Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path


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Sort order. Jun 03, Anne rated it it was amazing. Can I give above a 5-star? Because if I could, I would. This book was fantastic! It has a twist at the end, and once you read it, you go "Omigosh, are you serious? How did I not pick up on that?! The idea of a sort of parallel universe has been done before, but Owen has done an excellent job with originality. Read it, you will love it, I'm positive! View 1 comment. Library edition This book started out well and I was immediately interested.

The characters are interesting and the story begins to roll along laying out the basic idea and the overriding theme. Unfortunately it's not long before the book bogs down I suppose overwhelmed by it's own "wonder". I know that some love this these books. I can even see why, I know there are readers who will be totally enamored by the very things that finally caused the book to fall Library edition I can even see why, I know there are readers who will be totally enamored by the very things that finally caused the book to fall out of my "good books" possibly a double meaning there.

I think it might be said of this book and my reaction to it that I just "missed the magic". In the end I wasn't sucked into the "feel" of the book. There came a time in the book about when they reached the Keep of Time he said mysteriously being careful not to reveal more than the name lest there be a spoiler that I knew I was fading out. When you're reading a book and your mind keeps wandering off to what you plan to read next, when you should start dinner, or whether you've checked the mail today or not, something's wrong.

I suspect many of you will find the setting and the idea behind the book familiar. It has been done before. I got through the book, but I skipped forward several times. The author is doing his best to bring you into his world and get you to "know" his characters. Unfortunately this often devolves into long, pointless conversations that sometimes attempt to move beyond plot exposition into "cuteness" and humor.

Too often however they manage to only be slow, boring, or even silly and annoying. I suppose I should look at this as a youth book and accept that as the reason for the above, but I see no reason to talk down to YA readers??? The above is of course as always only my opinion.

I know many liked this book and it's sequels greatly, I however do not. I didn't get into this volume, was glad to see it end and don't plan to follow it up. If it's a book you like I'm happy for you, please enjoy. Not for me however. I didn't hate it, mostly I was only left cold and bored by it.

View all 7 comments. Sep 20, Jonathan Terrington rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites , favourite-series. Well I've decided: having read far too many reviews of this that simply pointed out the flat characterisation and the unoriginal nature of this book that it needs a bit of a lift from yours truly. So here is my attempt. Now as I mentioned before once upon a time I love fairytales, mythology and legends.

That is why I appreciated the magical sparkle of this book. Some might state that this book is unoriginal and flat however I personally found it to contain an original premise and interesting en Well I've decided: having read far too many reviews of this that simply pointed out the flat characterisation and the unoriginal nature of this book that it needs a bit of a lift from yours truly.

Some might state that this book is unoriginal and flat however I personally found it to contain an original premise and interesting enough characters to drive the plot. Perhaps it would not stand up to scrutiny like some of the other books I have rated five stars in terms of depth. However I rate this as a five star novel due to the combination of incredible plot and the fact that an author has actually written a novel that appealed to me directly. I did not find James A.

Owen's work condescending, although others have differed in their opinion I find that when it comes to this novel readers hold either a love-it or hate-it opinion. After all when you come to truly love a novel as when you love a person you readily ignore any obvious flaws.

Here There Be Dragons...

Failing to love however makes those flaws blatantly obvious. And if no one disagrees with you then there may be something wrong with you for instance you could be a dictator ruling with an iron fist. This novel may just, however, be one that appeals more to those life-long fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings and the other classics of that era.

Someone noted that this work seems to be a collection of those classics and questioned how the characters would know their books would become classics.

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Of course the reviewer is valid in their questioning logic yet I respectfully disagree with their original starting point. This is not a book about the classics but rather is a book which hints at how those classics were given life. Which is a different thing from my perspective. All the ideas in this work are perhaps why some state it is an unoriginal book. The plot follows three young friends as they are brought into the understanding of the existence of the Archipelago of Dreams. This is a land of fantasy linked to the real world and made up as the name suggests - duh of dreams and ideas.

Here the mythological creatures, fairytales and legends exist. Such as King Arthur for instance. Also in this world exist the characters out of the books such as Captain Nemo which is Owen's way of saying the authors were inspired by the characters in the Archipelago - which rather than being unimaginative I found rather clever. It was interesting thinking about the plot just now. I believe that it would provide a very interesting case study in the idea of the mono-mythic story.

You have the typical evil versus good with evil being defeated. Of course I believe as the story suggests that there is one narrative underlying all of society and life in which supernatural evil is defeated ultimately and all our stories spring from that. As such I have a love of the traditional epic fantasy styles and fairytale styles where good triumphs and the stories aren't focused on super gritty realism and too complicated plot threads.

If you like what I've said then give this book a chance. It's a little unknown book compared to some and it is nice to find a little gem that no one has heard of that you can recommend to other people and get them excited about. Much better than a super hyped up novel that does not deliver I believe.

View all 5 comments. May 21, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: at-my-library , arthuriana , the-great-fantasy-road-trip , young-adult , because-dragons , fantasy , because-inklings , isn-t-that-convenient , pure-imagination , because-magic. Two stars for awesome book design. A rainy night in London, — Three young strangers, who all happen to be Oxford men, meet in police custody. They were all rumored to be students of the ancient-languages professor who was found murdered in his study earlier that night.

Our POV character for most of the book goes by John. He is home from the War at the moment, but suffers debilitating flashbacks of the trenches. John was married recently, but thinks about his wife exactly once in the entire b Two stars for awesome book design. John was married recently, but thinks about his wife exactly once in the entire book. He also claims to have been a lazy student. When the police question them and realize that none of the three could have been the killer or known about the attack, the three youths retreat to a private club where Charles has admittance.

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The creatures want the mysterious atlas that the dead professor bequeathed to John. The stranger—Bert—brings the three lads aboard his old-fashioned ship, the Indigo Dragon , and they sail from London right into another world: the so-called Archipelago of Dreams, where all myths are true…and the people are entangled in a dynastic struggle. Content Advisory Violence : The professor at the beginning gets his throat cut. There is a big battle with apparently no notable casualties, except a character whom the author expects us to care about who gets blown up with a grenade.

No gore to speak of. Nobody gets hammered. Not shown, thank Aslan. I will be ranting about this later. The Archipelago of Dead Trends Here, There Be Dragons was recommended to me ages ago by two former friends from my homeschool group, one of whom blurted out the twist, which is the only thing that made me want to read it anyway. With some books, the journey matters more than the destination; the question is not so much how it ends as how it reaches that point.

Unfortunately, the twist is much, much cooler than the book that contains it, and the three historical figures involved deserved better. That Pirates of the Caribbean movie made a mint, so throw in some cool ships, plenty of meaningless McGuffins, and a female lead who communicates solely by pouting and yelling.

And that book by the homeschooled boy that all the kids like-- Aragorn? Yeah, make sure there are plenty of dragons in it. High Kings and Dryads and power-hungry Sorceress Queens did not belong in the same story with talking beavers who eat toast with marmalade and use a sewing machine, Tollers insisted. Every detail is consistent. If the patchwork nature of Narnia irked Tolkien, the universe of Star Wars would have given him migraines, Once Upon a Time would have nauseated him, and Here, There Be Dragons …might well have given the poor man a coronary.

Which Owens would have known had he bothered to extend his research beyond a Google search about his characters. Realms of Inaccuracies Historical fiction—or historical fantasy, in this case—is made or broken by its fidelity to the people and place it purports to be about. There are numerous errors in this book that prove that Owens knows very little about his subject matter. Ronald or Ron would have been fine for the purposes of the story. The physical description of Jack—fidgety and fair-haired—could have described Tolkien at this time, but never Lewis.

In his youth, he had blond hair. Not only was Jack a bit bigger and much louder than his friend, he was an extrovert, who always said exactly what he thought and was interested in pretty much everything. Tollers was an introvert, who considered his words carefully before saying them aloud in a low voice, and who had a narrow range of interests that he dove deeply into and become an expert on. The two certainly balanced, and arguably needed, each other—and allowing for the conceit of this story, Tolkien would indeed make a better guardian of a powerful magical artifact.

But the de facto leader of the group would probably have wound up being the charismatic and accessible Jack. The Inklings sprang up around him. The portrayal of him in this book—as an immature twerp with a head full of bad ideas—is frankly insulting. Tolkien was madly in love with his wife Edith and wrote to her constantly during their courtship and his army service after their marriage. Had he gone on a magical adventure, he would have missed her terribly and written her reams of letters.

There is no hint here of the unspoken rivalry between Tolkien and Williams. He worried that Charles might be a bad influence on Lewis; Tollers had successfully prompted Jack to convert to Christianity, and hoped to convince him to accept Roman Catholicism. He was afraid that Williams would mess up that plan. Dragons were never a good sign in Inkling books. In Tolkien, they could project sophistication, but were ultimately wicked, stupid, overgrown worms.

In Lewis, they were either slinking about in the background, or you might get transmogrified into one to be cured of your selfishness and greed. In Middle-earth, Narnia, or any of the planetary realms, the image of a dragon flying in to save the day would be patently absurd. None of them are given lines or names, and it appears that they communicate mostly in goatish screeching and may not even be capable of speech. When the Indigo Dragon is boarded by the Winter King, he collects the fauns who make up the crew, and they are never seen again.

The heroes are only mildly alarmed at this declaration. They might have done most of their thinking with their hormones, but they still qualified as people. Tumnus, the story-teller, the scarf-wearer, the sardine-eater, the book-collector, the traitor who redeemed himself, who forged such a beautiful friendship with the little girl whom he met by the lamppost. She has nothing in common with any Inkling heroine, and could not have logically inspired any of them.

She was also pretty smart—this supposedly sheltered aristocrat turned out to be a natural at double-crossing and out-maneuvering pirates. And while none of the other women around her were on par with Jane Eyre or Aerin Dragon-killer, they were fairly cool, especially Captain Anamaria, a minor but memorable character played by Zoe Saldana who disappeared after the first installment for some reason.

Book: Here, There Be Dragons

Also, at least they existed. Aven would be much less annoying if she were not the only woman—or even female creature—in the entire story. As previously stated, Elizabeth was not the only woman in the Pirates-verse, and even the Inheritance Cycle, which I consider the male nerd gaze run amok, had a few interesting female characters to balance out the horrid Arya. There was Angela the fortune teller, Elva the cursed little girl, and of course Saphira the formidable dragon.

All these dragons flying about in this book and none of them is specified as female. At first I thought they had to be fantasy writers, but nope. But it is important to note that those books were written in the s and early 60s, in a time when white people were just beginning to realize that other cultures were just as respectable as their own Western legacy. These authors were not intentionally disparaging other cultures. That said, there was no excuse for this type of thing in He is called the Great Goblin. This is a Goblin King. Know the difference. Its sole saving grace are the illustrations and fonts, which are very aesthetically pleasing.

But the novel itself is pompous fluff that has not aged well. Read if you want something ridiculous to laugh at, but not recommended for sincere enjoyment. View all 6 comments. There's a quote by C. I like this quote a lot. What it says to me is that just because you're writing for a child doesn't mean you have to "dumb" the story down or condescend to your readers. Unfortunately, that's exactly what James A. Owen does here. Now, that isn't to say if you have a 12 year old who is interested in fantasy and you want to get them There's a quote by C.

Now, that isn't to say if you have a 12 year old who is interested in fantasy and you want to get them started on something quick and easy to read then you could certainly do worse than this. Then again, you could do better, too. The plot, which follows three new "caretakers" of the Imaginarium Geographica, an atlas of the real locations of mythical lands. The lands, though, are under attack by an evil usurper to the crown who must be stopped! Pretty standard fair, really.

Which is part of the problem. A sophisticated fantasy reader will see most of the twists and turns coming, especially the ones which are laid out pretty simply. Moving on from this quibble is the idea that none of the magic systems make coherent sense. The rules are not arbitrary, showing up when you need them to advance the plot. And yet, Owen not only pulls that stunt, he leaves the ending to a Dragon Ex Machina which comes out of nowhere.

I think my biggest problem with this book is that the concept is fun. Wells would be spinning in their graves if they knew what was being perpetrated in their names. Even before I begin to write this review, I know right away that no matter what I say, I'll never be able to do this book justice. I'll try, though. First, a little background : "An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica -- an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and Even before I begin to write this review, I know right away that no matter what I say, I'll never be able to do this book justice.

These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between our world and the Archipelago of Dreams. Seeing as the story is set in a place where all the lands ever written about in fiction , exist, you'll probably find yourself going, "Hey, haven't I read this somewhere, before? But do not lose heart - the ending will explain everything. The main attraction of this book is the author's writing. His love for his work, the world he is building and its characters, shines through in every page.

I can give no higher praise. Here, there be Dragons is fantasy in its purest form. A grand old adventure on a ship over foreign seas, with magic, dragons, elves, dwarves, goblins, trolls and many more! In these days where "fantasy" is synonymous with vampires and werewolves ALWAYS with a bit romance thrown in this book comes as a wonderful breath of fresh air!

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And, the ending! Oh, the ending! Sheer cheek, and sheer brilliance on the author's part! The fantasy geek in me was thrilled to bits! Fantasy lovers, this one's for you View all 13 comments. Feb 14, Lauren rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , young-adult-teen-new-adult , fantasy-science-fiction. James A. Owen took the words "What If", and created a wonderful series and how! Wells, J. R Tolkien, C. Lewis and Charles Williams came up with their stories and plays not purely from imagination, but from very real events.

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Well he did just that in what is one of the hands-down best fantasy series out there. From the first page i was utterly captivated, John Jac James A. From the first page i was utterly captivated, John Jack and Charles have been appointed as caretakers of "The Imaginarium Geographica" or in English the Imaginary Geography which is a map, with John being the "Caretaker Principa" or Principal Caretaker. The IG is no ordinary map, it as the name may imply is a geography of Imaginary worlds and the people or creatures that live in them, Never, Never Land, check, Captain Nemo yep, the Weird Sisters, you betcha.


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It's all there Rowling it's not there because it hasn't been created yet. This is such an excellent series, the characters are fascinating and they are based on real men. Their full names are revealed at the end of the book and for fantasy lovers it's quite a fun surprise. This book does not have a single bad point to it, nor does it have any failing points.

In short this book is perfect. Additionally this book is further enhanced by Owen's wonderful illustrations, the detail in them is nothing short of incredible, the man is seriously talented. If you're a fantasy fan and even if you're not, i urge you to read this. This book and the whole series are among some of the most sparkling gems of the entire fantasy genre. Sep 12, George rated it did not like it. Took a wonderful premise, and made a complete mess of it by making shallow characters, shirking on detail, and leaving it as took much of four piece puzzle plot.

The only positive point, is Trummler, the badger, who had more character in his left footpaw than the entire rest of the cast. Otherwise, amazing disappointment, though the art is sorta good. Do Not Buy. Check from the library at the most Apr 20, Jamie rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , young-adult. Here, There Be Dragons focuses on a group of travelers that start off in London and take a voyage to a place called the Archipelago of Dreams.

A 'world' of different islands, races and people. There are three from out world as we know it. John, Jack and Charles. They are told by a man named Bert another primary character that they are to be Caretakers of a map called the Imaginarium Geographica. Also in this story is Aven, Bert's daughter and ship captain, and Bug, a youth they meet at their f Here, There Be Dragons focuses on a group of travelers that start off in London and take a voyage to a place called the Archipelago of Dreams.

Also in this story is Aven, Bert's daughter and ship captain, and Bug, a youth they meet at their first stop and who tags along as a stowaway and wants to be a knight. Together, these travelers set out to restore order to the Archipelago and to stop the Winter King the evil tyrant of the story from taking over and turning everything and everybody to shadow.

This story had me wavering. The story seems to copy a lot from other stories, books and characters both fiction and non. Sometimes this bothered me, however, much of the reasoning for this is explained at the end and actually gave me a bit better an impression for the book. Plus James A Owen does mention and give credit to some of these after the story is over. Not a great novel but enjoyable nonetheless. I hope to be able to continue the series in the future. Lewis , Charles Williams , and H. A number of people referenced in the novel were members of the Inklings , a literary discussion group at the University of Oxford, England, that produced some famous novelists.

Travis Adam Wright is set to pen film adaptations of the first two books. Rick Porras is producing the film adaptations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about a novel by James Owen. For other uses, see Here be dragons disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. I really like how this central area takes on a vortex-like depth if you let your eye travel the curve of the snake to the center, as you would a mandala. My longtime newsletter subscribers may recall that I have been exploring various oil application techniques in order to increase the speed of my painting time while still achieving a similar final appearance.

This process has been very educational, and I now feel that I have a good direction in which to head by using a version of the indirect painting method.


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  • Nest Study 2: The Vortex Nest is a hybrid of sorts, while with Nest Study 3: The Tangled Nest , I employed a more purely indirect technique by layering thin, translucent glazes and scumbles on top of a dry initial layer of flatter, local color. You can view three of the colors of my Nests palette with the last article below.

    Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path
    Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path
    Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path
    Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path
    Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path Here There Be Dragons – the Artist Path

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