Destiny has many strange and inscrutable plans for the young knight—for a mission, a contest, and, perhaps, a treasure await him in a faraway land. But he soon finds himself enmeshed in treason and foul intrigues, compelled to betray the king he had hoped to serve. The Blades have ways to protect their own, but death and madness haunt the path to salvation—and few ever return unscathed.-- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this fantasy about loyalty, friendship, and the dark side of immortality. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Monster War.

Date read: 5/16/2012
Book #: 20
Series: Tales of the King's Blades #1
Challenges: TBR Challenge 2012, Off the Shelf Challenge 2012, New Author Challenge
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0380791269
ISBN-13: 9780380791262
Publisher: Eos
Year: 1999
# of pages: 396
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page