Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aragorn's Song

I haven't had time to finish the novels I'm reading yet, so here's another poem. It's one of my favorites that Tolkien wrote, and interestingly, he put it in the mouth of Aragorn (from Lord of the Rings), a mighty warrior and would-be king.

"Song of Aragorn"
By J.R.R. Tolkien 

All that is gold does not glitter, 
Not all those who wander are lost; 
The old that is strong does not wither, 
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 
From the ashes a fire will be woken, 
A light from the shadows will spring; 
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Black and White

By Countee Cullen
From Poems to Learn by Heart by Caroline Kennedy    

"Locked arm in arm they cross the way,
The black boy and the white,
The golden splendor of the day,
The sable pride of night.

From lowered blinds the dark folk stare,
And here the fair folk talk,
Indignant that these two should dare
In unison to walk.

Oblivious to look and word
They pass, and see no wonder
That lightning brilliant as a sword
Should blaze the path of thunder."

Isn't that such a sweet, lovely poem? Never underestimate the power of poetry.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Review: Prodigy

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Genre: YA Dystopian
Sequel to Legend

"June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It's their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she's haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood- what if the Patriots are wrong?"

How epic does this novel sound?! And it truly is. I loved it just as much as Legend. The tension is higher, the suspense greater, the action more intense, and of course, the romance is not forgotten, although at times it seems like the love between June and Day is not real or will not last. What will happen between them? You must read it to find out.

There is also more twists in this novel than in the first one, which really took me by surprise. The ending was sad and leaves you hanging, especially since the third and final novel, Champion, does not come out until November. Why do authors do this to readers?! (Actually, I can't complain because I plan on doing the same thing in my own writing). I think it shows that the author has pulled you into the character's world when you cry or laugh when something happens to the characters, and I was definitely tearing up at the end.

Prodigy has a couple of cuss words and hints at homosexuality, and for this I recommend it for fifteen-year olds and up. But it is just as well-written and exciting as Legend, and I give a 4. If you enjoy adventure and action (or even if you don't), you must pick this series up and read it.

What I learned: Relationships and love is messy and difficult. A hero is someone who can relate to the people and is fighting for their hopes and beliefs. Most countries don't need collapse or confusion, they need change.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Review: Arrow of God

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Genre: Dramatic Fiction

There is no short description of what this novel is about, and I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, for I am not entirely sure myself, but I shall do my best.

In a part of early Africa, Ezeulu is the chief priest in his tribe for the god Ulu, just like the father before him. He is good at interpreting the will of the god and listening to the people, but he has a jealous enemy in another tribe who is determined to destroy him and his family. The white people nearby also change the people's cultural values and the meaning of their god and Ezeulu's position as a humble leader.

Okay, so that was a really bad description. Sorry! But I read this novel a few weeks ago, and even I didn't know what the main point of the story was; I should have paid more attention, but who wants to read a difficult book for a class next semester in the last few weeks of summer? (This novel was also for my World Lit class).

I think what made this novel particularly difficult to read was the major cultural differences to ours that I just didn't get like the moral stories, tribal history, and sacrifices. Once again, it will help a lot to have this story explained more in a class. Also, it was very challenging to keep up with characters because their names sounded so similar. For example, in just Ezeulu's family you have Obika, Oduche, Ojiugo, and Obiajeli. Whew!

I did enjoy learning about this culture and their ways. I liked this book much better than Achebe's book, Things Fall Apart which I read in high-school, because it was not nearly as depressing. But I think I need to read this book at least one more time to understand the importance of all that transpired.

I give this book a 1.5 and recommend it for sixteen-year-olds and up.

What I learned: "If my enemy speaks the truth I will not say because it is spoken by my enemy I will not listen."