Book Review: The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

Leona's Blog of Shadows

AThe Great Hunt
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Wheel of Time
Author info:

This is book #3 of the legendary Wheel of Time series. See my reviews for the first book and the second book.

Warning: Spoilers for the previous books, since it’s inevitable when reviewing series, especially a long one like The Wheel of Time.

I enjoyed reading this book a great deal, I must say it was quite interesting to read a whole book with non-Rand POV’s and getting to know some of the supporting characters better. I didn’t care much for Perrin in the beginning, but he grew on me since he had some great POV chapters showing his internal conflict quite well.

The pacing is excellent, a lot of things are going on, different teams of characters set out on different journeys and deal with serious threats.

The star of the book was Mat without question. He has been…

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The Paolini Empire Reawakens


It was confirmed over the summer: Christopher Paolini is writing a new Inheritance novel. I somehow missed the news while a depressing Presidential election held my limited attention. I’m not sure why: there is more depth in 50 pages of one of his novels than this issue-lite election. Let’s be honest – which of the three would you prefer?

imgres-4.jpgimgres-5The four-book trilogy (every fan remembers the thrill at some point in the middle of the third book when they realized it wasn’t going to end and another 800 pages of Eragon would have to be written) provided a magically bonding experience for my family, along the lines of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and others.

My sons and I devoured every book: pouring over every word, listening to the audio versions on vacation, and watching the (only!!!!) movie. And yes, as loyal fans, we loved the movie even if it was not…

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Final Day of Tolkien Week


Day 7 of Tolkien Week – it has been quiet a celebration. Hope you enjoyed getting close to the Old Professor. I did, but now it’s time for a shower. 


This post remains one of my personal favorites and most popular. The Gods of Fantasy is a tribute to a very special writers group. I facilitate one such group at a local cafe. We have met over 500 times and I love the support of my fellow writers. Who knows? Maybe one day someone will write about the legendary authors of the Berkeley Writers Group. Maybe one day. But for now,enjoy this post

Happy Tolkien Week!

Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, and four other novels all released by Tourmaline Books and currently all ebooks are at 99 cents each to celebrate his latest,

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Tolkien the Rapper


Day 6 of Tolkien Week – and I’m worried about Tolkien Fatigue – and I am not referring to five pages describing a forest (weird forest that it was).


So this is a short one, because I really want to share my grand finale tomorrow. This is quite simply ahilarious and amazing rap. Who would have thought that either Gollum or Smeagol would have had it in him! 

Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, and four other novels all released by Tourmaline Books and currently all ebooks are at 99 cents each to celebrate his latest,the sixth in the series, which will be released on October 15, 2016.

More about the author

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Tolkien Invented The Elvish Language


Day 2 of Tolkien Week (Here is yesterday’s humble offering). One of the mind-boggling accomplishments of this Oxford professor was that he invented an entire language.

happy-tolkien-weekSure, you might say, he was a philologist, but how many other philologists wrote a language that lived up to every criteria that philologists consider critical to a complete language (In the interest of transparency, I have no idea)!

Here is a great tribute to this aspect of Tolkien’s expertise: one of his disciples singingHappy Birthdayto him … in elvish!

Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner,At The Walls of Galbriethand four other novels all released by Tourmaline Books and currently all ebooks are at 99 cents each to celebrate his latest,the sixth in the series, which will be released on October 15, 2016.

More about the author at

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Happy Hobbit Day


Today’s the day!  According to the scholars and the blissfully lost, both Bilbo Baggins and his nephew, Frodo, celebrate their birthdays on this very day. So, we do too!

Turns out, why waste such joy on one day a year? So the powers that be have declared a 7-day holiday: Tolkien Week. For the next seven days, I plan to share one of the ridiculously numerous posts I have written about the Great Master over the years.


I would apologize to anyone who thinks this is an overload. While you are right, I cannot truly offer contrition since I don’t feel any. Feel free to skip or indulge!

The Professor, with his pipe and tweed, has often been considered a stuffy academic, but there is certainly a soft and humorous side.  Here is acute story.

imgres-1Thank you to everyone who is buying up copies of the first five…

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About those KinderGuides…

educating alice

I had to read and reread PW’s piece about KinderGuides, because I thought it had to be a joke. But evidently it isn’t. So then I figured I’d put my fingers in my ears and say “lalala” so as to pretend they didn’t exist. Until today when Allison Flood’s sharp piece, “Children Don’t Really Need a Picture-Book Version of On the Road,” in the Guardian forced my irritated fingers out of my ears and on to my keyboard.

According to their website, this is a series that will

introduce some of the most iconic works of classic literature to young readers. Through visually-stunning illustrations and simplified, educational content we explore these timeless stories and the cultures that spawned them.

Without a smidgen of irony they plan to make these classics fit for children by creating for each a

condensed, simplified version of the plot, as well as a section devoted to…

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New Book Cover Revealed: Countdown Begins


This week, Tourmaline Books released  the cover for Calhei No More, the sixth and probably final book of the award-winning Wycaan Master series. In addition, they made a surprise announcement. Scroll down to find out what.

Calhei No More_full res2 (4)

The cover shows Abel, the Mushroom Man, who first appeared in From Ashes They Rose, and became a popular figure. Guess he earned his place on the cover both for his role in the novel and launching a new hobby for the author – almost every dish I’ve cooked since has had common or exotic mushrooms in it.

A big Thank You to our long-suffering cover artist, William J. Kenney. Art is an incredible talent that the unskilled like me view as magic. But William also possesses the talent to take my jumble of verbal images and produce a work of art.

As a way to encourage readers to finish the previous…

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Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

Leona's Blog of Shadows

The Wheel of OsheimGenre: Dark Fantasy
Series: Red Queen’s War
Author info:

This book picks up the adventure where The Liar’s Key left it, with a bang -quite literally! This book is one of the best conclusions of a series I have ever read to date and it answers all of the questions in the most brilliant way with mind blowing twists and reveals. No question was left unanswered for me and the climax was brilliant.

And, if you are a Jorg fan, you will get a stunning scene featuring Jorg and Jalan’s dialogue with Jorg is one of my favorite parts in this book. Jalan’s desert scenes were splendid, but his journey through Hell with Snorri was even more so. Snorri is one of the best fantasy side characters ever and the emotional depth in Snorri’s character arc is incredible.

I am not a fan of battle scenes featuring the zombie/undead…

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So I Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

educating alice

My brief and informalgoodreads review:

I wasn’t sure at first if I even wanted to read this not being a fan fiction reader, but was encouraged to do so and am glad I did. That said, this is clearly in that realm as it requires a relatively strong background in Harry Potter lore to make sense of it all. So much revisits pieces of the earlier books, amplifies themes, characters, and possibilities. I found that great fun (especially after having recently spent a pleasurable day at Orlando’s Harry Potter World).

I also am a regular theatergoer and so enjoyed reading the script and imagining the staging. I’m guessing it will eventually end up on Broadway and I will then have a chance to see it.

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