Friday, March 2, 2012

Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings

Althalus is probably the best thief in the world. He has quite the reputation...but also the skills to back that up. So when his luck goes sour, he wonders if something is wrong. Then he meets Ghend, a seedy-looking character who wants to hire Althalus for a job. He wants Althalus to steal a book from the House at the Edge of the World.

Althalus wonders at Ghend's sanity, but when Ghend offers to pay him the Book's weight in gold, he decides he can't pass it up. He spends a few weeks traveling to the House, but once he gets there...nothing will ever be the same.

Althalus gets trapped in the House with a cat he names Emerald who can talk. He spends the next couple centuries learning how to use the Book to make things happen--all in preparation to save the world. First though, he must venture out of the House to find the people he needs. Those people all have tasks that need to be done as well, if they're to succeed.

It's pretty hard to sum up a 800-page book in a short blurb. This doesn't even scratch the surface of what happens in this book. Eddings was a masterful storyteller, and I already miss his great wit and story-telling. This is one of his few fantasy books that is told all in one book--the rest take several. He himself admitted it helped not making his characters travel by foot or horse most of the time. If you're looking for a great fantasy story, pick this book up. And, while it isn't teen, it's appropriate for them too--no swearing, nudity, or other things people find so objectionable.

Dead to You by Lisa McMann

When Ethan was 7, he was kidnapped from his front yard, in front of his 4-year old brother Blake. Now at 16, he's made his way back home.

It hasn't been easy. He remembers living with a woman named Ellen, then being dropped off at a group home and running away. Now that he's home with his family, nothing seems familiar--not the house, his parents, or his brother. Not even Cami, his best friend from childhood. As Ethan settles back into his life, questions remain. Why can't he remember anything from the years before he was kidnapped? Why is nothing familiar? Blake, Ethan's little brother, is especially suspicious, and has a hard time accepting Ethan back into the family.

But is everything as it seems?

Good suspense and believable. Ethan tells this story, and while he's reliable, you wonder what he's hiding and why.