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$10.19 list($14.99)
81. Astonishing X-Men: Gifted
$8.99 list($9.99)
82. The Warren Witches (Charmed)
$11.55 $8.00 list($16.99)
83. The Witch's Boy
$17.13 $16.99 list($25.95)
84. The Knight (The Wizard Knight,
$8.99 $6.16 list($9.99)
85. Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket)
$13.45 $9.96 list($14.95)
86. Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People
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87. The Tombs of Atuan : The Earthsea
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88. The Blue Girl
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89. Lyra's Oxford
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90. The Mediator #4: Darkest Hour
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91. Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket)
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92. Across the Wall : A Tale of the
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93. Trickster's Choice (Daughter of
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94. Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie
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95. Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Power
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96. The Tripods Boxed Set of 4: When
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97. Knights of the Old Republic (Star
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98. A Great and Terrible Beauty
$5.99 $3.61
99. The Black Cauldron (Chronicles
$15.72 $4.58 list($24.95)
100. Grass for His Pillow: Tales of

81. Astonishing X-Men: Gifted
by Joss Whedon, John Cassaday
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
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Asin: 0785115315
Catlog: Book (2005-01-12)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 66492
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Book Description

Dream-team creators Joss Whedon (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and John Cassaday (Planetary, Captain America) present the explosive, all-new flagship X-Men series - marking a return to classic greatness and the beginning of a brand-new era for the X-Men! Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of "astonishing" the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started? As demand for the "mutant cure" reaches near-riot levels, the X-Men go head-to-head with the enigmatic Ord, with an unexpected ally - and some unexpected adversaries - tipping the scales! Collects Astonishing X-Men #1-6. ... Read more


82. The Warren Witches (Charmed)
by Not Available
list price: $9.99
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Asin: 0689878761
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
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83. The Witch's Boy
by Michael Gruber
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
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Asin: 0060761644
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: HarperTempest
Sales Rank: 31086
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A wondrous journey through the realms of magic

They call him Lump. Ugly, misshapen -- more goblin than human child -- abandoned as an infant and taken in by a witch, he is nursed by a bear, tutored by a djinn; his only playmates are the creatures of the forest, whose language he learns to speak.

But when Lump inevitably stumbles into the human world, his innocence is no match for the depths of people's cruelty, which turns his heart to stone, and fuels a vengeance that places him and his witch mother in deadly peril. Yet these disasters also send Lump on a journey of self-discovery, to realms deep within the earth and far beyond mortal imagination.

In this stunning fantasy debut, Michael Gruber has created a world that is at once deceptively familiar and stunningly original, a world of cruelty, beauty, legend, truth, and above all, wonder. Readers will delight in the author's ingenious retelling of classic fairy tales and will marvel at the stunning new tale of a boy raised by a witch, a cat, a bear, and a demon.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale of magic, mystery, growth, and love
One lovely spring morning, a witch ventures out to collect her daily herbs. Much to her surprise, she finds a baby in a basket outside her door. But this is no ordinary baby; it is the ugliest child anyone has ever seen, and tied to its basket is a note: "the devil's child for the devil's wife." The witch is taken aback: "Witches are supposed to eat babies, not feed them," she says. But she surprises herself by feeling an odd fondness for the ugly child, who she names Lump, and she assembles a sort of family to help her care for the boy: a she-bear, a malevolent demon, and her familiar, a cat named Falance.

As Lump grows, he struggles to find his own magical powers and his relationship to the other humans nearby. In the meantime, his foster mother has the same problems as working mothers everywhere: how to balance her time between tending the Midsummer fires and caring for her child. The witch, who is more powerful than Lump understands, is mystified by motherhood. She thinks, "I have always known what to do; I see the Pattern clear as my own hand, and I follow it and am content. But there is no guide here, and every path I can see leads to some pain. Perhaps this is part of having a child; the Pattern is of no use, and there is this aching in my heart."

Soon enough, disaster strikes, and Lump, the witch, and Falance hit the road. Robbed of her powers when she makes the ultimate sacrifice for her child, the witch must find a new life for herself: "It is the case that I cannot be both a mother and a witch, or not the sort of witch I was." In the meantime, Lump grows more distant, demanding, and hard to love. Fashioning themselves as The Faeryland Outcasts, the three perform magic and meet dozens of characters who will be vaguely familiar to readers from other fairy tales.

THE WITCH'S BOY, though, is far more than a fractured fairy tale. Although many of the characters, settings, and situations are borrowed from folklore, the complexities of plot and theme go far beyond simple fairy stories. The conflicted relationship between mother and son, the psychological pain inflicted on the boy Lump, the ways all the characters must step out of themselves to find friendship and love, the unexpected places where magic is found --- all these elements elevate THE WITCH'S BOY from a simple fairy story to a haunting, fully developed tale of magic, mystery, growth, and love.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl ... Read more


84. The Knight (The Wizard Knight, Book 1)
by Gene Wolfe
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 0765309890
Catlog: Book (2004-01-03)
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 3877
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm that contains seven levels of reality. Very quickly transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Abel and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, a sword he will get from a dragon, the one very special blade that will help him fulfill his life ambition to become a knight and a true hero.
Inside, however, Abel remains a boy, and he must grow in every sense to survive the dangers and delights that lie ahead in encounters with giants, elves, wizards, and dragons. His adventure will conclude next year in the second volume of The Wizard Knight, The Wizard.
Gene Wolfe is one of the most widely praised masters of SF and fantasy. He is the winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Nebula Award, twice, the World Fantasy Award, twice, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and France's Prix Apollo. His popular successes include the four-volume classic The Book of the New Sun.
With this new series, Wolfe not only surpasses all the most popular genre writers of the last three decades, he takes on the legends of the past century, in a work that will be favorably compared with the best of J. R. R. Tolkien, E. R. Eddison, Mervyn Peake, and
T. H. White. This is a book---and a series---for the ages, from perhaps the greatest living writer in (or outside) the fantasy genre.
... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another fine addition to the Wolfe canon
I read my first Gene Wolfe novel almost a year and a half ago. The collected (book club) edition of "Book of the New Sun" had sat collecting dust on my shelves for at least a year before I ever picked it up. I had been looking for new novel or series of novels to read after being disappointed with the newest release of one of the pulp-fiction fantasy epics that seem to be all too common these days. After reading the first page of New Sun, I knew I was hooked. I subsequently read all of Wolfe's Briah Cycle, and started going through his other novels and stories. I was therefore extremely excited when I first heard about Wolfe's new Wizard Knight series.

"The Knight" is suffused with the depth, intelligence, and originality that has come to characterize all of Wolfe's work. The device of plucking someone from modern times and setting them in a strange medieval world has been used since before fantasy and science-fiction were even recognized sub-genres of fiction. In many authors' hands, this device can be ineffectual and tedious. But the style and grace with which Wolfe handles his story make it rise above what would be expected from any other author. While "The Knight" is certainly more straightfoward and accessible than Wolfe's Sun or Latro books, it is still full of his signature enigmas, misdirection, and revelations.

Looking across the breadth of modern fantasy today (especially epic fantasy), it becomes clear that most fantasy novels are suffering from the inbreeding that has resulted from too few new ideas being introduced and far too many old ideas being recycled and respun. Most fantasy authors are either unconciously retreading the path that Tolkien forged or conciously afraid to deviate too far from it. Even worse, many novels are beginning to recycle ideas from second and third generation Tolkien knock-offs -- the "classics" of the late eighties and early nineties. Gene Wolfe does not fall prey to these vices. While his novels do have identifiable influences (Tolkien certainly being among them for this novel), he does not rely on so fallow a field from which to draw his ideas and themes.

The tone of "The Knight" is very different from the tone of all of Wolfe's Sun books. This is partly due to the diffence between its narrator and the narrators from Wolfe's Briah Cycle. The maturity of the narrators in the Sun novels increases with each series. Severian (New Sun) is one of my favorite protagonists of all time, but looking back at the four New Sun books (five including Urth), his behavior is often pretty juvenile. Patera Silk (Long Sun) is one of the most wholly moral characters ever created, but he is also fairly naive. It is only with Horn/Silk in the Short Sun series that Wolfe's narrator has finally grown into a mature adult.

In the Knight, Wolfe's narrator is a child, and maintains a child's perspective and attitude throughout the novel, despite being miraculously transformed physically into an adult of Herculean proportions near its beginning. Wolfe uses this device to maximum effect as our young hero progresses through a series of picaresque adventures common to Wolfe's novels. His actions and observations as he progresses through, above, and below the world of Mythgathr are sometimes comical and often unexpectedly insightful. This may be the first novel that Wolfe has written that could be enjoyed equally by adults and young adults with equal satisfaction (but for very different reasons).

While I cannot personally compare Wizard Knight series to Wolfe's seminal Sun books until I have read it's conclusion, "The Knight" is good Gene Wolfe, and as another reviewer said earlier, much more really doesn't need to be said.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good place to begin
Gene Wolfe has said that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't. My three kinds of people are those who have read Wolfe and love him, those who have read Wolfe and can't understand why there are those who have read Wolfe and love him, and those who haven't read Wolfe. If you are in the first category, stop wasting your time reading these reviews, and go read "The Knight"! If you are in the second or third category, "The Knight" is a good place to begin or resume your acquaintance with Wolfe's oeuvre. It is noticably less challenging than any of the New/Long/Short Sun books. In a practical sense, this is because the first-person narrator is a boy from our world, ostensibly writing a (long!) letter to his brother some years after his mysterious transportation to a fantasy world with its own seven layers of reality. He is one of us, then, and he is writing for one of us; he thinks like we do, and knows what we need to have explained to us and what we don't. In the Sun books, Wolfe's narrators are natives to the worlds they describe, and so they tend to leave out details which are obvious to them, but by no means obvious to us. To some extent, this choice of narrator diminishes the usual Wolfe magic, but I still find "The Knight" movingly evocative of a strange new world inhabited by real people (and other beings as well) with real lives. Highly recommended to one and all.

1-0 out of 5 stars Blink affected storyline !
Seriously team, I bought this book for the above good reviews. This book is a real bad read for several of the below reasons:

1. the story continously JUMPs from one part of the world to another

2. there is NO consistency or 'smoothness' to join these jumped storylines

3. you never get to see/feel the protagonist, he's just some kind of youth stuck in a mans body - so at the end you couldn't care less if he died or not

4. the narrative is skewered and ill-written, compared to the likes of RJ, GRRM, Eddings, Williams, Feist...

conclusion -

do yourself a favour and if you want to read real fantasy, check-out Robert Jordan, Tad Williams (memory, sorrow thorn), and many other top fantasy authors.

this book was a TOTAL dissapointment. it is my first and LAST Gene Wolfe book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolfe for the non-Wolfe reader
As you will see from the majority of the reviews, Gene Wolfe lovers will love this book. The real question is what about those who are not big Wolfe fans or have not read any Wolfe?

It is interesting, because the protagonist, Sir Able of the High Heart, is a child in man's form. This may be one of the reasons that this boy is able to follow high and honorable ideals where lesser grownups might falter. For this reason, Able is possibly more likeable than other Wolfe protagonists such as Severian from the Book of the New Sun (think Dorcas/Jolenta--with this said, I myself think the Book of the New Sun is among the best Fantasy/SF ever written, but I digress). Able can inspire the ideal within us and maintain his honor and be the man many of us would hope to be.

While exploring this Knight in shining armor theme, Wolfe maintains an otherworldliness and gives a unique twist to this form. Non-Wolfe lovers have complained that in the Book of the New Sun (his most highly acclaimed novels), Severian is simply an unremarkable person wandering around. While I can comprehend this point of view, the beauty of Wolfe's novels lie in his ability to draw the reader into the world with his flowing and descriptive writing style. The Knight does not disappoint in its writing, and because of the accessible theme of this work, the novice Wolfe reader will enjoy this story and the world that Wolfe creates. This reviewer certainly looks forward to the continuation of the series!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece by a True Master
I don't review books often, and I'm not want to discuss sci-fi with my friends and family. Gene Wolfe is my favorite author of any genre. I started with The Shadow of the Torturer when the original came out in paperback, and I've followed him through all his travels.

It's difficult for me to express to people how wonderful and gifted a writer Gene Wolfe is, for words often fail me. His characters are drawn so vividly, with all the frailties and imperfections that real human beings have. Severian had his perfect recall, but had the hubris to lie to the reader now and then.

In reading the negative reviews, I think it is lost on many people that Able's narrative is entirely intentional. It brings to life the mythos of his newfound world through an imperfect and immature human's perspective. Perhaps they are used to being entertained too easily in Speilberg-like dramas where no thought, imagination or discernment is demanded of the audience.

The Knight is, perhaps, the best work by Wolfe since Severian ended his days. You come away from each chapter as if you had just awakened from a dream, as if you were there. This was the first fiction I'd read in over a year, haven't been on a non-fiction bend as of late. I took my time, not wanting the magic to end too quickly, and as Arthur said in Excalibur," I didn't know how empty my soul was until it was filled." ... Read more


85. Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket)
by Natsuki Takaya
list price: $9.99
our price: $8.99
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Asin: 1591826063
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: TokyoPop
Sales Rank: 39003
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tohru Honda was an orphan when one day fate kicked her out of the house and on to land belonging to the mysterious Sohma family. After stumbling upon the teenage squatter, the Sohmas invite Tohru to stay in their house in exchange for cooking and cleaning. Everything goes well until she discovers the Sohma family's secret, when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal! ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing. Needent I say more. :P
Fruits Basket (or Furuba as it's known to many fans) is a truly amazing manga.

From the title of it, you would expect it to be very hentai-ish, but it's not. In my opinion it has to be the cleanest manga that one can possibly stand. (IE it's not so clean and happy go lucky as Hamtaro *shudders* Hamataro is evil, pure evil). Well I got off track. This review has spoilers abound so beware if you haven't read the manga (or seen the anime).

Fruits Basket is about a girl name Tohru Honda a girl with a heart of gold and truly a wonderful person, whoes father died when she was very young. She is now 16, her mother had just died in a car wreck, and she went to live with her grandpa on her fathers side. (Because her mother and she were not exactly on speaking terms with her mothers side of the family). Her grandfather has to get his house remoldeld for some distant relatives on his side of the family so Tohru has to move out for a while. He told her to find some friends to stay with.

Not wanting to be a burden to any of her friends Tohru decides to rough it, and she finds a tent and campsout for about a week, on the Sohma familys property (not knowing of course). One day while walking to school she comes across the Sohma family household. She looks around in it for a while and comes across some stones with the Chinese Zodiac on it. Than she run's into Shigura (who is the year of the dog) and Yuki (her high-schools "Prince" He is the year of the rat) Later on in the story we are introduced to Kyou (the year of the cat, who is not in the zodiac because he was betrayed by rat). And this is where the trouble starts.

The Sohma family is cursed and therefore whenever they are touced or huged by a member of the opiset sex of someone NOT in there family, they turn into the animal that they are the year of. Tohru finds out this secret, and therefore she might have to have her memories erased from her. What will become of our poor Tohru? Find out when you read the manga! And belive me, you will. It is a must read.

Now I odviously left out a lot of details from this manga, but I didn't want to give away the whole storyline, that would be quite dumb wouldn't it?

Also this manga is printed in the original left to right reading format, therfore preserving the original artwork and sound-effects. It makes it even more enjoyable. All in all this manga is a must read. It's kinda of a comedy/romance, kind of. And it's shojo, so it's more or less going to be apealing to the femail gender a little bit more. That's not to say that a guy wouldn't like it. It has quite a bit of action in it (not like Trigun action) more martial arts action. But it is a must read. And I really hope my review helped. Do you believe it was written by a 16 year old? The reveiw I mean.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just thought I'd mention this
I was depressed for several days, then I went to Border's and bought some manga, one of them Fruits Basket #3. I swear, I felt so... happy afterwards! I'm serious, every time I read Fruits Basket, it just puts me in such a good mood... it's full of hope and compassion without seeming forced or sappy. Natsuki Takaya really has a talent for this! In this volume, after Momiji was talking about "The Most Foolish Traveler in the World" story in the "funny" stories book, and how he related it to Tohru, I actually cried, and I rarely cry over manga! XD Most of my favorite mangas are the more serious or sinister kind for older audiences, such as Confidential Confessions, Petshop of Horrors, Uzumaki, etc. and I'd never thought I'd enjoy a series like this. But I love it and it's one of my favorites... even though it sounds a little rediculous in its description (turning into animals when hugging the opposite sex ^^;) when you actually read it, it's really enjoyable, touching, and funny, and the characters all have deep personalities. I highly reccommend Fruits Basket!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!!!!!
I love this manga!!!!

Clean and sweet, without being sappy, Fruits Basket is a really cute story about a sixteen year old orphan named Honda Tohru. One day when walking through the woods, she discovers a strange house. Under further investigation, she finds that the house happens to be the home of none other than the prince of her school, Sohma Yuki. When Yuki and his cousin Shigure find out that Tohru had been living in a tent, they immediately take her in. However, Tohru soon discovers their family secret. The Sohmas are the bearers of the "juunishi" (zodiac) curse. When their bodies grow weak, or when they are embraced by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into their designated animal of the Chinese zodiac, or in Kyo's case the outcast aka the cat.

I have only read two volumes of the manga, but I own all four anime dvds and love them. It starts out sweet and gentle, but the end, of the anime at least, is dark, depressing and to use a word I hate a real "tear-jerker." I cried. A lot. Even so, it was wonderful. Don't not buy it now because you think it to be dark and full of pain and misery. It's not. Every {good} story needs some dark pasts, mental scars, and evils. Otherwise, how did the villian become a villian, why is the good guy good? There would be no motivation. GO buy the manga. NOW.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket in general is a touching series that really makes you look at yourself--when you see what these people go through, and see that they can still smile, you'll wonder if crying was/is ever worth it in the first place.(But of course, we all don't have a cute little bordering house-maid to give us the wisdom we need in those times.)

Anyways.

The book can be described in a few words; really sweet. In this book we meet a new character, Hatsuharu Sohma(though you may have seen a little of him in number 2), who has a 2 sided personality. That's all I know--I have yet to buy the book.

But if *I* like it so much without even having seen it, then who says YOU won't like it either?

Fruits Basket just have something special about it. It's like a parasite--it weasels into you and embeds itself into your heart. I think everyone can find something they like about it, even male otakus(otaku=anime fans, though not all are pale-faced doughballs)...

Now. Go. Now. Grab all the money you have and waste it(heh) on Furuba(Fruits Basket) stuff. OR YOU SHALL DIE WITH THE HAUNTING KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MISSED OUT ON SOMETHING GREAT. Heh-heh-heh. Bye. ^^;

5-0 out of 5 stars fRUITS bASKET
The book starts out with a young girl,Tohru, who with the death of her mother is living alone in a tent. She then meets the Sohma family who is suprised to hear that she lives near by, because all the land in the area is owned by them.
She goes to school with her new found friend Yuki who is the popular handsome guy of the school. Later you find that for some reason Yuki hates cats as they walk together. Yuki and Tohru go their seperate ways, but later that night Yuki finds Tohru living in a tent and he takes her in because she dosn't look well.
In return Tohru cleans the house to earn her keep. Then a boy named kyo challenges Yuki to a fight. As they fight Tohru falls and keeps her balance by hugging Kyo. Kyo then transforms into a cat.
Thoru freaks out and then everyone else in the family transforms into a different animal.
They explain that their family is cursed wwith the spirts of the Chinese Zodiac. Each family member is possesed by a different animal spirit and when under great stress or embraced by a member of the oppisit sex they transform.
This first book takes you through the events of the first 5 episodes of the anime.
This first book is awsome and is followed up by more just as good! ... Read more


86. Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People
by Mark Millar, Adam Kubert, Andy Kubert
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785107886
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 143439
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The place is a world very much like ours. The time is now. The phenomenon is genetic mutation. It is a time of change. Humanity now faces mutants, a mysterious sub-species that is gifted with strange and frightening powers. Hidden among the population. they are feared and hated by their human cousins. As rumors and urban myths about their existence spread across the world, the US government creates its own initiative to deal with this threat: the Sentinel Project. Meanwhile two men wage a secret war for the hearts and minds of young mutants everywhere. Charles Xavier has recruited a cadre of students including Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast, that call themselves the X-Men. But there are others out there, living in fear, struggling to deal with what they are: Ororo Munroe, Bobby Drake and another, more dangerous mutant named Logan. Simultaneously, the terrorist known only as Magneto has assembled The Brotherhood, a militant group dedicated to the overthrow of human authority. A war is on the horizon and these amazing young men and women will decide the future of all humanity!

Just as Ultimate Spider-Man reinvented and reinvigorated Marvel's flagship character, Ultimate X-Men promises do the same for comics' most popular super hero team. Streamlining the mutant heroes into a manageable core group, this non-stop saga action and intrigue takes place in a continuity recognizable to fans of this year's blockbuster smash X-Men movie. Ultimate X-Men is the perfect choice for anyone who can't get enough of the X! ... Read more

Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars What the X-Men movie should have been.....
Marvel created the "Ultimate" line of books to try to entice new readers by scrapping decades of complex continuity in favor of a fresh start. Supposedly, no prior knowledge of the books or their characters are necessary for you to get a good read that won't leave you scratching your head in bewilderment. So....does it work?

I guess....I've been reading comics since I was 3, so I really can't say how a "newbie" would fare.

I CAN tell you that I loved this book!! I wish that the makers of the atrocious X-Men flick had filmed this for the mutant's initial big-screen outing.

Mark Millar and the Kubert Bros. story does a great job of getting you up to speed fast: People born with strange, potentially deadly, powers exist among us, and pose a very real threat to life as we know it. Two men, Professor Charles Xavier (Leader of The X-Men), and Magneto (Leader of The Brotherhood of Mutants), fight an idealogical battle to win the hearts and loyalty of their fellow Mutants. Xavier wants to help Mutantkind make peace with Humanity, while Magneto sees Humanity as an annoyance that must be disposed of, so Mutants can ascend to their rightful place. This take-no-prisoners approach doesn't sit well with president Dubya; he unleashes the giant robotic Sentinels on a search-and-destroy mission to annihilate all Mutants. The story follows the recruiting of The X-Men (Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, The Beast, Iceman, Colossus, & Wolverine), and their first confrontation with Magneto. (And what a confrontation it is!)

Magneto has never been better written; he comes across as both charismatic and chilling...a super-powered cross between Charles Manson and Hannibal Lecter. He also does something VERY original with The Sentinals...very clever, Mr. Millar! Xavier is more cold-blooded than he is in the "real" Marvel continuity; I don't totally trust him.(Did he tamper with Scott's mind to make him defect....? Hmmmmm.)

If I loved it so much, why just a Four? I didn't care for the portrayal of Colossus: When we meet him, he's a soldier for the Russian Mafia, selling a stolen Nuclear weapon to an underling of Magneto. This troubling "Character flaw" is never mentioned again. That just bothered me a lot...I guess I hold my heroes up to high standards. I was also kinda weirded out by the way Jean just lept into bed with Wolverine, and the strong language peppered throughout the book. I'm no prude, but X-Men is an all-ages type of book, and the language just seemed unnecessary.

Overall, a great read- I'm gonna stick around for more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great X-Introduction
This is Volume 1 of Marvel's new "Ultimate X-Men" series, which has attempted to do away with 30 years of pre-existing stories and complicated events and provide a new generation with the story of the X-Men, without having to have any prior knowledge. I have been out of comic books for about 10 years, and never got into the X-Men seriously, but with the success of the movies, I wanted to pick up a few books and start reading. I bought all of the previous issues of the original X-Men series, however the idea of having to read through 30 years of comics and mediocre art from the '60s really turned me off. Not to mention all of the complicated story lines and past events. I was very pleased then to be able to pick up Ultimate X-Men and start completely fresh with the X-Men.

To start, this is an excellent series. I've read all of the issues so far and "The Tomorrow People" is definitely the best storyline so far. We are introduced to the current X-Men team, who are a bunch of teenagers. We're given some limited knowledge about their backgrounds and introduced to their abilities. Most you will be familiar with if you're read the original X-Men, although I've noticed that Wolverine is definitely darker in this book, as well as many other characters. They have no qualms about killing people off in "Ultimate," and nothing they do would surprise me. This is contrasted by the usual humorous elements of Marvel Comics, as well as the personal relationships and teenage romances they set up. In a lot of ways, this comic is like the X-Men Evolution cartoon series with their handling of the more personal side of the characters. It can be a bit of a soap opera, but it works very well.

The storyline of this volume is excellent. It's packed with a great introduction to the kids, as well as a Xavier that appears to be a bit more devious and "human" than seen in the traditional Comic. Wolverine is definitely the character they've played with the most. He is just absolutely dangerous in this series. I thought this was the same old Wolverine that I grew up with from the Marvel Universe, but "Ultimate" Wolverine is just a plain loose cannon. Like the other deviations from the traditional universe, this works very well in this series. It lends an aura of excitement that I can't recall feeling in the past. My one concession with this series is that the covers are really bland to me, and too much like paintings, and some of the artwork in later issues by Bachalo looks really bad. I mean Rob Liefeld-bad. Kubert does a great job with the pencils in this one however. If you're looking to get into the X-Men and want a good place to start, you absolutely can not go wrong with "The Tomorrow People," one of the best written, and easiest to read, comics I've come across in a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars a new breed of x-men
The Ultimate line is what Marvel created to try to bring new readers to Marvel. They created a great story here populated with characters that are familiar as well as fresh. I also liked the art. If you want to jump in at the beginning of the X-Men, this is a great new place to start. If you are an old fan, this is a great addition to what we already know and love.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great series for X-Men fans and long time comic collectors
I'm currently reading the Ultimate X-Men trade paperbacks. I used to collect X-Men during the Jim Lee,Marc Silverstri and Whilce Portacio run but stopped after they left for Image. Comic books as a whole are stagnant but there are a few titles still worth collecting and the whole Ultimate line is worth it.
This series has a more updated harder edge to it plus there isn't all the convoluted X-Men history to wade through.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good read as an updated version
There are some people who will have problem with the way the X-men are portrayed, but it is interesting. I wish the movies were more like this book. This book presents the opportunity to take the team in an entirly unexspected direction. ... Read more


87. The Tombs of Atuan : The Earthsea Cycle
by Ursula K. LeGuin
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689845367
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sales Rank: 565
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

WHEN YOUNG TENAR is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away -- home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs' greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain.

With millions of copies sold, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle has earned a treasured place on the shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere. Complex, innovative, and deeply moral, this quintessential fantasy sequence has been compared with the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and has helped make Le Guin one of the most distinguished fantasy and science fiction writers of all time. She lives in Portland, Oregon. ... Read more

Reviews (85)

4-0 out of 5 stars Through the tomb and a short beginning.
The story takes place after few more adventures of the mage, Sparrowhawk, who is already known as the greatest wizard and only Dragonlord of all Earthsea. He travels to the north east and enter the scared realm of the Tombs of Atuan, where the Darkness lies and workshipped by the people. Sparrowhawk plans to steal the greatest treasure hidden in the tombs, however, a young priestess called Arha hesistates to stop him... and kill him.
Overall the story is well written and a great ending as the first book of Earthsea, but it is not as exciting and thrilling... Due to the many chapters of long descriptions of the sacred rituals and temples. Everything is very slow until the mage enters the story. But it is still worth reading and complete the Earthsea Trilogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the series; essential for understanding "Tehanu"
I read "The Tombs of Atuan" before "A Wizard of Earthsea" because my school library didn't have the other books in the tetrology. I wasn't even aware it was the second book in a series until I told my father I loved it. He, fortunately, owned all four books. After many years, "Tombs" is still my favorite Earthsea novel, though I admit I may be biased because it was the first one I read, and I read it while I was a young girl.

"Tombs" is a portrait of an isolated girl who struggles to find acceptable values, and to become a free and responsible human being. Tenar/Arha is a priestess who serves the nameless powers of the earth. The early chapters show her life in a religious community, and her first steps towards becoming a woman. Later, she encounters Ged, a wizard on a quest of his own. Tenar and Ged are believable characters, whose journey and friendship avoid an artificially happy and neatly-wrapped ending. "Tombs" was a godsend to me; in it, I found a strong female character who didn't have a stereotypical relationship with a "hero," and a thoughtful portrayal of the true meaning of adulthood and freedom.

For many years, the Earthsea books were a trilogy, with "Tombs" the odd book out. Ged, here a supporting character (though vital!) is the all-important protagonist of the male-dominated "A Wizard of Earthsea." And as far as "The Farthest Shore" is concerned, Tenar might as well never have lived. I was fortunate enough to read the series after Le Guin completed it with "Tehanu," which again focuses on Tenar.

I am grateful I read the series out of order, because I find the tetrology a balancing act between two perspectives on life: outer-directed, and inner-directed, with Ged representing the former and Tenar the latter. At the end of "Tehanu," the two characters have learned, aged, and come to terms with themselves and each other. Without "Tombs," "Tehanu" is incomprehensible.

"The Tombs of Atuan" is also a miracle in its own right.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Read
I had read the first book of this great series and I found myself not being able to put the book down. And when I started reading the second book I only thought there was no way this could be as good, however I had the same great time reading it as I did the first book. I believe that everyone should read this book even if you have not read any others from this series, because in essence this book is really based on people growing up, finding themselves and learning what they want to accomplish in life. This book also shows a great friendship between two people and overall it is just a wonderful book. I suggest everyone to read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Tombs of Atuan
The second book in the EarthSea trilogy, The Tombs of Atuan is a great book for all those who delve into the world of fantasy. The Author of this book is Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin wrote the Earthsea trilogy which became a well known series for all audiances.

Though it would be better understood and probably more forfilling if the first book was read of the series. I believe the theme to have been Man vs. Nature as Sparrowhawk the main character, a wizard from the island of Gount seeks out an ancient treasure in the Tombs of Atuan. He meets the high preistess of Atuan. They must battle against the spirits with the tomb.

In my opion it was a book that forced me to ponder about the morales in my life. It's rather a short book but it has a great ending despite that, that makes you search for the last book in the series. Some people may consider it slow in the beginning but I must say that it's building the plot thick and strong in the begining. Overall Le Guin is a great writer and that the second book is as good and brilliant as the first.

2-0 out of 5 stars tombs of atuan: not as good as expected
The Tombs of Atuan was not as interesting as I expected it to be.I wanted a good, exciting, action-packed book, and the second book of the Earthsea Cycle trilogy didn't do that for me.it was exciting at places, such as in the labrynth maze. but all in all, i wasn't impressed.
the story line was great, fresh, and original, but Ms. Le Guin could've presented it in a better form. the order in which the events happened wasn't exciting. it wasnt like a book that i couldnt put down, such as the Pendragon series kind of realistic fantasy. i read the wrong book. ... Read more


88. The Blue Girl
by Charles De Lint
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670059242
Catlog: Book (2004-10-25)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 4463
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Amazon.com

Imogene Yeck, former gang member and current fairy butt-kicker, is the cool "blue girl" at the center of Charles de Lint'slatest urban fantasy novel. Seventeen-year-old Imogene jumps at the chance to lose her bad girl reputation when her family moves to a new town. She purposely lays low at Redding High, only making friends with Maxine, a shy, studious girl who is Imogene's opposite in every way. Despite a few run-ins with the ruling football jock and his cheerleader girlfriend, Imogene keeps her temper in check and even lends some of her bravado to Maxine, who begins to come out of her straight-A shell. Things are going well for the new friends--until the day Imogene meets Adrian, the benign ghost of a boy who died in the school's parking lot. Adrian and Imogene's unusual connection attracts the unwelcome attention of Redding High's resident Little People, or fairies. Affronted by streetwise Imogene's lack of belief in them, the fairies set into motion a malevolent prank that will not only turn Imogene completely blue from head to toe, but pit her, Adrian and Maxine against some of the most frightening beings of the Otherworld--the soul-sucking Anamithims. de Lint's Blue Girl reads like a really well-executed episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--smart and thought provoking, without taking itself too seriously. Although the action builds slowly, the final scene, involving a bucket of blue paint, a knife fight, and green monster blood, is absolutely worth it. Buffy fans who enjoy meeting Imogene and Co. will also want to check out Holly Black's dark fairy tale, Tithe, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's modern ghost story, A Stir of Bones --Jennifer Hubert ... Read more


89. Lyra's Oxford
by PHILIP PULLMAN
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375828192
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 5062
Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Attention all serious book collectors and fans ofPhilip Pullman'sHis Dark Materials. This undoubtedly beautiful package--cloth-bound in a classy red and adorned by numerous illustrations by master engraver and illustrator John Lawrence--is a must-purchase. A pint-sized pocket volume, Lyra's Oxford packages together a short story set in the same universe as his famous trilogy, a fold-out map of the alternate-reality city of Oxford, a short brochure for a cruise to The Levant aboard the S.S. Zenobia, and a postcard from the inventor of the amber spyglass, Mary Malone. Pullman, in his introduction, suggests that the peripheral items within "might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven’t appeared yet. It's difficult to tell."

A very sumptuous and lovingly crafted but tantalizingly brief book ,Lyra's Oxford begins when Lyra and Pantalaimon spot a witch's daemon called Ragi being pursued over the rooftops of Oxford by a frenzied pack of birds. The daemon heads straight for Lyra (the creature was given Lyra’s name as somebody who might help) and is given shelter. Together Lyra and Pan try to guide the daemon to the home of Sebastian Makepeace—an alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho--but it is a journey fraught with more danger than they had at first anticipated.(Age 10 and over) --John McLay ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Know what you gonna read. Lovely!
First of all, this not a His Dark Materials-style book. Just a short story about Lyra and Pantalaimon, two years after the events of HDM. If you have read HDM, sure you felt quite sad about the ending, and you gonna feel relieved with Lyra's Oxford, as you see her keep going with her life. Don't expect a long story about something completely new, because it en't near HDM in any way. Just a 64 page book about a short story happening to Lyra. I loved it, as I loved HDM since the first chapter. And you gonna love Lyra's Oxford too.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Taste of Things to Come
Lyra's Oxford is an enjoyable read for fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy, and whets the appetite for the upcoming 'Book of Dust'. The story is entertaining (though maybe too short for the price) but only if you have already read the main trilogy.. it simply won't make sense if you don't already know who these people are, as this is a book definitely for the fans. The extra tidbits were interesting to read through, though I thought the map was disappointing, and none of it met with the publisher's claim that it would look like it had "fallen through from another world". But I won't fault Pullman's storytelling because of that. If you enjoyed HDM and want to go deeper into Pullman's world, buy Lyra's Oxford.

[...]

4-0 out of 5 stars A tightly woven fable
Taking his fan base completely by surprise (those members of his fan base that aren't ardent followers anyway) Philip Pullman has added a new chapter to the "His Dark Materials" saga. The series that catapulted Pullman from a minor children's literature existence to magnificent and overwhelming kiddie lit super-stardom has a new book to its name. Entitled "Lyra's Oxford", the book is consists of the following: A quote, an introduction, a story, and ephemera. This book is merely a small link to the further adventures to follow, it seems. As such, it stands as a perfect little entity within its own right.

The plot found in this book is nothing so much as a short story. Some 43 pages long it tells the tale of Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon. A quick note: If you haven't read any of the other "His Dark Materials Books" you could probably slog through this novella, though I wouldn't recommend it. Exposition isn't dwelt on here. The tale begins when Lyra and Pan spot a wayward daemon of a witch being attacked by a flock of starlings. After rescuing the much maligned creature the daemon bird tells them that he is frantically searching for a man named Makepeace. Lyra and Pan are charged to find this man and help the daemon save his mistress from death. Stirring stuff and a nice little story in its own right. Here we finally get a glimpse into Lyra's daily life. Jordan College has been fleshed out a little more and we meet various professors and students as Lyra searches for information about Makepeace. By the end of the tale, more questions have been raised than answered but barring the unfortunate death of the author (not likely) we'll have further Lyra goings on to look forward to soon.

If I've any problems with the book they probably stem from a single moment. Not to give anything away, Lyra is faced at some point with almost certain danger and/or death. In summoning her courage the girl thinks to herself, "Will-Will-be like Will-". Huh? This is the first moment our spunky heroine has EVER pretended to be anyone else in order to face her fears. This suggests that we are dealing with a softer gentler Lyra, a thought confirmed when Pullman writes that for Lyra, "the slightest thing had the power to move her to pity and distress". I miss the old headstrong Lyra. The strong independent Lyra. There are glimpses of her here, but not enough to fully put my mind at rest. I can only hope that the future books will remember that old Lyra better than this book does.

Now the story I was describing was actually entitled "Lyra and the Birds". "Lyra's Oxford" is the name of the book itself and it is a great deal more interesting. Here we can find maps of Oxford, postcards (one from Mary Malone herself!), photographs, advertisements, pages from old books, and a variety of other odds and ends. The effect is nothing so much as a childlike version of the "Griffin and Sabine" books, once so popular. In his introduction to the book, Pullman reflects that these little bits and pieces of ourselves that are sometimes the most telling. While their importance may remain hidden to us for now, readers are advised to hold onto this book tightly for future reference. It is obviously awash in clues that will become clearer in time. I myself was particularly interested in one of the advertisements for a book entitled, "The Bronze Clocks of Benin". Its author, Marisa Coulter, may stir a couple memories here and there. And there and here.

Altogether, I'd say the book's a delicate and successful composition. Its back cover advertises it as "beguiling" and I am inclined to agree. Some people may complain that for its price it is relatively small. Others will pore for hours over the various countries in Lyra's world (advertised by the "Globetrotter") and possible cruise destinations. If you're a fan of a book that will allow you to pick apart thousands of ideas and clues, I think you'll find "Lyra's Oxford" charming.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could this little book be leading to something more???
As an avid lover of the Dark Materials, I was excited to see this book on the shelf. I picked it up immediatley.
I have to admit, yes the book is short, containing a story of approx. 49 pages. It is a quick read and not to the depth of the Dark Materials trilogy... HOWEVER, upon reading the introduction this leads me to believe there is something more on the horizon (or at least I'm hoping so). I believe that anyone who is a fan of the Dark Materials will enjoy this little tid bit for what it is. It takes place after the trilogy and shows how life has gone on for Lyra and Pan. It leads me to the conclusion that more is to come...
Pullman is a delightful writer. His words are wonderful and picturesque. I highly recommend this to any fan of The Dark Materials.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lyra's tiny book
Much too short. (...) I suggest not buying it. The story is so abbrieviated that not much happens. The best thing about this book is its interesting size and colour. The binding is so thick its gunna last for ages. (...) ... Read more


90. The Mediator #4: Darkest Hour (Mediator)
by Meg Cabot
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060725141
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Avon
Sales Rank: 30061
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Book Description

When the nineteenth--century ghost of Maria de Silva wakes her up in the middle of the night, Suze knows this is no ordinary visitation -- and not just from the knife at her throat, either. In life, Maria was the fiancée of Jesse -- the same Jesse who was murdered a hundred and fifty years before. The same Jesse Suze is in love with.

Maria threatens Suze: The backyard construction must cease. Suze has a pretty good idea what -- or rather, who -- Maria doesn't want found. But in solving Jesse's murder, will Suze end up losing him forever?

... Read more

91. Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket)
by Natsuki Takaya
list price: $9.99
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591826047
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: TokyoPop
Sales Rank: 138181
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ever since Tohru Honda discovered the Zodiac secret of the Sohma clan, her eyes have been opened to a world of magic and wonder. But with such a great secret comes great responsibility. When her best friends Hana-chan and Uo-chan come to the Sohma house for a sleepover, Tohru has her work cut out for her keeping the "Cat" in the bag and the "Dog" on a leash. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing. Needent I say more. :P
Fruits Basket (or Furuba as it's known to many fans) is a truly amazing manga.

From the title of it, you would expect it to be very hentai-ish, but it's not. In my opinion it has to be the cleanest manga that one can possibly stand. (IE it's not so clean and happy go lucky as Hamtaro *shudders* Hamataro is evil, pure evil). Well I got off track. This review has spoilers abound so beware if you haven't read the manga (or seen the anime).

Fruits Basket is about a girl name Tohru Honda a girl with a heart of gold and truly a wonderful person, whoes father died when she was very young. She is now 16, her mother had just died in a car wreck, and she went to live with her grandpa on her fathers side. (Because her mother and she were not exactly on speaking terms with her mothers side of the family). Her grandfather has to get his house remoldeld for some distant relatives on his side of the family so Tohru has to move out for a while. He told her to find some friends to stay with.

Not wanting to be a burden to any of her friends Tohru decides to rough it, and she finds a tent and campsout for about a week, on the Sohma familys property (not knowing of course). One day while walking to school she comes across the Sohma family household. She looks around in it for a while and comes across some stones with the Chinese Zodiac on it. Than she run's into Shigura (who is the year of the dog) and Yuki (her high-schools "Prince" He is the year of the rat) Later on in the story we are introduced to Kyou (the year of the cat, who is not in the zodiac because he was betrayed by rat). And this is where the trouble starts.

The Sohma family is cursed and therefore whenever they are touced or huged by a member of the opiset sex of someone NOT in there family, they turn into the animal that they are the year of. Tohru finds out this secret, and therefore she might have to have her memories erased from her. What will become of our poor Tohru? Find out when you read the manga! And belive me, you will. It is a must read.

Now I odviously left out a lot of details from this manga, but I didn't want to give away the whole storyline, that would be quite dumb wouldn't it?

Also this manga is printed in the original left to right reading format, therfore preserving the original artwork and sound-effects. It makes it even more enjoyable. All in all this manga is a must read. It's kinda of a comedy/romance, kind of. And it's shojo, so it's more or less going to be apealing to the femail gender a little bit more. That's not to say that a guy wouldn't like it. It has quite a bit of action in it (not like Trigun action) more martial arts action. But it is a must read. And I really hope my review helped. Do you believe it was written by a 16 year old? The reveiw I mean.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just thought I'd mention this
I was depressed for several days, then I went to Border's and bought some manga, one of them Fruits Basket #3. I swear, I felt so... happy afterwards! I'm serious, every time I read Fruits Basket, it just puts me in such a good mood... it's full of hope and compassion without seeming forced or sappy. Natsuki Takaya really has a talent for this! In this volume, after Momiji was talking about "The Most Foolish Traveler in the World" story in the "funny" stories book, and how he related it to Tohru, I actually cried, and I rarely cry over manga! XD Most of my favorite mangas are the more serious or sinister kind for older audiences, such as Confidential Confessions, Petshop of Horrors, Uzumaki, etc. and I'd never thought I'd enjoy a series like this. But I love it and it's one of my favorites... even though it sounds a little rediculous in its description (turning into animals when hugging the opposite sex ^^;) when you actually read it, it's really enjoyable, touching, and funny, and the characters all have deep personalities. I highly reccommend Fruits Basket!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!!!!!
I love this manga!!!!

Clean and sweet, without being sappy, Fruits Basket is a really cute story about a sixteen year old orphan named Honda Tohru. One day when walking through the woods, she discovers a strange house. Under further investigation, she finds that the house happens to be the home of none other than the prince of her school, Sohma Yuki. When Yuki and his cousin Shigure find out that Tohru had been living in a tent, they immediately take her in. However, Tohru soon discovers their family secret. The Sohmas are the bearers of the "juunishi" (zodiac) curse. When their bodies grow weak, or when they are embraced by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into their designated animal of the Chinese zodiac, or in Kyo's case the outcast aka the cat.

I have only read two volumes of the manga, but I own all four anime dvds and love them. It starts out sweet and gentle, but the end, of the anime at least, is dark, depressing and to use a word I hate a real "tear-jerker." I cried. A lot. Even so, it was wonderful. Don't not buy it now because you think it to be dark and full of pain and misery. It's not. Every {good} story needs some dark pasts, mental scars, and evils. Otherwise, how did the villian become a villian, why is the good guy good? There would be no motivation. GO buy the manga. NOW.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket in general is a touching series that really makes you look at yourself--when you see what these people go through, and see that they can still smile, you'll wonder if crying was/is ever worth it in the first place.(But of course, we all don't have a cute little bordering house-maid to give us the wisdom we need in those times.)

Anyways.

The book can be described in a few words; really sweet. In this book we meet a new character, Hatsuharu Sohma(though you may have seen a little of him in number 2), who has a 2 sided personality. That's all I know--I have yet to buy the book.

But if *I* like it so much without even having seen it, then who says YOU won't like it either?

Fruits Basket just have something special about it. It's like a parasite--it weasels into you and embeds itself into your heart. I think everyone can find something they like about it, even male otakus(otaku=anime fans, though not all are pale-faced doughballs)...

Now. Go. Now. Grab all the money you have and waste it(heh) on Furuba(Fruits Basket) stuff. OR YOU SHALL DIE WITH THE HAUNTING KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MISSED OUT ON SOMETHING GREAT. Heh-heh-heh. Bye. ^^;

5-0 out of 5 stars fRUITS bASKET
The book starts out with a young girl,Tohru, who with the death of her mother is living alone in a tent. She then meets the Sohma family who is suprised to hear that she lives near by, because all the land in the area is owned by them.
She goes to school with her new found friend Yuki who is the popular handsome guy of the school. Later you find that for some reason Yuki hates cats as they walk together. Yuki and Tohru go their seperate ways, but later that night Yuki finds Tohru living in a tent and he takes her in because she dosn't look well.
In return Tohru cleans the house to earn her keep. Then a boy named kyo challenges Yuki to a fight. As they fight Tohru falls and keeps her balance by hugging Kyo. Kyo then transforms into a cat.
Thoru freaks out and then everyone else in the family transforms into a different animal.
They explain that their family is cursed wwith the spirts of the Chinese Zodiac. Each family member is possesed by a different animal spirit and when under great stress or embraced by a member of the oppisit sex they transform.
This first book takes you through the events of the first 5 episodes of the anime.
This first book is awsome and is followed up by more just as good! ... Read more


92. Across the Wall : A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories
by Garth Nix
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060747137
Catlog: Book (2005-07-01)
Publisher: Eos
Sales Rank: 45626
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93. Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness Book 1)
by TAMORA PIERCE
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375814663
Catlog: Book (2003-09-23)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 2210
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

To the great joy of her many fans, Tamora Pierce with this book begins a new saga of Tortall to add to The Song of the Lioness Quartet, the Immortals Quartet, and The Protector of the Small tetralogy. At the center of each of these books is always a strong and resourceful young woman who masters the arts of swordplay and knightly warfare in the magical medieval country of Tortall. Alianne, or Aly, daughter of the warrior queen Alanna the Lioness, has all these skills, but also a delicious sense of humor, which serves her well when she is chosen by the trickster god Kyprioth to serve as his secret agent and a slave for a year in the embattled Copper Isles. There the dark-skinned natives, or raka, have been conquered and crushed by the laurin, light-skinned people from the mainland. The burning raka resentment is fueled by prophecies of a twice royal queen who will free them, aided by the "wise one, the cunning one, the strong one, the warrior, and the crows." Just how each of the colorful characters and Aly herself fit into this prophecy and Kyprioth’s tricky plan keeps readers guessing. Aly plots to show her skill at spying as she flirts with the god and is courted by Nawat, a crow transformed into a handsome young man, who is puzzled when she rejects his attempts to mate-feed her with grubs and ants.

The pages of this long but fast-paced adventure zip by, enlivened by intrigue, skirmishes, comedy, romance, and lots of dramatic clothes. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell ... Read more

Reviews (107)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful addition!
I've loved Tamora Pierce's books about Alanna, the Lady Knight of Tortall for nearly fifteen years, ever since I picked up her first book, "Alanna: The First Adventure" as a sixth grader. Featuring Aly, Alanna's daughter, "Trickster's Choice" is a wonderful addition to the world that first captured my imagination, full of the delightful details and careful plotting that Tamora Pierce is so skilled at. I loved getting to know Aly and her careful, crafty character as she makes her through the dangerous and unfamiliar land of the Copper Isles, Tortall's unstable neighbor. Aly's adventures introduce a host of interesting new characters, as well as catch the reader up with many beloved characters from Tamora Pierce's other books. I enjoyed "Trickster's Choice," and I can hardly wait for its sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tamora Pierce, at her best
I have been reading Tamora Pierce for years now. I first picked up the Alanna series when I was about eleven or twelve and I absolutely loved them, I have enjoyed all of her books, Totallan or not.

This is the newest installment in her Tortallan books. The other characters from Tortall include: Daine, Alanna, and Kel. I have read about and loved each of these characters. The newest heroine in Trickster's Choice is Aly, Alanna and George's daughter. Unlike the other heriones Aly as a very noticeable sense of humor, she is more real than the other characters. She makes mistakes, she acts cocky, she loves her mother but gets easily annoyed by her. All of these things make Aly endearing to me. She isn't really good at the physical part of things like the other three heroines were, she uses her mind, her wit, and skill. I really liked the god, Kyprioth, he provides a lot of the humor in the book. I loved catching up on our old friends, Alanna and George, Daine and Numair, and Jonathan and Thayet, it's fun knowing what they're doing now.

I didn't really find this book fitting for the nine to twelve catagory that it's placed in. No there is nothing in it that wouldn't be suitable for that age group but I don't know if kids that young could follow the plot. This is a different kind of book than the rest of Ms. Pierce's collection. It is filled with an intricate plot and a lot of political intruige, I find this book more suitable for 12 and up, they would appreciate the plot more than anyone younger than that.

All in all, this is a wonderful book and a fantastic installment to the rest of the Tortallan series. Now... When does Trickster's Queen come out?

5-0 out of 5 stars Different, but better!
After I read all the other Tortall books, I wanted to read another great book by Tamora Pierce. When Alianne (Aly) of Pirate's Swoop is forbidden by her father, George Copper, and mother, Alanna the Lioness, to become a spy, she goes on a visit. Befor she gets to her target, she is captured and made a slave (you can see the collar on the cover) in the Copper Isles. After she is sold, a god visits her and makes a deal. If she can keep her master's children alive for the summer, the god will transport her home. Aly works hard to meet her end of the deal. Different from the other Tortall books, I think this one is the best.

3-0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old
At the risk of perpetuating a very old cliche, I have to say that Pierce's early works were much better. When Pierce first came on the scene, her fiesty heroines and more realistic style were a breath of fresh air, but now she seems to have settled in a rut and content to perpetuate a 'winning' formula, but one that has been overused since she first began writing. That being said, this is certainly a light, well-written book, but one that pales in comparison to the Alanna series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you say, or you'll give yourself away...
First of all, I'd like to offer my congratulations to Ms. Pierce. After years and years of simply awful covers that publishers have slapped onto her books, she has finally been given a decent one. I mean, have you see some of her other covers? I'm not talking about these incredibly cool ones like the one for "Trickster's Choice". I'm talking about the ones created for such classic tales as "Wild Magic" or "Alanna: The First Adventure". Ms. Pierce has paid her bad-cover dues. Now she has truly earned a couple beautiful ones. I admit that much of my attraction to this tale was due to its alluring cover illustration. It was just my own good luck that the story inside was wonderfully gripping and well written as well.

This book follows Pierce's "Lioness Quartet", a series of books that centered on the lady knight Alanna. In "Trickster's Choice", Aly (Alanna's daughter) is now the center and focus. Aly is the daughter of a famous knight and a famous spy. Both her parents are fighters by nature, but somehow they just can't get it through their heads that all their sixteen-year-old daughter wants to do is become spy like her dad. When Alanna decides that her daughter has become too bull-headed about the matter, Aly takes off on a small adventure of her own. She gets more than she bargained for, however, when her boat is captured by pirates and she is sold as a slave to a foreign noble family. The fact that she has winded up with this particular group of nobles is no accident, however. The trickster god Kyprioth is determined to use Aly's spy skills to protect the family's children, whatever the cost. Before she knows it, Aly is caught up in court intrigues and a political battle between the dark skinned raka and their white skinned luarin oppressors.

I wanted to read my first Tamora Pierce book without having to read through all her previous novels. So I picked up "Trickster's Choice" and hoped for the best. As it happens, you don't necessarily need to have read its predecessors, though it certainly couldn't hurt. Pierce is fond of explaining all past activities and events in such a way that even a person beginning with this book (like myself) catches up easily. Admittedly, I was disappointed with her decision to continually comment on characters and events that had little to no bearing on the current plot. Still, these moments mostly came at the beginning of the book. If you can get through three chapters of this story you'll be successfully hooked and ready to read on.

As for the book itself, it's excellent. I was amazed to find it a wonderful spy novel. Forget Modesty Blaise and Emma Peal; Aly is the best female spy I've encountered in a long time. Pierce has a way of making her quick on her feet without rendering her perfect or flawless. She is mature for her sixteen years but very much the teenager. She's smart as a whip but incredibly funny and endowed with an excellent sense of humor. Maybe it was this humor that made me greatly prefer her to her well meaning but laughless mother. Tamora Pierce has a website dedicated to, what she calls, "sheroes". Aly is a worthy addition to this particular feminist genre. I even liked her choice of mate. Rarely do I ever understand the male heartthrobs in teen girl novels. But Aly's fella is not only adorable but danged sexy to boot. And I loved that though Aly was a fighter, she was by no means invincible. When Aly fights she does so to the best of her abilities. She's Buffy without the super powers, this one.

I was pleased to see that the sequel to this book, "Trickster's Queen", is available and promises to be just as good. If you've any interest in reading about a gal who outwits nobles and gods and is the companion of crows, this might be just the book for you. It's a great tale and one worth reading again and again. If you're tired of books in which the girls gossip and giggle, cleanse your palate with a little "Trickster's Choice". You're hardly gonna find action, humor, and great writing as easily anywhere else. ... Read more


94. Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie
by Holly Black
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689868227
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
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95. Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 1: Power and Responsibility
by Bill Jemas, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078510786X
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 149741
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The comic book publishing event of 2000 is coming to your bookstore.

Ultimate Spider-Man received extensive press coverage and was the highest selling comics launch of the year. It is the reinterpretation of Spider-Man's origin, updated for today's tweens and teens. Starting over at the beginning, the story of how a tortured teen is imbued with startling powers, has been completely re-imagined to appeal to the hi-tech, media savvy youth of today.

In the process, great steps were taken to make the unfolding saga reader-friendly to the non-comics reader. "Our characters have been around for almost 40 years," explained Bill Jemas, Marvel`s President of Publishing and New Media, explaining the reasoning behind Ultimate Spider-Man. "It's great that our comics are so rich that storylines run forever, but we want the Ultimate books to be accessible to the first-time reader. Someone will be able to pick up an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man and have enough information to understand and appreciate it."

An outsider even amongst his own peers, high school student Peter Parker is a young man at the crossroads of destiny. Orphaned as a youth and raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, Peter finds himself the target of a constant barrage of pranks perpetrated by school jock Flash Thompson and his burly bud, nicknamed Kong. After Peter is bitten by an experimental spider from the laboratory of Osborn Industries, industrialist Norman Osborn takes a deadly interest in this development. Will Peter be able to avoid a violent case of corporate downsizing? When backed into a corner, will our hero learn that with great power there must come great responsibility? ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comics for Everyone
Hats off to Marvel for making comics accessible again. Ultimate Spider-Man is a great comic that anyone can read and relate to. It tells the story of a nerdy high school sophomore who suddenly finds himself in possession of fantastic powers. It's an old story, with a hero that will be familiar to almost anyone. After all, Spider-Man is one of the most recognizable characters in entertainment history.

But what's this "Ultimate" about? Spider-Man is a character who was created in the sixties, and since then he's been dragging forty years of continutity and backstory. Ultimate Spider-Man approaches the character from the ground up, with a contemporary voice and pop culture references that place the book squarely in the 21st century. This Peter Parker isn't married and successful yet; he's barely coming to grips with his powers. The origin is updated, the villains look different, and nothing about the hero's future is set.

Longtime Spider-Man fans may still be more comfortable with the original character that they've grown up with. (The "classic" Spider-Man is still thriving and his ongoing series is currently enjoying the excellent writing of Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.) But for those who lost interest in comics years ago, or those who are approaching the medium for the first time, this book is absolutely perfect.

The writing, by comics wunderkind Brian Michael Bendis, is awesome. Dialogue is sharp and sparkling with very authentic voices. The art is attractive and expressive. The stories are easy to follow, even for a first time comics reader. It's a comic that anyone can enjoy, and one which I strongly recommend. I loved it, my girlfriend loved it, and I'm sure that you'll love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spider-Man Revisited
Writer Brian Michael Bendis set out to reinvent and reinvigorate Marvel's hallowed Spider-Man franchise in this landmark series. Judging from the critical acclaim and market success it's had, I'd say he met his goal.

Spider-Man was originally created in 1963 and while his origin story is a comic book classic, let's just say some of the elements within the story have become somewhat dated. Bendis' rehash of Spidey's origin sets him in modern times, with the look of a modern 15-year-old, and the characters speaking in...you guessed it...modern dialogue.

Bendis has done a fine job of updating the character and doesn't give in to the temptation to pace the story too quickly. He takes his time, building up the characters and the story of how Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and subsequently given super powers.

Mark Bagley competently, though not spectacularly, illustrates the story. Bagley's artistic storytelling skills are excellent, but I think Marvel might have been better served had they gone with a less traditional artistic style on this book.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN: POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY is a great new beginning for Spider-Man and appeals to fans of all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ultimate spider-man is the best!
I have read spider-man comics for years and this series is definitley one of the best! the writing, the art, the inking, and the charecters all work perfectley together!
This series gets you very involved in the stories, it gets you attached to the charecters with great charecter development through out the issues.I would certainly recommend this series to any comic book fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Start to a Great New Comic Book Series!
After 42 years of stories, Spider-Man, like many other Marvel titles, has become bogged down in its own complex continuities. Many comics have gotten to the point where those who haven't been reading since way back have trouble understanding the plots. It is for this reason that the creation of the Ultimate series is such a smart move on Marvel's part. Now, on to comic being reviewed. Gone are the futile attempts by Lee and Ditko (Spidey's original creators) to come up with good villains and story lines every month (many old fans may look back not-so-fondly on such abysmal creations as the Terrible Tinkerer, or A Guy Named Joe). Since Spider-Man is already established as a great series, Bendis had more time to flesh out the characters, and elaborate on classic story arcs, without struggling to come up with new ideas every month. To make it more appealing to younger readers, Bendis put a more modern spin on Ultimate Spider-Man. This means that the characters act/talk like they're living in the year 2000, not 1963. Many long-time fans will notice several major changes in the continuity and characters. For one, Peter Parker starts out dating MJ Watson, bypassing his relationships with Betty Brant and Gwen Stacy (although they both make cameo appearences in a couple of stories). In addition, rather than being an insane-workaholic-costume-wearing-Spidey-foe, ultimate Green Goblin is an insane-workaholic-mutated-drug-addicted-Spidey-foe. Since it is known from the beginning that Norman Osbourn is the Green Goblin, his origin is told in a different manner, in a much shorter time (which is a change for the better, IMO). Finally, the event of Uncle Ben's murder is pretty similar to the original comic, except for the fact that Peter lets the crook go when he robs a deli, rather than a wrestling manager. Oh, and Aunt May is much younger, so Peter doesn't have to worry about her health (at least for the time being). That about covers all the MAJOR CHANGES in the first story arc, which are necessary for a better retelling of the exploits of the web-head. As for the artwork, Bagley does an excellent job providing the right atmosphere for the stories. In my opinion, his use of detail is top notch, and his style is great. Bagley can only get better as he continues his career. Overall, Power and Responsability is a great start to a promising new Spider-Man series.

3-0 out of 5 stars This one's the best.... but still far from "Ultimate"
The first storyarc in the rather poor Ultimate Spider-man series is the enevitable origin storyarc. Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider. Eventually, he soon dons the guise of Spider-man to cash in on fame and fortune. But when a horrible tragedy strikes..... You've read it before, and you're going to read it again. Yes, it has, "mondern," stuff like the internet, but still, it has "R-I-P-O-F-F," written all over it. At least the story is slightly touched upon a bit more between Peter's relationships with Aunt May and Uncle Ben(who, dare I say it, has been redesigned into a hippy. Deny it all you want, its true) before the uncle has the fateful encounter with the burglar, leading to Spider-man's true birth as a superhero. But other than that, it's best to just browse. The entire battle with the Green Goblin afterwards is pointless and doesn't serve much purpose to the story afterwards. Something tells me another 40 years from now, Bendis will most likely have been forgotten from the other Spider-man authors, simply because of the unoriginality his stories contain. Still, if you simply must pick up an "Ultimate" book, this one is probably your best bet. ... Read more


96. The Tripods Boxed Set of 4: When the Tripods Came/ the White Mountains/ the City of Gold and Lead/ the Pool of Fire
by John Christopher
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068900852X
Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sales Rank: 3236
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than even Rand, Dostoevsky, Lewis, etc.
The Tripods books have probably had a more profound influence on my life than any other book or group of books I've ever read. Christopher not only tells a gripping tale, but explains a philosophy in a way that a third-grader can understand. In my opinion, most books for children write as if the children were stupid and uncomprehending, or only devolop stock moral lessons, but Christopher writes in a way that respects the reader's intelligence and allows the reader to ponder morality for himself. Not only do I recommend the Tripods books for inquisitive souls, but also The Lotus Caves and The Guardians by Mr. Christopher. Both are exceptional books of at least the caliber of the Tripods. If for nothing else, get Christopher's books for the great entertainment value they'll provide the children in your life. Yes, grown-ups can read them too, but I don't know if they'll understand them as well as their kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars The White Mountains
I have nothing but prais to give this book and the entire series, John Christophers books are some of the few intresting books for my age group (13-14), first reading this book just for school I quickly took it home that night and was unable to put it down, I also proceeded to read the other books of the series-- The City of Gold and Lead, later on the Pool of Fire, and just days ago ,When the tripods came. These books are all incredable and I would recomend them to anyone. Just as an example I recomended them to all my friends and they too were unable to put it down Everyone should get these books

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book is Fan-didly-Astic
In sixth grade my teacher read my class this book about tripods that take over the world. I could not remember the title of the book or anything else about it, except, that i enjoyed it immensely. Everytime I tried to explain the book about tripods that take over the world to people, they just stared back at me in cofusion or like i was crazy. BUT IM NOT! And i can finally prove it! These books are great for young adults and i am buying the box set for myself to take with me to read while i serve in the Peace Corps...

5-0 out of 5 stars Something Stuck with Me
I read The White Mountains ages ago when I was in fifth grade - back when The Pool of Fire hadn't even been written yet! I loved these books and something stuck with me! After all these years, I finally found the set and am ecstatic that I can now preserve them for my children to read - I would highly recommend them for anyone! :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Girls Too
I read these books over 20 years ago when I was a young girl. I loved them! I don't remember Little Women, I remember both The Tripod Series and The Chronicles of Narnia.

I've recently bought the books for my son (9), and I have enjoyed rereading the books. He loves the books even more than the Harry Potter books.

Just remember it's great for both boys and girls. ... Read more


97. Knights of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, Volume One)
by Tom Veitch, Chris Gossett, Janine Johnston, David Roach
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569710201
Catlog: Book (1994-08-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 265072
Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Some 4,000 years before Leia bared her midriff in Jabba's palace, another Force-sensitive woman was doing the same for the good of the plot line: Jedi prodigy and lightsaber-wielding Nomi Sunrider, one of the featured Knights in this two-story collection from Dark Horse's quality Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi miniseries. Sunrider begins her training reluctantly, both to avenge the death of her Jedi hubby at the hands of Bogga the Hutt's minions and to realize her enormous potential in the art of "Jedi Battle Meditation." The other story in this volume also involves Battle Meditation, which Jedi Master Arca uses to save the hides of his young charges Ulic Qel-Droma and friends, who are sent to forge a peace between the beastmaster warlords and walled-city defenders on war-torn Onderon.

With plenty of twists, tons of action, and monsters and bad guys at every turn, these two stories are fully worth checking out, although purists be warned: the Ulic tale especially tends more toward the Jedi-as-superhero school of storytelling. It's saberin' time! --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars SEEMS THERE ARE 3 COMICS USING THE SAME COVER
Anyone confused? Darkhorse has a comic called TALES OF THE JEDI THE COLLECTION that takes place 4,000 years before NH. The ISBN is 1569710203 published aug 1994. Dark horse does indicate that they published Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - Knights of the Old Republic TPB on Oct 1994, but do not indicated an ISBN. I think that all 3 of these are the same comic. This comic is not to be found on amazon.

Then we have Knights of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, Volume One) by Tom Veitch, Chris Gossett, Janine Johnston (Illustrator), David Roach (Illustrator) ISBN 1569710201 RELEASED BY Dark Horse Oct, 1995 with the same cover.

They also have Star Wars - Tales of the Jedi: Knights of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi) by Tom Veitch, Chris Gosset, Dennis Rodier released by titan books May, 2000 with the same cover under ISBN 1840231726 It seems to be the same comic described by amazon here and called KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, TALES OF THE JEDI 1 THRU 5 with the same cover art and a different ISBN.

I am reviewing a comic called Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - The collection published by Dark Horse August, 1994 as a TPB compiliation, ISBN: 1569710201. These stories are revealed on Jedi Holocrons recovered by Luke Skywalker. Made in Canada the binding is excellent.
Story 1 - Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon. 51 pages, OK story with some good fights, the artwork is the comic-strip quality used throughout most of the 80's and 90's.

Story 2 - The Saga of Nomi Sunrider. 69 pages, the story of Nomi and her daughter, artwork is cheesy and uninspired.
Either way, they are all probably the same, with a title change. Dark horse published this comic in aug 1994, 3 years before its two comics TPB's that take place 5,000 years before NH. I think you should Skip the first 2 on the Timeline and just start here. While the art work is a C the coloring is a C TO D and looks more like the early 80's art and coloring offerings, the 2 stories here is pretty good. The Stories of Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider are worth a read.

3-0 out of 5 stars An engaging storyline, but not a visual delight
It rains, it snows, I still say Ulic Qel-Droma and Kir Kanos look the same. And looks belie Knights of the Old Republic, vanguard in the Tales of the Jedi series that it is. This is actually two different stories: the Onderon arc, and the Ambria part, starring bald-headed Nomi. Considering the next installment, the elusive to find Freedon Nadd Uprising continues the Onderon storyline, they should have included it as well.

This is a time when the Republic is still growing, still exploring the stars for new worlds, still ripe for adventure. When Onderon requests Jedi meditation to resolve its internal strife, acclaimed Jedi Master Arca Jeth dispatches his three apprentices to end the civil strife. What they find is dark side mayhem and a 400-year-old Sith spirit, dead but not quite digested.

The art quality is a sample of what you'll put up with in TOTJ: horrible. Comics now, dominated by the ever-popular Republic series, have never looked better; and despite how art technology back then isn't up to today's standards, console yourself that at least this is better than that dreadful so-called art of Dark Empire.

Illustrations aren't so bad. It's just that things look cluttered and messy. But that's the theme, what things were like four millenniums ago: patchy apparel, bizarre starships that look more Transformer toy than space vehicle, ancient-style architecture. Though why lightsabers of that era were drawn with a shimmer glow rather than simple straight lines is a mystery.

Dialogue is nothing to applaud. Reader beware---we're dumb, so we need to be reminded of every character's full name every second appearance. It's enough to put you off the entire series.

It was Jedi Master Jeth that hooked me in. I admit it, purchasing this vanguard of the series merely from an online preview I saw. The aging Arkanian just looked so haunting, so ominous, I knew it would be worth it.

And worth getting despite the awful art quality it is. The plot moves along swiftly, and readers will eventually get used to the fact that the Jedi of this era can talk to animals, perform unusual feats, and bumble around like all good Jedi. I say this because Jeth's fortuitous arrival is all that saves the day, who then reprimands them for not sensing the dark side around them. Which then looks odd for old Jeth, when the students counter he never taught them how to repel it.

More disturbing is Onderon's moon. If it orbits so close that their atmospheres periodically brush, allowing the moon's hostile fauna to migrate to Onderon, how doesn't it succumb to gravity and drop into the planet as well?

Well? That sure heck needed explaining. And if that doesn't raise the cynical brow, then the implausibility of a Jedi character affixing a droid arm in place of his severed limb no probs surely will.

Ah well. It gets worse with the second section, Nomi Sunrider---and so does the art. The art quality is so dirty, so filthy, it's simply shocking. WHY is Sunrider's head half-bald. It's unsightly, ugly, and yes, red-heads have less hair than all other colours, but this was bad!

Beast Jedi Master Thon is a curious fellow, and about all that makes this story more so some tasty features. Like the brief flash of Jedi history, showing the origin of the Sith; and bizarre starships, hollowed out of kilometre-long space insects. Otherwise, you'll be wondering why the art was so poor, why Sunrider is severely balding, or how her late husband can pop in as a Jedi spirit when only wimpy apprentice.

Overall, KOTOR introduces you to the main players and places of the series and is interesting and creative enough to well warrant a purchase.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad. Not bad at all.
This graphic novel provides a decent way to kill an hour and a half or so, and for those interested in the Star Wars Mythos and universe this book has added value in expanding on earlier generations of jedi.

For those of you who have played the superb XBOX RPG - 'Knights of the Old Republic,' it is interesting to note similar story elements found in that game within this 1995 book. For example - Battle Meditation, construction of lightsabers with crystals, etc. The artwork is decent and the story flows at a nice pace. All together a snappy read but not quite a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Feel, don't think. Use your instincts.
Unreal. Amazing. Jedi!!!
And so, with a few bucks to burn, I picked up this holy tome all those years ago. I was fascinated. Never before have I cared about a set of characters so much, save for Han and Chewie. This sets the stage for the next four volumes. The main characters here are Ulic Qel-Droma, Jedi Knight, and Nomi Sunrider, who inadvertently follows the path of the Jedi. Their paths interconnect eventually, and the story unfolds. This a rare set of comics that can actually be classified as a saga. Later volumes introduce Exar Kun, a name you may know from Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy trilogy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction
Knights of the Old Republic is the first story published in the Tales of the Jedi storyline. Written by Tom Veitch, the guy who also did the Dark Empire comics, the characters and situations herein are pretty much taken from the backstory he created for his prior Star Wars jaunt. Overall this is a pretty good comic, and it paves the path for what will be one of the most exciting epics in Dark Horse's Star Wars publishing run. Knights of the Old Republic is not one story, but two that will tie together in later Tales of the Jedi books. The art is a mixed bag (more on that later), but the stories told are vintage Star Wars.

The first chapter, 'Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon,' tells the story of several young Jedi given their first task by their Master - a diplomatic/peacekeeping mission to a world that is petitioning to join the Republic. Ulic Qel-Droma is a rash, brash Jedi who despite his impulsiveness is a skilled Jedi and strong in the Force. His companions are his brother Cay and the Twi'lek Tott Doneeta, neither of whom are as good with a lightsaber as Ulic, but both of whom are more cautious. There are no real surprises in this story - there is of course the obligatory brush with the Dark Side and lots of fight scenes, but it does serve very well to introduce these characters, their skills and personalities. Chris Gossett's art is very good here, but the coloring seems somewhat dull.

The second chapter, 'The Saga of Nomi Sunrider,' is a much better story even if the art stinks. Nomi is a Force-sensitive woman who is too timid to be a Jedi, although her husband, Andur, has followed that path. While they are en route to deliver some adegan crystals to Andur's future master, some thugs who want the expensive crystals kill Andur. Nomi, without thinking, takes Andur's lightsaber, kills the thugs, and then proceeds to deliver the crystals to Master Thon. For months she is reluctant to learn the ways of the Force, and absolutely refuses to touch a lightsaber, but when the Hutt whose hoodlums she killed shows up looking for vengeance, she has no choice but to take up arms. This story was much more enjoyable than Ulic's, and all around much better. The art, however, is pretty weak and ugly.

While these stories are not terribly exciting as standalones, when looked at in the context of the rest of the series they are a worthy introductory chapter with lots of lightsaber fights, a few new Force techniques, brash students, wise masters, cruel enemies, and decent artwork. Recommended. ... Read more


98. A Great and Terrible Beauty
by LIBBA BRAY
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385730284
Catlog: Book (2003-12-09)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 3797
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy. (Ages 12 up) –Patty Campbell ... Read more

Reviews (62)

3-0 out of 5 stars Its not great, but its not terrible.
This book I had my eye on for quite some time and when i finally bought it it wasnt what i suspected.
Gemma Doyle is sent to a private school for proper girls after her mother dies. While she is there Gemma finds out that she can go into a realm and find dead people and communicate with them. When she brings friends along with her, Kartrik, a boy who is apart of a group trying to stop her stays close to her. She soon finds herself in trouble and has to get out.
As you can see it was hard to explain it. This book did have its great spots that i really got in to but it was slow. I read this book in about a week and a couple of days (thats long for me) and i finished it mainly to see what would happen to a character and also to see if it got better. Also I felt that the author threw in things everyonce in a while to give it a new spin and it didnt go well with this story.
I really wished I didnt buy this book but oh well, maybe I'll forget about it and maybe read it again later.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new classic
While labeled a Young Adult novel, A Great and Terrible Beauty will resonate with women of all ages. Gemma is everywoman -- with all the dreams and conflicts, flaws and exceptional gifts, righteousness and selfishness that weave the fabric of a living, breathing person. Finally, a period novel that doesn't condescend to the reader, or make dutiful "womanly" choices seem somehow noble or predestined. It also doesn't make the mistake of modernizing the characters in a way that would have been socially impossible during the time. When Gemma and her friends try to be more than future wives of rich men, we feel their struggle. And even as 21st Century women, we can relate.

This is a book about magic -- to be literal, it is about a magical Order and the powers unlocked by a young, headstrong girl. But it is also about the magic we find (or choose to unleash) in our ordinary, mundane lives. Gemma and her friends represent the choices -- bad, good, well-intentioned and even those with malice -- that we all make.

Beyond the themes of this book is the sheer poetry of it. Some passages beg to be read aloud. Bray has a lovely, subtle way with words. She doesn't clutter the story with vocabulary acrobatics -- but she'll knock you over with a spectacular turn of phrase. I was also impressed with the dialogue. It feels authentic without being stilted.

I have given this book to all of my friends, and their daughters and nieces! But my husband loved Gemma's story, too. His comment: "It's like Harry Potter only better written and far more quirky and interesting."

Gemma is a REAL heroine, not a bodice-ripped caricature. I can't wait to read the next in Gemma's series. More, Ms. Bray, MORE!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect
A Great and Terible Beauty skillfully combines a traditional Victorian setting with modern-style teenage drama. This is Mean Girls as gothic melodrama, and both the rich, repressive finishing school setting and the antics of troubled, bitchy teenage girls are familiar, but uniquely enjoyable combined like this. Teenage struggles against adult hypocricy are the same in all time periods, and the power of [repressed] female sexuality is a theme that arises perfectly from the Victorian-- and adolescent time period.

In these ways it is a perfect book, and the fantasy elements -- menacing secret societies, utopian alternate worlds -- should be the icing on a delicious cake, but this is where the author stumbles. As with so many supernatural plots, the mystery is tantalizing at first, but as more is revealed, it only gets confusing and messy. There will be a sequel, which might tie the mystical strands tighter into the overall structure of the story, but the ending of this novel left me unsatisfied, and not in a good way.

Still, it's a great read for anyone who enjoys period fiction or remembers what it's like to be 16.

3-0 out of 5 stars still not exactly sure how I feel about it....
This book is about Gemma, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in India with her mother and father. After her mother is murdered (something that Gemma witnesses in a strange and frightening vision), Gemma is sent to a finishing school in London. The story takes place in 1895. Gemma gradually gets to know the other girls at the school. Most of them are in some way emotionally damaged, and they deal with the hopelessness of their situations by taking everything out on those who happen to be weaker than themselves. What ends up tying Gemma to several of the girls is a diary she discovers, the diary of two girls who attended the school years ago and practiced magic. In a way, this book has the elements of a mystery, as Gemma discovers the link between her mother's murder, the two girls, and her own visions.

I'm still not sure if I like this book. For a great deal of the book, I had the feeling that I didn't really know any of the characters, not even Gemma, even though the book was from her point of view. Maybe this was intentional, but it was disconcerting. If you're looking for a book with nice, pleasant characters, you should look elsewhere, because there aren't really any here. They all do mean things, even Gemma, and the reasons they have for doing these things doesn't seem to detract much from the fact that they did them. Really, though, you'd think that, after reading all 403 pages of this book, that I'd feel like I knew more about the characters and events, but this book feels like it leaves more questions behind than it answers. I've heard that there will be more books about Gemma, which is good, since there needs to be more if the story is to be understood. The book leaves Gemma's powers, and her relationships with the people she calls her friends, in limbo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Girl Power
Finishing this novel is like having been reminded of the question like Who am I?, Have I found myself yet?

The story itself is about a sixteen-year old girl Gemma Doyle, who had her biggest biggest surprise for her birthday that turned her world upside down.
Being sucked into the magic realms, being left with a horrible vision of the death her mother and hunted down by terrifying shadows are only part of the surprise. Plus the adjustment she has to make among new people and custom in a girl dorm school, where she found her circle of friends.

Set in the end of nineteenth century, Gemma was a girl with some very revolutionaire independence thoughts and some of them clicked something in me and reminded me of the power of female gender (so awesome). There are also a companion character, Miss Moore, her teacher, who gave more sights on choices in life and the balance between light and dark in lessons she had, accompanied with a famous poem by Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott.

And there was also a romantic part in it (which I'm very grateful of) between Gemma and an Indian boy, who followed and watched her whereever she goes. I think this can be developed into an intense relationship.

I do hope there will be sequel to this because the journey of Gemma and her friends has just begun and there is no turning back, as once you make a choice, whether it would turn out to be a good or a bad one, you just have to accept the consequences and live with it. ... Read more


99. The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback))
by LLOYD ALEXANDER
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440406498
Catlog: Book (1999-01-12)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 5728
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Peace reigns in Caer Dallben, where Taran works as Assistant Pig-Keeper, but evil threatens the rest of Prydain.The diabolical Arawn's army grows every day, and his terrible warriors never die.They are born in the Black Cauldron from the stolen bodies of slain soldiers.If evil is to be defeated, the cauldron must be destroyed.Taran volunteers to travel to Arawn's stronghold and assist in the destruction of the dreaded cauldron.With his faithful friends reassembled, Taran marches off to facegreat danger with a courageous heart. ... Read more

Reviews (84)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hi pot? It's kettle. You're black.
The best known title of any of the books in the Prydain Chronicles (owing, probably, to that horrendous Disney movie from the 1980s). In this beautifully woven tale, we return once more to meet Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper of Caer Dallben. With his faithful crew in tow (Eilonwy, Gurgi, Fflewddur Fflam, Doli, etc.) as well as new companions, Taran sets off to find and destroy the legendary Black Cauldron.

Unlike the first book in this series, this story is beset by some small inconsistencies that hurt its storytelling. At the end of the first book, Taran's hot head had been cooled by actual battle. He understood what it meant to go to war, and was happy to return and stay at Caer Dallben once more. Unfortunately, Taran goes right back to square one in this newest adventure. Again he is the same rambunctious unthinking adolescent he was before. I'm not saying this is necessarily an inaccurate portrait of an adolescent. Just disappointing. It would be nice to see Taran growing a little wiser with each book.

Still, there is much to love in this story. Taran finally meets a boy that rivals and beats him in quick thoughtless action. Flewddur the bard is still abandoning his kingdom to go fight and play the harp. Princess Eilonwy is just as feisty as ever. It's a wonder to think that even though this series was written at the same time as Britain's "White Mountains" chronicles, this particular group of books stands out for its far-sighted take on women and their abilities. Eilonwy may not be invited to the men's war councils, but she objects heartily to the fact. She fights as well as any (considering her circumstances) and is always of great help to others. It's funny, but you can't help wondering how Taran keeps ending up in the company of so many members of royalty (Eilonwy, Fflewddur, Gwydion, etc.). They seem to be as numerous as the leaves of spring.

In the end, "The Black Cauldron" (why wasn't it named "The Black Crochan" as the book calls it?) is a worthy, if slightly less impressive, successor to "The Book of Three". Readers who decide to start the series with this book will have little difficulty catching up with the action at hand. It is an enjoyable story that deserves to be remembered in the hearts and minds of fantasy lovers everywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Facing fate(s) in the Marshes of Morva
This is one of the best of Alexander's Prydain series--definitely an improvement over _The Book of Three_, which was pretty good itself. Once again, Taran has to make tough choices between seeking fame as a hero or just trying to get the job done. His quest for the Black Cauldron, which can be used to reanimate the bodies of slain warriors to create an army of invulnerable zombies and thus must be destroyed if the power of Arawn Death-Lord (i.e., Sauron) is to be broken, takes him and his companions to the Marshes of Morva for a rendezvous with Alexander's offbeat version of the three Fates, one of whom, Orgoch, has some disturbing culinary tastes. As so often happens in Alexander, Taran can win the Cauldron only by giving up his most precious possession. Will he make the sacrifice? And what will he choose? Read this exciting, moving, and thought-provoking adventure to find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars The movie can't be compared to this masterpiece
After getting a taste of adventure in "The Book of Three," Taran once again has an appetite for going out and doing heroic things. And the timing couldn't be better, for his childhood hero Prince Gwydion has invited him to help in stealing a bewitched cauldron from Arawn Death-Lord.

Along with the feisty Princess Eilonwy, impetuous bard Fflewddur, simple-minded Gurgi, and gruff dwarf Doli, Taran is joined by two new and very opposite characters: Adaon and Ellidyr. Both have very different ideas about honor, and Taran is forever changed by what he learns from them.

Rounding out the cast of new characters are the delightful enchantresses Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch, as well as the melancholy Gwystyl and proud King Morgant. There's more to all of them than meets the eye.

Taran's quest teaches him more about honor, goodness, sacrifice and loyalty than he ever bargained for. Next to "The High King," I consider this to be the most powerful book in all the Prydain Chronicles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Young fantasy has never been better
Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles are one of the key series in children's fantasy literature, walking a fine line: They are both accessible to young readers and appealing and engaging enough for adults to enjoy.

The five wonderful books in this series feature an interesting cast of characters. Most of the action centers on Taran, a pig keeper destined for great things. Others, including a stereotypical spoiled princess, a crazed Gollum-like creature, and a hapless bard, take part in a series of increasingly epic adventures.

"The Black Cauldron" is probably the best known of the series (in part due to Disney's unfortunate film of the book). In this volume, Taran and friends return, this time to face a terrible evil that can spread lifeless hordes across the land. Old faces return, new bad guys appear, and the world of Prydain is further expanded in this classic addition to a classic series.

Because Alexander draws his stories from ancient myth and legend, the themes and situations always feel familiar, like stories you've read many times before - but never in a tiresome way. They're "comfortable." And that's a welcome trait, especially when so many books try so hard to be different.

The writing is direct and lively throughout (though darker in tone that the first book), and the pacing absolutely perfect. Just when one suspects a lull in the action is looming, Alexander surges us forward and advances the story some more. Things are always pushing forward, offering a tale that one is hard-pressed to put down.

One of the great joys of this series is the steady progression from pure children's fantasy to more adult themes and a grimmer, more mournful tone, allowing the reader to grow along with the characters. The first book does not well reflect the last. What begins as a light fantasy becomes very serious. That is a good thing and is very much on display here.

"The Black Cauldron" is hailed as a classic of young fantasy for a reason. It and the rest of the Prydain Chronicles are recommended reading for anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially classic children's fantasy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellente!
Except the fact that was pretty slow at times, I still loved it! ... Read more


100. Grass for His Pillow: Tales of the Otori, Book 2
by Lian Hearn
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573222518
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 7030
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Lian Hearn's second novel in the Tales of the Otori, Grass For His Pillow continues to enrich and expand his mystical imaginings of feudal Japan. Picking up where Across the Nightingale Floor left off, Takeo fulfills his debt of honor and accepts his heritage as a member of the superhuman cabal of assassins known as "The Tribe," and is thus ingested into their plots. But his heart yearns for Kaede, his one true love, and secretly wishes to fulfill the final wishes of his adopted father, Otori Shigaru. Meanwhile, Kaede returns to her homeland to find her father's estate in ruin and her inheritance in jeopardy. The two each encounter vast political machinations and deadly consequences as they unconsciously move toward their overwhelming urges to reunite and defy (or perhaps embrace) fate.

Hearn's second book into the Tales of the Otori series is a more poignant tale than the first, painfully examining the lines between honor, duty, and love. With its calming and satisfying conclusion, the landscape of Hearn's mythical vision of Japan braces for a dazzling storm in the book to come. --Jeremy Pugh ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I don't think this was just fluff and filler for the middle of the trilogy. I thought that they developed Lady Kaede's character much more here than just having her be a hostage and a pretty face. We got to know her character better. It did seem a bit trite that she and Takeo are star-crossed lovers and they are so much in love as to turn their backs on everything else. Been there done that. I agree with the whole fulfilling a prophecy thing as being lame and contrived. Plus, finding out that all the main characters are related, oh come on. All in all, a good easy read and I'm looking forward to the third installment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun but lots of filler
If you haven't read Across the Nightengale Floor much of Grass for His Pillow isn't going to make any sense. This book is clearly a bridge between the first and third books in the series so it suffers a bit as a result. Despite that, Hearn's fantastical version of feudal Japan remains mesmerizing. Chracters are fleshed out a little bit more and we learn that Takeo really does have a destiny to fulfill. Takeo and Kaede both have a chance to grow independent of each other and it is interesting to watch the way each must move within their "families." I can't wait to see how Hearn brings it all together in the finale.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, rises above the first.
I really enjoyed ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR, the first book in this trilogy. Although I was captivated by it, I did not rush out to buy this second book. But this second novel definitely improved upon the first. I am really fired up after having read the conclusion, and am ready to buy book three.

The whole series is fascinating, even if it does follow a familiar fomula. But it's a timeless formula, and one that has been proven to work time and time again. Lean Hearn is an expert at hinting at events rather than showing them directly. The way this book is written, you get the impression that it's like a piece of artwork itself: what's not there is just as important as the imagery you see.

I'm looking forward to the concluding book, and will rush out to get it right away this time.

1-0 out of 5 stars Grass for His Pillow
I totally loved Book One. Book Two, Grass for His Pillow was a complete disappointment. The first half of the book was nothing but a repeat of material from Book One. In many instances, it was paragraph and chapter upon paragraph and chapter repeating text from Book One. Book Two was a rip off, I bought and read it based on the quality of Book One, and I was sadly mistaken. I am sorry I got and would not recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of unabridged audio version
Rating System:
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others

STORY: From back cover: "Takeo has now been claimed by the Tribe; held by them against his will, he is condemned to work as an assassin. Meanwhile, Shirakawa Kaede must try to unify the domain she has inherited, while fighting off would-be suitors and hoping that Takeo will return to her."

MY FEEDBACK:
1) You don't really need to read the first book to understand this story because the author does enough reflection and backstory to get a reader up to speed. BUT...it is so much better if you do read Across the Nightingale Floor first.

2) The characters of Takeo and Kaede are explored more and we as readers continue our bond and love for them. Kaede plays a much larger role in this book than the first.

3) This second/middle book doesn't seem to suffer from middle-book syndrome but continues with the same strength as the first. The first book resolved enough without having to read this book, but this book definitely sets the stage for interesting events to happen in the 3rd book.
Very little is resolved in this book. This book was truly the rising action of the series making you feel that the climax is just around the corner and me as a reader anxious to get there.

4) The same actors come back to this book to do the voices in this unabridged representation of the book. The acting is very well done and enjoyable throughout.

OVERALL: Fantastic continuation. I can't wait till the end of the trilogy! ... Read more


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