The Lunatic Cafe - Anita Blake
Being the fourth Vampire novel, in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, do I find this Dark and Urban Fantasy Tale, to be a passionate mix of both Anita's Love Life, and thy Secret Realms - of thy Werewolves:
Being hip deep in both, it's as though Anita, is on the verge of drowning ... Her Passions Run Deep, and a Promise is a Promise - Deputy Numb Nuts :) And yes, there's a fair amount of humour, within this Fantasy Tale! For me though, is this intermixed, with an important underlying theme - that of Family ... There's the Werewolves and their Pack Order. There's the Vampires and their Hands Off. There's the Spook Squad and their Silver Bullets. And in the middle of all three, can you find - Anita!!! I liked the fact that Anita, refused to give up her friend - even if her boyfriend, was his Alpha. I liked the fact that Anita, shed a tear or two - even if her rival, was her Jealous. I liked the fact that Anita, stemmed the flow of blood - even if her colleague, was her Rag (aka joker). For it's Anita's Character, and her sense of self, that flows throughout this tale. For it's Anita's Enemies, and their stance of power, that stalks throughout this tale. For it's Anita's Weapons, and their sense of comfort, that beds throughout this tale. And in all of this? Is there Jean-Claude, who wants a date! Fairs Fair Anita, give me a chance to woo you - as you did to me :) Now, if there's one part that shocked me (the most) within this tale, then I would say - it's the hierarchy of the Werewolves. The tale here, gave me a sense, that they were all: out of control! Insane Pack Order, seemed to help with this ... There's two Master Werewolves, but neither has - over all control. One prefers Peace - the other: Head on a Block. One requests Anita - the other: Seeds of Lust. One's Richard. One's Marcus. One's Marcus. One's Richard. For it's Werewolf Central, that's Caged behind - Closed Doors, and Sound Proof Walls. Or is it? As in this tale, did I find that the Secrets of the Werewolves - flowed like a River :) And in that River, that goes by the name of Shape Shifter, did I find both Mythical Creatures, and their Fantasy/Lore ... For example: I've never heard of a Naga before, but here - is their an Immortal Being, with the Skin of a Snake. I've never heard of a Were-Swan before, but here - is their the lowest of the Shape Shifters, especially in Feathered White! And of the Werewolves themselves? I was most intrigued, because their Human Lives, seemed to be lived in the pursuit, of challenging their Human Shackles. There's two that I would say, challenged this more than others - and no, it's not the Alphas! The two Fantasy Characters that I'm thinking of (one Woman one Man), both made me laugh (especially the woman - over whose rules she follows!), and both surprised me (over just how low they could steep - in their pursuits of pleasure?). Fortunately, throughout all of this, did I find Anita's Character - to be a rock. Even if at times, it is only the cold hard steel, that she clamps down on - but where is her gun? Choices! Choices! As for the other Characters within this Fantasy tale, it's mostly Cops. I didn't like some of these, and neither does Anita. There's a whole part (near the beginning of the book), that just seems totally crazy - with certain Deputies, taking their orders, too literally ... It is also here that I feel, that the tale does a decent job, of portraying some of the lunacies, of interstate boundaries (between various police forces) - although as you will see, there's a twist here to! And as for Anita? It made me laugh, that she was concerned primarily, with an important question (or two): Can she date a Werewolf? Can she date a Monster? AKA: Is Richard really a Monster? And what of Jean-Claude? Choices! Choices! Fortunately for Anita, does she have a trusty friend to help her: a Penguin or two :) Overall: I enjoyed reading about the Werewolves within this tale, even if I feel, that some of their Urban Fantasy, shocked me a little (as it seemed a little Darker - than I've encountered before). I also found myself thinking, of the Wolf in Werewolf - more than the Man in Werewolf. Although the twist towards the end (involving a Witch and her Magic), brought new meaning to the term - Shape Shifter! For it's a Witch's Spell, that Anita Blake does cast. For it's an Animator's Gift, that Anita Blake, can look a Vampire in the Eye. For she's a Vampire Hunter, with a Werewolf called Richard, a Bounty Hunter called Death - and a Promise is a Promise! Deputy Numb Nuts :)
18/10/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: | About Laurell K Hamilton
Princess Salamander - Angel Fire Queen
In Angel's Kingdom, Fires be Raised. In Heaven's Sent, Suns be Burned. Born of Raging and of Fury - this Shimmering Queen, Flickers of thy Flame to See:
Flying through her Fire's Domain, thinking of thy Chains to Pull. One Link here, one Link there - Eyelet here, Eyelet there. Hovering in her Fiery Realm, dreaming of thy Souls to Name. One Rune here, one Rune there - Twisting here, Twisting there. Guarding in her Fiery Reign, knowing of thy Roots to Rule. One Stare here, one Stare there - Halo here, Halo there ... What did you see? These Chains of Fire, knew Angel Fell. These Haloes of Fire, knew Queen Eclipse. These Souls of Fire, knew Tongue Salamander ... What did you dream? These Chains of Sin, knew Devil Stair. These Rings of Rule, knew Monarch's Glare. These Spirits of Flame, knew Flick of Dare ... What did you muse? These Chains of Iron, knew Heaven's Spite. These Crowns of Throne, knew Heaven's Wrath. These Sparks in Blaze, knew Myths of Ember ... They spoke to me of Angel Fire. They spoke to me of Fiery Realms. They spoke to me of Magma's Heat. They spoke to me of Angel's Dark. They spoke to me of Fiery Verse. They spoke to me of Magma's Spells :) What did you feel? Passions in thy Heart so Pure - Inferno Goddess, all her Power. Ambitions in thy Soul so Rule - Queen Element, all her Glory. Trusting in thy Guard so Right - Angel Guardian, all her Realm. Learnings in thy Penance so Bare - Archangel, all her Guise. Knowings in thy Phoenix so Rise - Elven Witch, all her Riddles. Believing in thy Wings so Strong - Watchful Eye, all her Province :) For it was indeed, I came across her in my Fire ... These Dancing Flames of Chains in Time. These Leaping Licks of Grates in Iron. These Rising Heats of Leather's Band. These Glowing Rings of Halos There. These Charcoal Runes of Writhing Heat. These Burning Eyes of Madam's Stare! For it was indeed, I came across her in my Way ... These Fiery Forms known Guardian Angel. These Phoenix Forms known Fire Fairy. These Regal Forms known Angel Queen. These Eclipsing Capes known Dark Angel. These Shadowed Cloaks known Dark Fairy. These Silhouette Folds of Madam's Power! Forges of her Fire's Domain. Embers of her Queenly Guard. Heralds of her Burning Reign. Salamander ... Guardians of her Fire's Empire. Tenders of her Queenly Ways. Curators of her Dancing Flames. Salamander ... Sung to Me: Flame in War, Flame in Siege, Flame in Conquest, Flame in Fight, Flame in Battle, Flame in Knight - but know this my King, thy Breath of Fire, Belongs to Me!
09/09/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Princess Salamander (in Steve's Gallery) | About Angels
The Laughing Corpse - Anita Blake
This is my second outing into the Fantasy World of Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter. It's an outing that I found had me questioning the morals, that some Fantasy Characters have, and learning more about Anita's personality - within the Realms of Voodoo:
The tale starts where it finishes really - in Harold Gaynor's presence. Yet, between those pages, did I find a tale that both surprised, and exceeded my expectations. I think part of this allure, comes from the pondering of a question: who/what exactly is The Laughing Corpse? Which ironically, I tended to forget about within this tale, but was reminded of every-time, I glanced at the cover :) It was not until half way through this tale, that I knew what it was - and it was not until the end of the tale, that I gained the who, or at least a suspicion of the who, that I felt the term/title applied to! In doing so, did I like the fact that this tale, goes to great lengths, to explain Anita's role as an Animator (one who raises the Dead for a living). Whilst being a somewhat lonely occupation, is there an honoured/abided by rule - that when one Animator dies, that all the other Animators, attend their Funeral. This may not seem like much, but it does introduce the concept of a family hierarchy. And in that hierarchy, did I find all manner of twists ... First: is the fact that an Animator, who Anita learned her trade from, Crosses the Line. So far Across that Line, is her friend, that Anita finds that she doesn't really know, who they are any more! Second: is the fact that fellow Animators, do not have to be polite all the time, often seeming distant - but they can be snapped right back in (to focus), when it comes to family concerns. Anita helps one of The Greats (in the Realms of Animators plus Voodoo), only to discover - that his Brother, was Not So Great, after-all! Third: is the fact that not all Animators have to be Living, and that those who are Dead, have no concept of - Drawing the Line. And it is this theme, that I found, helped connect me to Anita's Character further: as she very definitely does Draw the Line, and there's one thing that she won't do, in this Midnight Realm of Animator (except in self defence). Yet here did I find some irony, for in the name of self defence, will Anita do whatever it takes - which lead to a somewhat eye raising finale to this tale (for me). It also lead to a realisation that Anita is more powerful than both I, and many others, have thought before ... This goes for both Jean-Claude (her so-called Master Vampire), and for her sworn Enemy (within this tale): Dominga Salvador, High Voodoo Priestess and Admirer! Well, I say Admirer, more the Godmother of Animator/Voodoo, who wants Anita to help her with a business venture ... It is here, that Anita Draws the Line again, and in doing so, does Anita have a Midnight disturbance, which is the stuff of Nightmares really! Especially for her Penguins ... Suffice to say, Anita is gunning for Dominga after this, but she still has a job to do: investigate the local murders, and find a killer Zombie. In doing this, does Anita explain more about her Powers of being an Animator ... It's more something she Feels, she can just talk to the Dead. It's more something She Is, she can just Raise an entire Graveyard. For Anita is, and always will be, a Necromancer! Who just-so-happens, to have her best friends wedding to attend, doesn't like the bridesmaids gowns, and why on earth - did she set her alarm for six in the morning? Overall: An Urban Fantasy tale, that binds Vampires, Werewolves and Animators together - within the Dark Fantasy Realms of Voodoo. Dominga Salvador is Voodoo Incarnate, who compels Anita to do something she doesn't want to do. And no, it's not to be a bridesmaid! It's Voodoo Magic, but it's not quite the same as a Master Vampire's, nor is it the same as a humble Animator's ... For Anita is a Necromancer, and her language is - ma petite :) A.K.A - I just love Anita Blake, but not that coffee!
20/07/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: | About Laurell K Hamilton
Liliana - Queen of Veil Queen of Night
In Velvet's Kiss, Paths be Grinned. In Midnight's Realm, Chains be Torment. Born of Darkness and of Fire - this Witch's Glamour, Seduction of thy Steps to be:
Standing in her Under Verse, thinking of thy Spells to Cast. One Chant here, one Rhyme there - Halo of thy Witch's Soul. Guarding in her Nether Realm, musing on thy Powers to Use. One Bite here, one Touch there - Dancing of thy Vampire's Heart. Warding in her Darkest Guise, dreaming of thy Fun Tonight. One Wink here, one Smile there - Knowing of thy Lilith's Ways ... In Sorceress Power, with Licks of Flame. In Sorceress Might, with Flicks of Fire. In Sorceress Stance, with Dance of Orb. Liliana - Queen of Witch! A Necromancer's Power, with Walls be Damned. A Necromancer's Might, with Guards be Bone. A Necromancer's Stance, with Dreams be Dark. Liliana - Queen of Vampire! Thy Forbidden Power, with Lures of Heart. Thy Forbidden Might, with Chains of Soul. Thy Forbidden Stance, with Robes of Serpent. Liliana - Queen of Lilith! For it was indeed, I'd come across her in my Dreams ... With Gold of Jewel and Silver Vine. With Curve of Fit and Shapely Moon. With Flesh of Sin and Brunette's Hair. With Eyes of Pool and Luscious Lips. With Lace of Leg and Golden Crown. With Paths of Neck and Shoulder Fine. Thy Witches Queen - donned Fairy Glamour! For it was indeed, I'd come across her in my Nights ... With Cold of Rock and Earthly Grave. With Tight of Press and Stony Place. With Field of Fright and Rivers Run. With Eyes of Lost and Tempting Gate. With Web of Snare and Hellish Glow. With Chains of Arm and Spider's Fang. Thy Vampires Queen - donned Sweetish Scent! For it was indeed, I'd come across her in my Way ... With Quests of Fire and Trusted Steel. With Light of Cave and Shrouded Glimpse. With Steps of Chance and Rising Heat. With Eyes of Lure and Lusting Way. With Robes of Queen and Purple Gleam. With Powers of Witch and Vampire's Reign. Thy Lilith's Queen - donned Empress Liliana! Queening of her Subterranean. Master of her Darkened Way. Mistress of her Dragon's Breath. Liliana ... Royalty of her Kingdom's Rule. Be-speller of her Darkest Night. Commander of her Foundries Fire. Liliana ... Regal of her Empires Dark. Caster of her Gemstone Bright. Forger of her Army's Might. Liliana ... Said to Me: Rise in Power, Rise in Might, Rise in Status, Rise in Fight, Rise in Rule, Rise in King, Rise in Heart, Rise in Time - for Liliana donned Necromancer, and her Midnight Spell :)
09/06/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Liliana of the Veil
Blue Moon Rising - Simon R. Green
This is by far the best Sword and Sorcery fantasy novel that I have ever read:
I was hooked from the first page! Prince Rupert has been sent upon a Quest: to slay a Dragon and rescue a Princess. But being Prince Rupert, the Quest does not go according to plan - and it is instead, just the start of his Adventures! I especially like the fact that the novel is packed full of Quests - both main Quests (such as the Quest to find the High Warlock) and sub Quests (such as the Quest to find out what has happened in Coppertown). Prince Rupert is not your typical Prince - he is a Second Son (in line to the Throne), and was regarded as a good-for-nothing (by most of Castle Society). I like the fact that Prince Rupert has numerous challenges to overcome, and in doing so, proves them all wrong! Even so, it's his Quest for the Dragon that changes his Character the most, as he has to pass through the Darkwood - which hones his fighting skills (by improving them the hard way), and earns him new friends (with which he returns to Forest Castle). My favourite main Quest has to be the Quest to find the High Warlock - as I like the fact that Prince Rupert takes command of an entire Troop of Guards, together with the Kings Champion, and leads them into the Darkwood. It is hear that the Champion starts to gain some respect for the Prince Rupert (instead of just seeing him as a threat to the Throne). I laughed when they first met the High Warlock - as he is somewhat anti-social, has some-what lost touch with the world (not having been outside his Dark Tower for years), and puts a Dead Rat in every barrel of Wine that he brews! He is also the most powerful Sorcerer that the Forest Land has ever known - and is perhaps, the only hope of throwing back the advance of the Darkwood (a Magical place that's full of Demons and the Night). Both the High Warlock, and the Dragon, provide much of the comedy (for me) - especially when it comes to what the Dragon wants to eat (mountains of food first, then will talk). My favourite minor Quest has to be when the Princess Julia (a friend of Prince Rupert's) goes on an expedition (within Forest Castle) to find the Old Armoury (which happens to be in the missing South Wing). How can a Castle Wing go missing you ask? Well, Forest Castle is somewhat unique: with Ancient Spells and Wards cast within it's walls - it's larger on the inside (than it is on the outside), and as such, most of the Castle rooms/halls change places everyday! I was excited when the Princess Julia (eventually) stands before the Doors to the Old Armoury - especially when you learn/remember that it's also where the most Powerful Swords ever made by Man are kept (the three Infernal Devices) - the three Broadswords, Rockbreaker, Flarebright and Wolfsbane. The storyline manages to merge Battlefield Drama with Castle Politics and Intrigue. There's a Plot to Overthrow the King, and appoint a new one (although not who you would expect). There's also several Traitors (one who I had expected all along), and another (who I didn't see until the very end). My favourite Warrior has to be the Kings Champion. The Tale goes to great lengths to build him into a Hero out of Legend (which indeed he is): towering above the heads of mortal men, covered from head-to-toe in the Armour of a Knight, swinging his Axe effortlessly (against a never ending Tide of Foes), placing the Might of Steel above all others - defiantly against the use of Magic (although there's a twist towards the end!). I also approve of the use of Magic within this Tale - with it's first use being when the Dragon casts a Spell, so that Prince Rupert may make the Rainbow Run: a light appears before him (like a Will-o'-the-wisp) that leads him to his Destiny (or at least - part of it). I also liked the idea of the High Warlocks Teleportation Spell - although as we learn, he is not the only Sorcerer that's capable of such magic. I also enjoyed reading the parts where the High Warlock flies high above the heads of his Foes - casting Bale-fire, denying entrance to the Foes of Forest Castle. Another favourite Fantasy Character (of mine) is Breeze - Prince Rupert's Unicorn. He is also Prince Rupert's friend - who grumbles when he is fed grass (wanting barley only), who fights by his side (saying that the Prince won't last long without him) and who jokes from time to time (especially the part where Prince Rupert says: Were just going back into the Darkwood a little way - and Breeze replies: So I'll suppose we'll only be killed a little bit. Forget it!). Overall: this is an amazing Tale - which has kept me turning the pages, until many the early hours. I'm still amazed at how much the author (Simon R. Green) has managed to pack into just over four hundred and forty pages - whilst not seeming to rush the Tale (at all). If you like Adventure and Fantasy, mixed with Swords and Bale-fire, mixed with a Dragon and a Unicorn, mixed with Demons and a Demon Prince - then this is a Fantasy Book/Novel that you should definitely consider reading! It's also a book that I've reread several times over the past few years - five or six times now, as I enjoyed reading it so very much!
05/03/2015 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Simon R. Green (fantasy books)