Yearly Archives: 2012

Unexpected Party, art by David T Wenzel

Unexpected Party, art by David T Wenzel

If you’re anything like me, the songs in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings probably left you a little confused. I don’t have much of a musical talent, outside of being able to keep a bit of a rhythm, but melody has always escaped me, so I recited the songs in the novels more as spoken word poems than as actual melodies. I was delighted when I first heard the haunting rendition the dwarfs’ song in trailers for Jackson’s upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, but this audio clip I came across on Reddit really takes the cake. Thanks to HarperCollins, Tolkien’s current publisher, we can all enjoy an audio recording of Tolkien himself singing “That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates,” one of the most memorable songs in The Hobbit.

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Not too shabby. I like that they’ve included a woman on the cover (presumably Inevra) without over-sexualizing her. There’s a nice amount of energy, equal to The Desert Spear, and you can never go wrong with a bold red/black colour palette. The dice are a little cheezy, but they’re important to the series, so I’ll let them pass. Worth noting, this cover was debuted by Entertainment Weekly, a large mainstream publication, rather than a genre blog, website or publication, a vote of confidence for Del Rey, Brett and the success of this series.

For those interested, Entertainment Weekly also has an excerpt of The Daylight War.

Media blackout and all, I’m not going to watch this, but I hope you enjoy it. Only a few more weeks! To think, the last time I lined up for a Tolkien/Jackson film, I was fresh out of high school. Ten years later, my excitement for a film hasn’t been so feverish since. Until now.

A Map of Middle Earth

Okay, so maybe you’ve seen a full map of Arda before, but it’s always fun to find a new look at an old favourite. This map really helps to put into perspective the journeys of Frodo and Bilbo, showing that they trek over only a small portion of the entirety of Middle Earth and Arda itself. Like any Fantasy fan, I’m always curious to see what lays beyond the edges of those maps we’re all so familiar with from our countless reads and re-reads of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. From what I understand, this map isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s still fun to peruse.

There’s a lot of evidence that Arda is the same planet we live on, in a different age, and this map showcases some ways in which Middle-Earth and the Undying Lands might eventually become the continents we know today. Or, alternatively, England and Ireland, depending on scale. I also love seeing the ice bridge connecting the northern portions of the two islands/continents.

Hopefully this helps whet your appetite for the upcoming release of The Hobbit, just a few weeks away!

Three Parts Dead by Max GladstoneA few weeks ago, when I asked Justin Landon for a review to run on A Dribble of Ink, he offered me two. The first, which I ran, was for The City’s Son by Tom Pollock. It had great cover art, sounded intriguing and didn’t look like just another gritty Urban Fantasy novel. The other was Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone, which I’d never heard of.

Justin Landon, Staffer’s Book Review:

Gladstone’s uses dynamic prose and a unique voice to communicate that intent. It’s poetic at times, and laconic at others, switching between the two, and in between, depending on the point of view from whence the story is told.

[...]

For fans of the legal thriller, and they are legion in the fiction marketplace, Three Parts Dead is an intriguing starting position for a fantasy enfilade. Elements of mystery, verbal fencing, and suspenseful confrontations stand tall throughout, set neatly into a fantasy world. I have concerns that traditional fans of fantasy may feel some frustration about the lack of development in Gladstone’s setting, but his excellent characters and interesting plot carry the day, making it a novel I can easily recommend.

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