25 December, 2009

Bona Fide: Christmas Presents 2009

Celebration of Christmas season around the world differs. For detailed information please read Christmas Worldwide. In Germany we celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24th. Then we get our present - if you have been well-behaved through the year. It seems I have been well-behaved because my wife and my daughter made me happy with following books:

Sometimes I would be good to read the details. So I got a novel instead of a graphic novel. Nevertheless I will enjoy The Ice Wolves (2009, 251 p.) [US][UK], by Mark Chadbourn. I'm a fan of Hellboy since I watched the movies.
"It is the time of the Black Sun. In every corner of the world, the wolves calling to each other. Mysterious slayings are on the rise. Locked in mortal bodies, the primal monsters rise from depth of the unconscious and turn their rage towards America...
For Hellboy, it's a race against time to prevent a devastating wave of savagery from engulfing the globe. And so he is drawn to Boston's Beacon Hill and the Grant Mansion - believed to be the most haunted house in New England - where the truth may lie buried.
As an unnatural arctic winter brings the city to a halt, Hellboy realizes the house itself is a puzzle he must solve to uncover the ten-thousand-year-old mystery.
Hellboy is trapped between malign spirits within and an ancient bestial evil without... and the BlackSun is about to rise." [Source: Back of the book]
It seems to be the right book when you think of the "snow" reports from Washington D.C. ....

So I started with a "wolf book" and I continue with a "wolf book". I'm a big fan of the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. I have been really impressed by the relationship between Fitz and his wolf Nighteye. Then I discovered Through Wolf's Eyes (2001, 579 p.) [US][UK], by Jane Lindskolm, put on my list and now it is on my shelf. This is the first book of the six book Wolf series.
"Firekeeper only vaguely remembers a time when she didn't live with her "family", a pack of "royal wolves" - bigger, stronger, and smarter than normal wolves. Now her pack leaders are sending her back to live among the humans, as they promised her mother years ago.
Some of the humans think she may be the lost heir to their throne. This could be good - and it could be very, very dangerous. In the months to come, learning to behave like a human will turn out to be more complicated than she'd ever imagined.
But though human ways might be stranger than anything found in the forest, the infightung in the human'spack is nothing Firekeeper hasn't seen before.That, she understands just fine. She'snot your standard-issue princess - and this is not your standard-issue fairy tale." [Source: Back of the book]
To be honest that sounds very promising for me...

And now to something completely different. End of August 2009 I read Liz's review of Book Of Secrets (2009, 363 p.) [US][UK], by Chris Roberson. I left following comment:
"What a mouth-watering review! Of course I added the book to my list."
Now the book is on my shelf. It is a book about a book and more....
"Reporter Spencer Finch is embroiled in the hunt for a missing book, encountering along the way cat burglars and mobsters, hackers and monks. At the same time, he’s trying to make sense of the legacy left him by his late grandfather, a chest of what appear to be magazines from the golden age of pulp fiction, and even earlier
Following his nose, Finch gradually uncovers a mystery involving a lost Greek play, secret societies, generations of masked vigilantes… and an entire secret history of mankind." [Source]
Read the review and you may understand why I wanted this book.

Only four books left and they all belong together. I read the German edition of the books more than ten years ago. Since two years I'm thinking about to reread them in English. I put the books on my Christmas wish list and instantly hoped that I will get them. Of course I murmured every day again and again: "I want these books, I want these books, I want these books, ...." I have been successful! I got them! Did I mention that I talk about the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams? I posted about my wish in Weekly Roundup #44. At this time I only presented you the cover of book one. But this time I will show you all four covers of the new paperback edition by orbit.uk. In US you can get these edition via bookdepository.com. Just follow the links.

Book one: The Dragonbone Chair (2009) [US][UK]:
"THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR is the story of Simon, a young kitchen boy and magician's apprentice, whose dreams of great deeds and heroic wars come all too shockingly true when his world is torn apart by a terrifying civil war -- a war fueled by ancient hatreds, immortal enemies, and the dark powers of sorcery. In Osten Ard, a land once ruled by an elvishlike race known as the Sithi, the human High King is dying. And with his death, a long-dormant evil is unleashed on the land as the undead Sithi ruler, the Storm King, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Driven by spell-inspired jealousy and fear, prince fights prince, while around them the very land begins to die, poisoned by a sorcerous force sworn to annihilate the humans whose ancestors had driven the Sithi from their rightful home long ages ago. Only a small, scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger faced by Osten Ard, only they hold the knowledge of times past, of threats fulfilled, and of a riddle of swords, which holds out the one small hope of salvation. And to Simon -- unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, and unwittingly touched by magic both good and ill -- will go the task of spearheading the search for the solution to this riddle of long-lost swords of power, a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker's worst nightmare"[Source]

Book two: The Stone of Farewell (2009) [US][UK]:
"As the very land is blighted by the power of Ineluki's wrath, the tattered remnants of a once-proud human army flee in search of a last sanctuary and rallying point -- the Stone of Farewell, a place shrouded in mystery and ancient sorrow. And the widely scattered surviving members of the League of the Scroll desperately struggle to fulfill missions which will take them from the fallen citadels of humans to the hidden mountain caves of the Qanuc...across storm-tormented waters to discover the truth behind an almost-forgotten legend...through a forest alive with dangers no human could hope to brave...to the secret heartland of the Sithi, where the near-immortals must at last decide whether to ally with the race of men in a final war against those of their own blood...." [Source]
Book three: To Green Angel Tower has been split into two parts
"As the evil minions of the undead Sithi Storm King prepare for the kingdom-shattering culmination of their dark corceries and King Elias is drawn ever deeper into their nightmarish, spell-spun world, the loyal allies of Prince Josua desperately struggle to rally their forces at the Stone of Farewell. And with time running out, the remaining members of the now devestated League of the Scroll have also gathered there to unravel mysteries from the forgotten past. For if the League can reclain these age-old secrets of magic long-buried beneath the dusts of time, they may be able to reveal to Josua and his army the only means of striking down the unslayable foe.
But whether or not the League is successful in its quest, the call of battle will lead the valiant followers of Josua Lackhand across storm-tossed seas brimming with bloodthirsty kilpa...through forests swarming with those both mind- and soul-lost...through ancient caverns built by the legendary Dwarrows...to the haunted halls of Asu'a itself--the Sithi's greatest stronghold!" [Source]
Book three which is the first part of To Green Angel Tower: Siege (2009) [US][UK]cover on the left

Book four which is the second part of To Green Angel Tower: Storm (2009) [US][UK]cover on the right

To be honest I can't wait to return to Osten Ard in January 2010!

Now you know what I got to Christmas.

What's about you? Please leave a comment and tell me about your Christmas presents. In case you got money and you don't know what to buy, come back in a few days. I have reviews in progress....