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January 11th, 2020, 05:19
Today I finished the Burning Land, which is book five of the Saxon stories. Finally, finally in this book Uhtred has had enough of Alfred's stuff, hits the road and heads up north to take back his family property, except…..he doesn't. Another oath that he'd made comes back to haunt him, and instead of fulfilling his own personal quest, he's drawn back into the plot that will eventually result in the formation of England.

Of course, all that is still quite some years away.
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January 11th, 2020, 05:38
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Today I finished the Burning Land, which is book five of the Saxon stories. Finally, finally in this book Uhtred has had enough of Alfred's stuff, hits the road and heads up north to take back his family property, except…..he doesn't. Another oath that he'd made comes back to haunt him, and instead of fulfilling his own personal quest, he's drawn back into the plot that will eventually result in the formation of England.

Of course, all that is still quite some years away.
Alfred the supposedly Great was a flawed man. Its funny how history paints him as a saint and he was hardly one himself. It was actually his decadents who formed England.

Uhtred was a minor character in history unfortunately.
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January 11th, 2020, 07:21
Descendants.

Reading Joe Abercrombies "A little Hatred". Its the First Law world setting entering into the industrial revolution and Glotka has a daughter. It is hitting the marks. I also tend to read a lot of "Choice of" text games, I think the site may perhaps start including select reviews of them. On occasion.
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January 13th, 2020, 19:34
This morning I completed Death of Kings, book six of the Saxon Chronicles. Here you get an idea of what kind of king Edward will turn out to be, and those that continue to serve him in various capacities. Edward will be no Alfred, that's made pretty clear from the get-go, and the Danes/Norse are perfectly willing to demonstrate his many short-comings. Fortunately Uthred is up to the challenge, and with his clan of delinquents they manage to keep things from completely falling apart. Next up, the Pagan Lord.
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January 13th, 2020, 19:39
Originally Posted by kazga View Post
Just completed the 3rd Harry Potter (Prisoner of Azkaban). Quite enjoying the books, for years I avoided it and thought it was for puberty audience only. How do other books in the series compare to the first three?
The next couple are good. I didn't like the last couple as much.
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January 13th, 2020, 20:54
Finished ‘Catch and Kill’ by Ronan Farrow over the weekend … it was at once excellent, maddening, depressing, and uplifting.

It is a reminder that regardless of left or right wing, the US is ultimately run and controlled by rich white male oligarchs who can and will absolutely destroy anyone who gets in their way, and who expect women to be their playthings or be shredded. I am glad to have seen O’Reilly, Weinstein, Lauer, and others get taken down - but definitely not enough has happened, and we have learned that the right wing in the US basically does not disapprove of men raping women if they see some potential benefit for themselves (Trump, Kavanaugh). Which is pretty sad.
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January 16th, 2020, 17:16
I knocked off the Pagan Lord, which is book seven of the Saxon Chronicles. This tale is more of a single contained story, focusing on a real conflict that actually happened, but the author added in some story-relevant characters, since some of the real participants are still unknown to this very day. It's a solid yarn, and there's some development of the next generation, which will be important for some of the following novels. The protagonist suffers a few serious wounds in this book, he's had some stellar luck in the past but Cnut is quite the opponent. I've already started the next novel, which is titled the Empty Throne.
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January 16th, 2020, 17:24
I just finished the 12th book in the Saxon Chronicles, Sword of Kings. One of the few authors and series I will always buy the first edition hardcover from the UK. Bernard deserves the extra money from such an excellent series.

Sword of Kings is fantastic and is one of my favorite in the series. Uhtred is getting old and crabby
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January 16th, 2020, 17:31
Finished “ Answers to Questions You’ve Never Asked” last night … not recommended. I loved Randall Munroe’s (the guy behind the xkcd comic) ‘How To …’ book last fall and thought this might be similar. Not so much - lacking in both humor and depth & breadth of content.

Decided to revisit Kevin J Anderson’s “Jedi Academy” trilogy from the mid-90s … perhaps to rinse the bad taste of the sequel trilogy from my mouth …
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January 16th, 2020, 17:35
I'm looking forward to getting to read that book, Hastar. I've only read through book ten to date so both the eleventh and twelfth books will be new to me, and hearing how much you enjoyed Sword of Kings only has me more eager!
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January 19th, 2020, 23:54
With all the commercial breaks during NHL and NFL games today, I had no trouble polishing off the Empty Throne, which is book eight of the Saxon Chronicles. In this novel you see even more progression with the next generation, especially for Uhtred's daughter. A few more opponents pass by the wayside, and one or two more are further developed.

Next up for me will be Warriors of the Storm, which is as far as I've read to date in this series. Also a mate told me today that the Warlord Chronicles are being made into a television series, which could be really good if they follow the book implicitly.
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January 20th, 2020, 20:03
I always like to have a long serial going. The Saxon Chronicles was one of them, but I was all caught up. I'll have to circle back for the latest.

I'm currently nearing the last of the Jack Reacher novels, which I was surprised to find are a good bit of fun. In between those, I'm reading all of Cormac McCarthy's novels, which are unflinching glimpses into human nature.

Other long serials I'd recommend: The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, a very human series of seafaring adventure for which you do not have to have the fascination with the sea that I do, and The Flashman Papers, about a cowardly rake who passes through various chapters of history in his perpetual flight to save his own skin.
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January 24th, 2020, 18:17
I just completed reading Warriors of the Storm, which is book nine of the Saxon Chronicles. This chapter of the series finds Uhtred solving a major problem in the kingdom, while finding a proper place for his son-in-law and daughter at the same time. The author flat out acknowledges that very little in this tale has basis in fact, but as a thoroughly contrived story it's a good one. Next up for me is a book I've never read before, The Flame Bearer, which is book ten in the series.
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January 24th, 2020, 20:08
Just finished ‘Jedi Search’, which is Book #1 of the ‘Jedi Academy Trilogy’ by Kevin Anderson (no relation). Originally came out in ~1994, last read it in the mid-late 90s. Of course it is no longer canon, but I honestly like so much about that universe more than the current Sequel Trilogy. By this point in the timeline (7 years after RotJ), you already had Thrawn, ‘clone Emperor’, Truce at Bakura, Han and Leia have twins and a baby, Mara Jade is a thing, and the through-characters are very interesting. Will get back to the trilogy soon enough, but …

Reading ‘Butcherville’ by Chris Kelsey. It is the second in a series of murder mysteries set in 1960s Oklahoma featuring a local police chief in a rural town. The author, Chris Kelsey, is an online friend for years and an incredible jazz saxophone player and music educator as well as writer (his music is how we first met). I bought the first book as a personal courtesy… but it ended up being quite good so I preordered the follow-up. Just came out yesterday … (https://www.amazon.com/Butcherville-…s%2C160&sr=8-1)
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January 25th, 2020, 22:34
With no sports on yet today, I chugged through the Flame Bearer fairly quickly, even by my standards. I'd never read this book before, which is odd because it's the story of Uhtred finally attempting to retake his ancestral home, the very same home he loses back in book one. I'll not spoil the outcome here, but it's well worth the read!!!

Next up for me will be book eleven, War of the Wolf. With the all-star game on tonight, I'll not likely begin this one until tomorrow.
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January 26th, 2020, 08:48
Recently wrapped up the Licanius trilogy by James Islington (The Shadow Of What Was Lost, An Echo Of Things To Come and The Light Of All That Falls). It's that great rarity, an epic fantasy trilogy that actually finished in three books. I thought there was a law against that; guess I was wrong.

I enjoyed them and would recommend them to others. I'll definitely read the next thing the author produces.
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January 29th, 2020, 10:23
I'm halfway through the second Philip Marlowe novel, Farewell, My Lovely. I'm following the plot much better than I did The Big Sleep, at least so far. The characters and crisp writing are great. I'm thinking I might just plough on through the whole series now.
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January 29th, 2020, 17:55
I completed War of the Wolf this morning, book eleven of the Saxon Chronicles. When some of these books kick off, you don't know where they might be heading, the main character might have a plan, or simply might decide to grab some mates and go viking, etc. In this book, someone close and dear to Uhtred dies fairly early in the tale, so you know eventually where this one will be going. These novels do an excellent job of making sure the secondary characters are also often involved, which is a good thing. I'm already fifty pages into book twelve now, Sword of Kings.
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January 31st, 2020, 17:52
I finished Sword of Kings this morning, and that concludes the Saxon Chronicles for me, at least until a new book is released. Well, if there will even be a new book, the protagonist is getting quite old, although I suppose the story could follow his son for a bit, which it actually did at some point but then went back. My favourite books are the ones that Alfred is present in, but the series as a whole is excellent and well worth reading. I know for a fact that, as long as he continues to put out books in the series, I'll keep reading them.

Next up for me will be the Grail Tales, I'll likely start reading book one, Harlequin, later today. I've never read this series yet so the excitement factor is high!
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February 5th, 2020, 17:36
Last night I knocked off Harlequin, book one of the Grail series by Cornwell. I've not read this novel before, and I found it utterly fascinating. The time period, right at the start of the hundred years war is of great interest to me, and I simply adore how this author meshes real history with a few creations of his own design. If you enjoyed the Saxon chronicles or the Sharpe books, I'd really suggest giving this one a whirl. I'm about twenty pages into book two now, Vagabond.
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