Sunday, May 22, 2016

Borehold Bazaar: A Vow Unbroken by Kendra Namednil Now Available for Pre-order!

Borehole Bazaar: A Vow Unbroken
By Kendra Namednil

About Borehole Bazaar: A Vow Unbroken

Kendra was born and raised in foggy Humboldt County at the northern edge of California. She has always been fascinated with the ways in which people adapt to extreme hardship and change.

The idea for the book came after an in-depth look at the abuse she’d witnessed in her friends and family growing up. In particular, the inspiration for many of the scenes comes from looking at friends, family, co-workers, and classmates raised within kind, loving, over-protective families that find themselves suddenly needing to survive abusive, hard, untenable situations. She has worked with dogs recovering from abusive situations as well. Kendra has a firm belief that no situation is helpless until breath ceases to motivate the diaphragm. She has worked through the entire story, but is always appreciative of any small bugs being pointed out.

Excerpt of Chapter One: Pride Before Fall
Orcs are a large representative of the Hard races. They usually have perfectly straight, very oily dark green hair. In low light, this usually appears to be black. They have a pair of jutting tusks, which vary in length and thickness by the region and genetics. Orcs have a peculiar and fairly universal sort of arcana, in that they naturally stop growing at about six feet, but grow larger each time they utterly dominate another. They are a fractious race, solving most issues with their fists, though it is rare for them to kill each other. Instead, combat is highly ritualized with most disputes resolved after just one blow. Their skin color ranges from dark red to pale orange, with a few having purple or greenish brown hues.

While both men and women fight, the society is highly divided by gender. Both males and females will raise a band’s collective young, though they rarely intermix outside of coitus or incidental proximity. Both genders are highly modest in dress, feeling vulnerable if they are not fully armed with an excess of weapons, especially hand daggers and the like. They typically wear multiple layers of studded leather.

Orcs usually get on well with other races, at least so long as those races understand that they are subservient to the leading orc or Warchief. Alternately, or in villages, the lead orc may be referred to as the Hordechief, and the short form of this is just the Chief. They do not keep slaves, though the belief that they do is founded on the violence of their hierarchy. Humans and other less powerful races, generally unable to keep up in unarmed combat, tend to be pushed into menial labor within the small hordes they are a part of.

Ptielieren hit his knees hard as the wagon came to a stop. He was absolutely exhausted; tired beyond reckoning. His throat was raw, his hands and legs chafed and bled from the heavy shackles and poorly fitted brace and his very body begged him to die peacefully and with dignity.

He would not. His ward, his oath sworn ward, pitched to the ground beside him. Ptielieren threw himself over Traisyelianiel d’Syvaeleyneextrepstre, shielding the young elf from harm. The thirty year old lay limply beneath him as the giant beast that had tormented him and his colleagues, what few that remained, made a face and walked away, unhitching the single remaining horse. Its companion had been sold to a party of bugbears some two days ago and the bugbear had ordered all its captives to carry, push and drag the cart over the remaining terrain as the lack of proper trail made such an endeavor very nearly impossible for the single animal.

Buy Link:
$10 for the eBook that also includes access to drafts and updates from the author
$20 includes a signed paperback copy, an eBook, and access to drafts and updates from with author with free shipping within the U.S.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Trial by Franz Kafka
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.98 of 5 stars
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Page Count: 216

Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.

**This is the review I wrote for my English project**

The Trial by Franz Kafka is a novel unlike any other. He leaves both the main character and the reader scrambling to figure out what is going on. It takes place in an unidentified, modern city and follows banker and main character, Josef K., through an unsettling and unexpected trial. The details of the trial are hidden from everyone up to the very end, and even then, the reason K. was put on trial remains unclear.
In the beginning, K. did not pay attention to the proceedings and showed a complete disregard for his situation. During many occasions K. has shown that he is very temperamental and overreacts when no one has given him reason to. K. is not a character that is easy to be sympathetic to. He is rude to many of the individuals he interacts with; for example his landlady Mrs. Grubach, who makes him breakfast and does many things for him, is treated with very little respect. He also tries to take advantage of many of the women he interacts with. These traits, however horrible they may be, do not point to the reason he is being tried though. Kafka gives no indication of the reasoning behind the courts decisions.
Society and play a big part in the execution of this novel. Every influential person K. talks to – the lawyer, the businessman, the painter, ect – all tell him the same thing, if you make friends with those who are high up in the court, you have a better chance of winning your case. This creates a wide gap between the court officials and the accused. Isolation is also a very evident theme. When K. speaks with the painter, who works for the court officials and judges, the painter tells him that he is better off working on his case alone, which is originally how K. handled it. The painter tells K. that in order to get absolute acquittal, which later becomes and impossible dream, K. must work towards it on his own and that there would be nothing anyone could say to the judges. This would force K. to be completely isolated from everyone during the entire trial, and he would have to focus solely on getting himself acquitted. The two themes, society and class and isolation, tend to contradict each other. It is expected of K. to become friends with the higher officials and to make them like him, but he is also told that influencing the judges won’t really help him in the end. Kafka seems to be creating this contradiction on purpose in order to cause both K. and the reader to be confused about what measures should be taken in order to save K.
Sex and power come into play a lot in this novel. Each time K. comes across a new woman, he plots to use sex to get them to do his bidding. At one point he thinks that, in order to get close to the high officials, he should seduce the court ushers wife for information. When she seems willing he changes his mind, coming to the conclusion that she is not important enough to help. Then later, he sets his sights on Leni, his lawyer’s maid. Kafka makes it seem like K. is the one who has all the power in the situation, but Leni is later revealed to be the one manipulating him. In many situations, K. is led to believe that he is the powerful one, that he alone has the power to change the results of his conviction. First, K. believes that the power of his words will change the mind of the court officials. However, once he enlists the help of his lawyer, K. hands the power over to him. This causes K. to nearly forget about the proceedings until he is forced to write up documents. This process causes him to seize back what little control he can.
In reality, as we see in the ending of the novel, K. had no power at all. He was at the mercy of the court. The reason behind why K. was convicted of a crime is still not clear, but we see that, once it is realised that there is nothing anyone can do to save him, K. practically hands himself over to the men who come for him. It is not clear, however, if the two men are actually members of the court. The reader assumes they are, but it is never actually stated. Ultimately, all of K.’s efforts to save himself were all in vain, and in the end were the main things that sealed his fate.
“Everything belongs to the court.” This mentality is held throughout the entire novel, even if it is not clear in the very beginning. Kafka creates a world that is unjust, one that only those in the highest classes can survive in.