Monday, July 4, 2016

Magician: Riftwar Saga Books 1 and 2.

I was tricked.  Not with this book. No, this book is exactly what you think it is....wizards, elves, court intrigue, this is classic high fantasy.  No, I was reading a brand new book labeled fantasy but I should have investigated further.  It had no magic.  The "hero" was an accountant. It was like a young hot Janet Yellen undermining a country's economy...I'll show you...I'll print more money causing inflation. C'mon--no magic but your power is usury? Some people are into freaky stuff like that.

The Riftwar Saga is a tetralogy, a.k.a a four part series. It's a Dungeons and Dragons world but with a twist. There is a cosmic rift in the universe where aliens are invading through the portal and they have wizards too. Yes! You can read books one and two if you don't want a four book commitment as there is a natural resolution to the plot.  Book three has the same characters but with a new story-line.  So far I really like this series.

Raymond Feist made an entire career writing this series.  He published the first book shortly after undergrad the early 80's (it was based on his college D&D games) and finished the last of this series about two years ago.  Yeah, 30 books in this series.  Apparently he's never sold the rights for a movie or series but if they ever do this it will need a little makeover as the female characters are not strong enough.  I guess there is one princess that is pretty tough, I guess, but the women are kind of lame.  There is an Elven queen that ends up with an emotionally abusive husband. I'm thinking: YOU ARE AN ELVEN QUEEN--KICK THAT LOSER TO THE STUMP! (Elves don't really have "curbs" so I had to improvise). It turns out that the husband is actually a nice guy he just had some magical clothing that was turning him into a world-class a-hole.  In his defense, I've had some ill fitting shoes that could have taken me down that path.

Hey it's summer and my basil is up. Why not read this with a Strawberry Basil Bourbon Lemonade? This is enough for a crowd (8 drinks). It's a little work but here it is: 1 lb. strawberries, 1 and 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste--the original recipe says 2 cups but I don't like drinks too sweet) 1 cup bourbon, 1 cup ice cold water, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 ounce bitters, 12 basil leaves and 8 basil springs. Pulse the strawberries and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor and add this puree to the medium saucepan over medium heat and heat until the mixture just begins to boil.  Take off the heat and let cool completely.  Strain and chill in fridge for about a hour. In a large pitcher combine the syrup, water, bourbon, lemon juice, and bitters.  Stir for one minute and add the basil leaves and stir to combine. Strain into 8 tall glasses with ice and garnish with a basil sprig.

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