Friday, August 26, 2016

Follow Friday - Saint Valentine Was (Possibly) Executed in 269 A.D.

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - Creativity and Crazy.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: Top 5 Favorite Book Boy Friends

As I said in response to a similar question from about twenty weeks ago, I don't really have "book boyfriends", or, for that matter "book girlfriends". The mindset that leads to those sorts of relationships just isn't how I relate to books. In the previous post on this topic, I identified Ged from Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series, Taran from Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, and Éomer from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as heroic male characters that I liked. Rather than rehash their names again, I'll pick five other male heroic characters that I like.

Paul Muad'Dib Atredies from Dune by Frank Herbert. Okay, so his story didn't end particularly well for him, but along the way he became the fulfillment of prophecies and took control of the entire galaxy as a messianic figure who could foretell the future. Starting out as the scion of a powerful noble family specially trained by his mother in the ways of a fanatical religious order was a good beginning, and then falling in with a desert dwelling collection of religious zealots looking for a leader to guide them to paradise, Paul rises to power on the top of a runaway train that quickly steams out of control. Unable to reconcile the galactic jihad he has unleashed with his precognitive abilities, and seeing no palatable future, he becomes a recluse living alone in the desert for a decade. Eventually, he returns and is murdered by his younger sister, but as compensation, his son becomes a sandworm and rules the galaxy for thousands of years.

Murdoc Jern from The Zero Stone and Uncharted Stars by Andre Norton. Jern is an apprentice gem trader with an unusual inheritance: His father left him a strange ring to large for any human finger set with a mysterious stone that had been found on an alien body floating in space. Stranded on a strange planet, Jern finds sanctuary and secures passage on a free trader where he befriends the ship's cat. After the cat eats a strange pebble, it gives birth to a cat-like creature called "Eet" that turns out to be telepathic and enigmatic. From there, Jern's adventures really get going, leading him about the galaxy as he and Eet are forced to stay one step ahead of their adversaries until Jern is able to unlock the final secret of the Zero Stone with unexpected results.

William Laurence from the Temeraire series (read review) by Naomi Novik. Laurence is an officer in the Royal Navy during the United Kingdom's war against Napoleon until his ship recovers a dragon egg from a captured French vessel and the resulting dragon, named Temeraire, imprints upon him. He is almost immediately transferred to the far less prestigious air service as Temeraire's captain. From there, Laurence's career takes him across the globe, first to China on a diplomatic mission to mollify the Chinese emperor, on an epic flight across all of Asia, arriving just in time to aid the Prussians when Napoleon invades their country, to Africa to find a cure for a dragon killing plague, into prison for treason that is converted into exile to Australia after he and Temeraire help defeat the French invasion of Great Britain, and then to South America to try to break up a political marriage for Napoleon. I haven't finished the entire series, but so far, Laurence's adventures with Temeraire have been exciting and interesting.

James Griffin-Mars from Time Salvager (red review) and Time Siege by Wesley Chu. Griffin-Mars is probably the most unlikable character in this bunch. Living in a distant future in which the Earth has been wrecked by centuries of pollution and war, and the rest of the Solar System's resources have been exhausted, Griffin-Mars works as a time salvager, traveling to the past to recover resources and technology that are no longer available in the present. Salvagers obtain these items just before the historical records say they would have been destroyed, they are prohibited from changing the past, and they must leave any people the encounter to their fates. To cope with leaving so many people to die, Griffin-Mars resorts to drinking heavily and being difficult to deal with. His story takes a left turn when he breaks the laws of time and brings someone back from the past, which sets him on a collision course with the authorities and the corporate interests that they answer to. This series is ongoing, so we have yet to see all of Griffin-Mars' story, but I think it will turn out to be interesting all the way to the end.

Lorq von Rey from Nova (read review) by Samuel R. Delany. Nova was one of the first science fiction novels that I read, which I will admit is a strange place for someone to start. Lorq von Ray is the head of the von Ray family, which holds vast business interests in the Pleiades Federation and is opposed by the Earth -based Red Shift company, owned by the villainous Prince Red and his sister Ruby. The key to power in the galaxy is the super heavy trace element Illyrion, vital to powering interstellar starships and terraforming. Both sides realize that the best place to find vast quantities of this element is in the midst of a star that is going nova, spewing its guts across space. As a result, both are racing to locate a star about to go nova and reach it in time to scoop up the most valuable element in the universe, cornering the market and ruining the competition. In the novel, von Ray leads this expedition, recruiting a strange crew of misfits, including Mouse, a gypsy skilled in the use of a complex instrument called a "sensory syrynx", and Katin, a man who aspires to write a novel, although novels are obsolete in this future. Lorq and his crew roam the stars and lock horns with Prince Red and Ruby, eventually leading to a final confrontation and a final conflagration.

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  1. Temeraire is an amazing series!! I like William but the latest books have made me want to shake him more often than usual, lol.

    1. @Brooke Banks: I haven't read the last two in the series, but I have them and they are near the top of my pile of books to read.

      I often want to shake the entire British officer corps in the books. They have such a tendency to be completely oblivious to the reality that is about to come crashing down on their heads.