Tak Strategy Game in Lego!

[Update 4/21/16: Added download link to LDraw MPD file of the Lego 5×5 hybrid Tak board and pieces model.]

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussOne of the books I’m currently reading is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, which is the second book in the fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicles. While reading this excellent book, there are a number of scenes that describe the main character learning a strategy game called Tak that uses a board and stones. It’s sounds like a mixture of the abstract strategy games of Go and Mancala with some special pieces such as the strategy game of Chess, and ways of placing the stones that gives them different powers as the game of Checkers.

Well, today Rothfuss announced that the game designer James Ernest had designed an actual game using the brief descriptions given in the book. What’s more they were running a Kickstarter campaign to polish and produce special versions of the game for its supporters. There is a video showing the game being played, and it really is a sweet piece of work. The basics of the game are a snap to learn, yet it has a ton of strategy, looks fun, and is kind of beautiful in the way it starts, builds and can shift from one area of the board to another. You can play it yourself online at PlayTak.com. Continue reading Tak Strategy Game in Lego!

Not Lost…

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J. R. R. TolkienI love this quote and it means many things to me. Just this line alone is awesome, but the entire stanza of the poem that it comes from is also pretty amazing and deep and bears quoting too. So for good measure, here’s that stanza:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Review: Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction

Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction - Mike MignolaHellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola, John Byrne
Hell Boy series #1
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My Rating4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars 
First Published: 1994
Read from: Feb. 18-19, 2016

I liked the Hellboy movies, but had never read the comics from which they sprung. I decided I needed to correct that lapse. Read the Full Review

Review: The Republic of Thieves

Republic of Thieves by Scott LynchThe Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Gentleman Bastard series #3
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My Rating5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars 
First Published: Oct 8th, 2013
Read from: Dec. 29, 2015 to Jan. 9, 2016

The Best Yet in a Series of Bests!

The Republic of Thieves is the 3rd book in Scott Lynch’s “Gentleman Bastard” series. I loved the previous books in this series but did not review them properly. I gave the first, The Lies of Locke Lamora, a very late, and very basic review. The second, Red Seas Under Red Skies, I reviewed not at all.

The reason for this was there was simply so much I wanted to say about both books. And every attempt I made to say any of it did not do the books justice in my mind. But I tried to show just how much these books entertained and moved me. I rated them both 5 out 5 stars.

Now that I have read the third book, I wish I had rated the earlier ones less, or that I could some how rate this one MORE than 5 stars. If I could I think the The Republic of Thieves would be 8 out of 5 stars. If not more! If I could scale the books in order of great to awesome it would be “Red Seas”, “Lies”, and at the top of this very excellent pile would be “Republic”. Read the Full Review

Review: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages by Brandon SandersonThe Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn series #3
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My Rating3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars 
First Published: October 14th, 2008
Read from: Sept. 17, 2015 to Oct. 30, 2015

Awesome Ending… If You Can Make It There

My reaction to The Hero of Ages, the last book in the Mistborn trilogy, is VERY mixed. A LOT of stuff takes place in this novel. Plot-wise what Sanderson did with the entire series is fully revealed in this book, and it is an amazing piece of work. There is some pretty good action, some characters evolve in interesting and ultimately exciting ways, and it has an awesome climax… BUT it just didn’t grab me like the previous books in the series.
Read the Full Review

Review: The Well of Ascension

The Well of AscensionThe Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn series #2
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My Rating4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars 
First Published: July 25th, 2006
Read from: Sept. 3, 2015 to Sept. 17, 2015

Both Better and Worse Than the First, But a MUST Read!

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Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke LamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Gentleman Bastard series #2
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My Rating5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars 
First Published: June 27th, 2006
Read from: June 16, 2015 to July 8, 2015

LOVED. This. Book.

I liked this book quite a lot when I first started reading it. A little over half-way though that like became love.
Read My Full Review →

Rating: The Name of the Wind

Name of the WindThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Kingkiller Chronicle series #1
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 5 out of 5 stars
First Published: March 27th, 2005
Read from: April 21 to May 10, 2015
Awards: 2008 ALA Alex Award, 2007 The Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror