Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors, alongside Michael J. Sullivan, John Bierce, and Brian McClellan. So, I was extremely excited to be part of the “review team” for Rockslide, the third installment of the series Street Rats of Aramoor.
In this book, Ayrion finds himself responsible for a group of outcasts from the various street tribes of Aaramoor. Starving and harassed by the other tribes, the outcasts are struggling simply to survive. Feeling the burden of leadership, Ayrion and his friends Reevie and Sapphire endeavor to save the outcasts as well as the members of Hurricane by earning entrance into the Guild. However, nothing is ever easy, and several members of the Guild are eager to see the demise of Ayrion and the Hurricane tribe, so they ask an impossible price, one that Ayrion cannot pay without extreme risk to his life.
If you have not already done so, I suggest re-reading Hurricane (the second book in the series). It has been a long time since I read it, and consequently, when I started reading Rockslide, it took me a while to recall who the various characters were and how they related to one another.
As I said before, Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy the way he writes. Personally, I thought Rockslide was a little slow, but that may be due to the fact that I know where the story is going. I have read, and truly love, The Aldoran Chronicles and know the role that Aryion plays in that series. Consequently, I am very eager (one might say impatient), to see how he gets there. However, Rockslide, like the other Street Rats books, primarily still deals with Aryion’s life on the streets of Aramoor. So, I guess I will just have to learn to be patient while I wait for Aryion to grow from being a street rat to the character he is in The Aldoran Chronicles.
A little bit of waiting never hurt anyone….right?
Had a nice time at the Higher Ground Books & Media‘s “Authors, Artists & Artisans!” event.
I spent way too much money, but hey, I got some Christmas gifts! (Thanks Michael Fehskens and Meaghan Fisher: Children’s Author)
Met some authors that I’ve read (J.Kevin Earp) and several that I’d like to read (Mina R Raulston, Parker Stevens, and Carolyn Williams). My reading list just got longer!
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Weird. That is the only way I can describe Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. As far as children’s fiction books go, this is rather dark, and the story is confusing. The story bounces back and forth between different character’s and perspectives, and the real focus of the story does not become clear until much later in the book. (About ½ way through the book you finally figure out what happened to Clara, and ¾ of the way through the book you finally realize how all these characters relate to one another.)
The synopsis of the story makes it sound like the focus is discovering what happened to Clara, however, in truth, her disappearance is only a small part of the bigger picture. Perhaps a better synopsis would be:
An old curse, two enemies, and the lives of three unhappy children collide in this tale of magic and greed set in London in the 1800s. Cassandra, a witch who will stop at nothing to dispel her curse, and Grisini, a master puppeteer with a desire for power and money, care little for the lives they must take and the happiness they will destroy in their quest for freedom and power. Caught in between are three children – Clara Wintermute, Lizzie Rose, and Parsefall – each being viewed as a tool – a puppet – for Cassandra and Grisini to achieve their desires. Life was hard for the children, and thanks to Cassandra and Grisini, it just became harder.
The story though, is not without merit. The children, even Parsefall who is the most “hardened” of the children, are examples of selflessness and courage. Lizzie Rose in particular is a good example of compassion, showing mercy and kindness even to those who hurt and mistreat her. The story also has an interesting way of dealing with each character’s grief and helping them find the peace and healing they very much need.
I enjoy martial arts (karate, silat, and kali), and picked up some books at the library on various martial arts techniques. These are books I would recommend for people who want to learn more about martial arts techniques.
- The Advanced Shotokan Karate Bible Black Belt and Beyond by Ashley P. Marin
- I borrowed this book primarily because it contains several sections on the application of techniques performed in katas. When I was studying karate, we did not learn the practical application of kata techniques, so to me they were nothing more than choreographed martial arts moves. While I knew that each movement had a purpose, I did not know what that purpose was. This book helped give me a general idea of the application of various kata movements.
- Karate for Kids by Robin Rielly
- This book is good for kids or adults who want to learn some of the basic karate techniques. If you are already hold an advanced belt in karate, this book will not benefit you.
- Karate Techniques & Tactics, Skills for sparring and self-defense by Patrick M. Hickey
- Of the martial arts books that I borrowed, this one so far, is my favorite. However, I borrowed this book for the “techyniques and tactics” aspect of it. I only made it part way through the book and due to Christmas break ending, I won’t be able to finish it until summer, but I have thoroughly enjoyed what I read. It starts off with a history of karate and even provides a general overview of several other similar styles of martial arts. It then introduces several martial arts stances, strikes, and kicks. From there, it moves moves into katas and sparring in competition. It was for the sections on competition, particularly sparring in a competition, that I borrowed this book.
- Tae Kwon Do Third Edition by Yeon Hee Park, Yeon Hwan Park, and Jon Gerrard
- I borrowed this book to read the section on sparring techniques. I honestly never got around to reading it, but I like the layout of the book. Like the The Advanced Shotokan Karate Bible and SUMO Mixed Martial Arts, this book has tons of pictures accompanied by written descriptions, and it is a book I would recommend to people interested in learning more about martial arts.
- Sumo Mixed Martial Arts by Andrew Zerling
- I borrowed this book to learn some of the various takedowns. This book accompanies each step with an explanation and pictures.