Thursday, October 14, 2010

31 DAYS Day Fourteen : Dresden Files & A Wizard of Earthsea

Harry Dresden. Wizard for Hire. first discovered Harry through the TV show the Dresden Files:

The show was short lived, but once I started reading the novels I realised what a wonderful job Actor Paul Blackthorn did with the character. I admit I picture him while reading the novels. The Dresden files is very unique in the Urban paranormal, Fantasy world. Mainly because he is a male protagonist. The narrations by Harry are vivid and often humorous. Jim Butcher has created an amazing character that is riddled with human faults and failings while also channeling immense power. Harry is also a gentleman. A gentleman with a weakness for Damsels in Distress! In a series that now encompasses 12+ books Harry continues to grow and the dangers around him get more and more dangerous: Faeries, Vampires, The White Council of Magician's, Werewolves. So add The Dresden Files to your DVD wish list and definitely give one of the books a try. Here are some covers to the books and my review of Summer Knight:

I've read some amazing books in preparing for 31 Day's and Summer Knight is no exception. The only thing better than a really good  book is a really good series of books. Jim Butcher deftly introduces plot twists and turns that keep the series interesting and exciting. In the beginning of Summer Knight though Harry i s not at his best. He is in mourning over his girlfriend Susan. In the previous book Grave Peril Susan had a run in with vampires and has now been semi-changed. She runs from Harry,who is tormented with guilt and grief.
Harry has let his life go to shambles and it is only his friend Billy the Werewolf (really!) draws him out to investigate a strange case of raining frogs. Billy has also set up an appointment for him with a new client. Despite his anger at Billy's interference Harry pulls himself together for his client: the Winter Queen of Faerie.
Harry hasn't had the best luck with aeries. His own fairy godmother has a supernatural hold on him that she has now relinquished to The Winter Queen. Now Harry has brokered a deal with the Queen to be free of all obligation in return for the completion of 3 tasks. The first is to find the killer of the Summer Knight. Everyone suspects the Winter Queen and was is brewing. This task will temporary distract harry from his grief and also reconnect him with his friend Murphy and Billy. Harry's luck goes from bad to worse as the scope of this job expands and the cost he and his friends might have to pay intensifies.
I'm a huge fan of faeries and Jim's interpretation of the Fae world doesn't disappoint. I like the character growth in this volume. So often Harry tries to take all the burdens on himself. It takes a lot for him to ask for help especially since it puts Billy and Murphy in danger. A great addition to the series and I'm looking forward to reading some more of the series.

 A Wizard of Earthsea was the first High Fantasy Novel I read. There are lot of varying opinions on this Novel! Some love it, some don't. It has been many years since I read it and doing this special week on witches &wizards inspired me to give it a second look. What I love most about this book is the atmosphere Le Guin creates. We get a strong sense of Sparrowhawk's aka Ged's world. This is a short volume but there is a slowness and gentle unfolding in the novel. After showing some magical ability in a battle with pirates Sparrowhawk is apprenticed to wizard. His impatience cause him to reach for a spell outside his knowledge and he releases a darkness into the world. Completing his training he is now called Ged. He faces many trials but the strongest is to confront the darkness he created. I remember being so enthralled with this series as a child. These were also the first Le Guin books I'd ever read. The narrative style is  rich in description, I really felt like I was walking in Ged's world. I lived in fantasy as a child to escape a lot of difficulties I felt powerless against. Ged's journey still sticks with me, it still has power 30 years later. I invite everyone to form their own opinions on it . 

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