Saturday, May 26, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave Issue #1221

9 comments

Hello and welcome to issue #1221 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
I still have a lot of unread items in my Google Reader and there are still mails which wait for a reply. I hope to find time for that within the next days.

I'm sorry for the delay but I had to solve some html problems.


ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. Reading progress
  2. Announcement
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received, bought and ordered
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Submarine-themed Rooms
  2. Reading Speed
  3. Liquid Art 
  4. Tommy Atkins

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Safe

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms lazy?

The Lighthouse


To my surprise I read 582 pages last week and finished one book. eading progress? In the past three weeks I finished six books, two Sherlock Holmes short stories, dropped one book after 170 pages and started two new books. In sum I read 2319 pages. From reading point of view I'm totally happy.


I finished

- Rivers of London (pb, 2011, UK) [ISBN-13: 978-0575097582] by Ben Aaronovitch
I wrote on GOODREADS:
" Thanks to my wife who convinced me to read the book.
It is not my book of the year but I liked the mix of magic, humor, London and all the allusions.
This is urban fantasy I like.

I will definitely read the next book in the series."

I'm

- 366 pages in Hereward (pb, 2012, UK) [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by James Wilde
I know Robin Hood but I never heard of Hereward before. What a dark and intriguing character. Warning: There is a lot of blood ...

- 56 pages in The Way of the Black Beast (pb and digital,2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1466321847, Kindle ASIN: B005NRXT6W] by Stuart Jaffe
This is the first book in the post-apocalyptic fantasy series The Malja Chronicles. The author sent me a digital copy.
There is an interesting magic concept. Next week I can tell more.


ANNOUNCEMENT
It is no secret that I have a special relationship to Stephen Zimmer. I like his Fires in Eden fantasy series a lot. So far two books have been published and finally the third book is on the way. And the promotion for the book started with a big bang: A 48 Date Blog Tour!!!
And yes, I will be part of this tour. And yes, I can't wait to get and read my copy of  Spirit of Fire!
Following official announcement from Seventh Star Press delivers all the details:


For Immediate Release
May 25, 2012

48 Date Blog Tour Announced and Cover Art Unveiled for Stephen Zimmer's Spirit of Fire



Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art and illustrations created by award-winning artist Matthew Perry for Spirit of Fire, Book Three of the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series by award-winning author Stephen Zimmer, as well as announce the dates and sites for the 48 day Spirit of Fire Blog Tour.  A pre-order window for a limited edition hardcover is also open in advance of the book's official release.


(Illustrations by Matthew Perry from the first edition of Spirit of Fire)

The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour is being hosted by Babs Book Bistro, and will feature 50 events over 48 days, beginning May 29th  and running through July 14th. The tour will feature a number of activities, including reviews, video, interviews, podcasts, guest blog posts, and contests/giveaways.

Spirit of Fire is the third title in the Fires in Eden Series, following Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends.  Also associated with the epic fantasy series is a growing collection of short stories, the Chronicles of Ave, that have been released on eBook and are part of the Seventh Star Singles catalog. 

In Spirit of Fire, a maelstrom of war engulfs lands resisting the designs of the Unifier to bring about a new order, of a kind that has never existed within Ave.  Battered by a massive invasion force from Gallea, the tribal people of the Five Realms and their Midragardan allies are being driven eastward, towards the sea, while the Saxan lines are wearing down ever thinner on the Plains of Athelney.
 
Time is running out quickly, as an ancient creature of legend soars through the skies with a brave young Saxan.   They carry the desperate hopes of two realms sorely beset by a voracious enemy.

Diabolic entities conduct a great hunt, as a malignant darkness deepens across all of Ave.  Exiles from another world must gain refuge, or find themselves ensnared by the long reach of the Unifier.  The very nature of creation itself stands in the balance.

It is a time when the honor and fortitude of many are put to the test, and terrible prices are paid for resisting great evils.  It is also a time of awakening for many, old and young alike, some of whom may yet discover the spirit of fire that lies within.

The third installment in the Fires in Eden series, Spirit of Fire is richly imagined epic fantasy with a diverse ensemble of characters that offers a new world to explore for readers who enjoy large-scale tales along the likes of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erikson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Spirit of Fire will be released in softcover and eBook versions during the first week of June.  The novel is now available for pre-order in a beautiful hardcover edition that is strictly limited to 75 copies. 

The limited hardcover edition will be signed and numbered by Stephen Zimmer and includes a bonus illustration from Matthew Perry not included in other editions.  It will be accompanied by an assortment of collectibles, including a set of glossy art cards, bookmarks, and magnets.  The limited edition hardcovers will also be bundled with the eBook version (provided as a direct ePub file for users with Nooks, iPads, or Sony eReaders, and gifted as a Kindle file for Kindle users).  Those interested in securing one of the 75 limited hardcovers can place a pre-order at: http://seventhstarpress.com/documents/pre_orders.html

The Spirit of Fire Blog Tour Dates and Participants Are As Follows:





May 29  Fantasy Book Review
May 30  Ginger Nuts of Horror
May 31  Mom Cat's Gateway Book Blog
June 1   Splash of Our Worlds
June 2   Soliloquy
June 3   Ritesh Kala's Book Review
June 4   Jess Resides Here
June 5   Reading Away the Days
June 6   Vilutheril Reviews
June 7   A Daydreamer's Thoughts
June 8  Red Headed Bookworm
June 9   Lisa's World of Books
June 10  Kentucky Geek Girl
June 11  Goatfairy Review Blog
June 12  Book and Movie Dimension Blog
June 13  Full Moon Bites
June 14  Stuck in Books
June 15  The Independent Review
June 15  Alchemy of Scrawl
June 16  Watch Play Read
June 17  A Book Vacation
June 18  Eva's Sanctuary
June 19  That Book Place Blog
June 20  Edi's Book Lighthouse
June 21  SpecMusicMuse
June 22  Once Upon a Time
June 23  Azure Dwarf Horde of Sci-Fi & Fantasy 
June 24  Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action
June 25  Eden Road Blog
June 25  Ali's Bookshelf (live podcast)
June 26  Workaday Reads
June 27  Bookishly Me
June 28  Earth's Book Nook
June 29  Darlene's Book Nook
June 30  The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 1     Evie Bookish
July 2     Urban Fantasy Reviews
July 3     The Cabin Goddess
July 4     TheSci-Fi Guys Book Review
July 5     The Speculative Salon
July 6     Ali's Bookshelf
July 7     Bunnys Review
July 8     Bee's Knees Reviews
July 9     In the Dark of Night with James Tuck
July 10   Edin Road Radio (live podcast)
July 11   A Few Words
July 12    Bab's Book Bistro
July 13   Alchemy of Scrawl  (live podcast)
July 14    Babs Book Bistro (live podcast)


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

As every book addicted I lust for more books. So far the urge for more books is under control. The problem of limited space at home is no more longer a real problem since we have our e-reader.
Last week my lust for more books has been satisfied in following ways.
I
- received a hardcover review copy
- received a digital review copy
- bought digital copies


Let me start with the hardcover.
Thanks to Tor/Forge.com for sending me a copy of Secrets of the Fire Sea (hc, US, 2012)[ISBN-13:  978-0765327673] by Stephen Hunt which is the fourth book in the Jackelian series. Don't get confused. The UK edition has been published in 2010.
"The isolated island of Jago is the only home Hannah Conquest has ever know. But her carefree existence comes to an aprupt halt when her guardian, Archbishop Alice Grey, is brutally murdered. Someone desperately wants to suppress a secret kept by the archbishop, and if the attempts on Hannah's own life are any indication, the killer believes that Alice passed the knowledge to her ward before her head was separated from her neck. Menawhile a deadly power struggle is brewing on Jago. And as Hannah dig deeper into the mystery Alice left behind, assisted by two rather different detectives, she must race to unravel a chain of ancient riddles in order to save not just her own life, but her island home itself!"

As shown on Stephen Hunt's site the Jackelian series consists of six novels so far. The main characters differ from book to book. I found following information over at Wikipedia:
"While speaking at the Forum Fantastico, Hunt noted the versatility of fantasy as a genre, and described his Jackelian series as quest novel (The Court of the Air), adventure novel (The Kingdom Beyond the Waves), invasion tale (The Rise of the Iron Moon), murder mystery (Secrets of the Fire Sea), war story (Jack Cloudie) and spy novel (From the Deep of the Dark)."
So far I own copies of the first four books and I read the first two books.



With the exploding world of digital copies I receive more and more review requests directly from authors. Due to my limited time I have to decide which ones I want to read and review. I will post two results soon.

Author Stuart Jaffe convinced me to give his book The Way of the Black Beast (pb and digital,2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1466321847, Kindle ASIN: B005NRXT6W] a try.  I do not read often post-apocalyptic fantasy. The novel "survived" my 50 pages hurdle (I give a novel 50 pages to convince me to continue reading). Expect a review in June 2012.

"Malja wants answers. She wants to know why the two most powerful magicians in all of Corlin ripped her from her mother's arms, raised her only to fight, and then tossed her away to die at age ten. She wants to know why they are trying to recreate the spells which caused the Devastation that wiped out most of the world's population, leaving behind skeletal cities and abandoned technology. And she wants to kill them.
With Tommy, an orphan bearing the tattoos of a sorcerer, she crosses this shattered land. Despite the challenges they face -- crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts -- Malja pursues her vengeance with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear, forcing her to make a terrible choice between the family she lost and the one she has built.
" [Source]

After a long time (including order and cancellation of the paperback copy) I finally bought the digital copy of The Third Section (e-book, 2011) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B005GDZHL8] by Jasper Kent. I loved to read  the two previous books in the Danilov Quintet series: Twelve and Thirteen Years Later (my review). 
"Russia 1855. After forty years of peace in Europe, war rages. In the Crimea, the city of Sevastopol is besieged. In the north, Saint Petersburg is blockaded. But in Moscow there is one who needs only to sit and wait -- wait for the death of an aging tsar, and for the curse upon his blood to be passed to a new generation.
As their country grows weaker, a brother and sister -- each unaware of the other's existence -- must come to terms with the legacy left them by their father. In Moscow, Tamara Valentinovna Lavrova uncovers a brutal murder and discovers that it is not the first in a sequence of similar crimes, merely the latest, carried out by a killer who has stalked the city since 1812.
And in Sevastopol, Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov faces not only the guns of the combined armies of Britain and France, but must also make a stand against creatures that his father had thought buried beneath the earth, thirty years before." [Source]
I definitely want to know how the story continues and therefore I plan to read the book in June/July 2012.

Do you know Doomsday Book (1992) [ISBN-13: 978-0553562736] by  Connie Willis (my review) ?It is a time travel book and I liked it a lot. Since the release in 2010 Blackout (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0345519832] is on my radar. And now I bought a digital copy [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B0053YQBT2].
"Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. MMerope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill's next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London's Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can 'catch up' to her in age.
But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone's schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history - to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.
From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody - from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid - is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive." [Source]
I have high expectations and I'm afraid I have to buy a copy of All Clear  [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B003F3FJIM] as soon as the end of Blackout is coming nearer because All Clear delivers the second part of the story. The plan is to read the book(s) in summer 2012.


Author A. L. Berridge recommended my wife the  books by Karen Maitland who is also a historical fiction author. I visited the author's site and have been intrigued immediately.
My wife bought a digital copy of Company of Liars  [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B002RI9R98] by Karen Maitland.
"1348 Plague has come to England. And the lies you tell will be the death of you.

A scarred trader in holy relics. A conjuror. A musician and his apprentice. A one-armed story teller.

A young couple on the run. A midwife. And a rune-reading girl. A group of misfits band together to escape the plague. But in their midst lurks a curse darker and more malign than the pestilence they flee..." [Source]
Karen Maitland has a great feature on her site for every book she has written which I really appreciate. She explains how the book became to be written. How Company of Liars  became to written.

The feature and the blurb convinced me to buy a digital copy of her next book The Owl Killers (original published in 2009 [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B002RI9R98].
"Fear is a question of what you believe. And belief could be the death of you. In the heart of the countryside lies an isolated village, where pagan Owl Masters rule through fear, superstition and murder. When a group of religious women ill-advisedly settles outside their village, they awaken dangerous jealousies. Why do their crops succeed when village crops fail? How do their cattle survive the plague? Are they concealing a holy relic that protects them from harm? The Owl Masters cry ‘witchcraft’ and sharpen their talons. As torment and hellfire rain down, the women must take a stand to stop this darkness spreading its evil across the land." [Source
Another promising blurb. Read How The Owl Killers became to be written for more information.

I like it when my wife and I read the same books. So I get a good feedback when I write reviews.

And the good thing is that there are/will be more books by Karen Maitland which are on our radar and it is out of question that we will buy these books to.


The Gallows Curse (original published in 2011 [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B004PYDBHQ] by Karen Maitland is available.
"The Thirteenth century has just begun and King John has fallen out with the Pope, leaving babies to lie unbaptised in their cradles and corpses in unconsecrated ground. Across a fear-ravaged England, people are dying in sin.
And into the Norfolk village of Gastmere comes a new Lord of the Manor – the cruel and bloodthirsty Osborn, not long returned from crusading. Spying treachery at every turn, he is prepared on the slightest pretext to damn anyone to hell and the scaffold.
So when Elena, a servant girl, is falsely accused of murdering her child, she is convinced she will be next. But there are others who will defy Osborn’s brutal regime to save a girl who once took part in the secrets and strange rituals of the manor…" [Source]
The blurb gets even more interesting when you read How The Gallows Curse became to be written. Ever heard of sin-eaters?

And finally let's have a view into future. The next Karen Maitland novel  is in progress and the planned publishing date of The Falcons of Fire and Ice (pb) [ISBN-13: 978-0141047454] is end of March 2013.
"The year is 1539 and the Portuguese Inquisition ushers in an era of torture and murder. When the Royal Falconer is imprisoned on false charges to remove him from the inner circle of the boy King, the Inquisitors strike an impossible deal with his daughter, Isabela. Bring back two rare white falcons from Iceland within the year or her father dies.
Meanwhile in Iceland, a menacing stranger appears to have possessed the soul of a woman chained up in a volcanic cave and is threatening to destroy the community. The woman's twin sister, Eydis, is desperate to intervene but vivid dreams suggest the twins' only salvation lies with a young girl from afar, travelling in search of white feathers ...
Isabela's quest might hold a more crucial purpose then she could ever imagine and there are those among her travel companions who have an interest in doing her harm. But in order to fulfil her destiny, first she must reach Iceland's shores. Alive." [Source]
Of course I spent some time on Karen Maitland's site and I discovered an event which I would like to share with you. I hope Karen Maitland does not mind when I use her message to spread word about the event:

"Your Summer read
Nine writers from Ireland, Britain, France and Spain have banded together to offer some lucky person a chance to win ‘A Bumper Sack of Summer Reads.’

 Simply go to author Kristin Gleeson’s website, http://www.kristingleeson.com/
and leave a message that mentions ‘Bumper Sack of Summer Reads’ and you could be the lucky winner!

But hurry!  This fabulous offer only runs between 21 May and 11 June.

The 'sack' contains a wide variety of books and there should be something for everyone to enjoy.
Including
The Gallows Curse, by Karen Maitland
Selkie Dreams by Kristin Gleeson
Mrs. Jones by B.A. Morton
Song at Dawn by Jean Gill,
The Chosen Man by J.G. Harlond,
The Fenwold Riddle by Dave Edvarson
Micka by Frances Kay
The Assassin’s Wife by Moonyeen Blakey
Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton"

No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I must admit the I have seen some of the pictures before. But They are worth to look at again. Follow me to
Dive! Dive! Dive! 16 Incredible Submarine-themed Rooms
over at  over at WebUrbanist.

I think reading speed is always a hot topic. Fellow blogger RaveAir found a nice test which he posted on his blog Rave on the Air.
Go to What speed do you read and let RaveAir know your result.

There is nearly no week where I mention a post over at Dark Roasted Blend. They do a great job.
Visit Liquid Art & Droplet: Photography
and you may understand why I like this blog.

Who is Tommy Atkins? I must say I did not have any clue when I started to read  'In Praise of Tommy Atkins' by A. L. Berridge over at The History Girls.
Let me quote the introduction of the post:
"‘Tommy’ really existed, although no-one knows his face. In 1843 the Duke of Wellington was asked for a 'typical' soldier's name, and remembered a badly wounded but stoical soldier he’d met in the Low Countries - Thomas Atkins. 

 He’s usually just ‘Tommy’ now, but as the British public began to take him to their hearts they also began to ‘gentrify’ him, to make him a suitably respectable idealized image of the British Soldier of the Queen."
What does Tommy Atkins mean for authors of historical fiction in common and in detail for author A. L. Berridge and her latest novel Into the Valley of Death (May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0241954102] which I reviewed recently? In case you are interested in the answer to this question I highly recommend to read
'In Praise of Tommy Atkins' by A. L. Berridge


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Sometimes I watch movies like Safe on TV. I don't think I will see it in cinema. What's about you?
"A former elite agent takes on a two-tier mission: rescue a Chinese girl who's been abducted by the Triads, then use a safe combination to outwit the Russian Mafia, corrupt NYC officials, and the Triads themselves"
[Source]




That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Are you lazy? Then there is hope you will do something good ...

"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
Robert Heinlein, US science fiction author (1907 - 1988)

Friday, May 25, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNERS - In the Name of the King

5 comments
GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!


Today is a lucky day for three persons because today I announce the winners of the

In the Name of the King
Giveaway

The price(s):
- three In the Name of the King paper copies.


The first copy goes to rubydog
Congratulations! No action from your side is necessary as you sent
me your mail address for the previous giveaway.


The second copy goes to Oathsworn
Congratulations! No action from your side is necessary as you sent
me your mail address for the previous giveaway.


The third copy goes to calin ne bunu'
Congratulations! Please send a mail containing your mail address to
edisbooklighthouse[at]gmail.com



Thanks to all participants!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNERS - Into The Valley of Death

10 comments
GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!


Today is a lucky day for three persons because today I announce the winners of the



Into the Valley of Death
Giveaway

The price(s):
- three Into the Valley of Death paper copies.


The first copy goes to Oathsworn

Congratulations! Please reply the mail I sent to you



The second copy goes to John Coldwell
Congratulations! Please reply the mail I sent to you


The third copy goes to rubydog
Congratulations! Please send a mail containing your mail address to
edisbooklighthouse[at]gmail.com


Thanks to all participants!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave Issue #1220

7 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #1220 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Yes, I'm still alive and refreshed after a very relaxing holiday.
My wife and I have had a wonderful time on the Baltic Sea island Usedom.

I hope you enjoyed Edi's Historical Week 2012. It has been a great experience for me. I have thank again author A.L. Berridge for her support.


ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. Announcement
  3. Reminder
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books bought and ordered
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. A special beetle
  2. Rube Goldberg Machine
  3. Dieselpunk Art

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Dark Shadows
  2. Frankenwheenie

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Pessimist

The Lighthouse



Reading progress? In the past three weeks I finished six books, two Sherlock Holmes short stories, dropped one book after 170 pages and started two new books. In sum I read 2319 pages. From reading point of view I'm totally happy.


I finished

- The Alchemist of Souls [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by Anne Lyle
The plan is to review it in June 2012

- Bitter Seeds (mmpb,2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0765361202] by Ian Tregillis
Review in progress ... to be posted in May 2012

- The Feaster from the Stars (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080] by Alan K. Baker
In 2011 I read the first book in the Blackwood & Harrington Mystery series. The plan is to review both books in a double feature in June 2012

- Gates of Rome (2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0141336497] by Alex Scarrow
This is the fifth book in the TimeRiders series. The plan is to review book four and five in a double feature in June 2012

- First Cause (e-book, 2011) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B004XQV7ZE] by Paul West
Review in progress ... to be posted in May 2012

- Of Thieves and Elves (2012)[Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B007SIT5XA] a supernovella by A.P. Stephens
Review in progress ... to be posted in May 2012

I did not finish

- Babylon Steel (544p., pb, 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-1907992384] by Gaie Sebold
I wrote on GOODREADS:
" I dos not happen that often that I stop reading a book.

I stopped reading Babylon Steel after 170 pages. There have been some nice ideas but I could not really connect to the characters and the story went along like a snail."

I'm

- 102 pages in Hereward (pb, 2012, UK) [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by James Wilde
I know Robin Hood but I never heard of Hereward before. What a dark and intriguing character. Warning: There is a lot of blood ...


- 171 pages in Rivers of London (pb, 2011, UK) [ISBN-13: 978-0575097582] by Ben Aaronovitch
This was a birthday gift for my wife. She read it and convinced me to read it too. And I must say it is surprisingly good. It has nothing to do with Harry Potter.


REMINDER

Don't forget that I still run two world wide opened giveaways:



Edi's Giveaway: In the Name of the King by A L Berridge This giveaway ends on Thursday, May 24, 2012


and


Edi's Giveaway: Into the Valley of Death by A L Berridge This giveaway ends on Tuesday, May 22, 2012

These are two excellent historical fiction books. To take part is simple. Just follow the links.

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

This week I did not receive a real book. Instead I bought three digital copies - steampunk, epic fantasy, historical mystery - and I ordered a full trilogy in advance.

I'm a big fan of the world of PAX BRITANNIA series. And therefore it was just a question of time and money when I get my copy of Pax Omega (e-book, 2012)[Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B007TKQIVO] by Al Ewing.
"Doc Thunder's last stand against a deadly foe whose true identity will shock you to your core! El Sombra's final battle against the forces of the Ultimate Reich! The Locomotive Man in a showdown with cosmic science on the prairies of the Old West! Jackson Steele defends the 25th Century against the massed armies of the Space Satan! A duel of minds in the mystery palaces of One Million AD! Blazing steam-pulp sci-fi the way you crave it! From the Big Bang to the End Of Time - eleven tales from Pax Britannia's past, present and distant future combine into one star-spanning saga set to shake the universe to its foundations - or destroy it!" [Source]

Daniel Abraham is an amazing author. In 2011 I read The Dragon's Path which is the first book in the Dagger and the Coin series. It has been a good start and now I can continue reading because I bought a copy of the second book: The King's Blood (e-book, 2012)[Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B007NMTJHS].

"War casts its shadow over the lands that the dragons once ruled.

When an act of harrowing betrayal threatens to set the cities afire, all certainties are called into question. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no one stands between hope and universal darkness.

The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up, and everything will be remade. And quietly, almost beneath the notice of anyone, an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world." [Source]


I like to read historical mysteries and when I saw the offer to get a copy for 99 cents (EUR) I could not resist.
The Redemption of Alexander Keation (e-book, 2009)[Amazon Kindle, ASIN: B007RDBAFM] by Shona Maclean.
"Is the young man merely drunk or does his tottering walk suggest something more sinister? When he collapses, vomiting, over the two whores who find him on that dark wet night, they guess rightly that he's been murdered by poisoning. So begins this gripping tale set in the town of Banff, Scotland in the 1620s. The body of the victim, the apothecary's nephew, is found in Alexander Seaton's school house. Seaton is a school master by default, and a persona non-grata in the town - a disgraced would-be minister whose love affair with a local aristocrat's daughter left him disgraced and deprived of his vocation. He has few friends, so when one of them is accused of the murder, he sets out to solve the crime, embarking on a journey that will uncover witchcraft, cruelty, prejudice and the darkness in men's souls.It is also a personal quest that leads Alexander to the rediscovery of his faith in God as well as his belief in himself." [Source]


I belong to the people who do not like to wait too long for the next book in a series. Therefore I read with great pleasure that the new fantasy trilogy The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells will be published in three consecutive months.


"This series follows the fate of a tribe of dispossessed mystics, the T’Enatuath. Vastly outnumbered by mieren (people without magical abilities), the mystics are persecuted because the mieren fear their gifts. This persecution culminates in a bloody pogrom sanctioned by the mier King who lays siege to the Celestial City, last bastion of the T’Enatuath. When the city falls at great cost to both sides, the T’En leader negotiates their surrender and the mystics are exiled from their homeland.

A fantasy-family saga, the characters are linked by blood, love and vows as they struggle with misplaced loyalties, over-riding ambition and hidden secrets which could destroy them. Some make desperate alliances only to suffer betrayal from those they trust, and some discover great personal strength in times of adversity." [Source]
I could not resist and ordered the whole trilogy in advance. But I decided that I want to get all three books at once. That means I will receive the books by end of summer.


What do you think of the book trailer?


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I still work on my Google Reader in order to reduce the numbers of unread items. It is incredible to see what happens in just two weeks. I discovered some interesting posts which I would like to share with you.

I like steampunk - books, jewelry, costumes, gadgets and animals.
Follow THIS LINK to have a look at an extraordinary beetle.


This week I learned something new. Do you know what is a Rube Goldberg Machine?  I know it since I read
Mini Rube Goldberg Machine Makes Cool Travel Companion
over at WebUrbanist. It is absolutely incredible what fits into a pair of suitcases.


Do you know dieselpunk?I found some impressive dieselpunk art of at Dark Roasted Blend.



That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Yesterday evening my wife and I went to cinema. We both love Tim Burton movies starring Johnny Depp. That makes it easy to identify the film we watched: Dark Shadows
I really liked it. There are so many  allusive hints. And Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins is stunning. Dark Shadows maybe not my movie of the year 2012 but it was most entertaining and that is one of the reason I go to cinema.
I'm sure most of you know the official trailer. Therefore I thought it would be a nice idea to show you the German trailer.


Of course we could see some trailers before the movie. But there was only one which aroused my interest: Frankenweenie

Tim Burton remaked his 1984 short film as a 3D black and white stop motion film which will hit the cinemas in autumn 2012.
Watch the trailer:
Remember Frankenstein from 1931? The unforgettable Boris Karloff ...




That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass half full or half empty for you? I'm neither pessimist nor optimist. I try to be a realist who still has dreams ....

"The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
George F. Will, US editor, commentator and columnist (1941 -)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Edi is back!

3 comments
Dear Readers,

my wife and I spent two wonderful weeks in Bansin (more info), a small town on the Baltic Sea island Usedom.
I will tell you more within the next days.

Don't forget that I still run two world wide giveaways:


Edi's Giveaway: In the Name of the King by A L Berridge 


and


Edi's Giveaway: Into the Valley of Death by A L Berridge 

These are two excellent historical fiction books. To take part is simple. Just follow the links.

ENJOY READING

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Edi's Giveaway: In the Name of the King by A L Berridge

4 comments
Historical Week 2012 - Day Seven

Dear readers,
welcome to the seventh and last day of my Historical Week 2012.
I decided to end the week with a giveaway. Yesterday I reviewed In the Name of the King (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A.L. Berridge which is the second book in The Chevalier Series.

I hope my review has been good enough to arise your interest. Did you start to think about how to get a copy of In the Name of the King? Maybe you also would like to get a copy of Honour and the Sword (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043739] which I reviewed in September 2011?

I can't satisfy your demand for both of the books. But thanks to A.L. Berridge and Peguin Books I can offer you a world wide giveaway where you can win one of three In the Name of the King copies.

It is giveaway time!

The Price
Three paper copies of
the second book in The Chevalier Series
Name of the King (pb, 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-0141043746]


THE RULES

- This giveaway is opened world wide

- This giveaway ends on Thursday, May 24, 2012

- I will use random.org to draw the winners who will be announced on Friday, May 25, 2012 on Edi's Book Lighthouse.

- To take part is simple.
Just leave a comment in the comment section of this post and tell me your favorite historical fiction author.
Please keep in mind that I need a valid mail address in order get in contact with you.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS !!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: In the Name of the King by A L Berridge

2 comments
Historical Week 2012 - Day Six


Dear Readers,

welcome to the last but one day of my . You may remember that I  dedicated this week to the war victims of the Crimean War in general and author A.L. Berridge in particular. 

I hope you caught more than a glimpse of the Crimean War and why we should not forget the victims who died because of logistical errors and tactical faults. 


With the two book package Crimea (pb, 2011) by Orlando Figes and Into the Valley of Death by A. L. Berridge you get a masterly written historical overview of the Crimean War and a book from the middle of the British Army in the Crimean War with emotional weight and surgical precision regarding details.

Introduction

Today I want to show you one more reason why A. L. Berridge deserves my dedication.
I do not know if you have read my review of Honour and the Sword (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043739], the first book in the  The Chevalier Series. This book stands for her unstoppable passion for historical fantasy.

Another expression of this passion is definitely the second book in the  The Chevalier Series. And that is the reason why you get the review of In the Name of the King (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A. L. Berridge. I have to say thank you to Louise for the signed copy I received from her.


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:
In the Name of the King (pb, 2011)
[ISBN-13: 978-0141043746]
by A. L. Berridge

"1640, and the pall of war hangs over France . . .

Across the ravaged countryside, French soldiers are gathering in vast camps, as they prepare to take on the might of the Spanish Army.
André de Roland, a young and idealistic French aristocrat arrives in Paris. He has scarcely set foot in the city when he is compelled to defend a young woman’s honour by crossing swords with a cruel nobleman. Accused of treason and forced into hiding, he finds he has stumbled on a conspiracy within the King’s household to seize power by a secret alliance with Spain. It is the hour of his country’s greatest need and André is alone. He must risk his life and honour in the battle to save France.

In the Name of the King is an epic pageturner of political intrigue at court and brutal warfare in the field. It is also a story of nobility and love, as the destiny of one young man, his King and his country become inextricably intertwined. "[Back of the book]

My Expectations

I expected nothing more as the sequel of Honour and the Sword on the same high level.That means high expectations.


The Delivery

To be honest I could use nearly everything of my Honour and the Sword review for In the Name of the King the review. But I did not like the idea because it seems unfair towards the author and also boring for regularly readers. On the other hand it shows the qualitiy of the sequel. Finally I decided to mingle old with new which in some ways A. L. Berridge did in In the Name of the King. Don't get me wrong it is neither old wine in new skins nor the 97th brewing of tea leaves as they did in the Crimean War.

Of course In the Name of the King is like the predecessor Honour and the Sword when it comes to the headmost narrative level. It is a most entertaining  cloak-and-sword adventure including a lot swashbuckling rapier combat in the tradition of Alexandre Dumas.
The concept of Honour in the 17th century is still present.

But the scope of the story changed significantly from the impact of the Thirty Years War on a small community to Paris and to the royal court and battlefield. 
Welcome to the world of intrigue, betrayal, suspicion, hauteur and honour. I see you need an appetizer: There is a plot against King Louis XIII and André de Roland ....  Which game plays the opaque Cardinal Richelieu? I s there hope for the love between Anne du Pré and André de Roland? How many duels a man can gather within a day? (I do not talk about D' Artagnon). 

And welcome to the leg-, arm-, and head-loosing battlefields where the own musket was as dangerous as the enemy. Ever heard of the Battle of Rocroi?
 
A good author knows that readers of series like to have a set of evolving main characters (at least one) who return again and again. And then there are companions (good and bad) which are important for the development of the characters and the story. Sometimes companions rise to be the secret stars of the book.
I assure you that A. L. Berridge is an excellent author when it comes to characters in her series because she executes everything I explained before.

 Of course  André de Roland is still the main character. If you want to know in deep how A. L. Berridge invented and developed the character then you must read André de Roland by A. L. Berridge.
Readers of  Honour and the Sword (like me) will be happy to meet some of the characters like Stefan Ravel, Jaques Gilbert and Anne du Pré.
If you do not know Honour and the Sword I can assure you that it does not take long to feel familiar with Stefan, Jaques and Anne.
But there are more. For myself it was a great pleasure to get more information about the Comtesse de Vallon and André 's aunt. Finally there are new characters (good and bad). I want to single out two companions who are my secret stars of In the Name of the King:
Albert Grimauld, a fireworker and former soldier. This humble and unpretentious man is true and trustworthy fellow liked by André and mistrusted by Stefan. And there is the tough and feisty Bernadette Fournier. A young woman and love interest of Jaques. I like them especially because they do much more as everyone expects.


The decision to buy and read is sometimes easy and sometimes like the theory of every thing.
Imagine you like the cover, you like the story blurb, you like the writing because the words melt on your tongue and then it comes to the narrative style: first person, third person, alternating point of views, and so on. 
A. L. Berridge use a narrative style which I love even more than before after reading In the Name of the King.

I can and will not deny that the following passage is nearl the same I used for my Honour and the Sword review. The reason is quite simple. It fits for both books and I could not find more adequate verbalisations.
A L Berridge chose to deliver the adventures of André de Roland in form of a collection of letters, interviews, diary and journal extracts,and interviews. The whole story is told from the perspective of different characters and that includes friends and foes! And to top it all, you will not find a single line written from André perspective!
The result is on the one hand a matchless view of André de Roland and on the other hand the opportunity to witness the story through the eyes of different and unique people. It does not take long to identify the current narrator without reading the chapter header. A L Berridge inhales every narrating character a unique personality. There is the caring and suffering (with André) Jaques, the tough Stefan, the young and feisty Bernadette Fournier and more.
When I look now at you I see one spefic question on your face.
Is it possible to read In the Name of the King without knowing Honour and the Sword?
The short answer is a big bold YES
followed by an even bigger bolder BUT 

Yes = Each book is like a chapter of André 's biography with a clear beginning and end. There is no cliffhanger. Both deliver gripping historical fiction with emotional depth.

But =Honour and the Sword lays the foundation for the whole series. It delivers the development of André de Roland which let you understand why he acts like he acts. Reading In the Name of the King without knowing Honour and the Sword is like watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers without watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring before. Of course you can do that but what makes more fun and what is more satisfying?
This is the question answer you must answer yourself.
You look for a cloak-and-sword adventure including a lot swashbuckling rapier combat in the tradition of Alexandre Dumas including emotional depths and packed with unobtrusive  presentation of historical details?

Then I highly recommend to read the  The Chevalier Series by  A. L. Berridge.
Both so far available books - Honour and the Sword and In the Name of the King - deliver excellent historical fiction from a time where honour was something completely different and the rapier the weapon of the nobleman.

Not sure if you should read one of the books?
Then come back tomorrow where you can win one of three In the Name of the King copies!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Edi's Giveaway: Into the Valley of Death by A L Berridge

5 comments
Historical Week 2012 - Day Five

Dear Readers,

welcome to the next part of my Historical Week 2012.
Yesterday you could read my review of Into the Valley of Death (May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0241954102] by A.L. Berridge. Do you would like to get a paper copy for free? Then this is a possibility for you.
Thanks to A.L. Berridge and Peguin Books I can offer you a world wide giveaway where you can win one of three Into the Valley of Death
paper copies. Sounds good to you? Then continue reading.

It is giveaway time!

The Price
Three paper copies of
Into the Valley of Death (May 2012)
[ISBN-13: 978-0241954102]


THE RULES

- This giveaway is opened world wide

- This giveaway ends on Tuesday, May 22, 2012

- I will use random.org to draw the winners who will be announced on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 on Edi's Book Lighthouse.

- To take part is simple.
Just leave a comment in the comment section of this post and tell me your favorite historical fiction book/series.
Please keep in mind that I need a valid mail address in order get in contact with you.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS !!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Into the Valley of Death by A L Berridge

1 comments
Historical Week 2012 - Day Four

Dear Readers,

yesterday you got in touch with author A. L. Berridge.I hope you may now have an understanding what it means to write historical fiction.

With that in mind you may imagine what this day - the 10th of May 2012 - means to her when I tell you, that today is the publishing day of Into the Valley of Death (May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0241954102].

Will readers like the first book in a new series which tell the story of four men in the Crimean War?

Today is also a very special day for me and my wife. We celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary!

Special days are also days for gifts.
And today I have a gift for my beloved wife which you can see here and a gift for A. L. Berridge:

My review of Into the Valley of Death!

Nothing for you, my reader? I'm sorry to say not today. But come back the following days when you get the opportunity to win twice which means on two different days..

Introduction

You may know my introduction to my review of Honour and the Sword (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043739] which is the first book in the The Chevalier Series. I do not want to repeat the story how I got to know discovered A. L. Berridge. Today is the day of Into the Valley of Death, the first book in her new series featuring Harry Ryder.
A new series is the opportunity for an author to try something new and it is at the same the risk to alienate readers.
Reader are as strange as authors. So what am I? Sorry, that is the topic of something completely different .....

I wanted to tell you what I think about Into the Valley of Death.
- Is it a hit or a miss?
- Fit Crimea (pb, 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-0141013503] by Orlando Figes and Into the Valley of Death (May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0241954102] by A. L. Berridge together?

You will find the answer to these questions at the end of this post.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

Into the Valley of Death (May, 2012)
[ISBN-13: 978-0241954102

I thought a while about what kind of information I would like to deliver. Finally it was the author who decided for me. It is the text shown on her site:
"1854 - The Allied armies prepare to besiege the Russian stronghold in the Crimea
Harry Ryder is a maverick hero. Resentful of the army that destroyed his father and his own career, he has no time for incompetent commanders. He clashes with his superiors as fiercely as he fights the Russians.
Four men, one woman and a game of cards will change everything - and alter the course of a war.
Something evil has crept into the ranks of the British Army's own officers, an unknown enemy who plans to lure men to ruin on the battlefields. The only path to victory lies in uncovering the truth, but to find it and confront his own destiny Ryder must charge with the Light Brigade into the Valley of Death itself..."


My Expectations

I expect othing less than a historical novel on the same level as Honour and the Sword - strong character(s), exact historical setting, emotional and stirring writing, a story which fits into the historical events. For more details read my review.

The Delivery

A. L. Berridge provided me with an ARC of Into the Valley of Death for this review.

I'm sure some of you will say the title of the book sounds somehow familiar. Into the Valley of Death is quote from a famous short lyrics (line seven): The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennison 

Of course this is a strong hint to the  Crimean War for everone who has read  The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennison
I do not know if this title will have an impact on the sales figures. For me it did not matter until I read The Charge Of The Light Brigade for the first time a few weeks ago. But I can imagine that this title will be an eye-catcher in every book store.


The book is divided into a prologue, three named parts, an epilogue and a historical note. The three parts are divided into chapters where the chapter header shows either a specific date or a specific date plus a secific time.

 As you know from my Tuesday post, The Crimean War lasted from October 1853 to February 1856.  The book covers the time period from June 1853 to November 7, 1854 and emphasize following events:  Battle of Alma, Battle of Balaklava , Battle of Inkerman and the Charge of the Light Brigade. That also includes the time before, between and after these battles. But historical fiction is not pure history. A. L. Berridge reveals in her historical note the fictional parts and characters.

Into the Valley of Death is part of the Harry Ryder series. A series means that there is a story arc. In the very beginning of the book you learn that Ryder is not young Harry's real surname. He was born as Harry  Standish. Without giving too much away I can tell you that something terrible happened and as a conclusion Harry changed his surname. He wants to make his mark without any burden from the past.
With Into the Valley of Death we follow Harry Ryder on his way. He is just eighteen years old when we meet him. And when the reader like him and he does not die on battlefield then we can follow him to a lot of places - possible places. It all depends you, A. L. Berridge and her punblisher. Do you know the number of Queen Victoria's Little Wars from 1837 to 1901? Each of these "little" wars is a possible background for a new Harry Ryder story.

Be prepared that the Harry Ryder series is more different than familiar compared the The Chevalier Series.


Both series feature a main character: André and Harry. They are young and ambitious without stop at nothing. Their honesty is a burden and an important characteristic trait at the same time. But they are also different which is the result of their heritage and the period of time they belong too.  Enough comparisons.

When I started to read Into the Valley of Death, I felt alienated. I missed the narrative structure of Honour and the Sword. I did not know before how much I liked it. But that is unfair. It is the author's choice and I myself as a reader have the opportunity to accept or deny. It did not take long and I forgot my complaint because I was sucked in the story and got steamed up about these out of date military rules and this stupid Harry Ryder. After I calmed down I started to think about what I read and about my reaction. How could I have been that blind. I have been hit by one of the strong points of Into the Valley of Death: emotional weight and surgical precision regarding details - what a dynamic duo!

It was incredible to discover how absorbing , intelligent and brutally honest A. L. Berridge moved her hero and his friends through the story. A story where the frontier between history and fiction fade a way before your eyes. It needs the historical note at the end of Into the Valley of Death to disentangle the fictional parts and characters.

I must say A. L. Berridge created something very special: A mind time travel back to the time of the  Crimean War. The cries of the wounded made me shiver. The arrogance of officers drove me mad. The warfare which did not fit to the modern weapons made me angry. The discrepancy between battlefield massacre and war time dignity made me dumbfounded.
I was not sure to survive this war in a good mental condition. Fortunately there is some light in this maddening war: Friendship, love , trust and condonation from deep of the heart.
Is there a better way to end a story about the  with the one and only appearance of a famous woman without telling her name?

"..., but the lady's dress swished against the floor as elegantly as in a drawing room, and she passed along the rows of beds he thought the light of her lamp shone like hope." [Last sentence]

I did not forget that I owe you the answer of two questions.



- Fit Crimea (pb, 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-0141013503] by Orlando Figes and Into the Valley of Death (May 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0241954102] by A. L. Berridge together?

The shortest and most simple answer is .... YES!
But this is no helpful answer.
Let me add some "meat".
For me Crimea (pb, 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-0141013503] by Orlando Figes delivers all the information which guarantee you a proper understanding of the war and it is therefore the rocking chair where you take place to read Into the Valley of Death. With the Crimea rocking chair you double the reading pleasure of Into the Valley of Death.
The Crimea rocking chair is the time machine back to the Crimean War and Into the Valley of Death is the energy and elixir you need for this remarkable trip to a forgotten war and the forgotten victims.


- Is Into the Valley of Death a hit or a miss?Hmmm..... I think .... just let me read again what I wrote .... it seems ....
No, No No!!!  
Into the Valley of Death 
is definitely a hit!!  


Why?

- One of the strong points of Into the Valley of Death: emotional weight and surgical precision regarding details - what a dynamic duo!
- There is some light in this maddening war: Friendship, love , trust and condonation from deep of the heart.
- Strong and vivid characters which develop within the story.

- History and fiction have been interweaved to perfection.

- Absorbing , intelligent and brutally honest story telling
- A mind time travel back to the time of the  Crimean War.





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