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Finished Ruins of Gorlan, Book 1 of the Ranger's Apprentice, series this weekend. It was fairly good; quite short and extremely easy to read. It suffers from the He-Became-A-Master-Of-His-Craft-In-Less-Than-A-Year problem, which I guess is at least better than in Eragon, where he LEARNED HOW TO READ IN A WEEK. o.O? (Oh yeah, and became a MASTER SWORDSMAN in a few months, simply by traveling around with Brom ... okay, NOT going to rant about all the things that are wrong with that.)

At least in Ruins of Gorlan, Will isn't actually a master of his craft in less than a year, he just gets to be really good and saves the day. I suppose the story would be a little boring if he was just shuffled off to the safety of the castle because he was too young. I did like the explanation for why an apprentice would be asked to go hunt the evil creatures—that he was a member of the Ranger Corps, so he had a duty just like the rest of them. He would be protected (i.e., not asked to actually fight the Kalkara), but by joining the Corps he was committing himself to protecting the kingdom. It's a little cheesy, maybe, but I prefer that he be treated like a part of the group than excluded from the most important functions of the Corps simply because he was too young.

It was also written for young teenagers; in Harry Potter, this doesn't annoy me too much in the early books, but in Ruins of Gorlan there's a certain amount of hitting over the head with the extremely obvious facts, simply because the intended audience might not catch on. It was kind of like A:TLA in that respect, but that's okay. I can accept the fact that I am no longer (technically) twelve years old. :P (Twenty-two? What, no, me? It can't be!)

Also watched Tangled again. There are some things that I really like about it (the music, the animation, the HORSE); but it still annoys me that the witch wants beauty and youth, which are exactly the things the young girl has ... I feel like the message of don't-be-vain would be a lot stronger if the young girl weren't so beautiful all the time. Nonetheless, I like how Rapunzel actually has a character—she's independent (mostly, anyway, and she gets more so by the end of the film), creative, determined, intelligent.

Kudos to the people who cast Tangled, because I actually like the female voices!

Also, because I can't resist:  This random guy on isotropic wanted to play "dirty and Possession," so I took him up on it, and I crushed him. I felt kind of bad about it, but I assumed he was going to buy Witches and Possessions and whatnot; but I guess he just never got the Treasure, or something, because I bought a Witch the first turn and promptly handed him 8 curses. That really trashes a deck, obviously, so by the end I had pretty much taken advantage of every good hand he had gotten, and had bought out the Harems, Islands, Colonies, and Provinces. I do feel bad about it, but I thought he had it coming to him if he wanted to play dirty. And anything with a Witch or Possession in it is dirty, by definition.
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