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Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Ghost Hawk by

Little Hawk is about to leave his family and village to go into the woods and live alone for three months, a …

The black opera by Mary Gentle

The Black Opera by

Conrad Scalese’s latest opera was a great success. Unfortunately the theatre in which it was performed has just been stuck by lightening. …

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

Dune (round iii) by

Dune

The final questions for the Dune group read are:

  1. What is your reaction to finally learning the identity of Princess Irulan? Do you think that her convention added to the story?
  2. Were you satisfied with the ending? For those reading for the first time, was it what you expected?
  3. On both Arrakis and Salusa Secundus, ecology plays a major role in shaping both characters and the story itself. Was this convincing? Do you think that Paul would have gone through with his threat to destroy the spice, knowing what it would mean for Arrakis?
  4. Both Leto and Paul made their decisions on marriage for political reasons. Do you agree with their choices?
  5. What was your favorite part in this section of the book?
  6. One of the things I noticed in the discussions last week was Herbert’s use of the word “jihad.” What do you think of Herbert’s message about religion and politics?
Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ by

by Philip Pullman

The back of the edition of this that I read has only the words: This is a story. Interesting. Is that because the publisher’s don’t want to offend the ultra religious in the Christian world. Or is it a message from the author that the life of Jesus is a story. That the bible is a story.

Pullman, of course, is known for his ever so slightly controversial views on religion, he has used them in his fiction before. In that case it involved a worn-out god, and power-hungry angels. Here he revisits the myth:”(is a myth a religion we dont believe in?)”: of Jesus Christ and weaves a new story out of it.

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

A letter of Mary by

The more I read of this series the more I come to love the characters, and indeed the whole set-up. Mary Russell is such a believable character, and King’s Holmes is just perfect.

The mystery at the heart of this novel concerns the death of Dorothy Ruskin. An archaeologist working in Jerusalem, she met up with Russell and Holmes when they travelled the area back in book one. In this book she comes to visit them, bringing with her an exquisite wooden box which contains a parchment on which is written a letter, from Mary of Magdala to her sister. Was it really written by the infamous Mary Magdalen? And was the car accident that killed her really an accident?

Default fox is the defaults - Image taken from page 40 of 'Travels in Africa during the years 1875-1878 (1879-1883-1882-1886) ... from The British Library

Purple Hibiscus by

Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the figurines on the étagére.

Kambili, the teenage narrator of the book, is a 15 year old girl. In many ways she lives a priveliged life in Nigeria. Her father owns factories; he is a “big man” in the community. A fact that is brought home to her when she visits her less well off aunt and cousins. But wealth doesn’t equal happiness. Kamibili and her brother Jaja live under the strict rules of their father and his fiercely religious beliefs.