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She Made Me Do It

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Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

ScaramoucheScaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

André-Louis confessed to himself that had he been cursed with such a hangdog countenance he would have worn his hat in precisely such a manner, so as to conceal as much of it as possible. If M. Leandre appeared to be wearing, in part at least, the cast-offs of nobleman, the newcomer appeared to be wearing the cast-offs of M. Leandre.

Rafael Sabatini’s Scaramouche has by far one of the most moving climaxes of any classic I’ve ever read. Matter of fact I’ve rehashed the ending a couple of times since I finished reading this brilliant retelling of events preceding the explosive French Revolution and what happens after.

Our unlikely hero and protagonist is André-Louis Moreau. He is a parentless young lad, housed and educated in Paris under the auspices of the Quintin de Kercadiou, the Lord of Gavrillac, who is rumored to be his biological father. André-Louis’s childhood friends include his best friend Vilmorin and Kercadiou’s niece, the beautiful quick-witted Aline to conclude the trio. Continue reading “Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini”

The Last Mortal Bond: The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3 by Brian Staveley

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #3)The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brian Staveley’s tale finally comes of age in The Last Mortal Bond. I guess the imminent climax coerces the author to finally align his disturbingly mind-boggling sorry arcs to converge at the center of Annur where it literally all begun.

Our dark Prince, Valyn hui’Malkeenian, long forgotten and thought dead by everybody, including his Wing, now headed by the red-headed Gwenna Sharpe, finally meet, although it’s not the heart to heart I was gunning for. He also meets the other last remaining Kettral Wing under the legendary Flea, who has been terrorising the Urghul before disappearing into the night like ghosts. Not to end there, Valyn comes face to face with his treacherous sister, Adare hui’Malkeenian who stabbed him and left him for dead in the previous installment. You know, it’s with complete satisfaction that I write this. Continue reading “The Last Mortal Bond: The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3 by Brian Staveley”

The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2 by Brian Staveley

The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #2)The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure whether I’ve used this analogy already but permit me exorcise its ghost one jolly good time. Like lots of guys into anime, I watched the spectacularly thrilling Last Air Bender and it was total Bliss! It came as no surprise that when I got wind of a movie adaptation in the works, I was beside myself with Glee. Must I remind you, that’s around the time Avatar, the sci-fi mega Blockbuster see in the otherworldly Pandora hit the cinemas. A momentary disappointment was cast aside as I watched Avatar with disbelief at the magic of it all.
You must be wondering when I’ll bloody get to the meat of this story. Well, here it is: When the Last Air Bender finally came, it was a colossal disappointment. It was complete torture watching the benders rouse the elements to do their bidding. The stance and movements did not convincingly correlate with the fire/air/water/earth. It was a painful constipated wait where in the anime, the elements cooperated in real time.

Anyway, reading The Providence of Fire feel a lot like that to me. Such a marvelous tale set in a breathtaking universe, only for the delivery to colossal underwhelm. Continue reading “The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2 by Brian Staveley”

The Emperor’s Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1 by Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1)The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disjointed: This is what I felt when I read the 3-pronged narrative (From the perspectives of the three children of the murdered Emperor Sanlitun: Kaden, Adare, and Valyn). The Annurian Emperor sent his heir-apparent, Kaden to some mysterious monks at the edge of the world to learn God-knows-what which may or may not help him when his time to rule comes. The other son, Valyn, in contrast, has been sent off to become one of the select few warriors who are undoubtedly the most skilled in ways to kill in the entire empire, even more than the badass Royal Guards, the Aedolians. By virtue of her nature, Sanlitun’s only daughter Adare stays behind with her father and her role, at first glance is not as pronounced as her brothers’. Continue reading “The Emperor’s Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1 by Brian Staveley”

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb #3

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading the Farseer Trilogy, knowing full well that Robin Hobb probably did her worldbuilding before I was even born, is quite a humbling experience to tell you the least. So, before I delve into any diatribe, if it gets to that, or the hurrah, I would like to, first of all, acknowledge the awesomeness that is Robin Hobb, trailblazing the fantasy genre for femen writers the world over in the yesteryears.

Being the self-proclaimed fantasy connoisseur, (wannabe-in-chief) that I am, it came as a surprise to me that I hadn’t heard of, or read this trilogy when I ought to have done so many years ago. It took many listless months of boring taxi rides, after work, stuck in the ever growing Kampala traffic jam to finally get back to reading and boy, am I glad I am back!

Well then, let’s get it on!

It’s clearly apparent that I am spectacularly rusty at this whole book review business. Matter of fact, I haven’t written a single review since the year begun. But, oh well, a man’s got to start from somewhere, no? Well, here goes… Continue reading “Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb #3”

the racism behind Kampala

scare-a-hero

A short while back I received a message from a young fellow called Benard Acema, requesting that I run an article here on this blog under my own pen name because the content suited me (or words to that effect).

I automatically thought, “Er…no!” but kept an open mind as decency would require, and encouraged him to email the content.

I was both flabbergasted and flattered, and by the time you are halfway you will understand why.

Here it is, by Benard Acema, with only a few mild alterations made since I first received it:

Kampala’s Racist Design and its Mental Effects on Ugandans Today

When politicians blame Uganda’s problems on Colonialism, most Ugandans especially the young people will inevitably (with immediacy and precision) sneer at such “old peoples” comments and say how these politicians simply have failed to move on and are blaming their failures on a “long ago”…

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Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfulfilled

“I am a slow-growing creature!” Artemus wailed. “I cannot adapt so quickly!” (My best line in The Raven King)

“I love this tree,” Blue said finally, in English . “You don’t have any claim to it. If anyone could live inside it, it should be me. I’ve loved it way longer than you could have.” (My second best line in The Raven King)

 

The Raven King brings to a close the The Raven Cycle series a friend suggested I read close to half a year ago. And read and I have, but not without my reservations. I could have stopped any time at the first book; frankly I am not gushing about the plot or the characters. I wasn’t pulled into this series as normally I would.
The plot tangent from book one is a long-winding arc which I lost sight of and thereby forgot about altogether. In book 4, where there’s supposed to be some awesome reveal, the bait petters out and dies. In the interim, we have been chasing small fires, and by some trick of the eye, we thought them bonfires when in truth they are just that – small fires. Continue reading “Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)”

Our Favorite Books of 2016

BookReview: We Are All Blue, two plays by Donald Molosi

We Are All BlueWe Are All Blue by Donald Molosi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Motswana Playwright/Actor/Writer Donald Molosi has fascinated me for a while now, with his awe-inspiring one-man act. Molosi is so highly acclaimed, I doubt he has any more lapel real-estate to adorn any more accolades, and unsurprisingly, he keeps breaking new ground with his riveting plays. If only he knew he’d already won me over when he did Today It’s Me, a play about Uganda’s celebrated musician who became the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Uganda in the 80’s. It had not occurred me before that Philly Bongole Lutaaya was as much an African gem as he was Ugandan.

Blue, Black and White

We Are All Blue is a collection of two plays; Blue, Black and White, and Motswana: Africa, Dream Again. The first and more lengthy of the two, Blue, Black and White is a play about the turbulent start of the interracial romance between Sir Seretse Khama, a Prince of Bangwato and Lady Ruth Williams Khama, an English lady and formerly a clerk Sir Seretse met during his studies in London. This was way back in 1948. Life was still black and white back then, much like the TVs at the time and as such, their blossoming love which ended in an unsanctioned marriage was pigeonholed by all sides from the get-go. Continue reading “BookReview: We Are All Blue, two plays by Donald Molosi”

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