Bang Your Head: the rise and fall of Heavy Metal by David Konow
I don’t even really like Heavy Metal. Okay, Aerosmith and Guns ‘n’ Roses. And Beth by Kiss. But that’s it. Still, this was an interesting book; I hadn’t realised that Metal as a phenomenon was so short-lived, for example. I have no idea how true any of the stories are, but they are interesting.
Priestess of the White: Age of the Five: Book One by Trudi Canavan
Trudi Canavan did good with her Black Magician Trilogy, so I thought I’d give the new one a try. I am . . . ambivalent. Basically, young Auraya grows up in a society that has two sources of magical knowledge: the Priesthood, priests/esses of the 5 gods, and the Dreamweavers, who reject the gods, but are accepted because of their healing abilities. Auraya has been studying with her local Dreamweaver, Leiard, but when invaders from a nearby kingdom threaten her village to prevent an alliance, she negotiates a peace with them and is invited to join the priesthood.
When next we see Auraya, she has been selected by the Gods to be the fifth of the White, the highest of High Priests, who talk directly to the Gods and rule the Kingdom (the religion, by the way, is known as the “circlian” religion, as in, the religion of the Circle of the Gods. That word just sounds wrong to me, for some reason). Soon, she is negotiating to bring the winged people of Si into the ongoing alliance of Northern Ithania, and having an affair with Leiard, who has just noticed that she has grown up. Meanwhile, an old woman in a tower somewhere on the coast is facing the wrath of her neighbours for her use of magic, and from the south comes a black-clad sorceror who claims that the gods of the White are false gods and his gods are real. But the White know better; only five Gods survived the god wars . . . didn’t they?
Tell you the truth, I found the White stuffy, annoying and over-proud; I waited for the southerners to teach them a lesson or for there to turn out to be some reason to suspect the gods of lying, or something that would knock that annoying smugness out of them. No such thing happened; the book remained, if you will permit a minor pun, Black and White. And these were the heroes, too.