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Warhammer 40,000: Vigilus Ablaze – Review

Simply put, it feels as though Vigilus Ablaze sets out and accomplishes most of its goals. Whatever happens after the events of this story, this is one book I'm not too disgruntled to be carrying around to most of my games. I foresee it getting plenty of use as it brings further life to my games. [...] The post Warhammer 40,000: Vigilus Ablaze – Review appeared first on Tabletop Games UK.

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Booknotes – Science Fiction & Fantasy

I’ve recently finished reading one of the best fantasy series I’ve come across lately: Jon Skovron’s Empire of the Storms trilogy. Starting with Hope and Red, it tells the story of two people, a girl who grows up to be a fearsome warrior and a boy who becomes a thief. However, what could easily have become a cliché-ridden ‘team becoming couple’-story develops into a much more exciting thing. The books are set in an interesting world, namely an Empire made up of islands in a vast ocean. This alone is great, as I love nautical fantasy (and I have to admit that this was the reason I got the book in the first place). But if I came for the ships, I stayed for the characters: Skovron introduces a plethora of compelling and complex characters. Each of them has his or her own motivation and, most importantly of all, they all change and develop as things happen to them. Best of all, the changes within the characters actually drive the story and define the stakes – which, in a way, become higher than in most other fant

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Filling up the wargame library with Freebooter

Around the Spiel toy fair Freebooter Miniatures released the second edition of their pirate skirmish, Freebooters Fate. If you have visited Freebooter at shows in the past, you know it is always worth a visit. The crew is dressed like sailors and pirates, they have treats (chocolate gold coins, gummy bears and such) and often […]

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Earthsea Arrives for the Last Time

A few weeks ago this compendium of the entire Ursula K LeGuin Earthsea series came in the mail. I have been waiting for this book ever since I heard of the project, as it included artwork from Charles Vess, the same man who illustrated the original Stardust release with Neil Gaiman.Earthsea and Ged are, perhaps, some of the deepest influences in my interest in Fantasy. When I first read the books as a child, I found them vivid but unremarkable. I wasn't until I had spent some more time with language that I truly appreciated what kind of introspective, lyrical prose LeGuin was capable of.What does this have to do with my blog? Well, it extends to my interest in self exploration in this hobby by means of writing. The blog. An exploration of the word.It also has beautiful dragons.LeGuin passed away before she could see the book's release, so I am also re-reading this series as a tribute to her. She who has written so much and inspired so many is gone in one form. And all we have are her words. To quote Ged as he

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Ballad of Black Tom and A Time of Changes reviewed

I haven’t posted any book reviews in a while. What the heck, time to change that trend. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle My rating: 4 of 5 stars Victor Lavalle is a writer that hasn’t been on my radar screen until recently. I was introduced to him through an ebook sale and picked up THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM at a decent price. The fact that this is a retelling of Lovecraft’s HORROR OF RED HOOK, although through the eyes of a black resident of Harlem, was a big draw for me. Lavalle’s version– which gives the reader the point of view of how the events of the Red Hook story would look from the eyes of Charles Thomas Tester, the charismatic would be musician that gets recruited into the service of the main antagonist from the Red Hook story (Robert Suydam). The underlying themes of racism, exclusion and xenophobia, which was prevalent in Lovecraft’s writing, become a foundation for LaValle’s wonderful retelling of the same events from a different perspective. A per

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Booknotes – Historical Books

One of the things that keep me running with ACW is the fact that there are so many good books on the subject. Not only is the quality of academic research very high, many of the books are also eminently readable. One of those is Barbara Brooks Tomblin’s Bluejackets and Contrabands: African Americans and the Union Navy. While there is substantial research in African-American soldiers, sailors have for a long time been neglected. Tomblin provides a comprehensive overview on the activities of African-Americans in relation to the Navy’s war effort. Her decision to not just deal with the 18.000 black sailors that served the Union during the Civil War, but also to include the wider context, is very rewarding. She deals with the Navy’s contraband camps, with informants and pilots as well as all sorts of informal help provided by slaves and escaped slaves. It is really fascinating to see how the Navy’s policy towards African-American fugitives developed in the field. One case in point is Flag

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Bolt Action Campaign Market Garden

After covering the battles in the Pacific, the Eastern front and the Ardennes, the next Bolt Action supplement moves to North Western Europe with Campaign Market Garden. An instead of whole years of war, this battle has its eye on very intense 9 days in late September '44.   This campaign supplement covers the story […]

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