The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes by Anonymous

Title: The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes
Author: Anonymous
Translator: Jackson Crawford
Date Started: May 8, 2017
Date Finished: July 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 75 days
Genre: Mythology, Poetry, Classic

Pages: 392
Publication Date: March 5, 2015
Original Publication Date: Circa 1200
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company
Media: Paperback


Compiled by an unknown author in Iceland around 1270, and based on sources dating back centuries earlier, the single main manuscript of The Elder Edda is one of the literary wonders of the medieval world and the greatest source of knowledge of Viking lore in existence. These mythological and heroic poems tell of gods and mortals from an ancient era: the giant-slaying Thor, the doomed Volsung family, the hell-ride of Brynhild and the cruelty of Alti the Hun. Eclectic, incomplete and fragmented, these verses nevertheless retain their stark beauty and their power to enthrall, opening a window on to the thoughts, beliefs and hopes of the Vikings and their world. Andy Orchard’s new translation faithfully conveys the spare, unadorned style of the original metre and language. The glossed text us accompanied by four additional poems, a chronology, further reading, an index of names, a note on pronunciation, and an introduction discussing the poems in detail, the history of The Elder Edda and its influence on writers from Tennyson to Tolkien.”


The Poetic Edda, compiled histories, stories, and legends of Scandinavia, is not what I would call a complete or even cohesive compendium, but rather cobbled together vignettes of the Vikings and north men from cold and brutal lands.  Its influence is undeniable across eons and media: Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which in turn inspire J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and more modernly George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Square Enix’s famous franchise, most emphatically Final Fantasy VII, BioWare’s Dragon Age, and obviously Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, though all of these titles merely scratch the surface of how deep its inspiration goes.

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The State of the Reader: 8/16/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/9/17          The State of the Reader: 8/23/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Pendragon Protocol by Philip Purser-Hallard: Kept – Arthurian Knights in the modern day with modern technology doing what they do best.  Certain types of urban fantasy are growing on me.  I like the speculation of how classic fantasy characters and tropes would look with modern technology.  It was also inexpensive, so I now have it on Kindle.
  2. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough: Kept – I hoping this psychological thriller is more satisfying than the last one I read.
  3. Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold: Passed – It just didn’t grab me.
  4. One by Sarah Crossan: Kept (RWTR) – I had no idea this was written in free verse lending it a lovely poetic air.  I was already interesting in it for it’s subject matter (conjoined twin sisters), though I have a feeling I’m going to be a bawling mess by the end.
  5. Dweller by Jeff Strand: Kept (RWTR) – Gripping from the very first sentence, and the monster (or monsters) from the blurb are clearly sentient.  At only $2.99 I had to buy it.
  6. Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory: Kept – This has been a week of cheap samples.  I keep reading samples for books that are really inexpensive on Amazon.  This is a zombie story with a twist (of course, since zombie stories are old news now).  The Mayhall family finds the body of a pregnant teenager with a seemingly dead baby, but though the child has no pulse, he appears to be “alive.”  They hide the child from the authorities who will kill him (sounds similar to The Last of Us), keeping his existence a secret until circumstances force the boy, whom they name Stony, to run.  This is the second Daryl Gregory book I’ll have read, the first being The Devil’s Alphabet, which had a great deal of potential, but was ultimately disappointing.  I hope Raising Stony Mayhall doesn’t fall into the same trap.
  7. The Children of Húrin by Christopher Tolkien: Kept – This was one of those books that had too much introduction, so I didn’t actually get to read any of it, but it’s the work of J. R. R. Tolkien edited by his son, so I have high hopes.  I was also able to borrow it on Amazon Prime.  Apparently, you can do that with some books with the limit being ten at a time.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: The Pendragon Protocol
Series Title: The Devices Trilogy
Author: Philip Purser-Hallard
Date Added: January 15, 2017
Date Purchased: August 10, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.95
Retailer: Amazon

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The Goodreads Book Tag 2

I still have a ton of blogger tags/awards to get through, and I can’t even claim to be doing them in order.  Today this is the one I’m awake/aware enough to go through, so…

First, I found this on The Writing Hufflepuff’s blog so you should check her out.  She does book reviews mostly and her blog is just set up really neatly.  I use Goodreads a ton, so this is the perfect tag for me.  Please feel free to friend me there if you use it, too!

What was the last book you marked as read?

The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh.  I just finished reading it this morning.  Such an excellent mid-grade novel.  I’ve also read and reviewedThe Quantum Door, which was good, too, but Ghost was even better.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading six books, but that number will probably jump back up to seven before I post my State of the Reader update this Wednesday:

  1. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Patrick Thorpe
  5. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. The Poetic Edda by Anonymous

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

Primitive Mythology by Joseph Cambell, the fist book in his Masks of God series.  I initially had The Power of Myth on there in its stead, but a friend told me that I could just watch the interviews with Bill Moyers, so I threw that on my Amazon wish list.

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The State of the Reader: 5/17/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/10/17          The State of the Reader: 5/24/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner: Kept (RWTR) – This is a story in the tradition of Redwall, and initially wasn’t sure if I should think of the rats as anthropomorphic or as more like the rabbits of Watership Down, able to speak in their own language, but still quintessentially rabbits.  Since this book opened with a chase, I couldn’t decide whether to imagine them running as rats do or running as humans do.  I think they might have been running as rats, but they wear clothes and have a hidden city beneath Topside (the world of humanity).  The story seems fascinating.  A fascist dictator has taken over their city, terrorizing frightened citizens, but two brothers Vincent and Victor escaped forced impression in the Kill Army, and they eventually team up with another rebel to take back their city.
  2. The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.: Passed – I was quite excited for this, but the main character comes off as a chauvinistic ass in rooster form, and the writing isn’t my style.
  3. Talon by Julie Kagawa: Kept/Purchased (RWTR) – Dragons that can take human form, trying to keep out of the sight of St. George with rogue dragons in the world for unknown purpose.  The story drops you right into the lives of twins (which are rare among dragon kind) as they try to adapt to live among humans.
  4. The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway: Kept (RWTR) – Another book that starts out perfectly.  Sam has been dead for four days, but her boyfriend Ethan has figured out a way to call her back from the grave.  The story opens with her clawing her way out of the dirt, but how Ethan did it is still unknown (though he does admit he had help), and Sam is more than just a revived human…she’s not a zombie, not a vampire, but some kind of weird halfway in between that has to feed of of humans to survive.  I’m dying to know where this will take us 😉
  5. Robbed of Sleep by Mercedes Yardley: Passed – I don’t seem to have an affinity for short stories (unless they’re written by GRRM).  There was a brief one page story that was okay, but the second longer one just didn’t do much for me even though I know it could’ve been interesting.  Ah well.
  6. Radiance by Grace Draven: Kept/Purchase (RWTR) – HOLY SHIT THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.  Omg, where do I even begin.  Well, I knew I was going to purchase it not even a chapter in.  So Ildiko is betrothed to marry Brishen, a Kai prince, a humanoid, but not human people.  What the book did was brilliant.  It not only showed the bride’s disgust, fear, and horror at marrying what she considers a monster, but it showed his point of view as well.  To the Kai, humans are just as horrifying, and the way Brishen describes our eyes was just perfect.  The Kai have no iris or pupil, just a blazing yellowy-white orb that’s light sensitive since they’re people of the night.  To them our irises and pupils that contract with the light must be hella creepy, and it really made me think though I’ve obviously thought about eerie eyes before.  Anyway, they wind up meeting by chance just before the wedding, though neither knows whom the other is, and it’s both hilarious and perfect.  They both still find each other odd, but realize their personalities click, though it’s not until the end Brishen finds out her name.  I bought this book immediately, and I can’t wait to read it.  I may have to shuffle some of the order around.
  7.  Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick: Kept – The premise of a world trapped in twilight is interesting.  It reminds me of (the obvious) Twilight Princess and the Dark City, Treno in Final Fantasy IX.  The main character has a fresh, crisp voice with obvious English inflection, and I’m curious about her strange malady.
  8. After the Woods by Kim Savage: Kept (RWTR) – What drew me to this was the insta-action it starts with, and the fact that the catalyst for the story occurs without it being said.  Neither we nor the main character really know what happened, because she’s repressed the memory.  I like that she uses snarky deflection (yes…I can like snarkiness, but it has to be for a purpose and not just for the sake of being snarky), because that’s something I can relate to (I am the deflection queen!).
  9. Ruined by Amy Tintera: Kept (RWTR) – If you’re looking for a book about hatred and vengeance for a worthy reason, look no further than Ruined.  I love the double entendre involved in that titled, because the main character’s lost kingdom is literally called Ruina, and its people are called Ruined.  I want to know why the two allied nations hate them so much, though I think it’s a simple reason of hating/fearing their power.
  10. The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw: Kept – Recommended by my studious friend at The Ink Garden, the language in it reminds of the books I loved growing up.  The beginning is a bit winding to the point, but I didn’t mind at all.
  11. The Guardian by Elizabetta Holcomb: Passed – I was teetering on a fine edge with this one.  It didn’t really grab me, but it had really good reviews that praised the characters and the writing.  I didn’t find the latter that compelling; there was a lot of telling instead of showing.  It was only $0.99 on Kindle, which isn’t a lot to spend, but I just couldn’t see myself staying interested in it, so I ultimately decided to pass.
  12. Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams: Passed – It almost feels like blasphemy to pass on this, since it’s by the author of the illustrious and irreverent Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I think I may just not be in the mood for this kind of parody right now.

Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: Talon
Series Title:
Talon
Author:
Julie Kagawa
Date Added:
May 24, 2016
Date Purchased: May 12, 2017

Talon

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

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The State of the Reader: 6/22/16

<–The State of the Reader: 6/15/16          The State of the Reader: 6/29/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: Windhaven
Authors: George R R Martin and Lisa Tuttle

WindhavenMedium: Paperback
Progress: 76%

I’m happy I stuck with this, because it did become interesting again in a bookendish fashion actually.  While I have my critiques that will be discussed during the review, I actually found myself tearing up at a critical and heartbreaking part.  I hope to finish this by next week’s update.

Title: Paradise Lost
Author
: John Milton

Paradise LostMedium: Paperback
Progress:
76%

Disclosure time.  I only stuck with this book in order to find that part where God allegedly takes one of Satan’s wings as per what a few people said on an FFVII forum in response to why Sephiroth only has one wing.  They insisted it was a Paradise Lost reference.  Well, I looked up the synopsis of the two final books, and Satan doesn’t seem to be in any of them.  He gets transformed into a giant serpent and the synopses only mention Adam, Eve,  God, and the angels, which is so freaking boring.  I know this is messed up, but Satan was 100% carrying that story.  I decided to google “Paradise Lost God takes one of Satan’s wings.”  Nothing directly about it came up, but there was a summary of Book VI, where Michael brutally slashes Satan’s right side.  Maybe there was an implication that that was the result?  I don’t know.  I’m going to see if I can find a review/analysis of it.  Even without that, FFVII still has plenty of PL references, and though I should’ve mentioned this in my paragraph about Windhaven, it was not the first narrative to have the “one-wing” motif.  GRRM may have been the modern progenitor of that, which is just adding more notes to my Song of VIIs comparison.

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 62%

I thought I read more of it than this (at least enough to go up a percent), but I did at least start Chapter 8, which concerns Hod.  Very slowly I’m chipping away at this explanation of the esoteric, though I feel I should carry it around with me for reference even when I’m finished.  Though it is touted as the best and simplest volume on it, The MQ is still quite dense.  It has to for the weight of what it’s explaining.

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