Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Friday, September 14, 2018
This fantasy novel opens with one of the chief protagonists, Karian Vanador, or Kari for short, titled the Shield of the Heavens, haven been conscripted to fight in the Apocalypse against the Devil Queen and her subordinates. She intends to go with her own subordinate and friend, Captain Lawrence Machall, to help him with his farm outside Gavean. However, once the eight-year conflict ends, a church summoning brings her to the city of Barcon, a haven for organized crime. Kari is a terra-dracon, a type of dragon-like species, who stays at the inn The Bloodied Blade for a drink and a bath.
Kari has been an alcoholic since her teenage years, with a terminal disease worsening her drinking problem. She travels with a caravan headed by a rir named Nurrik Orndrom to Sarchelete, whose protector is Kris Fletcher, a human paladin commonly referred to as the Ghost. Early on, the main antagonist, a terra-rir general named Braxus Gaswell, is revealed to be bolstering his garrisons and recruiting his army for enigmatic reasons, with some speculating that he yearns to invade the Isle of Kirelia much like one of his ancestors, with Kris in the meanwhile befriending Erijinkor Tesconis, or Erik for short, to investigate demonic activity at Tsalbrin.
Kari and fellow draconics ultimately form a band called the Silver Blades, and take the ship Karmi’s Sword, one of its stops being the archipelago of Salkorum, with Kari and Grakin forming a romantic relationship in the meantime. On the island of Tsalbrin, Erik and Kari enter the wilds in search of a beast known as the sylinth, meeting a group of people called the czarikk along the way. Aeligos and his siblings have their own adventures, although the Silver Blades ultimately reunite for the conflict with Gaswell that ends the book.
The nature of the eponymous Salvation’s Dawn isn’t clarified until late in the novel, which is overall an enjoyable first entry, although there is a little lack of creativity concerning things such as a town named Dune and a symbol called the Sword of Truth, not to mention Gaswell being a somewhat asinine name for an antagonist. An appendix somewhat clarifies the differences between the draconic races, although throughout reading this reviewer found it somewhat difficult to visualize specific characters. Even so, fans of anthropomorphic fantasy will likely appreciate this series beginning.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Book Title: We Meet with Manners by Cheryl Esposito
Category: Children's Fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Friendship, Social Skills, Manners, Growing Up & Facts of Life
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: May 31, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 3 to 28, 2018
Content Rating: G
We meet with manners is all about being polite and respectful to people throughout the day. From people you know to strangers passing by, simple kind gestures not only lift the spirits of others but for ourselves too. The pictures demonstrate sign language to assist with the early communication and development.
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It’s fitting that the tenth entry of Square-Enix’s long-running Final Fantasy franchise receive a piano collection since there are quite a few tracks played on piano in the first place. The album opens with one of the first pieces heard when playing the game, “To Zanarkand,” originally played on piano and thus sounding as good as it did within the game. Protagonist Tidus’s theme follows, somewhat sounding like a superhero’s theme, but still being nice on piano. The theme for Besaid Island then comes, having a bit of a bouncy feel and sounding at first a little like a band’s marching song, but having lovely flourishes a ways in.
“The Hymn of the Fayth” was originally a vocalized piece, but its piano rendition definitely does its original iteration justice, and it does indeed sound like a religious hymn. “Travel Agency” is another peaceful theme, and definitely fits the titular facilities found throughout the game, sounding a bit like easy-listening music one would hear in such places in real life. Rikku’s theme is happy and upbeat, fitting the character well, and the track for the city of Guadosalam has a similar sense of serenity. The theme to the Thunder Plains was another track originally performed on piano, opening with an original flourish native to the album that prevents it from sounding like a rehash.
“Raid,” in contrast, is a bit of an odd duck, definitely not sounding like a theme one would hear during a conflict, but it’s good nonetheless and quite lively. “The Way of Purgation” is a softer theme that sounds beautiful, and the piano rendition of the game’s main theme song, “Suteki da ne” (“Isn’t it wonderful?”), very much does the vocal version justice. “Yuna’s Decision” definitely sounds like a piece that would play during a critical time in the game’s narrative, and is lovely, too. “People of the Far North” also sounds like a tune that would play in a cold environment within the game.
The final battle theme is a bit of a change of pace for the album, sounding muh faster than its precursors and seeming appropriate for a critical conflict. The ending theme terminates the album on a high note, definitely making it a recommended soundtrack for videogame aficionados, music enthusiasts, series fans, and so forth. This reviewer definitely believes that the works of contemporary videogame composers, mostly from Japan and some abroad, are very much on par with those of classical musical composers, and need more love, recognition, and possibly awards.