Tag Archives: books

Book Review: The Bitterbynde Trilogy – where Celtic lore meets orcs

“The rain was without beginning and without end. It pattered on incessantly, a drumming of impatient fingers. The creature knew only the sound of the rain and the rasp of its own breathing. It had no concept of its own identity, no memory of how it had come to this place. Inchoate purpose drove it upward, in darkness. Over levels of harsh stone it crawled and through dripping claws of vegetation. Sometimes it slept momentarily or perhaps lost consciousness.”

Looking for an epic trilogy? Want one that’s already finished, so you don’t wait endlessly for more?

The Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-Thornton was first conceived over a decade ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled across the fantasy series in a used bookstore in Australia. I snatched it up and soon discovered what I was missing. Nestled in a corner shop on the edge of a bustling beach, I thanked my luck I was able to find all three novels side-by-side. Needless to say, much of the next two days was spent with my nose pressed into the yellowed pages (when I wasn’t out snorkeling or hiking the beautiful shores of Airlie Beach).

The Bitterbynde Trilogy

The lovely trilogy I picked up from a used bookstore in Australia.

 

Beginnings …

The trilogy is a wonderfully concocted fantasy that brings folklore, magic and heroism to life. It all begins with a scarred, despised and mute foundling surrounded by superstitious servants and pompous lords. As the mute seeks the help of a wise woman in the outside world, it runs into trouble and is eventually saved by an adventurer who gives it the gift of communication through hand-speak and, most importantly, a name. Imrhien then sets off into a journey where she meets new friends, unkind foes, crazy wights, frightening monsters and ultimately falls in love…

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…and then there was sun

tourdemiss

 

Riding through the streets of Mississauga during torrential downpour was an experience it itself. You have to quickly relearn how to operate your bicycle through wet streets, groups of cyclists and large ponds (literally, pot holes are horrible for this). My friends and I decided to complete the 60km Tour de Mississauga bike ride (some chose the 30km) and it’s certainly an event I am going to sign up for again.

As the largest free event in Canada, I also consider it one of the best organized events I have attended to date. From the optimistic and cheerful volunteers to the free barbeque after the race, to the pit stop with hydration station and cookies mid-race, I was more than willing to pay for the t-shirt (or jersey, your choice) that accompanied the race. Usually a race comes with a complimentary tech tee, but again, free race means you have to pay extra for the tee. The pick-up station at City Hall prior to the event, and on the day of, were well organized and easy to access, and the food trucks and vendors were great to talk to after the event.

The routes (5k, 10k, 15k, 30k, 60k, 100k and 120k) were well-planned and for the most part, easy to navigate. Generally speaking, there was a volunteer at every main turning point indicating which direction you had to go pending distance, though there were a few places where only arrows spray painted into the ground indicated which direction to turn. Maybe it was due to the sheer noise of the downpour in the morning, but I know some people missed the announcement that there were arrows on the ground to direct you towards your distance; different colours indicating different race distance. There was one part of the route where everyone missed the turn and we had to make a u-turn at a stop light to the chagrin of several drivers. Sorry!

Horrible weather aside, riding alongside serious athletes and bikers in a pack is certainly quite the experience. It was rather empowering and fun and the communal kinship felt amongst everyone was brilliant. I loved it. The second half of the race cleared up nicely and it turned out to be quite hot in the afternoon, which (mostly) dried up our clothes.

The afternoon was spent at Word on the Street, in which as usual I spent too much money, and eating up yummy foods.

Next up….er, not quite sure just yet, but there has been discussion about Santa suits and winter and maybe a race?

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