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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book "The Gospel According to Lost" by Chris Seay


In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transfered to:


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book “The White Horse King – The Life of Alfred The Great” by Benjamin Merkle

http://bookscrier.com/the-white-horse-king



This is a biography from King Alfred of Wessex written by Benjamin Merkle in 2009. It was published by Thomas Nelson also in 2009 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.
The book tells us the story of Alfred, fifth son of King AEthelwulf from Wessex, far in line of succession to the throne and not likely to end up being the heir of the throne. Merkle describes with vivid language the struggle of Alfred, losing his mother and all his brothers one by one till he became king of Wessex in 871AD and later king of the Anglo-Saxons. We see his learning experience with the Dane Vikings invasion on Britain. The book teaches us the importance of Alfred on the development of military tactics, planning of roads, economy, and his effort on spreading Christianity, even among his enemies. He was also very important on the revival of literacy, education, and law codes.

Benjamin Merkle did a magnificent research job and he had all the elements necessary to compose a very boring book, but instead he transformed his research into a very enjoyable reading experience. It is a very inspirational book where we learn a lot about loyalty. If only our politicians have half the willing that Alfred had for protecting his people, we would be in a better place now. I never learned properly ancient British history and I am not that much into Biographies but definitely this book is an excellent reading choice and also a learning opportunity.

Pages: 256
My Rate: 4 Stars

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book "The Silver Chair" by C.S.Lewis

http://bookscrier.com/the-silver-chair-by-c-s-lewis



This is a fantasy novel for children written by C.S.Lewis. It was first published in 1953.

The story begins with Eustace asking for Aslan’s help when trying to escape with classmate Jill Pole from bullies at their school. They reach a gate that leads them into Aslan’s Country. Jill shows off by approaching a cliff’s edge and Eustace falls over the edge while trying to pull her back. Aslan appears and saves Eustace by blowing him to Narnia. Aslan tells Jill she must help Eustace find Prince Rilian, and gives Jill four signs to guide her and Eustace on their quest. Then he blows Jill into Narnia and she arrives moments after Eustace. They see the old King Caspian, Prince Rilians’ father, preparing to sail east to search for Aslan. The Lord Regent, Trumpkin, gives Eustace and Jill room in Cair Paravel. Over their, they meet Glimfeatherm and some owls that help them, explaining that Rilian disappeared while looking for a green serpent that killed his mother and now he is under a spell from the Green Witch.
Jill and Eustace travels toward the North of Narnia with Puddleglum, a Marsh-wiggle. They enter into the land of the giants. While wandering through the land of the giants, they find the Lady of the Green Kirtle, which tells them to go to Harfang, a castle belonging to the Gentle Giants. The giants over there give Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum a warm welcome but in fact the giants are planning to eat them at the Autumn Feast. They escape and go to a nearby cave and slide down a slope into the Underland. Over there they are found by gnomes, whose leader asks the trio to follow them. They cross the Sunless Sea in a boat towards the city ruled by the Lady of the Green Kirtle and her protégé. She is no other than the Green Witch. Her young protégé treats them pleasantly, but seems to be disturbed. He says that he suffers from nightly psychotic episodes and needs to be bound to a silver chair in order not to kill everyone in sight. While he is having one of those psychotic attacks, he asks them to release him in the name of Aslan. That was the fourth sign that Aslan had given to Jill for helping their quest, so they release the young man that reveals himself to be Prince Rilian. The Green Witch returns and tries to bewitch them all, but Puddleglum breaks her spell and she transforms herself into a green serpent. Prince Rilian recognizes the serpent as the same one that killed his mother and he kills the serpent and leads the travelers in their escape from the Underworld.

The gnomes are also free from the witch’s spell and show them a route upward out of the Underworld. Prince Rilian returns to Cair Paravel where his old father meets him just before dying. Aslan appears and congratulates Eustace and Jill. Aslan revives King Caspian and when returning the kids to their own world, Caspian goes (rejuvenated) with them, and helps to frighten the school bullies away. The bullies also saw Aslan and run back to the school in terror. Aslan and Caspian return to Aslan’s Country and Eustace and Jill change clothes and go back to their school.

The main characters in this book are Aslan, Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole, Prince Rilian, Puddleglum, Glimfeather, and the Green Witch.

This is absolutely a must-read book. It makes you want to read all the books from this series “Chronicles of Narnia”.

Pages: 243
My Rate: 5 Stars


This is the link to buy the book:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by C.S.Lewis


http://bookscrier.com/the-voyage-of-the-dawn-treader-by-c-s-lewis



This is a fantasy novel for children written by C.S.Lewis. It was first published in 1952.
The history begins when Edmund and Lucy Pevensie were staying with their cousin Eustace Scrubb. Edmund, Lucy and Eustace are taken into Narnia world being pulled into a picture of a ship at sea. The three children land in water near the pictured vessel and are taken aboard. The ship is the Dawn Treader, and belongs to Caspian X, King of Narnia, who the Pevensie children helped gain the throne from his uncle Miraz.
Caspian is trying to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. Reepicheep is also on the ship, and he is trying to find Aslan’s country beyond the seas.
Their first stop is in Lone Islands, where slave trade flourishes, despite Narnian laws stating that it is forbidden. Caspian, Lucy, Edmund, Eustace and Reepicheep are captured by a slave trader and a man buys Caspian before they reach the slave market. This man is the first Lord they were looking for, Lord Bern. He moved to the island and married a local woman after being banished from Narnia by Miraz. After Caspian revealing who he really was, Bern acknowledges Caspian as King and Caspian replaces Gumpas, the current governor, with Lord Bern. At their second stop in a different island, Eustace leaves the group in order to avoid to work, and hides himself in a dead dragon’s cave when it starts to rain. The cave is full of gold and jewels and Eustace gets greedy. He fills his pockets with the treasure. Waiting for the rain to stop he sleeps and he is transformed into a dragon. While he is a dragon, he figures out how bad his behavior was and uses his strength to make amends. Aslan turns Eustace back into a boy, now much nicer than before. Caspian recognizes one of the jewels Eustace had taken as a bracelet belonging to the second Lord, Lord Octesian. They think that the dragon killed Octesian, or Octesian was the dragon himself…
Next they stop at Burnt Island and then at Deathwater Island, where they find another missing Lord, Lord Restimar, transformed in a statue of gold at the bottom of a pool of water that turns everything immersed in it into gold. Next stop is at Duffers’ Island and then at the Dark Island, this island being permanently hidden in darkness, and where the dreams come true. At this island they rescue Lord Rhoop. Finally they reach the Island of the Star, where they find the last three Lords in enchanted sleep. A fallen star named Ramandu, who lives in the island, tells them that in order to break the spell they have to sail to the edge of the world and they have to leave one member of the crew behind. When sailing towards the edge of the world, they pass into an area where merpeople dwell and the waters are sweet. The waters become so shallow that the ship cannot continue and Caspian wants to leave the ship in a boat with Reepicheep. The crew does not allow that and Aslan instructs Caspian saying that only Lucy, Edmund, Eustace and Reepicheep should proceed in the boat. Fulfilling Ramandu’s tale, Reepicheep goes into a waterfall and disappear, probably reaching Aslan’s country. Edmund, Eustace and Lucy find a lamb, who transform into Aslan and tells them that Edmund and Lucy will not return to Narnia, and sends the children home, where everyone notice how Eustace has changed.

The main characters in this book are Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, Caspian X, Reepicheep and Eustace Scrubb.

This is absolutely a must-read book. It makes you want to read all the books from this series “Chronicles of Narnia”.

Pages: 256
My Rate: 5 Stars

This is the link to buy the book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book "Prince Caspian" by C.S.Lewis


This is a fantasy novel for children written by C.S.Lewis. It was first published in 1951
The history begins when the Pevensies children were in a British railway station and suddenly they appeared in a beach near a castle is ruins. They found out that the castle was once Cair Paravel, where they ruled as Kings and Queens of Narnia. In the intact treasure vault of the castle they find Peter’s sword and shield, Susan’s bow and arrows and Lucy’s bottle of magical cordial and dagger. The only missing piece is Susan’s horn for summoning help. They rescue Trumpkin, the dwarf, from soldiers and he tells the children that since they disappeared 1300 years ago, a race of men called Telmarines invaded Narnia, sending the Talking Animals into the wilderness and making it illegal all mention of their memory. The ruler now is King Miraz (who usurped the throne) and his wife Queen Prunaprismia. The rightful king is Prince Caspian, nephew of King Miraz. King Miraz killed his own brother to get into the throne of Narnia. When his son is born, he plans to kill Prince Caspian and make his son the heir of the throne, but Doctor Cornelius, tutor of Caspian, who had taught Caspian about Old Narnia and who have given Caspian Susan’s horn, tell him to flee into the forest, where he meet some of the talking Narnia’s animals, like Trufflehunter the badger, and two dwarfs, Nikabrik and Trumpkin. He meets then the creatures of Old Narnia. As they gather for a council at midnight, Doctor Cornelius arrives to warn them of the approach if King Miraz and his army. They flee towards Aslan’s How in the great woods, but are followed by the Telmarines. When they are close to defeat, Prince Caspian blows Susan’s horn hoping that help should arrive. They dispatch Trumpkin to Cair Paravel to look for the Pevensies children and there he is captured by Telmarine army and rescued by the children. They make their way to Caspian. During their journey, Lucy sees Aslan and wants to follow where he leads. The others do not believe her and follow their original path. Later they eventually obey and begin to see Aslan’s shadow, then Aslan himself.
Aslan sends Peter, Edmund and Trumpkin ahead to Aslan’s How and follows with Susan and Lucy. When Peter, Edmund and Trumpkin reach Aslan’s How they overhear Nikabrik and his allies trying to convince Caspian, Cornelius and Truffehunter to help them resurrect the White Witch so she can help them to defeat King Miraz. A fight ensues and Nikabrik and his allies are slain. Peter challenges Miraz to single combat. Miraz accepts the challenge, goaded by his two lords, Glozelle and Sopespian. After a stiff fight, Miraz falls. Glozelle and Sopespian cry that the Narnians have cheated and stabbed the King in the back while he was down. They command the army to attack and during the fight Glozelle stabs Miraz in the back. The living Wood wakened by Aslan arrives and the Telmarines flee and later surrender.
Aslan gives the Telmarines a choice of staying in Narnia under Caspian or returning to Earth. They decide to return with the Pevensies children and Aslan announces that Peter and Susan will not return to Narnia. The children then find themselves back at the railway station where the adventure began.

The main characters in this book are Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, Aslan, Prince Caspian, Miraz, Doctor Cornelius, Trumpkin, Nikabrik, Trufflehunter and Reepicheep

This is absolutely a must-read book. It makes you want to read all the books from this series “Chronicles of Narnia”.

Pages: 240
My Rate: 5 Stars

This is the link to buy the book:
this is the link to buy the DVD:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book "The Horse and His Boy" by C.S.Lewis


http://bookscrier.com/the-horse-and-his-boy-book




This is a fantasy novel for children written by C.S.Lewis. It was first published in 1954
A boy named Shasta is raised by a Calormene fisherman, after the fisherman found him as a baby in a boat at the sea. Shasta overhears the fisherman negotiating to sell him to a Calormene feudal noble. He learns that the fisherman is not his real father and he waits for his new master in the donkey stable outside the fisherman’s house. The noble’s horse, Bree, is a talking horse and speaks to him and suggests that they should escape and ride north to Narnia. In their way to Narnia they find two travelers, Aravis, a young Calormene aristocrat, and her talking horse, Hwin. She is fleeing from an arranged marriage to the Tisroc’s grand vizier. The four must travel through Tashbaan, capital city of Calormen, in order to continue their travel to Narnia.
At Tashbaan they meet a procession of visiting Narnian royalty, who mistake Shasta for Corin, a prince of Archenland, who disappeared from their group earlier that day. Shasta is too scared to protest and goes with the Narnians. He overhears their plan to escape from Tashbaan and Calormene in order to prevent Rabadash from forcing Queen Susan to marry him. When Shasta is alone, the real Prince Corin reappears and Shasta escapes.
While Shasta is with the Narnians, Aravis was spotted by her friend Lasaraleen and Aravis asks her to keep silent about her identity and help her escape from the city. When trying to escape she have to refuge in a room where she overhears the Tisroc and Rabadash discussing the Narnians’ escape and Calormene plot to conquer Narnia.
When she manages to flee the city, she rejoins Shasta and the Horses. The four of them cross the desert trying to escape from a pursuing Lion (later they find out that the lion was really Aslan) and outrun Rabadash’s army. Shasta reaches King Lune and warn him of the approaching of the Calormenes. The Archenland army defends the city against the Calormenes until Narnia’s army arrives to help. King Lune of Archenland recognizes Shasta as Cor, the long-lost elder twin of Prince Corin and therefore heir to the throne. Aravis and Cor live in Archenland and marry years later. Their son becomes the most famous king of Archenland.

The Horse and His Boy has biblical allusions. The story draws parallels with the story of Moses: both are sent away from their families at birth, both were found floating in water and both turn away from the country they are raised in, and both end up being the savior of their true countries.

The main characters are Aravis (the girl), Bree (the talking horse), Hwin (another talking horse), Cor/Shasta (the boy) and Rabadash.

This is absolutely a must-read book. It makes you want to read all the books from this series “Chronicles of Narnia”.

Pages: 240
My Rate: 5 Stars

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" by C.S.Lewis


In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transferred to:







This is a fantasy novel for children written by C.S.Lewis. It was first published in 1950.
It brings the reader back to Narnia, where the fight of good and evil occurs and some children will play an important part on that fight.
In 1940, four children are evacuated from London to escape the German’s attack on the city and they are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in the countryside.
In a rainy day the children start exploring the Professor’s house and Lucy finds a wardrobe in an empty room. She finds out that the wardrobe is a door to a snow-covered magical world. There she meets a faun (Mr. Tumnus) that tells her about Narnia and its ruler, the White Witch (Jadis), who makes it to be always winter but never Christmas at Narnia.
Lucy goes back through the wardrobe to London, but none or her siblings believe in her adventures. Days later Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe and they ended up in Narnia, but Edmund fails to catch up with Lucy and encounters instead a pale lady (the White Witch) that introduces herself as the Queen of Narnia. She enchants him with magical Turkish delight and promises to make him Prince and eventually King of Narnia if he brings the other children to her castle. After the witch drives on, Lucy finds Edmund in the woods and they return together through the wardrobe. Edmund betrays Lucy denying having been in Narnia to his other siblings.
A few days later, all four children hide in the wardrobe and find themselves in Narnia. Lucy guides them to Mr. Tumnus’s cave, but they find out that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested. A pair of talking beavers shelter the children and they recount an ancient prophecy that the witch’s power will fail when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve fill the four thrones at Cair Paravel. The beavers then tell them that the true king of Narnia, a great lion called Aslan, was absent for many years, but is now on the move again.
Edmund steals away to the witch’s castle and the others set off to find Aslan when they realize that they have been betrayed by Edmund. A penitent Edmund is rescued just as the witch is about to kill him. Calling for a truce, the witch demands that Edmund should be returned to her, as an ancient law gives her possession of all traitors. Aslan offers himself in Edmund’s place and the witch accepts the trade.
Alan is sacrificed by the witch, but comes back to life because “when one who is blameless willingly dies on behalf of the guilty, he may return to life”.
In a final battle, the witch is defeated and killed by Aslan. The children become kings and queens of Narnia and spend fifteen years reigning there. When they return to London through the wardrobe, they find themselves children again. Their years in Narnia have taken no more than a few seconds of time on this side of the door. They explain their adventures to the Professor, who tells them that they would return to Narnia one day.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has biblical allusions, where Aslan is a Christ-like figure who suffers a death of atonement and returns to life in a way similar to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

The main characters are Peter Pevensie, Susan Pevensie, Edmund Pevensie, Lucy Pevensie, Jadis (the White Witch), Aslan (the lion), Mr. Tumnus (the faun).

This is absolutely a must-read book. It makes you want to read all the books from this series “Chronicles of Narnia”.

Pages: 192
My Rate: 5 Stars


This is the link to buy the book
This is the link to buy the DVD

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Movie "Stargate" (1994)

Daniel Jackson (James Spader) plays the Egyptologist who translates the Startgate's hieroglyphic code and joins a military team leads by Colonel Jack O'Neill (Kurt Russell) on a reconnaissance mission to see what is on the other side of the ancient device found in 1920s Egypt.
They arrive on a desert world with culture similar to Earth's ancient Egypt, where someone pretending to be the sun god Ra rules a population of slaves. This guy is an intelligent aging creature that for centuries has used human bodies to regenerate himself over and over to have "eternal life".
After a warm reception into the slave camp, the earthlings encourage and support a rebellion, while Colonel Jack threatens to blow up the Startgate portal to prevent its use by enemies.
The way the movie ends is a hook to the audience to stay tuned into the TV Show that followed.

Memorable quotes: from Colonel O'Neill: I'm here in case you succeed.
from Ra: You have advanced much... harnessed the power of the atom.
from Daniel Jackson: It's not "Door to Heaven"... is ... Stargate.
Duration of the movie: 121 minutes.
My Rate: 4 stars

This is the link to buy the movie.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Book "The Magician's Nephew" by C.S.Lewis


In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transferred to: