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T5M: Top 5 Dream Fictional Vacation Spots

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes.

Hello, friends! It’s my birthday today, and I just moved into my first apartment over the weekend, so I am BEAT! My muscles have never been so sore, even when I first started going to the gym and lifting weights. In fact, one could even say I need a vacation! Here are my top 5 dream fictional vacation spots ;D

5. Middle Earth

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I mean, I wouldn’t want to visit when Sauron is doing his bit with the Ring, but the scenic imagery in these books is unparalleled. Tolkien was a master of placing you in the environment so exactly, you’re surprised to look up from the book and realize you’re not there. Especially in the fall time! Autumn is my favorite season, so I’d love to visit then. Perhaps the elves, or the hobbits, to wander the explosively colorful forests or sample some cider. If I were braver I’d venture underground to visit the dwarves, but alas! I’m not made of such stern stuff.

He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

4. Pellinor

 

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One of the things I love most about this series is the imagery. The descriptions of the countryside the characters journey through is reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, but I also love the food descriptions. Just as in Middle Earth too, there are many different regions with different types of food, and Alison Croggon details them all lovingly. I love to eat, so I’d travel to Pellinor for the food alone!

The taste on her palate was pungent and rich, the flavor of woodlands and dark earth simmered in sunshine. ― Alison Croggon, The Naming

3. Assassin’s Creed series

This one is a little unusual, as the Assassin’s Creed series takes place in real history, with some sci-fi elements. The biggest being that the main character relives the memories of his ancestors, which are locked in his DNA, by use of a machine called the Animus. Therefore, the games are highly accurate to their respective time periods, and totally immersive. I’ve since fallen off with this series (Black Flag was where I stopped playing), but I go back to the early games again and again. It’s easy to lose myself for hours in their landscapes.

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Assassin’s Creed is stylistically my favorite, as it takes place in the Middle East during the Third Crusades. Middle Eastern art and architecture is my favorite style, and was a joy to study in school. Playing a game within that place in history is a wonderful experience for me.

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The runner up would have to be Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which takes place in Constantinople in the 16th century. That sprawling city, with it’s eclectic mixture of Middle Eastern and European elements, made me curious enough to research and seek out information on Constantinople, and the Turkish empire, on my own.

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And of course, who WOULDN’T want to visit the Renaissance Italy of Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood, and rub elbows with the master artists??? I think I need say no more ;D Hurry up and invent that Animus already!

2. Themyscira

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I mean, come on! It’s also known as Paradise Island! There are beaches to lay on and tan with the ocean steps away. There’s ancient Greek art and architecture galore for an art nerd like me. Plus, it’s protected by the Greek gods, so there’s a guarantee your vacation will be uninterrupted by mortal danger… and even if there is, the entire island is populated by badass warrior women, so you’d be safe. Who wouldn’t want to visit???

1. Agrabah

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Daring sword fights, magic spells, princes in disguise… wait, I think I’m mixing up my Disney movies, but I daresay the sentiment remains the same ;D The lush textures and flavors of Broadway and live-action Aladdin adaptations were totally spellbinding for me. What I wouldn’t give to wander the marketplaces of Agrabah: to run my hands over the silks and jewels, to taste the fruits and delicacies, and drown in all the scents! And visit the royal palace, to lounge sunbathing beside the fountains and make friends with a certain tiger ;D And, of course, if you’re up for a little adventure, the Cave of Wonders is only a camel ride away.

Any of my dream fictional vacation spots make your list, too?

Kathleen

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Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 6): Leila

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Corbeyran, Eric, and Djillali Defali. Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 6): Leila. 2015.

El Cakr has been imprisoned for refusing to hand over the Scepter of Aset to the ruling powers in Egypt. He is thrown in the same cell as a woman named Leila, who has confessed to killing the Sultan. Together, they make their escape. Unsure if he should trust her, El Cakr leaves her at their makeshift hideout and seeks out Ali in nearby Edfu, where he has tasked his young apprentice with keeping the Scepter safe. However, they are ambushed by no other than Leila – who lied to El Cakr about her allegiances. The fight that ensues is deadly – what becomes of the Scepter? Who will access the correct memories in time: the Assassins, or the Templars, with Jonathan Hawk’s DNA grafted inside Subject 19?

If I thought the last volume was full of plot twists, oh boy. You guys are really in for a ride with this one. I kept continually gasping from all the surprises XD The entire series has been fast-paced. It ends on a satisfying, though somewhat loose-ended note. It’s been a wonderful addition to the Assassin’s Creed series but will also appeal to readers who like a lot of action and multiple storylines. Definitely recommended!

– Kathleen

Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 5): El Cakr

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Corbeyran, Eric, and Djillali Defali. Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 5): El Cakr. 2014.

On a bright, moonlit night in 1341 Cairo, Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad is stabbed to death by a courtesan. El Cakr worries about the political state the assassination will leave Egypt in as he continues searching for the Scepter of Aset. He and Ali, his apprentice, finally have a lead on the piece of dagger handle that was their only clue. They manage to recover it, but what will happen when El Cakr has to present it to the new and corrupt leaders of Egypt? In the present day, Johnathan Hawk has recovered from his stroke and a new eye grafted in place of his old. Abstergo Industries has finally perfected what they call Subject 19, a disturbing weapon that may spell the end for the Assassins in the race to find the First Civ artifacts.

There were a lot of plot twists in this one, which made it fun and keeps you on your toes. The art was as brilliant and detailed as ever. There is a gorgeous panel near the end of El Cakr in the Sultan’s palace, panned out so you can see the mosaics and architecture glowing in the noonday sun. The present-day story is now completely devoid of familiar characters from the game, so it was a little hard to keep everyone straight. I look forward to more!

– Kathleen

Assassin’s Creed (Vol. 4): Hawk

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Corbeyran, Eric, and Djillali Defali. Assassin’s Creed (Vol 4): Hawk. 2013.

The next installment of the Assassin’s Creed series takes us to Cairo, Egypt, in 1340. An assassin named El Cakr is hired to recover the stolen Scepter of Aset. We are living these memories through Johnathan Hawk, an assassin who is very sensitive to the Animus. He could face serious consequences if left in there too long. The modern-day Templars are after the Scepter – and a piece of Johnathan (no, literally. They want his eye).

That was a pretty short review but this was a pretty short volume XD I probably should have waited until they published the next three volumes in one book (in English), but I couldn’t wait =P It’s not clear yet exactly how Johnathan fits into the story but the mystery is enough to keep me going. Plus, Egyptian assassin!

– Kathleen

Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy

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Corbeyran, Eric, and Djillali Defali. Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy. 2013.

Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite video game series. (But like. Only before Black Flag.) I have really fond memories of my first year away at school playing this series for the first time. I’ve met many of my online friends because of these games. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this graphic novel before, at the height of my obsession, but decided to pick it up again for this blog.

Much like the games, the modern day and historical stories are told together. Desmond Miles has been kidnapped and forced into the Animus by Abstergo. Lucy helps him escape and takes him to the Assassins, who ask him to go into the Animus again, to relive more memories and help them recover Pieces of Eden. While we see snippets of the stories of the ancestors we know and love, the graphic follows another ancestor. His name is Aquilus, and he was alive and operating in the Roman Empire during the third century. He recovers an artifact, the Ankh of the Egyptian goddess Isis, though it nearly costs him his life. He is saved by his cousin Accicepter, but little does Aquilus know that the tiny artifact will soon cost him much more. When it is stolen, can he recover it in time? Can Desmond and the modern day Assassins recover the long-lost Ankh before Abstergo can get their hands on it?

The art is richly detailed, just like that of the games. I was always drawn to the sweeping landscapes and atmosphere of the games. The graphic felt much the same, though the color palette and lighting are a little darker. The story, once you get past what you’ve played, is fast-paced and action-packed. I’ve already gotten the next few volumes and can’t wait to check them out~

– Kathleen

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