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Thursday, June 03, 2004
White Wolf 

Title: White Wolf
Author: David Gemmell
Bantam Press(Hardcover),
Black Swan(Paperback),
Del Rey Books
(Mass Market Paperback)
These days, with the success of the Lord of the Rings movies, popularity of the Fantasy genre seems to be on the rise again. If readers venture into a bookstore in search of fantasy novels (I mean sword and sorcery kind of fantasy), they would be pleased to find that there is a wide variety of options to choose from - from books by the Dark Elf creator, R. A. Salvatore, to books by David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks and not forgetting Margaret Wise and Tracy Hickman, the authors of the well-known Dragonlance Chronicles.

Another great writer is David Gemmell, who has managed to carve out a small genre within the fantasy world with his ingenuity at writing 'heroic fantasy'.

After completing another story for the Rigante series, Gemmell is back at writing the Drenai Saga. In White Wolf, Gemmell 'revived' one of best hero of the series, Druss the Legend, to once again do battle against the baddies (the other hero is Waylander).

(Note: In most of his books, the main hero dies at the end of the story - well, heroically. Druss and Waylander are the only characters that make it into three books or more - three for the Waylander series and including White Wolf, four for Druss. Gemmell's next book, The Swords of Night and Day also features Druss)

White Wolf starts off in a period of about three years after the Battle of Skeln, where the mighty Druss helped the Drenai small army defeat the Ventrian Immortals. In this book, Gemmell has brilliantly created another hero, named Skilgannon the Dammned, who is a master swordsman, but with a soul burdened by his past.

Skilgannon was the general who led the Naashanite forces into the city of Perapolis and killed everyone in there, including women and children - even after the battle was won. This action earned him the name "The Damned".

After that, The Damned disappeared and was discovered only two years later in a rural town, serving as an acolyte in the local abbey. Trouble soon came knocking. Unable to resist his destiny and his haunted past, The Damned once again ventures into the world, this time to find a magical temple to resurrect his wife, Dayan, who died during a plague.

It was during his journey to the city of Mellicane that he met Druss the Legend, now 50 years old. Druss was searching for his friend Orastes, the Earl of Dros Purdol. He later joined Skilgannon to Mellicane to continue his search.

Discovering that Orastes's daughter, Elanin, has been abducted by a man called Ironmask, Druss sets out on a rescue mission. Skilgannon and a few other companions joined him - each for a personal reason.

Later on, readers who have read Gemmell's Hero in the Shadow (Waylander series) will be surprised by the appearance of the priestess Ustarte (something like a cameo?). It seems like Gemmell is trying to link the history of the Drenai series with the characters he had created.

Unsruprisingly Ironmask was an old adversary of Skilgannon - supposedly more skilful than The Damned. In this kind of heroic fantasy, the outcome is almost predictable (at least for the baddies), but what happens to our heroes this time? We all know that Druss the Legend (a.k.a. the Deathwalker, a.k.a. the Silver Slayer) won't die because he has to appear ten years later to do battle at Dros Delnoch against the Nadir army. How about Skilgannon?

All I can say is that followers of the Drenai Saga would be in for a twist at the end. As a hint, in Gemmell's next book, The Swords of Night and Day, Skilgannon and Druss will be reincarnated a thousand years after events in White Wolf. It seems that Gemmell is not willing to let ol' Druss die peacefully just yet.

Ivan  # 4:36 PM


Tuesday, June 01, 2004
The Bad Mothers' Handbook by Kate Long 
Three generations of women deal with living under one roof - Nan, Karen, and Charlotte narrate the battles and issues they find themselves in daily. Its a funny mixture of love, divorce, ex-husbands, ex boyfriends, school grades, homework, changing plastic digestive bags, unwanted pregnancies, birth parents, hate, love, and the constant tide and flow of hormones, among others.

Kate Long writes this one with raw honesty and Brit styled humor, but I wouldn't say that chick lit is really everyone's cup of tea, some can find it really too whiny and pointless (read: bimbo), but this debut has gottened enough rave reviews and sales for her to quit teaching.

Its an easy read, none too mind boggling. The wittily written narrations might give you mental LoL!s at times, but is also capable of forcing the occassional hydrating element from either one of your lacrimal sacs and thus obscuring your vision and consequently forestall your reading pleasure hehe pls excuse the caffeine talking ;D but ya. anyway.

The Bad Mothers' Handbook can be found at Kinokuniya at MYR 74.50 and MPH bookstores elsewhere in Malaysia.

Thanks, sGc!

graceshu  # 10:41 PM


More Blogs On Books 
Reading.My by Berisman
It all began some time circa 1994 when somehow I started to read again since I graduated in July, 1976.Previously, I was too busy with my career.It's better late than never.I love the books and bookshops especially the ones with cafes inside,and enjoy the company of fellow bookworms..but not silverfish that eat my books;-)

Book Cafe
General discussion about reading, books and bookshops.All members are requested to share their views about anything of interests related to the above.

Malaysian Central
Malaysia Used Books Book for Sale, Buy, Sell @ Adpost.com Classifieds
Arts / Entertainment, Biographies, Business / Finance, Children / Young Adults, College Textbooks, Comics / Humour, Computers / Technology, Cooking / Gourmet, Fiction / Literature, Foreign Languages, Health / Beauty, History, Home / Garden, Horror / Mystery, Non-Fiction, Parenting / Families, Reference / Education, Religion / Spirituality, Romance, Science / Nature, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Sports / Adventure, Travel, Other Books

Book Slut
Bookslut is a monthly webzine dedicated to those who love to read. We offer insightful reviews, commentary on trends, updated news, and a lot of silliness.

The Book Club Blog
A reading group, well an exclusive book club blog really, for connoisseurs of fine literature, books, clubs and blogs.

[Has no introductory entry, but is a website dedicated to literary agents, authors, books/ mags/ blogs, contests, events and awards, publishers, tools, as well as general issues.]

Chick Lit
Smart, Witty, Literate as Hell.

The Bookseller.com website was launched in 1997. It is at the virtual heart of the book business. The site provides daily news and comment combined with a unique mix of special features, author interviews, career advice, recruitment opportunities, interactive forums, bestseller charts and searchable archives.

Wah. Banyaknye. ^_^ Looks like the reading hobby / habit is well and alive! Ah I shall sleep a happy woman tonight ;D

graceshu  # 8:29 PM


Blogs On Books 
# Liz Tai
Is a reviewer for The Star Online's Lifestyle, eCentral, and Education sections. She also blogs some of her book reviews here. She's also got pikchures of a little library of her own, little sofa and all. And yes am jeles =P
I love books. I look writing book reviews. So, I thought having a blog is a natural extension of sorts to this. In this blog, I will be putting up my book reviews, which appear on The Star and some who do not. I will also discuss other things pertaining to books, whatever it may be.
Light and easy reviews, none too pretentious or intimidating either ;D Do drop by to visit k ;D

# BicaraKu
BicaraKu is another book review community, sharing the same concept as us, cept that they review mostly books in the Malay Language ;D Am ashamed to say that they're more comprehensive with their book details though like prices, publishers, etc., something we seem to overlook quite often, even after being chatised by Danny Lim. [I think its because I'm really just lazy. Shhh.]
Blog ini diwujudkan untuk mereka yang gemar membaca dan diharap dengan kewujudan blog ini, boleh la mengumpul rakan2 pembaca yg lain khasnya Malaysian. Siapa kata org Malaysia malas membaca?
Also one thing we could learn frm the would probably be instantaneous feedback on recommended reads or reviews with the tagboard. I didnt quite favor it as first because of its added loading time, but maybe shall reconsider ;D

# Daphne
Blogs with TypePad, and has really useful recommendations on her sidebars, really nifty especially for a hobby-based blog. One other useful thing would be catagories, which we lack. Hmm. Anyway. Also found out she reviews for The Star, as does another of our reviewers, IreneQ. Not a blog on book reviews per se, but more of a personal hobby-blog, her hobby being reading books and all related to it.

Her entries are friendly and lighthearted. I'd say we could pick up a couple of things from all these people, really =P

# Nizam Zakaria
Next we have Nizam, not a stranger to the blogging community. Not strictly a book reviewer though. This book community also does events, movies, tv shows, travels, interviews with local personalities, etc. Great stuff, though sometimes its comprehensive manner can get to those with short attention spans. I'd have to admire his dedication to this pet project of his. He updates his template manually [I presume] to put up announcements, recommended reads, as well as latest reviews.

Nizam also reviews for KakiSeni.Com, with regular updates and reviews on the malaysian arts scene. Then there's also his photo blog, with plenty of photos and commentary.

Ah. There. Thats it. I've been rather busy lately, havent had a chance to make any reviews, but shall soon. Do let me know if there are anymore book-related blogs around ;D!

graceshu  # 6:02 PM


OPs OPHELIA: a FaShioN opeRa  
Artsee Networks

OPs OPHELIA: a FaShioN opeRa A performance project for a contemporary audience combining fashion, music, and dance-theatre.

Conceived and Directed by Rohaizad Suaidi

The performance is a celebration of women and the roles they play in society.

OPs OPHELIA takes inspiration from Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" pre-Raphaelite paintings of Ophelia, German writer Heiner Muller's "The Hamletmachine" and the book "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls" by clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Pipher.

This production aims to theatrically present the struggles and challenges experienced by Malaysian women of different age groups, social classes, spiritual backgrounds and sexual identities in their journey through the male-dominated cultural landscape to find their true selves

Featuring Adlin Aman Ramli, Anne James, Fang Chyi, Juliana Ibrahim, Junainah M Lojong, Kiew Suet Kim, Marion D'Cruz, Maya Tan Abdullah, Susan Sarah John and a cast of over twenty performers!

Producers Rohaizad Suaidi & Llewellyn Marsh

Executive Producer Vernon Emuang

June 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 2004
Stor Teater @ Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka (DBP)

except Sundays, June 20 & 27 @ 6.30pm and 9.00pm

RM 22 Students Concession
(All performances except Charity Nights on June 17 & 24)
RM 37 Tuedays (June 22), Wednesdays (June 16 & 23)
RM 47 Fridays, Saturdays, Sunday (Jun 18-20, Jun 25-27)
RM 67 Thursdays (Charity Nights - June 17 & 24)

For tickets and further information please call or SMS 016-284-7646
Web Site (Blog): http://www.artsee.net/ophelia

With The Support Of Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka (DBP)

pringgadhani  # 5:57 PM