Saturday, February 28, 2015

In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. This WONDERFUL! Book was just released on 02-03-15! Check it out in this review!

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 Book Review by: Sharon Powers.

     Like many little girls, I loved to read about dragons in stories. As an adult my fascination, admittedly, has dimmed a bit--it happens to all of us as we grow into adulthood and responsibility. However, I found my excitement with dragons rekindled when I read a story about a blue egg delivered to a young boy; the boy bonded with the dragon, Saphira, and he became a dragon rider. [(Eragon) 2]

My Glaedr is 10" tall and
has a 12" wingspan.
     I was at a Barnes & Noble on the publica- tion date of an- other one of Christopher Pao- lini's books, saw a stuffed Glader [2] sitting on top of a stack of books, and grabbed it--it was the last one! I still have the golden dragon--it is on guard duty at my house--so trespassers and prowlers, BEWARE! Guard Dragon, on duty! OK. Enough of my lame jokes....    


The hero dragon, Glaedr from
Christopher Paolini's,
Brisingr. [3]
     The only other dragon items I have in my home are (1) a pop-up book about dragons that was given to me as a gift. It is a beautiful book that I pull down off the shelf from time to time to enjoy, and (2) a few very fine Oriental yixing clay teapots and cups (see the photo, just below) [4] given to me as gifts because of my love of tea. No. I do not have a dragon collection with statues and such, but I have liked reading stories about dragons. One of the most famous series of books I read was Anne McCaffrey's the Dragonriders of Pern series.

     Additionally, a few other notable dragons with whom I have crossed paths include: Smaug, an awesome dragon in The Hobbit; and, of course, anyone keeping up with George R.R. Martin's, Song of Ice and Fire will know about those famous dragons--even appearing on TV in an HBO series.

Left to right: A yixing "salamander" mug; a hand-crafted yixing  teapot with pewter accents (on the outside, only); an egg-shaped yixing tea pot, with the handle serving as the "mother" dragon and the lid (in front of the teapot) in the shape of a baby dragon--removed from the teapot so you can see the "baby" dragon, better; then another yixing teapot in the shape of a coiled dragon, and lastly a yixing mug with flowers and lid to keep the tea warm. All of these tea pots and mugs are used with only one specific type of tea. Usually yixing-ware are used with Oolong teas, Puer teas, or fine black tea (like Black Dragon Pearls--see even some teas are named after dragons.). For example, in the "Mother Dragon on egg with baby dragon," I only make my very best oolong tea. [4]
     Then there are the dragons in the Harry Potter Series (including Norbert); How To Train Your Dragon; the Temeraire SeriesA Novel of Temeraire--about a great black dragon called Temeraire (the name came from the famous warship, H.M.S Temeraire, dubbed, "The Fighting Temeraire" after service in the Battle of Trafalgar.); The Dragonlance Chronicles; Saint George and the Dragon; and even Puff the Magic Dragon.

SHORT BOOK SYNOPSIS:
The beginning of the journey includes a map with the marshes marked.
The journal also has a red ribbon with which to keep your place
marked for later reading. [1]
     As we open the pages of this journal we enter the world of Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. A first journal entry begins in Brittany and an "Unexplained Dis- appearance of an Antiquarian in the 'Marshes of Hell.'" The journalist places the newspaper clip- pings of the disap- pearance, photographs, pen and ink washes, and full color renderings, including a marked map, in his journal along with entries and notes detailing every experience in search of the lost dragons.

     As the journey progresses to different locations, each one provides a look of very distinct stories about lost dragons, along with a peek at strange guides and guardians, strange ship rides and experiences.  But none are stranger than the journalist; you see, the journalist has a gift of "seeing the invisible"! The journey takes the journalist "from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon." [1] 
As you can see, the journal includes photographs along side the pen and
ink drawings with wash. Note the tape on the edges of the photographs,
and the detail provided such as shadows along the edges of the photos
to lend the appearance of a real photograph taped to the book! [1]

     In the end, the journalist ponders the journey and, unsettled, worries that it wasn't more than a "daydream." And just the way the journalist recorded the fantastical jour- ney around the world in search of lost dragons, will the "intrepid" journalist choose to "preserve" the dragondreams like the journal--by fleeing reality? Which will the journalist choose?

MY FAVORITE QUOTATION:
         
 Dreamtime
The creature awaited me at the entrance of a
long crevasse that crossed the width of the glacier.
I followed it to the city of the dragon people...
Like a ship drifting in a becalmed sea
the top of the budding stood in the
first light of a misty polar morning.
«So comes snow after fire, and even
Dragons have their ending [1]
   
     Such a poignant and wonderful statement of the journalist's feelings, perhaps summing up the whole of the journey. Coming full circle to the realization that dragons are no more. The very thing that prompted the beginning of the journey in the first place. And, like the cold and snow that puts out fire, the dragons have gone in the way of a calm, cool ending.
Another great example of the detail included in the book. The left page looks likke a brown paper with slightly frayed
edges, typewritten, signed, stamped and taped to the journal along with the envelope (below the document) and its
stamps. Also, shading around the edges add to the realistic 3-D experience for the reader. Additionally, the artwork,
done in washes with drips of ink (or wash) at the top of the page; the script is legible (except for the tiniest of words),
also making the journal look and feel like a real journal. Note that this page is typical of all book pages. [1]

     We find out at very end of the book, that the journalist has doubts about the journey taken. Was the search for something noble, terrible, and beautiful, all a "daydream"? So...does this help us to understand the end of the book, the journal, and the journalist, any more? Do you think the cold crevasse and the "misty polar morning" is Death?...or is it the end of a dream? And back to the original question, will the journalist choose to "preserve" the dragons by staying in the dream? I think you will have to read the journal yourself to make this determination. All I can say, further, is that I absolutely loved the twist this puts on the journalist's story. Well done!

Here's another beautiful page. Included
by the authors are full-color renditions
of the flower and a "real" flower plant flat-
tened and dried and taped to the journal.[1]
WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE BOOK:

     Since I am an ARC reader for this book, from NetGalley, I received this book recently in exchange for a review of it (See the NetGalley Disclaimer, below). Well, when I downloaded my e-book to begin reading, I was flat-out amazed! I opened the first pages and couldn't put it down. I kept turning pages, turning, turning, staring at the book. Mesmerized by its beauty. I examined every page. The surprising amount of detail simply entranced me. It is the most beautiful, most well crafted, written, detailed book it has ever been my pleasure to read. In fact, I was so taken with the book, I purchased a hardcover edition for me to keep in my collection of wonderful books.

     The superlatives are NOT an exaggeration. Just take a look at the photographs I took of the book to see for yourself. I included as many photographs in my blog post, today, as I could, just because they are so beautiful and I want you to see what a fantastic job the authors and the DYNAMITE team (publishers) did to bring this book to market.

     A word about the publishers: Dynamite. I have many, many, books by Dynamite publishers. Every single book I own has a sturdy, beautiful cover, many of them with dust jackets; the pages are securely placed between the hardcover so as they will not fall out.  Dynamite Publishers are my favorite publishers, ever.
Here is the back cover of the Journal [In Search of
Lost Dragons
]. Note the realistic look to the
string and card attached by it. Even the "Dynamite
Entertainment"
 label appears as if it were actually
stuck on the book. The rather "beat up" look is
really a "faux" look--only for appearances of a
realistic looking journal--one that has been
carried around and well-used. [1]

     OK. Back to what I think about this book. What I said in the paragraph, just above this paragraph, is also true of this book, In Search of Lost Dragons. That is to say, the hardcover book has a sturdy, hard cover and the pages are securely attached.

     These two things on my own personal check list, are very important because I have purchased books that have not had securely bound pages. The pages fell out and the book was ruined. You can see some examples of this by clicking on the link to a post I did of one hardcover graphic novel book with pages that fell out. Click, here or here.

     Finally, while I have already mentioned the general beauty of the book and the amount of detail the pages hold, I have not mentioned the artwork, specifically. The one, just below, is is quite beautiful.
One of the beautiful pages of art-
work is this watercolor of a dragon
flying above a canyon.


     Some of the artwork are like the one, here, just to the right--a watercolor with notations at the bottom. Other works included appear to be pen and ink, pen with washes, full color illustrations that could be electronically produced, done with pastels, or perhaps with artists paint and then photographed.

     Again, I cannot emphasize enough just how beautiful is the the whole book. Individually, some of pages are just stunning. But in any event, each and every page holds entertaining and eye-catching images.



NetGalley Disclaimer:


MY 
RECOMMENDATIONS:

     This book is simply wonderful. I recommend this book to all ages of reader. I think, though, that adults would better appreciate the detail and amount of work that has gone into the creation of this book.


MY RATING 
OF THIS BOOK:

     It probably comes as no surprise to you, if you that I loved the book and have no qualms about telling you that it is the best, most detailed book I have ever seen. The entertainment factor is very high, as well. So...given all that I have told you, above, I rate this book 5.0 stars out of 5.

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     Thank you for joining me this week as we were privileged to become acquainted with this beautiful book, In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. I loved showing you this book, and hope you consider getting a hardcover copy for yourself. Also, please don't forget to read a few minutes every day, its good for your mind and your spirit. I also want to thank you for taking time to consider all that I've presented to you, today. Your time is precious and want you to know that I appreciate you spending a little time here to consider possible reading material. You won't go wrong with this book.

     Please join me, again, next week as we take a look at a totally different book. One I'm sure most of you will enjoy. So...

Until next time...
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...many happy pages of reading.

All my love,

Sharon.


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REFERENCES/SOURCES
[1] "In Search of Lost Dragons." [Elian Black'Mor and Carine M.] amazon.com. Retrieved 02-27-15.
[2] "Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1." amazon.com. Retrieved 02-28-15.
[3] "Brisingr: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 3." amazon.com. Retrieved 02-28-15.
[4] "Yixing Teaware." sevencups.com. Retrieved 02-28-15 [Primarily, zisha pottery is also called yixing--taken from its place of origin: Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China--is a very unique pottery with a highly porous surface that takes on the flavors of the tea that is brewed within it. For more on this wonderful pottery, see this websight: sevencups.com.]
[5] "Return to Mateguas Island." lindawatkins.biz. Retrieved on 02-28-15.
[6] "Flowers: White Roses." fanpop.com. Retrieved 02-22-15.