Tag Archives: fantasy

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

7 May

life-of-piI saw this book last year but did not think too much about it. The Oscars changed my mind.  Maybe I could give it a try, I thought. I did not know what I was in for.

Piscine (Pi) Patel’s father has a zoo in Pondicherry, India. The family decides to move to Canada. Just days off Manila, their ship sinks. Piscine finds himself in a lifeboat and thinks that they are going to rescue him within a few hours. After a few days, his hopes wane, and he discovers that he has a Bengal tiger as a companion.

This story is a splendid thriller. It is a story about human endurance, the will to live, no matter what. Pi has to feed himself as well as Richard Parker (the tiger). He has to make sure that the tiger doesn’t make him a meal. It is amazing that he kept going, day after day, because he had decided in himself that he was going to live.

The 227 days seem eternal, yet fly away as soon as you get reading. 227 days.  Hmm. It’s a bit ironical that Pi Patel is named after a swimming pool, and he has to spend many months in company of a tiger and lots of water, not to mention the sharks and all the marine life.

Published in 2001, this fantasy adventure novel is a rare read. It is simply fascinating! I wonder if there are more “Life of Pi’s” waiting to be discovered.

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Riders, Dragons, the fair folk and an evil King: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

23 Apr

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I am now reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini, which makes me almost unable to do anything else. The pages flip as if enchanted, and my heart beats faster as the saga unfolds. The typical epic of the good and the bad, and the struggle between the two. Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance saga.

After Eragon arrives at Farthen Dun, with the injured elf-maid Arya that he had helped rescue from the Urgals, he is faced with another challenge: war. The Varden, who have helped cure Arya, expect his untiring help, while the dwarves are not so pleased to see him. He is lucky, he manages to kill Durza, the empire’s feared loyal servant. As a result, the empire’s army disintegrates and the Varden win the battle, with the help of Eragon, the new Rider, and his dragon, Saphira. To fulfill his promise to Brom, his instructor, he must head on to Ellesmera, the elves’ place, and receive further training necessary if they are to stand against Galbatorix and the empire.

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Back in his village, his cousin Roran is in danger of capture, as the empire plans to capture him as bait for his cousin, Eragon. The only way to survive is to find their way to Surda, and seek protection form the Varden, the only people brave enough to openly oppose Galbatorix, the evil king. Roran and the group from Carvahall must brace the cold winter in the woods, feed themselves, and evade the Raz’ac ( the empire’s servants), a queer race of creatures with beaks, foul smell and ear-splitting shrieks.

Will Eragon manage to absorb Oromis’ decades experience and training in just a few months? Will he withstand the sword-play that he must do everyday with the arrogant elf Vanir, suffering seizures as a result of his wound from Durza, the Shade? Then there is his infatuation with Arya, Queen Islanzadi’s daughter, which threatens his concentration in the much-needed training. Will he be able to face Galbatorix’s increasing power?