The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (Hogwarts Library)

Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Series Title: Hogwarts Library
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Mid-Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 28, 2016
Date Completed: August 5, 2016

Pages: 112
Publication Date: December 4, 2008
Media Type: Hardback

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.”

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of short wizard “fairy tales” from the Harry Potter universe, a few of which are mentioned by name in the books and the movies.  It was a quick, light read of stories meant for wizard children that would certain delight those (and adults) in the muggle world.  After each one is an afterword by Professor Albus Dumbledore that gives some insight to how the tale was received in addition to highlighting the lessons that can be taken from it.

The author performs something similar to what GRRM does with his World of Ice and Fire in that Beedle is said to be “translated” by the illustrious Hermione Granger, but gathered by Ms. Rowling herself.  It’s a nice little instance of not breaking character in order to keep these stories firmly rooted in the wizarding world.  The lessons in them are not dissimilar to ones found in traditional fairy tales.

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Dreamsongs: Volume II by George R. R. Martin (Dreamsongs #2)

This is a review off the second volume of George R R Martin’s Dreamsongs compendium where many of his earlier works are catalogued.  The review of the first Dreamsongs can be found here.

The continuation of Martin’s short story compendium had less stories I liked as compared to his first, but it also had less stories overall, and the ones I enjoyed were phenomenal.  A Taste of Tuf introduced me to cat loving protagonist Tuf Haviland who I believe could be an avatar for Martin himself (though GRRM insists he’s more like the Turtle of the Wild Card series) in addition to adding more books to my reading list.  I entirely skipped over The Siren Song of Hollywood after losing interest in the first story.  It was okay, but the screenplay style threw me off.  Doing the Wild Card Shuffle was 50/50.  The story I disliked was my least favorite of the entire volume, and in fact hung me up on reading it for about a month, but the story I loved is my favorite in the entire collection.  What an appropriate unity of opposites.  This section also had me adding books to my reading list. The Heart in Conflict section was a nice round out.  I wasn’t over the moon about any of the stories in it, but there was a draw to them still.  Two of them factor greatly into something major recently introduced in the television series.

As with Volume I, this is not going to be a review of the entire collection, but rather a commentary and brief analysis on the stories that struck a chord.

Dreamsongs Volume II

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Dreamsongs: Volume I by George R. R. Martin (Dreamsongs #1)

This is a review off the first volume of George R R Martin’s Dreamsongs compendium where many of his earlier works are catalogued.  The review of the second Dreamsongs can be found here.

Every great writer starts somewhere, but there are few who display their first fruits in a compendium for all to read. George R R Martin, author of the soon to be legendary A Song of Ice and Fire series, is one of those few.  Dreamsongs, broken into two volumes and those volumes themselves split into several sections, shows the rough and the rougher in the initial part and later the luster when time and experience serves to smooth.

This is not going to be a full review of the collection, but rather a highlight and brief examination of the select few that struck in me a cord.  I was only able to complete one story in the first section known as A Four-Color Fanboy, and any attempt at others were met with resignation that it couldn’t be done.  That part holds Martin’s dullest stones, but even there, the spark of brilliance dwells.  By The Filthy Pro I was immersed, and the author also gives a foreword on each section.  His own admission on the first part’s status prompted me to speak of it without impunity for Martin himself recognizes it as his more amateur work paving the epic way.

The stories I shall touch on are as follows:

  • The Second Kind of Loneliness
  • The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr
  • The Ice Dragon
  • Nightflyers

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