Gone, But Not Forgotten

You may have noticed the lack of updates over here at the Roaming Bard. 

I feel terrible about that and the only excuse I can offer is how much more work my final semester of graduate school was compared to what I thought. Not to mention I also interned 3 days a week in New York City, a 6 hour commute for me each way.

But I haven’t forgotten about the Roaming Bard. In fact, I’ve now accrued a large backlog of incredible books and movies to review. It won’t be long now before you start seeing the site come back to life.

Spread the word. the Roaming Bard is back and will soon be better than ever.


New Harry Potter Film written by J.K. Rowling!

The news broke that J.K. Rowling pitched, and Warner Bros. accepted, a spin-off feature length film set in the Harry Potter Universe. This film will be based off the author of the school textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamandar.


From J.K. Rowling:

It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.

As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.

Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.

Now we know Harry Potter is set in the 1990’s, so this would mean Newt’s story will take place in one of the most vibrant and exciting era’s of American history, the roaring 20’s! Everyone here knows my love for worldbuilding. The authors, and stories, I find most impressive are those that don’t have a fancy painted piece of cardboard to the left of the story but rather a fully fleshed and detailed world. Harry Potter was one of those series that always seemed to have so much history and culture that could never be fully explored while we were tethered to Potter’s adventures.


Yet here we have a chance to see the wizarding world from an entirely new perspective, and what’s more one set in the United States, in New York, during one my personal favorite time periods as well. The potential here is astounding and hopefully Rowling won’t disappoint as she writes this screenplay. There’s always the risk of this turning into a simple cash-grab and the movie falling to pieces. But the possibilities…

To quote Django Unchained,

“You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”

Peter Capaldi – Our New Doctor WHO

It’s the news everyone has been waiting for ever since the announcement Matt Smith was leaving the role of the Doctor behind.

Our new Doctor, the Time Lord who will step out of the TARDIS and into our hearts is none other than Peter Capaldi.


My initial reaction was honestly disappointment. Like many others, I was hoping, perhaps vainly, for a female Doctor. I would love to see what that would do narratively for the show and think it would open an entire universe of possibilities for story ideas and perhaps more importantly character development.

That being said, I think Peter Capaldi is an interesting choice and could potentially be a catalyst for a small amount of that character/narrative growth I had hoped for.

The chance for an older Doctor is an idea that is relatively new to audiences of the rebooted Doctor WHO. Instead, we’ve had actors such as David Tennant and Matt Smith, who I adore, but bring a character that has a boyish charm, acting the role of a goofy adolescent rather than the 1,100-year-old Time Lord that’s survived the genocide of his own people and countless wars throughout time and space.

Especially considering the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special airing on November 23, 2013 which features the as of yet mysterious regeneration of John Hurt as the Doctor. I, as well as many other fans, believe this will be the incarnation that fought in the Last Great Time War against the Daleks and made the ultimate decision to kill his entire race, making the Doctor the last of his kind. This special, which hopefully will delve into the mysteries of the Time War, will set the stage for a darker, more burdened Doctor that has the greatest potential to be fascinating to watch.


As with any of our new Time Lords, I’m hesitant about a new actor stepping in to the TARDIS. First I thought no one could do better than Christopher Eccleston, then I was so sure David Tennant would always be my Doctor, and now I love the boyish-charm of Matt Smith. But for the first time, I’m hopeful and excited for the new Doctor – Peter Capaldi – and what he can bring to all of time and space.


Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – Cover Reveal

Words of Radiance: Book II of the Stormlight Archive
by Brandon Sanderson – Cover Reveal

On Monday, Tor revealed the cover artwork for Brandon Sanderson’s upcoming novel Words of Radiance the second book in the Stormlight Archive series. It’s no secret that Sanderson is one of my favorite authors that are currently writing and The Stormlight Archive is shaping up to be the hallmark fantasy series of this time.

This cover is another gorgeous piece done by Michael Whelan, the man some consider to be the hallmark of fantasy novel paintings. His mastery of color and depth lends a certain weight to each piece that draws you into the scene almost as surely as the words on the pages.


There’s always something deeply fascinating about seeing the workspace of an artist and Whelan proves no different. There’s a lot I would give to spend an hour just perusing the area and examining the random paint drops on the floor or the random bits of reference photos pinned around the space.

WordsOfRadiance_sketches_I_P 1A

If you’d like to see more, Tor.com has an excellent post detailing Michael Whelan’s process over here. It’s definitely worth a look to see the different stages that’ve gone into the painting as well as a ton more artwork.


Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan – Cover Reveal

I’ve had the fantastic fortune of reading an advance copy of Brian McClellan’s debut novel Promise of Blood and I can say without hesitation it’s going to be one of the major hits of 2013. Not only will I have a review coming shortly through my work at Fantasy-Faction but I will also be interviewing Brian later this month.

However, this past Friday, Brian and Orbit decided to release the cover art for book two in the series, The Crimson Campaign.

Crimson Campaign

Now I already thought the cover art for Promise of Blood was beautiful and this new cover does not disappoint. With Photo-Illustration done by Michael Frost and Gene Mollica and the design by Lauren Panepinto this truly is one of the more gorgeous pieces of book art I’ve seen.

Promise of Blood, the first book of The Powder Mage Trilogy is scheduled to hit shelves April 16, 2013 while The Crimson Campaign, book two, is due out from Orbit in February 2014.