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.

Iloveit love

And I think more need to know about it.

BookWithNoFandom

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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.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

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.

I don't like it 11

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.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

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

PutthebookDown

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…

waitingforbookinseriesNosleepNeedanswers

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.

Wecandoit

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.

idon'tgotthis

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.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

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?

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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.

Whattheheck

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.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

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.

perfect plan

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!

keanu Whoa

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.

answerabook

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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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In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis

It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?

In their proper place, the depths.”

So back in July I did a post on trying to start a revolution and I mentioned this film. Now this film is not mainly a horror film but a mix of a Dystopian Drama, Sci-fi and Horror, a Dystfiror. This film also reminds me A LOT of Atlas Shruggedso I chose this poster instead of the other one that has the robot on it. Robot, you may ask? But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

So this film takes place in a future far away [2026]. In this land the people have been split into two groups, the workers and the rulers. High above is the city Metropolis with its pleasure garden, as the wealthy lounge about doing nothing and anything they want. Below the city lies the workers, who are constantly going to support the city and all of the upper-dwellers’ desires.

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Sounds familiar? That’s because stupid Matt Damon ripped it off for his Elysium film. Go here to read why I don’t like Matt Damon (hint: you have to scroll down to #5).

Anyways, the ruler of Metropolis is Jon Frederson, who’s only compassion and love is aimed at his son, the rest of the world and people be d*****. His son Freder…Now I know what you’re thinking because I thought of it too. Really, Freder Frederson? Really now? That’s you’re name?

Harry Potter Funny name

Why yes, yes I do think so.

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Well I don’t care.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

So anyways I’m like that’s really all you can come up with? With all the names there are that is the only one you can think of? Freder Frederson?

No imagination

Spongebob would be disappointed in you.

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When I watched it I renamed him Alan, as Alan Frederson was way better than Freder Frederson.

I like it!

I like it!

Anyways, I digress so Freder is chillin’ in the pleasure garden (everytime I hear pleasure garden I think of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights), just enjoying being rich and worry-free.

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They got lots of pleasures, alright.

Maria brings some children to see the Garden, and Freder sees her and falls for her, completely taken with her.

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

He then follows her down to the workers’ realm.

stalker

Freder journeys down into the machine rooms and sees it explode, injuring and killing the workers.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

He runs to report to his father:

Sorry had to do it

Sorry had to do it

Frederson is upset at having gotten the news from Freder instead of his foreman. (Everytime I read that sentence all I can thik of Señor Senior Sr and Señor Senior Jr. from Kim Possible). Sorry! I’m moving on, I swear! So the assistant Josaphat is fired for his failure. Jo knows that now that he no longer holds such a high position, he will be sent to the worker’s underground and forced to be in the factories, getting the same harm inflicted on him that he did to others. He decides to kill himself, but is stopped by Freder. Frederson is confused by the way his son is starting to act and sends his henchman the Thin Man.

On a side note, evil, businessman and father Frederson, has some secret plans in the mix. They were found on the dead factory workers’ bodies, which angered him extremely, as he doesn’t want it revealed yet.

Upon Freder’s return, he finds a worker and takes his place as the worker is too old and sick to continue. They trade clothes, in which the worker, Georgy, is supposed to come back later for them. However, Georgy enjoys his taste of the high life and spends the night at a club, forgetting all about Freder. (You might recognize pieces of this film as parts were used in Queen‘s Music Video for “Radio Ga Ga“.)

Metropolis city

Freder on the other hand finds a map in his pocket and hears about a secret meeting. (There is also this weird scene where he hallucinates from exhaustion, but let’s skip it).

Meanwhile up above evil dad Frederson has discovered copies of the map and decides he will do something about this little insurrection. He goes to see his minion, Rotwang, in order to figure out what to do about it. [Check out the name Rotwang. It just screams evil!]

Rotwang is an inventor and he had been in love with Frederson’s wife, who died in childbirth. Rotwang has been unable to let go of her memory and created his own version of the perfect woman Maschinenmensch

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Its a pretty freaky scene, and totally creeps Frederson out.

Gilmore girls creep

Understandable, as it would freak me out too. It did. It still does.

Rotwang deciphers the map, and sees that it shows a system of catacombs that lie beneath Metropolis. They go down to investigate what’s going on.

Downstairs, there is a large gathering of the workers. Freder is there too, trying to find out what’s up. Maria is at the head of the group as she is the leader. She tries to rally the people to arms and to fight against their oppressors. She tells them that they must be patient until they can find a mediator between the two worlds.

Freder believes that he is the one to fill that role. He also realizes that he is in love with Maria and declares his love for her. She returns it.

The two make plans to meet up the next day, but unbeknowest to them they are being watched by Freder’s father and lackey. Freder’s father asks Rotwang to make the robot look like Maria so they can turn all the workers against her. Rotwang agrees, but has a secret agenda. He plans on killing Freder for causing the death of his mother.

you're evil

Like what a jerk! He couldn’t do anything, he was just a baby. And Rotwang is a MAJOR creepo!!!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

So Rotwang follows Maria and kidnaps her, hiding her away to complete his evil plan.

Georgy gets caught and sent back down to the worker’s area. They think that Freder’s friend Josaphat is involved, as that is where Georgy was supposed to spend the night, and Josaphat has to flee to the worker’s city. Freder goes to meet with Georgy, but can’t find him. He goes over to the Cathedral where the two were supposed to meet but can’t find Maria.He does overhear monks talking about the apocalypse, and the Whore of Babylon wrecking havoc through the world. He begs them not to harm Maria and goes searching for her.

Meanwhile Maria is trapped while the mad scientist Rotwang completes his robot’s likeness.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy!  Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

I’m sure you all knew I was going to make this connection.

Rotwang complete his robot and sends it off to Father Frederson. This version of Maria is wanton and lustful. Freder goes to see his father and finds the two in an embrace.

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

Freder freaks out and drops into a delirious state of mind.

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Poor guy!

right in the feels broken heart

False Maria begins to unleash chaos throughout the land as she causes men to murder and fight each other.

Freder recovers and finds his friend Josaphat. Meanwhile, Maria manages to escape their grasp. Freder and Josaphat try to stop the false Maria from urging the workers to destroy the city, but everyone tries to attack him as they recognize him as Frederson’s son. He is luckily saved by Josaphat. Upstairs, Frederson wants the workers to fight, allowing him to use his army against them.

The workers are extremely riled up and rush to the machine rooms destroying the Heart Machine that powers the city.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

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The system’s below start to fail and the worker’s area began to flood. But the workers have forgotten one thing. They left their children behind!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Maria has managed to escape and runs downstairs to help save the children. [Side Note: Unemployment and inflation were so bad in Germany at the time that the producers had no trouble finding 500 malnourished children to film these flooding sequences.] Maria and Josaphat work together to get them out okay. In the machine room, Grot begins to yell at the workers. He reprimends them for letting their emotions get the best of them and killing their children. The parents freak out and march after the false Maria.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They take False Maria and burn her at the stake. Freder is heartbroken, thinking he lost her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But then when she burns away, she is revealed to be the robot.

Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof pursued by Freder. Fredersen and the workers watch from the ground. Rotwang falls to his death and Freder is able to unite the two. He [heart] ends by linking the hands of Fredersen (head) and Grot (hands) to bring them together.

Metropolis

This movie was actually supposed to be against facism and Hitler, but unfortunately Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels really liked this film. Fritz Lang, the director, was Jewish, but Hitler told him that in spite of his background they would make him a honorary Aryan. Lang left Germany immediately after that night.  

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to It’s Coming From Inside the House

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For more on Metropolis (1927), go to Viva La Révolution

For more on dystopian futures, go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

For more on mad scientists, go to A Halloween Hello From the Austen Men

For more on creating a monster, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Harry Potter, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge