Byron Shire Echo – Issue 28.16 – 24/09/2013

Page 25


A GAME OF THRONES George R R Martin Harper Voyager, pb $16.99 The book that launched a thousand TV episodes – or so it seems – A Game Of Thrones is the starting point for Martin’s epic fantasy world which so far has filled five books, with two more on the bleak and snowy horizon. Unlike other tales of elven magic and unicorn prettiness, Martin’s world is grounded in a brutal medieval reality, where people die horrible deaths at the hands of armour-clad thugs and the good guys do not always win, or turn out to be entirely good guys. Sure, there are dragons, but rather than being repositories of arcane wisdom they are vicious creatures who like their gobbets roasted. The scale of Martin’s world is beautifully portrayed in the opening graphics of the TV series. Briefly, it includes the Seven Kingdoms where most of the political intrigue and battles are carried out, The Wall (perhaps the best realised creation), a massive ice barrier that protects the kingdoms from the Wildlings and The Others (nasty dead people), and the kingdoms of the East, where Daenerys Targaryen sits on her dreams of power until her dragons grow to full strength. Think Great Britain for the Kingdoms and ancient Persia for the East to get a hint of the range of flamboyance. The books are a masterly piece of plotting. Martin has us follow the story through the different points of view of a vast gallery of characters. Some critics regard them as thinly written but I think Martin fleshes them out convincingly, even managing to evoke sympathy for the major villains. Bleak it is, but there is humour, from bawdy to cerebral. The TV series brings this element to life, especially through the multifaceted dwarf Tyrion Lannister, played brilliantly by Peter Dinklage. See more of George at and more of the TV series at There is also an interesting summary of Martin’s sources of inspiration at http://bit. ly/16Nbdu2. ~ Michael McDonald

FINDING ARTEMISIA: A JOURNEY INTO ANCIENT WOMEN'S BUSINESS Denise Greenaway, RRP $17.95 North coast psychologist Denise Greenaway has written a novel that is the story of psychologist Dr Diana Verdi, who unexpectedly



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Eliot Schrefer Chicken House Ltd, pb $16.99 Eliot Schrefer has published many books during his career as an author. Eliot Schrefer specialises in young adult novels and has two adult novels as well. Heart of Danger is now one of my favourite books of all time; I loved the book from start to finish. I was just blown away by the suspense and detail. It kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through it. Now and then I had to keep reminding myself that nothing bad can happen because I’m only halfway through the book. The story begins with Sophie's returning to her home town in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo, for a holiday to visit her mother. Sophie’s parents had split many years ago; ever since then Sophie goes to visit her mum every summer. While visiting her mother Sophie came across a man selling a bonobo (a type of ape). Sophie decided to buy the bonobo from the man, thinking her mother would approve of this. Sophie then had to become the new mother for this bonobo because he had become quite attached to her. One month later she then has to go back to USA but refuses to and runs off. She then later hears gunshots and finds herself stuck in the worst situation ever imagined. Overall I think this is a fantastic read and one of the best books you’ll ever read. ~ Annika Ritchie, Grade 7, Mullumbimby High

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Book Reviews

finds herself in the middle of the Australian desert on an Aboriginal community. At first she is distracted by her personal problems and her missing patient Artemisia – just 14 and critically ill with anorexia. Excerpts from the girl’s diary, The Oracle, haunt Diana, even as she participates in the traditional ceremonies of the Aboriginal women. Aunty Millie, a powerful elder skilled in traditional healing, takes an interest in Diana’s plight, and uses her mysterious ways to make an impact on her. Greenaway’s novel is based upon her own experience. She says: ‘When I was invited to attend an inma [a gathering of people to celebrate culture] with Aboriginal women in the remote deserts of Australia, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. ‘I had been warned of the severe elements: the night cold, the harsh sun, the absence of water. But nothing could have prepared me for the privilege of experiencing the oldest living culture on Earth. ‘Meeting with the women who keep the Aboriginal culture alive had a direct impact on me. I was struck by their wisdom, clarity, confidence and psychological freedom. They still knew who they were, despite the horrific invasions of their homelands, their food sources and their complex family structures. And they knew what was needed for their traditions to be secured: ceremony, celebration and sharing – women’s business. ‘Although my main character is fictitious, she does follow my personal journey into the women’s ancient world, and she does discover, as I did, a healthy absence of the image issues that afflict our modern world.’ See more at


‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,' said Jojen. 'The man who never reads lives only one.’ A Dance With Dragons, George R R Martin BOOKWORMS

& PAPERMITES An awesome little bookshop in the heart of Bangalow.

Bangalow Newsagency | 6687 1396

art piece gallery Beyond the Horizon Charly Wrencher and Nicola Chatham Opens Thursday 26 September 6pm All welcome. Exhibition runs till Friday 11 October

Nicola Chatham The Light

was low, sprinkling gold dust through the air in ribbons of light. Oil on linen 100x210cm

Charly Wrencher Looking North Oil on canvas 1800x2400mm

art piece gallery 70 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby | 02 6684 3446

ECO-BEEKEEPING CLASSES Get the skills to set up your own hive in this one day hands-on class Last Sunday of every month

NEXT CLASS 9am Saturday 28 September $90

Call Scott 0433 073 028

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library offers FREE access to a range of the latest in eResources, eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, music and much, much more!

Housebound book service Genealogy – Freegal – download music free & legally Richmond 10 mins a day baby reading program Tweed Regional Zinio – eMagazines Library

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