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$7.19 $5.04 list($7.99)
1. Neverwhere
$9.80 $8.75 list($14.00)
2. The Time Traveler's Wife (Harvest
$16.29 list($23.95)
3. A Stroke of Midnight : A Novel
$16.47 list($24.95)
4. Resurrection (Forgotten Realms
$23.10 $18.35 list($35.00)
5. The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower,
$12.64 list($22.95)
6. Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire
$16.47 list($24.95)
7. The Hallowed Hunt : A Novel
$61.17 $56.95 list($89.95)
8. D&D Core Rulebook Gift Set,
$9.99 $6.63
9. Archfiends Expansion Pack (Dungeon
$19.60 $18.48 list($28.00)
10. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice
11. Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time,
$17.13 $15.50 list($25.95)
12. The Rivers of War
$11.53 list($16.95)
13. The Dark Tower VI : Song of Susannah
$10.88 $7.95 list($16.00)
14. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind
$10.20 $8.50 list($15.00)
15. Wicked: The Life and Times of
$6.29 list($6.99)
16. Haunted
$16.29 $10.99 list($23.95)
17. The Franklin Affair : A Novel
$56.67 list($89.95)
18. The Fires of Heaven : Book Five
$18.45 $15.00 list($27.95)
19. Darkwitch Rising : Book Three
$16.47 $4.63 list($24.95)
20. Dragonsblood (Dragonriders of

1. Neverwhere
by Neil Gaiman
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380789019
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Avon
Sales Rank: 2551
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart -- and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed -- a dark subculture flourish in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city -- a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...Richard Mayhew is a young businessman with a good heart and a dull job. When he stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations below the city. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. ... Read more

Reviews (420)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a bloody marvelous novel!
I had the pleasant encounter with Neil Gaiman himself at the DreamHaven bookstore in Minneapolis, MN. As well a large number of people turning out to see him in person. Before seeing him in person, I've read his first major novel, "Neverwhere". Wow, it's truly the best modern fairy tale novel for adults since "Alice in Wonderland"! London came really alive to me, the above world never knew about life hidden in the under world. Literally I mean way under the above world. The characters are so fascinated and I love those two crazy killers acting like some english nobles with perverse sense of humors. Neil Gaiman is very inventive and creative with the story and based on his past stories he'd written for the comic book industry, this man is destined for greatness. I've sweared that Neil Gaiman is the modern William Shakespeare! No one have ever write the stories as well and marvelous as Gaiman...not even since James Joyce and William Shakespeare. I told Neil this and he was rather flabbergasted but it's the truth! Read the novel, then read "Stardust", then read every story Neil has ever written and you'll know that we may have a William Shakespeare for the 21st century! Oh, by the way..."mind the gap!"

4-0 out of 5 stars Gaiman is a Pro at Weaving Worlds You Get Lost In
I read American Gods last year and loved it, eager to read what else the author of the fabulous "Sandman" graphic novels has written, I picked up Neverwhere and read it in a day.

Here, Gaiman takes the real life "London Underground" system of subways and tube stations and adds a twist, a magical world beyond the underground, London Below where pockets of lost time and places are filled with the forgotten people of the world.

London Below is a world of Baronies and Fiefdoms, of angels, beasts and killers. Richard Mayhew, a securities analyst gets drawn into this secret, invisible world when he helps what appears to be an injured homeless woman. Because of his contact with her and some of the people from her world, he slowly disappears from his own reality. It seems that most people aboveground cannot deal with the reality of London Below so they conveniently can't see them or anything they do.

A classic quest follows with an interesting cast of characters. Richard and The Lady Door, together with a reprobate Marquis and a bodyguard head off through danger to find answers. You enter the world of rat speakers, sewer dwellers and secret societies. It's all very interesting and funny as well as giving the reader the occasional scare. Below is a world where nothing is what it seems and danger lurks everywhere and yet, its inhabitants seem to derive pleasure from their lives despite that.

As with Gods, Gaiman weaves his mythical world into the tapestry of the "reality" of every day life and there are times when you aren't sure if what is happening is just a manifestation of Richard's insanity or not. It's a nice tension.

This book will please the fantasy reader as well as those who love a good mystery. It's a worthy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sorry about the confusion
this a good book. it is reaeally good fool. It is like fantasy, but not really. it is good. it is a good book that is good and it is a book, see, it is a good book and i liked this book beacuse it was a book that was a good book that was good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely dark fantasy
Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman finds himself mixed up in the weird alternate reality of "London Below" when he rescues a strange girl named Door. He joins her and a few other denizens from London Below --- such as the (ah, hell, why not?) irrepressible Marquis de Carabbas and the rather intense Hunter --- in her search for the Angel Islington, whom Door's father told her she could trust right before he and the rest of Door's family were murdered by two henchmen named Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar (who were hilarious, by the way).

Gaiman obviously had a lot of fun with names of tube stops and prominent places in London and with the possibilities for parallels between London Below and London Above. I loved the sense of wonder and the sense of humor in Neverwhere, though both were balanced by the sense of darkness in the story. Quintessential Gaiman. A wonderful and imaginative book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great novel from Gaimen.
From author Neil Gaimen (Sandman, Good Omens) come this enchanting novel about a world underneath London where magic and violence reigns. The novel's hero, Richard Mayhew, is a simple man with a simple life until one day he sees a bleeding girl lying in an alley. The choice he makes to help the girl opens a whole new world to him. The very next day, Richard's life, as he knows it, has drastically changed. No one seems to know who he is. All records of his life have disappeared. His only hope is to find the girl (called Door) again and see if she can offer any explanations on why his world has turned upside down. His search for the girl leads him to a whole underground world beneath modern London where nothing is at it seems.

This novel was much better than I anticipated. Full of action and a great storyline, Neverwhere will stretch your imagination to its fullest. Great characters round out this superb story of love, vengeance, magic and escapism. ... Read more

2. The Time Traveler's Wife (Harvest Book)
by Audrey Niffenegger
list price: $14.00
our price: $9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 015602943X
Catlog: Book (2004-05-27)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 40
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
... Read more

Reviews (370)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great and Believable Sci-Fi Love Story.
I am not an avid reader by any means, but the premise of this book really caught my attention. The love between the main characters Clare and Henry was very well laid out throughout this novel. The happiness in finding one another, the acceptance of a guy who travels thorugh time uncontrollably, and the never ending tension that arises when Henry disappears for hours or days at a time.

The only thing that kept 5 stars from being put on my review, is the overwhelming sadness throughout the book, that at times was making you think "What could possibly go wrong NOW?" I am all for a good drama, but at times the multitude of doom and gloom was a bit too much to bear. Good thing some humor was sprinkled throughout the book though to balance these macrabre occurances out.

All in all, though, a great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
This is a truly a masterpiece. The characters and the plot is simply astounding. It tells a story about the lives of two people through a series of episodes. I found this book entertaining, and a good book to pick up on a rainy afternoon. Any day as a matter of fact. A wonderful journey, which is recommended for anyone to enjoy.Also recommended is "Don't Call That Man", and "He Never Called Again". Back to the book, "The Time Traveler's Wife", read it, it's quite fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Vacation Read
At first I wanted to put this book down becuase it seemed too insipid and a waste of time for over 500 pages. After I got into it, I finished it in a matter of days. The author is able to let you get to know the characters while living a far fetched science fiction story that you actually believe. A great read for a summer beach vacation.

5-0 out of 5 stars The time traveler's wife
This is such an amazing book! This is not the type of novel I would usually pick up, however after hearing how great it was I decided to give it a try. I can't stop thinking about this story. The characters will haunt you long after you have finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best in a long time
I passed by this book several times before deciding to read it. When I finally made it through the first 20 pages, I was hooked. This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The author does an excellent job of alerting the reader to the time and place and the appropriate ages of the characters, and contrary to other reviewers, I found it very easy to follow. The characters, Clare and Henry, are well developed and believable - well, at least as believable as can possibly be when someone suffers from chronodisplacement. The story moved me to tears, made me laugh, and totally consumed me while I read it. I was captive and lost all sense of time as I traveled with both Henry and Clare, and was very disappointed that the book had to end. Niffenegger has made me rethink my relationships and the time that I give to them. I love this book. ... Read more

3. A Stroke of Midnight : A Novel (Meredith Gentry Novels (Hardcover))
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345443578
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 6907
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4. Resurrection (Forgotten Realms Novel: War of the Spider Queen (Hardcover))
by Paul S. Kemp
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786936401
Catlog: Book (2005-05-06)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Sales Rank: 40558
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Book Description

The final volume in the New York Times best-selling saga of civil war and chaos in the darkest part of the Forgotten Realms setting.

This latest title drives the civil upheaval among one of the most popular races in the Forgotten Realms setting to its epic conclusion. Several of the previous titles in this series hit the New York Times best-seller list upon initial release. Best-selling author R.A. Salvatore wrote the prologue to Resurrection and consulted on the series, lending his expertise as the author who brought drow society to the forefront of the Forgotten Realms setting.
... Read more

5. The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)
by Stephen King
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880418622
Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
Publisher: Donald M. Grant/Scribner
Sales Rank: 46
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At one point in this final book of the Dark Tower series, the character Stephen King (added to the plot in Song of Susannah) looks back at the preceding pages and says "when this last book is published, the readers are going to be just wild." And he's not kidding.

After a journey through seven books and over 20 years, King's Constant Readers finally have the conclusion they've been both eagerly awaiting and silently dreading. The tension in the Dark Tower series has built steadily from the beginning and, like in the best of King's novels, explodes into a violent, heart-tugging climax as Roland and his ka-tet finally near their goal. The body count in The Dark Tower is high. The gunslingers come out shooting and face a host of enemies, including low men, mutants, vampires, Roland's hideous quasi-offspring Mordred, and the fearsome Crimson King himself. King pushes the gross-out factor at times--Roland's lesson on tanning (no, not sun tanning) is brutal--but the magic of the series remains strong and readers will feel the pull of the Tower as strongly as ever as the story draws to a close. During this sentimental journey, King ties up loose ends left hanging from the 15 non-series novels and stories that are deeply entwined in the fabric of Mid-World through characters like Randall Flagg (The Stand and others) or Father Callahan (Salem's Lot). When it finally arrives, the long awaited conclusion will leave King's myriad fans satisfied but wishing there were still more to come.

In King's memoir On Writing, he tells of an old woman who wrote him after reading the early books in the Dark Tower series. She was dying, she said, and didn't expect to see the end of Roland's quest. Could King tell her? Does he reach the Tower? Does he save it? Sadly, King said he did not know himself, that the story was creating itself as it went along. Wherever that woman is now (the clearing at the end of the path, perhaps?), let's hope she has a copy of The Dark Tower. Surely she would agree it's been worth the wait. --Benjamin Reese

Visit the Dark Tower store
Over 30 years in the making, spanning seven volumes, Stephen King's epic quest for the Dark Tower has encompassed almost his entire body of fiction. Find every volume of this fantastic adventure, an interview with the master himself, and much more in our DarkTower Store.

Authors on Stephen King
Mystery writer Michael Connelly thinks Stephen King's "one of the most generous writers I know of." Thriller author Ridley Pearson says "King possesses an incredible sense of story..." Read our Stephen King testimonials to find out what else they and other authors had to say about the undisputed King of Horror.

The Path to the Dark Tower
There are only seven volumes in Stephen King's Dark Tower series but more than a dozen of his novels and short stories are deeply entwined with the Mid-World universe. Take a look at the non-series titles, from Salem's Lot to Everything's Eventual. Can you find the connections?

History of an Alternate Universe
Robin Furth, an expert on Stephen King's Dark Tower universe if ever there was one, has created a timeline of Mid-World, the slowly crumbling world of gunslinger Roland Deschain. Read it and get up to speed on a world of adventure.

Hail to the King
Fans applauded and critics howled when Stephen King was awarded the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Service to American Letters. In typical fashion, King accepted the honor with humility and urged recognition for other "popular" authors. Listen to a clip of his acceptance speech, then order the entire speech on audio CD. ... Read more

6. Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries)
by CharlaineHarris
list price: $22.95
our price: $12.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441012795
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Sales Rank: 155
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Sookie's brother Jason's eyes start to change, she knows he's about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population-and Jason's new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now, Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who's behind the attacks, unless the killer decides to find her first. ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars the only series i read
Every may, i wait for the newest book in the series.this book is full of surprises and funny and full of "Sookieisms"she once again saves the day, and her friends.This book deals with mostly the shifters.for any bill fans, well... maybe next book? cause he doesnt have a big part.the Weres are back including the big strong alcide.
all in all it was pretty great. it left me wanting more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, Sookie - You've ruined me for the other vamp novels!
This is book number 5 in the Sookie Stackhouse series.If you're just picking up this series, begin at the beginning and read everything!You won't regret it.

My biggest complaint is that I love this series so much that now no other vamp novels will do.Now, I love some Laurell K Hamilton and LA Banks vampire executioner/huntress novels.But, their shake you by the shoulders, screaming "GOOD vs. EVIL!" style is a bit like that overbearing cousin you avoid at family reunions when you compare them to Harris' laid-back, subtler style (your favorite ex-hippie uncle).I'll bide my time with the other novels, but I'd rather Harris just wrote a new novel every week to keep up with my reading needs.

So, Sookie Stackhouse, is not the chosen one or the most powerful of anything, which makes her a wonderfully sympathetic character for me.She is a working-class waitress in a small Southern town doing her best to ignore her unwanted disability - telepathy.Being a mind-reader is no picnic. Imagine knowing that, despite what your best friend says, she really believes that your new haircut makes you look like a cow.You can see the problems.But this ability has also given her entrance into a whole underground culture of supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, witches, and fairies.

This installment is more complex than earlier novels because it contains multiple storylines - the murder mystery, the werewolves, the bad vampire boyfriend, Sookie's varied, but tasteful, love life, and, hey, what's with the fairy godmother?I enjoyed all of it.I have a small complaint about the murder mystery.I knew who one culprit was in the first 30-40 pages of the book.It's not too difficult to tell.Let's see Arlene has been all the books, so has Sam. Eric and Bill are obviously long-running characters, but, hey, I've never seen this character before. It's an ongoing problem with murder mysteries.New characters are either cannon fodder or killers.That niggling little worry aside, I would still say this book is 100% worth reading.Way to go, Sookie!When can I have novel 6?

5-0 out of 5 stars Bite into this series!!!
Can't help it - vampires have an allure - am not the only one - Sookie Stackhouse is the heroine that can drive the hunkiest vampire crazy out there. She is a telepath, and sometimes it gets her misunderstood as a kook, but she's a sweetie. The series is a not so gory vampire tale with vampires being integrated into the main stream human life. They drink synthetic blood the Japanese invented. In the previous books, the violence had been at a minimum, if you don't count vampires biting while making love, but this book has a few moments that hit you - being a were trying to be head hocho is a killer...
There is a character that has endeared us to him - Bubba - He is a vampire whose transition to vampire went awry - he isn't all there and loves cat blood...but he can sing great!!! He used to be a famous singer out of Memphis that people have been spotting at the Burger King!!! What a great addition to the cast of characters!! We know who Bubba was, but don't say his REAL name!
Ms. Harris is a wonderful writer and continues Sookie's adventures into the paranormal with ease and makes them real.
Who wouldn't want to have a fling with Eric???
Parting comments - buy the whole series if you haven't done so yet, or keep enjoying Sookie and friends with her fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bill and Eric take a back seat in this one...
Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Her ability to read minds keeps the normal people away from her. They fear her ability, even those who claim not to believe in it. However, the vampires and other supernatural beings flock to her.

Her brother, Jason, has recently been bitten by a werepanther. Once he makes his first shift, Jason finds that he enjoys his new ability. Problem is that a sniper has begun shooting the local shifters and Jason's new brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Sookie and her friends have until the next full moon to find out who the real sniper is.

Sam, Sookie's boss, is one of the shifters who has been shot. Unable to tend his bar, Sam has Sookie go to Eric for a temporary bar tender. Charles, a vampire, begins work the very next night. Charles is soon protecting Sookie. Seems someone is trying to kill her for simply associating with supernatural beings. If all this is not enough, the local packleader has died. Sookie must attend the funeral, as well as, witness the competition that will select the new packleader.

**** The vampires Bill and Eric take a back seat and play only secondary roles in this installment of the series. Focus is kept mainly on the shifters and the sniper. Author Charlaine Harris has a winning series with this cast of characters! Harris makes the night come alive with her imaginative, supernatural, and dark shrouded community. As usual, I find myself longing for Sookie's next adventure. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Story, Good Characters, but not quite quite.....
This is the fifth Southern Vampire book; all of these stories about the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse are enjoyable light reading. She is a delightful character, forever a wise innocent being overtaken by events that somehow always manage to get out of hand.

If you are new to these books, you should read them in order, since the story is progressive:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World

The characters we have come to know are here once again:Bill is protective, Sam is supportive, Eric is there to help out as needed, and Alcide is complicating everything. Tara is still living on the edge, and Jason is still in trouble.Somebody is shooting shapeshifters, old problems are coming back to haunt Eric, Alcide's father wants to be head of the werewolf pack, and Sookie is in the middle of it all.It's a good story, and a good addition to the continuing saga.

So why didn't I enjoy it as much as I did the others? It seems to me that this book lacks much of the joy and good humor that made the first four so memorable.It doesn't bubble.Sookie seems a bit tired; her sense of wonder isn't working well, and her curiosity isn't as relentless as it has been.Eric doesn't tease in this one; he's not his usual good-natured overwhelming self.Alcide seems actively unpleasant and manipulative.Simply, the whole book is not as much fun as the series has been until now.

The negative does not overwhelm the good.I still recommend it. I do hope that there will be more, and I hope that they will regain the brightness of the earlier books.
... Read more

7. The Hallowed Hunt : A Novel
by Lois McMaster Bujold
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060574623
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Eos
Sales Rank: 79600
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8. D&D Core Rulebook Gift Set, Version 3.5 (Dungeon & Dragons Roleplaying Game: Core Rules)
by Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams, Monte Cook
list price: $89.95
our price: $61.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786934107
Catlog: Book (2003-11-22)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Sales Rank: 4157
Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Version 3.5 editions of the Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide are now offered in one slip-covered gift set.

In the 30-year history of the Dungeons & Dragons game, this type of boxed set has never been available -- until now. Enjoy the foundation of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game in one product that is a great gift for someone you want to introduce to the hobby or as a gift to yourself.

With these three books in one case, the entire world of Dungeons & Dragons is yours to explore and share with others.
... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A well thought out plan
The artwork is well executed. The layout of the books is not unfamiliar; even though it is 20 years since I last played. This collection was the least expensive way I could review all of the changes made in that time. It saved me just under $40 dollars to local retail sales. The box is nicely laminated; easy to remove the books from, and slip back in for storage. The colors are subdued and tasteful, and will not look garrish or inappropriate on any shelf. This contains the Dungeon Master's Guide, Player's Handbook, and Monster Manual in 3.5 Edition rules. (And I started in the construction paper bound set. My! have we changed.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Books
D&D 3.5 is a huge improvement over original D&D or AD&D. The system is much more simple without losing its ability to handle complex stuations. I heard complaints from an earlier reviewer about needing all three books too much, personally I almost never use anything other than the players handbook, although the DMG has a lot of nice info for new players/DMs. As far as this gift set is concerned I would reccomend buying the books used, they are rather pricey.

4-0 out of 5 stars Upgrading to 3.5? This is it.
Ok, if you, like me, have finally decided to crack down and upgrade with the rest of the gaming world to the new 3.5 edition rules for D&D, this is probably the way to go. Gripes about the short time between the release of 3e and 3.5e aside, this is the easiest and by far cheapest way to go. If you purchased each of the core rulebooks individualy you would shell out between $30-$40 per book, thats $90-$120 depending on where you buy! But at $63 you save a bundle and get the whole thing in one fell swoop. So if you are a veteran of 3e (or before) and are looking to update to 3.5, this is the way to go. If you are new to the roleplaying scene this bundle may be too overwhelming, and I would suggest to simply buy the Players Handbook.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great but not for the beginner
I have been playing D&D and AD&D in various incarnations for over 10 years now and I have to say that these are some of the most beautifully presented volumes ever. While expensive what you get for you money is 3 gorgeous full colour glossy manuals. But be warned, these books are not for the inexperienced newbie. As an experienced player I had no problem understanding and navigating thru the tomes, but if I were a new player I would have face real problems. These books are really written for the experienced player as they are heavily loaded with rules and don't really give a good introduction to the game.

The other problem is that while one book is called the players manual and the other book the dungeon masters guide, the truth is that you can't really do full character creation with just the players handbook. For example all the prestige class options are detailed in the DM's guide! Go figure. Were they short of material to fill up the DM book or something?

So if you're an experienced player and, if like me you enjoy pretty books filled with game mechanices, then go for this. Otherwise stick to the basic set or you will be overwhelmed.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're starting new it's fabulous.
Ok. I'm not going to compare this with the older eds. I'm just going to say for new people joining the game this is alot easier. The set up is quicker, the rules are better, the game is balanced better. This edition is easier to learn from scratch and is better at getting new people in because more is spelled out....

The only complaint... my dice roll low and they need to roll high for everything in this ed. :)

This set is the complete set for the game. If you already have someone running the game then you only need a player's guide to start. If you want to run a game... well.. hopefully you've at least played it before. To run a game you could conceivably need every book imaginable, but many of the rules were traditionally the dm's call.. so just the DM's guide and player's guide is a must. The monster manuel just makes it all a bit easier.

It's fun. It's incredibly interactive and there is tons on the internet to spice your game up. You can even get the character sheets needed online for free. ... Read more

9. Archfiends Expansion Pack (Dungeon & Dragons Roleplaying Game: Miniatures)
by Wizards of the Coast
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786934646
Catlog: Book (2004-03-31)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Sales Rank: 6954
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Roll for initiative!

Brace yourself for a random encounter dominated by demons, devils, and other outsiders, along with a horde of heroes, villains, and monsters. Taken straight from D&D rulebooks, such as the Monster Manual, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Miniatures Handbook, Psionics Handbook, and Savage Species, these characters are ready for battle -- right out of the box.

Each Archfiends expansion pack contains 8 randomly selected, prepainted, fully assembled, collectible miniatures with double-sided statistic cards for use with the D&D roleplaying game or for fast-paced head-to-head combat.

Three separate Archfiends expansion packs are pictured at left. Each pack contains eight randomly selected miniatures.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars More cheap miniatures and a good game, too!
Archfiends is the 3rd prepainted miniature release from Wizards of the Coast and it gets better every time. The quality of miniatures from WotC's prepainted D&D Miniature line has been improved from their prior two sets, and they're still keeping it affordable at $9.99. The details on some figures are really improving. For instance, Archfiends includes a new common "Warrior Skeleton" that looks better than many skeletons painted by professional miniature painters. "Ragnara, Psychic Warrior" is also a pretty slick looking figure. There is an increase in larger figures from previous sets, including four "Aspects" which are popular D&D villain deities with a midlevel power range (around CR 12) which work well in both D&D and the skirmish game. Finally, the popular Forgotten Realms character Drizzt is now a (rare) figure for the Chaotic Good faction.

I've played a lot more of the Skirmish game that the figures are designed for and I'm surprised how much I like it. The combat cards gives some complex play with relative ease, which is a nice bonus. The new figures add quite a bit to the Skirmish game. The "Gauth" has a dangerous 15 fire damage special ability eye ray, the "Githyanki Fighter" and "Erinyes" have a Dimesion Door ability that was previously only availible to the "Hound Archon" from Harbinger, and Lawful Good finally has a dragon with the nasty "Large Silver Dragon".

The set is not perfect. The humanoid figures are still missing a bit of detail, especially some of the elves -- like the uncommon Mialee, Elf Wizard. I'm a firm believer that figures for PCs should be hand-painted anyway, so in my RPG games any of the short-term NPCs are drawn from these prepainted figures and the long-term PCs are hand painted metal figures.

I'm willing to overlook some of the flaws because they're a relatively inexpensive way to build up a large force of painted figures to help a time-crunched DM. Unfortunately, there are rumors that the price of these figures is increasing, which will cut down on their usefulness. With the increased price of Giants of Legend to $19.99 (for 8 figures and 1 huge figure) and I suspect future sets will be around $12.99, I think this is the last easily affordable set. ... Read more

10. A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
by George R. R. Martin
list price: $28.00
our price: $19.60
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Asin: 0553801503
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 811
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Book Description

Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion andpraise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace...only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

A Feast for Crows

It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears....With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist--or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.

But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces--some familiar, others only just appearing--are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests--but only a few are the survivors.
... Read more

11. Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time, Book 11)
by Robert Jordan
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0312873077
Catlog: Book (2005-10-11)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 451
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Book Description

The Wheel of Time turns, and Robert Jordan gives us the eleventh volume of his extraordinary masterwork of fantasy.
The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, when Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity’s only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One’s prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off. But his attempt to make a truce with the Seanchan is shadowed by treachery that may cost him everything. Whatever the price, though, he must have that truce. And he faces other dangers. There are those among the Forsaken who will go to any length to see him dead--and the Black Ajah is at his side....
Unbeknownst to Rand, Perrin has made his own truce with the Seanchan. It is a deal made with the Dark One, in his eyes, but he will do whatever is needed to rescue his wife, Faile, and destroy the Shaido who captured her. Among the Shaido, Faile works to free herself while hiding a secret that might give her her freedom or cause her destruction. And at a town called Malden, the Two Rivers longbow will be matched against Shaido spears.
Fleeing Ebou Dar through Seanchan-controlled Altara with the kidnapped Daughter of the Nine Moons, Mat attempts to court the woman to whom he is half-married, knowing that she will complete that ceremony eventually. But Tuon coolly leads him on a merry chase as he learns that even a gift can have deep significance among the Seanchan Blood and what he thinks he knows of women is not enough to save him. For reasons of her own, which she will not reveal until a time of her choosing, she has pledged not to escape, but Mat still sweats whenever there are Seanchan soldiers near. Then he learns that Tuon herself is in deadly danger from those very soldiers. To get her to safety, he must do what he hates worse than work....
In Caemlyn, Elayne fights to gain the Lion Throne while trying to avert what seems a certain civil war should she win the crown....
In the White Tower, Egwene struggles to undermine the sisters loyal to Elaida from within....
The winds of time have become a storm, and things that everyone believes are fixed in place forever are changing before their eyes. Even the White Tower itself is no longer a place of safety. Now Rand, Perrin and Mat, Egwene and Elayne, Nynaeve and Lan, and even Loial, must ride those storm winds, or the Dark One will triumph.
... Read more

12. The Rivers of War
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345465679
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2713
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternate history,... but not "1632"
Excellent, like all of Eric Flint's books, but this one didn't grab my interest as quickly as the others. It's a fascinating idea for an alternate history, but the first chapters merely serve to introduce the characters (and the entire book seems to be an introduction to the REAL story, presumably to follow in succeeding volumes).

Once you get into it, it's hard to put down. And, as usual, Eric Flint's characters are better people than real-life has led me to expect (though not unrealistic, for all that). You care what happens to them, and I'm anxious to see what comes next.

To be honest, it's hard not to feel some disappointment, simply because I was hoping for the next volume in the "1632" world. That's not fair to this work, of course. And now I can eagerly anticipate yet another sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid alt-hist on a period not often looked at
In _The Rivers of War_, Eric Flint takes a break from his hugely successful "1632verse" to write what I might call a straight alternate history - one, that is, which doesn't depend on what alt-hist fans like to call "Alien Space Bats" (such as his own _1632_ or Harry Turtledove's seminal _The Guns of the South_).Instead, Flint decides to see what might have happened if the Cherokees had struck out on their own to found their own nation west of the Mississippi instead of waiting around to be driven out by the U.S. government in the infamous "Trail of Tears".To do this, he starts out by making a _very_ small change in the life of a famous American; Sam Houston.Houston, who had been adopted into the Cherokee tribe as a young boy, was serving in the U.S. Army as an ensign (a rank that doesn't exist any longer in the Army; it's basically the lowest officer grade, lower than lieutenant) in the War of 1812, assigned to the forces under General Andrew Jackson, who was at that time putting down the rebellious Creek tribe.In our "real-world" history, Houston was severely wounded at the Battle of the Horseshoe in 1814 in what is now eastern Alabama.Flint changes that incident so that Houston is only slightly wounded instead, and all else follows from that one small change - the "butterfly effect" in action.This book, the first in a series, concerns itself strictly with the events of 1814, first the Creek War, then the last campaign in Canada, then the British raid on Washington, and finally the Battle of New Orleans, so, in a sense, Flint is setting up everything for the main event.Personally, I can't wait!

5-0 out of 5 stars You hit a home run with this one!
Oh My God, Eric! - This may be your best work to date. I've giggled, laughed, cried out loud, been proud to be an American, and proud to be a country boy.... and I'm only on page 46 !

To the reader: Do you like History? Do you like military fiction? Do you like fiction that makes you FEEL? Do you like fiction that brings historical figures into your presence and makes them feel alive? If you like any of the above - Buy this book! ... Read more

13. The Dark Tower VI : Song of Susannah (Dark Tower (Paperback))
by Stephen King
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743254554
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 6016
Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The next-to-last novel in Stephen King's seven-volume magnum opus, Song of Susannah is a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower.

To give birth to her "chap," demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah...and terrifying to the "daughter of none" who shares her body and mind.

Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation. Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining ka-tet climbs to the Doorway Cave...and discovers that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia, who in a struggle to cope -- with each other and with an alien environment -- "go todash" to Castle Discordia on the border of End-World. In that forsaken place, Mia reveals her origins, her purpose, and her fierce desire to mother whatever creature the two of them have carried to term.

Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn't. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called Salem's Lot, a writer who turns out to be as shocked by them as they are by him. ... Read more

Reviews (194)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark Tower VI - The best thus far?
I never thought I'd say I loved a book more than I love The Drawing of The Three. Even as I read the second installment of the still-forming Dark Tower story, I knew I was in love and that no other story (or piece of a story, as the case may be) would ever come close. However, I'm glad to say that I have proven myself wrong. Song of Susannah excels in doing what all the DT books have done so far: giving us great action, making us jump out of our seats, creating a rich backstory, and of course, it will make you turn the pages faster than you thought was possible. Without getting into spoiler material, DT6 clears up a lot of what happened in Wolves. Susannah's bond with Mia is explained, as are some of the Crimson King's desires. Some readers were scared that the story was getting too schticky when Roland and Crew discovered that Callahan and the events in 'Salems Lot were apparently works of fiction from a writer named Stephen King. Rest assured, this issue is dealt with in a decidely appropriate manner. Also, there's always the question of the rose. I won't say much, but the rose is handled. In true Dark Tower fashion, the book ends with multiple cliffhangers, but I think they're definitely better than the excrutiating ending of The Waste Lands. I'm sure it sounds like I've ne'er seen the book, much less read it, but I'm being vague as to not give too much away. Trust me, when you read this you'll love all of the "Holy Crap!" moments. It seems as if each chapter (stanza) is packed with them. All in all, I'd rate it as my favorite thus far, and I am officially a slave to King until the final installment hits the shelves. Hopefully the next few months pass without incident, say thankya.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fast moving story with some scary ideas.
Sometimes it's hard for me, being the only person in my group of friends to be a true DT junkie, not having anyone I can truly discuss the books with. However, "Song of Susannah" is one of those novels where a person doesn't exactly have to be a fan to talk about some of the ideas it conveys. Duty, personal responsibility, sacrifice, theories of existence, coming-of-age, the bold (and somewhat unnerving) idea of God as being just some sort of middle-man for an even greater force... all of these things are qualified fodder for any snooty literary chat circle.

Of course, as a novel on its own, "Song of Susannah" seems more like just an appetizer to that bad boy that some Tower fans have been waiting over two decades for, Volume 7 of the series, "The Dark Tower". It is incredibly fast-paced (a welcome return to the hectic action of "Drawing of the Three" and "The Waste Lands"), and it manages to get across a hell of a lot of necessary info, in a bit over 400 pages. All that, plus even more character development and some nasty surprises. For one, the business with the chap and its parentage? Threw me for a loop.

It is true that the style of these last two novels seems to differ a bit from the first four. It's hard to describe, more a feeling than anything else, but it feels like some kind of magic has been lost. Mr. King said in his Amazon interview (short but kinda interesting) that he felt the need to finish the series, but it seems to me he could have waited just a bit longer. With the other novels, there was like a little hibernation period in between each one. It always felt like a long wait between stories, but I can't say I was ever disappointed when the novels DID come. Now, it almost feels like Mr. King jumped the gun on his "muse", or whatever you want to call it... the latest novels are very well-written in a workmanlike sort of way, but that true EPIC feeling, prevalent in the first 4 books, only makes a half-hearted appearance.

One surefire thing about "Song of Susannah"? It will you make wish the summer was only a few days long so you can get right to September, the release month for DT7 (!!!).

P.S. If you're an impatient reader like me and you want to look for any possible clues as to how to the series might end (of course I'm not guaranteeing anything), you might try looking out for a copy of "Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came", which I recently read the whole way through for the first time. As I've read through the series again in anticipation of the final book, I've noticed a load of parallels to the poem that I had never picked up on before reading Browning's work. If you can get past the poetic language and Victorian English (I had a tough time at first), it's really beautiful, with an aptly bittersweet ending.

4-0 out of 5 stars Approaching the Big Bang...
...and I don't mean Creation, either.

Song of Susannah contains more action and fast-paced material than any of the previous DT books, even Drawing of the Three, but at the same time it seems to move in slow-mo, and for good reason: This book takes place primarily in one day, and King goes into tremendous detail on the sequence of events leading up to the end of this epic. Would we have it any other way?

I got the feeling while reading this book (and accurately so, I have little doubt) that it is simply the first chapter of the very last Dark Tower book. That is to say, the last two books were originally written at pretty much the same time, as one, and King later separated them into two, for reasons of his own (probably for marketing and profit reasons, sure, but it also makes one hell of a cliffhanger!). The most recent example I can recall of this having been done was with the last two Matrix films (please forgive the reference).

I scoffed at first when King brought himself into the story, and regarded it as a plot-thinner, rather than just the opposite. However, I feel that this must be a vital part of the entire series, that is essential to reach the conclusion King is going for, and has been going for all along, otherwise why would he dare?? I wouldn't say King is modest about his talents as a writer, really, but I don't think he's a fool either. I applaud his courage to venture into such an unusual realm, and sincerely hope he makes it worth our while and patience.

There is a lot in this book that King answers ("What's going on inside Susannah?" being the main issue) and leaves unanswered (read the book for yourself to witness its monster ending!). I have found some of the turns he's made very curious, but not enough to decide whether they were or weren't good ideas. Like I said before, I think this book is simply a necessary prologue to the last book, and shouldn't be judged as a novel in itself (i.e. Don't expect to be satisfied!).

Right now I am going on faith in his imagination, just as I have through this entire series, and enjoying the ride.

As they say, it ain't over 'til it's over. So, for your father's sake, wait until the man finishes the story!

5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated
I don't see how anyone could have given this a zero. The entire thing was very well written, and my only complaint with this book is that it is too short, but even that isn't really a problem because the next one is coming out so soon. So far, it seems like all the peole badmouthing it said they hated that Steven King brought himself into the series. I guess it might have been better if he hadn't, but he did it pretty well, it's not like he just popped up and said"Hi I'm Steven King, and I am your God" the way some people have made it sound. Instead he slowly tied himself in to explain many of the things from the Dark Tower 5 and 6. Even if you still can't stand that he was in it, he was only in it for about thrity pages(not counting the author's journal at the end) and (warning:spoiler) he killed himself off in the journal anyway so he can't be in the next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Fortunately I bought this book (and read it) before reading the reviews. While I was expecting some controversy regarding the fact that King writes himself into the novel, the extremely hostile reaction of so many surprised me. I was shocked when I read where King comes into the book, but it doesn't seem to be an ego-trip or anything of the sort. For one thing, King doesn't portray himself as a very likable guy. Not the sort of thing you write if you're on an ego-trip. Most importantly, the inclusion of his character seems almost inevetible. After reading it, it seems the only explanation that makes sense. It's the final piece to the puzzle.

I've been reading DT since the beginning, and for me this was the best of the series. The most disappointing aspect of it is seeing so many negative responses. This probably wouldn't be the case if King wasn't in the novel. I wish that others could enjoy it as much as I did.

The book has *extreme* suspense that builds throughout. It leaves you at a climax (somewhat like Waste Lands - but not quite THAT much of cliffhanger). Fortunately I won't have to wait long for VII. Mentioning Waste Lands reminds me of the controversial ending of that one. So many people made similar comments about it (how it trashed the series) then and now seem to view it as 'the high point. ... Read more

14. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
by Daniel Quinn
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553375407
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 988
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a manin search for truth. He answers an ad in a localnewspaper from a teacher looking for seriouspupils, only to find himself alone in an abandonedoffice with a full-grown gorilla who is nibblingdelicately on a slender branch. "You are theteacher?" he asks incredulously. "I amthe teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael isa creature of immense wisdom and he has a storyto tell, one that no other human being has everheard. It is a story that extends backward andforward over the lifespan of the earth from the birthof time to a future there is still time save.Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make thelesson easy; he demands the final illumination tocome from within ourselves. Is it man's destinyto rule the world? Or is it a higher destinypossible for him-- one more wonderful than he has everimagined? ... Read more

Reviews (656)

5-0 out of 5 stars What this book is and is not.
I had read Ishmael about three years ago and I have been in debate about it with other people who discuss only the idea that the Taker culture was bound to happen eventually and the psychology of human consciouness at the time of the Taker split. Upon reading the reviews here I am not surprised in the least to many high ratings and those to don't get the intended premise.

1.)Ishmael is not a literary masterpiece and was not meant to be. Quinn peferably would rather write nonfiction but he realizes that a novel form for presenting the ideas is the best way to reach the intended audience.

2.)Ishmael is repetitive only to lay the ground work for further discussion. In the Story of B Quinn explains in detail the necessity to repeat the structure in order to form colage where pieces fall thogether at different times.

.3) Ishmael,B, My Ishamel, and Providence when read in that order give the reader the full tools to decipher Quinns arguments. Alan in Ishamel is supposed to play the role of limited inquisitor in order for the ground work to be laid. Those three novels are needed in full to lay out the premise. The questions are supposed play the role to support that objective.

.4) We aren't Humanity. I am dumbfounded that people still didn't see Quinn's point. This is not a nature good versus humanity bad scenario

.5)By the way if it is written like it was intended for third graders as some of the critics say I am glad because frankly Mother culture hasn't drifted their minds to sleep! Ishamel Rules! Rock on read Beyond Civilization it is the answer to your, but now what questions.

3-0 out of 5 stars teachings of a preachy gorilla
The ironic cleverness of casting a gorilla as a more evolved and educated being than man wears off after a few pages. "Ishmael" was recommended to me by a person who, at one time, intimidated me with her worldliness and intelligence. After reading it, though, I came to understand that most of the philosophy she was feeding me came directly out of this book, and that realization disillusions me somewhat.

The title character is a worldly ape who seeks out a pupil "with an earnest desire to save the world." The unidentified narrator is the pupil, whose perceptions of living are changed drastically by the animal. The book is basically a drawn-out college lecture on the history of the "good" of mankind (Leavers) and the "bad" (Takers), as told by a sometimes annoyingly preachy primate. The unsubtle message is: if we, as humans, don't turn around our destructive behavior, we'll ultimately destroy the planet.

"Ishmael" addresses issues of relevance and is actually a quick and easy read, but for anyone who's mulled over the facts of their own existence without help from the Idiot Box, none of it will come as a big surprise. The person I knew seemed to use the contents of this book to prop up her own 'intelligence,' but didn't necessarily take any of it to heart.

Like Orwell, if it's not forced upon you in a school setting, "Ishmeal" can provide an intellectually stimulating and philosophical take on the condition of society; its premise is simple and it leaves you with some food for thought. But to get the hard facts about what's really going on outside your door and affecting your life (without the fictional guise), I'd suggest picking up something by Noam Chomsky instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read Moby Dick after this....
I read this book in one day. It is good. See for yourself. So now everyone can stop fussin. I cleared it all up. Next stop, Melville....

4-0 out of 5 stars Stop with the negativity
Well, I just finished reading this book for the first time a few days ago. I was presented with an idea that had never been brought fully to my senses. I personally am going through a huge mind change in my everyday life... not all credit goes to this book, but much of it can. Those who say all this hub-bub about the author being a poor writer and being an arrogant SOB therefore his book is not worth reading, (which those who criticize in this way are being arrogant in the first place; ie. contempt and disregard) really does not change my mind about this book having significance. The reason i think arrogance comes across is because of the importance of the issue... i don't think it is because of self-importance as some have suggested. I think the author is just trying to raise awarness about a big problem. With that being the goal lets see if these negative nelly's who take all the flaws that they have assumed the author has made can get off their high horse of intelluctual supremacy and get down to the basic principles being taught here. If you evaluate anything that is said by anyone it is all propaganda (if i understand the words meaning) to each ones own will... so lets stop with those remarks as well. To tell you the truth I just wanted to write this review to keep those darn smart people from discourging us regular people from reading this book. I'm sure it has things that someone might disagree with and I'm sure some might think that they are much too smart to be fooled in such a dogmatic way, but the objective of this book- which i believe it achieved - is simple..... SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE. And you cannot argue with that.

5-0 out of 5 stars it's all about perspective
Ishmael, if I may put it blatantly, is a phenomenal book. Yes, it preaches; yes, it makes extreme generalizations; yes, it probably isn't a good read for anyone with a closed mind. And yes, it is dangerous. But I feel that many people can take something away with them after reading Ishmael. This is my personal experience with the book. I concede that what happened with me is probably rare and doesn't happen on a regular basis.
I was lent the book by another high school student in my Spanish class. Denise was on a mission to change the world, and she was doing it one book at a time. I read the book once, then read it again. It took a couple times for the stuff to sink in, but when it DID sink in... wow. They were EXPLAINING things that people had never seemed to address, and everything fell into place and it made sense and I became angry and upset with what I was convinced this world had turned into. I wanted to drop out of school after reading My Ishmael, the companion to Ishmael; I wanted to run away and hitch-hike my way out of my life; I wanted to stand outside and scream that everything was a LIE, that there wasn't a point to ANYTHING. I suppose you could liken it to a full-blown adolescent crisis. Eventually my internal din quieted down, however, and I took a serious look at Ishmael.
Doing that was what changed everything. It was the first time I'd ever looked at anything critically, that I'd ever had a reason for critiquing something on my own. I learned how seamless an argument could be. I realized that everything can be seen from a totally different point of view. And there was a bunch of other stuff that would be far too sentimental to post here.
I suppose this makes some readers cringe and want to remove Ishmael from all the libraries and book stores everywhere in a desperate attempt to spare their youth. I understand that people are bound to be concerned if I say that it made me want to drop out of school. It is a dangerous book, but that isn't a reason to deny it to kids, especially teenagers. It's a valuable lesson that we all have to learn, some way or another- that it isn't a good idea to glom onto something and take it as the word of God. To me it seems to be the argumentative equivalent of the Bible- and don't we read the Bible to our children?
What I think Ishmael is, is a book for people who are looking to be enlightened. Not entertained. It's a book that will open your eyes, and it will change you, in more ways than one. The reason that it is dangerous is the same reason that it is so powerful: it has the power to completely change your mind. And whether or not you let it do that is part of the overall lesson. ... Read more

15. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060987103
Catlog: Book (1996-11-06)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 118
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

... Read more

Reviews (572)

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Over the Rainbow. . . .
I had alreay read Maguire's CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER when I read WICKED (very contrary to my otherwise anal, everything-must-go-in-order personality), and I was greatly looking forward to it. Maguire again takes a relatively familiar storyline and turns it on its ear--and the readers along with it! We oftentimes think we know who and what is evil and sometimes even why. Maguire tampers with the "why" moreso than the who/what, really challenging the idea of the stereotypes and preconceived notions we all have. The "Wicked Witch of the West" from THE WIZARD OF OZ seems hardly the same girl, Elphaba, that we encounter in Maguire's book. In fact, she is the same, but our preconceived notions have clouded Maguire's "reality." I found the whole geographic aspects fascinating. How can she be the WW of the West, when she is really from the East? How can Glinda be the Good Witch of the North, when she is really from the East, too? Why does the Witch want those foolish shoes anyway? Why has Glinda given them to Dorothy? Where is Dorothy? Maguire doesn't even bring her into the story until it is very nearly over. Dorothy is more of an afterthought than the pivotal role she plays in the movie, and Maguire doesn't paint her kindly. . . . Maguire has invented a whole new world with his Oz, complete with detailed map, political strife and corruption, family histories, and fantastic elements. I can't wait to see THE WIZARD OF OZ now and watch it from Maguire's alternative perspective. It must be even better than Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON experiment!

The only times he lost me at all were when he stayed in that fantasy realm too long. I struggled momentarily with the lack of human beings and "reality" (whatever that is), unlike UGLY STEPSISTER, which has real people and real places throughout. That is hardly his fault, but that's why I gave UGLY STEPSISTER five stars and WICKED only four. Maguire is Tolkein meets C. S. Lewis meets L'Engle meets Jakob Grimm meets Ray Bradbury. . . . I don't know if he can continue this torrid pace of writing specatacularly creative, inventive, challenging, unique, and heady books, but I can't wait to find out!! (New one's out!!)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wicked Treat...
This novel presents a disturbing and provocative view of Oz from the Wicked Witch of the West's perspective. Finally deemed worthy of a name, readers follow the life of Elphaba as she grows from a neglected infant to a much misunderstood woman murdered by a cold mercenary from Kansas. Author Gregory Maguire paints a bleak, cynical picture of Oz filled with secret police, racism, oppression, sadism and more. This isn't the fairy tale from your childhood...

Overall the book is thought-provoking and extremely rich in language and imagery. It's a treat to read. The exploration of morality is compelling and the conflict between good versus evil is reduced almost to a debate between semantics. In some ways it's possible to compare Wicked to Lolita in the way the evil of the central character is humanized.

Not so much bound together by a story, the book explores a darker side of Oz by outlining its history. Expect the book to offer a wealth of ideas and images rather than a page-turning plot. In many ways, the novel is poetic in nature.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommend it. Oz is less enjoyable now that I am an adult and the debate Maguire raises in Wicked is more compelling, in some ways, than the black-and-white morally clear world Baum painted for my childhood.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wicked?
The title of this wonderful book should probably include a question mark--Wicked? Because that's the question we're meant to ask ourselves as we read this chronicle of the life of the Wicked Witch of the West. Was she really wicked? Or did we just catch her at her worst, last moment in The Wizard of Oz?

Beyond being compulsively readable, filled with moments of recognition as the Witch moves steadily toward an end we've already seen on film, this book tackles serious issues on many levels. The Witch's father is a preacher, fighting to protect "unionism" from the new "pleasure faith" while also balancing it with the pagan tendencies and folklore of Oz culture. The presence of talking animals in Oz-remember the Cowardly Lion?-gives Maguire the makings of a civil rights struggle dedicated to fair treatment of these high-functioning beasts, as well as raising questions about the proper dividing line between man and animals and whether either has a soul. Maguire's Oz is filled with political intrigue and romantic tensions, re-imagining the Yellow Brick Road as a tool in the Wizard's assault on the freedoms of Munchkinland and the Good Witch of the North as a spoiled noblewoman, wooed by many, who started out as the Wicked Witch's college roommate. The magical shoes, the flying monkeys, and even the Witch's green skin all have fascinating explanations.

It is a measure of the book's success that I want to watch the movie again with all this back story in mind. Maguire has used one classic to create another, and in doing so, he has amplified both.

5-0 out of 5 stars A welcome bridge between the fanciful and the poignant
You know, I wanted to hate this book. I had seen self proclaimed literary buffs reading it, and really the concept (The Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch's standpoint) seemed really pretentious. Nothing aside from being delayed at the Houston airport with nothing else in the bookstore to buy could have prompted me to read this book. That being said, I read it before I got back to the Houston airport on my return flight.

From reading the back of the book, you would think that within lie the answers to all sorts of nasty little questions pertaining to the nature of evil and the tole society has in forming the individual. It does not. What it does is give you an excuse to become personally aware of your own prejudices through Elphie, the Wicked Witch. At times you will hate her, and at times you will sympathize with her, and all the while the reader gets to see the rest of Oz keep on trucking; I'd be willing to bet the reason McGuire made so much happen around Elphie is to make it difficult to focus specifcally on her. Read the book, you'll see what I mean.

The bottom line: This book is terrificl. If you are afraid to like a character who does things you think you shouldn't, don't buy it. If you like admitting to yourself that you have characteristics you won' fess up to in public, buy this book. It is amazing. It is also amazingly easy to read. Seriously, buy it now. Stop reading reviews and buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best
Despite the topic the novel discusses, this is not a book for children, or even teenagers. This is a book for adults, plain and simple. I enjoyed every word, concept and literary device found in this book. I found it to be clever and moving. Yes, the book can be raunchy, but if we look beyond that we see evidence of the Witch being greatly impacted by the actions of her parents and peers. Her mother detested her, her father used her as an example; it is no wonder that she grew up bitter and angry. But, despite this bitterness, she strives to help others who are in the same situation she is in- being judged based upon appearence and not heart and mind, and soul. The Witch was misunderstood; she wanted to be loved and to love, she wanted to be what her parents had hoped she would be before her birth. It is a great story about the struggles of those who do not fit in, and who are trying to make themselves into something useful. The Witch's major fault was not her green skin, it was her obsessive need to be good enough for her parents, and not quite making it. I loved this book, I have been recommending it to all my friends. ... Read more

16. Haunted
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553587080
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Spectra
Sales Rank: 26092
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17. The Franklin Affair : A Novel
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400061989
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 22658
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Download Description


The Franklin Affair

“This is an amazing as well as delightful novel. Historically savvy and revealing, it captures some fascinating controversies about Franklin’s life and provides a deft satire of the world of academic writers. Yet it’s also a fun tale of mystery, sleuthing, and romance done with great literary flair.”
–WALTER ISAACSON, author of Benjamin Franklin

Flying Crows

“[A] touching novel about lost souls, loneliness, and life’s small triumphs . . . Lehrer’s fourteenth novel is an expertly researched, warmly told tale, rich in suspense and drama. . . . A highly personal story, quiet in tone and scope, yet booming in emotional intensity.”
Publishers Weekly

The Special Prisoner
“[Lehrer] runs through his plot deftly. He springs surprise after surprise on the reader.”
–Los Angeles Times

No Certain Rest
“[Lehrer] writes quirky thrillers, swiftly paced with a cleverly concealed solution. . . . [No Certain Rest is] a rousing tale of intrigue.”
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch

White Widow
“Tender and tragic . . . entirely satisfying.”
–The Washington Post

From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Great premise, ultimately disappointing
How do you write a mystery starting Benjamin Franklin and make it inconsequential?

This book started out well enough, plenty of neat "I didn't know that!" moments about the founding fathers but especially about Franklin, but the book fell far short.the villain was incredibly one dimensional, the many threads of the story were left unraveled and the whole exercise seemed contrived and forced.The mystery was trie.I am bvery disappointed.I am big fan of Mr. lehrer's but this book left me cold.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm surprised to be the first reviewer, and apprehensive about giving it a negative review, as I expect this will be a pretty popular book.

The idea seemed great, a modern day mystery mixed up with a historical mystery surrounding one of the most famous people in history. I'm afraid that the execution of this idea fell short of expectations.

Without spoiling anything, let me just say that I was extremely disappointed with the ending. I recall being within 5-6 pages of the end and thinking "there are not enough pages left to finish this story". Well, I was right. The most important question of the whole book, in my opinion, NEVER GETS ANSWERED! Instead, the "climax" of the book involves a secondary, modern day, controversy, which is really uninteresting.

By the way, does anybody else notice a trend in Leherer's books in which the bad guy's are always right-leaning politically?

Luckily, I borrowed this from the library rather than spend money on it. If you haven't read a Jim Lehrer book, read "White Widow" instead of "The Franklin Affair". It's slow, but at least it has a memorable ending.

Matt ... Read more

18. The Fires of Heaven : Book Five of 'The Wheel of Time' (Wheel of Time)
by Robert Jordan
list price: $89.95
our price: $56.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593976062
Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 191881
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The fifth audio volume of the Wheel of Time series is now available in unabridged format on CD
In this sequel to the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan again plunges us into his extraordinarily rich, totally unforgettable world:
...Into the forbidden city of Rhuidean, where Rand al’Thor, now the Dragon Reborn, must conceal his present endeavor from all about him, even Egwene and Moiraine.
...Into the Amyrlin’s study in the White Tower, where Amyrlin, Flaida do Avriny a ‘Roihan, is weaving new plans.
...Into the luxurious hidden chamber where the Forsaken Rahvin is meeting with three of his fellows to ensure their ultimate victory over the Dragon.
...Into the Queen’s court in Caemlyn, where Morgase is curiously in thrall to the handsome Lord Gaebril.
For once the Dragon walks the land, the fires of Heaven fall where they will, until all men’s lives are ablaze. And in Shayol Ghul, the Dark One stirs...
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Reviews (195)

2-0 out of 5 stars Some Wandering Thoughts
Well, I made it through book five. I started the Wheel of Time series over a year ago and with each successive book it takes me longer and longer to finish. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, I started out fast and now (with three books left) I'm more than full. Oh, I'll make it through books six, seven, and eight, but I'm reading (or eating) to fulfil a mission rather than out of hunger.

That said, I won't comment much on the book itself (I've also written amazon reviews for the previous novels). The same usual stuff happens. Elayne and Nynaeve bicker like adolescents. Egwene and Rand bicker like adolescents. Mat chases women. Trollocs attack at will. There's a big final confrontation (gosh, I hope I'm not spoiling things) at the end. Jordan's juvenile obsession with female nudity and sexuality continues. In short, it's the same old, same old.

Rather, I feel like spewing out some thoughts on why this series has received so much attention. Why are there so many readers who can't make it through the first ten pages of The Lord of the Rings (yep, it's true, read through the Amazon comments to see how many readers place Jordan above Toliken) but who CAN make it through EIGHT books and nearly 7,000 pages of this series?

Fantasy is an ancient genre. There are elements of fantasy in the Bible, in Greek Mythology. In fact, it is impossible to date just how far back fantasy goes. Our more typical conception of fantasy (dragons, battles, elves, fairies, etc.) show up in Beowulf, the epic poem, The Faerie Queen, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Most recently, of course, in the 20th century, J.R.R. Tolkien (who, by the way, translated Gawain), Ursula LeGuin, and John Gardner (in his novel Grendel) have carried on the tradition. Sadly, though, this sense of tradition is what is missing from the Wheel of Time series. I really don't believe that Jordan is well aware of the broader tradition that he's writing in.

So what tradition IS Jordan writing in? I may be going out on a precarious limb here, but Jordan's novels seem to stem from the more modern, attention-deficit disordered, quasi-Advanced Dungeons and Dragons/Role Play-gaming tradition. The Wheel of Time is a like a PC RPG put in words. There's a loosely structured main theme (Rand must defeat the Dark One) and inbetween there's a bunch of side missions and marching to and fro (the equivalent of roaming around gathering experience points). Along the way certain characters, with this accumulation of experience, recieve added skills (the ability to channel or channel with newly learned powers (healing, calling wind, etc.), the ability to dreamwalk, the ability to plan battles (Mat), the ability to communicate with animals (Perrin)). Likewise, characters pick up useful items along the way (Mat's medallion and spear, Elayne's Terangreal, Rand's Terangreal). And like in RPG's, after accumulating enough experience, they're finally strong enough to defeat a decent enemy (Asmodean, Rahvin, Moghedian etc.). And what happens after this enemy is defeated? Well, the characters go back to wandering back and forth throughout the countryside, gaining more experience points so they can do battle with the next strong enemy. Eventually, of course, these characters will be strong enough to encounter that final enemy, The Dark One, and then, well, Game Over!

My problem is this: slowly going up levels and gaining experience points may be a lot of fun on a computer screen but it makes for BORING reading. Thus, I'll wrap up my long, long review with the following: there's something wrong when today's readers shun traditional, talented writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula LeGuin (who, in addition to being a sci-fi/fantasy writer, is also a published poet and writer of literary fiction) and turn to the thin, convoluted plots of writers like Jordan. Readers who claim that Jordan is the greatest fantasy writer of all time simply don't appreciate strong, capable writing and manageable plots; instead, many of today's readers (when they can tear themselves away from Baldur's Gate or Everquest) cast the quality of the story and the quality of the writing aside in lieu of countless numbers of battles, myriad subplots and mindless wanderings back and forth across that silly Wheel of Time Map. When will the Wheel of Time series eventually end? I honestly don't know, but it seems Rand, Mat, Perrin, Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve still have thousands more pages of experience points to acquire!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Addition!
Although I do generally agree with everyone else saying that the series is slowly beginning to lose some of its initial 'oomph', I must say that this book still tops the ranks of one of the best WoT books in the series.

And BTW, I do like Nynaeve so you guys can stop it with the insults about her 'braid tugging' and 'skirt smoothing'! Unfortunately, I don't quite like what Jordan has done with his characters. They started out pretty likable, with definitive characteristics and their own minds, but now I see that they've degenerated to extremes. The women as usual have almost formed their own unofficial universal Women's Circle, with Elayne, Aviendha, Egwene and the rest trying to rid the world of men (even though it's pretty obvious who they've thrown their hearts out for ...). Rand has lost all his appeal to me as the central character of the series, becoming more like a madman muttering to himself all the time, while trying to puzzle women out and defeat all the Forsaken for his 'immaculate' plans. Mat has always been irritating, so I'll just skip him, but Perrin was totally obliterated from this particular book! Sometimes, it gets pretty unnerving for someone with such a terrible memory like me to keep up with the central ppl in the story when they aren't even included in certain books... Anyway, the WoT is still THE series to read! I've already bought the next one, so I'm in no hurry to get to the end (if it ever comes! j/k Jordan! Take all your time! PLEASE!).

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible adventure.
I loved/enjoyed every moment of it.

Story so vividly told as the other previous books. Twists in plots so clever! Character development was extremely pleasant for me, enough to feel loss when some particular minor (or main for this volume) character(s) were killed off the Wheel.

A treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jordan's Wheel Keeps Turning
After surviving the disappointment of "The Dragon Reborn", the Wheel of Time series has definitely regained its lost momentum and the series continues to get better with each book.

This book has been my favorite of the series so far. Jordan builds on the momentum he captured in book four ("The Shadow Rising"), and the storyline and character development continue in TFOH.

As for the main characters, each is facing new and exciting challenges in this book. Rand is still dealing with the realization that he is The Dragon Reborn. He has rallied the Aiel clan chiefs in a massive battle against the rebel Aiel chief Couladin, who claims that he is the true Dragon Reborn. Couladin and his followers, the Shaido, meet the fury of Rand and the rest of the Aiel in a decisive and climactic battle.

Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve continue their pursuit of the Black Ajah. Word has reached them that Siuan Sanche has been overthrown and stilled by Eladia. The three have also learned that a group of Aes Sedai has decided to try to overthrow Eladia and reclaim the White Tower.

Mat, Lan, and Moiraine continue to travel with Rand. Mat distinguishes himself in the battle with the Shaido by beheading Couladin. Moiraine has decided to become more yielding to Rand, but this turns into disaster at the end of the book.

This book is the best of the series so far in my opinion. The storyline and character development is very good, and the plot keeps the reader interested throughout the book. The last 200 pages of the book are some of Jordan's best work. The ending of the book is a true cliffhanger and will leave the reader wondering what will happen next. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Hopefully, it will be as good as this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Fires of Heaven
Rand Al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn, He Who Comes with Dawn and possibly the Coramoor of the Sea Folk. He is destined to fight the Dark One in the Last Battle and then Break the World again. In this book The Fires of Heaven, you are with Rand a lot of the time and you see some of his characteristic development. You also read about Aes Sedai who wield the One Power, Darkfriends who serve the Dark One and Forsaken who in the Age of Legends were thirteen of the most powerful Aes Sedai who serve the Dark One and also have some Darkfriends under their command.
This book is a good fantasy novel about a young man with enormous responsibility on his shoulders and he must decide what to do with this power and responsibility that he possesses. He leads battles that get men killed, fights with his friends, orders people around and tries not to get captured in the nets of meddlesome Aes Sedai. This book is not just about Rand it also is about Mat Cauthon who is trying hard to forget what he is and has become, Egwene who is learning to become a Dreamer, Nynaeve and Elayne who are trying to find the hidden Blue Aes Sedai and many other characters who deal with their own problems.
This book is very detailed and descriptive and a very good adventure and fantasy story. I thought it was a very good book even if was a little drawn out in some parts. I think it strayed a little too much from the center of story and included none of Perrin which I was very disappointed about, but overall it was a well written and fun adventure/fantasy story. The characters were very realistic and believable and retain a lot of the characteristics people today, for instance Jordan writes about women never letting a man do what he wants and always convincing him to do what she wants, and how men can never stop women when they set their mind on something. I think it was very funny to read about all the social struggles the characters in the book go through, it was very realistic and entertaining. The theme of this book was courage, Moiraine Sedai showed innumerable amounts of courage when she faced Lanfear knowing that she was going to die, but she did it because she had to, to save the world, if she hadn't the Last Battle wouldn't have happened because Rand would have died. Nynaeve also showed courage when she went into Tel'aran'rhoid even after Moghedien almost killed her in it, if she hadn't conjured up the courage to do this then Rand Al'Thor probably would have been killed by Rahvin. Rand Al'Thor also showed courage by bearing his burdens and did what he had to do eventually and went and faced Rahvin.
I thoroughly enjoyed the entirety of this book even though at times it could be very slow, overall the book was very good if not quite as good as it's predecessors. I would recommend this series and book to anybody who likes a good fantasy novel and has a bit of time to read. ... Read more

19. Darkwitch Rising : Book Three of The Troy Game (The Troy Game)
by Sara Douglass
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765305429
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 17705
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Book Description

DARKWITCH RISING is the third title in Sara Douglass's compelling Troy Game series, a riveting historical fantasy series of love and revenge set against the very fabric of time itself.

Britian.An ancient land.Most think they know its history.But few suspect and fewer still know the truth.

For back in the mists of time came Brutus, last of the Trojan kings, who was armed with the knowledge of how to construct a magical Labyrinth that could rival the might of the gods.He was drawn to this place by the alluring sorceress Genvissa and together they almost succeeded in creating the Labyrinth.But in the end they were thwarted by Brutus's wife Cornelia, who understood the danger to the land.Her actions however trapped them all into a endless cycleof death and rebirth until the magic of the Labyrinth is completed.

Ages pass.Time and again the players have come close to victory but each time there is a new wrinkle to stay the fulfillment of power.

The Now that these soul travelers arrive is a most unique one.The English are at war, not with a foreign power but amongst themselves; a mighty Civil War that threatens to destroy a nation.A great pestilence is upon the land and the newly restored Charles II sits upon the throne trying to hold chaos at bay...and he is one of the major players in this drama.

And he is not alone.
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20. Dragonsblood (Dragonriders of Pern)
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345441249
Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 2628
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In Dragon’s Kin, bestselling author Anne McCaffrey did the unthinkable: for the first time ever, she invited another writer to join her in the skies of her most famous fictional creation. That writer was her son, Todd McCaffrey. Together, they penned a triumphant new chapter in the annals of the extraordinarily popular Dragonriders of Pern. Now, for the first time, Todd McCaffrey flies alone. And Dragonsblood is proof that the future of Pern is in good hands. After all, dragons are in his blood…

Never in the dramatic history of Pern has there been a more dire emergency than that which faces the young dragonrider Lorana. A mysterious fatal illness is striking dragons. The epidemic is spreading like wildfire…and the next deadly cycle of Threadfall is only days away. Somehow, Lorana must find a cure before the dragons–including her own beloved Arith–succumb to the sickness, leaving Pern undefended.

The lyrics of an all-but-forgotten song seem to point toward an answer from nearly five hundred years in the past, when Kitti Ping and her daughter Wind Blossom bred the first dragons from their smaller cousins, the fire-lizards. No doubt the first colonists possessed the advanced technology to find the cure for which Lorana seeks, but over the centuries, that knowledge has been lost.Or has it?

For in the distant past, an aged Wind Blossom worries that the germs that affect the fire-lizards may one day turn on larger prey–and unleash a plague that will destroy the dragons, Pern’s only defenders against Thread. But as her people struggle to survive, Wind Blossom has neither the time nor the resources to expend on a future that may never arrive–until suddenly she uncovers evidence that her worst fears will come true.

Now two brave women, separated by hundreds of years but joined by bonds transcending time, will become unknowing allies in a desperate race against sickness and Threadfall, with nothing less than the survival of all life on Pern at stake.

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Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars Glad to have more of Pern, but....
I am all for the son taking the reins from the mother and attempting to continue her legacy. However this time I think maybe the reins were a bit too much for the son's hands. This story is a really good attempt by Anne's son to continue and add to the Pern lore, but his writing is not quite as smooth and his storytelling is not quite as gripping. There are HUGE plot holes in the story, which I won't bring up, but suffice to say this book just didn't flow as smoothly for me as mom's do. He tried, and god love him for it, but it just didn't feel like a real Pern tale to me. He did, however, fill in some of the gaps nicely. Nice little touches that tie it to other Pern books, but it was almost like he tried too hard.

I sound like a mega-fan, and I'm not that finicky. I just wanted the subtleties that Anne provides to be there, and they weren't. It was a dark story, and I honestly don't recommend it as part of the Whole Package. Sorry, son. :( You tried, but it didn't have the Magic that your mom has.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good enuf book but lousy writing (or pick)
Question: Why would anyone spend several chapters developing a character, even have a protagonist/antagonist and sympathetic hero sub plot revolve around the main character, and then have them drop from sight for the rest of the book? Answer: Lousy writing. I love the Pern books, and this one is almost good. I understood the plot line, had sympathy for the main characters and it was a new and different plotline about the dragons getting sick. Anne in her intro praises her son's abilities to carry on the Pern saga. I disagree. I will give Todd one thing though. In the nepotistic world of science fiction series, he didn't butcher Pern as badly as Brian Herbert butchered Dune.

3-0 out of 5 stars If only he had actually read Dragon's Dawn
Todd McCaffrey, in Dragon's Blood, makes his solo debut into his mother, Anne's, world of Pern.This novel is loosely a sequel to Dragon's Kin, a collaborative effort between mother and son.Todd does an excellent job of keeping to Anne's basic cannon.He keeps the basic tenets that Anne has set down in her numerous Pern novels.Todd's style, while darker than Anne's, is still readable and captivating.It would have been nice to see a stronger connection to Dragon's Kin as were fans received from Anne in her trilogies, but the story line is not adversely affected by this.The story line moves from the third pass to the end of the first pass connecting characters from Anne's Dragon's Dawn to new characters in Dragon's Blood.I rather enjoyed the time shifts and the interweaving of past and present.Todd is adept at delving into the psychological profiles of his many main characters.He reveals to the reader the full range of humanity through even minor characters.

This would have been a nearly perfect Pern novel, if not for one glaring error on Todd's part.The casual Pern fan will probably not notice, but for those of us who have read and reread every book Anne every gave us on Pern, this error just may drive you crazy.In Dragon's Dawn, Anne's clear states that Windblossom is Kitty Ping Yung's granddaughter, not her daughter.It was reiterated enough times by Anne to stick in the readers' minds.A large part of Todd's story line centers around Windblossom's relationship with her "mother" Kitty Ping.It makes a reader wonder if Todd has actually read all of his mother's Pern novels.In the forward to the book, Anne comments that Todd is the only person she would trust with her child-Pern.I think she might want to reevaluate his worthiness.On the other hand, if he can be bothered to take the time to read the books enough times to avoid such gross errors, than he will do really well with Pern and Pern fans all over the world will be thrilled.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good Book in Pern series
After reading Dragonskin, I was worried how the new book, written entirely by Todd McCaffrey, would read.Dragonskin was a disappointing book, in my opinion the weakest in the Pern series.I attributed this to the input of Todd McCaffrey, since he was the new writer in the series.However I was pleasantly surprised by Dragonsblood.There are a few mistakes (or perhaps Todd McCaffrey simply wants to go in some different directions, so had to make a few changes to the history of dragons and watch whers).This was a very enjoyable read, with a good plot, which went back and forth between times very well. I look forward to his future books in the Pern universe!

4-0 out of 5 stars Dragonsblood
I read this book in about 2 days. I had a hard time putting it down. After I read it, I started all over again I enjoyed it so much. I just didn't want it to end. The only reason for the 4 stars and not 5 is the ending. You race to the climax and then it is like coming up against a wall. It just ends. There is nothing to rap up the story there isn't time to take a breath and know that you are finished. Other than that Todd does his Mom proud. I look forward to his next Pern book. I truly enjoyed this book. ... Read more

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