Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black Dragon Codex by R.D. Henham

In the Black Dragon Codex you follow the adventure of the black dragon whelp, Septimus, and the thief Satia. Septimus is trying to start a hoard so he can be recognized as an adult dragon. He waits patiently in human form at an auction for a rare valuable magical artifact. When he loses the auction he becomes angry and ravages the town in his dragon form. Meanwhile Satia sneaks out of the mission home she is staying in and goes to check on her friends in the auction. However she is captured by the angry Septimus.

Septimus takes her to the cave, where he lives with his mother. However before they even land they are attacked by a wizard. Septimus's mother tries to fight him, but is captured by the wizard. Before he can capture her son however she forces him to change into human form and he fall from the air with Satia and escapes. The two are forced to work together, despite their distrust, if only to escape the wizard. Satia mainly working with Septimus to find his mother, because he threatened to kill her otherwise. Not the best working relationship, but good enough for them.

After a couple of tumble ins with the wizard they get captured by these slave owners. They are forced to mine with the goblins that are trapped there. Satia convinces Septimus that they can escape if they catch the hobgoblins by surprise. They smuggle explosives from the mining site and plant them around the camp of hobgoblins. Satia goes to help a stuck goblin in the blast zone, however she gets buried in dirt from the explosion."The last thing Satia saw was a dark flow of earth that bore her over the edge of the crevice." (Henham 84) She is later dug out by the goblins. Satia and Septimus later escape with the help of the prisoners.

They stage a rescue mission on the wizards castle with the help of a goblin from the camp called Gneech. They sneak through abandoned passage ways and eventually rescue Septimus's mother."Pausing he climbed over a fallen mass of rocks within a deep corridor." (129) I'll stop there so I don't spoil the ending.

1) Do you think Satia should go on working with Septimus even though he threatens her? Or should she try to escape and leave Septimus to fend for his own looking for his mother?

2) Even though Septimus wants to leave on his own, and be recognized as an adult he still feels the need to help his mother. He is still a little boy at heart. As young adults we are starting to look to try and make a life of our own. Is it important to rely on your parents even though you are trying to be a adult, or should you make your own way without any help?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

The Inferno begins with Dante traveling through dark and dangerous woods. He has strayed off the righteous path and is heading closer to becoming a sinner. While he is traveling he comes upon a break in the forest and finds a giant mountain. Compelled, he tries to scale it, only to be stopped by three beasts. Discouraged, Dante goes back into the woods. It is there that heaven sent aid is given to Dante as Virgil's ghost. Virgil tells Dante that he can redeem himself and get back to the righteous path by going up the mountain and through hell. Virgil easily defeats the beasts and they make it to the mountain's top. There they find the gates of hell and descend into purgatory. Once they pass purgatory, Dante is lead by Virgil through the nine rings of hell, defeating various monsters and meeting various forsaken souls on the way. At first, Dante pities them and is affected by their torment so much that he faints. But as he descends into hell's lower levels, he begins to harden his heart and even helps torture some of the souls. He learns that they are damned souls and do not deserve his kindness. Once Dante gets to the center of hell, he must defeat the Devil, least he be denied redemption.


1)Do you think it was right of Dante to help torment the damned? If so, why?
2)Do you think Dante would not have succeeded if he had not changed his mindset and had continued to pity the tortured souls?

Monday, November 15, 2010

If We Kiss by Rachel Vail

In this novel, Charlie the main charcter, is experiencing her freshmen year of high school. Only too soon does she learn that everything is not as they appear. Vail takes the reader through twists and turns during Charlie's freshmen year of high school adventure.
Charlie has been with her best friend Tess, since she could remember. Tess has always been there for Charlie, especially during her parent's divorce. Unfortunately, things happen between these two characters that will tear them apart, and possinly destory their long-lasting friendship. Charlie's long lasting crush, Kevin Lazarus, appears to be the root to all of Charlie's current problems. Kevin Lazarus, having kissed her first, sent the wrong signals to Charlie. Chalrie only finds that Kevin was really interested in Tess. Charlie's mother and Kevin's father form a relationship, in which evolves to something more, and eventually leads to marriage. During the evolution Charlie and her mom go on a skeeing trip with Kevin and his family over winter break, where Kevin and Charlie kiss again...even though Kevin is in a relationship with Tess. Charlie betrays Tess by not telling her, for fear of losing for friendship. Can these two different people save their relationship despite the treachery of Kevin Lazarus?
1. Do you think Tess's and Charlie's friendhsip would have been ruined even if Charlie was honest about Kevin?
2. Do you think Tess was more hurt that Kevin kissed Charlie or that Charlie did not tell her?
3.Do you think Tess and Charlie will remain friends?