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The Hobbit - Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel

This Classic Fantasy Tale, sees a Quest for Treasure, in the Lost Kingdoms of the Dwarves, with a Guardian Fire Drake of the North, who goes by the name of Smaug. It's The Hobbit:


The Hobbit - Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel


Whilst it had been quite some time, since I'd last read The Hobbit, I was amazed with the amount of humour, that's found within it's opening chapters (particularly the very first - An Unexpected Party). I especially found it funny, when the leader of the Dwarves (Thorin Oakenshield), ended up with several of his fellow Dwarves, right on top of him - when The Hobbit (aka Bilbo Baggins), abruptly opened his front door :) I also liked the fact, that Bilbo initially has no idea, as to what is going on - why are all these Dwarves here? But soon finds himself, pouring over a Treasure Map, wondering where the Secret Door is! Which in-turn, leads to Bilbo and the start of his Adventures - having just been recruited by the Dwarves (based upon the recommendation, of Gandalf the Wizard). And it is this recommendation, that I feel captures the Heart and Soul, of this Fantasy Tale ... As The Hobbit does not at first, appear to be the best companion, for Thorin and his Dwarves - let alone their Quest! For one simple reason: The Hobbit / Bilbo Baggins, has only ever read about Adventures in books - preferring instead, to put his feet up, and have his second breakfast :) Indeed, is this low opinion of Bilbo, held by Thorin Oakenshield, and several of his Dwarves - which plays right into, Bilbo's desire to prove them all wrong :) And as such, did I enjoy the irony (that is experienced), as Bilbo's character, becomes central to the Tale - even gaining a Strength of Character, that supersedes the Dwarves (as eventually, he is more of an advisor to them). I found this particularly true, in three specific places: i) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Darker Fantasy Spiders (otherwise the Dwarves would have been a juicy meal). ii) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Not So Friendly Elves (otherwise the Dwarves would have been captive, in the Dungeons of the Elves for quite sometime). iii) When Bilbo is asked by the Dwarves, to tackle the Dragon Smaug (the Guardian Fire Drake of the North) - as Thorin and his Dwarves, dared not to enter, their own Underground Kingdom ... Yet in all three, do I feel that Bilbo's character, has come a long way - but still remains the same, as that first cheeky Hobbit, who dared to pick the pocket of a Mountain Troll, and land them all in a Stew! What of the Tale's other Fantasy Characters? Well ... There's three, that I quite like ... First: is Beorn (the shape-shifter). I liked the idea of a Man, that could take the form of a Bear - whilst also being able to talk, to an entire variety of animals (from Bees to Horses). I also liked the idea, of Beorn's Gardens and Lands - as he uses his shape-shifting powers, to guard his Domain, against the creatures of Darker Fantasy (such as Goblins and Wargs). I especially enjoyed, the comedy that surrounds the introduction of the Dwarves to Beorn (which is again contrived by Gandalf) - enter two by two, a minute or so after each other, OH! you may as well all come in then! Second: is Smaug (the Fire Drake). Being a Western Dragon, he meets this definition in every sense of his Being - large, powerful, clever (enjoying Riddles), breathing Fire, rows and rows of Teeth, armour as strong as Steel, hoarding Treasure, rending walls and eating all (especially Men and Dwarves). Yet does Smaug, still have a twist of an Eastern Dragon - the ability to speak :) And as such, did I enjoy Bilbo's conversations with him, especially when Bilbo thought, that he could outwit a Dragon! Bilbo dares to steal a Golden Cup - yet Dragons know, every ounce of their Treasure :) For Smaug's personality, is the Darkest of the Dark - it's HIS Mountain, and it's HIS Treasure, that HE stole from the Dwarves, a Long Time Ago. Third: is Thorin Oakenshield. I found that his character, tended to fluctuate somewhat. On the one hand, he will take charge (such as when planning a Quest for Treasure, or meeting a Great Goblin in Battle) - but on the other hand, can Thorin tend to give up in a huff (such as when the Dwarves, are unable to find the Mountain's Secret Door). An interesting character then - as we have to remember, that it was Thorin's Quest in the first place! And of that Quest, does Thorin also wish to retake, his Lost Dwarven Kingdom - of the Mountain. It's a Dwarven Kingdom, where I enjoyed imagining - what it would once have been like, at the height of it's powers: Countless Dwarves - mining Crystals and Gems, Endless Dwarves - Forging Swords and Armour, Robust Dwarves - hewn by the Harshness of the Rocks, Timeless Dwarves - hewn by the Ages of Old, and the Timelessness of Bonds :) And it is these Bonds, that Thorin's most Treasured Treasure (the Arkenstone), is most directly - at conflict with! For the Arkenstone (to me), seems to represent Greed (both Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin's). Thus, was I not too surprised - by the disagreement that arises, between Thorin and Bilbo! Although I was surprised, when Thorin pulls it back, and makes amends with Bilbo, just in the nick of time :) Overall: I feel that The Hobbit, is an enjoyable Fantasy Tale, that successfully incorporates, the important features, from the Sword and Sorcery Fantasy genre. The Swords are the Dwarves, Elves and Men - with the twist of a Hobbit, who could not hope to lift a Sword! But a Knife/Dagger - Bilbo can do that :) The Sorcery is directly from Gandalf, and indirectly from the Dragon's Hoard, and the Dwarves Arkenstone (their Achilles Heel). The Darker Elements, come from the Dragon and the Goblins, together with the Fantasy Character called Gollum (who Bilbo meets beneath the Mountains). Whose Gollum you say? For me, he's a key ingredient, to the popularity of Bilbo - as after Bilbo meets Gollum, does Bilbo's character, seem to tend towards an advisor (for the Dwarves). Thus do I feel, that it seems to be Fate, that Bilbo was destined for Adventure - in the first place :) Finally: an important question arises - is it still worth reading The Hobbit book, after you have watched the three Hobbit Fantasy Films? Yes is the answer to that! The Hobbit book, I found to be much simpler (less extravagant), and as such did it seem - much more magical :) Just one thing remains, where is that Treasure Map? And thank goodness for the Adventurous side - of the Took in Baggins :)

28/02/2017 | Victorian Hawk | Web: The Hobbit (Books)

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Chinese Dragon - Golden Dragon - Yellow Dragon

In Dragon Steed, came Fairy Glamour - with Twist of Tale, and Runic Glyph. Donned in Yellow, donned in Tribal - came Princess Royal, and Dragon Emperor:


Chinese Dragon - Golden Dragon - Yellow Dragon


I like the fact that this Dragon, is full of Mystery - yet still speaks Imperial. The Mystery comes from the Glamour that exists - between this Dragon, and his Rider. The Imperial comes from the Majesty of this Dragon - which at first appears to contradict, the Tribal of the Princess. And it is here, that Steve fuels the engagement of his artwork, as I find myself wondering at the connection - between this Dragon, and his Tribal Princess. For me, it is a connection, that I find is swathed in Fairy Glamour - and is best explained, through the consideration of three points. First: there's no doubt, that this is a Chinese Dragon ... For this Dragon's head, bears two whiskers and a beard - as you would expect, of a Wizened Chinaman. This Chinese stance, is also reflected by the position of the Dragon's head (dominating the centre of the artwork), and the predominant yellow of the Dragon - as both are associated with Chinese Yin and Yang (meaning the centre of everything). Added to this, is the weight of the Dragon's highlights and tones, which both tend towards Gold - as in Ancient China, was it only the Emperor that was allowed to wear such Golden Attire (as in Dragon Symbols made of Golden thread). Second: there's no doubt, that this is a Tribal Princess ... She is adorned with Runes (especially upon her face), that suggest to me, that she is a part of a Ruling Dynasty. Added to this, is the fact that her left-arm/shoulder is covered in Tattoos - and we start to feel, that she's some kind of Warrior. This believe is in-turn, refined by the Robes of the Regal (her Purple Gowns), which makes me feel that she's some kind of Warrior Princess - who perhaps has Magical Powers, owing to the stance of her arms. But here do I find a contradiction with/to the Dragon. For this Princess does not in-fact, speak to me at all, of a Traditional Chinese Lady - especially in terms of her appearance! Third: when the Dragon and the Princess are taken together - there's no doubt, that were in the Realms of Fairy Glamour ... For if we follow the Curves of the Princess's hair (the highlight browns), then we see that the top-right of the Dragon, also has similar Braids of hair (albeit on a larger scale) - which I feel, are akin to the Grounding Roots of this Dragon and his Kin. If we then follow the Runes of the Princess's Tattoos, then we see that the Dragon, is also adorned in Runic Glyphs - which I feel, are akin to the Binding Bounds of this Dragon and his Kin (the Dragon's Runes goes far beyond, the simple edges of his Metallic Armour). If we then follow the Curves of this Dragon's yellow, then we find the Divine of this Princess's form - which with the Braids of this Dragon's hair (middle right), and the Patchwork of her Regal Dress (especially on her legs), spoke to me of the Spirit of this Dragon: a Golden Yellow Chinese Dragon, that knows his place, within the Roots of this Earth! For this Dragon and his Dragon's Spirit (the Princess) - spoke to me of a Chinese Element called Wu Xing (Earth), and the Wards of his Emperor :) If that were so, then I feel that Steve has used a powerful Artist's Technique - to convey the Mystery of the Imperial ... The stronger foreground tones, of the Dragon's head and Princess - both capture the Authority, and the Clarity of an Emperor. Where as the lighter background tones (towards the left of the artwork), help capture the Mysteries of an Elemental Dragon - whose Winding Tail, fades in Clarity, towards the Centre of the Earth, just as a Root would do :) Overall: an amazing Chinese Dragon, that still owes his Lineage - to the Ancestral Eastern Dragon. This Chinese Dragon, has an Eastern Dragon's body (long and serpentine), an Eastern Dragon's intelligence (knowing eyes, beard and whiskers) and an Eastern Dragon's association with one of the Five Elements (Wu Xing - Earth). In Slender Vines, with Paths of Rune - came Chinese Dragon, Emperor's Wrath!

16/06/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Dragon Art | About Chinese Dragons

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Monastery Swiftspear

In Kingdom's Ethereal, White be Haze. In Tangled Ribbon, Wind be Touch. Born of Water and of Air - this Dragon's Spirit, Ninjas of thy Monk to be:


Monastery Swiftspear - Steve Argyle


Dancing through this Water's Verse, Temples of the Spire so High. Skating through this Ocean's Realm, Churches of the Light so Bright. Weaving through this Sea's Domain, Chapels of the Stance so Right. Darting through this Element's Empire, Ninjas of the Rain so Proud. Guiding through this Cyclone's Wind, Shoguns of the Rule so Wise. Fighting through this Heaven's Day, Abbots of the Monk so Scribe ... Temple here, Temple there - one Church here, one Church there! Ninja here, Ninja there - Abbot say, Abbot do! For in Heaven's Lore, there was a Place - donned in Shroud, donned in Guard. This Heaven's Realm, called Monastery. This Heaven's Arms, called Swiftspear. The Shimmer of a Blanket Sea. The Sparkle of a Tungsten Blade. The Tonal of a Falling Wall. The Twinkle of a Pointed Gaze. The Shading of a Rising Spray. The Glimmer of a Shearing Edge ... For in Shogun's Lore, there was a Place - born of Dragon, born of Ninja. This Dragon's Realm, called Monastery. This Ninjas Arms, called Swiftspear. The Obelisks of a Element Wise. The Patters of a Silent Feet. The Monoliths of a Dragon King. The Assassins of a Samurai Way. The Pillars of a Eastern Dragon. The Warriors of a Human Monk ... Shogun here, Shogun there - one Spear here, one Spear there! Ninja here, Ninja there - one Foot here, one Foot there! Running through this Temples Maze, Knowing of thy Paths to Take. Skipping through this Churches Fog, Certain of thy Turns to Make. Sprinting through this Water's Edge, Splashes of thy Toes to Beat. Jumping through this Airy Cloud, Vapours of thy Swift to Dodge. Skimming through this Temples Lore, Pleasing of thy Craft to Rule. Honing through this Churches Art, Dreaming of thy War to Make ... War-cry here, War-cry there - Dancing here, Dancing there! Fighting here, Fighting there - Sculpting here, Sculpting there! For in Monastery Swiftspear, there was an Army - born of Human, and of Monk. This Humans Realm, called Eastern Way. This Monks Penance, called Scribe of Art. The Writings of the Empire Verb. The Teachings of the Kingdom Pure. The Drawings of the Realm in Shape. The Learnings of the Wise to Power. The Letters of the Artist's Form. The Knowings of the Spear to Battle ... Ninja here, Ninja there - one Strike here, one Strike there! Shogun here, Shogun there - one Wound here, one Wound there! Victory here, Victory there! As in Monastery Swiftspear, there came a Monk: donned in Ninja, donned in Shogun, donned in Samurai ... The Guardian of this Fortress Monastery: swathed in Mist, swathed in Robe, swathed in Rune, schooled in Lore, schooled in Arms, schooled in Question ... Who be you that comes to Sea, this Temple Realm - of Monastery Swiftspear?

10/06/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Monastery Swiftspear | Trading Card

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Drago Rosso - Eastern Western Dragon - Stefano Artibani

Here do I find a Dragon, that's just as entwined with Fairy Glamour - as is a Fairy and her Queen:


Drago Rosso - Eastern Western Dragon - Stefano Artibani


There's no doubt that this is a Western Dragon ... This Dragon is covered in Scales, whose red makes me think of the Fires of the Forge. This Dragon is covered in Barbs, whose path makes me think of the Armies of Old. This Dragon is covered in Ridges, whose gleam makes me think of the Ambitious of King. And yet, do I find that this Dragon - has just bathed in the Realms of Fairy Glamour :) For there's no doubt, that this is an Eastern Dragon ... This Dragon is contrasted in Scales, whose blue makes me think of the Cools of the Sea. This Dragon is contrasted in Barbs, whose stance makes me think of the Sirens of the Ocean. This Dragon is contrasted in Ridges, whose rise makes me think of the Lapping of the Tide. Why has Stefano done this? To pull you into his Fantasy Realm, and bring depth to his Artwork. The pull, comes from the shape of this Dragon: a backward C (donned with Barbs), that helps snake you in - to both this Dragon's head, and his Dragon's body. The depth, comes from the height of the Barbs: being taller in the top middle, rotated towards you - I feel as though this Dragon, wants out of the Artwork! Indeed, does Stefano's choice of background, play right into this effect. As with clever use of lighting, upon the cliffs on the top left, contrasted with the darkness/shadows of the cliffs lower right - does it feel as though this Dragon, has just crept around a corner. If that were so, then it's easy to see that this Dragon, has the subtleties of an Eastern - as it's forked tongue, has just been used, with the Patience of the Wise, to snare it's prey! What of Stefano's choice of colour? Given the fact that this Dragon is in the shade, Stefano has had to be careful - to avoid losing the shape of his Dragon. I feel that this has been achieved, in two specific ways. First: the choice to use predominant red scales, with contrasting blue (curving along the Dragon's back). Second: the choice to highlight both red and blue scales, upon their upper most edge - thereby bringing clarity to the dark (especially around the Dragon's eye sockets, and the top right body/neck curve). Overall: an unusual Dragon, that's reminiscent of Lizard - but with traits both Eastern and Western, that goes hand-in-hand with Fairy Glamour :) As you would expect of the Realms of the Faeries, this Dragon has one further twist - the fact that he has no Western Dragon wings! Even so, this does not diminish from the Dragon's powers - as I feel that he can fly, high upon the Magic Winds, of Dragon Rise, in Dragon Land ...

24/05/2016 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Drago Rosso | About Dragon Land

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If you enjoy the Victorian Hawk Dragon Fantasy Reviews, then why not buy him a Chocolate Cream?


Eastern Western Dragon - Victorian Hawk


Of course, it's not a real Chocolate Cream! It's just a way for you to say thanks ... It's simple: the more Chocolate Creams, the more Fantasy Reviews! It takes time to read a Fantasy Book. It takes time to watch a Fantasy Film. It takes time to Fantasy Paint (either that Fantasy Art or that Fantasy Character). It takes time to play that Fantasy Game. It takes time to find that Fantasy Location. Whilst the Victorian Hawk Dragon enjoys flying the Oceans of Fantasy, using his Eyes like a Hawk - he has to come back to reality, from time-to-time ... There's server costs. There's software costs. There's development time. There's all the legal stuff. Pitted against this - his Dragon Heart, Dragon Armour, Dragon Claws and Dragon Teeth. Flying through the Storms of Fantasy, with refusal to bend his Bony Heads - his Dragon Eyes fixed on Dragon Goal: his passion to help you find your next Fantasy Book, Film, Art, Game, Character or Location :)

05/06/2015 | Victorian Hawk | Web: Chocolate Cream - aka

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