A Wizard of Earthsea, Chapter 8: Hunting

How do you hunt a shadow?  And how do you defeat the undefeatable?  What do you think will happen next?

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Review: Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

purple hearts The final book in the Front Lines trilogy was fitting ending for all three of our heroines.  The alternate history re-imagined World War Two if women had been allowed to serve and be drafted into the Military.  Rio, Frangie and Rainey all enlisted as the US was on the brink of joining the war.  Throughout the trilogy we have followed Frangie, Rio and Rainey through basic training, northern Africa and Italy all while trying to figure out who they are how they fit in in this new world.  Does being a soldier make them any less feminine? And what future do they have to look forward to after the war is over.  At the end of the last book, they were all awarded Silver Stars for their bravery in Italy.  If they  thought winning a Silver Star would make their lives as soldiers, they were mistaken.  In some cases it only made their mostly male soldiers resent them even more.  Rio’s hometown sweetheart, struggles to deal with the fact he had to be rescued by his girl and she gets rewarded for it.  The gender roles have been reversed and he can’t deal with it.  Our Soldier Girls are preparing for the D-Day invasion to open the final book.  With it comes all the blood and carnage that we come to expect from years of seeing this battle depicted on the big screen.  As the girls progress from Normandy to Paris to Battle of the Bulge in Belgium to finally Germany.  They are faced with hardships and hard decisions as they continue to face the cruel reality of war.  They are fighting a war against the Nazis about also about the sexism and racism in the Military.  It truly speaks to what women face today.  I have to wonder what our country would be like if women had been able to serve in World War Two. How would our world be different and how much would it be the same?  It sort of get the sense that Michael Grant doesn’t seem to think that history would have changed all that much but also could be my own cynicism.  Anyway, it was a good series full of great characters and an interesting ideas.  I’m glad I read it but I can’t help but wonder what if there were stories of real soldier girls that could be told.

A Wizard of Earthsea, Chapter 5: The Dragon of Pendor

So kids, what do we think so far of our dear Sparrowhawk?  As he sets out of Roke, what will become of him outside of it’s protection?  What do you think of this new, unsure Sparrowhawk?  And who’s excited for some dragons?!

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Quick Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

img_1088 The Princess Diarist is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. Carrie Fisher dusted off her old diaries she wrote while filming the first Star Wars movie in 1977.  Like everything in her life, she is brutally honest about what she saw and what she did and tells it with a biting sense of humor.  Reading this a year after her untimely death is definitely after bittersweet as she was more or less correct about her own obituaries would say and what pictures they would use. The bulk of this memoir is focused on her affair with costar Harrison Ford, who as you know played Han Solo.  Passages of her diary talks of her struggle to deal with the knowledge she is having an affair with a married costar and how she is falling in love with him even after telling herself that she wouldn’t.  She also talks about how she struggled on the set, being told to lose weight and hours in hair and make up and keeping up the facade that she was more experienced than she actually was and of course the awkward promotion of the movie after the release.  Carrie Fisher became Princess Leia in this diary and the transition wasn’t smooth.  There was a lot bumps and bruises along the way but she eventually found peace with her alter ego.  Honestly, we are lucky to have had Carrie as our Princess Leia and as our General Organa.

Kate and started this book by listening to it on audio book.  Carrie reads the book while her daugher Billie Lourd reads her diary passages.  I finished the book as an ebook and even though I was reading it instead of listening, I could hear her voice in my head.  Ebook or audio book, Carrie distinctive voice came through.

A Wizard of Earthsea, Chapter 3: The School for Wizards

Before there was Hogwarts, there was the School for Wizards on the island of Roke. What do you think of the town of Thwil? What do you think of Jasper and Vetch? How about the archmage’s raven? And, what do you think of all of the things he’s learning at Wizard school? Would you be as frustrated with the curriculum as young Sparrowhawk is? Do you think he will heed the warnings he’s been given?

Summary behind the cut!

 

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A Wizard of Earthsea: Meet the Author

As you may know, Ursula K. Le Guin died in January of this year at the age of 88. Over the next few weeks, I thought I would post a small round up of links and videos so that we can get to know the author and the influence that she’s had on the world. First up is the video of Le Guin’s acceptance of National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014. This video is only 6 minutes long, but in it she comments on why speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction is important.

 

In the comments below, tell us why you think science fiction and fantasy are worth reading. What have they brought to your life? Why do you keep coming back to these genres?