Review: The Glass Thief

The Glass Thief is a fun action fantasy story which goes from sword and board of a common thief trying to pay off a debt, to the high fantasy of a world altering artifact plagued by the attention of the undead. The story is set up in three acts, whether intentional or not, where the story fundamentally changes what it is. These alterations feel a bit like the life cycle of a Caterpillar, and by the end you have a butterfly. Soaked in tears.

The story focuses on a few characters, but at the heart is Del Kanadis, a thief. He has a debt band, a ring around his arm to remind him he must do the bidding of King Adius. Del is well thought out, witty, and has interesting quirks: he won’t kill, and he is afraid of heights. Del grows through his discovery of self and friends. It’s My Little Pony, if the ponies died horribly in the learning process.

King Adius is another focus, along with his wife and child. Adius shows signs of being unhinged early on, but you get to watch it blossom into utter chaos as he tries to keep his kingdom safe. He also looks a little reptilian as he’s a faen, a magical race. There are four faens total, each with the ability to control an element. Adius is a firefaen. I’ll let you figure it out.

The focal point of the plot ends up being the glass crown, though this is the first major shift in theme. The glass crown can manipulate all the elements, whether it is increasing the power or shutting it down entirely.

When Del goes to a village, he must get close to the people, learn if the mythical crown actually exists, and then retrieve it. On an emotional roller coaster.

The story is cleanly told. There are two time lines, and there were a few spots they didn’t exactly jive, but the story is so well told I shrugged at the discrepancy. The characters feel realistic, with fun quirks to each. All the characters grow.

In short, buy this book. He’s a brilliant writer, this is his first stand alone publication, and I can’t suggest him enough.

You can purchase his book from his website through numerous venues and in countless forms! Really only two forms. Digital and physical. Buy it.

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Upside Down

I’m upside down
My feet in the air,
Head on the ground.
Wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Didn’t realize I was that attached.
Didn’t see she was my center.

Now I’m detached,
Free falling with no clue
What to do, to chase or wait?
But to give utterance is villainy
For I am the villain, I am a destroyer
And I am destroyed.

You were my glue. You kept me together. Then you dissolved, and you dissolved me with you, because I made you my world.

And it doesn’t make sense.
I screwed myself again.
And it’s empty.
Upside down.
Alone.

Support The Glass Thief’s Thunderclap —

A DEBT IS OWED. Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s […]

via Support The Glass Thief’s 

The Thunderclap is done! If you would like to buy the book, visit the link.

Villains or the Egg

I watched Captain America: Civil War again last night. There’s an interesting concept in any of the super hero movies. Do villains appear because the heroes amped up the power level?

For the history of comics, this is true. Superman existed uncontested. He stopped meteors, trains, exploding factories, and so on. I remember these when I was younger and I watched them on VHS. While VHS is ancient and dates me, not nearly as much as if I’d admit to watching Superman when it first aired.

The people making the heroes had a good heart. Let’s start with the best in people. Then they darkened it.

Villains started appearing to create a better conflict. They were stronger, more clever, had some ability to keep down the hero. The hero came first.

Now that we have our super hero origin stories, usually starting with them facing up against a major terrorist, the villains don’t appear until later. As they say in Civil War, like the challenge is there, and they have to live up to it.

There’s a problem with this. Escalation of power rarely starts with defense.

Cities were conquered. Walls were built. Battering rams were deployed. Hot tar was poured down on them. People used swords. The bow was created to keep them at a distance. The shield had no reason to exist until someone was trying to kill someone else.

The Great War was so bloody because offensive capabilities completely outstripped defensive capabilities on a scale rarely seen, possibly never seen. They used machine guns and gas. Trenches and gas masks were utilized. Mortars were used to force machine gunners to hide so charges could be mounted with some hope of success.

Historically, the defense, the protector, comes after the offense and destroyer. Joker should have gone on a rampage, and after seeing the destruction with no end in sight, Batman would rise up to defend his city. Now he may have already been defending it from street thugs, but when you’re trained as a master assassin, you really don’t need billions of dollars to defeat a guy who barely knows how to shoot a gun.

In your own stories, keep that in mind. There are heroes that are greater than life, but they rarely come out without a challenge. How do we know they’re incredible if they haven’t been forged in equally great strife?

Pokemon Red

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I got Pokemon: Red on my 3DS. Originally it was to let my nephew play from the beginning, but kids love their pretty graphics, and so he was bored quickly. I upgraded him to Diamond, and he seems to accept that leap, despite his complaints he wants X/Y. Sorry kid, I can’t afford to buy you a 3DS, but I can afford to give you my old DS.

With my nephew moving on to decade old technology, I dove into a game that came out when I was 12. At this point in my life, there was a Playstation, I played Final Fantasy VII, middle school was a horrifying experience, but life overall was good. However, I only watched people play Pokemon.

I’m used to wrap not interrupting me for three turns. I’m used to poison wearing out when my Pokemon reaches 1 HP. I’m used to a skinny pikachu.

fat pikachu.jpgYes. Pikachu was fat. Actually it was because in the anime he was slimmed down and kids liked that more so pikachu lost the baby fat.

Anyway, there are a lot of things that I had become used to, as I first started in Gen III and IV. A lot of these changes were brutal. A kid with an under leveled ekans nearly slaughtered me because he was a little faster than me and kept using wrap. I just watched for three turns as he curb stomped me, then hoped that maybe this time I would be faster. Or he would use leer. What I learned is I need a speed arbok and I’ll crush all in my way.

Last night was a nostalgic reminder of how difficult games were. Today for Pokemon, you get an XP share that works for your entire party. It’s easy to get rid of status effects. You know how you’re training and don’t need a guide on which Pokemon give which stat boosts. From the sound of it, in the next game you won’t have to breed Pokemon for 8 hours to get the ideal one for competition. One. Out of six. And you usually need one or two a month to keep up with the evolving trends.

I kind of miss those difficult video games where imagination was king. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I really like seeing a picture of my Pokemon and I know what it is, instead of a blob.

The Magic of Repetition

I’ve been waking up every morning for two weeks at 6:15. There was only one snafu, and that was on me. I mean, the weekends are also sacred, so those are days off, just because I have time to do my routine later in the day. Back on track.

So I wake up at 6:15. In two weeks I want this to be 5:30. Bracing myself.

When I wake up, I go downstairs, start the coffee, and do stretches. Salutation to the sun. Though I just looked up videos, and apparently Wii Fit did a super modified version of the stretch. I will have to modify going forward.

Either way, at a point you reach for your toes. When I first started, as I breathed out, I could get maybe halfway down my shins. This is what I’d expect.

Today as I went into my third rotation, I touched the floor. I gained an extra eight inches of flexibility after two weeks of doing this. Imagine what will happen now that I’m doing it right! I feel like a putz.

After that I go and write for an hour, give or take. Really it’s 45 minutes. Once I wake up at 5:30 it will be an hour. That or I’ll workout in the morning, then write in the evening. Though then the writing usually gets eaten up by Paragon and I feel horrible.

Anyway! Get into a habit. It’s amazing what very little time in that habit can look like. Sometimes it looks like eight inches. Innuendo intended.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Demo

The demo came out today. I’ve been waiting for it as they show more and more of the features. It looked like a living world that wasn’t just battles and a few side missions like coordinating. Instead of battling to the equivalent of a gym battle, you have to take photos of rare Pokemon hiding all over the cave. When you get past a certain point, you can do a Pokemon catching competition. There will be a contest to see how many millions of Pokemon players can catch shortly after release. This is incredible.

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So I started playing the demo. It’s really limited. You start as a boy named Sun. You get an epic geninja, which I can’t wait to use in the game. You also get to see the first trial. From what I can tell there aren’t any gyms. It’s all trials. Each one seems a unique challenge.

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So I’m excited for the new game. It’s one month away, and I will likely play the demo a lot. A friend asked me today why I liked Pokemon. What made me so giddy about it. I love going out to adventure. In my head I’m not simply running around with some pixelated animals in balls. I’m talking to them, like a writer talks to their characters. I coach them. I think about what it would be like in that world, walking alongside them, going through challenges.

So one month. I just need to wait one more month.