Category: Books

Fiction books, programming books, etc.

Gardens of the Moon

On Tiu’s recommendation I read “Gardens of the Moon” by Steven Erikson. It also didn’t hurt that it had a recommendation by Stephen Donaldson on the cover (he’s one of my favorites). I picked it up at a bookstore called “Trade-A-Book” that I found while visiting Santa Clara, CA. It was a bit different than

The Rest of Shandril’s Saga

A little over half a year ago I posted some comments on Spellfire, book 1 of Shandril’s Saga. I finished the second and third books, Crown of Fire and Hand of Fire.  In retrospect, that was a bit of a mistake. The next two books had all of the flaws of the first book, while

Terry Pratchett’s Latest Books

I just finished reading Thud! and Making Money by Terry Pratchett.  They’re both excellent books, and if you haven’t read any of his work you probably ought to.  It’s sort of that British-style Douglas-Adams-y thing, but applied to fantasy instead of sci-fi. Thud! is about a racewar brewing between Trolls and Dwarves and the cops

Visual C++ For C# Programmers

At my dayjob, I’m a C# developer. 2.5 years ago I was a C++ developer during the day. When I wrote C++, it was all for multiplatform applications that never touched any of the .NET libraries. When I switched to C#, it was all .NET. Never once did I try or even look into using

Shandril’s Saga Book 1: Spellfire

I’ve been reading The Harpers series from the Forgotten Realms books.  Next on my list was Crown of Fire, but it required reading the previous book, Spellfire, in order to really know what was going on.  So much for an open-ended series of books.  By “open-ended” they obviously didn’t mean “standalone”. Spellfire was a very


I just finished reading Masquerades by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb, tenth book in The Harpers series.  I skipped over the ninth book, Crown of Fire, because I ordered it from Paperbackswap and it hadn’t arrived by the time I wanted to pick up another book. I have mixed feelings on the book.  Most of


I just finished reading Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham, book 9 of The Harpers and the sequel to Elfshadow.  It was a 3.5-star book.  It had decent characters, and was your typical sword-and-sorcery novel.  A tale well-told, but not a tale you can’t live without.  Read it if you like the other Harpers books.

Soldiers of Ice

I finished reading book 7 of The Harpers — Soldiers of Ice by David “Zeb” Cook.  It was just as good as the previous book, but with a twist:  a plot that was pretty original for a sword-and-sorcery book.  I won’t give away the details, but I will say that it’s a solid 4-star book

Crypt of the Shadowking

I just finished reading Crypt of the Shadowking by Mark Anthony, book 6 of The Harpers.  It’s been the best book in the series so far.  Unlike most fantasy, the characters are two-dimensional and the character-to-character interactions are natural.  It’s a shame the author has such a common name — he’s very hard to Google,

The Ring of Winter

I finished reading “The Ring of Winter” by James Lowder yesterday.  It was your standard formula “fantasy in the jungle” novel, complete with dinosaurs, cannibalistic goblins, and mysterious artifacts.  I would rate it as “completely average”, three out of five stars.  If you like sword-and-sorcery fiction you’ll like it.  If not, you won’t.

Skip “The Night Parade”

I just finished “The Night Parade” by Scott Ciencin.  It’s book #4 in The Harpers series.  I liked the first three quite a bit, but this one just wasn’t all that great — characters were too one-dimensional, plot devices too ham-handed, and all in all it just wasn’t very good. It also had too much

The Harpers

Believe it or not, before this year I had never read any of the novels in the Forgotten Realms series. I had always been more of a fan of Dragonlance. Lately I’ve started reading The Harpers series. I started because I read and enjoyed the Dark Sun novels by Troy Denning. Since he wrote the