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Of Bone and Thunder: A Novel de Chris Evans
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Of Bone and Thunder: A Novel (edição: 2014)

de Chris Evans (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas
628336,348 (3.75)Nenhum(a)
"Apocalypse Now meets The Lord of the Rings in a bold new fantasy from the acclaimed author of the Iron Elves trilogy, filled with "heroic action that keeps fans coming back" (Publishers Weekly). Channeling the turbulent period of the Vietnam War and its ruthless pitting of ideologies, cultures, generations, and races against each other, military historian and acclaimed fantasy writer Chris Evans takes a daring new approach to the traditional world of sword and sorcery by thrusting it into a maelstrom of racial animus, drug use, rebellion, and a growing war that seems at once unwinnable and with no end in sight. In this thrilling epic, right and wrong, country and honor, freedom and sacrifice are all put to the ultimate test in the heart of a dark, bloody, otherworldly jungle. In this strange, new world deep among the shadows under a triple-canopy jungle and plagued by dangers real and imagined, soldiers strive to fulfill a mission they don't understand and are ill-equipped to carry out. And high above them, the heavy rush of wings slashing through the humid air herald a coming wave of death and destruction, and just possibly, salvation"--… (mais)
Membro:StwaberryJelly
Título:Of Bone and Thunder: A Novel
Autores:Chris Evans (Autor)
Informação:Gallery Books (2014), 496 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Of Bone and Thunder: A Novel de Chris Evans

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Of Bone and Thunder, by Chris Evans, is so good that I wasn't quite sure what to say about it beyond "You must read this book!" It's a retelling of the Vietnam War in a Fantasy setting (including dragons). Though it deals with the horrors of war, it's not moralistic. It is vividly realistic, however, and not for those with weak stomachs. The story is told from several characters' points of view, which are diverse. I was pulled into what they were going through in such a way that I didn't know how connected I was to them until I was crying at one point, and almost snarling every time one of the characters came into a scene. I realized this isn't a book; it's a world to become fully immersed in. It's also a roller coaster, with well-timed lulls in the action for much needed breathers. I never had to take a break from this novel, and that's all due to the pacing, which I didn't even notice until I thought about it afterwards.

Two things I did notice while reading were his handling of race and gender issues. Again, this wasn't done in a moralistic way. He simply wrote about the realities during the Vietnam Era. The race issues are between men and dwarves. Dwarves are formerly enslaved, newly integrated into Human society, and derogatorily referred to as "mules". For the gender issues, women simply aren't present, mentioned only in passing, with the exception of a very few who have a hard won agency. They are looked down upon as being inferior by many of the male characters. Respect is slowly gained as the story approaches its climax, but there remain men who still espouse their beliefs that women belong at home. Though at first I felt annoyed at the lack of women, that was a knee jerk reaction. Now, I see it as refreshing to have an author face the ugly truth of sexism without being preachy.

I would love to recommend this book to everyone, but it's more for those who enjoy war stories or D&D type Fantasy. I'm giving it 5 stars, and adding it to my list of all time favorite books. ( )
  FortifiedByBooks | Jan 5, 2021 |
Why did I pick this book up?
The cover. I want a print of it on my wall.
Otherwise I'm not really sure...it was on my holds list and when it finally came in I couldn't fathom why I'd requested it in the first place. It must have been before I decided not to read any more high/faux-middle-ages fantasy.

Why did I put it down?
"Town criers, until recently solely the mouthpieces of the king, were now paid men--and, shockingly, occasionally women--in the employ of the High Councils and an increasing number of concerned citizens and merchant guilds."
That line, coupled with the fact that I got 100 pages in and the only references to women were bawdy or referring to the old dragon. Who is currently the only female character. I know that female characters are introduced later, but they're still being introduced in a sexist world.

This is not a criticism of this book specifically. I enjoyed the politics talk and would probably have enjoyed this book more a couple years ago, but it's just the latest in the list of medieval fantasy I've read that is either sexist or set in a sexist world. Sorry sword-and-sorcery.
( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
I was disappointed with this book. It isn’t poorly written, but it is very clichéd, full of typical war-related military trope (even though it is set in a world of dragons and wizards).

The book is obviously based on the Vietnam War (as indicated in the blurb), with very little deviation except for what was left out. Everything in the book has a direct parallel in actual history: JFK, the CIA, the Chicago mafia, the racial tension among the soldiers, even women’s lib makes an appearance with women back home are protesting by burning their brooms (yes, seriously). There is no reason given for this war to even occur. The soldiers are there fighting, disgruntled and questioning why, but no reason was ever really given. Magic is used in weaponry, communications, and medicine, and what you end up with is a real war interpreted through the lens and imagery of fantasy.

My biggest issue with this book is that the writer simply transcribes actual events through his “fantasy” filter, but fails to include the primary antagonists: there’s no “fantasy” USSR or China, and there are no manipulators behind the curtain, pulling the puppet strings of the Viet Cong. This was surprising, considering that every other aspect of the war is included, down to mundane details like drug smuggling, brothels, and the dangers and discomforts of helicopters.

I came very close to pitching this into the DNF pile. This book wasn’t poorly written, but it really failed to keep my attention. It didn’t draw me in, wanting to read more. I put it down without the desire to pick it back up again for a day or two.

Only recommended for those with an intense desire to read an "new" interpretation of the Vietnam War. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
Received ARC via NetGalley

This book was absolutely amazing, though I do believe the comparison to Lord of the Rings is a bit misleading. Whereas Lord of the Rings focuses on the macro image of war and the struggle between good and evil, Of Bone and Thunder focuses on war at the micro level, taking a look at the toll it takes on the participants who have little time to sit and philosophize over the morality of war or good and evil as they try to survive. It is much more Apocalypse Now, mixed with hints of Heart of Darkness. The parallel to the Vietnam War is overwhelming, but presented with enough fantastical elements that it doesn’t stray out of the fantasy genre and into purely war and military fiction. Weapons are traditional, without a single firearm. There are wizards and dragons and elementalists/magicians with the ability to manipulate energies (called thaums.) Dragons supply air travel to the troops and firepower from the air.

Readers are thrust into the middle of a war that should have been won ages ago, according to main public of the Kingdom. We meet solider Carnan “Carny” Qillibrin, a crossbowman desperate to leave the jungle and beginning to tire of the war. He and his fellow soldiers have been climbing through the mountainside jungle in search of the enemy, natives of Luitox whom the soldiers call Slyts. We follow his unit through the war and through their losses. It feels frighteningly real and Evans did an amazing job capturing the feelings of anger, futility, and despondency, but also the sense of camaraderie and responsibility that begins to form between completely people from completely different upbringings due to battle. The soldiers vary from illiterate farmers, to bards, to killers, to simple villagers and religious zealots, yet they each play a vital role in their unit, the war, and the story itself. There’s Wraith, the expert killer who might not be a good soldier, but is an expert at tracking prey and taking them out quickly and quietly. The stereotypical soldier, Big Hog, who cannot read but is a man of the earth, able to follow directions, inspire others, offer comic relief, and still maintain enough faith and hope that the war will end soon and he will make it back home to his farm. Above all, we have Carny, the protagonist of the unit and the embodiment of the everyman, a poor villager who was thrust into a war because he had nothing else going for him in life. A boy who fights because to quit would mean death and when faced with the grim truths of war in reality, as opposed to war in propaganda, turns to local narcotics to numb himself.

In addition to the soldiers, we have dragons and their riders fighting in the war. While the dragons are treated as wild animals, and not as sentient, thinking, magical beings, it is nearly impossible not to care about them. I myself grew incredibly attached to the main dragon, Carduus, that by the end of the novel, I was frantically searching for news on his fate. They are described with such a scientific mind, that I was impressed at how well thought out they were and the “science” behind it made sense (at least to my non-scientific mind). The dragons are the main form of long distance transportation, used by the army to bring new soldiers into Luitox, as well as flying current soldiers deeper into the Lux. Maneuvering these dragons are their riders who have always relied on hand signals and intuition to drive them, and new additions to the dragon system, thaums – magical people who can manipulate energy. They are a recent addition as they try to perfect the dragon system. The thaums enable long distance communication between riders and are able to navigate through the air with better precision. The main rider we follow is Vorly, who rides Carduus along with thaum Breeze. Vorly cares for the dragons more than he cares for most of the soldiers and almost as much as he care for his own life.

Like the militants themselves, the reader never really has a firm grasp on what the war is about, or what the Kingdom hopes to gain from starting or ending it. We know as much as the soldiers know, immediately putting us in their shoes and creating an empathizing link. We know that there is a question of legitimacy regarding the current ruler of the Kingdom. We know there threatens to be a blood civil war at home in the Kingdom over how to deal with the illegitimate rulers and whether power should be given to one faction or various factions or the common man. What we never really know is why the Kingdom is invading Luitox. The land produces little that can be used by the Kingdom, all of the produce described as disgusting to taste by the soldiers. It provides no necessary trade route to a friendly country. The war exists only as a distraction from the troubles at home. An excuse to keep the peace within Kingdom borders intact. This is all we know about the war at the macro level. To some, it may prove to be a distraction and they may come to dislike the lack of information regarding the war. They may come to think of it as lazy writing, but it isn’t. It’s an incredibly well-constructed literary device to force readers to bond with the characters. Readers are not given an option to rationalize the war, or form an individual opinion about whether it is justified or not, just as soldiers aren’t. You are just at war and that’s the only reality you know because it’s the only thing that will help you survive.

Reviewing this book has been incredibly hard because there is just so much about it that I love, it becomes overwhelming at times. The prose is great, the descriptions are perfect and work really well at creating the suffocating atmosphere of Luitox. The characters are believable and sympathetic. The depiction of warfare is accurate, as is the effects it has on its participants. The dragons are fantastic. It is a heavy read, but definitely an enjoyable one and a book I look forward to buying a physical copy of and rereading often.

Of Bone and Thunder Review was originally published on By Lulu with Love ( )
  heylu | Mar 4, 2016 |
Of Bone and Thunder
By: Chris Evens
Published By: Gallery Books
Copy Courtesy of Goodreads First Read
Reviewed By: tk

Politics started this war. As it ultimately does in many situations. The brave men that are engaged in the inhuman conditions of a bug ridden jungle must use what little they have to survive. With limited food and water, not to mention weapons, are trying to survive the extreme heat and each other will have to fight to retain their freedom and lives.

Chris Evens has a rare talent. He takes you on a journey with no limits to the hardships these soldiers must over come. Weaving a unique view of the Vietnam War and intergrading it with fantasy and magic of dragons and sorcery to create a believable and terrifying full scale conflict.

This is not my usual genre…but I was TOTALLY taken away to another time and place. It was equal parts of wonder and terror for the characters. The hardships were situations that I had never even before imagined. The realistic personalities of the men and how they must endure will pull on your heart strings. How much they love and miss their homes, form tight relationships with their buddies, and die with dignity are just the beginning of this incredible story.

If you enjoy history, fantasy, action and drama, you will love this book!

4/5 ( )
  doseofbella | Jul 25, 2015 |
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"Apocalypse Now meets The Lord of the Rings in a bold new fantasy from the acclaimed author of the Iron Elves trilogy, filled with "heroic action that keeps fans coming back" (Publishers Weekly). Channeling the turbulent period of the Vietnam War and its ruthless pitting of ideologies, cultures, generations, and races against each other, military historian and acclaimed fantasy writer Chris Evans takes a daring new approach to the traditional world of sword and sorcery by thrusting it into a maelstrom of racial animus, drug use, rebellion, and a growing war that seems at once unwinnable and with no end in sight. In this thrilling epic, right and wrong, country and honor, freedom and sacrifice are all put to the ultimate test in the heart of a dark, bloody, otherworldly jungle. In this strange, new world deep among the shadows under a triple-canopy jungle and plagued by dangers real and imagined, soldiers strive to fulfill a mission they don't understand and are ill-equipped to carry out. And high above them, the heavy rush of wings slashing through the humid air herald a coming wave of death and destruction, and just possibly, salvation"--

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