Book Review – A Fractured Land: Tales of the Northern Realms

This short hardback 96 page graphic novel came along as a companion to the original Witcher 3 Strategy Guide.

Unlike The World of the Witcher, for the most part this compendium primarily focuses on the current state of the world and characters during the time of the Witcher 3. You’ll read some of the backstory regarding most of the characters that you’ll be interacting throughout the game.

This book does has some minor spoilers. I’m somewhat undecided whether or not to recommend reading this book prior to playing the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the very first time. A benefit of reading this book is that you’ll have an understanding of who’s who in the game, as well as knowing what’s going on (Northern War, Nilfgaard, Redania, Temeria, Ithlinne prophecy, law of surprise, etc.). On the other hand, the built-in “Glossary” that the game provides has a vast amount of character information. So much so, that a lot of the same text in the “Glossary” is included in this book!

Book Review – Tales from the Perilous Realm

Tales from the Perilous Realm is a collection of short stories and poems by J.R.R. Tolkien. As suggested by The Tolkien Society, I opted to read this book after completing reading The Lord of the Rings.

NO SPILERS:
One thing to keep in mind when buying this book is that not all of the stories/poems are directly related or take place in Tolkien’s legendarium (ie middle-earth, etc.) This book consists of the following short stories/poems:

  • Roverandom
  • Farmer Giles of Ham
  • The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
  • Smith of Wootton Major
  • Leaf by Niggle

Just like The Hobbit, the story Roverandom was originally written for Tolkien’s children own private amusement. This short story follows the adventure of a dog who’s been enchanted by a wizard.

Farmer Giles of Ham is my favorite short story of this book. This story follows a simple farmer who because of certain heroic events his a part of, becomes a highly esteemed person within the kingdom he lives in. The cover of this book is an illustration related to one of Farmer Giles’ deeds.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil are a handful of poems. Tom Bombadil is one of my favorite characters in the LOTR, and to be quite honest the primary reason why I bought this book. Unfortunately, I have to admit this portion of the book was my least favorite. I’ve never been a big fan of poetry, and this is not the exception.

The Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf by Niggle stories are somewhat kind of hard to describe with out spoiling them, which I refuse to do so.

The Appendix included in this book is really interesting. It’s a fairly lengthy lecture called “On Fairy-Stories”, which a long lecture on Tolkien’s methodologies and thoughts on fantasy. Though I’m not a writer, I actually found this text somewhat inspirational. Certainly a must read for any inspiring fantasy writer.

This book has some really nice illustrations by Alan Lee. Lee, who also has illustrations on Tolkien’s The Children of Húrin as well as a lead design artist on all LOTR and Hobbit films.

I told you so #2

Well, what can I say. President Trump must be getting really tired of winning! A half-ass so called “Muslim” travel ban getting stalled. His wire-tap accusation revealed as a lie. Investigation on Russia ties, and now this health-care debacle. Trump must be getting really tired of winning!

So to all the morons that believed and continue to belief in Trump, haha I told you so.

Book Review – The Return of the King

The final volume of what is arguably one of the greatest fantasy books of all time, The Lord of the Rings. Return of the King is my favorite.

NO SPOILERS
Wow. Those three words perfectly describe this book (and the entire Lord of the Rings for that matter). This book is the culmination of an amazing epic story. What makes LORT amazing are its characters, and in the final book you finally know their ultimate fate. I haven’t seen the movies, so I can’t really compare the differences between the novels and films. The part of the book that had me the most on the edge of my seat was The Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The only “What The Fuck” moment that I head while reading this book was the penultimate chapter, The Battle of Bywater to be exact. I certainly did not expect this, and it was somewhat amusing to read.

Return of the King is indeed the longest book in the LOTR, however I was surprised to see that only 2/3 of the physical book was for the content of the Return of the King. While the rest was the appendix, and holy shit the appendices are incredible! Like probably most of people reading LOTR for the first time, people can easily be confused on who is what, what is the x role of this character, etc. The appendix gives you a vast amount of back story of the people of Middle-earth, as well as new stories of what happened to some of the characters. Reading the appendix gave me an even bigger appreciation towards Tolkien and his fantasy universe. In my opinion, what makes a good story amazing depends how immersive its world is, Middle-earth is certainly one of them.

Regarding the author, I was surprised to find out that J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Catholic and that the LOTR and much of his writing has a strong underlying Christian and Catholicism message. Having read the books, I can certainly see the connotations. I think Tolkien is an absolute genius. He created an amazing fantasy world with a massive amount of interesting characters, while at the same time he was able to bind his religious beliefs in his work.

Many people mistakenly believe (perhaps because of the films) that The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, when in reality it is one massive novel. I read the Lord of the Rings (75th anniversary edition), and I see this amazing piece of fantasy literature as an absolute masterpiece of which people will continue to love and cherish for many centuries to come.

Book Review – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I honestly thought twice about writing this “book review” post. Mainly because I’m wasn’t quite sure what to write about regarding this book. I avoid giving out any spoilers on my reviews, and this book is much like a beautiful piece of art that it’s not easily for anyone to describe.

NO SPOILERS
This is the second volume in The Lord of The Rings novel. In this book you continue to be introduced a vast array of characters, most notably mortal men and other really cool nature based characters. The plot thickens, one of the main focal points in this book is Saruman’s involvement in the War of the Ring. Arguably one of my favorite characters is Gollum, and unlike in The Fellowship of the Ring, he plays a major role throughout this book.
From what I can see online, if their is one drawback about the LOTR or Tolkien in particular. Is how incredibly descriptive Tolkien’s writing is. I certainly felt this when reading The Two Towers. The way Tolkien describes the settings, is absolutely mind staggering. Seriously, it’s way to descriptive. Even for me, it felt somewhat overwhelming at times.

The more I continue to read the LOTR, the more fall in love with this amazing fantasy universe.

President Donald Trump – How Trump Got Elected

It’s here people, President Trump. A lot of “conservatives” in the media that sold out to Trump are going to be put in very strange positions for the next four years. Though I must say, it’s going to be rather entertaining watching them defend a liberal conman. Fortunately not all hope is lost, since there’s still a few honest conservatives that never drank the Trump kool-aid and will treat Donald Trump, exactly as they treated Barack Obama.

So to all the Trump supporters morons of this world, here is a reminder of how your ratings whore, media loving darling. Duped the conservative base and pulled the greatest scam in modern politics.

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
– Mark Twain

Book Review – The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

As I mentioned with The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings has been on my “to be read” list for well over a decade. I think I have a quite unique history with this legendary epic fantasy novel. I was first introduced to The Lord of the Rings by my 11th grade English teacher. This was around the time The Two Towers movie adaptation was about to be release on theaters. I remember how excited and passionate my English teacher was regarding LOTR. Seeing clips from the movies, from there on. I knew that one day I will eventually read the entire LOTR novel to find out what the buzz is all about (I know, I’m late to party as always).

I’m not much of a movie person (I’ve spent over eight years not watching any movies whatsoever!), so I haven’t seen any of the three LOTR movie adaptations in their entirety from start to finish. I have however, seen plenty of snippets of the movies. I obviously know some of the major protagonists in the story already and I’m certainly aware of the plot and how some of the major events end up. Luckily, not everything is spoiler free for me before I dwelled into this amazing fantasy universe.

NO SPOILERS:
Regarding Tolkien’s writing, From what I’ve seen or read on the internet, people either love his writing or don’t like it at all. That is to say, their isn’t much of a middle ground. Reading this first volume, I absolutely love LOTR. So much that I read about 1/3 of this book on a single sit down read! LOTR is massive, this first volume, introduces a massive amount of characters and their back stories. I must say, given the mass amount of character information described in this book, not all of them are completely memorable to me. Theirs simply way to many to remember. Luckily, their many online wiki’s that briefly describe character information. Thus said, for the most part I try to avoid them if possible in case they might have spoilers. However, their are times that it’s simply unavoidable to me to refer to the wikis.
As it happened to me while reading The Witcher saga, the LOTR is so immersive to me. I found myself plenty of times stopped reading, and instead I referenced the online wiki to find out more information about certain subjects that were being mentioned in the book, but not fully described in it’s entirely. In a way I’m already excited about reading The Silmarillion after completing LOTR! The entire Middle-earth lore and background history is absolutely beautiful, that I always found myself wanting to learn more of it!

The main reason why certain people don’t seem to like Tolkien’s writing is because its old school (not modern), long, to slow, and overly descriptive. While I think some of it is certainly true, I felt the chapters in this book were well organized, making it really easy to follow. I don’t have much experience reading epic high fantasy other than The Witcher series. To me, LOTR is a much easier to read since you’re not jumping between difference character point of views, or across different settings in the story. Perhaps the only drawback, is how the geography of Middle-earth is presented and described to readers. The book does have map drawings, but I found them somewhat confusing and at times I kind of felt like Tolkien was introducing a ton of new kingdoms/cities constantly throughout this book.

Finally to end, I feel that anyone wanting to read the LOTR for the first time, like myself; you should read The Hobbit before hand. Events and characters introduced in The Hobbit are mentioned throughout this book, so it’s somewhat important to know what exactly happens in the The Hobbit before reading LOTR.

How Obama Got Elected

We’re in the final hours of Barack Obama’s presidency. So to all the morons protesting against our democracy and saying “Trump is not my President”. Here is a little taste of how our soon to leave office, liberal media darling President, got elected.

New Year’s resolutions

To keep my yearly tradition going. For the fifth year, and in no particular order these are the goals I won’t likely be achieving but want too:

  1. Lose the weight I gained in 2016
  2. Learn Portuguese
  3. Write a Metasploit Auxiliary Module
  4. Read all current books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series
  5. Play the games on my backlog
  6. Be more fiscal conservative and responsible.
  7. Get a U.S. Passport
  8. Learn how to cook