Monday, 23 April 2012

Pandora - Anne Rice

Its hard to decide which of Rice's great works to write about. Particularly since most are drenched in history and facts, which I love. However, if you're an archaic times fanatic as I am, Pandora would particularly stand out. The foundation of Pandora's tale is set in ancient Rome, a time of decadence and cruelty, honour and stature. Lydia - her Roman name - born to a wealthy family with a father on the Senate, meets the man who is to change the path of her life for centuries to come, Marius. Due to the the drama's of ancient Rome, Lydia finds herself on a Greek island under the guise of "Pandora", a name that other than her self-chosen outcast status, would be her only consistent companion through the ages. The character of Pandora is always linked to Marius, the great love of her life, and she is significantly mentioned in other of Rice's works, such as Queen of the Damned.
Part of the New Tales of the Vampires along with the succeeding book Vittorio, Pandora would particularly be enjoyed individuals not favouring the ordinary

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Sword of Truth Series - Terry Goodkind

Richard Rahl. The protagonist of Goodkinds series seems to be the ultimate representation of what every man wants to be, should be. Kind, just, honourable and physically pleasing, one becomes  instantly part of his endeavour. The series introduces Richard Cypher -yes, the plot later thickens- as a simple woods guide, with an eccentric friend named Zedd - later revealed as First Wizard and Richards grand father. Richard, true to his nature rescues a beautiful women named Kahlan from brutes sent to kill her by Richards biological father, Darken Rahl. Darken Rahl, a powerful wizard and Lord of D'Hara, power hungry and pledging alliance with the Keeper of the Underworld to gain Subtractive magic, a power that has long been erased from wizard lineage, until Richard is born. The actions of Darken Rahl would be the catalyst and introduction to further villains in Goodkinds series. Kahlan, the last remaining Confessor, is far from defenceless upon attack, would later be revealed as the Mother Confessor - "more important than a queen". Battling insurmountable odds against the love that grows between them, Kahlan would later become Richards wife.
Depending on the reader, the Sword of Truth series can be a black and white representation of many human philosophies. Through out the series, the love story between Richard and Kahlan evolves, the biggest decisions between them made out of love for the other. But in every book a "Wizards Rule" is also revealed, typically a life lesson discovered by the Seeker of Truth and War Wizard, Richard Rahl. Richards character alone is note worthy as something extracted from hero tales and human desires of valour, integrity, honour and the power to influence with just these attributes that make him loved, but interestingly, highly formidable. His honour of Life and ones choice in it cascades into a story line that finds him transformed from Richard Cypher, a woods guide, into Richard Rahl, the Seeker of Truth; War Wizard; Lord Rahl of D'Hara and surrounding kingdoms; "Ca'harien" and the husband of the Mother Confessor.
Its as though Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind are literary relatives, small aspects of their respective books touching the the other, whilst maintaining completely separate themes. I could not put down this series, the plots and underlying human philosophies had me enthralled.