Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness, #4
First Published: 1988
Published: January 1, 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 272

"I'm not sure I want to be a hero anymore." 

Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs....But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge arises. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good -- but only in the right hands. And she must work quickly. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna's archenemy, Duke Roger, is back -- and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past -- both as a warrior and as a woman.
 Because this book is the conclusion of a killer series, I want to give it 5 stars. At the same time, I enjoyed it's predecessors far more than I enjoyed this book. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Treatise on Law: Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97 by Thomas Aquinas

Treatise on Law: Summa Theoligiae by Thomas Aquinas
First Published: 1274
Published: September 1, 1996
Publisher: Gateway Editions
Pages: 116

St. Thomas's Summa theologiae is often compared to a medieval cathedral because of its sublime construction both as a work of logic and literary architecture.

Here is a mere tip of one of the spires, summarizing the great Saint's views on the nature and structure of law.

Believing that law achieves its results by imposing moral obligations rather than outright force, St. Thomas defines the Christian view of liberty.
And he asks - and answers - the deep questions: What are the roots of law? What are the limits within which men may exercise their power? Aquinas addresses issues that perplex Americans - and their courts - to this day.
This is my third time reading Aquinas. The first time was my senior year of high school, and it was terribly difficult. The discussion that followed in which the teacher explained Aquinas' format, and what he said was amazing. But actually reading the material and trying to infer what Aquinas was saying was an experience. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness, #3
First Published: March 1, 1986
Published: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272

Alanna fights on...

Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death - either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman - despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes - for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
This might be my favorite book of the series. Or, at least, it's a hard toss up between this and it's predecessor.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Series: None
Published: January 23, 2014
Publisher: Viking
Page: 384

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909,where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.            
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
I think, in order to help you understand what this book is about (because I most certainly had the wrong idea), it would help for me to explain the origination of the title.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
Series: The Song of the Lioness, #2
First Published: September 1, 1984
Published: January 1, 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse

"I don't want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden."

Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna's liege lord, he is also her best friend -- and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorcerer threatens the prince's life, it will take all of Alanna's skill, strength, and magical power to protect him -- even at the risk of revealing who she really is...

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams -- and the magical destiny that awaits her.
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I was worried about many things going in - weak sequel syndrome, rumors of a predictable and annoying villain...But my worries were unfounded, and this book is a worthy successor to Alanna: The First Adventure