Tag Archives: elves

The Hobbit, Tolkein, 1937

It may seem crazy for someone who reads as much fantasy as I do, but I had never read The Hobbit.  It has been on my bucket list for a long time but somehow I just never got around to it.

the hobbit

But, I want to see the movie and I had to read the book first.

I fully expected to really enjoy The Hobbit, but I have to admit to some disappointment. I realize this is a kid’s book, but I thought the characters were pretty shallow and the quest was lacking noble motivation.  I found some dialog overly difficult; I had to reread some dialog passages.  And I found it hard to connect with any character.  I have to admit to a pet peeve of mine.  I really don’t like the use of song lyrics as a storytelling device.  I know they often hold important story line information, but I still tend to skip reading them.  The Hobbit uses song lyrics.

All that said, I would recommend this to any kid as required reading for any kid into fantasy or adventure.  It introduces many iconic races and the heroic quest. It has gotten me thinking about revisiting the trilogy.

I can watch the movie now.

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in Fantasy


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Elven Nations Trilogy, Paul P. Thompson, Tonya C. Cook, Douglas Niles, 1991

This is a Dragonlance series.  I hate to say anything bad about a Dragonlance book, but these just weren’t great.

Now, I recognize that none of the Dragonlance books are high literature, but I like the characters, fantasy races,  and the pace.  They are not serious reading and good for vacation.  This particular series is nowhere as good as the Chronicles series by Weis and Hickman. 

elven nations

I won’t even try to summarize the enormous Dragonlance world.   Here is a link to the Dragonlance wikipedia page:

According to this webpage, there are 190 or so Dragonlance novels with many authors contributing. I had no idea there were so many.  I think I have read 9.

The focus in the Elven Nations books is, logically enough, on the Elves, and the founding and early days of the Elven nations.  There is a much lesser focus on Dwarves.  The series covers a long territory war between the Elves and Humans, and a widening rift between two groups of Elves.  Unfortunately, the first Kender does not appear until book 3. 

I think the biggest problem came from the multiple authors, and very poor editing – maybe to get all 3 books out in the same year?  I found it difficult to get past the many typos.  Plus there were major timeline problems. For example, book 2 referred to events in book 1 as variously 1 year ago and many years ago.   One Dwarven character’s name was obviously changed during editing – but several pages focusing on him were missed and he had the old name for those pages. It is very hard to write with the style of another person, and to co-author, but good editing can help. Sloppy.

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Fantasy


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What is Ann Watching?

Musings on TV and Movies