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    Open Book Illiane's Favourites

    • Title: Bellwether
      Auth.: Connie Willis
      Desc.: A witty, fast-paced book, works some scientific theories into it but is really a look at people and their behavior. Willis writes well and weaves her themes into the story very controlledly and tightly. Makes it such a temptation to read the book from cover to cover in one sitting.
      My rating (1-10): 8

    • Title: The Oathbound (Book 1: Vows and Honor)
      Title: Oathbreakers (Book 2: Vows and Honor)
      Title: Oathblood
      Auth.: Mercedes Lackey
      Desc.: All three books are about the two mercenaries - the blood-oathed sisters Tarma and Kethry, the swordswoman and the mage respectively. If anyone has been looking for two very down-to-earth and strong women, these are the books to read. At the age of 24, I still find myself thinking "When I grow up I want to be just like Tarma and Kethry!" Oathblood is a collection of short stories, but well-worth the read.
      My rating (1-10): 9 overall

    • Title: The Dragonbone Chair (Book 1: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
      Title: Stone of Farewell (Book 2: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
      Title: To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 (Book 3a: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
      Title: To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (Book 3b: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
      Auth.: Tad Williams
      Desc.: The saga begins innocently enough around the life of Simon, a gawky young boy raised by the kitchen staff at a king's castle. How the story eventually unfolds is an amazing work of art. Williams demonstrates the mastery of a craft by fully developing almost every single one of the characters in this intricate tale, and they are not few. Man and elves must work together to overcome forces that threaten to destroy both. What I liked about it most? - Linking the characters with the different cultures of our world. Check it out. You'll see what I mean!
      My rating (1-10): 9 overall.

    • Title: Tam Lin
      Auth.: Pamela Dean
      Desc.: Dean has taken the story of Tam Lin and placed the players in their roles in a far more modern setting - in a small, Mid-western college. I found the story to be quite intriguing as Dean kept me wondering just how the tale was to be woven.. some unexpected twists were thrown in, and overall a quite enjoyable book. The only thing I found hard to 'believe' was how the college kids seemed to be able to splurge on treats for each other that frequently. That sure as heck wasn't my college experience!
      My rating (1-10): 7.5

    • Title: Sing the Four Quarters
      Title: Fifth Quarter
      Title: No Quarter
      Auth.: Tanya Huff
      Desc.: Singing the kigh - a method of communication with the spirits or souls. This ability stems from an inherent talent that you are either born with or without. And most can sing 1, 2, or 3 quarters (think "elements"). The ability must be honed, or the talent will cause insanity. A sister, her brother, and a wandering kigh eventually have their fates entwined as circumstances force two souls to inhabit one body - something previously unheard of. Huff weaves wit and wonder into her tales. DEFNINITELY worth a read.
      My rating (1-10): 8.5

    • Title: The Magician's Nephew (Book 1)
      Title: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Book 2)
      Title: The Horse and His Boy (Book 3)
      Title: Prince Caspian (Book 4)
      Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Book 5)
      Title: The Silver Chair (Book 6)
      Title: The Last Battle (Book 7)

      Title: (Full set, hardcopy $78.16)
      Title: (Full set 1, paperback $27.72)
      Title: (Full set 2, paperback $38.92)
      Auth.: C.S. Lewis
      Desc.: This is it.. the books that started it all for me. One read of the other world, a taste of the possibility of a world other than this, and I was hooked. There was no return. I can't remember when I started reading the Chronicles, but I rarely read anything else outside the fantasy and sci-fi genres after that. Written for children, but written to last a lifetime.
      My rating (1-10): Invaluable

    • Title: The Neverending Story
      Auth.: Michael Ende
      Desc.: Originally written in German, this was the book that started the whole slew of movies for kids featuring Bastian Balthazar Bux, Atreyu, the Moonchild and the inimitable Falkor, the rather fluffy Luckdragon. I was lucky enough to get a copy of one that was printed in red and green, like the original was. It made for some difficult reading at first but boy, when you looked up, the world looked wacky.. actually it looked really pale and washed out in comparison to the world that I was reading about. The power of imagination is always infinitely more powerful than fact. I always thought the book was so much better than any of the movies :-)
      My rating (1-10): 8

    • Title: Good Omens
      Auth.: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
      Desc.: Welcome to the world of supernatural beings, apocalyptic horsemen, witches, seers and mayhem. Pratchett has always been known to be on the quirkily wacky side, and Gaiman's works are darkly provocative. Together they are just too cool. You know you have something invaluable when you have characters like Anathema Device (Practical Occultist), Crowley (An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards) Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer (Witchfinder) and Sister Mary Loquacious (A Satanic Nun of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl).
      My rating (1-10): 9

    • Title: Death - The High Cost of Living
      Auth.: Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Dave McKean
      Desc.: Death, the sister of Dream (a.k.a. the Sandman), gets her intro here. This is one sassy chick, whose normal chosen appearance belies an admirable common sense.. of course, she's had all that time to get some, seeing as how she's immortal and all that. One would assume that Death would be bleaker than Sandman, but that's not the case. She's just a whole lot chirpier and definitely less moody but totally cool. I wanna be like her. :-)
      My rating (1-10): 9

    • Title: The English Patient
      Auth.: Michael Ondaatje
      Desc.: The book that spawned THE movie. The book that's SO different from the movie. This is a difficult book to read, not least because there doesn't appear to be a sequence to the chapters, and time appears to be irrelevant. One frequently has to flip back a few pages when understanding dawns after a while. It feels like the Pulp Fiction of books to me, if only just because it's written in an unorthodox way.
      My rating (1-10): 8

    • Title: Ringworld (Book 1: The Ringworld Saga)
      Title: The Ringworld Engineers (Book 2: The Ringworld Saga)
      Title: The Ringworld Throne (Book 3: The Ringworld Saga)
      Title: Protector (Prequel to The Ringworld Saga)
      Auth.: Larry Niven
      Desc.: There is something deeply captivating about a world that is so unlike our own, and even more so when it is a world that was created by mortal hands. Follow Louis Wu as he meets and works with a variety of humans and non-humans in exploring the troubled Ringworld. Once you get started, you'll want to keep going.
      My rating (1-10): 9

    • Title: Neverwhere
      Auth.: Neil Gaiman
      Desc.: There are portals we don't know of and they exist beneath our feet. Gaiman's dark storytelling takes a jump from his usual graphic-art presentation (e.g. the Sandman) into text, and it allows the reader even more leeway with imagination. Neverwhere is set in London.. well, sort-of. And if you ever thought London was boring....
      My rating (1-10): 8.5

    • Title: The Goblin Companion
      Auth.: Brian Froud & Terry Jones
      Desc.: Anyone who has ever watched the movie Labyrinth will instantly recognize Brian Froud's work. The goblins in David Bowie's realm have gtheir kith and kin proudly displayed in this charming book that is a guide to what goblins are what. You will not find anything like the flower fairies in here (although those have a charm all of their own) but a slew of the pug-ugliest goblins (what else ;-)). Coffee-table book or giggle-inducer, it's a keeper! (Apparently it's out of print now.. if you have one, hang on to it for dear life!)
      My rating (1-10): 8.5

    • Title: Faeries
      Auth.: Brian Froud & Alan Lee
      Desc.: This pseudo-encyclopedia reminds the reader that the Faerie world is not all sparkly and fluttery. This is the Sidhe as they are, not the fluffy versions. It's a beautiful and stark reminder.
      My rating (1-10): 8.5

    © The Harem 1997. Last updated: 1 May, 1998
    Library originally compiled by Yfandes, Yfandes@snip.net.
    Pages updated and site maintained by Rillaith, rillaith@harem.org