Four Most Interesting Questions about Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy

One of the things I really enjoyed about the first two books in The Century Trilogy was seeing life and the struggles of ordinary people in world wars 1 & 2.

I’m veering away from sci-fi/fantasy this month to look at a trilogy of historical fiction books.

CenturyTrilogy

Q #1: How historically accurate are Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy novels?

A: I’d say they are very historically accurate. I have a friend who is a history buff and he’s the one who recommended them to me. I don’t think he would have done so if they weren’t historically accurate. Also, Ken Follett puts a little disclaimer in the back of all the books. In each of them he uses a mixture of fiction characters with real characters. He only places the real characters in situations or locations where they either are known to have been at a specific time, or could have been at a specific time according to public knowledge. Ken Follett also consults experts on the various time periods he writes about – you can see who he consults in the acknowledgements section at the back of each book.

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Q #2: Did anyone make a movie about Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy?

A: Not yet, as far as I am aware. However, according to Ken Follett’s website, Sony Pictures and ABC are working on making it into a TV series: https://ken-follett.com/faq/

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Q #3: Are the British culture & government really as stagnant & stubborn as depicted in Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy?

A: I’ll do my best to answer this, though I don’t live in Britain, and have only been once, when I studied abroad from January-May in college. During that time, I didn’t really get to know a whole lot about British politics, so most of what I do know comes from films or other books I’ve read, which may or may not be accurate. I do remember seeing the film Darkest Hour a year or so ago, which seemed to depict a similarly stagnant and stubborn political landscape. In it, Winston Churchill has to fight tooth and nail against politicians who don’t want to go to war against the Nazis. Since I live in America, I know a lot more about American politics, and I will say that many of our politicians are stagnant & stubborn, so I don’t think those are necessarily traits unique to British politicians. In America it seems like every other day one politician or another is saying that something is too ambitious or radical to be passed, and we should aim for a more moderate solution. I think part of that is the nature of good politics, the other part might be some sort of selfishness or greed. The argument for things being stagnant is that if change happens too fast there’s a risk it can be the wrong sort of change. The government has a responsibility to make sure its people are cared for, and if something changes that makes things worse for the people, it can be worse than no change at all, especially if the people are already generally well cared for.

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Q #4: What are your thoughts on Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy?

A: I think it is a solid read! The characters are very easy to relate to, and the history is written in a really appealing and educational way. However, I do feel that the third book in the trilogy was a little too spectacular. One of the things I really enjoyed about the first two books in The Century Trilogy was seeing life and the struggles of ordinary people in world wars 1 & 2. By the third book, a lot of these ordinary people have produced extraordinary children, and at times things that happened seemed cheesy or too convenient to happen in real life.

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Six Most Interesting Questions about Mistborn

A band of peasants, with magic powers that they can only use by consuming metal, make and execute a plan to kill the tyrant who oppresses their kind.

Mistborn

Q #1: Without spoilers, is Well of Ascension as good as the original Mistborn?

A: I personally don’t think it’s as good as the first book. And the reason for is that the characters are not as active. In the first book, the whole plot hinges upon Kelsier, Vin, and their crew taking action against the Lord Ruler. In the second book, the plot hinges on others taking action against Vin, Elend, and the crew. There are other subplots that keep things interesting, and mysteries to solve, but since the main characters feel more passive in the main plot, it isn’t quite as good as the first, I feel like.

Q #2: Is there a Mistborn movie?

A: There is an IMDB page for one. Check it out: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6638042/ . One thing that concerns me about a Mistborn movie is that Sanderson’s novel is pretty long. Not as long as his Stormlight Archive books, but I think it would still be hard to condense it into a movie without sacrificing major pieces of the plot or characters.

Q #3: What is a quick summary of the plot of Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson)?

A: I’ll keep it super quick. A band of peasants, with magic powers that they can only use by consuming metal, make and execute a plan to kill the tyrant who oppresses their kind.

Q #4: If you could be one race in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere which one would you be?

A: Since these are Mistborn questions I’ll answer that I’d love to be a Terrisman. In particular, a Feruchemist. Their power is essentially limitless if they can store up enough of it.

Q #5: Who would win, Kaladin Stormblessed or Vin the Mistborn?

A: Oooh, fun battle! I think it depends on if Vin has Atium. If she does, she will be able to see into the future, and know his every move. Then she would win for sure. Unless Kaladin just decided to flee. I think Kaladin could move faster, with his lashes, in an open sprint than Vin could. Vin would have to rely on dropping coins, or having other metal around that she could push or pull away from. If Vin doesn’t have Atium, and can’t see Kaladin’s every move, she would still have pewter, to increase her strength, so I think she would still win. Unless Kaladin can fight her from a distance, but mostly he seems not to wield long range weapons.

Q #6: What allomancer power would you pick from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series?

A: If I couldn’t be Mistborn, I’d pick steelpushing and be a coinshot. Reason being is that it would let me fly up into the air which would be awesome. It’s also a pretty good ability for protecting yourself, since you can push metal that might harm you away.

The Six Most Interesting Questions I Missed

For each of my previous posts, I primarily answered questions from Quora.com. I’m getting daily requests for new questions to answer, and I haven’t been able to keep up with them all. So, for this blog post, I’m going to make it my goal to address some of those questions…the most interesting ones, that is.

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Q #1: In Harry Potter, what do you think would happen if a young wizard couldn’t afford a wand?

A: They would probably be provided for. Remember how Harry got his wand? Olivander went about, trying each and every wand to see exactly which one was the best fit. There was no discussion of cost. For a wizard, a wand is so important that I don’t think cost would be taken into account, and Hogwarts wouldn’t have anyone attending who didn’t get the best wand for their needs, or at least have the opportunity to get the best wand for their needs.

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Q #2: A lot of dystopian books have the world splitting up into factions (Divergent), districts (The Hunger Games), or something similar in the future. How likely is this to actually happen far in the future?

A: I would say there’s two parts to this question. First, we have to consider whether it’s likely that the world will be ruled by one government in the future. If there’s not a single ruling entity, the whole world could not be split up into factions/districts. Second, we have to consider whether it’s likely that this one government would create a system of factions/districts. I think that it’s not particularly likely that the world would be ruled by one government in the future, so I don’t think we can even get to the second part of this question. The reason being is that in all of history the world has never been ruled by one government. Powerful countries have risen, like Rome, but they always fall, and never conquer the whole world. Plus, there is much more communication throughout the world nowadays, and more of an effort to keep super-countries from forming. Imperialism has even largely died out. If anything, there will be more countries in the far future, as people venture into and colonize space. However, it could still be that perhaps these factions/districts will form in a single country, and not the rest of the world. If this happens, that single country would have to either be aware of other countries where the districts/factions did not exist, or else they would have to be living a life with technology way behind their time, since I do not think the other countries could be hidden from that world with the technology we have nowadays, there is simply too much communication. I would say that one country developing the faction/district system is a much more likely scenario than the world adopting it, since there is such a wide array of ways a country could be run, though I think it unlikely the country running themselves this way could keep the rest of the world a secret.

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Q #3: What is the Avatar the Last Airbender Live action show going to be about?

A: As far as I’m aware, it’s just going to be a retelling of the animated show.

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Q #4: Who would win in a fight Percy Jackson or Optimus Prime?

A: I think it depends on where they’re fighting. On land or in the sky, Optimus Prime wins. In or near the water so that Percy can force the fight to the sea, he’d win.

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Q #5: What 3 unrelated books would make a weird but workable trilogy?

A: Fun question! I think my theme for answering this question will be riches-to-rags. So for the first book we have The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, because obviously Arthur Dent has to find a cool planet for the trilogy to take place on. Once he’s there, he’ll inevitably screw things up, and that’s how we get to Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. The second book takes place about 1000 years after the first, and Arthur Dent is probably The Chosen One talked about so much in that book. Finally, after Mistborn, book three would be Holes by Louis Sachar, since by this time I imagine that’s what the day-to-day life on this planet would be like.

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Q #6: Why can only portraits in Harry Potter speak? Why not photographs?

A: Because of the way that wizarding magic works. I suspect there’s some sort of magic used to give portraits life, whereas with photographs that type of magic is not generally used. There are probably portraits that can’t speak, especially in muggle homes, it’s just that the ones we do see can speak. Photographs, likewise, I suspect could speak, if the witch or wizard who created them wanted them to, but the creator elects not to give them that power most of the time, so they don’t have the ability to speak. It all comes down to what magic is used.

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Six Most Interesting Questions about The Divergent Series

But in reality the choice has already been made for them, and the choice isn’t the choice of what faction to be in; it’s the choice of whether to accept a world in which everyone is divided into different factions.

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Q #1: Which series should I read first: The Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner, or Divergent?

A: It depends on what you like to read and who you are! I myself have read all of them except for The Maze Runner and they were all great. I would recommend Percy Jackson to anyone who’s in middle-school or approaching middle-school. It is probably the most relatable and interesting for that age-range. On the other hand, I’d recommend The Lord of the Rings for older readers – anyone who loves complex worlds especially. If you’re in college or beyond, or an advanced reader in high school, and love fantasy that’d probably be the best read. If you like Game of Thrones it’s probably the most similar of any of these to that. Divergent is quite a bit different – I would probably recommend it to high school or college kids, and I would especially recommend it to anyone who loves romance – it has some pretty heavy romance in it, and would be great for any readers who enjoyed books like The Hunger Games or Twilight.

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Q #2: In Divergent, what is the point of an aptitude test if you choose your faction anyway?

A: This is up to interpretation I think, but here’s my interpretation. I think that the aptitude test is there to reinforce the idea of factions, and to reinforce factions as the right thing. By having everyone take an aptitude test, kids are basically being prepared for the fact that they fit in better with some people and in some places than in other places and with other people. The aptitude test is one of the first ways in which people are divided and separate and put into different buckets. It starts the narrowing down, and then I think that the choice is given about what faction to be in as a way for the people in control to trick those choosing their factions into thinking they are making the choice. But in reality the choice has already been made for them, and the choice isn’t the choice of what faction to be in; it’s the choice of whether to accept a world in which everyone is divided into different factions.

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Q #3: What would the Dauntless faction think of space travel?

A: The Dauntless would love space travel! As the most adventurous and daring of the factions, I think they’d probably be the ones to be astronauts, or go up in space first, even though the technology would have to be something that Erudite developed. I think that if space travel did progress to the point where things were like Star Trek in the Divergent universe, then the Dauntless would probably be the dominant faction due to their bravery and willingness to venture into the unknown and make discoveries.

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Q #4: Why do authors of novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent prefer not to spend time and effort on detailed world-building?

A: I know it may seem like they don’t, but I would argue they do. As a writer myself, I know there is a lot of preparation and work that is done before even putting pen to paper. One thing to keep in mind is that Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins likely chose not to include every single detail about their worlds because it would be too much, slow down the story, and not make for as interesting as a narrative. Part of being a writer is to know how much worldbuilding to show in your story and how much to withhold. One thing that is often used is the metaphor of an iceberg. Icebergs are huge, but we only see the small portion that is above the water when we encounter them. Worldbuilding is like that too. The best stories show you only a small portion of the world, while promising that there is a whole lot more underneath the surface waiting to be seen later.

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Q #5: If Tris and Four from Divergent went to Hogwarts, what house would they be in?

A: I think they’d be in Gryffindor! The reason why is because they are brave, but they are not cruel, like some of the Dauntless. I think that all Dauntless would probably be in either Gryffindor or Slytherin. The Erudites on the other hand could be in either Ravenclaw or Slytherin, the Candor in either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, and Amity I would say are probably usually in Hufflepuff while the Abnegation are probably either Gryffindor or Hufflepuff.

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Q #6: Something similar to Divergent?

A: The most similar thing I can think of is The Hunger Games! They both came out around the same time too. I would say that Twilight could be something that most readers of Divergent might enjoy also. Another lesser known series I would suggest is called The Guardians of Time by Marianne Curley. It isn’t a dystopian story, but it does deliver a similarly heavy dose of romance. Here’s a link to the Amazon page for the first book: The Named.

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Three Quick Questions about Eragon

Christopher Paolini’s new book is called The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, and it’s set in the same world as Eragon was, Alagaesia.

Eragons

Q #1: What if Eragon fought Gandalf?

A: If Eragon fought Gandalf, I believe he would lose. As awesome and powerful as Eragon is (he has powerful magic, Sapphira, his sword), he doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of experience that Gandalf does. Gandalf’s experience would give him the edge in my opinion.

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Q #2: What book would you recommend to someone who loves Eragon?

A: I’m going to recommend some non-dragon books. I believe the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale would appeal to the same demographic as Eragon does. If the reader is a bit older, I would recommend Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn is a great place to start. The Ranger’s Apprentice series is also pretty good.

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Q #3: How can I download The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales from Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini?

Christopher Paolini’s new book is called The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, and it’s set in the same world as Eragon was, Alagaesia. You can purchase it on Amazon, here’s a link. You can also probably purchase it from many bookstores and online. Here’s a link to the book on Paolini’s website: link. In my opinion it’s best to pay for these things if you can, to support all the work that goes into them!

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Nine Most Interesting Questions about Harry Potter

Nowadays, if someone like Harry saw moving images on trading cards, he’d probably assume there must be a computer chip somewhere in there.

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Q #1: What is Lord Voldemort’s boggart in Harry Potter?

A: Good question!  Boggarts are shapeshifters that take the form of whatever a person most fears.  Thus, Lord Voldemort’s boggart would be whatever he most fears.  There can be debate on this, however, I think what Lord Voldemort most fears is Harry Potter, so his boggart would take the form of Harry.

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Q #2: If I have a piece of Harry Potter merchandise that would be a huge collector’s item (though not technically on the market in the first place), how would I go about selling it?

A: Wow!  First of all, I’m jealous.  Second, it depends how much work you want to put into it, and how much value you want to get out of it.  The simple solution would be to place it up on eBay, and just see what kind of offers you get.  However, if you’re more ambitious, I would suggest looking for people who have had similar items in the past and sold them for large amounts of money.  Then copy their strategies.  You could also reach out to people on Instagram, Twitter, or other social media with large followings that are in some way related to Harry Potter and ask them to advertise the item for you.  The more people who see your item, the more potential buyers, and the higher the demand is, the more money you will be able to get for it.  So it all comes down to making sure everyone knows you have that piece of merchandise and are selling it.  That’s my thinking on it anyway.  Obviously you would want to keep your personal details hidden, if you’re worried about it being stolen you could use an alias to sell/advertise until you find your buyer.

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Q #3: Do you like Harry Potter or Batman?

A: Can I like both?  Ha ha.  I think that I like Harry Potter more than Batman.  I mean, Hogwarts is just so cool!  If you’re asking who would win in a fight between Harry Potter and Batman…well, it’s also Harry.  Harry has magic so he could just paralyze Batman.  The only way Batman would stand a chance is if he snuck up on Harry, and even then he’d need to keep Harry from launching any spells, just one spell could turn the tides of the entire battle.

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Q #4: Do you believe the government has “Invisibility Cloaking” capability like in the Harry Potter movie?

A: No.  If they did, we would know about it.  Because the US is ruled by capitalism, and corporations.  The corporations would find out about the technology, and market it to the public for a profit.

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Q #5: Would you want a Harry Potter TV show?

A: Yes!  I think a Harry Potter TV show would be awesome.  In particular, I think it’d be an awesome opportunity to expand on the existing universe.  In the movies, things from the book needed to be cut to fit into 2 or 2.5 hours, whatever their runtimes were.  A TV show would have the opposite problem: the books wouldn’t contain enough material!  But we could add in other things, like seeing Hermione’s parents, or seeing Ron’s brother Charlie working with the dragons, or seeing more of Dumbledore (he’s much more of a minor character early on in the series).  The possibilities are endless!

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Q #6: My friends said they think I would be in Slytherin house in Harry Potter and I can’t help but feel like the worst person?

A: You’re not the worst person!  In fact, if you feel that way, I dare say you probably aren’t in Slytherin house.  A Slytherin wouldn’t feel like a bad person for being a Slytherin.  A Slytherin would relish in it, and use their reputation for their own gain.

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Q #7: Who are the top ten most powerful wizards of the Harry Potter series?

A: In no particular order, I would say they are Dumbledore, Voldemort, Harry Potter, Grindelwald, Credence, Snape, McGonagall, Hermione, Mad-Eye Moody, and Bellatrix Lestrange.

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Q #8: If Harry Potter series is written in 2019, how different would it be from the originals considering the changes in the world in the last 25 years?

A: In my opinion, the biggest differences would be in technology.  We have smartphones now, and nobody goes anywhere without them.  In addition, the first Harry Potter was published in 1997 originally, before people even used laptops regularly.  I remember one of the scenes from Harry Potter, when Harry’s on the train with Ron and at first sees the moving images on the cards with different wizards.  Back then, the only thing to assume would have been those moving images were magic.  Nowadays, if someone like Harry saw moving images on trading cards, he’d probably assume there must be a computer chip somewhere in there.

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Q #9: Why do Harry Potter, LOFTR Trilogy, and Star Wars all use such stark good versus evil symbolism?

A: It’s because a shift in the way we think about things.  Back when many of those franchises were made, there was a stark good vs. evil mentality in storytelling, and even maybe in the world.  People wanted the good guys to beat the bad guys.  Those type of stories still work, I think, but they are becoming less popular than stories where the lines between good and evil get blurred.  Nowadays, things are much more complex.  People like stories that are about bad guys who have a good reason for being bad, or good guys who use wicked means to accomplish what they need to get done.  One great example of this is to look at the Star Wars franchise.  The originals and the prequels were all about the Jedi, the light, defeating the Sith, the dark side.  Now, in film #8, suddenly Rey discovers and tells Luke that the dark side is not actually to be avoided, but that balance means light and dark, and not just light.

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Ten Most Interesting Questions about Percy Jackson

Percy is like the weird kid who nobody pays attention to in school, then he goes off to camp half-blood and suddenly everyone pays attention to him because now he knows who he is.

 

 

Q #1: Could Percy Jackson win a fight against any of the Avengers?

A: He might be able to hold his own against some of the weaker Avengers.  Against the likes of Iron Man and Captain America he’d definitely be toast.  One weakness to consider is the fact that his sword, Anaklusmos, can only affect gods, demigods, Titans, giants, and monsters.  Since most of the Avengers are humans with superhuman capabilities, the sword wouldn’t work on them.  Would the Hulk be considered a monster though?  If Thor is a god or even a demigod then it would work on him.  Percy does also have the benefit of being able to control water, but the Avengers have all faced worse than that.  Percy is much younger than any of the Avengers, which means that he would not be as physically strong as them.  If he let any of them get up close, he’d most certainly be toast.

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Q #2) What would Percy Jackson be like if the series was written by George R.R. Martin?

A: Percy Jackson would probably die at the end of the first book.  Luke would have succeeded in killing him, and book number two would be about Annabeth rising to fill Percy’s shoes.  By the end of the first trilogy Grover would be in charge of camp half-blood, Clarisse would be recruiting an army to help Ares take over control of Mount Olympus from Zeus, and Kronos would have taken over the underworld and killed Hades.

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Q #3) Is there going to be another Percy Jackson?

A: It depends what is meant by another Percy Jackson. I think there could be another book. At some point in the future I think it likely will be another attempt at a movie, or maybe a TV show, given the popularity of the series.

On the other hand, there likely will be and already are other characters and series like Percy Jackson.  They’re not exactly the same, but Percy Jackson is a very inspirational series.

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Q #4) Could Percy Jackson get his sword pen through airport security?

A: I’d say definitely yes!  The sword is magic, and airport security isn’t equipped to deal with magic.  It can transform into a pen, so it’d look relatively harmless when passing through.  And, I suspect, the government shutdown would make this even easier for Percy.

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Q #5) Who would win in a fight between Green Arrow and Percy Jackson?

A: Green Arrow.  And it’s not even close.  He’s an ordinary human, which means Percy couldn’t harm him with Anaklusmos.  Percy’s only option would be to fight him at a distance, but unless there was a huge body of water nearby, Green Arrow has the agility and training to easily avoid any water Percy might attack with.  Plus, Green Arrow has a whole assortment of arrows.  He’d easily win against Percy Jackson, even at a distance.

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Q #6) Why does Percy Jackson suck?

A: This is a great question to answer now, since we’ve now established that Percy would lose in a fight against Green Arrow, and likely lose in a fight against most of the Avengers.  Percy Jackson would suck going head-to-head against superheroes, because that’s what they do all day is fight.  Their bodies and their skills are superior.  Percy, however, is incredibly bright.  What sucks about him is his raw power, but what rocks is his intellect.

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Q #7) How attractive is Percy Jackson?

A: I’d say he grows more attractive as the series goes on.  Percy is like the weird kid who nobody pays attention to in school, then he goes off to camp half-blood and suddenly everyone pays attention to him because now he knows who he is.

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Q #8) What if Percy Jackson died?

A: It depends when he died.  At the very best, Annabeth would be horrified, but the world would go on.  At the very worst, the gods would start a war and America would crumble.

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Q #9) If the gods go to Hogwarts, which house would they be in (the gods in Percy Jackson)?

A: Zeus and Poseidon would be in Gryffindor.  Hades and Ares would be in Slytherin.  Athena would be in Ravenclaw.  Hermes would be in Hufflepuff.  I think Dionysus would be in Gryffindor, but he’s a harder one to pin down.  Artemis would probably be a Ravenclaw like Athena, and I think Apollo would be a Hufflepuff like Hermes.

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Q #10) Who would win in a fight, Percy Jackson or Katara?

A: Two water-benders facing off against each-other!  This is most certainly the closest matched two people we’ve examined in a fight so far.  Like against the others, Percy would not be able to use Anaklusmos against Katara, but she doesn’t usually have a weapon either, so this would just put them on even more equal footing.  Percy’s advantage, however, comes from the fact that water heals him, without him having to do anything.  Just being in water heals Percy, whereas Katara has to actively water-bend in order to heal herself.  Even if Katara did use water-bending against Percy, it couldn’t harm him, because water heals Percy.  Katara would not be similarly advantaged, so I give this win to Percy.

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