REVEAL – The Grey Tower Trilogy: Circadian Circle

If you’re a regular around this patch of the web, I hope you’ll remember my reviews on the Grey (Gray, take your fancy) Tower Trilogy books, the Tower’s Alchemist followed by Dark Rift.

Well, it’s very nearly time, for the release of the third and final book in the series, Circadian Circle! I’m honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for author Alesha Escobar.

The reviews I gave for the first two books, The Tower’s Alchemist and Dark Rift were pretty smashing, both scoring a nine out of ten – and rightly so. These books are awesome. I’m not going to go back into what made them so great, just skim over the reviews to see that, because there’s reems of it. Ms. Escobar is certainly one to watch.

So here it is, our cover reveal for Circadian Circle, just look at that.

Circadian Circle Cover

Not only that, but Ms. Escobar has allowed me something rather special for the readers here at datbookreviews – a chance at getting yourself a free copy of the book!

But it doesn’t stop there… oh no! That’s not the only prize. Here’s what’s on offer, so sign up and you’re in with a chance and one of these:

- A signed Paperback copy of ‘The Tower’s Alchemist’ and ‘Dark Rift’
- One of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards
- One of two Tote bags bearing the slogan “keep calm and call the ministry”
- One of three art print cards with character artwork from the series
- One of five ebook copies of the whole series.

So check out the link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I heartily encourage all of my readers to get their hands on a copy of the book; because whilst I’ve only read a little little bit, it’s going to be good. If you haven’t started with the Grey Tower Trilogy, it’s time to pick up the first book on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I do not benefit from the purchase, and am not in direct affiliation with Alesha Escobar the author. As a book review sight, any suggestion to purchase a novel is purely the recommendation of that novel as a worthy read. Cheers!

How To Write an Introduction and Conclusion

Writing a Strong Introduction and Conclusion

Throughout education, we are told many different things about introductions and conclusions. Many of our teachers and lecturers want us to write our essays in different ways, and it can all get rather confusing. Some expect long winded paragraphs, others only want a sentence and more focus on the bulk of the essay. Well, here’s the answer. This is how to right a concise, impressive introduction along with a conclusion that’ll wrap everything up and bring it all home.
Continue reading

Poetry!

Recently, I have been exploring new areas of literature. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying classic novels; Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations and Far From the Madding Crowd. Of Mice and Men, which I studied a few years ago, is one of my favourite books.

However, something fairly new to me is poetry. I’ve been looking into poetry recently, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve not often purveyed poetry before – I enjoy writing it, and do so often, but I’ve never found much in the writings of others. However, I’m looking to explore that new world, so please share with me some of your favourite poems.  I’d just like to share this with you; ‘The Little House of Lost Play’, by Tolkien.

 

We knew that land once, You and I,

and once we wandered there

in the long days now long gone by,

a dark child and a fair.

Was it on the paths of firelight thought

in winter cold and white,

or in the blue-spun twilit hours

of little early tucked-up beds

in drowsy summer night,

that you and I in Sleep went down

to meet each other there,

your dark hair on your white nightgown

and mine was tangled fair?

We wandered shyly hand in hand,

small footprints in the golden sand,

and gathered pearls and shells in pails,

while all about the nightengales

were singing in the trees.

We dug for silver with our spades,

and caught the sparkle of the seas,

then ran ashore to greenlit glades,

and found the warm and winding lane

that now we cannot find again,

between tall whispering trees.

The air was neither night nor day,

an ever-eve of gloaming light,

when first there glimmered into sight

the Little House of Play,

New-built it was, yet very old,

white, and thatched with straws of gold,

and pierced with peeping lattices

that looked toward the sea;

and our own children’s garden-plots

were there: our own forgetmenots,

red daisies, cress and mustard,

and radishes for tea.

There all the borders, trimmed with box,

were filled with favourite flowers, with phlox,

with lupins, pinks, and hollyhocks,

beneath a red may-tree;

and all the gardens full of folk

that their own little language spoke,

but not to You and Me.

For some had silver watering-cans

and watered all their gowns,

or sprayed each other; some laid plans

to build their houses, little towns

and dwellings in the trees.

And some were clambering on the roof;

some crooning lonely and aloof;

some dancing round the fairy-rings

all garlanded in daisy-strings,

while some upon their knees

before a little white-robed king

crowned with marigold would sing

their rhymes of long ago.

But side by side a little pair

with heads together, mingled hair,

went walking to and fro

still hand in hand; and what they said,

ere Waking far apart them led,

that only we now know.

— J.R.R. Tolkien

    Another I thoroughly enjoy is Ulysses, by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

 

What are your favourite poems?

Welcome Back

Summer is regrettably, and undeniably, over. We’re moving towards November now, and I’m back into the full time swing of my studies. I’ve taken up English Literature at college this year, and I’m working through Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations at the moment. Its really opened my eyes to classic literature, and I think I’m even finding a taste for it.

So, this is just a quickie to let you know that I’m back off of my break and I’ll be writing again soon!

Radagast the Brown in Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’

Okay, so I’ve just watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey again; it being Peter Jackson’s rendition of the book (the first part at least). I just fell to thinking about how it measures up to my preconceptions having read the book, and the LOTR Appendices.

As a film, I like it. It’s pretty good, and I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo, I think he’s a splendid character match.

Right, I can’t wait any longer, I need to rant about the things I don’t agree with!

Thorin: I like the character portrayal, he seems dark and brooding. I just don’t like the way some of the ways he pronounces his words. He has a little bit of an accent I find slightly out of character. For example, he says ‘Gandolf’ instead of ‘Gandalf’. I think it a bit odd how all of the Dwarves are from the same background, yet only Thorin has the accent. Odd.

The Trolls: Okay, I know that The Hobbit’s target audience is a bit younger than LOTR was, it’s meant to entertain children to some extent. However, I find the trolls just a little too comical. The part when the one blows his nose over Bilbo I find very displeasing to my tastes; I should have preferred it more serious. But hey, that’s just my taste and a deep respect for the literature of which it was born.

Azog: I’m sorry. There are no words for my dislike of this plotline. Azog dies in the Battle of Azanulbizar in Third Age year 2799. His son Bolg features much later in the Hobbit.

Radagast: In my mind, Radagast has always been, and will continue to be a wise man. A master of birds and beasts and in tune with the forest. Peter Jackson has painted him as some crackpot with bird droppings down his face and a birds nest under his hat. Absolutely not. I have always imagined Radagast as a tall, silver haired man of green cloak with a raven on his shoulder. I won’t let the film chap cut that from my head. For the role of the crackpot though, the actor does remarkably and I commend him.

So, yes. Little bit of a rant but there you have it.

Should Books Have Happy Endings?

Let me start off by saying that this post will refer to the fantasy genre, as opposed to other genres. I’m not asking whether tragedies should have a happy ending because – hey – that’s a silly question really isn’t it?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. We all know the sort of stories where the knight in shining armour saves the beautiful princess from the dangerous dragon, takes her back to the glorious king who gives him her dainty hand in marriage. Happily ever after (and what a depressing use of adjectives, if I may say so!). Is that how a story whould always be? Should a fantasy author mould himself to the happy ending, giving absolution to whatever hurts the hero has gotten (I couldn’t find a synonym for ‘gotten’ beginning with a ‘h’ to get that alliteration flowing, my apologies [I seem to be waxing prose today!])? Continue reading

Tablets and e-Readers: A Followup

Hi all, I thought some people might be interested in a followup regarding the poll I created on how people read. The post was ‘Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?’ and you can find the poll there; I’d still love for you to vote! I’ve had fourteen votes now, and not many more are coming in, so I thought it high time to reveal all and make a few comments. Obviously it’s an open poll and anybody can read the results, but I expect chances are if you voted you haven’t looked back at it since.

So, here are the results.

Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?
Yes! A dedicated e-Reader. (eg Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo etc) 6 votes, 42.86
Yes! A tablet on which I read. (eg iPad, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire 5 votes, 35.71%
Yes! I have both of these things. 2 votes, 14.29%
No! I read solid books and don’t own (or don’t read from) a tablet or e-Reader.
1 vote, 7.14%

So, what I can see from this is as follows; the vast majority of people who voted read on e-Platforms, be that tablet or dedicated device. Currently it seems that it is the dedicated e-Readers that’re taking the cake on this, but it’s very close and the votes seemed to see-saw on this (last time I looked, most people were using their tablets), so to me that’s fairly equal.
A couple lucky fellows have both of these devices, and so assumingly read on the dedicated e-Reader (though not definitely, perhaps I should have split this question into a ‘Yes, both, but I read on X/Y.’. And then there’s that one person whom reads only solid paper books. You know what I say to that? Good for you, dear Sir or Ma’am! If that’s how you like it, don’t feel pressured into making the swap.

On a final note, a shout out of thanks to the two people who tweeted the poll and probably helped garner a few more votes.

Okay, a second final note: The poll is not closed! You can still vote, and I’d really really love for you to do so! Please, tweet, facebook, post links to and share that poll. If there’s a surge of votes I’ll be able to write a more detailed analysis of it, which I’d love to do, but I can’t on only fourteen votes.

Let me just say that this poll is not necessarily wholly reliable. It is a very valid point that people who use the internet and frequent blogs like this may be more in tune with the e-Reading side of life and that those that read normal books may not be in a position to use the poll. Thus, I’ll say this – if you know somebody who only reads solid books, or know somebody that does any of the options, throw in a vote for their sake, will you?

If you’ve got any thoughts on the matter, please comment! I’d love to chat to you.