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Fantasy Books
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I was never a huge fan of fantasy books. Oh, I went through a phase many years ago where I was reading the genre a bit. Of course, LORD OF THE RINGS was something I really enjoyed. I followed it up with THE BELGARIAD (Eddings) and some of the SHANNARA books (Brooks). But I burned out on the stuff pretty quick and have not gotten into Eddings' other works or the many Shannara books beyond the first 4 or 5 or so.

Stephen King's DARK TOWER series was fantasy of a sort, but something about it grabbed me more than a lot of stuff I'd read up until that time - it seemed, oh, I don't know...maybe more original? No elves and dwarves and knights and archers and dark lords? There was something about trying to link the Tower series to King's other works, and to our every day world that really drew me in.

Of course, the HARRY POTTER series sucked me into what was, for me at least, another "different" sort of fantasy. There are a ton of copycats out now, but the whole wizarding thing was really pretty inspired, even if it draws its own inspiration from the Arthurian legends and such.

I've always been fascinated by mythologies, and as such, Rick Riordan's works with Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods has pulled me in as well. These young adult novels are well written, I think, and are really well told stories. Plus, my kids LOVE them. (Riordan's a pretty creative guy - I think he's also the force behind the 39 CLUES books.)

Lately a fantasy series has grabbed me. A few years ago, maybe, I picked up a paperback book by an author named Kelly McCullough, titled Webmage. I enjoyed the book, which had the premise that magic could be done better and quicker by using computers. Sorcerers become sort of like super hackers. Then McCullough introduced an entire Greek gods theme to it, making his main character Ravirn a descendant of the House of Atropos (I think it was), who was one of the Fates, along with Clotho and Lachesis.

I went into the closing Borders to see if they had any good titles for 50% off, and found another paperback by McCullough, titled Cybermancy. Another strong entry into Ravirn's saga. Using the above ideas, McCullough constructs a tale where he has to go to Hades to rescue an AI who is linked to the love of his life, Cerise (a descendant of the House of Clotho and a crack coder). The AI, named Shara, perished in the last book, and Ravirn swears a blood oath to bring her back. So off he goes to Hades, with his own webgoblin, Melchior, to find her. In the process he encounters Persephone, and she helps him to send Shara back to the land of the living. But it goes too easily, and of course, there are other serious problems that become evident as the story unfolds...

I really enjoyed these books, especially this latest entry. It's been a while since I read a book that "called" to me when I wasn't reading it, but this one did. I kept wanting to get back to it, and finally I was able to dedicate some reading time to it yesterday and finish it. Very good read, if you like this sort of thing. Which I guess I do, after all. (No elves, dwarves or dragons!!!)

Currently I'm reading Peter Brett's The Desert Spear. It's different than I was expecting, but so far so good.


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