Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Lost Gate

The Lost Gate is the start of an enthralling new series penned by Orson Scott Card. It takes place in his Mithermages universe, which has previously been the setting of a few short stories. Magic users who can influence animals, plants, fire, stone, or other items are grouped in large Families, warring for power.
This is the story of Danny North, a drekka, useless to his family, who soon discovers that he is something much more. With his newfound power comes great dangers that he must overcome in order to survive. Those who know his true power seek either to kill him or use him for his power.
In this heart-gripping story, Danny, thirteen, runs away from his Family. He meets many people in his travels, some friends, some enemies. While Danny himself cannot trust the people around him, we also cannot trust Danny. As the not yet grown Danny struggles to survive in an unfamiliar world, he meets many people who will test his integrity and his morality.
I enjoyed this book immensely and would highly recommend it. A sequel, The Gate Thief, is released March 19, 2013, and I, for one, will keep an eye out for it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude was written by Gabriel Garcia Marquéz, a Latin American master of magic realism.
The novel chronicles the story of the Buendía family, from José Arcadio Buendía and his wife, Ursula Iguáran, to Aureliano Babílonia and Amaranta Ursula.
Although One Hundred Years of Solitude undoubtedly has some great symbolic meaning behind its story, I enjoyed it on a superficial level - for its descriptive prose and the emotions of its characters. While the book detailed the tragic decline of the Buendía family, it somehow managed to keep an upbeat tone throughout the rather depressing events unfolded.
The isolated town of Macondo is a place where anything can happen, regardless of the rest of the universe. It is a place where gypsies pass through and peddle their magic, where it can rain for years on end, and the dead may walk and speak with the living. The tangled relationships of the Buendías, the repetition of names: Arcadio and Aureliano, and the long lives of many characters contribute to some confusion about people's identity. This is probably just another way to show that the Buendías have come full circle. This book was an enthralling chronicle of one town and the family that built it - Macondo and the Buendías.