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So I should actually be leaving for school right about now, for my final Reading and Assessment class, which is probably one of the less useful classes I've ever taken, and apparently all we were going to be doing this evening was turning in our notebooks and a course evaluation. Well hell. I don't need to drive 70 miles round trip with gas at $2.53/gallon to turn in a workbook and evaluation. So when I went in last Thursday for the final meeting of my other class, I left my notebook in her office and left the evaluation in a classmate's mailbox. Ta-da!

I really don't care if missing class knocks me down to a B or something either. I'm just a bad, bad girl.

So I went into the first grade classroom this morning, but other than that I have the whole day free. I hardly know what to do with myself. Well -- actually, that's a lie. I'm a black belt in time-wasting.

I finished both Dan Brown's Digital Fortress and Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule.

Digital Fortess was just okay -- the plot is clever and there's some interesting action, but the characters are pretty one-dimensional and the ending is ho-hum. Still, it kept me interested enough so that I picked up another Dan Brown book at Barnes & Noble story, Angels and Demons, which has been recommended to me ;)

Wizard's First Rule -- well. Teen books notwithstanding, this was my second foray into fantasy. The first was the Jacqueline Carey books, of course, and while I knew this would be different... it was unexpectedly bland. The book is 848 paperback pages long, but it could easily be half that if the author didn't ramble on so much. He rambles, the characters ramble, and it's like -- okay, I get it, you can shut up already. The hero is an everyday Joe who finds out his best friend is a wizard and the damsel in distress he rescues is from another land, where she is one of the most respected and feared people in existance. They set off on a quest to stop - who else - an evil wizard from destroying/taking over all life on Earth, there are spirits from the underworld, there are dragons, there are people who cover themselves in mud, yadda yadda, and of course the hero and heroine love each other but can't be together, which is usually a good receipe for sparkage, but in this case it just falls flat. For a respected and feared woman, the heroine is always crying and trying to kill herself to save the hero, which is dramatic at first, but sixty pages later is just old. And then there's this whole long segment where the hero is captured by a torture mistress and it goes on and on about the pain, the pain, blah blah blah. And the 'big twist' at the end is simultaniously mind-numbing obvious and completely out of left field. I read the Amazon reviews and tried to get a feel for whether or not the books improve as the series progresses. The people who write the editorial reviews seem to think so, but the plot summaries just sound like more of the same. No thanks.

Oh yeah, and the author seems pretty high on himself. Bleh.
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Yeah, I thought Digital Fortress was pretty ho-hum. Kind of a twist at the end, but not that great.

Have you ever read Magician by Raymond E. Feist? Probably one of the best Fantasy books around, and a really good long read. Lots of plot, lots of great characters, and an all 'round great book.
Have you ever read Magician by Raymond E. Feist? Probably one of the best Fantasy books around, and a really good long read. Lots of plot, lots of great characters, and an all 'round great book.

Is there ship?
It's been a long time since I've read it and I'm just going through it again, but yes there is ship (several relationships in fact), and even some angst.

Though I have to say that's not the focus of the story. :)
Hmm. Not the focus of the story... I'll have to think about this.

Are there dragons? I kind of have a thing against dragons.
The focus of the story is the relationship between two boys, Pug and Thomas, and following them as they grow into adulthood, and the events that they become embroiled in. The book starts with them at about 14 (I think), and something like 12 years pass before it ends.

They both have relationships, and that's the 'ship in the book. And it's not like it's just glossed over. There is considerable thought that goes into it as it changes and develops over the years.

I know one dragon appears very briefly, but I honestly can't remember if more do. If so, they're really more facilitators of things than anything else, or a glorified way of getting around. Hopefully that's not too much of a problem.
The Goodkind books don't get better. Honestly. I mean, I liked some of the sidekicks a lot. But, really not worth it. If you really want fun fantasy, try Dragonlance (the first ones written by Weiss and Hickman) or Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings.
Dragons are obviously in the Dragonlance books, but they're much more about the characters than the Dragons.

The David Eddings books are good, and have some nice humour in them at times, but I still think Feist is an overall better writer than Eddings - at least in his early books (Magician, Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon - though in the US I think Magician is actually sold as two books, not one like it was in Aus). His more recent ones have been much more pulpish though, and I haven't liked them anywhere near as much.
Very few dragons, really. It is more character driven. Based loosly on Dungeons & Dragons, it has the dwarf, the elf-hero, the warrior and his magician brother, and so on, but with a twist.