Reviews for ‘Of Darkness and Light,’ ‘Druids,’ ‘The Late Middle Ages,’ and ‘Skepticism and Religious Relativism’

Of Darkness and Light

Book 2 of the ‘Bound and the Broken’ series,

This is tropey, but well written for it. This is exactly the sort of book which doesn’t get published by the publishing houses anymore; I’m glad self-publishing is a thing, because otherwise I wouldn’t get to read my guilty pleasures like this.

This is a traditional story of the classic ‘heroes vs evil empire’ story genre, with elves and swords and lightsabers and dragons. It’s primary protagonists are a a dragon rider and a mage, two old friends who sort of have a budding rivalry going on into book three. I have to admit I’m enjoying this so much I want to throw my hat into the ring and write something of this genre.

I very much enjoyed this, and will be reading book 3 ASAP, when it comes out next month (December). No lengthy review until I do a series review for book 3.


I wound up skimming this one. Not much is known about the druids, due to the fact that they left no written records. Thus, the only records remaining were written by Hellenistic Romans like Julius Caeser and later Christians, who were both biased in different ways to portray the druids as savages. I got bored and skimmed to the end. A lot of the information contained within seemed insubstantial. The druids remain an enigma.

The first few chapters of this were about celtic burial rituals, because druidic tombs are one of the few things which survived to the modern day. I was interested to read about the druidic revival in the 1700’s. Basically, europe became fascinated by the druids, and started masonic lodges of druids, which basically functioned as social clubs and charitable organizations. These gradually phased out, until they’ve been almost entirely replaced in the modern day by a pagan revivalist movement. I wish the book focused on these more.

The Late Middle Ages

This is a nonfiction lecture series about the late middle ages. It covers everything from the Black Death, the downfall of the nobility, the consolidation of authoritarian power by kings, the fall of Byzantine Rome, the beginnings of the scientific revolution in Italy, and the onset of the Protestant Revolution, as well as Columbus’ explorations of the New World.

I learned new things here. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of the Black Death, and it’s impact on Europe. Basically, the world we have today is because of the Black Death. The depopulation caused by that pandemic severely weakened the nobility, while strengthening the peasantry and merchant classes. I enjoyed how this series discussed how nobles were forced to become courtiers, changing what our modern definition of what a man should aspire to be. Also, I liked the discussion on the rise of Humanism and the philosophical/technological worldview involved therein.

This covered the years of 1000 to about 1500 Europe, while briefly touching upon topics before and after. If I were to provide a negative critique, it’s that the scope of this lecture series was too broad and not broad enough. It didn’t go into sufficient depth on a lot of topics. This lecture series compressed about 500 years of history for an entire continent into 12 hours; of course stuff got left out. This could have been 24 hours or 48 hours long, and it still would have felt pressed for time. I feel that the lecturer did the best he could given the format. I’ll need to do more research in the future.

Skepticism and Religious Relativism

This is a brief nonfiction precis on the topic of skepticism about religion. It spans religious thought from ancient greek philosophers, to the French Revolution, to the modern day. Not much to say, besides that this discussed atheism, agnosticism, and other similar traditions/philosophies like Nihilism. I listened ot the audiobook version, read by Ben Kingsley, and it was excellent, if short at only 3 hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s