dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
Gackt is coming to Stockholm (link of relevance: http://www.skrikhult.se/)

Guess who just bought her ticket ^____^ This is gonna be great! I especially love his old stuff, but he's a great entertainer and like all my friends will be there and it's just gonna be SO. MUCH. FUN

*happydance*
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I'd like to preface that I am, actually, occasionally a mature and responsible adult. See, justs this week I met up with [livejournal.com profile] alitna to write. Alas, I was just exhausted after working a full day while still a bit ill and couldn't think of anything to write. But! Instead of faffing around on the net, I checked up things with CSN and filled in forms for my exchange year, quite responsible of me, yes?

And then there's times like yesternight, when I sat up to 03:33 (yep, exactly, I checked my clock) because I couldn't put down Elizabeth Moon's Kings of the North. No, I did not wake up at nine o'clock like planned to do laundry and go shopping early...

This is the second book in the Paladin's Legacy trilogy which is a sequel to the trilogy The Deed of Paksenarrion. The original trilogy is a real classic and a well-deserved one. Excellent female main character, manages to have religious themes and characters that don't bug the hell out of me, interesting plot, detailed world-building with a lot of attention to soldiers and more regular people (Moon has thought of how the plumbing works. Extensively) and enchanted me when I was a teen and still holds up very well for adult readers who have read several good works in the high fantasy genre.

And Paks - Well, Paks was just awesomesauce cool to my younger self. Her, and Kushana from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind were what I wanted to be if I ever got transported to magic land and learned sword fighting XD (only, with less background angst than Kushana, plz)

The Paladin's Legacy books are... weeeell, the first one was nice but a bit confusing since we don't follow one focus character in the same way as in the first books. And Kings of the North? I'm sorry to say that, while I had no problem keeping all the people apart, the overall plot structure in especially the later half of the book disappointed me a bit.

When I can start to see patterns and guess what's going to happen past 02:00, you're heading into dangerously easily-solved territory, ok?

I mean, there are a lot of concepts in this book I like - how things were set in movement by Paks, and not neccessarily by those events that impacted her personal development the most. Dorrin is a great character, and a very unusual type! A somewhat older woman (40-45ish) who gains a great amount of power and yields it with power, compassion and cool logic. That she is the second most prominent character in this trilogy so far makes me very happy.
And then there's Phelan, whom I just adored in the original books. He then had slight hints of Vetinari's characterization around him, although not at all as brilliant and all-knowing. He also has a very interesting backstory and many faults, which of course really come into play here as the books focus a lot on him.

But. Exactly like with the end of the Serrano Legacy* things just... fall into place far too easily during the final. We get new characters who more or less drop into the plot and wrap things up, we get a very rushed romantic subplot and a character makes some weird good-to-evil/no wait!/heel-face-turn I don't even really know journey.

Take the romance, (which, all righ, was slightly hinted): But that minor hint somehow morph into an almost shoujo manga-esque Love at first sight!! thing. Take note, Moon and JKR: Just because you know the characters love each other, doesn't mean the readers do. Have them bloody interact a bit more. At least this couple talks on a few pages and have a practice fight)

Spoilers ahoy )

The portrayal of the Pargunese was also a bit bwuh to me, but to be honest, I was too tired to properly consider the exact implications at that time.

Kings of the NorthAlso, let's talk about the cover for a moment! Because, see, this is a rather high-profile fantasy book. Not quite as big as the latest Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson, but large enough that they ship an impressive stack of hardcovers. They're also for some unknown reason (which I much appreciate :) release the trade paperback at the same time, so I don't have to wait six months to read about Phelan and the others' adventures.

All that taken to mind, it really surprises me that they couldn't fix a cover which contains a character actually in the book. See the picture there? That's Aragorn It's definitely not Paks, nor is it Dorrin, seeing as how they are women. (though Dorrin is probably on the cover of book one, Oath of Fealty, at least it's close to her colors).
Taken together with the title, I would assume the cover to contain either the king of Lyonya or Mikeli, the king of Tsaia. The latter, alas, is a young man just grown into maturity and he doesn't do any fighting in this book. Spoiler for the Paksenarrion trilogy )

So, all right, I've whined a lot about Kings of the North now. However, Paladin's Legacy is still 2/3 into the series, absolutely among the better half of fantasy literature that's out there to read. It's not as good as the amazing first trilogy, but until the big wrap-up which contains a bit too much fixit moments for my taste, it is quite interesting. What Moon does well is, among others, that she does not forget the non-kingly characters - the soldiers, the servants, the elderly who remember things. We also meet characters like the Duke of Andressat again and, I have to say, I never expected to like the old snob as much as I did now. Actions from the past have consequences, such that can't be just removed with a bit of magic.

Will I buy the next book? Oh yeah. Will I rec this book series to people? Oh yeah - And I usually anti-rec the Gird prequel to Paksenarrion, because that is just dull in great bits. But, for all the faults here, there are still many great characters and an underlying highly interesting plot thread that I think might remake the world of these characters a great deal.

And now I really gotta go and buy a fuse because one blew yesterday and I have no light in my (windowless) bedroom.

*I only bought one of the omnibuses, dunno exactly which books it contains
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
It is an annoying habit of a certain segment of Swedish youth, that they sit on the train (less common on the bus, but it happens) and compare their ringtones. This was especially bad when everybode had those awful midi bleep-bleep tones... on the other hand, now they just sit on the train and listen to mp3's from their shitty phone speakers because they are too lazy to use headphones. In short: Teenagers suck

When my friends and I gather, however, we tend to compare not the phones or the noises they make, but the amount of anime/jrock/kawaii things we've managed to hang onto them lately. Bling a la mode fujoshi, so to speak*

Currently my cellphone - which, though it is a cheap piece of crap with no battery time, is a flip open phone thus I love it - contains the following decorations

My geekitude, let me show it to you )
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
Just looking at the Hetalia seiyuu event and of course it start with the main trio (Daisuke Namikawa/Italy, Hiroki Takahashi/Japan and Hiroki Yasumoto/Germany) entering the stage

And Daisuke Namikawa is this TINY guy. I mean - soooo tiny and so cute. Which I shouldn't think, because he looks, what, fifteen? No worries, he's plenty Older than I am (born 1976) and doesn't look half as chibi in his ANN profile picture

Can't take a screencap for some reason, but you see him in the preview which Youtube kindly leaves up!
Embedded video here )

Aww, I just want to... pinch his cheek and listen to him talk. The first I can't do, the second? Ayup

(socutesocuteee~)

ETA: HOLY *BLEEPING* SHIT! Masaya Onosaka WAT? How- you- WHY ALL THE MAKE UP?

(for reference, this is France. And also Jadeite)

Eta2: and how appropriate that Chibitalia is voiced by a tiny woman. And Russia by a... tiny... man.

This is too much awesome for words
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I really don`t have time for this (and the keyboard is borked) as I`m only supposed to check my bank account, but hot damn if John Ajvide Lindqvists Hanteringen av odöda (Handling of the undead) isn`t worth a quick rec.

It`s a much faster read than any of his books, not counting Lilla stjärna and the short story collection Pappersväggar, which I haven`t read yet. There are news items, blurbs, `cuttings` from the papers and such between the regular chapters and this really helps speed up parts that might otherwise have slogged the narrative down. And it is one AMAZING narrative. Couldn`t put it down yesternight

The dead are returning, it starts at Danderyd`s hospital and continues all over Stockholm. It`s gross, it`s creepy and it`s very, very touching. How does one deal with the loss, and flawed return, of a loved one?

Great book. could make a cool movie too, I hope they find an equally skilled director as to Let the right one in, if they do make one.

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May 2012

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