Arslan and a trusted general, Daryun, have found the hide out of the former royal strategist-turned-hermit, Narsus, and they try to get Narsus to join up with Arslan even though the king grew to despise Narsus. According to Daryun, there is no better war strategist, and Narsus does live up to his reputation several times while they are in his home. While Arslan is trying to remount a force to protect the capital city of Ecbatana, the Lusitanian forces descend on the city and try all manner of dirty tricks to get the sturdy walls to fall. They try torturing prisoners of war in front of the other soldiers to demoralize them; they appeal to the slaves inside to revolt against the solders; and they send assassins through secret water passageways to try to kill or capture the queen, who is the lone royal family member left in the capital to help keep everything together.
Thorkell and his warriors stuff their faces at a local inn and bemoan the winter that has put a stop to their glorious fighting. Then, they get word that Askelaad is holed up in a village north of them, and Thorkell rallies his men for a fast march to catch up. Askelaad puts Thorfinn on duty guarding prince Canute, which is how Thorfinn discovers Canute can cook. The Ear hears Thorkell's troops approaching, but it’s a little too late. They've only managed to build three sleds, which isn’t enough to take all their loot and people across the difficult snow-covered terrain. Askelaad decides to set his plans in motion, including robbing Canute of his most faithful servant. Some of Askelaad's men start to defect, hoping Thorkell will have better luck, but Thorkell has no place in his ranks for turncoats. Then, Askelaad's men start to fight against Askelaad, but his exceptional strength and fighting abilities keep him alive until Thorkell finally catches up. Despite his assignment to watch the prince, Thorfinn crashes back into the throngs of warriors, demanding the right to kill Askelaad himself. Thorkell challenges him to a duel for the honor of killing Askelaad, and reveals he knows much about Thors as he parries Thorfinn's attacks.
In continuing the theme that every powerful person who meets Freya’s falls in love with her, we somehow run into the Sigurdian prince on a ship where Freya is bound for the kingdom of Nacht to secure the first of many alliances against Sigurd. Prince Dimitri decides to entertain himself by trying to get Freya to go to bed with him, but she skillfully avoids his advances. Once they land in Nacht, Freya and her hand-picked band of retainers learn that the Queen, who was a Sigurdian princess, sends her servants to the town to select young, beautiful men to be her evening’s entertainment. Of course, Julius stands out among the rest, and they all get an invitation to the castle. They discover that there’s more to her request than companionship and a dinner guest. The queen has actually been seeking a brave soul to save her kingdom from a vengeful person, and she begs Julius to be that soul.
Askelaad and his forces, including Thorfinn, have become entwined with the Danish forces laying siege to England in the early 1000s. They first try to invade London, but a turncoat Viking is helping fortify London’s channel. Askelaad sends Thorfinn to bring back the head of this traitor, Thorkell, but Thorfinn only succeeds in cutting off a few fingers. Askelaad’s forces then save the Danish prince from being captured by Thorkell, and all they can think about is the reward from the king for saving his son. Askelaad leads his men into Wales where he has some allies, and we learn more about his lineage, which is impressive and surprising. Thorfinn is assigned to guard the prince, but Thorfinn can’t get over how weak and feminine this prince is.
When the German forces surrendered at the end of World War II, a select unit of Jewish Soldiers, British and Palestinian, became an unofficial unit known as The Jewish Brigade. These soldiers made detours during their official missions in order to hunt down elite Nazis or save any Jewish survivors of the Concentration Camps. This story focuses on Leslie Toliver. Toliver and his Palestinian friend, Ari, rescue a girl named Safaya from a church where a former SS official was acting as a priest. Ari and another British officer covertly rescue truckloads of Jewish civilians from the Russian city of Graz before it comes under British control because they feared Anti-Semitism that would make like difficult or impossible for those survivors. The Jewish civilians are trying to make their way to Palestine, where the U.N. had a planned Jewist State. Later, Toliver supports the Jewish forces in Palestine fighting for their own state. He and Safaya are reunited, but now, Safaya is a soldier fighting for her people against the Arabs in Palestine who oppose the partition of their country.
Vol 1: Child of Wonder, illustrated by Godwin Akpan
Iyanu and her mentor live just inside the outer walls of the city of Elu. The kids who live inside the inner wall, known as Inners, yell at her and throw rocks when they see her looking through a crack in the wall, calling her a Forest Girl who doesn’t belong. Iyanu and her mentor practice the old ways of the Agoni, a segment of Eli’s population who keep the history and the old ways alive. Before Iyanu’s time, the Oba (king) of Elu banished all the Agoni away from their place inside the city and moved the survivors into the Forest. When Iyanu uses her magic to save an Inner boy from a corrupt animal, the Oba and his council of advisors order her capture. Iyanu's mentor is captured instead and sets Iyano on a dangerous journey to locate The Source, a mythical place where magic is strong, and Iyanu will find answers to the curse that has corrupted animals and made them thirst for human blood.
The young warrior Thorfinn is shackled to the ship of a Viking Raider, Askelaad. Askelaad's fleet of three ships successfully raids a settlement as mercenaries and recovers all the treasure for themselves before headed back to their village for the winter. Thorfinn has become a powerful and fast warrior, but treasure and ransacking towns doesn't interest him. He wants revenge on Askelaad for killing his father and stealing their ship. Thorfinn's childhood started in a peaceful fishing village full of proud Vikings. They were often visited by the explorer Lief Erickson, who would regale the children with stories of the beautiful country of Vinland, a place where winters are mild and the ground is fertile. After getting his revenge, Thorfinn would love to find the legendary country of Vinland.
In this blend of historical and scientific perspective, Fetter-Vorm explores the race between several countries to create the Atom Bomb, starting with the theoretical exploration of splitting atoms, to the realization of the theory under the Manhattan Project. Fetter-Vorm particularly focuses on the American efforts, so there is little detail from other countries involved in the race. The beginning of the novel focuses heavily on the science behind how it's possible to split an atom and what happens on a molecular level. The historical perspective is sprinkled throughout this section, but really becomes the major focus during the second half of the book. Particular attention is given to Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves as the leaders of the project. Fetter-Vorm also goes into quite a bit of detail about the dropping of Little Boy, the Uranium atom bomb, and Fat Man, the plutonium atom bomb, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, and how each of the different types of atomic bombs' explosions affected the cities and people.
Illustrated by David Namisato
Sandy is a young noy growing up in British Columbia who loves baseball. It’s one of the things he and his father enjoy together, that is when is father isn’t off providing medical treatments to folks. Sandy’s family and of Japanese decent, and they live in a thriving Japanese community in BC, who all root for the Asahi, the local baseball team who just lost the championship, but are hopeful to get it back next season. Then, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and things start getting more complicated for Sandy and his family. They have to give up some of their possessions “for safekeeping”, knowing full well they will be sold off; they have to be in their homes by sundown, which makes the father’s job much harder; and there are certain areas of port cities they are no longer allowed to live in. Soon enough, the families are transported to camps that have been set up at abandoned mining facilities.
Adapted by Ryan North, illustrated by Albert Monteys
This story starts out in World War II with a scrawny soldier, Billy Pilgrim, and three others, sneaking through Germany and trying to evade detection. There are some odd things about Billy, besides the fact that he's in the Army and has no muscle - Billy doesn't live his life entirely chronologically. He's become unstuck in time, and he periodically visits future points in his life, like after he's opened a successful optometry practice, or that one time he cheats on his wife, or when aliens from the planet Tralfamadore scoop him up in their flying saucer and place him in a zoo where they can view him like an exhibit. Billy learns much from his time amongst the aliens, like the saying "so it goes" after someone dies, or how they view time as if they are seeing a slice of the Rocky Mountains - kind of all at once. In between all of these moments, Billy is captured and center to a labor camp in Dresden - just before it is taken off the face of the map by the Allied Forces.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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