The Sword

Written by: Bryan M. Liftin

From the Library...again, thank you local library.

Book #10 of 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Crossway
First Edition: 2010
My Edition: 2010
Original Language: English

This book I picked up at my local library the same time I picked up The Keeper of the Crystal Spring. Turns out it’s a Christian book – which I don’t really have a problem with.

The plot is this: there’s this big nuclear war, and civilization basically ends except a small remaining few.

Genocide became the norm, spawned as it always is by unchecked power, hatred, and greed. All the great advancements of the world fell into disuse, for who could think about such things when their bellies had been empties for days? (Page 18)

One man begins  a kingdom called Chiveis, which has returned to a chivalrous age of swords and horses. The kingdom worshipped demon-gods, and Christianity was banished. There are many people in Chiveis, however, who doubt what they were taught.

There’s a fine line between folklore and religion…Both can be used to sway the masses–and both can be full of nonsense. (Page 62)

Hundreds of years later, an unsuspecting couple come upon the Bible in an old abandoned church in a dilapidated city, and it makes them question everything they’ve ever known. The book is about the unraveling of the society because of the discovery of this book. It’s very good, if you like these kinds of stories.

Happy reading, friends.

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Keeper of the Crystal Spring

Written by Naomi and Deborah Baltuck

Book #9 of 2012

Thank you, local library, for introducing new and interesting books into my life.

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Viking Penguin
First Edition: 1998
My Edition: 1998
Original Language: English

This was a fantastic book! Based off of true events, it draws the reader in even more.

The book is set in Enmore Green near Sceapterbyrig, now known as Shaftesbury, during the time in England when King Harold disappeared at the battle of Hastings under William the Conqueror’s army.

They had become pawns in King William’s rearrangement of the political chessboard. It had become legal to wed a woman against her will, and Saxon heiresses had been parceled out as rewards to knights who had supported William’s fight for the English throne. Saxon noblewomen had been dragged to church to wed the butchers who had slaughtered their husbands, brothers, and fathers.

It was during a time of much political strife, where mean-spirited men , the Normans, ruled the lands that peaceful people, the Saxons, had once owned.  It was during this same time when the legend of “Robin Hood” was born – though he has nothing to do with this book, you can imagine the setting now, right?

The beautiful little town of Enmore Green, as it is today.

The main character’s name is Aldyth LightFoot. She is a gorgeous 22 year old woman, a virgin, who believes she has a destiny to maintain her “maidenhood” (aka virginity) for the remainder of her life so that she may be the “Keeper of the Crystal Spring” which is the “Goddess’s” way of healing and maintaining a relationship with her people.

“Your name, Aldyth, means ‘ancient prophecy,’ and the time has come for you to fulfill the ancient prophecy for which you are named. May we both be wise and strong enough for this day, for the stars have completed their dance, the Great Mother has aligned the spheres, the spectators have stepped into play. In other words,” said Sirona wryly, “the pot has come to a boil.”

This is the feel of the whole book – and I wish people still talked like this:

“Let you wash the dust of the road off your lips with a mug of ale. Then you must tell us how you have fared on your journey.”

The evil William the Conqueror.

The good King Harold Godwinson.

The authors took a bit of poetic license with the real story, but many parts are still the same as the true events. They used as many real names as they could – including the good King Harold Godwinson, William the Conqueror (or King William), Edith SwanNeck (King Harold’s wife), Sheriff Hugh fitzGrip, Abbess Eulalia, and many more.

After the battle of Hastings, King Harold’s body was never found. It was a legend in England for centuries that King Harold would come back and pull England out of the muck when it was needed the most. He never came back. As for King William, he was said to have gone crazy, seeing King Harold everywhere, and it was said that he actually apologized with his dying breath for all the ruin he brought on England.

The book had a little bit of everything. A little bit of romance, humor, history, legend, magic, and heroism. It was fantastic. Actually, I think maybe my husband is glad I’m done with it – I’ve had my face hidden behind this book for four days. :-)

Definitely recommended.

Happy reading, bookish friends.

His Dark Materials, books 2 and 3

Written by Phillip Pullman

Books 7 & 8 of 2012 (I’m falling behind, I know!)

The Subtle Knife
Nationality: U.K.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
First Edition: 1997
My Edition: 2002
Original Language: English

The Amber Spyglass
Nationality: U.K.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
First Edition: 2000
My Edition: 2002
Original Language: English

Well, folks, I’m pretty done with this trilogy. It COMPLETELY goes against my set of beliefs about my God. And for that, it gets knocked down a couple of notches.

The Golden Compass was fantastic. Great story, exciting, well-developed main character, etc. However…..

The cover of the book The Subtle Knife.

The Cover of Book #2, The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife was not nearly as exciting as its predecessor. It was basically just introducing a new character, Will, and building a plot for the next book, The Amber Spyglass, without actually having a good storyline of its own. So that sucked.

The cover of the book The Amber Spyglass.

The Cover of Book #3, The Amber Spyglass

As for The Amber Spyglass, the characters got pretty old. Boring. It took me forever to get through.

Now I know there are a bunch of die-hard fans of this trilogy out there, and I’m not trying to step on any toes here – it just wasn’t my favorite. I love fantasy fiction. My husband thinks I’m such a huge geek. But really, this just isn’t my type of fantasy fiction. I’m more of a wizards-mutilating-each-other-in-space kind of gal. And that’s okay. We will just agree to disagree, okay? Okay.

On to the next….happy reading, friends.