This morning I went out with an old high school friend. It’s the kind of friend I don’t see much, but with whom I always am happy to go out and talk just about everything. We walked around the city centre, and then went to this lovely little bar. We enjoyed dinner, drunk one of the best coffee I ever had (with ice cream in it! A real delight!) and we also found some interesting books. Because this little coffee shop I never heard of has a shelf for book crossing! It was like a dream, especially because I found old italian copies of Terry Pratchett, Yeats and Weis & Hickman. I’m in heaven. I plan to go there as soon as possible and bring old books I’m not interested in anymore, to return the favour to the universe.
They also organize evenings with spiritual themes, and although they seem too new age-y for my liking I’m going to try some of them just out of curiosity.
It was such a delightful morning and I enjoyed myself so much. It’s rare for me to feel like this, to feel completely accepted from those I have in front of me and to feel like my company really matters.
Especially because in the last weekes I had a bad time dealing with people and those that (supposedly) are my friends. After a couple of years of ignoring the matter, I realise that the person I have around me are not the one with whom I can share my interests. My real interests. Make serious discussions about what really matters to me. Not just superficial videogame and book chat. And just after realising this I became eager to go out of my comfort zone and try to meet new people, go to new places and meet someone who shares even a little slice of my interests.
However, I’m not completely alone. I have a couple of close friends with whom I feel I can really talk about everything and the friend I went out with today is one of them. I still don’t know why we are so comfortable with each other, because you could look at us and guess we’re the most different persone on the planet. And yet, she is one of the few people who is there for me and I feel like I haven’t considered how much this is meaningful in my life. I believe that I overlooked her for such a long time.
It’s crazy, but we complaing of what makes us feel bad and forget so easily what is good for us.
I’m writing this to remember and celebrate how much fun we had today, how I felt good. It is a reminder to be more thankful and to celebrate more what I already have in my life, instead of complaining for what I don’t have.
Erroll and Benfro are two young boys, living wiith their mothers. They don’t live far from each other and both are curious, talented and have a knack for getting themselves into trouble. But they are very different: Erroll is a human and he wants to become a fighting priest. Benfro is a dragon, the last male dragon to be born in Gwlad. And dragons are watched with suspect from humans, who used to kill them in the name of their God. Both of them are going to face the world outside their quite villages, a world full of enemies and magic.
I enjoyed the concept of this world a lot. If I’m not mistaken, it draws quite heavily from Welsh folklore and culture, of which the names are just the most visible feature. The lessons of magic presented are not much far from what I read in more than one (pagan) book myself, and that was particularly appealing and satisfying. However, I feel like the world building could’ve been done in a much more concise way. It seemed to me that many things were mentioned, but few where explained in depth. Despite it all, there are no elements missing that affect the understanding of the story, so I will call my personal taste on this one.
What really put me off and gave me a hard time going through a third of the book is the fact that the story is very slow. When you start reading it’s not a problem, as you still have to enter the world completely and there is more than one aspect of life in this fantastical world that requires an explanation: the society, the magic, the political situation and the political schemes, the religion. Progressing through the reading, however, it really slows down the reading process and the story seems to be prolonged endlessly without really nothing happening. I also found the change between story lines (that of Erroll and that of Benfro) to be too abrupt sometimes, as the scene is cut and there is a switch back and forth between the two stories.
I don’t believe the storytelling is bad, however, and I must say that I enjoyed it despite its flaws. What I think is that maybe this book serves more as a prologue to give the backstory of the two main characters in the series, instead of being the beginning of the story as one usually understands it. I’m probably going to pick up the next book – as soon as I can put my hands on it – and I’m curious to see where the story goes. Most of all I want to witness the encounter between Benfro and Erroll and the merging of the two main narrative paths of the first book.
A special mention goes to the beautiful cover of this book, which is carton-like, has a beautiful design and it’s also sparkly. One shouldn’t judge a book from its cover, but in this case it is a real work of art!