Sunday, 24 April 2011

Book: The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan

What i can't decide is whether or not he married above his station or below it! 


So I'vw just finished rereading The Magician's Apprentice which is the prequel to The Black Magician Triology (The Magician's Guild, The Novice and The High Lord) all by Trudi Canavan, after a reread of that trilogy.

And I was just thinking, it is implied in the Epilogue that Jayan and Tessia are married, we know for sure that they're having a baby so we can presume that they are married. So anyway, considering Jayan is a member of the houses is he marrying below his station by marrying Tessia who is a commoner (or more accuratly was before she became a Magician) or is he marrying above it as Tessia is the Magician who discovered healing magic? Its a strange question that one, I suppose they did start the guild so it may be that there is no matter of rank between them.

So anyway onto the books in general rather than an obscure detail that isn't really that important in the scheme of things! Anyway, so I think there are quite a lot of simularitys between Canavan's 2 main characters (and even between them and Auraya from The Age of the Five Triology) both Tessia and Sonea are from the lower classes, and both are female, at that young (as in teenage girls - again as is Auraya) and in a way even the people they turn out to love are simular, I mean its true Jayan was never Tessia's master, he was in fact just the older apprentice of Lord Dakon (Tessia's master) and later a Higher Magician in his own right, whereas Sonea falls in love with her (second) Guardian, High Lord Akkarin. But even so the stories are well written and I did enjoy the development.

I like the way that Jayan progresses throughout that Magician's Apprentice, at the start you can almost imagine him as 12/13, as in immature, arrogant, thinking he's better than Tessia, but by the end of the novel you really feel like he has matured and grown into a good strong character. In reality there is barely anytime between the start and the end of the novel, and I believe that it is a credit to Canavan that her character noticably, but believably progresses.

I also think that the character of Stara was a good choice to put in their, I mean she was there to show that though some men in Sachaka were bad and possibly even evil, men, there are some good ones, such as her brother and her husband, and that it was a regime that needed changing. I liked how to do this Canavan had Stara half Sachakan and half Elyne, it meant that she was part of Sachakan society but also that she could have a foreign upbringing (in Elyne) and so have a foreigners view on what Sachaka was like, as well as a natives.

The Magician's Apprentice is a great book to read after The Black Magician Trilogy I think, simply because I feel that you have more context to the book, and you understand the relevance of the Sachakan War in the Magician's Apprentice better. Also I believe that if you read this book first then some of the mystery's of the trilogy aren't so mysterious, and so may be ruined.

This book certainly answers questions, I mean it explains why the Sachakans didn't know how to heal themselves in The High Lord, it was simply because a Kyrilian (Tessia) discovered it and they kept the knowledge in Kyrilia. Also by reading the Magician's Apprentice second you may presume where the old ruins that the Elynes found the store stone is, I believe it is the same ruins that Dannyl and Tayend visit in The High Lord (though it may possibly be in The Novice) whilst on their tour of Elyne.

An issue that Canavan seems to like to raise (talking of Dannyl) is the issue of gay relationships. And I will make this very clear, I am in no way opposed to gay relationships for either gender, though I don't share their preferances if someone's happy with someone of the same gender then i believe that that is absolutly fine and that they, and the rest of the world should embrace it. However I will also admit that I am suprised that a fantasy writer included them in her books, it could have caused quite a lot of controversy in certain places, and certainly at one point of had her books banned! So anyway, there is the relationship of Dannyl and Tayend, in the High Lord, and it is done in a masterful way, from the first book, The Magician's Guild, we know of the rumours about Dannyl's sexuality that were spread when he was a novice and we watch as he realises that he is in love with Tayend, if you can get your head round them being a gay couple (as I can) then it is actually very sweet. However Canavan also shows the darker side of this coin, with that fact that in Kyrilia gay relationships were frowned upon and on their visit to Lonmar, Dannyl and Tayend see someone exceuted for being gay. This is also covered in The Magician's Apprentice with Stara's husband, Karicho and his suggested lover, it is also suggested that the practise isn't tolerated in Sachaka.

I could go on and on and on but I somehow think that that would be no good for me or for anyone reading, there are many many more issues covered in Canavan's books and they are well worth the expense and time to read!

Til Next Time,
L x

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Book: The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

A really interesting question was searched! Mistborn spoilers ahead


Sorry I was just looking at my traffic sources and saw a question that led to my blog:

How did Vin's mother kill her sister with an earing?

And you know what, it does strike me a little odd as to how, I presume that Vin's mother killed Vin's sister in another way and the stuck the earing through Vin's sister's heart while the heart was still beating, or something like that, a trick would seem to be the only way for it to possibly work, then again at some point Marsh kills someone with what is described as a relativly small spike, so maybe it doesn't matter if it is a Hermulagic spike being made, obviously Ruin works in mysterious ways!

Til Next Time,
L x

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cage Match: Vin vs Quick Ben

So the final of the SUVUDU Cage Matches has arrived and I'm elated that one of my favourite fantasy characters has made it to the Final!

VIN FOR THE WIN!!!!!

So head over to SUVUDU to cast your vote, but don't foget to read through the comments you find there, there are alternative write-ups from fans. Also check out my own write up (but be aware that I am heavily biased towards Vin (and also be aware that I've tried to avoid talking about Quick Ben much because I have never read the books - its on my to do list!)

http://lmg-student-life.blogspot.com/2011/04/vin-vs-quick-ben-how-i-think-it-would.html

So anyway, this is a really close match already, and it only opened today, everytime I look back at it the other person is winning, and it only ever seems to be by a few votes, so EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!! SO go cast yours!

http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/04/cage-match-2011-finals-vin-versus-quick-ben.html

Come on VIN

VIN FOR THE WIN

Til Next Time,
L x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Logic Trees: Quick Ben vs Vin - Can you write it?

Logic Trees: Quick Ben vs Vin - Can you write it?

Cage Match: Vin vs Quick Ben: How I Think It Would Go

So, as you know SUVUDU have been holding Cage Matches (see some of my other posts) and I am very much rooting for Vin! Anyway, someone is holding a competition (I'll link it at the bottom) for the write up, and the prize is one of Brandon Sanderson's books (GOODY!) so I thought I'd give it a go. I don't know Quick Ben very well, but from what fans have said and what I;ve found out, he seems to be intellegent and a good fighter, so I've tried to write it so that it doesn't insult fans, and Vin wins in a way that she has beaten people before (and without Atium!) so enjoy it! If you don't know any Mistborn lore then look down a couple of posts and have a look there! Please tell me what you think!

Vin peered down at the tall, dark skinned figure, his back turned to her. The man reminded her of Sazed, but every instinct told Vin that this man wasn't to be underestimated. This was no peaceful Terris Steward she faced. Her instincts told her that he was dangerous...

Resting the other side of the hill from the man, out of sight, Vin noticed that the mists were setting in, That's early, she thought, but they have been coming earlier and earlier, and if what Sazed said is true they've been killing...but it wasn't the right time to deal with that problem. The problem Vin had to deal with was the man at the bottom of the hill. He'd threatened Elend. He had to die.

Vin swallowed her metals, throwing the vial to the side. She knew that she was deadly. A dangerous assasin in the mists. Vin knew that this man was powerful, but was he as powerful as the Lord Rular, or the Steel Inquisitors? She decided that she wasn't taking any risks and took out her Mother's bronze earing, if he was as powerful an allomancer as the Lord Rular then he would be able to use it against her. Flipping a coin onto the ground Vin burned steel and pushed into the air, throwing another coin to the ground she transfered her push to the second coin. As she moved silently through the air, the tall man still stood facing away from her. It seemed almost too easy...

With a sudden burst of speed, which Vin presumed to mean that her opponant was burning pewter, he turned round to face her. He looked up, and smiled. It was a smile that invited trust, whoever this man he seemed to think that Vin would trust him. Vin smiled inside, her past as a Skaa theif meant that she didn't trust easily, and this man was no different. Vin flaired steel and pushed a coin at the man. With lightening quick speed the man moved avoiding the coin completely. Atium. Vin thought, well two can play at that game. She burned atium, yet only one atium shadow appeared. So if he isn't burning atium then how did he avoid my coin? But suddenly Vin's coin, that she'd been using as an anchor moved, and she was falling...

...With grace that only an allomancer could manage she landed in a crouch and then spun round to face her opponant, only to find that he wasn't there, and neither was his atium shadow. Yet he had had no time to run, Vin would have seen him. Vin extinguished her atium and at the same time a tunnel of fire came rushing towards her, she flared pewter and managed to move out of the way just in time. She wondered whether the mists were obscuring him from view, but she'd never had a problem with that before, especially with the help of tin. Vin flared tin, increasing her already heightened senses more...there did seem to be a figure that the mists were swirling around. It was as if there was an allomancer there, and yet there wasn't. Vin dismissed it as the Mist Spirit and continued to look around her.

Experimentally Vin burned atium again. Then she saw it, an atium shadow. But it wasn't of the mysterious man, instead it was of another tunnel of flames coming towards her, she moved, and a second later the actual flames appeared, consuming the spot where she had been stood. Vin wondered where the tall man was, she still couldn't see him.

Feeling exposed on the ground Vin burned steel, as she pushed on a coin as her anchor she noticed another blue line, but this one was moving. It must be his coin bag, she thought. So he could turn invisible, Vin hadn't heard of a metal that could turn someone invisible. It just convinced her that there were still undiscovered metals. Then she realised that she knew where he was, and he didn't know that she did. She pushed several coins in the direction of the metal she sensed on his body. The tall man noticed at the last moment and deflected them. Mistborn then, Vin thought, then she burned bronze. Vin frowned, the man wasn't giving out any allomantic pulses that she could recognise. But then the pulse Vin could sense from him didn't feel like an allomantic one at all...

Vin was fed up of these games. This needed to be over, and for it to be over Vin wanted to be able to see this man, he must have questions. She burned brass, soothing away the man's suspision, fear and anger, and at the same time she burned zinc and rioted the man's sense of curiosity.

The man reapeared in front of her.

'Who are you?' She asked him, putting on her most demanding face, though she was small, and this man towered over her she could still look imposing.

'I am Ben Adaephon Delat, or Quick Ben if you would prefer.' Vin smiled, it had been almost too easy to get this man, Quick Ben, to talk. He appeared to be unexperienced with emotional allomancy. Though he may not even notice, even Breeze said that Vin had a very subtle touch with brass and zinc, and he was a very powerful Soother.

'You were invisible. What metal did you use?' Vin's curiousity had been captured by this metal, but Quick Ben just looked at her, confused.

'Metal?'

'Yes metal,' Vin replied shortly, frustrated by this man's apparent deciet, 'You're an allomancer, your powers come from metals, I want to know of this metal.' Vin burned brass again, trying to make him more compliant.

'I don't know about metals. My power comes from the warrens, granted to me by the souls of my fallen brethern.' Part of Vin wanted to recoil, to move away from this stealer of souls, he reminded her of the steel inquisitors and how they gained their powers...

Letting out the anger bottled inside Vin burned steel and pushed the rest of her coins at this man, this person who stole souls. Well he wouldn't get hers. Quick Ben deflected the coins with ease, though Vin made sure that she pushed one so it was directly behind him.

Suddenly Quick Ben was invisible again. Vin burned iron, and from the blue line where his coin pouch was she could tell he was standing still. Ignoring his coin pouch, and her coins scattered about, she burned durilium and iron pulling the coin behind Quick Ben towards her, and through him.

She heard what sounded like the screams of many dying men, and for once was glad that all her tin had been burned when she'd burned durilium. She downed her last metal vial, she'd need the metals if he wasn't really dead.

She saw him lying facedown. He was dead. She'd ask Sazed about him later, and she'd search for this new metal, this one that had made him invisible. She searched his body looking for any metals that may give her a clue, but she didn't even find an empty vial, never mind a spare.

Winner: VIN

So the cage match is set:

http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2011/04/cage-match-2011-the-final-is-set.html

And then there is the competition blog post:

http://terez27.blogspot.com/2011/04/quick-ben-vs-vin-can-you-write-it.html

Til Next Time,
L x

Monday, 4 April 2011

Book: The Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages) by Brandon Sanderson

So as promised the post on Mistborn...so MAJOR MAJOR spoilers alert because I have no idea what I am actually going to write...accept that it is going to be extremely long and detailed because I LOVE THESE BOOKS!




Allomancy

Allomancy is a talent that first appeared with the ascension of the Lord Rular and is only passed on through Noble bloodlines, so any skaa mistings or mistborns have noble blood. However if they are found then they are killed. Most nobles and skaa have no allomantic powers, Mistings are rare and Mistborns even rarer!

snap - snapping is when an allomancer first becomes aware that they can burn metals i.e. when they can start to use their powers. People snap in response to a traumatic event, in Noble families children were beaten in order to discover any allomantic powers

misting - Is as allomancer who can burn only 1 of the allomantic metals

mistborn - an allomancer that can burn all of the metals 

Metals: each of the metals is paired with another one, one pure and one alloy, these are the ones that have been discovered during this series (there are more coming apparently!) A Mistborn can use all of these, whereas a misting can use only one (though an Aluminium misting isn't very useful!



iron - pulls on any nearby piece of metal, depends on physics whether it comes towards the allomancer or pulls the allomancer to it, metal can only be pulled in a straight line.
steel - pushes on an nearby metal, depends on physics whether it is pushed away from the allomancer or the allomancer is pushed away, metals can only be pushed in a straight line.
copper - hides allomantic pulses
bronze - shows allomantic pulses of any nearby allomancers, can be used to determine what metal is being burnt and with emotional allomancy what emotions are being affected
brass - soothes or dampens emotions, so can be used to leave only one emotion, is also a way to control Kandra/Koloss when used with Durilium
zinc - riots emotions, so encourages emotions in someone
pewter - makes the body physically stronger, faster, more agile, less damagable
tin - enhances the senses, so sight, touch, pain, smell, hearing etc
gold - sees into your past
electrum - sees into your future
aluminium - removes any metal reserves from an allomancer's stomach
durilium - enhances any metal being burnt at the same time, giving a powerful flair but also using up all metal resources
atium - allows you to see into someone elses future
malatium - allows you to see into someone elses past

Character Profiles!

These are in no actual order, they're just as I thought of them! I'll explain Allomancy later...

Vin: deceased - end of book 3
Family: Reen (brother - died trying to protect her), Elend Venture (Husband - see below), Mother and Sister mentioned (Mother was insane and Sister was a Misting seeker and was killed by the insane mother), Father was an oblitigator and was killed for fathering her
Allomancy: Vin is Mistborn (so can use all known metals!) she is extra profient with Bronze because of her earing Hermalurgy spike thing, basically because her mother killed her misting seeker sister and gave Vin the earing
Race: Skaa, though in fact half nobleman
Names/Titles/Occupations: Vin (no surname), Lady Valette Renoux (pseudonym, Vin imitated a noblewoman during Final Empire while on the job), Empress Vin Venture, Lady Heir (a religious name given to her by the new Skaa religion (see below)
Theif, Crew Member, Imitating a noblewoman, assasin, empress, religious figure


Elend: deceased - end of book 3
Family: Lord Straff Venture (Father who trys to Usurpe Elend, killed by Vin in book 2), mother is mentioned. Zane (his insane Mistborn half-brother, killed by Vin in book 2 after fighting her because she rejected him). Vin (his wife, see above), Shan Elariel (former fiancĂ©e, killed by Vin in book 1 when Shan trys to assasinate Elend)
Allomancy: Though beaten when young in a hope to get him to 'snap' he didn't. He then was given a bead of metal at the Well of Ascention by Vin that saved his life and made him Mistborn
Race: Nobleman
Names/Titles/Occupations: Lord Elend Venture (Heir to the Venture family), King Elend Venture (of Luthadel), Emperor Elend Venture. King, Emporer, Mistborn


Sazed: Sort of alive at the end of book 3
Family: None that we're told of, though Sazed is a Eunech (castrated at birth). Twindyl (the woman he loves, she dies during the invasion of Luthadel)
Allomancy: Sazed has Feruchemical powers, though not the same as Allomancy it also relies on metals, though it uses them in order to store human attributes
Race: Terris
Names/Titles/Occupations:
Terris Steward (during the Final Empire), Terris Keeper (throughout), Holy First Witness (religious title, referances the Church of the Surviver), 3rd inline to the throne of the Empire, advisor


Ham:
Family: Wife Madra and two children, all three of whom are kept away from Luthadel for their saftey, especially in book 1 when Ham was a member of a thieving crew
Allomancy: Ham is a thug/pewterarm, he is a misting that can burn pewter
Race:  Born to skaa parents but has a nobleman as a grandfather
Names/Titles/Occupations: Lord Hammond, Ham, Theif, advisor, commander, general



Breeze:
Family: Not mentioned. Allrianne Cett (daughter of Ashweather Cett, the two are lovers for a time - she instigated it)
Allomancy:a brass misting or soother
Race: full nobleman though the other members of the crew believe he is half and half as the others are
Names/Titles/Occupations:
Lord Ladrian, theif, nobleman, advisor, soother, general




Kelsier: deceased, middle (ish) of book 1 - killed by the Lord Rular
Family: Mare (wife, died in the Pits of Hethsin before the begining of book 1), Marsh (brother and informant in the steel ministry, later a steel inquititor
Allomancy: Mistborn, snapped after his wife was beaten to death in the Pits of Hethsin
Race: half skaa half nobleman
Names/Titles/Occupations: Lord Kelsier, crew leader, the Survivor (religious title see Church of the Survivor)



Marsh:
Family: Kelsier (brotherm see above), Mare (sister-in-law, also the woman that Marsh loved, though apparently never got)
Allomancy: Marsh was a misting seeker (burns bronze) before he became a steel inquisitor and then he became a Mistborn (and Feurchemist)
Race: half skaa, half nobleman
Names/Titles/Occupations: oblitorator, steel inquisitor, ironeyes, informant



 Dockson: deceased in book 2 - died during the invasion of Luthadel 
Family: only a love interest was mentioned but she was raped and killed by their plantation Lord, causing Dockson to run away
Allomancy: being full skaa Dockson doesn't have any Allomantic powers
Race: plantation skaa
Names/Titles/Occupations: the organiser, plantation worker, advisor



Clubs: deceased in book 2 - died during the invasion of Luthadel
Family: nephew Spook (see below)
Allomancy: A copper misting or smoker
Race: half nobleman, half skaa, though Clubs was a privaleged/skilled skaa carpenter
Names/Titles/Occupations: Lord Cladent, carpenter, smoker, general, advisor



Spook:
Family: Uncle Clubs (see above), parents mentioned, Vin (as a love interest - only one way)
Allomancy: Tin misting, or tineye
Race: part nobleman part skaa, though no actual noble relative was revealed
Names/Titles/Occupations:  Lord Lestibornes, tineye, advisor, spy, scout, esscort



Church of the Survivor

The Church of the Survivor is a religion set up by the skaa after the fall of the Final Empire and the death of Kelsier by the Lord Rular. It is based on the last words that Kelsier said: 'I am something you can not kill' meaning hope. And the fact that after his death Kelsier appeared to the people, though it turned out to be a kandra impersonating him.

The religion isn't properly formed and in fact it is very hazy, however before this the Skaa had no religion at all so it is an improvement. There seem to be three main figures in the religion:

The Survivor -  (Kelsier), known as the Survivor as he was known in life, because he survived the pits of Hethsin. Kelsier becomes a sort of God to the Skaa, something that the crew, especially Vin find hard to accept.
The Lady Heir - (Vin) and what Vin finds even harder to accept is her place in the religion, she is seen as Kelsier's heir because she was trained as a Mistborn by him. The Church of the Survivor believes that she will revert the planet back to how it was before the ascension, and in book 2 they say she'll come save them from the Koloss (and she does)
The Holy First Witness - (Sazed), he is known as the Holy First Witness because he was there when Vin killed the Lord Rular. Though he seems to accept his place in the religion he is skeptical, particularly for someone who collects information about dead religions

On the Internet!

http://www.bscreview.com/2009/06/contest-garden-ninja-studios-miniatures-part-2-patina-finished-mistborn-miniatures/



I just found this, while searching for pictures, and it shows Mistborn minitures, as in like Warhammer if you know what that is (yes a little bit of my sort of tomboy childhood is coming out!) Anyway I managed to guess what two of them were (as in Vin and the Koloss). However the Vin one isn't great, I reckon it would be possible to represent her better. The Koloss is nowhere near what I imagined, I thought that it would be (just as blue) but more gangly with long legs and very long arms, as in out of proportion) with big swords, no where near that amount of muscle. Then what is apparently a steel inquisiter (the one that looks ridicolously happy) I thought could possibly have been Sazed, but apparently not, he is nothing like a Steel Inquisitor in my head, they should be bulky and much less happy and not wear robes like that, instead they should have more practical trousers and leather vests as I imagine it. And then Kelsier. Just its not him to me! He's dark haired in my head, with very prominant scars and I can't really explain it but he's just not right!


Sorry that seems to be very long, and I haven't covered loads of stuff. If you want to know more, or have a question, post a comment and I'll reply the best I can. I would definatly recommend the Mistborn series to anyone...it's written by Brandon Sanderson.

Til Next Time,
L x