Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Endless Knot by Stephen R. Lawhead

A terrible thievery causes need for Llew and his most loyal subjects to travel to the Foul Land, Tir Aflan. There they must conquer countless beasts, ancient evils, old enemies, cursed lands, and the curse itself. On top of that, mysterious fires keep on appearing in Albion. Death is stared in the face when unraveling begins on the Endless Knot.

By far, the best of the series! This, is true fantasy. Mythical creatures, ancient curses, an impossible quest - this is what I'm talkin' 'bout! A great story with that eerie Lord of the Rings feel. While I love the story, and title it the highlight of The Song of Albion Trilogy, because it is so different from the others it almost feels separate. Same characters, but different atmosphere.

Semi-disappointed on the ending. I love the sad endings, strange as it sounds, but this one kind of ruined the whole love/sacrifice thing. In a way, similar to Ted Dekker's Green ending, but not quite as effective.

*Once again, I would like to note this review was written back in November of 2010.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Silver Hand by Stephen R. Lawhead

Meldryn Mawr is dead, leaving the question of who will be his successor. Llew, his champion and traveler from between worlds, or Meldron, his son and the prince? Whoever the new king may be, the title will not come without a price. When Llew gets exiled, tension enough for a civil war breakout. And the only one who can bring peace to Albion is the Silver Hand.

This book is based on a story not quite unknown - it is repeated several times throughout history. It is sort of a retelling, though I will say a good one. It is a story of hope. There is always hope. Better than the first, though still no creatures and still occasionally failed to capture my attention. There are some really cool things in this book, but they are weighted towards the end instead of being evenly spread.

I might also add that switching to a different person's view in a first-person series is pretty confusing. The first half of the book I still thought it was Llew then, of course, in the third book I still thought it was Tegid. Interesting approach, and quite clever, but still a little difficult to make the switch between characters.

*Again, I would like to note that this review was written back in November 2010.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead

Lewis Giles is a student at Oxford majoring in Celtic Studies, and living a pretty plain life. Funny how quickly things can change. Out of nowhere his roommate decides to go looking for an ancient creature that has extinct for thousands of years all the way in Scotland. Lewis finds himself being dragged along for the ride. But what seems like a foolish hunt turns out to push Lewis unknowingly into a whole different world and the Paradise War.

This fantasy world is somewhat different than other fantasy worlds. For one, it is somewhat based on old Celtic lore, but the main thing I noticed is that there are not many creatures. A very few here and there, but for the most part they play no major role. I enjoyed this book, finding it quite unique. Although I will admit it didn't completely capture me. A couple times I found myself struggling to focus on it, so that was a disappointment. However it did explore a subject personally unknown - the Celts.
*I would like to note that this review was written in October 2010. However it is just now being posted.