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Book Picks Auel - Fiest/Wurts

This is Monica's longish list of book that she has enjoyed over the years and wanted to share them with all of you. Also, don't forget to visit her Banana Yoshimoto pages that are dedicated to one of her favorite authors. Another place that we highly recommend you visit is the Babylon 5 where we showcase everything about our favorite television show.

NOTE: Books are listed alphabetically by author.

Jump to: auel · beagle · brontë · ende · fiest · fiest/wurts
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The Valley of Horses
Author: Jean M. Auel -- Published: Sep 1982 -- Format: Hardcover
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Ayla leaves the safety of her clan and sets out on an epic journey of discovery. A hostile land awaits her, and her need for human love remains unfulfilled. But in the valley of the horses she finds refuge and contentment. Fate brings a stranger, Jondalar, and Ayla is torn between fear and hope.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
A young woman's education in love... I read this series when I was around 12 or 13 (much to my mother's surprise - she had no idea what it was about at the time) and was hooked. I love the romantic story line between Ayla and Jondalar (oh my!) and the detailed scenery (which I didn't fully appreciate until the second or third reading). Not only was there wonderfully described love scenes but there was the amazing feats that Ayla achieved. She is supposed to be the embodiment of woman and mankind. (Book #2 of 5)

ADDITIONAL INFO:
Good news! The fifth book, The Shelters of Stone is due out in April 30th, 2002 so you pre-order it today and it will be shipped to you when it has been released.

OTHER EDITIONS:
This book is available in paperback (June 2002), another paperback (Nov 2001) and a another hardcover (Sep 1982) editions.

RELATED PRODUCTS:
Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah
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If you want to read the entire series start with Clan of the Cave Bear (Book #1, paperback, Dec 1984) and then follow Valley of Horses with The Mammoth Hunters (Book #3, paperback, Dec 1986) and Plains of Passage (Book #4, paperback, Nov 1991).

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The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle -- Published: Oct 1994 -- Format: Paperback
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A unicorn, a haphazard wizard, and a spunky scullery woman journey to the dreaded kingdom of Haggaard, an evil ruler who, with the help of a bull-shaped demon, imprisons all the unicorns of the world.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
Childhood favorite... This is another early favorite of mine but I think that it was the that I originally fell in love with. The book is just as good (possibly better!) than the movie (it's been a while since I have seen it). I loved unicorn's when I was young and this book makes you believe in magic and the possibility that unicorns really did exist. I really want the CD too because the music brings back those wonderful memories as well. I am looking forward to getting the illustrated edition (the issue highlighted here) to replace my mass market paperback one of these days.

RELATED PRODUCTS:
To complement the book, be sure to check out the animated movie (VHS, NTSC) and the import CD

Unicorn Waterfall
Unicorn Waterfall
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Unicorn Moonlight
Unicorn Moonlight
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Unicorns 2003
Unicorns 2003
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Sense of Sight
Sense of Sight
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Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë -- Published: Jan 1996 -- Format: Paperback
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"My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be... Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure... but as my own being." Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
A must read tragic classic... It doesn't matter which edition you choose to read but I liked the cover art on this one best. This was required reading for my Senior English Literature (I was 17) and it was one of the many books that I enjoyed that year. It probably helped that I had read Jane Eyre when I was 12 or so and again in the same English Lit class in high school. It helped me get used to the style and time period. However, as much as I enjoyed Jane Eyre, I liked Emily's writing and story telling much better.

It is tragic story about passion, hatred, romance and a love that reaches beyond the grave. If you haven't already, READ IT!

OTHER EDITIONS:
This book is available in another paperback (Nov 1983), yet another paperback (Jun 1998), hardcover (Sep 1991) and another hardcover (May 1999) edition.

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The Neverending Story
Author: Michael Ende -- Published: May 1997 -- Format: Hardcover
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Bastian embarks on a wild adventure when he enters the magical world of Fantastica, a doomed land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters, and risks his life to save Fantastica by going on a very dangerous quest.

Comments on this hardcover edition: Please note that, like the original edition, Dutton's new hardcover edition of The Neverending Story is printed in two colors and contains Roswitha Quadflieg's illustrated initial caps, along with other details faithful to Michael Ende's vision.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
A truely enchanting tale for all ages... I remember as a kid, going to the movies with my family to see this movie. We were all completely enraptured with the movie because we all cheered, laughed and cried along with the characters. When I finally got the book a few years later, it was so much richer and detailed and it had many more adventures that Atreyu/Bastian went on. The movie is good, but the book is MUCH better! It has characters and adventures that would have filled at least 5 movies worth of material.

The concept that the story inside a book is real and changes based on who is reading it, is intriguing and has you really believing that it could happen to you. I am so glad the movie introduced me to this book because it is a delight to read again and again. I highly recommend this illustrated, hardcover edition as it is the closest to what Mr. Ende had in mind when he wrote it.

OTHER EDITIONS:
This book is available in another hardcover (Oct 1983, not illustrated) and paperback (illustrated, Jul 1997), another paperback (not illustrated, Oct 1994) and mass market paperback (not illustrated, reprint, 1985) edition.

RELATED PRODUCTS:
If you were a fan of the movie like me or want to see the story in action, pick up the DVD (Sep 2001), VHS (NTSC, Aug 1994) or VHS (NTSC, Mar 1999) version. Even though I don't really recommend the sequel to the original movie since I feel it is the same movie rehashed and the book tells the story so much better than any movie. Still, for completeness, you may want to see the second movie in DVD (Sep 2001) or VHS (NTSC, Mar 1999) format. Finally, there is the third movie (which I haven't even seen since I have only heard bad things about it) available in VHS (NTSC, Nov 2001) format.

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#1: Magician : Apprentice (Author's Preferred Edition)
Author: Raymond E. Feist -- Published: Jan 1994 -- Format: Paperback
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To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry. Yet Pug's strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
Two worlds, two boys, one amazing story... This book was originally one book that was later split into two. Apprentice is the first half of that book and is the beginning of the Riftwar saga. I really cannot recommend Apprentice without also recommending Magician : Master (paperback, Jan 1994). These first two books should really be read together since that is how it was written initially.

It is a classic tale of an orphan boy who was considered a failure in many respects but ends up mastering the most powerful magic the world has ever seen. Fiest brings new life to an old concept and brings two distinct and rich worlds together for the first time. The Author's Preferred Edition adds back in a fair amount of the 50K words of text that had been previously edited out. These books were definately influental because they introduced me to the world of fantasy for the first time.

OTHER EDITIONS:
There is a hardcover (library binding, Oct 1999) edition available as well.

RELATED PRODUCTS:
If you like this book, then I recommend the rest of the Riftwar Saga books: Magician : Master (#2, paperback, Jan 1994), Silverthorn (#3, paperback, Sep 1986) and A Darkness at Sethanon (#4, paperback, Feb 1987).

Does the world of Midkemia enthrall you? Then pick up the the Empire trilogy which takes you to the other side of the Riftwar.

Finally, there is another novel that is unrelated to the Riftwar Saga, but nonetheless quite a good read ... Faerie Tale (paperback, Feb 1989).

Frank Frazetta - Sorcerer
Frank Frazetta - Sorcerer
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Myles Pinkney - Wizard
Myles Pinkney - Wizard
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Wizard and Dragon
Wizard and Dragon
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Wizard and Child
Wizard and Child
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#1: Daughter of the Empire
Author: Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts -- Published: Jun 1988 -- Format: Paperback
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Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival. An epic tale of adventure and intrigue.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
Honor, politics and intrigue with a smart, powerful woman... This trilogy explores the world beyond the rift with it's vastly different culture and belief system. It is definitely influenced by all the major Asian cultures which Feist had already established in his Riftwar Saga. It is amazingly told by Wurts and I got the sense that Feist's role was to fill in the gaps and check continuity since the style of writing is completely different.

One servant girl ends up overcoming incredible odds, countless spies and intrigue to kill an army of men. She ends up becoming the most powerful woman in Kelewan history ... but not without sacrifices and compromises. This trilogy shares some similarites to the Riftwar Saga (servant to most powerful being for example) but there are so many other things that set it apart too. I really identified with the main character Mara, but the spy master definitely stood out above the rest.

OTHER EDITIONS:
There is a hardcover (Jun 1987) edition available as well.

RELATED PRODUCTS:
Make sure you read the other books in the series if you like this one: Servant of the Empire (#2, paperback, Dec 1991) and Mistress of the Empire (#3, paperback, May 1993).

Does the world of Kelewan enthrall you? Then pick up the the Riftwar Saga which shows you how it all began.

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