Book description: An English-language rendering of the world's oldest epic follows the journey of conquest and self-discovery by the king of Uruk, in an edition that includes an introduction that places the story in its historical and cultural context.
Author biography: The epic poems of Homer recount the mythical adventures of the Greeks during and following the Trojan War. While he is famous for fantastic villains, such as the man-eating Cyclops and the witch Circe, Homer's poetry primarily focuses on the trials of heroes as they fight against each other in a world where the gods are fickle, men are treacherous, and honor and reputation are supremely important. Vivid descriptions abound in these poems, from simple sacrifices to violent massacres, which allow unfamiliar readers to become immersed in the ancient atmosphere. Start with: The Odyssey.
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Book description: The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous Northern England poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage in this edition. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts, and decapitates the intruder with his own axe. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide Gawain dutifully sets forth. His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered, and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.
The first english publication of the Arabian nights is documented as 1706.
Book description: Presents a collection of tales, including "Aladdin," "The Wonderful Lamp," "Sinbad the Seaman," and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.".
Illustrated by Ludwig Emil Grimm with engravings by L. Haas.
Image source link: The Publication of Grimm’s Fairy Tales By Richard Cavendish | Published in History TodayVolume: 62 Issue: 12 2012 - http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/publication-grimm%E2%80%99s-fairy-tales
Their first collection of folk tales was published in 1812.
Reviewed by Library Journal: /* Starred Review */ Tatar (languages & literature, Harvard) presents her translations of 40 folktales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, taking care to balance male and female protagonists. modern favorites like "Cinderella" and "Rapunzel" stand side by side with more obscure stories, such as "How the Children Played Butcher with Each Other" (which is as gruesome as the title implies). The multiple versions/variations given for each story include those that date back long before theGrimmBrothers time. While Jack Zipes's The Complete Fairy Tales of theBrothersGrimm includes many more stories, Tatar's clear and informative commentary on the many theories regarding the origins, meaning, and detail of the selected stories makes this an important addition to the canon. Adding extra interest and depth are 150 illustrations (many in color) by L. Leslie Brooke, Arthur Rackham, Wanda Gág, and others. An outstanding addition to folklore, children's literature, and Germanic studies collections; also recommended for any collection of traditional folk and fairy tales.—Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh --Mary Morgan Smith (Reviewed September 1, 2004) (Library Journal, vol 129, issue 14, p149)
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This edition combines the notes of Gardner's 1960 edition with the two works. The original editions were first published in 1865 and 1871.
Author biography: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) - Though he published many works of nonfiction and fiction, today the nineteenth-century English author Lewis Carroll is best remembered for his fantasy novels for older children and for his nonsensical poems; in particular, his character Alice remains a perennial favorite of popular culture and the subject of countless adaptations in various media. Readers of all ages enjoy Carroll's sense of magic and mischief, his inventive use of language, and his surreal fantasy world, Wonderland -- but note that Carroll's absurdist style and occasionally scary situations can be intense and even disturbing, especially for younger readers. Start with: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
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Author Biography: T. H. (Terence Hanbury) White, 1906-1964, first attracted attention for his nonfiction, but is best known for his fiction focusing upon fantasy and myth. Writing about the early days of Arthur and his eventual reign as king of Camelot, White combines elements of Arthurian myth with basic concepts such as the battle of good versus evil. While he wrote other children's books, poetry, and nonfiction, it is his treatment of the Arthur legend for which he is best known. Start with: The Sword in the Stone (fiction); England Have My Bones (nonfiction).
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Author biography: Pulp author Robert Ervin Howard writes in many genres, but he is best known for his fantasy fiction, which contains his signature character, Conan. Howard's incredible tales, often called "weird fiction," feature heroic adventures, gruesome monsters, treacherous wizards, and opulent kings. He develops his world-building fiction, much of which takes place in a prehistoric "Hyborian" age, with richly detailed descriptions, but generally he presents gripping, action-packed plots with concise and direct prose. Readers who like tales of sword and sorcery should consult this seminal author of the genre. Start with: The coming of Conan the Cimmerian.
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Excerpt from the Guardian.com review Is Schwarzenegger ready to make a Last Stand as Conan the Barbarian?: He's back as promised, but his latest role as a small-town sheriff has led some to question if Arnie can still cut it as Conan by Ben Child,
There may never be another Hollywood film star like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the 1980s and 90s the Austrian oak was such a totemic figure on the big screen that screenwriters stopped bothering to explain away his thick Styrian accent and preposterous bulk, aware that audiences accepted him instinctively. Perhaps the most obvious sign of the former California governor's slide down the stature scale comes in the denouement of his new action film The Last Stand, which is out today in UK cinemas. Faced with a sneering villain who has been behaving very badly indeed, Schwarzenegger's grizzled small-town sheriff tells his enemy: "You make us immigrants look bad." It raised a laugh at the screening I attended, but 80s writers wouldn't have needed to flag up Arnie's alienness.
While Schwarzenegger often played characters with Anglo-Saxon names such as Ben Richards, John Kimble and Julius Benedict, the role that made him famous took advantage of his teutonic tones. John Milius's 1982 fantasy epic Conan the Barbarian cast the former Mr Olympia as Robert E Howard's unstoppable Cimmerian warrior. Those of us who recall the iconic Schwarzenegger era were delighted earlier this week when he confirmed plans for a new Conan movie in which the actor will star as an older version of the character. Out goes Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa, who headed up the poorly received 2011 remake, and back comes the saga's original lead in a movie that will be built around him.
Link to the full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2013/jan/18/arnold-schwarzenegger-conan-barbarian
Reviewed by Library Journal: Originally published as Honeybuzzard (LJ 1/1/67), ShadowDance launched British author Carter's career, which she buttressed with The Magic Toyshop two years later. Both received praise from LJ's reviewers, especially the latter novel, which was hailed as an "extraordinary, even brilliant piece of writing" (LJ 2/1/68).
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Author Biography: Prolific fantasy and science-fiction author Gene Wolfe writes challenging and imaginative stories that reward attentive readers with their depth and insight. His critically acclaimed and unconventional work constructs sophisticated worlds through subtle dialogue, obscure references, literary and historical allusions, and first-person accounts from unreliable narrators. Readers of Wolfe's clear, vivid, and eloquent prose might want to keep a dictionary handy, and his intricate, densely layered plots require careful reading, especially since characters frequently reveal vital information in an off-hand way. But those willing to read actively will find his work fascinating and unique. Start with: The shadow of the torturer.
Book description: Cat Midhir has made a name for herself as the author of popular fantasy novels, but her fans do not know that Cat's mysterious Otherworld is no fantasy--it is a real place where she wanders at night with the bright lords and the horned woman beneath the silver moon.
Reviewed in Kirkus: This publisher's first novel is a gay, demented eschatological farce in which the Antichrist doesn't really have his heart in it. Eleven years before the end of the world foretold by accurate but obscure Agnes Nutter's prophecies, Sister Mary Loquacious--the Satanist charged with switching the infant Antichrist with another infant--flubs the job when a third infant is introduced into the scenario, and the Lord of Darkness gets shunted aside in favor of Adam Young, who grows into boyhood with an uncomfortable sense of mission. Awaited with fear by angelic Aziraphale and demonic Crowley--friendly rivals who don't want their worldly tug-of-war to end--with zealous hatred by Witchfinder Sgt. Shadwell and harlot-masseuse-medium Madame Tracy, and with ecstatic anticipation by latter-day Nutterite Anathema Device and Newton Pulsifer, who bounces from Shadwell's employ into Anathema's bed, the apocalypse looms--dripping with throwaway allusions, giggly footnotes, and broad swipes at the decline of the West. It's the ultimate Saturday night bummer, fueled by a miraculous thousand-ton theft of nuclear fuel and the determination of Adam's gang Them to follow the trail of the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse. Hilariously naughty, and just what you'd expect from a collaboration between comics-veteran Gaiman and fantasist Pratchett (Strata, 1981; The Light Fantastic, 1983). A best-seller in England, and a book to watch here. It could catch on with the Douglas Adams crowd. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1990)
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The Golden Compass is the first book of "His Dark materials series, additional titles are the subtle knife, the amber spyglass, once upon a time in the North and Lyra's Oxford.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly: If Pullman's imagination dazzled in the Victorian thrillers that culminated with The Tin Princess, in this first volume of a fantasy trilogy it is nothing short of breathtaking. Here Earth is one of only five planets in the solar system, every human has a daemon (the soul embodied as an animal familiar) and, in a time similar to our late 19th century, Oxford scholars and agents of the supreme Calvinist Church are in a race to unleash the power that will enable them to cross the bridge to a parallel universe. The story line has all the hallmarks of a myth: brought up ignorant of her true identity, 11-year-old Lyra goes on a quest from East Anglia to the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate Roger and her imprisoned uncle, Lord Asriel. Deceptions and treacheries threaten at every turn, and she is not yet certain how to read the mysterious truth-telling instrument that is her only guide. After escaping from the charming and sinister Mrs. Coulter, she joins a group of "gyptians" in search of their children, who, like Roger, have been spirited away by Mrs. Coulter's henchmen, the Gobblers. Along the way Lyra is guided by friendly witches and attacked by malevolent ones, aided by an armored polar bear and a Texan balloonist, and nearly made a victim of the Gobblers' cruel experiments. As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures. 100,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
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Product description: In a wondrous parallel world where witches soar the skies and Ice Bears rule the frozen North, one special girl is destined to hold the fate of the universe in her hands. When Lyra Belacqua becomes the keeper of the Golden Compass, she discovers that her world and all those beyond are threatened by the secret plans of Ms. Coulter. With the help of Lord Asriel and a group of unlikely allies ready to stand at her side, Lyra embarks on an extraordinary quest that celebrates friendship and courage against all odds.
Excerpt from a review of Golden Compass(2007): Bless the Beasts and Children by Manohla Dargis for nytimes.com, December 7, 2007
A fantastic bestiary inhabits “The Golden Compass,” prowling and flapping and slithering and fluttering. The animals, most of which are called daemons and are manifestations of the human soul, hover at the side of their people and near the story’s edge, where their coos and barks mix with the ambient clatter and clang. Every so often, an animal leaps forward, its fur raised in alarm, its feathers fanned in flight. And because these are no ordinary animals, they also offer words of comfort, advice, warning. In this otherworldly realm, humans have no dominion over these creatures, yet they are not merely equals, either. They are one.
This beastly attitude and the conception of the soul as being somehow separate from its corporeal vessel are, as far as I can tell, the most irreligious conceits in the movie adaptation of “The Golden Compass,” a novel that was first published in Britain as “Northern Lights.” Written by Philip Pullman, it quickly became a critical and commercial success for the most obvious of reasons: It’s a charming romp set in a parallel universe stuffed with magical creatures, spooky villains and mythopoetic conceits, and propelled by a young orphan, Lyra Belacqua, who embarks on the hero’s journey with her shape-shifting daemon, Pantalaimon (Pan for short). The book has attracted voluble criticism for equally obvious reasons: Its army of darkness is a totalitarian institution called “the Church.”
Link to the full article: http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/movies/07comp.html
Part of the Song of ice and fire series. The titles list includes a clash of kings, a storm of swords, a feast for crows and a dance with dragons.
Reviewed in Kirkus: /* Starred Review */ After a long silence (Portraits of his Children, stories, 1987), the author of the cult The Armageddon Rag (1983) returns with the first of a fantasy series entitled, insipidly enough, A Song of Ice and Fire. In the Seven Kingdoms, where the unpredictable seasons may last decades, three powerful families allied themselves in order to smash the ruling Targaryens and depose their mad king, Rhaegar. Robert Baratheon claimed the throne and took to wife Tywin Lannister's daughter, Cersei; Ned Stark returned north to gloomy Winterfell with its massive, ancient Wall that keeps wildings and unspeakable creatures from invading. Some years later, Robert, now drunk and grossly fat, asks Ned to come south and help him govern; reluctantly, since he mistrusts the treacherous Lannisters, Ned complies. Honorable Ned soon finds himself caught up in a whirl of plots, espionage, whispers, and double-dealing and learns to his horror that the royal heir, Joffrey, isn't Robert's son at all but, rather, the product of an incestuous union between the Queen and her brother Jaime--he murdered Rhaegar despite the latter's surrender. Ned attempts to bargain with Cersei and steels himself to tell Robert--but too late. Swiftly the Lannisters murder the King, consign Ned to a dungeon, and prepare to seize the throne, opposed only by the remaining Starks and Baratheons. On the mainland, meanwhile, the brutal and stupid Viserys Targaryen sells his sister Dany to a barbarian horse-warrior in return for a promise of armies to help him reconquer the Seven Kingdoms. A vast, rich saga, with splendid characters and an intricate plot flawlessly articulated against a backdrop of real depth and texture. Still, after 672 dense pages, were you expecting a satisfying resolution? You won't get it: Be prepared for a lengthy series with an indefinitely deferred conclusion. (Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1996)
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Product description: Set in a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. From the scheming south and the savage eastern lands, to the frozen north and ancient Wall that protects the realm from the mysterious darkness beyond, the powerful families of the Seven Kingdoms are locked in a battle for the Iron Throne. This is a story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor, conquest, and triumph. In the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die.
Product description: Based on the bestselling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, this sprawling new HBO drama is set in a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime.
This is the first book in teh First Law sereis. Additional titles include before they are hanged and last argument of kings.
Reviewed in Publishers Weekly: British newcomer Abercrombie fills his muddled sword-and-sorcery series opener with black humor and reluctant heroes. Logen Ninefingers, a barbarian on the run from an ex-employer who's now king of the North, finds his loyalties complicated when he switches sides and becomes a valuable source of intel to the beleaguered Union. Glokta, a torture victim turned torturer, gets roped into securing the Union's position against both the invading Northmen and the incompetent Union king and council, and ruthlessly wields his skills in attempts to weed out traitors. Foppish Jezal, a preternaturally excellent swordsman, manages to win the contest to become the Union champion, thanks to a little help from Bayaz, a mage with his own agenda. The workmanlike plot, marred by repetitive writing and an excess of torture and pain, is given over to introducing the mostly unlikable characters, only to send them off on separate paths in preparation for the next volume's adventures. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed August 6, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 31, p174)
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Reviewed by Library Journal: /* Starred Review */ In a future of rising water levels, bioengineered plagues, widespread food shortages, and retrotechnology, calories have become currency and the rediscovery of foods thought to be extinct leads to commercial success or spectacular failure. An encounter between Anderson Lake, AgriGen's "calorie man" in Bangkok, and Emiko, a genetically engineered member of the New People, sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. VERDICT This first novel bythe Locus Award-winning author of Pump Six and Other Stories provides a captivating look at a dystopic future that seems all too possible. East meets West in a clash of cultures brilliantly portrayed in razor-sharp images, tension-building pacing, and sharply etched characters. Fans of the sf techno-fiction of China Miéville and Neal Stephenson should flock to this cautionary thriller. --Jackie Cassada (Reviewed September 15, 2009) (Library Journal, vol 134, issue 15, p52)
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"On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings--and to catch their wives. The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment"-- Provided by publisher.