The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
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April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
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The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
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The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
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Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
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The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
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Showing posts by: Tansy Rayner Roberts click to see Tansy Rayner Roberts's profile
Mon
Apr 20 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 6

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! This is another sad chapter of sadness.

Potential trigger warning: this one covers a traumatic childbirth event with a sad outcome. Take care of yourself accordingly.

Chapter 6: Gambits

SUMMARY: Chumaka has also been having a very frustrating two years, work-wise. He has had agents lying in wait for the Nameless Spy Master of the Tuscai (aka Arakasi) for years, hoping they would reopen the corner of the network that he knows about—but he has been outsmarted.

[This time jump is messing with everyone’s heads.]

Mon
Apr 13 2015 12:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 5

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. In this one, Arakasi’s reputation is going to the dogs, because time jumps aren’t good for everybody...

Chapter 5: Machinations

SUMMARY: Two years have passed. Hokanu guesses correctly that Mara is pregnant, and is delighted at the possibility of another child in their family—his first by blood.

Mara has a troubling request, though. She is concerned about the risks of pregnancy, knowing that if she and her baby don’t survive the birth, House Acoma will be lost forever. The Shinzawai are in a far less precarious position, with all manner of stray cousins and nephews who could replace Hokanu.

And although Hokanu keeps oh-so-helpfully offering, she really doesn’t think it’s okay or good enough to blend the Acoma with the Shinzawai. A girl’s got to have standards.

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Mon
Apr 6 2015 10:30am

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 4

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! This Arasaki chapter actually gets us out of the usual domestic setting and into the spy field.

Chapter 4: Adversity

Summary: Once again, a chapter heading which could be used for any other chapter in this saga. But would we want anything less at this point? I think not.

Trapped and cornered while doing espionage things in a fabric warehouse in Ontoset, Arakasi discovers that he is being tracked by an expert team.

[Anyone else hoping they want to recruit him for S.H.I.E.L.D.?]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 3

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This is the one where the Magicians decide to get their sticky fingers all over Mara’s war of vengeance.

Chapter 3: War

Summary: Mara has completely lost it. As she collapses in her grief, the men of her household gather around her to shield her from the curious and thoroughly judgy eyes of the Ruling Lords and associated hangers on.

As Lujan removes all edged weapons from his person before picking his mistress up, Lady Isashani of the Xacatecas comes forward to advise Hokanu in what to do next, and to volunteer her services in calming and protecting Mara.

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Mon
Mar 23 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 2

Mistress of the EmpireWelcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! This one's going to be emotional. Damn those repressed Tsurani. Pack hankies!

Chapter 2: Confrontation

SUMMARY: Can we please refrain from murdering any more children in this chapter? Kthnxbye.

Jiro plays shah, which is chess. I’m hoping that this is the authors telling us through symbolism that as far as being Mara’s nemesis goes, he is more about calm strategy and less about the bloodsports and human sacrifice. Because seriously, I can’t take another Desio or Tasaio.

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Mon
Mar 16 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 1

Mistress of the Empire Welcome back to the reread of Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts! Yes, that’s right, we’re up to Book 3.

In Daughter of the Empire, Mara of the House Acoma went from innocent acolyte to confident Ruling Lady after the tragic deaths of her father and brother. She built her family resources up from almost nothing to a position of reasonable strength, through good management and a flexible approach to her society’s rigid conventions.

Mara survived an abusive marriage and all manner of assassination attempts, only to bring down the two men who were most dangerous to her and her baby son: her husband Buntokapi, and Lord Jingu of the Minwanabi.

In Servant of the Empire, Mara rose rapidly through the ranks of Tsurani society, playing the political Game of Council to win, and enduring years of warfare in the desert lands. New enemies rose to defeat her, but she made friends, allies and vassals among the various Houses, building towards a time when all the favours she had gathered would need to be cashed in.

Mara fell in love with Kevin, a Midkemian prisoner of war from beyond the Rift, whom she bought as a slave. Together, the two of them faced down dangers from all sides, and brought further innovation to the society that would always keep them from being equals. After joining forces with the Emperor to change everything about how power in Tsurani society was to be used, and finally destroying House Minwanabi once and for all, Mara sacrificed love by sending Kevin safely back beyond the Rift. Honoured by the new Emperor as Servant of the Empire, and pregnant with Kevin’s child, she forged a new alliance by marrying Hokanu of the Shinzawai, a loyal and trusted friend.

It looked a lot like a happy ending.

[Now read on.]

Mon
Mar 9 2015 1:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 25

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This is the final chapter but, never fear, we’ll be on to Mistress of the Empire next week.

Thanks to all the readers who have been enjoying the journey back to ’80s epic fantasy with me so far, and especially to the commenters who pop by to add the conversation every week.

This is the chapter that the Hokanu Fan Club (of which I am secretary and president) have been waiting for. Sorry, Kevin. We swoon for Hokanu.

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Mon
Mar 2 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 24

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! If you’re here for the political drama, look no further than this chapter. House of Cards, eat your heart out.

Chapter 26—Resolution

Okay, I was kidding about this last week, but really? A chapter called Resolution? Was this a placeholder?

On the other hand, after all the tension of the book so far, I’m quite looking forward to some resolution. Bring it.

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Mon
Feb 23 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 23

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! Kevin fans, have tissue boxes at the ready, this one’s going to be a tearjerker.

Chapter 25: Confrontation

I swear, if I get a chapter title which is ‘Conflict’ I’m just going to go home. Why name chapters at all if you’re going to be super vague?

Someday I will write a book in which every chapter heading is either ‘Conflict,’ ‘Resolution,’ or ‘Ends on a Cliffhanger.’

[No, I really won’t]

Tue
Feb 17 2015 12:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 22

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts!

Chapter 24—Breakthrough

We’re getting so close to the end now! Only a handful of chapters to go. Are we going to have more brutal and traumatising deaths before this volume is done?

Summary: It’s all pretty depressing at the Acoma estate, after the funeral rites for Nacoya are done. Mara and Lujan are more aware than ever that the estate is simply too large and sprawling to be properly defended, which adds a great deal of stress to their current circumstances.

Mara is also worried that Arakasi has not been seen since one hour after the attack on Ayaki (and the simultaneous attack on herself).

The servants are beginning to mutter amongst themselves that Arakasi might actually have been involved in Tasaio’s attack; Mara doesn’t want to believe that, but where is he?

If Arakasi was a traitor, all of their work together has been for nothing.

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Mon
Feb 9 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 21

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts!

Chapter 23: Sortie

I kind of hope at some point we’re going to get a chapter simply titled ‘Stuff’.

Having said that, this one looks like it’s going to be pretty light on with events, and then it smacks you in the face with—well, let’s put it this way, ‘sortie’ is definitely an understatement.

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Mon
Feb 2 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 20

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! Is it me, or are these chapters getting longer?

Chapter 22 -Tumult

Really, chapter headings, Tumult

SUMMARY: It’s now six months since Axancutar stepped up as Warlord, and for the most part it has been a time of peace. Oh, and it’s the rainy season which means mud, mud and more mud.

Mara is particularly pleased with Saric, her Deputy First Advisor AKA the Emergency Backup Nacoya. Saric, Lujan’s cousin, is smart and sarcastic, and manages to skirt that line of respectful obeisance and snark that Mara enjoys in her employees.

A runner brings big news to House Acoma—the renegade Great One Milamber is back in town which means—cue drum roll—THE RIFT IS BACK OPEN.

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Mon
Jan 26 2015 4:35pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 19

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts!

This one’s about politics, slavery and relationship dramah. Which probably describes most of the chapters in this book except the ones to do with desert warfare. (this chapter has no desert warfare)

Chapter 21: Keeper of the Seal

Summary: Mara is heading back to Kentosani, the Holy City, all over again. She has all sorts of political excuses for being here, but Kevin quickly realises that she is in fact here to investigate the legal ramifications of freeing a slave.

He also realises to his own surprise that he’s gone so thoroughly native and is so thoroughly in love with Mara, that if given an opportunity to stay by her side as a free man, he would take it and stay here forever.

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Mon
Jan 26 2015 4:35pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 18

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts!

Chapter 20—Disquiet

These chapter titles are doing my head in! Talk about vague. I don’t think ‘Disquiet’ sums this one up at all. Maybe ‘Difficult Decisions 101’ or ‘A Good Marriage Proposal Is A Terrible Thing to Waste’

Summary: Bad news comes to the Acoma: Lord Tecuma of the Anasati is dead. Not unexpected, but still devastating to their interests.

Mara and Keyoke wake up Nacoya, who is ill with a cold (and very cranky about men being brought to her bedroom), to ask her advice. She believes Jiro might come around, given that he doesn’t hate Mara quite as much as Tasaio.

However, that’s a pretty high bar and Kevin points out that they shouldn’t underestimate “the human capacity for stupid, illogical, and petty behaviour.’

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Mon
Jan 12 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 17

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This is the one where we vote Ruling Lords off the island. With swords and polite conversation! Yar!

Chapter 19—Warlord

SUMMARY: The night of bloody swords is not yet over. The Acoma apartment is attacked four more times during the night by soldiers in anonymous black armour. The fighting is relentless, with little time to pause or rest in between the waves of violence.

Mara and the two Lords who are her guests are all still alive, but they have lost many men. Those who are fighting are at the absolute end of their strength. Blood and dead bodies lie all around the apartment, and still the attackers come.

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Mon
Jan 5 2015 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 16

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! All chapters of all books should be called this. Best chapter title ever.

Chapter 18: Bloody Swords

SUMMARY: The unofficial council comes to an end. Mara and Tecuma pool their honour guard to ensure extra security on returning to their apartments—and if this sends the message that the Acoma and the Anasati are friendlier than is actually true, that’s a useful piece of misinformation to have out there.

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Mon
Dec 22 2014 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 15

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts! This one’s all about the tasty, tasty politics. Pass the cucumber sandwiches, we have some deals to strike and some secret handshakes to devise.

Chapter 17: Grey Council

Summary: There has been no official call to council, but that’s not stopping the Ruling Lords of Tsurani, who have all decided to turn up to the council hall anyway, to find out what’s going on. It’s all very casual, nothing to see here.

Mara’s first port of call is to Tecuma of the Anasati, her father-in-law—he is polite and shares some gossip with her, but has little patience with her today as he is mourning the loss of his eldest son Halesko on the far side of the Rift. (Oops that means Jiro is first son now, let’s not think too hard about that...) She goes to hang out with her Clan instead. No one is obviously jockeying for position yet, but Mara is well aware that the Acoma are not likely to come out ahead in this latest wave of uncertainty.

Speaking of pure doom for the Acoma, guess who has just arrived home at the Minwanabi estate?

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Mon
Dec 15 2014 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 14

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts.

This is the ‘Arakasi wishes they had invented telephones’ chapter in which he basically spends several week running around and bringing news to Mara, over and over again. I am reminded of Hermione Granger snapping “I am not an OWL” at Harry Potter. Possibly Hermione should buy Arakasi a stiff drink out of sympathy given that I’m pretty sure his job description does include being an owl.

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Mon
Dec 8 2014 12:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 13

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts.

All aboard for a magical journey to the Holy City. Just step politely over the corpses in the circus maximus. Popcorn will be provided.

Chapter 14: Celebration

Arakasi has seriously misread the Jiro-Desio bromance, assuming that their meeting was about the Anasati warning the Minwanabi off. Meanwhile, Mara gears up for yet another trip—this time, to the Holy City.

She is thinking about courting a husband again, but is unhappy about using a good man like Hokanu for political ends—but as Nacoya notes, it’s not like Mara is capable of thinking about anyone but Kevin romantically these days.

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Mon
Dec 1 2014 2:00pm

Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 12

Servant of the Empire Raymond E Feist Janny WurtsWelcome back to the reread of Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts. 

Mara marches home in victory, but it’s a confusing time for the men in her life: Kevin feels his loyalties are divided, while Desio bonds with a new pal over wanting Mara dead and her family destroyed.

If this was a Friends episode, it would be The One With the Mankilling Dogs.

 

Chapter 13: Realignment

Is it me, or do half of these chapter titles sound like management speak? Realignment could mean anything!

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