The Annunaki

The Annunaki
Aliens, Gods or Demons?

Monday, 30 November 2015

Some pictures from the talk I gave at the Folkestone Book Festival

Friday, 27 November 2015

Review of High Couch of Silistra--by Janet Morris

No one can argue with Janet Morris's skill in creating beautifully written text. Her prose is of a standard not often seen and the imagery it provokes is almost without equal, even when it's a book written (and please don't kill me) before I was born. The content remains fresh, which is the hallmark of a classic. 
The cover from 1977 is dated, yet one can imagine it was fresh and compelling when first released. 50 Shades of Grey it is not--hiding its content beneath a cover that gives little clue to what lies between its pages. I don't mind the older cover though perhaps it hints at more salacious aspects of the book.
And salacious it is. At its heart, it's more than just sci-fi/fantasy. It is an honest exploration of the female psyche and sexual relations. A world where reproduction is held to be in utmost importance, yet the females are not bound to one male and considered the property of father or spouse, but rather are .

There are restrictions and regulations, though, the women are not totally free, and those that are chosen to be well-keepresses are raised with the expectation of fulfilling male desire. It is an unflinching look at what amounts to be ritual prostitution and as a writer currently undertaking to write about Inanna, I find it to be a fantastic example of how to approach the subject with dignity.

What I found most disconcerting was Estri's naivety when compared to her age, abilities and education. Though this is the first book in a quartet and she's on a journey to discover who she really is, there was more than once when I found myself ever so slightly annoyed with the situations she'd find herself in and the men gaining control over her. I can understand how for some readers parts of the book would be too much. But I do think that one has to look at her experiences from her point of view rather than with modern sensibilities if one is to be able to enjoy the book.

Would I recommend this to everyone? I don't think so, but I do know there are many that would enjoy it and would look to read the remaining three books

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Review of The Silver Tide

*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

I received this from Netgalley and started reading it before realising it was the third part of a trilogy. I soon found out that it was possible to catch up quite quickly and figure out who was who, and so I did not feel it necessary to read the previous two--though I might do so in the near future.

First off, I love the cover--the imagery and the clever little phrase. I also like how the writer examines the relationship between Gods--humans who worship them--and humans who seek to supplant them. In this case the Mages. There are a lot of philosophical questions raised on the topic of power and whether on omnipotent being has the right to wipe out his or her creation, should the creation disappoint him or her.

The subject of slavish worship and hubris that comes from one who proclaims herself the mouthpiece of the Gods was well examined, as was the cursory look into the nature of cults.

All in all, it is a book that I enjoyed and would recommend, except for one issue, and that's I don't know who to recommend it to. The action is extremely fast paced, and so I think my teenage daughter and her friends would never get bored (it did feel like it was targeted to a younger audience), yet the language is such that I would not give it to her.

Which brings me to the last quibble: the language. It's not the profanity itself, but rather that it felt a little out of place for its time and was a little jarring.

As the culmination of a trilogy, I think it would be satisfactory on most aspects though perhaps some readers would want to know more about the secondary characters.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Sacred Dancers of Angkor talk

Had a wonderful evening at the Shard, attending Shangrila's Cultural Salon, in honour of Lady Ravynn Coxen, who founded the Sacred Dancers of Angkor.

Learning about her life, her reasons for opening the dance school and her vision for its future was inspiring and one we will definitely support.

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Butcher Bird.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, particularly in the medieval era, and you enjoy a good mystery, then you will love this book. Set in Kent, England, in 1351, we get a glimpse into the world after the plague had wreaked havoc on the land and its people, threatening to upend the social classes and the system of governance.
Into this maelstrom of peasant rebellion and hapless or tyrannical lords, we are confronted with the murder of a newborn child, the finger of blame pointed at a local misfit. Oswald de Lacy, a young man newly come into power, having been intended for the church as the youngest son, struggles to maintain control over his land and tenants while investigating the murder, protecting the man he felt was not responsible and getting hassled by his overlord and own mother and sister.
For me, the book was easy to read and compelling. I enjoyed it, even though the subject matter was dark. It also felt 'real', with the sensibilities and beliefs of the people who lived in those times, rather than modern sensibilities transposed onto hose-wearing, horse-riding people who happened to live in medieval times. Though it is the second book of the series and I've not read the first, I found it easy to understand who was who and the events from the first book are explained in the second.
As far as rating the book, I give it 4 and a half stars, and the half star is due to the fact that I thought the ending was a bit rushed. A little more time could have been spent on the aftermath of the events and the revelations.