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  1. It's been around for years, but I recently came across a copy of Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts at my neighborhood Little Free Library. It's worth the read for the close-up picture of what the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich looked like on the ground mainly through the eyes of the then U.S. ambassador to Berlin and his family, even if it sometimes relies too heavily on the love life of the ambassador's daughter, eventual infamous American turned Soviet spy Martha Dodd. It could easily be subtitled "How I Slept My Way Through 1930s Greater Berlin Until Both Hitler and the Soviets Thou
  2. My husband who reads a lot more of this stuff than I have had to explain to me that the old woman is this universe's version of Baba Yaga, a witch in Eastern European folklore who as Smad said, feeds on others' misery. Everything that's been happening with the female mages has been feeding her until she could escape her freaky house with the legs where she had previously been imprisoned to seek out Ciri for a new corporeal form. Or something like that. At this point, I'm a little unclear if Fringilla is playing both sides or if she'd just had enough of the Nilfgaardians using her magic an
  3. NOW it occurs to these idiots that letting Ciri guinea pig the witcher mutant juice and having some of that sitting around might be a bad idea? Sure, guys. Whatever. As much as I'm struggling to care about the elf story, my husband and I did have a good snort when someone was screaming about how the baby came early. Elf queen looked about 16 months pregnant. Count me as one who thought Yennefer following Ciri through the portal was less a baddie move and more that she knows Ciri doesn't really know what she's doing and couldn't just let her wander off alone like that. I thought porta
  4. This was my immediate reaction too. We've been told that the survival rate for boys injected with the witcher serum wasn't great. And yet it occurs to none of them that if Ciri also doesn't survive it they've got no backup plan to make any more witcher candidates? They're just going to let her guinea pig it and if she dies, oh well we tried? I kind of loved that Geralt didn't even dignify what he walked in on by speaking to Vesemir or acknowledging him or his half-assed reasoning at all. You knew he was beyond furious without him saying it. Finally, five episodes in somebody happens to me
  5. Graham McTavish! I was too busy squeeing over him showing up here to really catch much of what the character's about. But he's made quite a good career for himself playing dickish dicks for the sake of being dicks in fantasy/sci-fi, so I'm confident it will work out well here for him too. Nice to see Fringilla finally get an upgraded dress that doesn't look like a gray hefty bag. I'm kind of over watching characters walk right up to the point of cluing Geralt in that Yennefer's not dead too only to see them whiff on it. The reasons why it's not happening are plausible enough but it
  6. I guess that's one way to make an exit from Not Hogwarts. The only magic Yennefer apparently has left is the ability to defy gravity to keep her dress up or to lift a rather large axe over her head multiple times with her tiny arms. But if you don't want to admit you don't have any magical powers left and Stregobor is being a right bastard about your small amount of elfin blood 5 minutes after you were being lauded again for managing to pull a win out of the big battle, it seems freeing the freaky doppler guy and throwing everything else into chaos on your way out is as good a way as any
  7. Hey, there's the naked women I just commented on the lack thereof last episode. I was a little distracted by the seeming lack of yellow-eyed fellow witchers too since the show made a point of telling us last season that that was an obvious side effect of surviving training. You could see the bit player's turn into a tree monster and someone having to fight it coming from a mile away, although I was a bit surprised Geralt's Obi-Wan, er Vesemir, survived it rather than die a huge symbolic death. And I guess everybody else in the place was too busy drinking or chasing whores to do anything a
  8. Hey, the princess of no discernable eyebrows finally got some. I wouldn't have thought it would make such a difference in her appearance but it really did. I loved the high gothic tragedy of the twisted Beauty and the Beast story at the heart of this one. Despite the tusks, Nivellen wasn't a monster to them until he'd reverted to his mortal form and admitted that yeah, it was quite a bit more than his earlier explanation that it had been tripping balls on mushrooms and trashing a temple that got him there. If Vareena didn't been tearing villagers limb from limb, Geralt might have been a b
  9. Merry Christmas from Outlander. Fair warning that it's a scene from the coming season that starts out talking about a character who hasn't appeared on the show yet.
  10. I was a poor kid who grew up in a house without books, so my love for public libraries is deep and abiding. But now that I'm older and mostly settled, I finally have a whole room in my house to be my book room (thank you, Jane Austen for that). This has kicked my already existing book hoarding tendencies into overdrive. I actually do read most of the books I buy, even if it sometimes takes me a year or two to get into the right headspace for some of them. I also enjoy being able to randomly reread or underline or write in them as I see fit, and I really don't like feeling pressured to finish b
  11. I was specifically thinking of the big kidnapping and "oh, don't you want to know why I'm doing this? No? I'm going to tell you anyway in mind-numbing detail that's supposed to explain why I've been skulking around your family for three books" when I wrote that but yeah, it applies to this plot too. For a plot point that's been speculated on a fair bit over the years, all the drama over the deed and wait, you're a villain now too? felt like it came completely out of left field. Then to make matters worse the resolution felt very tacked on like Gabaldon realized she was nearing the end of the b
  12. Finally finished last night. I guess my final verdict is that I don't hate it but don't exactly love it either. I did really enjoy spending time with characters I like and seeing them make connections that didn't happen in the last book. William and Brianna were really lovely if more truncated than I would have liked. But I stand by my earlier opinion that it's a crowded book that really could have used an assertive editor to ask "Do you really need this? All of this? You do remember you have main characters nobody's seen in chapters at this point?" I'm also a little aggravated this this
  13. I'm most of the way through and will probably finish by tomorrow or Sunday. It's nice catching up with everybody, but at the same time the first third of the book covers only like two or three days that remind me a lot of the neverending first day of The Fiery Cross. From there Gabaldon seems hellbent on rehashing every minor plot point she ever left dangling or bringing back every minor character you never really wondered about. It's a crowded book.
  14. MOD NOTE Do NOT discuss spoilers or casting news here. If it hasn't happened on the show yet, you can talk about it in the spoiler thread but it doesn't belong in an episode thread. Your posts will be removed.
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