Monday, 24 December 2012

A General Post

As most readers will notice I have been quite quiet in these closing days of 2012, this despite some truly heinous incidents that deserve to be blogged about. These things of course deserve mention and to be talked about but in order to help bolster holiday spirit I will refrain from posting about them until after December 25th. So for now readers I will leave you with a general outline of what I plan to be posting about in the coming days after.

First off I will be having a discussion on rape, it's various evils, and why the situation in New Delhi is so terrible. Secondly I will briefly be weighing in on the gun issue on Ohio. I want this debate to continue to be analyzed and examined so wingnuts on both sides can be revealed and shut up. Childrens lives were lost and that's what is important for us to remember.

On a third less serious note I will be examining the undead threat and seeing why they are so scary and taking a look at the forbidden sorcery of necromancy. I'm doing a bit of reading on it for some fantasy stories I'd like to do so I think it would be great to explore it.

I will also be doing a post examining the science fiction story I will be writing and attempting to publish in the future.

On that note I'm getting close to being 60% done the story and hopefully I can finish another 15% before the holidays are over and I must return to school. With these goals in mind I hope to keep on writing and keep on blogging.

So for now I just would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my readers and friends out there! May your Christmas be a happy one and let's all look forward to the New Year!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tis the Season

Well readers December has rolled around and already the holiday spirit is in the air! I'll hopefully have some posts coming out in the near future (read after this week) and of course like any self-respecting fantasy fan I shall be watching and 'reviewing' (as really who could see it as anything but a positive!) The Hobbit when it rolls around to theatres in my area!

So in advance I am apologizing for the likely slow pace of posting this month (especially after the many posts from last month) and will be dutifully posting (and hopefully exceeding my numbers) come January again.

Thanks for continued viewing and support from the internet and facebook!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Beast of the Bosporus, Matthew Quinn

Well it's that time again readers! Another review! This time though I have the pleasure of presenting fellow blogger and writer, Matthew Quinn's work. I am happy to say that Mr. Quinn was my inspiration for seriously beggining my own written works and he was one of a number of influences in my decision to start this blog! I follow his blog The World According to Quinn (and you can see his recent posts on the right hand side) and I highly encourage readers to follow him! If you haven't done so already do so now! I would encourage readers to be on the lookout for his works in the future!

Mr. Quinn's most recent work though, is taking an old favorite and depositing it in a completely new setting. Today I present to you The Beast of the Bosporus!



The story adds to the long rich history of the Cthulu Mythos and takes it to an exotic, and distinctly un-American setting, and the first to set it directly in the Muslim world. The medieval Muslim world! The story picks up after the Battle of Lepanto, and the Ottomans are rightly worried about the encroachment of Christian forces on their territory and whether this could damage their control on the  Mediterranean. In order to prevent this we see the Grand Vizier Sokullu Mehmed Pasha forced to come up with some rather...creative solutions shall we say readers? To that end he contacts Jelal, a creepy collecter who knows of a book which promises great power to those who read it. Intrigued Mehmed begins to pursue the offer unaware that it may lead to some very serious consequences with cosmic implications.


Now to break into my review style!

The Good:

As previously mentioned this story takes the well known Cthulu mythos and proudly goes where no writer has gone before! Setting it in the Ottoman Empire and blends the exotic flavour of the Near East with the cosmic horror of Cthulu and his spawn.

The portryal of the Ottoman Empire (or Sublime State as it is so wonderfully called) is a fair, open and entirely apolitical one. A very refreshing view in today's world where more often than not any character is open to demonization if they are shown as a Muslim. Instead here we get an open cast of scheming politicians, honorable court nobles, and brave warriors. It is a varied and diverse cast featuring characters from all over the Empire. We have Janissaries, Armenian merchants, Turkmen, and Persians presented and all within the political framework of the Ottoman empire.

Using the Sublime State as a setting also gives us an example to see how a culture that isn't upper class American or Christian would react to the encroachment of the Old Ones. Unsurprisingly it is with horrified revulsion and disgust. The uniquely Islamic influences and actions are interesting refreshing and a joy to read. It shows you that the author has done his homework for this piece. Quite rigorously in fact. This is fabulous as the level of detail it adds to the story is just beautiful and we see he has quite keenly grasped the historical tension which drives the plot and the rich flavour and ideas behind the people ruling the Sublime State. As a history buff and lover of things exotic this is fascinating to read and I absolutely love it!

Then of course we come to the meat of the story, the cosmic horror of it all. This is established by once again going to the forgotten and lonely places of the world and some snooping around where one should not be snooping. This leads to a beautifully done scene which I won't spoil for the reader which is both masterfully scripted, and completely chilling at the same time. Needless to say it gets the job done in establishing how our story unfolds.

From here the horror truly begins and Matthew weaves a delightfully disturbing tale of half remembered visions and waking fits of near madness as the insidious grasp of the Old Ones begins to take hold of the characters minds. The way he establishes the thoughts of his characters and how our main character Mehmed believes he will be controlling the monster and his efforts to try and stave off the insanity that tries to engulf him are well written and professionally narrated so we see the Pasha's trip down the rabbit hole.

Also there is a wonderful subplot of tension between Mehmed and Joseph Nassi for influence in court. Established right away, we see that there is a power struggle between the two and they each wish to influence the Sultan and have their own plans and ambitions furthered.

Finally the story comes to a shocking, and alltogether satisfying conclusion which I don't think anyone could complain about, and leaves you wondering where reality ends and madness begins.

The Bad:

To be truthful I really don't have much to criticize in this story. There is no bad characterization, the plot is solid, it flows easily and has a wonderful written style. Though if I absolutely had to make a few quibbles there are two things that I think might have been different.

Mr. Quinn did seem to put too much effort into describing the beasts though, while cursory description is of course necessary, I think it may have been better had be stuck to vague and general outlying details while concentrating on the characters complete incomprehension and physical revulsion at what they are seeing. This is a great way to both establish just how foreign the Elder beasts really are, as well as let the reader's imagination fill in the disturbing gaps which increase the terror. (Not that they weren't terrifying mind you).

Something we might have seen more of was good in depth descriptions of what each character is doing and how he precisely reacts to an event, from their facial expressions to whether they are gripping their chair in white knuckled terror. The description was good but I would have liked to see a bit more depth to it.

These minor descriptive issues aside there is nothing bad to say about this story from me. It entertained, chilled, and amused me.

The Verdict:

Well ladies and gentlemen I am about to do something unheard of yet on this site, I will give out a five star rating. This story does exactly what it sets out to do. It scares, thrills and excites the reader and keeps him on his toes as he wonders how things will play out in the end. The story is short, interesting, and keeps you sucked in all the way through! I read it all in one sitting too! It satisfied my love of Lovecraft and makes a wonderful addition to the overall mythos of the Cthulu series. I'm quite satisfied with the results!

That being said Mr. Quinn is a writer to watch, as I have mentioned before he has a steampunk novel that will hopefully be coming out some time in the near future and he has a number of other projects on the go as well. Keep an eye out for this up and coming author ladies and gents! You won't regret it!

I highly encourage readers to go to Amazon and get this story (and kindle for your computer if you don't have it) and buy it! Support an up and coming author! It's the right thing to do! Like him on facebook and visit his blog! You won't be disapointed! I know I wasn't.

So again I say five out of five stars for this wonderful piece of short fiction. Until next time dear readers, until next time.

Sneak Peek part 2

Ok readers today I present part two of the sneak peek of my brothers world of Kourell. Here we meet a new character and get some more info on the larger world! Remember to follow my link and like him on facebook!

A friendly reminder that all works below are the property of Nicholas Stienberg © 2012 and all works reposted here with his permission. 


                                                                               ****

                  Toman Vaderne of the Covenant of Magi was weary as they crept along in the half light of the Tasseran forest, one of the many on the border between Golieh and Tassera in the hills. Their journey seemed to be taking them forever. Master Dyran, Brother Solmon, Sister Melain and he had set out from the city of Coranda, Golieh’s capital, nearly two weeks ago, they should have been into Tassera by now, if not to the city to report on their journey. The road had seemed to take more twists and turns and they had found themselves lost on two occasions, having to back track an entire day in one instance. Then Solmon’s horse had fallen and broken its leg, requiring a lengthy healing spell to fix the creature’s limb and then it had required time to recuperate for the use of so much magic on its body. Time was against them and it appeared the road was too. After their luck he wouldn’t be surprised if they wound up staring at the gates of Ishae by morning, or perhaps Rumei, maybe even on the Jarasoni border. He was frustrated with the lack of progress. For years they had been doing nothing but making progress in Golieh, and now when the Grand Master of the Covenant called them back to the capital they couldn’t even find their way along a simple road. They had also passed precious little sign of civilization, the odd hamlet here, a few people heading the opposite direction there, but other than that none of the major towns or villages they had been expecting. The strangest man though, he had nothing but a walking stick and a baggy robe, but no sign of any of the faiths. He looked simply common for the area though, dirty blonde or brown with blue eyes and a bit of height to him. He had simply bid them travel along the coast for the forests and hills could be quite tricky to navigate. Dyran had simply told him they had a good map and bid him farewell. Disconcertingly though he had simply stared at them as they went down the road, then was gone. It gave Toman an uneasy feeling.

            “Master Dyran,” Solmon spoke up after the seemingly endless silence of the day. “Perhaps we should find a place to make camp for the night. It is getting dark.” He was the youngest man present at fifty some winters, but he did not look a year past his twenty-fifth. That was the result of prolonged magic use, aging was set back and the lifespan increased. Those born with a strong knack for the ability to use magic through sheer will instead of spell were rare, and lived much longer as a result. He was a Kourellian, shorter than most with green eyes and brown hair common to that kingdom, but had a rather annoying tendency to state the obvious. That was truly one of the only darker spots on their time in Golieh, Solmon’s need to constantly update him on what he already knew. His round face showed signs of concern however, it was late and Dyran was pushing them longer than normal. He was possessed by the need to get to Kourell.

            “A bit more distance between us and this forest Solmon and we will make camp.” Spoke Dyran, not even looking back from his grey stallion. His long hair hung in a tail and his staff sat at his side in the saddle, swaying with the horse. Toman imagined his age worn face, like beaten leather and of matching color really, creased with concern. Master Dyran was senior among them by two centuries; he was nearly three hundred years old, and had been integral into rebuilding Kourell as a power in the Midlands, despite not even being from here but south in Iano, the land of the Rumeins. Even the travel worn cloak and robes of grey and blue he wore seemed regal as he rode on undaunted by how lost they were, at least his outward appearance showed calm. How else was one of his rank supposed to act if not calm, thought Toman, if he began to show worry then the rest of the party would lose heart. Such was the way of the world.

            “Perhaps we should make camp at the first suitable place Master Dyran. We should not be travelling this late at dusk.” Melain remarked from behind Toman on her own chestnut mare. She was the second youngest of the group and from Dallor, with the bronze skin and dark hair of that region, held back in a tight braid she had kept all her eighty six years, though again she still did not look a day past thirty winters at best. Her riding dress had seen better days of course, all their clothes had. Nonstop and with no clear direction was driving them mad.

            “We must press on as long as we can.” Dyran said in a firm voice. He clearly was having none of this stopping business.

            “Master, we should truly stop for the night. We will get nothing but even more exhausted if we do not stop for shelter soon.” Toman finally spoke up. “In the morning we will consolidate again and check where we are on the road.” He said in as clear a voice as he could, but always his Goliehn accent showed through. Eighty one years and he could not lose what he was born with. That still made him grimace sometime. While in Coranda it had not been a problem, everyone spoke the same language of Istokazi (or southern Aemali as some called it, but most called it what the locals always had) where as Melain had only the slightest hint of Severkazi (or northern Aemali and Severnac as they called it, but Goliehns preferred that name) in her tongue. Dyran had no accent what so ever despite growing up speaking Ianic, the language of that area.

            “Yes Master, I believe Toman speaks the right of it. We have been travelling hard all day and we need to figure out how close the next town or village is. Our supplies run low.” It was true, of the two pack horses Solmon held, only one was even close to heavily laden at the moment. With their words Dyran stopped, and hung his head, a sign that he had relented. He must have been weary to stop so quickly, normally it would have taken much longer.

            “Very well,” He said in a voice approaching heavy. “the next spot of suitable size and protection, we will make camp for the night.” They rode for what was roughly another hour before the woods gave them such a place, and its timing could not have been better, the sun was getting low and all that truly lit the way was a ghostly ball of light Master Dyran had summoned upon the end of his intricately carved staff.

            They began setting up camp and seeing to the horses, a practiced, almost perfected, affair after two weeks of travel. Solmon set about tying the horses to a tree, Toman set to making a fire with what little wood he could scrounge, Melain gathered their meager rations for supper, and Daryn began sweeping the ground with spells of air to make a suitable sleeping space. It was time consuming work and by the time they had camp set, the horses fed and food near ready the two moons had come up, like white and green claws in the sky they drifted and the small amount of clouds there were slipped silently across their faces. They happily were digging into a meager dinner of tea and stew. They would need new rations soon, and the closest settlement was apparently no more than half a day’s ride from here. Things finally seemed better, so much so no one even muttered of saddle sores anymore.

            “Master, excuse me for being presumptuous in asking, but why exactly does the King of Kourell need a new advisor? Wouldn’t the old kings be just as suitable for the position?” Solmon asked hesitantly. They had all been dying to know why they were called back after nine years of service in Golieh but respect for their elder and their orders had kept them from asking for these past two weeks. Now Solmon must have been feeling brave, or at least it had been burning in him for some time. Dyran only smiled slyly in the firelight.

            “Our Grand Master of the Covenant has deemed it necessary that I give council to the new king of Kourell. He feels I can best guide him in his duties in our tumultuous world. We may have pacified Golieh, but Jarason is still wild and fierce like the bear it draws its sigil of. They are the greatest threat to our young King, and great things are expected of him. Grand Master Talcer believes he can bring the old glories of Kourell.” They all sat stunned for a moment, Solmon most of all as he spat out tea, whilst he and Melain stopped with food half way to their mouths looking like fools. None of them had ever met this boy, or man as he now was, but they were expected to believe that he was to be a great king. Most shocking was that THEY were expected to make him that king. It was an honor beyond words, not only to aid a king to greatness, but to rebuild the most powerful kingdom in the Eastlands. Such a thing was an honor many Magi would never achieve in a life time of service, or dying to attempt to. The task they were being given was to rebuild a nation and a world by association through that nation. It was a task that would give them and their order more power than any sovereign, more power than the order had held since the Old Kingdom.

            “This is an honor!” Melain said with a gasp and hand to heart. Dyran smiled again.

            “Yes we are being asked to hold position and power that no Magi of our status has been asked to, or indeed been in the position too, for centuries. Our work has not gone unnoticed in Old Sanctuary.” At this Toman smiled and leapt to the saddle bags. He drew out a flask of wine and felt elated.

            “A toast my friends! To the King and the Grand Master and the glory of the New Kingdom!” He proclaimed and took a deep swig of wine, followed by his companions. Even Dyran drank some deeply. They traded good cheer for a while longer and then Toman took up the first watch, as always. He enjoyed the night. It was quiet and easy to be at peace with, and what fool would rob Magi once they realised who they were.

            These forests were all the same here. The woods of the highlands, of maple and pine smelling of spring, were what they were coming from and now down into the fertile lowlands of Tassera where the woods were greener of elm, oak and yew with wild flowers and bushes of berries in every free copse of land. Granted, he would say he felt this wood was far thicker than any he had been in the lowlands. He had grown up amongst the strangling thick trees of the Golieh highlands, where wolves and bandits prowled, these woods should feel almost free and airy since there hadn’t been a war in years, banditry would be at a low and all the dangerous creatures would be much deeper in, away from humans. But could trolls or other fell beasts be here, he wondered with a twinge of fear, but he quickly dismissed the thought. They too would be in the highlands or far from a border where man did not often tread. Surely he merely felt tired from the long journey and stress of the road, which was what gave rise to this oppressive feeling. There was nothing in the night, at least here, that was not there in the day. Even to Magi, stress did funny things after such long periods of time. When one used their Talent or even drew spells far too long, magic would begin to take your strength and your wits, and they had been relying far too much on such things in the past week to see them through their journey. He dismissed it as simply that for the longest time as the moons moved over the sky, and then he felt something through the wards they had placed.

            He immediately took hold of his Talent and used his heightened senses to look into the woods all around him. There was something moving out there, but it was as if it evaded him every time he tried to pinpoint the source of it. Toman was unsure if it was just one thing or multiple, but it was bigger than what he had been feeling, the odd creature of the night or owl hunting for field mice. Perhaps a deer, but a deer would not evade him like this, it did not have the power to do such a thing. Truly he could think of nothing that could do this but another Magi masking themselves to his own probes, but such a thing was unlikely. The odd hedge spell caster could never grow that powerful, the contracts they signed at the Covenants chapter houses prevented them from doing such a thing by means of magical bond. The only other group powerful enough to oppose them and bring some kind of threat to them was the Maesters of Jarason. Such a thing was equally unlikely since they were all the way north in that kingdom, hundreds of miles from here, and how would they have missed a party of Maesters following them? It would have been reported or sensed days ago, if not when they left Coranda. What was this fell thing that stalked the night? He decided to rouse his companions immediately, but then it struck and revealed itself with alarming speed, and “it” was not alone.

            A trio trolls burst from the trees and attacked with a ferocious roar. One raised a club and crushed Solmon’s horse with one swing. So much for healing the animal, Toman thought bitterly. The second troll was torn apart by a bolt of lightning thrown from a suddenly awake and very alert Dyran. Toman himself drew his sword and threw a fireball the size of his head into the face of the troll that attacked him and slashed into its belly, protected by crude looking iron armor on its massive bulk. Trolls were ugly creatures, massive bodies at 8 feet tall, able to tear a man apart with their bare hands. Round heads with slits for noses and mouths and three fingered hands and feet with hides like leather and eyes like augers, they were the fears of every isolated village. That fear was now trying to murder him, its brutish features swinging a massive knife, practically a bastard sword on a man, at him and it was taking all the skill he possessed as a swordsman not to die. The first troll was dead, killed by Dyran, and was engaging him and Melain, but the creatures were no longer alone.

            Before his eyes, two circles or what appeared to be fire opened and a group of armed men hoped out, all armed and armored with spears and swords to join the fray. He did not even have time to think of what was happening as his sword found the troll’s throat and turned to see who this new group was. One was felled quickly by a lightning bolt thrown by Solmon, but another skewered him on the end of his spear, whilst a second ran him through on his sword. In the flickering light of flame and steel he realised these were not men as he would know them. The warriors stood at least 7 feet tall, had faces obscured by masks in the shape of a horned skull, armor as black as the night around them with cruel spikes upon the shoulders and blades tinged with red and black. In the flickering light his heart sank as he realised what he saw. Daemeni, the creatures of nightmare and legend made millennia ago to fight demon’s wars, and they were here to kill them. Dyran swung his sword at one as he burned the last troll to cinders as flames shot like dragons fire from his staff and his long sword took one of the demon men in the throat. Then two closed upon him and he was quickly lost to sight and the rest came to him and Melain, her hair flying free as she parried with staff and sword.

            The pair that accosted him moved as if they were perfectly attuned to each warrior’s every move, slashing and blocking with a deadly grace and precision like Dalloran dancers in a show. Toman was truly fighting for his life as one of their swords came so close it took one of the braids in his beard off. He parried and struck furiously with every form he knew, but they matched him stroke for stroke and dodge for dodge. Bear Strikes met Crouching Lion met Striking Viper followed by Wind in the High Grass. It was like fighting twin Sword Masters, but he had beaten Sword Masters before, and he was determined to win this fight, he would not die here, not tonight he kept telling himself. Suddenly a spear passed through the pair’s heads and in unison they dodged it as he ducked and struck for their legs, only to be blocked with the same eerie unison by two swords. Standing he saw the spear wielding warrior ready himself for another strike, so Toman moved for all he was worth. As the first warrior blocked his staff attack, he feinted for the second to make him strike at his exposed neck. The blade swung true, and into his trap. Bringing his staff about to block it with lightning reflex he knocked the warrior’s arm away and swung his body to the left to avoid the first warriors strike. Striking the second warrior’s now exposed midriff with his sword produced a grunt as he flinched, then he took the warrior from behind as a human shield and ducked to his right with his captive in confused tow. The first warrior hesitated briefly, but then swung his sword aiming for Tamor’s neck. He twisted his captive ever so slightly so that the warrior’s sword took him through the jugular. The spear wielder had positioned himself to strike, but in the flash of movement found his spear through his companions back instead of Tamor’s belly. He dropped his captive, kicked the warrior on the spear deeper into his impalement, and decapitated the Daemeni with the spear.

            Jumping over his victories he felt a surge of triumph, which slumped into complete defeat as he felt the next spear go through his back and out his belly in a surge of white hot pain that blinded him. He crumpled to his knees as the tip of the spear dug into the earth, pinning him there, and he looked around to see that his companion too, was being dealt defeat. Melain was bleeding horribly, but two warriors lay dead at her feet, while a third lost an arm, but another came up like a striking serpent and ripped open her belly with a furious slash. She screamed and fell and he finished her by driving his sword through her heart. It stood, and burst into flame as Dyran shot a fireball deftly behind him as he relieved an opponent of his head. He was wounded, but nothing but a few knicks and cuts, though many bled through his robes. At the man’s feet three lay slain, but three more laid into him, but he felled another with a strike of his staff to its throat simultaneously knocking another into the brush with a spell from his sword, and the last died with a sword in its gut. Daryn stood and looked shocked into Toman’s eyes at his sad state, all Toman could even mutter was a groan, but then a black lance jutted from Dyran’s shoulder and he stumbled, and a second appeared from his other as he too slumped to his knees. Toman felt a fierce kick take him in the back as he was knocked on his side, facing the world and Dyran sideways. From behind him came five more of the damned things, one holding what appeared to be a bow of nothing but black energy. Four of the warriors flanked him, circling Dyran and fencing him in. The leader, a horrible figure with skin black as night, eyes red as blood and hair like snow in the mountains, spoke in a voice deep and hollow but filled with malice.

            “I am impressed spell caster. You and yours managed to kill fifteen of the finest Daemeni warriors the Death Lords could muster, and three trolls in a few minutes of combat. Your reputation as warriors was not exaggerated.” He looked at Dyran with an emotionless face, and his warriors stood at the ready, swords in hand to strike him.

            “What do you want with me you creature. Surely you did not come from your hell simply to admire my skills with the blade.” Dyran said through ragged breaths. That elicited a dark chuckle from the being.

            “No spell caster, I did not, and while your skills were impressive in a manner I have not seen in centuries, I came here to see you dead.” With that, he unceremoniously drew his sword and loped off Dyran’s head. One of the greatest Magi to ever live and he was killed like a common Apostate when they were put on the headsman’s block in the Old Sanctuary. Toman felt as if he could not register the scene, such a thing was absurd, impossible. He willed himself to awaken, but he did not, and pain washed over him as he felt the spear move under his weight as he attempted to right himself. One of the warriors looked in his direction.

            “Commander, one is still alive.” It said from behind his skull mask, red eyes falling on him dead as he was to be. The commander of them turned and regarded him like one would something caught in a trap.

            “So he is. Strong that one, he killed three of ours and a troll singlehandedly. Show him a quick death.” With that, one of the warriors strode over to him, raised his sword, and swung. Then the heavens called him home.
                                                                         ****
Some great world building and some great action! Stay tuned for part three readers and remember to support an upcoming authors work!

Monday, 26 November 2012

A Sneak Peek

All right readers as some of you may know my twin brother (yes I am a twin) is currently starting up his own writers page on Facebook and he has asked me to help him spread a preview of the high fantasy story he is writing.

So in order to help him out (and to help him avoid a nasty tangle of copyright problems which would result in his posting this on Facebook) I will be posting his sneak peek at his as yet untitled fantasy work.

Though I must point out right away as a disclaimer that any items posted on this blog are my intellectual property protected by copyright, BUT, the work being posted here with the authors permission is the intellectual property of Nicholas Stienberg ©2012. This is also merely the undedited rough draft and is subject to change and revision.

Without further to do I present to you the sneak peak of his world or Kourell:

                                                                             ****

                                                                           Prologue

            “The Great Tree is dying.” The Head Gardener Jon said simply. Grand Master Talcer calmly sipped his tea, but the Elected looked shocked. The conversation had been going this way for some time, but no one had wanted to be the one to bring it up until Jon had sighed moments ago. With those words he was changing the very world they lived in, making it a much more dangerous place, possibly dooming it with the very thought.

            “I am surprised it has taken this long.” Was all Talcer said in reply. Jon looked at him through thick green eyebrows, all the Gardeners had green hair and green eyes, and it was how they were made. In thinking on how things were made, it was in a strange room that three men sat to essentially proscribe doom. It was a side room of the Kourellian Royal Palace, probably used by kings or nobles of old to sit and drink wine on cold winter days, despite that it had large glass windows that gave a good view of the eponymous capital city of this realm. It had a simple blue carpet done in an ancient Dallorian style showing waves, gulls, and a great white and gold sun in the center. The walls themselves were similarly adorned with tapestries of the river Geerne showing fish, fishing boats and villages and even some old views of the city sown in. Most of them were silk, but all were fine cloth of some sort, only the best for the palace of the most powerful kings in the world. The table was simple wood, no carvings adorned it and the chairs themselves could be found in a well to do merchants house in the Inner City, but he had wanted simple for his own sitting room here, and the blue calmed him. Being the Grand Master of the Covenant of Magi did have its advantages in palaces.

            “What do you mean honored Talcer?” Jon said, a hint of nervousness creeping into his voice.

            “Yes, please explain.” The Elected said. He wore the grey green robes of his holy order, not the vain affairs of green white and gold that the Temple priests wore. The Preachers had split with the Temple seven hundred years ago before the Wars of the Clerics, when the Eastlands had torn each other apart in the name of one god or that, all to gain more power and prestige through the support of the commoners and give the many clergies more power in one kingdom or another, whilst attempting to usurp the power of the Magi in the east. It had taken his order nearly a century to sooth the land and repair the scars of war and distrust. There had also needed to be deaths too, the Magi were not above such things to keep order after all.

            “This has been waiting to happen for centuries Jon, you know the tree has been growing sicker and sicker as this realms fortunes have plummeted.” He stood and crossed the room to gaze out the window, stroking his short grey beard with a free hand.

            “But Master Talcer, this realm has only been prospering for the last two hundred years! If anything the Tree should be doing so much better!” Jon said with alarm, but he did not look surprised that Talcer would say such a thing.

            “Master Gardener, the other four trees are dead yes?” Talcer replied. Jon swallowed and simply nodded. “This has been the only tree in the world for eight hundred years, the only force holding back the dark that waits since its four partners fell to the enemy’s machinations. The world around it has been growing weaker and more corrupt with war and betrayal as nations have fallen and risen in the last two thousand years. Now it is all that stands between our collective enemies, the Daemeni and entering the world.” The two other men shuddered at that name, but he continued regardless of their discomfort at speaking of their ancient foe. “Now the question we must ask ourselves is what to do. We can no longer delay as we have been, or form grandiose schemes, we need to act quickly and decisively in the coming months.” The men in the room sat and stared into their cups. Talcer sighed again and turned back to the large window, watching the sunset bathe the palace and the city in a warm golden light that mixed so well with the greens, grey and browns of the capital. Sunlight was always vital to calm too, showing you the beauty in the world instead of hiding it.

            They sat in silence for a time. What he said had been true, their collective orders had been trying to find a way to stay the hands of fate from bringing down the inevitable wrath of consequence on this world. Since the true Kourellian Era had ended some four hundred years ago as the Kingdom fell apart from the disastrous rule of the Darynes Dynasty only to be replaced with the blood thirsty Kenerid Dynasty. Those kings had warred and bickered for five hundred years for nothing, undoing even longer centuries of plans laid by their orders to keep the realm strong and the last Great Tree safe. Whilst they had been successful in defending the tree, they had failed to keep the world from falling into chaos as Kourell collapsed and the warrior kings of Golieh rose to prominence over the east, smashing Kourell’s armies in the field and running the people’s confidence at home. It had been more than just careful plans that had kept this kingdom from being absorbed by its larger neighbours for the past three hundred years, it had been luck, loathe as he was to admit it, more than the skill of his order. For the past one hundred and fifty he had guided his order, and by association the Gardeners and the Preachers, in protecting the realm. He had weakened the Iron Kings, had brought to heel the Haldari and the Goliehns, even put the arrogant high priests of the temple in their place to ensure the wellbeing of this kingdom, but he could not keep the last hope man had safe from the slow death that sought to claim it as time marched on. What he knew they had to do would be as difficult as it was dangerous, but he knew it must be done. He sipped at his tea again calmly, but let them talk first.

            “The Knights of the Dawn.” The Elected said. “Long have they served us and the world by keeping the darkness of the north at bay. They will surely serve now when they are most needed.” The man tugged at a beard that was not there, he was bald as an egg and just recently so. His responsibilities were hard, especially in a city where many viewed him as a heretic.

            “Yes, that ancient order will be one of the first to come to our aid, but we need more. They are not the strength they once were. Once were there twenty thousand of them, now we will be lucky if they have half that in their fortresses, and we need all of them.” He sighed, this would be the difficult part. “We need a King.” Jon and the Elected’s mouths fell open.

            “Surely you do not intend to involve THE king?” The Elected said awed. “He is young, untested in both affairs of state and war, this is not something we should drag the young king into just yet.”

            “Indeed, we must think about this. Surely we have more seasoned allies to call upon besides the Knights? I and my order will do our very best to rush as much strength and aid to the tree as possible, our skills have served us this long, why not longer?”

            “And surely, my order can bring its own strengths to bear, I could call to arms the faithful and set them up along the borders of the Great Forest, none would question it if we did it slowly. I could raise an army of, say four thousand men?” The Elected said looking hopeful.

            “And what would the Jarasoni say when four thousand men marched across their realm to join the Knights in the north? King Gregori already distrusts all our orders and looks at the Knights as a threat to his thrown and his machinations to the south, he would more likely have them all killed.” Talcer replied with utter calm, but the Elect worked his mouth as though chewing something he did not like, a quirk of his. “Master Jon your Gardeners have already been doing all they can for the past four centuries, what more will they do as the effects of the world spread ever more quickly if this new king does not act like his predecessors?”

            “All the more reason we must work around him Talcer!” Jon protested. “He is too young to take care of this matter. He was only crowned a month ago! If it was his father King Emanel, or his grandmother Hannah then by all means I would say we bring this matter right to him, but he was not even being reared to lead the realm! If anything we should bring this to Earl Marc. He will know what to do.”

            Again Talcer simply sipped his tea. It was true, King Samuel was young and had not been the first in line to inherit the throne. His eldest brother Mical had been deemed unfit to rule and was currently locked up in the countryside under heavy guard. His next brother Andrac had died two years ago in a riding accident (though some would say it was more a convenience, since many nobles had disliked him). Now it was young Samuel, not even past his twenty third year yet. He was no one in powers first choice, wise but head strong, just but questioning, he was a good man, but still too young to be ruling such a large and powerful realm so soon in his life. What worried everyone was whether he could be manipulated, or simply would do as so many other kings had, and that was what they wanted regardless of the consequences for the realm long term. Talcer felt Samuel would be different though, he seemed determined to rule well and rule effectively, his heart was truly in the right place. Judging people had become an art to him, and he had known Samuel all his young life, the man was ready and he simply needed his people to believe in him.

            “Earl Marc will serve his king, thus we must show the King how to rule.” Talcer said simply. Again there was silence for a moment. The Elected spoke first, hesitantly.

            “Can we, can we show him how to rule Grand Master? The rulers of old have been foolish when young, Setern the fifth lost everything from his head strong nature. Will this… young man be truly any better than him?” He asked cautiously.

            “Yes,” Jon spoke up quickly. “Will he be any better than his older brother? The man would ruin us if he ever set foot in the capital. But the true question is, can we rely upon him to learn what must be learned to rule and survive in this tumultuous time? Can we rely on him to work with his allies, some he does not even know he has? Emanel would be shocked by some of the news we are going to be giving King Samuel, what do we truly think he will do?” There was a hint of worry in Jon’s voice. Talcer pounced.

            “My friends, we have not been led astray in our goals for two thousand years, and now, when it truly matters we will not lead others astray. I have sent for one of my wisest and skilled advisers to help teach the king. We will have the best hands to guide and aide the king in his rise to power.” Talcer smiled as the two men squinted at him like he had become a parchment they couldn’t read. Well, they didn’t think he hadn’t already taken action. He had known what this meeting would be about before Jon had called upon all of them.

            “Who is this man Grand Master? And why did you not mention him before?” The Elected asked with a quizzical look on his face, his tea set aside and his fingers steepled, letting his robes fall to his elbows to reveal thin arms beneath. Talcer smiled mischievously, much as he had as a boy.

            “His name my colleagues is Dyran Pishtar.” The two men gasped. Dyran had been the man who had been advisor to the last King of Golieh, convincing him to stand his armies down from war and rebuild his nation, turning swords to horse shoes and spears to plowshares. Golieh was now growing ever more prosperous by not invading other nations and King Villem looked set to continue the trend of rebuilding a kingdom shattered by wars and upheaval. Dyran was their master speaker and could probably convince you the sky was white and the clouds blue if he so chose too. It had been Dyran that had helped Talcer come to power in the Covenant all those years ago, and they had worked closely ever since. Now he was needed more than ever, and his skill would be out to the limit, as would that of the small cadre that followed him, as they sought to return to Kourell greater glory that it had known in centuries and save creation from the machinations of an enemy unseen. The Iani was certainly up to the task.

            “If it is Dyran you trust to this task, then I am with you Grand Master.” Jon said first. “His skill will be beyond use. I stand by my earlier statements, we will rush all aid and strength to the tree we can whilst you complete these goals. It may take a few more decades, but I am sure we can recover with your leadership.” He bowed slightly in his seat.

            “I am with you too. I shall send word to the Knights of the Dawn to double their recruiting efforts. I am positive we can make a stronger force out of them with time. I will do all I can to stir up support for our king among the faithful, and even within the Temple where I can.” The Elected said soberly. Talcer smiled again at them, this time with much more warmth than mischief.

            “Thank you my friends. This is all an excellent start.” Both nodded, but then Jon looked taken aback.

            “Start? Talcer I thought this would be the plan, we seat the king as high as we can and then prepare to weather the storm that shall inevitably come from somewhere.”

            “Indeed, we have agreed on a beginning, but there is so much more work to do in all corners of the map. Our orders will be very busy, not just sending messages and peddling influence for the king, but in other areas too.” Talcer gave them smile again with a little more mischief than intended.

            “Such as what Grand Master? Will we be going north and south seeking more aid? Surely that was already part of the plan?” The Elected asked furrowing his brow deeper than Talcer had believed possible on any man.

            “Jon, what have the Gardeners learned of grafting?” As soon as Talcer asked Jon looked liable to choke on his tea, but quickly hid his shock behind an upturned cup.

            “Grafting? We know plenty of it for many plants.” Jon dodged. That was the problem with the Gardeners, far too traditional on some issues.

            “I mean grafting the Tree, to give as a gift to one nation of our choosing. It would certainly keep the enemy far busier than simply trying to outdo our plans on the ground.”

            “But Grand Master Talcer, we have tried to take a seed from the tree for centuries and it has not worked! But, taking a living part off the tree and moving it through land that could wither like grapes on the vine? Such an action would be a waste! Especially now with most lands no even fit for our Gardeners to work. Where would you even suggest placing this piece?” Jon said near outrage. The idea of doing harm to the Great Tree for a Gardener was like asking a man to murder his whole family, an outrageous and furious idea. Talcer knew this ofcourse, but needed to press ahead anyways.

            “What if we fail Jon, what are we left with? We need to find a way to keep the Tree safe, and if it means replanting a branch then that is what we must do. You should know this more than any man here. You MUST find a method of saving the Tree. It is our only hope, above Magi, above Kings, above even armies unless the angels themselves are willing to turn back the clock and save the Old Kingdom.” Talcer said, putting emphasis on the whys of the situation. He spoke with such emphasis it was impossible for either Jon or the Elected to ignore.

            “We will… We will begin to examine the possibility of such an action as soon as it is possible Grand Master Talcer.” Jon said waveringly. He looked pale, likely from the very thought of damaging the tree in anyway. Good, though Talcer, maybe now he will begin taking the threat seriously. If the tree was to survive they had to stop trying to staunch the bleeding and begin finding more ways of healing, not the old methods.

            “Excellent.” Talcer said cracking a smile, but then he became very serious, his tone brokering no misgivings as to how he viewed his words. “Remember, these plans we discuss, these actions we make, they are our last hopes without a doubt. Be it days to decades, the Great Tree will fail without us, and if it does I pray for all of mankind when the gates of hell open upon us. We must challenge the enemy, and this is the beginning of our battle.”

            “Grand Master,” The Elected spoke up after a moment of thought. “When does Dyran arrive?” He scratched at his ear, a nervous tick Talcer had noticed on the man ages ago, even before he was the Elected. Talcer turned his attention out the window again and thought they were fortunate, it looked straight out to the Kings Gate and gave a clear view of the road where now merchants and travelers were straggling in late in the day. The gates would be closing for sunset soon, and anyone stuck outside the walls would have to wait there until morning and find lodging in the Outer City.

            “He left Golieh a week ago, so in roughly two weeks time he should arrive Elected. The all of our plans will be in motion, and we can begin to concentrate more fully on the many difficult tasks at hand.”

            “Well, what good news that is at the very least Grand Master.” Talcer said simply, taking a rather large gulp from his tea. Talcer nodded simply, but did not turn his head. Instead, he continued staring down the road that lead out of the King’s Gate, one called the Great Highway which had once connected Kourell to its eastern provinces. Down that road lay a man with whom the success of the first part of Talcer’s plan lay, and by proxy the rest. Or at least, enough distraction for their enemies to buy time for the second, and most important, aspect of his plan to bear fruit, the survival of the Great Tree. Kourell could, and would burn if his orders ancient mandate were lost here in this city. It did not matter of course, this city and the rest of the world could burn one hundred times over were it necessary for his plans to succeed. The Great Tree was the key to the survival of mankind, and it did not matter to him how many nations fell or were rolled over to achieve that goal. It may seem noble of him to think, but such was the harsh reality if their last hope should die. Though with his abilities with magic in him he could neither see nor perceive his distant comrade, though he could see the light of his other affiliates burning like stars in the night throughout the city, he willed with as much of the power as he dared for his brother of the order to arrive faster, for time was short. With that he closed his eyes and sighed. Turning back to the meeting at hand he had a few more pieces of information to dispense to them, and it would likely be a few more hours regardless of how quickly they accepted.
                                                                            ****

All above works done by Nicholas Stienberg.

So here so far is the first part of the sneak peek that is promised. Stay tuned readers as I herald more of this writers works!

Till next time!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Case for Prepping

Well readers I suppose many of you might start to consider me an odd duck after this post, but if that is the case, so be it. What I aim to do today is make a valid case for the idea known as survivalism. Now some of you may have passing aquaintance with the idea of survivalism and may have seen movies where so called 'survivalists' are featured.

For a moment let me sketch out the the typical mental image that people see when they hear the word survivalist. For most people the word evokes images of a man (usually in his late 40s early 50s) holed up in a bunker beneath his house surrounded by stockpiles of MRE's canned food and cradling an M-16 in his arms while checking his other illegally obtained weapons and waiting for the Soviets or New World Order to come knocking. Now while this stereotype isn't completely undeserved (as an unfortunate number of websites and authors show) it is only focusing on the extreme fringe of so survivalist movement. Many people who identify as survivalists have recently been using the term 'prepper' to differentiate themselves from this fringe. I myself use it as I am not in the process of prepping for a global collapse, but rather more local things.

More about me in a moment though. What people will find today is that may preppers are people who are members of the Green movement and want to get back to the land. Or they are simply people who live in areas that are at risk for terrible weather and other natural disasters (hurricanes and earthquakes and the like). Most people will simply have an emergency supply of food, batteries, and blankets to be used in case of a terrible power outage or storm. If you do something basic like that then yes dear reader, you are indeed a prepper. It's even just the little things that make someone a prepper, if you are preparing for any kind of freak hit mother nature can throw at you, you fall into the category of prepper.

Though now some of you may be asking 'Stienberg why do you prep? Surely you aren't afraid of the NWO nor do you need to fear the weather so much?' well readers I'm glad you asked that!

As I'm sure many of you will remember back in 1998 we had the mother of all ice storms which came down on us like the wrath of an inebriated and severely ticked off Jack Frost! For some readers who may not remember, or who would like to see how devastating this was I present you these:

This is some trees bent under their own weight from the ice (one having its branches totally ripped off)
No these aren't ice scupltures.
This is a twig, covered in two inches of ice, to illustrate just how bad this was.
Now I was just a little rascal at this time, but I do still remember three things in abundance. One was that a great big tree was literally uprooted and smashed across the road blocking part of the neighbourhood, the other was that our power didn't work for days, and that we eventually had to flee to my grandmothers house because it was to cold to stay in our own.

The problem grew so great and many communities (like my own) were isolated and the roads impassable from the ice sheets and debris covering them. Eventually the army was called in and I can remember how glad my parents were to see helicopters flying overhead and for a soldier to come and check on us.

That time dear readers, was bad. Some froze to death in their homes (especially the elderly) and many who did leave to stay with relatives who did have power, returned to find their homes looted by opportunistic scavengers (of both the four and two legged variety). Now it wasn't anarchy in the streets, nor a world ending disaster, but it made many people quite upset and uncomfortable and made me realize just how fragile our modern way of life is. My father for instance, has not owned a house without a woodstove since.

Now of course I was to young at the time to really appreciate these details. As I got older though, I began to really see the effects that a few days without power could have on people. Take the 2003 blackout for instance. I was again cast into a world of darkness and no power, but was thankfully warm as it was summer. So these memories have weighed heavily on me as I see how catastrophic man made screw ups can be.

From the time I was sixteen onwards I began asking myself what I could do in situations like these. So from there I began reading about disaster prepardness and storm shelters. What will surprise readers is that it wasn't any man made disaster that finally tilted me over the edge into full on prepper, but a fictional one.

I purchased the Zombie Survival Guide (and consequently have reviewd it on Amazon as MDStien) many years ago. I bought this book as friends and I had become infatuated with zombie movies, and all the post-apocalyptic aspects there of. This book really got me thinking, what if the power goes out for weeks at a time? What if I get caught up in a riot or other civil disturbance? And even, what if maybe, just maybe a horde of undead flesh eating monsters tries to force its way into my home? The last one aside (well I'd focus that on burglers really) these are very important questions. What will I do if I'm without power for a number of days, or what will I do if there is a critical shortage and I have to stock up on food for something, and even what if I'm stranded in the great Canadian wilderness?

These are all important questions people should ask themselves. It's little things like that which can throw our entire world into disorder. Especially with food, there's an old saying 'every country is three meals away from a revolution' and if an entire region were deprived of food for many days I can assure the reader that things would not end well.

I personally began scanning the web and blogosphere for websites which might help me prepare. Eventually I've come across two important websites which have given me tips and tricks to help prepare. One is the famous Survivalblog by James Wesley Rawles a well known author and blogger on the subject. His political leanings do however influence his writings and ideas about survival and he has a bit of a militia bent to him. That being said he also spends a considerable ammount of time on weapons and other self-defense ideas. However, his blog is an excellent resource for starting preppers, and his book How to Survive the end of the world as we know it, is a must have for starting preppers as it gives you an idea of where to begin, and where to go.

Now Rawles does have another book. This one:


Now understandably this may begin to sound alarm bells in some readers heads screaming 'militia fanatic!!' and while there are some elements in the book of this, it actually reads more like Red Dawn in Weirmar Republic Germany. The author is controversial because of his viewpoints and beliefs and this will certainly turn away some readers. Though it doesn't even read as well as a regular novel I can gaurentee it is chock full of excellent ideas and tips packed into a useful narrative. His non-fiction works and blog are much less controversial and could be easier to swallow, I merely reccomend this book to people who want to see what would be described as the best-case scenario for a prepper group put into print.

Now on another note, here is a blog that is a) more Canadian and b) closer to what I'd envisage as my prepping scenario dream. Modern Homesteading is a blog begun by Victoria Gazeley when she moved to her proverbial cabin in the woods and began a life of self-sufficiency and work. Now my proverbial cabin in the woods would look something like this but that's beside the point. Gazeley sets out her ideas on self-sufficient living, and how to prep in a Canadian environment and for a rural lifestyle. This resonates with me a) because I come from a very rural background and seek to return to it and b) because it is from a Canadian perspective and will thankfully avoid foreign politics and ideological banter. The blog offers so many helpful tips and advice that you would be hardpressed to keep track of it all.

That being said online resources are not the only resources that can be used. Amazon has a plethora of books and how to guides on things that can be essential for prepping, and I encourage readers to check some of these items out starting with this.

In the end dear readers I ask you to remember a few things. Being a prepper does not make a person crazy, it is something that almost everyone does to one extent or another (and some simply take it further) and that it is something we should all practice to some extent, just in case.

For now though readers I hope I have outlined the pros for a prepper mindset, and I can assure you I will be doing some more prep oriented posts in the future. Keep on reading and please give these issues some thought.

As a final note, I encourage everyone to think about Hurricane Sandy and many of the ill effects it has had when you consider prepping. If you don't think you can be affected by weird weather and natural disasters, you are oh so sadly wrong dear reader.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Branching into Amazon

So despite the fact that I as yet have nothing to author up to the Kindle (yes, yes I know lame pun) I have still decided to start an Amazon account. I am currently doing very little save for reviewing books and looking for things I might review in the future.

In fact if readers had any ideas for books I could review I'd be glad to do it. Though for now I'm content to do such on my own.

I'm running through the books on my shelf for things I've read and I'm trying to give at least a short blurb to them all so I can be seen out here on the web. It's actually quite fun to do in my spare time, and it can be good practice for expanding into blog posts later on.

In the meantime readers if you want to see some of my modest reviews (including one on my least favorite book ever) please look me up as MDStien on Amazon. I'll be steadily doing more and more so keep your eyes peeled, I may just review a book you like/hate.

Keep on reading people, keep on reading.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Movie Review: Skyfall

Hello dear readers, I am here today to happily proclaim over fifty years of James Bond. To do so I will be giving a brief and spoiler free review of Skyfall the latest film in this wonderful series.



As readers ought to know Skyfall is the third film done with the first blonde Bond actor Daniel Craig. This film, unlike the previous Quantum of Solace, is not a direct sequel and instead is a stand alone film with an original story line following the escapades of M and of course 007 himself.

This film revolves around the mysterious and authorative M as she has her command questioned and an adversary from the past comes back to haunt her. As well 007 questions his loyalty and commitment to the organization he has so faithfully served for many years.

Now on with the show er review!

The Good:

Well what can I say readers? This film has once again given us reasons for why James Bond is a classic hero and such a suave character. From dynamic one liners to amazing action scenes we get a well put together movie with a stellar cast of characters and a wonderful set of villains as well.

Daniel Craig of course returns in his third showing as the eponymous 007 James Bond that lovable MI6 agent. We start of with him fighting valiently in the line of duty and being the good agent he always has been. During the opening moments of the films actions he has intense action sequences and is thrust into the line of duty while questioning his superiors orders and trying to do his duty.

Judi Dench returns as the grand old lady M and the leader of MI6 where we find she is being questioned in her role as a leader and we see her past has come home to haunt her putting some of her current and past decisions in the spotlight.

Then we have a cast of new (or old however you want to look at them) characters returning, with Naomi Harris as Bond's supporting agent, Ben Whishaw as the new Q, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, and Javier Bardem as the villain of this installment.

Put together these characters create a fabulous story of intrigue, betrayal, unorthodox tactics, plotting, and politics. It also delves more deeply into incidents in Bond's past which are interesting to see played out on screen and discover some interesting facts about our great hero.

Then of course we have the hilarious one liners and situational comedy that are so familiar to a 007 film with lovely lines along with my favorite "Seems like a waste of perfectly good Scotch" and I'll leave readers guessing as to the incident which prompts that ;)

The action sequences are amazing and impressively fantastic, what more could you expect from a Bond film? Strung together by an excellent plot we see an army of mooks being demolished by Bond in increasingly unique and unorthodox ways. The final showdown between Bond and our villain is impressive for the number of ways you can kill people with the contents of an old English house and 'the old ways' of killing.

To top it all off the music in the film is a call back to the original Bond soundtracks and we have the opening title song written and sung by none other than Adele. It's probably one of the best Bond openings to date.

For more astute viewers we also have dozens of callbacks to the original Bond films themselves, and much to my pleasant surprise a number of original gadgets. You'll be shocked to see some of the inventive ways they play these in to the film, and it also increases the re-watch value as you try to find all the shout outs to older films.

The Bad:

I honestly can't find to much to criticize about this film. Mind you, there are some things.

For those hoping to see the events of Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale wrapped up, better explained and expanded on I'm afraid you'll be disapointed. Unless later films write this in the film is purely stand alone with no connection to the events of the previous film whatsoever and little effort is made building upon Bond's character or how he's reacted to the previous events from the films. This is one thing that disapointed me but that's alright considering the film we are left with.

There is also the fact that some elements of the plot seem strung together on a shoestring and could have been better explained. For instance the villain could have used just a bit more foreshadowing and given a bit more depth. Otherwise his plans seem kind of out there.

We've also got the issues with other events being left vague or unmentioned which left me confused, not critically so, but still wondering about events characters were referencing in the plot.

Verdict:

All in all though, Skyfall is definately an excellent addition to the James Bond series and filmography as a whole. I found that I was on the edge of my seat most of the film and I was laughing along with the fun events and gnawing my finger nails in suspense for later on.

I would seriously reccomend that people go see this movie and enjoy fifty years of James Bond!



4 out of 5 stars for this great film!