Book Review: The First Crystal

 

The First Crystal by J.M. Bergen
The First Crystal
by J.M. Bergen 

3 out of 5 stars

This short story follows the villains of the Elandrian series, Arius and Arriana, as they search for a mysterious crystal and have to survive the booby traps of an ancient cave to retrieve it.

There wasn’t much to the story other than getting past the booby traps, and showing how heartless and power-hungry Arius and Arriana can be. I would have liked a longer story with more meat on it. For instance, how did they know which was the right cave to search? The story begins just outside the cave, and we never get to see the actual search. Continue reading

Book Review: The Story of Kullervo

The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Kullervo’s uncle murders his father, and Kullervo vows to find revenge. He grows up wayward and wild and without compassion for anyone except his twin sister. With the help of the magical hound, Musti, Kullervo escapes the murderous machinations of his evil uncle. Kullervo has set his hand against the whole world, and he ruins crops, creates a wasteland in the forest, commits mass murder, and generally reeks destruction wherever he goes. His story is tragic for everyone involved.

This short story, one of Tolkien’s very early attempts at rewriting myths, includes a great deal of poetry, a tragic plot, and the delicious rich language that characterizes all of Tolkien’s works. Most of the book is commentary, essays, and notes about the story, its Finnish roots, and its influence on Tolkien’s later writing.  Continue reading