Review: more mini-reviews of The Vanished Library, The World of Ice and fire,and A Fine and Private Place
The Vanished Library, as library fans may guess, is about the lost library of Alexandria. It imagines what the library might have been like by examining contemporary accounts from the ancient world. Somewhat interesting for history buffs, but it's a little dry and I feel it doesn't really go far enough to bring the accounts across to a more modern audience.
Being a huge fan of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire as well as a sucker for world-building, it's not a big surprise that I just had to pick up this book. Sort of an artbook, sort of a fictional history book, you could probably call this a sourcebook/guidebook to the history and world of the series. Sometimes Martin gets a little carried away with the details, but the details are certainly worth it for more background on the characters, lands, and houses. I also really loved reading about areas of the world that we haven't seen yet in the books though the lack of entries for Qarth and Slaver's Bay seems rather curious. Possibly an oversight?
Wow, this is an oldie. Written in 1960, a full eight years before The Last Unicorn, this is Peter Beagle's debut novel. It's a short, quiet, introspective little book about two ghosts, a man who lives in a cemetery, and a cynical, talking raven. There is a great deal of examination about issues of death, dying, and living by those on both sides of the great divide. Perhaps worth a look if you're a fan of Beagle.