‘Books’: Robin McKinley in Rose Daughter

With Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast hitting theaters, I thought I’d revisit my favourite version of the story.

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Robin McKinley in Rose Daughter, 1997Rose Daughter

“It is the heart of this place, and it is dying, says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast’s palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken.

Twenty years ago, Robin McKinley dazzled readers with the power of her novel Beauty. Now this extraordinarily gifted novelist returns to the story of Beauty and the Beast with a fresh perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight. With Rose Daughter, she presents her finest and most deeply felt work–a compelling, richly imagined, and haunting exploration of the transformative power of love.”

I adore Robin McKinley books.  Her stories are so captivating and magical while maintaining realism with her down to earth heroines.  Rose Daughter is McKinley’s second re-telling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, following Beauty and her two older sisters Lionheart and Jeweltongue as they adjust to their new life without wealth.  One of the things I love about this story is the depth of character that all three girls are given.  Despite their background roles in the over all story, Lionheart and Jeweltongue are interesting characters in their own right, not simply existing to further Beauty’s growth.  I would love to read about what Lionheart and Jeweltongue did while Beauty was tending roses in the Beast’s glasshouse.

Rose Daughter is probably my favourite version of Beauty and the Beast (yup, I like  it better than Disney.  Come. At. Me.), which is par for the course because I love McKinley versions.  Everything about the story flows naturally, the strength of our characters to step up to their circumstances is shown through their actions, and the theme of love in all its forms (romantic, familial, platonic) are expertly woven through the story.  Our leading ladies are clever, witty, engaging, and their growth is a joy a witness.

Can you tell I love this book?  Just wait until I do a write up on Spindle’s End.

Be sure to check out SurLaLune Fairy Tales, it is an incredible website with annotated fairy tales and includes versions of the tales from different cultures (I linked to their Beauty and the Beast page above).

This has been according to Hatchet, thanks for being here! ❤

[Featured photo from pexels.com | Synopsis and cover from goodreads.com]

‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Part 3 Ch. 3-4 FINAL

If you’re new to the book club, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

You can find the previous post HERE.

Guys.

Shit.

Goes.

Down.

It’s been a month since I’ve read this…so let’s see how this goes!

HORUS is pretty annoyed that they haven’t been able to come to terms with the interex.  HORUS is intent on peacefully winning them over, but he’s about the only one.  However a meeting is arranged and he optimistically hopes for peace.  Both HORUS and Jeptha Naud (do they mean Judd Nelson?) have their warriors walk simultaneous patrols around the building.

While wandering the house Loken comes across an old book titled A Marvelous Historie of Eevil subtitle Being a warninge to Man Kind on the Abuses of Sorcerie and the Seduction of the Daemon.  WHY, Abnett.  Why must you spell this way.  Regardless of spelling, Mithras Tull sees Loken looking at the book and they strike up a conversation about deamons and magic and such.  Loken of course holds staunchly to his view of “supernatural things do not exist”, while Tull takes the whole matter very seriously.  The subject of Chaos (or Kaos) comes up and Tull is shocked at Loken’s lack of knowldege, interest, concern, fear of Chaos.  He explains that the interex understands Chaos to be an evil force that makes men turn on each other and manifests as “brutal, rapacious, warlike”, and the fact that the Astartes are led by a Warmaster scares the interex.  Loken somehow believes his people to be none of those things.  Even more surprising is that Tull agrees.

For all of two seconds.

Tull receives some message that turns him against Loken.  Loken refuses to surrender and a fight ensues.  Loken is unwilling to kill Tull, so he merely chops his arm off.  The resulting battle between interex and Astartes produces heavy casualties on both sides.  Loken runs into two Astartes in the hall and one is quickly felled by arrows.  The bows that the soldiers had laughed at previously prove to be deadly, shearing through the Astarte’s plate as if it were butter. Loken then runs into Tarik and his men, retreating with HORUS.

We find that someone has gone and murdered some guards and stolen something from the museum holding all the ‘dwarf’ artifacts and then set the place on fire.  Well that wasn’t very nice.

Tarik and Loken try to convince HORUS that they have to leave now, but HORUS commands them to take him to the Hall of Devices to see what is going on.  Nothing useful happens and HORUS and his entourage are surrounded by interex fighters.  In a last attempt at peace, HORUS asks to see Judd Nelson but is answered with arrows.  So they fight.  HORUS and his men drive the interex back to the street and are promptly surrounded.  This is the last stand.  There is no hope…

Chapter 4 starts with an exchange between Sadie and Loken after the battle.  So I guess they made it.

Lowercase Horus arrived to rescue HORUS and all Imperial soldiers.  They kill a lot of interex dudes.  Like, it’s terrible.

HORUS changes the name of the Luna Wolves to the Sons of Horus.  Everyone approves.  Ig drinks his approval and Keeler worships her shrine to the Emperor of Mankind.

And then we find out that Erebus THAT BLEEP BLEEP EREBUS STOLE THE THING FROM THE THING!  You butt-face!  Wait.  Who is Erebus?  Seriously.  Who is he?  The Dramatis Personae at the beginning of the book says he is the Chaplain, but has he been mentioned before?  I don’t think so?  I don’t know?  ARGH I’M SO CONFUSED.

Well that was Horus Rising.  I can’t say I liked it, but I didn’t hate all of it.  I liked the second half of Part 1, but the rest was…eh.  I don’t know if it was the writing, the story, the characters, or the crushing obligation to blog the whole book.  But we’ve finished!  It’s finally over!  Hopefully all my bad jokes paid off and you look forward to next summer’s book club (which will hopefully only last a summer) despite the deterioration of professionalism as the posts went on.  I am planning on reading False Gods, the sequal to Horus Rising written by Graham McNeill to give the series a fair chance, with the goal of writing a single review of that book whenever the time comes.

This has been the first iteration of Hatchet’s Summer Book Club.

Thanks for being here! ❤

‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Part 3 Ch. 1-2: Space Australia, Museum of Death

Welcome back to Hatchet’s Summer Book Club!  If you’re new, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

You can find the previous post HERE and the next post HERE (whenever that happens).

Part 3 Chapter 1 introduces us to the interex, a human collection(?).  The Imperium peacefully become the interex’s guests…FOR NOW (duh duh duuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh). I’m beginning to see how the series got it’s title.

Most people, including Eidolon, Maloghurst, Sedirae, Targost, and Goshen and Raldoron (those last two are Blood Angels) want to destroy the interex because they don’t want the Imperium to co-exist the with anything, and the interex is too compassionate.  According to them, the differences between the Imperium and the interex are so irreconcilable that war is the only possible course of action.  Good guy HORUS would prefer peace.

HORUS and the Mournival meet to discuss the situation.  Abaddon is quite belligerent, unable to understand how his Warmaster could desire peace with and almost admire the interex.  The argument gets so heated, HORUS kicks him out of the meeting.  Tarik follows him to diffuse the situation.  HORUS then tells lowercase Horus and Loken about his father-son relationship with the Emperor, using the zodiac to explain his desire for peace.

The Emperor had given HORUS an astrology book.  HORUS memorized the 20 zodiacs and when asked, said his favourites were Leos, Skorpos, Tauromach, and Arbitos (Leo, Scorpio, Taurus, and Virgo?).  The Emperor was impressed but dissapointed that HORUS had not chosen Sagittary, as he was to become the Emperor’s Warmaster.  However, HORUS admires the interex for their compassion and capacity to integrate other species into their society.  Lowercase Horus is having none of it.  HORUS also said the Emperor told him ‘Make no mistakes, and the stars will be ours” (or thereabouts).  He thinks he as made two mistakes (only tow?!?!  Wow, HORUS is a saint), and does not want to rush into things with the interex.

The interex have developed a musical way to communicate with other species called the aria.  It is very much like music, but so complexly mathematical that only a plebeian would mistake it for music.

Music is math people.

We then get a description of the interex envoy sent to meet HORUS.  Despite being human, these people sound much more elf like or some other humanoid alien (although we do have women with helmet shaped heads so….).  They are tall, about the same height as the Astartes, but very slender with bat ears…  I’m not kidding.  It is literally printed on the page that humans evolved (and surgically created) bat ears.  There are men who play the aria dressed in robes, and the soldiers are dressed in form fitting armour, so light you could jump on a horse!  (Please don’t jump on horses, they are extremely fragile).  With these hooman things, come what could only be described as space dwarves.  Short, broad, and stony features.  These dwarf guys are an alien species the interex have absorbed into their culture (lowercase Horus is not impressed).

Daith Shehn, envoy for the interex, and HORUS meet to discuss stuff.  They start with formalities and Daith is excited to learn that the interex has found lost cousins.  HORUS is equally excited.  They compare military forces, with Daith showing concern for how prepared and eager the Imperium is for war.  The interex has no love of war and would rather co-exist with the aliens they come across.  The spider-mechs are an exception, as the interex found no way to communicate with them, even using the aria.  They defeated the spider-mechs in war and placed the remaining creatures onto Murder, or Urisarach as they call it, where they could live in peace with no way to bother anyone else.  HORUS apologizes for ruining their penal colony.

Chapter 2 sees a rather shouty discussion between the Mournival about the interex, and more specifically about HORUS’ apology.  Abaddon is the only one who is truly upset, the others having full trust in HORUS no matter what he says.  There has also been a heavy demand on the Warmaster’s time as he’s been gone for seven months now.  The envoys continue until it is decided that HORUS and an entourage will be received at an outpost for more negotiations.

Erebus is introduced, so I can only assume this character will be somewhat important.  He selflessly puts off his own interests to help relieve some of HORUS’s stress, also intentionally strengthening relationships with the Mournival.  They also have sparring matches against each other, with Tarik’s new best friends Saul and also Lucius is there.  Lucius insists on sparring against everyone, including Loken.  Loken does not want to hurt Lucius’ ego, which is probably impossible.  So Loken punches him in the face.  It is quite glorious.

HORUS and his Imperial party are received at the interex homeworld.  Accompanying the terrifying horse-faced Astartes are the Remembrancers, which HORUS hopes will prove to the interex that the Imperium of Man is not obsessed with war (even though they totes are).  The Imperial party is shown around the city, and one of the most interesting things that they see is a museum full of alien weapons and technology.  Lowercase Horus and Abbadon think they are being mocked by this show of weapons. It is explained that these weapons are held in a museum because the technology is so advanced and they are incredibly dangerous.  Sindermann (remember that guy?) asks what could be so dangerous about a knife.  The tiny alien dwarves have a way of creating sentient weapons.  Sindermann jokingly suggests that a curse is placed on the weapon, and the interex, very seriously, agrees.

This is telling of things to come.

This has been Hatchet’s Summer Book Club, thanks for being here! x33

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‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Part 2 Chapter 4 and 5: I’m up to my ears in morons, also concrete. Lodges are for secrets.

Welcome back to Hatchet’s Summer Book Club!  If you’re new, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

You can find the previous post HERE and the next post HERE (whenever that happens).

Aight.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty when I said that one group of Astartes who had landed on the glorious planet of Murder were dead.

They’re not.

Saul Tarvitz, Lucius, and the remainder of their squad discover the remains of the Blood Angels impaled on giant stakes/trees/plaster sticks.

Saul wants to blow them up.  Lucius disagrees.

They blow it up.

Saul takes the whole squads explosives (which is pretty dumb).  He and two others set the charges and run.  Unfortunately, some flying enemies spot them and give chase.  One is shot down by Lucius and lands on Saul and Sardine, who are then thrown through the air when the explosives blow.

While the explosion and ensuing smoke led to the remaining Astartes being reunited, Eidolon is pretty brassed off.  Saul assumes that Eidolon is just too proud to admit that the explosion was a good idea because an inferior came up with it.  These idiot Astartes are so dang proud.  Regardless of his reasoning for being pissed, Eidolon sends Saul and five other men to recover some Blood Angel paraphernalia to prove that they found anything at all.

While searching through the rubble, an army of the weird creatures attack the camp of Astartes.  Another group starts to rebuild the concrete trees that Saul blew up.  If I understand how this works, the creatures eat the rubble and it becomes new concrete?  It’s pretty weird.

So Saul, being the rash little bastard that he is, decides that he and his five men will attack and kill the builders as he is so personally offended that they would try to repair their home.  His idiocy is rewarded with the death of two of his men, but the remaining three are saved by the sudden arrival of the Luna Wolves.

Chapter five sees a jump to the past within a jump to the past.

HORUS pays a surprise visit to the 140th Expedition fleet, who are horrified because they know they did a bad.  There is a war meeting held in which the Mournival (remember them?) are complete assholes so that HORUS can be seen as the benevolent leader.  The Mournival tears August and Eshkerrus apart, two of the highest ranking officers left, for pouring all of their resources into Murder without restraint.

HORUS then authorizes the exact same tactic no less than an hour and a half later.

There is a break in the storms surrounding the planet and Tarik wants to send down a force to take the planet.  HORUS is initially against the idea, but vox activity is detected on the surface and Tarik is authorized to rescue the men.

We then jump back in time by several weeks.  Horus has convinced Loken to join him for a lodge meeting.  Loken is rather dubious and is afraid that he will have to kill the people at the meeting including Horus.

The dude has no chill.

It turns out that most everyone Loken respects is in attendance to the meeting, even his best friend.  Loken questions the members about their motives and why they meet, threatening to expose them to the Warmaster.  To which he discovers that the Warmaster already knows.  Loken is appalled at the secrecy within the legion and pulls the disappointed-parent routine.  The members argue however, that the lodge is a place where anyone of any station can meet and discuss as equals, leading to better relationships within the chain of command.  They convince Loken to stay for the meeting, and he is surprised when it turns out that no rituals are performed.  Rather they drink and eat and talk.  Loken obviously had no friends before he was an Astarte.

The evening convinces Loken and he has a change of heart, and seeing how there is nothing shady going on, completely reverses his position on the whole subject.  Nero and Tarik are quite enthused.

Next up we have Ch. 6-7, and then we will be moving on to Part 3!  So two more installments this series before I give it a rest until next summer!

This has been Hatchet’s Summer Book Club, thanks for being here! x33

[Picture] I honestly had no idea what to pick for this xp

‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Part 2 Chapter 3 Rehash: Oops

Welcome back to Hatchet’s Summer Book Club!  If you’re new, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

You can find the previous post HERE and the next post HERE (whenever that happens).

When I open up to chapter 4, the first page is on my right, meaning the last page of chapter 3 is on my left.

I may have skipped chapter 3 entirely in my previous post.

Oops.

Let’s fix that shall we?

Loken finds his friend Sinderman in the library reading poetry and fiction to recover from the terrifying necromorph attack.  They discuss the Whisperheads event (which happened NINE WEEKS AGO).  Loken asks Sinderman to review some of the poetry Ig has written as Loken has no idea how poetry works.

I was hoping that since the narrative with Loken picks up at nine weeks after, there would be no description of the mundane things that happened after all that exciting stuff from chapter 9.

I hoped in vain.

Honestly, it’s not that bad, there are some interesting things that happened in the past nine weeks.

Firstly, we get some insight on the relationship dynamics of the Mournival.

Secondly, we discover that Jubal was part of a Lodge, a warrior fraternity, and Loken hates those.  In fact he despises them.  I was only ever an honorary member of a fake frat, so I really have no opinion of them.  While Loken seems to have a personal vendetta against these Lodges, no one else agrees with him.

Thirdly, Iggy is alive.  Somehow.  That’s good for him I guess, I did like him (I like Keeler more, where the heck is she Abnett!!).  Ig is placed on probation since he can’t not tell the truth.  Loken vouches for him, under the conditions that Ig give him copies of all his poetry and ALWAYS tells the truth.

Fourthly, lowercase Horus invites Loken to a LODGE!  Loken says fine.

The end.

This has been Hatchet’s Summer Book Club, thanks for being here! x33

‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Part 2 Chapters 1-3: Here’s the Sitch

Welcome back to Hatchet’s Summer Book Club!  If you’re new, check out the first post in the series ‘Book Club’: Horus Rising Ch. 1-3.

You can find the previous post HERE and the next post HERE.

Alright, so here’s the sitch.

I’m having a hard time reading this book.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m trying to blog while reading or if I just don’t like it.  There are parts and characters that I enjoy, but for the most part, I’ve been purposefully avoiding this.  BUT I WILL CARRY ON!

So part 2.

In chapter 1 of part 2 all that excitement, action, and mystery of those last few chapters comes to a painful grinding halt.  I mean, this book that I had doubts about totally reeled me in those last three chapters, gained my trust, and then dashed my book heart against those stupid grass stalks of Murder.

We are introduced to a new dude, who waxes poetic for quite some time about finding the perfect opponent.  I much prefer his friend who doesn’t care about all that and just wants some action.  (please give me something interesting to read, please).  Their names aren’t important, they just die by the end of chapter 2.

So our new heroes encounter some strange half mechanical/half squishy-red-stuff creatures.  Or rather very dense bone stuff.  These things look like spiders, which is more than enough reason for me to want to destroy them.  These creatures are very tough and kill many nameless Astartes.  I may have missed something, but why aren’t they using giant flame throwers?  Doesn’t everyone know the best way to get rid of spiders is fire?  After a bunch of skirmishes, our now doomed group find what remains of the Blood Angels (they’re dead, bt-dubbs).

Oh yeah, New Dude and Co. were looking for for a company of Astartes called the Blood Angels.  They landed on Murder and promptly died, just like New Dude and Co.  I doubt they’d send anybody else after them.

Shit.

Chapter 3 returns to Loken and his crew, who are en-route to Murder to rescue the hapless crew who was sent to rescue the hapless Blood Angels.  Except no rescuing was happening.  These giant, horse-faced soldiers are so insecure that if they find out a group of their comrades need rescuing they’d be unable to function.  Anywho.  Instead of exploring Murder with Loken, we find out that Ig is alive.

Wait, Ig is alive?  Didn’t he die…like stopped breathing died?  And lost a bunch blood?  And had broken…everything?

Aight, whatever.  So Ig is alive, but also extremely subdued and much less Ig-like.  I guess Sadie called in a favour from Loken who vouched for Ig, and HORUS decided to let Ig stay on the giant ship-country.  However, Ig has to report directly to Loken and give him everything he writes so they can make sure Ig doesn’t say anything that makes the Empire look bad.

Well that was only a little surprising.

I believe that the next post should be on Ch. 4-5, as there are about 7(?) chapters in Part 2.  And then there are four chapters in Part 3 and we’ll be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This has been Hatchet’s Summer Book Club, thanks for being here! x33

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‘Books’: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Remember remember the fifth of November

The gunpowder treason and plot

I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot

Happy November 5th everyone!  The day when the British burn effigies of Guy Fawkes for fun, and Americans only celebrate because an eccentric author wrote a comic book.

V for Vendetta is a comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, first published in 1988.  Set in a post-war/dystopian/post-apocalyptic UK in the 1990’s, the story follows a large cast of characters who are caught between a corrupt fascist government and a terrorist trying to spread anarchy.

The movie that most are familiar with came out in 2006, produced by the Matrix people.  The movie features a much smaller cast, and less obvious political themes.  Moore hates the movie (he hates all movies), but Lloyd praised the movie for being a compelling story despite straying from the source material.

Reading V for Vendetta for the first time was strange.  I had seen the movie a few years before and was shocked at the number of essential characters that were cut for the movie.  The political themes were much more poignant in the book as well, and obviously, the driving force behind the characters.  I wasn’t prepared for the clout behind the book that the movie didn’t have.

My most recent read through of the book was last semester when I wrote a paper about the themes of anarchy throughout the book.  The book is a commentary on Thatcher era UK (while the movie is a commentary on Bush era US), and Moore’s own personal beliefs in anarchism.  The character’s stories are heartbreaking and engaging, and the story sticks with you.

I highly recommend this book to any comic book lover and anyone who enjoys reading political novels.

And if you’ve never seen the film, November 5th is the best day to do so.

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here!

 

 

[I used Wikipedia because it’s really not that bad, I just googled the picture, but credit to David Lloyd]