A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

Day 17) Q is for Quest: Choose a book in which the characters go on a Quest

Quest

So a quest? Which book to do? There are so, so many to choose from.

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I thought and thought and finally settled on:

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The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I know I’ve talked about this before on here, but I wanted to bring it back as it was such a fantastic story.

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And I think more need to know about it.

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So four years ago I had just come back from class and after dropping off my bags and books I got on the computer to check my email. When I went on, I was notified by the school’s post office that I had received a package and needed to go pick it up as it was too big to put in my box.

ooh!

ooh!

I was surprised as I hadn’t ordered anything or was expecting anything from anyone, so I couldn’t wait to pick it up. When I got it, I didn’t recognize the sender’s label and had no clue who it was.

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When I got home I opened the package and saw Theft of Swords-Volume I of The Riyria Revelations containing The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan.

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I was completely puzzled. Who was this who sent this to me? How did I get it?

suspicious Hmm

Then I realized, I must have won it on GoodreadsGoodreads does drawings in which you win a free book, and all you have to do is give an honest review and post it on the site. I used to enter in every drawing for every book and the books I had won prior to this all had not been very good.

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So when I received this book I wasn’t very thrilled to read it. In fact I put it off for a long time until my curiosity got the better of me. One day I decided to read a few pages and see what it was all about.

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Well one page turned into many as I just couldn’t put it down.

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After I consumed the novel I had to keep going, reading the second book and then trying to locate the rest. There weren’t any at the local or college library so I had to Inter Library Loan them and wait…

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Finally they came and I just devoured them, the rest of my life taking a back seat as I had to find out what happened next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

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Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are two of the greatest thieves you could ever go against. Their duo goes by the name Riyria, that name being known throughout the land.

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At the beginning of the novel, the two are heading to work on a job when they are stopped by some thieves. All they have to do is say who they and they scare the others off like rabbits.

Run Away

They head off to try and rob Archie Ballentyne, the Earl of Chadwick, by breaking into his impenetrable tower.

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Meanwhile, Archie Ballentyne has been waiting for Marquis Victor Lanaklin. Archie has unsuccessfully been trying to woo his daughter, Alenda, as he is after the Lanaklin lands. He has managed to intercept some of her private love letters to the rebel Degan Gault, and wants to use them as leverage with the father. In order to keep them safe he has locked then in his study in the crown tower, a gigantic tower with only one entrance, the only one who can open it being Archie.

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But when he goes to show the letters, they are MISSING! They have been stolen, along with the Marquis’ carriage. Who could have done this? Riyria.

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They return back to their pub and deliver the goods to Alenda, receiving their payments.

Today life is great

Today life is great

But just as one job is finished, there appears there is another who wishes their services.

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Hadrian goes to meet with the man, Baron Delano DeWitt. He has a job that needs to be done tonight. Sadly, Baron DeWitt has committed the biggest mistake anyone in that region could, he looked upon the wife of the master swordsman, Colonel Pickering. Colonel Pickering will duel anyone who stares at his wife, and with his skill he is impossible to beat.

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His only weakness? His special rapier that he cannot fight without. Baron DeWitt has stolen the sword and hid it in the castle’s chapel and he wants Riyria to smuggle the sword out of the castle before they search and  find it.

suspicious Hmm

Now Riyria has a rule about accepting rush jobs, they don’t. But Hadrian isn’t really a thief, he has a warrior’s heart. He likes things to be fair or to fight for something “right”, justice, etc.

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He has felt a little disheartened at stealing things for royals, then notifying the party they stole from to get payment to steal it back. This is a job that will mean something. Plus the pay is really good.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Royce was raised on the streets and has been a thief as far back as he can remember. He has no qualms about what they do, and because of what he has been through he is also extremely suspicious. He does not want to take this job, but Hadrian convinces him it is worth it as they will get 200 gold tenets.

That's a lot of money

That’s a lot of money

That night they sneak into the castle and into its chapel. They go to search for the sword but find the king, dead.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

As their minds grasp the situation, a dwarf starts screaming out that they killed the king. Guards swarm on them and they end up locked up in the dungeon.

Not good

Not good

Yes, someone murdered the king and framed them. But who? And why?

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Alric Essendon wakes from a tumble with a maid to discover he is the new King. He is furious over the death and prepares a horrible punishment as his revenge.

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Alric is a little lost at what to do, but his Uncle Percy Braga is there to lend a hand and assist him. Meanwhile, Hadrian and Royce await their fate in the dungeon; Hadrian wishing he hadn’t tried to take the job and Royce wishing he had talked Hadrian out of it. To their surprise they receive a royal visit from princess Arista Essendon.

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Arista questions them, so Hardrian tells her the story, claiming they did not kill her father. And to their surprise, she believes them.

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Arista is not like other women. Her father sent her to University and she studied the lost art of magic. She had been given a warning about the threat upon her father’s life but unfortunately didn’t heed it. Now she wants to hire the two to kidnap her brother.

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Hadrian and Royce are surprised, but Arista explains that she thinks someone is after the Essendon line and wants to kill her brother as well. She wants them to smuggle him out of the castle and go to Gutaria Prison, the secret ecclesiastical jail. They they will meet the wizard, Esrahaddon, who will be able to guide her brother. They think it is odd, but faced with death, they take the job.

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Arista has a complete plan in place. She will send two monks in to administer the last rites and have the two unchained to pray. They will knock the monks out, switch clothes and meet her in the kitchen where she will have Alric.

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Everything goes off without a hitch as they head off to the prison to find Esrahaddon, the wizard. As they continue their quest they run into a monk with a photographic memory that survived a massacre; a hidden prison that not only is built into a rock wall but once you enter cannot leave; the great wizard Esrahaddon who has been alive for eons; and secret church and government plot to answer the legend of the god Novron’s son and unite all the kingdoms under one rule!

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Meanwhile, Arista tries to rule in her brother’s place but finds treachery very close to home. They try to brand her a witch and kill her.

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Will this ragtag group be able save the throne? Or will they be outwitted and destroyed by these agents of Novron.

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The book was so fantastic, that I won’t reveal the ending. You must read this book and rest in the series yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

May

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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For more on The Riyria Revelations, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more magic and wizards, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more on Jane Smiley, go to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

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Speaking of magic, there is just a magic of Christmas that cannot be beat. It is just an amazing time of the year. That thought leads us to today’s Christmas Carol, Christmas Needs Love to be Christmas. It was written and recorded in 1993 for Andy Williams’ Christmas Album. It was released in 1994 and marked his first appearance on Billboard 200 album chart in 20 years. That’s magical.

I like this song because it reminds you what the heart of Christmas is, love.

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For more Andy Williams, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Dreaming of the Sandman

So I’ve developed a little crush on the Sandman

He’s awesome, but no not him.

Ew, no. Defintely NOT him.

No I’m talking about Neil Gaiman’s series The Sandman Chronicles.

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Yeah? Pretty good looking. So the series is really interesting. Gaiman actually melds together different things to create his stories. Christianity, Greek mythology, Shakespeare, fairy tales, Egyptian mythology, fantasy, science fiction, retelling of classic literature, etc. And what comes out of this is AMAZING.

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As my friend described it, you fall in love with Neil Gaiman’s brain, and his creation, Dream.

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So Dream is one of the Endless, those who were in the beginning and will last until the last human dies. First there was his older sister Death, then his brother Destruction, Dream, the twins Despair and Desire, and lastly Delight who became Delirium.

At the beginning of the series, Dream has been captured by a man. The man was afraid of dying and had attempted to capture Death, but accidentally captures Dream. He traps him for years and causes his son to as well. Eventually, Dream escapes and find his kingdom and all the the dreaming places in ruin. He has to repair it along with dealing with the issues that were caused by his imprisonment.

It is really interesting as Dream’s story and his siblings are told in present day, along with flashbacks. You see how he was, but then how he has changed due to his imprisonment. And that’s not the only thing that is attractive about him.

He’s so eloquent. How he speaks, sigh. It is beautiful.

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He himself is just so, sorry couldn’t help it, dreamy! He’s one of those tall, dark, handsome, broody types you all know I love and adore.

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Now let me warn you. I wouldn’t go farther than book 8. It just, well I don’t want to give anything away but his reigns ends.

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

Why! Why, Neil WHY!

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For more on Neil Gaiman, go to Love Stinks

For more on tall, dark, & brooding men; go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite books, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more of my favorite quotes, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite songs, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

If I Never Knew You

Pocahontas

Day 12) Your Favorite Disney Love Song

Now if you remember from my earlier post, The Right Path is Not the Easiest One, I said that I would expand on this song. Now I know many will not agree with me and think that other Disney songs are more romantic, but I think this one is the best.

This song was written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz to be sung by Mel Gibson and Judy Kuhn during the scene in which Pocahontas goes to visit the imprisoned John Smith. They ended up cutting it, although if you buy the newer DVD Pocahontas they have the scene included, but having it in the credits, sung by artists  Jon Secada and Shanice.

Pocahontas If I Never Knew YOu

If I never knew you
If I never felt this love
I would have no inkling of
How precious life can be

And if I never held you
I would never have a clue
How at last I’d find in you
The missing part of me.

In this world so full of fear
Full of rage and lies
I can see the truth so clear
In your eyes
So dry your eyes

And I’m so grateful to you
I’d have lived my whole life through
Lost forever
If I never knew you

If I never knew you
I’d be safe but half as real
Never knowing I could feel
A love so strong and true

I’m so grateful to you
I’d have lived my whole life through
Lost forever
If I never knew you

I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we’d make the whole world bright
I never knew that fear and hate could be so strong
all they’d leave us were these wispers in the night
But still my heart is saying we were right

Oh if I never knew you
There’s no moment I regret
If i never felt this love
Since the moment that we met
I would have no inkling of
If our time has gone too fast
How precious life can be…
I’ve lived at last…

I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we’d make the whole world bright
I thought our love would be so beautiful
We’d turn the darkness into light
And still my heart is saying we were right
we were right

And if I never knew you
If I never knew you
I’d have lived my whole life through
Empty as the sky
Never knowing why
Lost forever
If I never knew you 

Words cannot describe how romantic this song is. You showed me true love, without you life would be so gray. “I’d have lived my whole life through, lost forever, if I never knew you”. So cute!

So romantic!

So romantic!

I mean I think this is even more romantic than Cheap Trick’s After the Flame, Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, or  Adam Sandler’s Grow Old With You.

So my ex played the piano, and I remember one time trying to get him to play this song for me because its my favorite. He couldn’t as he didn’t recognize it, but one day I would like to have this played for me. Maybe if I get married I’ll play it at my wedding.

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For more on Pocahontas, go to Disney Lesson

For more on Disney, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more of my favorite songs, go to I’ll Make a Man Out of You

This Isn’t Love, This is Ecstasy: Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (2000)

Romantic Moment #10

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Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (2000)

So this is the prequel to the film The Flintstonesbut it is a much, much better film. First of all the storyline is better, much, much, much better. And even though I love John Goodman, Mark Addy is a much better Fred. Rosie O’Donnell sucked as Betty. But most all, it has Thomas Gibson in it.

So Handsome!!!

So Handsome!!!

Sorry, I’m sorry. I just had to take a moment there. Back on track now! Uh, where was I? Oh yeah, this is much better than the first film.

So Wilma Slaghoople has had enough of her rich lifestyle. She is tired of friends who don’t care about her. Tired of people who can’t think beyond what’s in vogue, etc. Tired of Chip Rockefeller who’s only interested in her wealth. She escapes from her mansion and travels down to the town below, where the “common, everyday” people live. She stops at a burger joint and meets Betty O’Shale. Betty thinks she is poor and caveless, and not only invites her to live in her home but gets her a job as well at the diner.

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are best friends and roommates. The two have just passed their exams and are now certified Bronto Crane Operators. They go out to think about their lives, Fred expressing how he wants someone special to spend it with, when they meet the Great Gazoo, an alien banished to Earth to observe the dating rituals of man.

One day Fred and Barney go out to a burger joint and meet Betty. Fred picks her up and procures Wilma for Barney. They go out to an amusement park, but there Barney and Betty feel an instant connection and go off together. Fred is upset at first with being placed with Wilma, but after their bowling game they connect and start falling for each other. Fred also wins Dino for being such a great bowler. Soon the four (and the two couples separately) are spending all their time together, falling in love.

Wilma’s mom has tracked her down and tries to get her back, but Wilma won’t go as her mom is cold-hearted and looks down on her friends. Her mom convinces her to come to her father’s birthday party, she agrees if she can bring her friends. The next day they are shocked by how wealthy she is, Betty hurt at how Wilma lied to her. Fred was going to ask her to marry him, but after this he feels as if he doesn’t have enough to offer her. Wilma is mad at how her mother treats her friends, and storms out. Chip tries to make it up to her and invites them all down to his casino in Rock Vegas.

There we see Chip’s evil plan. He owes money to mobsters and is trying to get Wilma to marry him so that he can pay them back. He gets Fred gambling so that he will not only miss out on dates with Wilma, making her feel like crap, but so that he can hold onto Fred’s debts as a way to get rid of him. He takes Barney out of the equation by getting his girlfriend Roxie, to take him to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. Betty sees them and thinks Barney is stepping out on her, taking up with Mick Jaggerd (supposed to be Mick Jagger). Wilma is pissed off with Fred for being so wrapped up in money that she breaks up with him. Fred thinks he can win her back by getting more money, but Chip makes him lose everything. Chip takes Wilma’s pearls out of the hotel safe and plants them on Fred, imprisoning him and Barney. There the two meet up with Gazoo and escape. To avoid detection they dress up as girls, sneaking into Jaggered’s room. Jaggered and Barney get in a fight over Betty, with Barney knocking him out. Fred gets out and tells Wilma that he loves her. The two get married and as you know  have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time, they have a gay old time.

Most Romantic Moment:

So after Fred’s been imprisoned and escaped, his options are limited as to what he can do. After all, the hotel security is looking for him and will jump at the chance to take him down. But Fred really wants to get out there and tell Wilma how he feels, he can’t lose her. So when Barney knocks out Mick Jaggered, Fred does the only thing that comes to mind. He gets out on that stage and sings to her.

So romantic!

So romantic!

I know! So romantic!! A girl loves being serenaded to! And it’s not just the singing its the song itself! He picks Wilma’s favorite song, he sings their song! I absolutely LOVE this song, I think it is one of the most romantic ones out there. I mean just read it.

This isn’t love, this is ecstasy
Somehow I knew you would come to me
I’ve just been waiting for you to come
Into my life this way
Now here you’ll stay

This isn’t love, this is destiny
Somewhere above this was planned for me
Life had no meaning, I never knew what
Til the dream came true
The dream is you

I never say never
But this love won’t ever be over 
Together we’ll share love wherever we go

This isn’t chance, this was meant to be
I knew I’d find you eventually
Nothing else matters, As long as I know
You will always be so close to me

I never say never
But this love won’t ever be over
Together we’ll share love wherever we go

This isn’t chance
This was meant to be
I knew I’d find you eventually

Nothing else matters
As long as I know
You will always be so close to me

I never say never
I never say never
I never say never
I never say never
I never say never

Isn’t just dreamy and perfect!! Serenading, their song, it is just dripping in romance. Sorry about the low quality, it is the only one I could find.