Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Malton Roman Festival 2011

Roman PriestessRoman Priestess blessing the GladiatorsRoman Priestess blessing the GladiatorsRoman CriminalRoman criminalRoman criminal vs Gladiator
Dis Pater claiming the life of the criminalAthena vs Brutus - Gladiator ContestAthena vs Brutus - Gladiator ContestBriton GladiatorGreek GladiatorGladiator Battle - Greek vs Briton
Gladiator Battle - Hammer timeGladiator Battle - wrestlingGladiator Battle - Ugular or Metea! (Death or Mercy?)Roman Soldiers of the 1st and 6th CenturiesRoman commentator with Centurio General1st Century Roman Soldiers
6th Century Roman soldiers6th Century Roman Shield designRoman Soldiers of the 1st and 6th CenturiesRoman horse head pieceRoman horse head pieceHercules design Roman horse head piece
Malton Roman Festival 2011, a set on Flickr.
This Roman Festival may be a drop in the ocean compared the vastness of the Festival of History now nearly two weeks ago but they still put on a good Gladiator contest with two viking sized fella's being brought in from the Roman group at Newcastle as the show piece. I particularly enjoyed the authenticity they added by having a Roman Priestess bless the arena and gladiators.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Festival of History 2011 and Favourite Authors: Giles Kristian and Robert Low

Well I have returned from my second annual pilgrimage to the awesomeness that is the Festival of History down near Northampton. Weather wasn't perfet but I still had a wicked time and met 2 of my favourite viking authors, Giles Kristian (after this third meeting I think I'm nearing the title of author stalker hehehe) and Robert Low. Below you will find some of my favourite pictures from the weekend.
Giles Kristian (left) and Robert Low (right) opening their discussion event titled The Vikings are Coming!
Robert Low
Giles Kristian reading from his latest viking book Odin's Wolves
Giles Kristian against Organisers backdrop screen - this is the first inaugural meeting of the HWA which was set up after last years Festival of History
Me meeting Giles Kristian for the third time hehehe and getting him to sign my copy of Odin's Wolves. He wrote "You have come again!" Which is not only true but is also the very first line of the prologue in that actual book. Very clever and flattering.
Me getting my cope of Whale Road signed by Robert Low who sadly wasn't as talkative as Giles was but I still admire him.
A snapshot just before this clash of Knights in the Medieval Joust we watched.
A Roman Legion showing off their defensive and offensive battle formations, displaying why they dominated a lot of the world for quite a while.

They're the highlights of the weekend anyway and to my utter shock and horror I could find no Vikings at this years event. The camp of people that re-enacted them last year have for some reason transformed into Muslim warriors from the Crusades era sadly.

Anyway it end with a picure of Romans for a deliberate reason as it is the 3rd annual Roman Festival of my humble home town of Malton/Norton this weekend and hopefully I'll get to attend if my Mum can bare to tag along with me, so I should have some more cool and interesting snaps of Roman history to show off next week.
Go to the We Love Malton website for more details on the events, directions and timings. Hope to perhaps catch you there.

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Dreams of a Dark WarriorDreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Warning: this book contains A LOT of adult material.

Although the story depicts a world I'm not familair with featuring various types of mythical beings under the name Lore etc I did find it easy to slip into and the overall story arc does keep you gripped into this paranormal tale of seperated lovers. It was handy having the definitions and explanations for various names and terms at the start.

However that is far as my praise goes as there quite a few things that I simply found wrong and didn't agree with - primarily with relation to Norse Mythology.
Firstly the Valkyrie character of Regin (a slightly nordic name although her sister valkyrie had the unnordic name of Lucia) is depicted is having claws that protrude from her fingers not just when she's angry but also when she's in a lustful mood and I cringed with disgust at the idea of those said claws 'curling' when she's in such a mood. I did like the idea she plays with Lightening as a weapon or electricity depending on how you looked at it - but you ever saw one example of this in the entire book. I understand creative licence an all and I know there is little documentations on the specifics of Valkyries but if you create them with too much imagination they drift away from the core of their characters as female warriors. I feel Kresley has done this.
Secondly her lover is described and called several times as a Viking in the book which makes sense with his berserker powers BUT both he and his Valkyrie lover refer to ODIN AS WODEN! WRONG WRONG WRONG! Any true northman and valkyrie would call Odin - Odin! Only the Anglo-Saxons called Odin, Woden due to the Saxon heritage. I don't understand how Kresley Cole could ever get Woden and Odin mixed up especially when the symbol of two ravens in flight is used heavily throughout the book and the fact that she is using a character from the NORSE PANTHEON not Anglo-Saxon pagan beliefs.

Over all if you like paranormal romance, paranormal adventure and seeing how many times a writer can give the private parts of a woman and man different names then you might enjoy this book but if like me you know at least the good basics about norse mythology then don't read this as you will be bitterly disappointed. I almost regret buying it as I seem to know more about Norse Mythology than the author.

View all my reviews

Monday, 11 July 2011

Historical events occuring in the next 2 weekends and a new Norse Fantasy book with a twist :

THE FESTIVAL OF HISTORY 2011
FESTIVAL OF HISTORICAL LITERATURE
@ KELMARSH HALL, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 
16th-17th JULY 
Click here for more details about the festival events and how to purchase tickets: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/festival-of-history-2011/

MALTON ROMAN FESTIVAL
@ MALTON, ORCHARD FIELDS, NORTH YORKSHIRE
23RD-24TH JULY


Norse Fantasy meets Paranormal Romance in:

Dreams of a Dark Warrior
I have just bought this book today after a long wander around WHSmith to see what the latest book crazes are and supringly Angels are still coming to the foreground more than vampires although that is still mainly in Teenage fiction. But I came across the book above in the Fantasy section and it was the word warrior that intrigued me and then I was even more curious when I read about the struggle of two lovers, one a northern warrior and the other a valkyrie he was meant to wed but got murdered before he could. So these two then spend the next few hundred years reincarnating,  finding each other and loosing each other again. From the cover I can already tell it's not only going to get dark and violent but there may be a good dollop (or not) of adult material in there as well which I will probably just skim over. I'm really eager to see how Kelsey Cale has protrayed the character of a Valkyrie into such a peculiar mix of genres and whether it meets my expectations and understanding of norse mythology (no matter how limited). 

I plan to begin reading it on my 4 day weekend away with my partner as I attend for the second year the FABULOUS FESTIVAL OF HISTORY and meet (again hehehe) Giles Kristian of Raven fame and another favourite author (whom will be the last in my favourites collection to get books signed) Robert Low of Oathsworn fame (both viking historical fiction authors).

So there won't be any blog post until next week when I'm back from the event with stories to tell and pictures to show but if I'm lucky I might tweet the odd pic or two so simply follow me on @soulchaserbecky because if I have signal out in the northamptonshire countryside you can guarantee I will be tweeting about my excitement and enjoyment all day every day when I'm there.

See you in a week or so!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Becky Bookworm Book Review: The Penguin Book of Norse Myths

The Penguin Book of Norse MythsThe Penguin Book of Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When I first recieved this book I thought it would be like one similarly titled that I'd read before but I was greatly suprised to learn I was wrong. The other book had the more classic and popular myths whereas this book contained prose translations of all the norse myths/legends/sagas taken from Snorri Sturllsons Poetic Edda series. Which of course does contain some of the classics but there were many out of the 35 that I haven't heard let alone read before. And each new myth not only helped me imagine the norse pantheon and norse view of the world to an even better extent than before but it also revealed a few insights into the Gods themselves, their lives and history, their relationships with each other and most notably with their enemies, Giants.
The lengthly introduction at the start of the book does cover a lot of areas albeit in paragraph sized chunks but it does help to read it first, particularly if this is your first delve into norse mythology.
The myths are all entertaining to read although some of the Lay's (where it doesn't feature a God as the main character but somehow involves them such as the Lay of Grimnir) are also interesting as they are examples of how the Norse gods interact with particular mortals, most notably Kings and Princes.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this area as it shows what great imaginations and strong, vivid, powerful beliefs the Vikings as a race had to explain how their world works.
View all my reviews

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