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Archive for April, 2014

Lily Wight

     Updated 29/04/2014

     Beltane (meaning “bright fire”) or May Day is one of eight festival days marked upon the ancient seasonal calendar known as The Wheel Of The Year.

     Beltane heralds the beginning of Summer as it lies halfway between The Spring Equinox (Ostara) and The Summer Solstice (Litha).  It is a time when daylight hours are long, trees blossom and herding animals are turned out to pasture.

     Beltane was originally observed by the Gaelic people of Ireland, Scotland and The Isle Of Man who performed protective rituals for their crops and livestock whilst The Celtic Tribes of Western Europe and Britain also celebrated mating rituals and male potency.

     Beltane is named for the Celtic Sun God, Bel (Belenos/Belenus) who is associated with West Cornwall, formerly Belerion.  The Romans dubbed him the “British Apollo” and…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 14/04/2014

     The third novel in the Malazan Cycle suffers the same highs and lows as its predecessor.  The first half is over-plotted and over-populated, more of an endurance test than an entertaining read.

     Once various subplots unite, for a spectacular midway siege, Erikson shifts up a league and delivers martial action and emotional character beats with familiar aplomb.

     Erikson’s enthusiasm for his secondary world is infectious, but his pacing and structure continue to irritate.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 07/04/2014

     Too many new faces and places sap momentum in this now sprawling Fantasy series.

     Erikson’s prose has a captivating quality which will win patience from his readership but many sub-plots seem circular and unnecessary.  Characters are absent for several chapters so, by the time they return, you are likely to have forgotten who they are and what they are doing whilst the unceremonious dumping of a hugely important plot revelation is unforgivably clumsy.

     Erikson’s system of magic use seems over-complicated and only partially formed, suggesting a world and a plot which is dangerously close to escaping the clutches of its author.

     Erikson is at his best when describing martial combat and strategy.  His central plot thread, the imperiled exodus of refugees, is strong enough without extraneous sub-stories.  Erikson’s promise is unmistakable but he…

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