Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: The Silence of Medair


From the Description

Time stole victory. 

Medair an Rynstar returned too late to drive back the Ibisian invasion. Centuries too late. When friend and enemy have become the same thing, what use are the weapons Medair planned to use to protect her Empire? There is no magic or artifact that can undo the past. No matter how Medair wishes to hide from the consequences of her failure, others will not allow her the luxury of denying the present. Her war is already lost, but she carries weapons which could change the course of new battles. 

With the skirmishes of war beginning, and hunters in near pursuit, it is her conscience Medair cannot escape. Whose side should she be on? What is she really running from?


Quite a few fantasy stories center around the concept that the good guys have to find a magic totem/weapon/item to defeat the evil powers. In fantasy circles they call this a fetch quest. In the case of Medair, a royal courier of sorts, she is sent to find a magic horn to repel the Ibisian invaders.

She finds the horn but unfortunately falls into an enchanted sleep. While she sleeps the Ibisians succeed in kicking the ever living crap out of her people. When she wakes up centuries later the world isn't even close to how she remembers it. The world, however, remembers her and she has become the stuff of legends.


I really enjoyed the character of Medair. I thought that Host did a great job of showing the Survivors Guilt that she suffers. After all, her people were slaughtered and enslaved and its partly her fault.

The Ibisians were another nice touch. Instead of the typical evil powers they're actually tragic figures in their own right. Survivors of a magical conflagration they have fled to Medairs country. They refuse refugee treatment deciding that conquest or failure are their only options. Quite a bit of hubris to the Ibisians.


Host tends to throw a lot of terms, names and places around and expects people to keep up. In a way that shows faith in her readers but even I got a little confused as it went along. It does all become clear as you read but it slows things down a little.

Closing Thoughts

I loved this book! Fair warning it can be a slow read. However I never felt that the pacing drug. It's just a cerebral story. It is also the first in a duology.

If you'd like a fantasy story that turns a few conventions on their ear, characters that are almost immediately engrossing and a dash of tragedy then I highly recommend this book. I give it four and a half swords. For only $4.99 it's definitely worth it. Click the link below to check it out.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summertime Fitness Redux

So, summer break is almost over. I can hear wailing and Lamentations now from all of my fellow teachers. Since things are winding down I thought I'd share how my fitness goals have progressed. We bought ourselves 160lbs worth of bumper plates which has helped tremendously. 

1. A 2x Bodyweight Back Squat. I actually haven't even tested this yet. The goal is to try for a PR right before school gets back in full swing. I did test my Front Squat and hit a PR of 265. That's 1.5xBW which I'm pretty proud of. That's roughly 80% of my best back squat PR of 335. I think I can add 5lbs to that before this is all done. 

2. A Bodyweight press.
I'm still not there on strict presses. This is by far my weakest lift. I did however hit a push press at 165 which is 95% BW. Getting there, just slowly. 

3. I hit a Bodyweight PR Clean on the 4th. 175lbs. For freedom!! I won't lie about it though. It was ugly as sin, but I did it. I've predominantly worked my snatch this summer so I'm not surprised the technique was a little off. 

4. We got a fairly nice little set of gymnastics rings from academy.
They have expanded their line of BCG products to include fitness. Go check it out. I actually haven't spent a lot of time dipping. Dipping on rings is a completely different animal to stationary dips. I've mostly spent time doing tuck holds working on core strength and stability. 

5. I finally built an adjustable slosh pipe.
Now to paint it black and take it for a walk. This oughta freak the neighbors out. 

6. I'm way behind on my deadlift. I did a set of 5@255 the other day that felt much smoother but the pounds are coming up very slowly. 

7. Speed. The last thing on our list and the one that has received the least attention. Everyday that I've meant to spend devoted to it something has come up. Ah well. Such is life. 

There we have it. The progress I've made this summer. It doesn't seem like much when it's all listed out. Still, my pants are fitting looser every day and I feel like I've made some strides. We celebrated our two year anniversary Crossfit style.
We've even added a little yoga for flexibility.
Hopefully school won't be all consuming this year and I'll be able to continue making gains. Wish me luck!