Old Kremon has foundered, one might say. Little remains of it except the bounding wall, but this was not the mightiest of castles overlooking the Gaulja even in the old days. The Archbishop of Riga wanted a castle here, however, and he got it. The scenery about the place is absolutely wonderful, especially if the visitor finds themselves here on a glistening summer’s day.
Arrasch is a site which is more known for its pre-Christian lake dwelling reconstruction, but the locale also hosted an Ordensburg for many centuries — and indeed this is what I was hoping to describe here. The truth is, however, that we know very little about this place under the order and the ruins which are extant today do not create a mighty impression. We are truly talking about a smaller holding in between the major castles of Cesis (Wenden) and Sigulda (Segewold) with the Order properties hemmed in on either side by the Archbishop of Riga.
I had been hoping to visit Araiši ever since I read about a 9th century lake dwelling having been reconstructed there. Of course, reconstructions have their own downsides — potentially misunderstanding archaeological remains and such — but even so they can present a uniquely wonderful picture of the preceding centuries/millennia. Araiši, dating to the pre-Christian era of these lands, was even more of a sightseeing target for this reason.
One of the finest star fortresses in the world came as a surprise to me when I stepped out of CPH while waiting for a connecting flight. Naturally, I had to go and take a look — and I was not disappointed. It was a glorious summer’s day, and it was absolutely amazing to walk around the Kastellet’s perimeter. Continue reading “Kastellet / Citadellet Frederikshavn”
Pirita is an iconic neighbourhood of Tallinn, and it’s convent — in all of its many forms — has often been used as a cultural icon. It is also, therefore, typical to find oneself thinking whether to stop by. I did so on one summer’s day, and I really enjoyed my visit. However, from what was visible there, a look into the place’s history beforehand (or after) won’t go amiss. Continue reading “Pirita Convent”
Rating: 4 out of 5
I really enjoyed this one — it has both depth and focus, and the structure of the novel is a bit clearer than the oft-mentioned ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’. That said, the main drawback for me was the author’s failure to illustrate the benefit of forecasting in a personal view. The examples that were given were all major events (wars, political upheaval, elections, etc) and not something of potentially more use to an individual — the various questions related to our everyday doings.
Now, it is certain that one can take the methodology utilised herein and make it work from a personal point of view, but I wish the author would have spelled that out more clearly. One of the examples, was, to be fair, of a person who had lost their incomes in the GFC and had been shocked into forecasting since then. However, this is a bit of a backward stance and it still did not seem as if this higher perception of public affairs was being used to impact the individual’s personal sphere.
And, I say this because while it is obviously useful to be aware of what is going on in the public sphere, the only way to actually make a meaningful impact in our lives is to utilise this information. Sure, I could forecast rather accurately who the next President/Prime Minister or anything else is going to be — but how does that get me to figure out what I need to do to ensure that my future continues in its possible best way?
So, that is the question I wish the author would have asked. Even without it, this is a monumental work which helps shape perception, but with it we would have been talking of a top class novel. I would read it alongside Kahneman and others even so, for it does help us — but I think a sequel deserves to be written which helps us even more.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Evan Currie is really giving empires a bad name — I wonder what they ever did to him? Too much of the social aspect on these novels now seems to be a bit too “perfect” if this makes sense. If the social conduct of this foreign power was a bit different, if the hierarchies worked a bit different, if there was a clear underlying motive to what they are doing…
I did enjoy it — but that’s more due to the amount of innovation and enterprising solutions which get presented, though I was not a fan of that last and final one. What was impressive was how good a tactician some of the people in it were, and therefore how thoroughly thought out some of the action starting with Books 3 and 4 has actually been. This was an aspect which increased my estimation of the author.
Lastly, every book that passes makes it look as if there could be twenty more — although Mr Currie also indicated in which direction this series is going and who is the “real” antagonist, which is a fact that is probably quite obvious to the reader but not to the people in the actual novel. We’ll see how true this course is — or, at least, I will, because despite some of the negatives above I will read the next one as well.
Rõngu is a small place in Southern Estonia, much like that of Rannu a bit to its north. The one exception, and it is a relevant one, is that the ruins here are situated in a public park (gifted to the local community by one of the Baltic German nobles) — and there is also something here to see. This last bit is potentially the most striking of differences, and though the ruins are not extensive, they are interesting. Continue reading “Bischofsburg Ringen (Rõngu)”
Rating: 4 out of 5
The series’ sixth installment continues much as before although with a slight change to the previous narrative structure (only one conflict here though it lasts for the duration of the book). The (often dark) humour of the previous episodes continues here much as it did elsewhere, but I am in general less happy with this one — mostly because these novels really play out as a more complex level after the previous one, and so on in an endless series. If you took this to the logical conclusion, this might never end. Continue reading “Review: Odysseus Awakening, Evan Currie”
Hinnang: 4 / 5
Ajaloolisi allikaid on raske, isegi ehk võimatu, hinnata tänapäevaste standardite järgi, kui just selleks ei võta teose võimalikku kasulikkust praegusele ajahetkele. Liivimaa riimkroonikal, või siis õigemini Liivimaa vanemal riimkroonikal, seda eriti ei ole. Siin teoses ei tooda välja suuri moraale ega lahendata eksistentsialistlikke probleeme.
Selle asemel on tegu kirjeldusega Riia linna, Mõõgavendade ordu ja Liivi ordu tegemistest 13.ndal sajandil, peamise rõhuga Lätis. Enamus mainitud kohtasid on praeguseks kadunud või varemetes kui me nende asukohta üldse aimame, ning läbikäivate inimeste nimed ei ole vast tänapäevaste inimeste kõrvu kordagi jõudnud. Sellegipoolest on tegu julgete karakteridega, kes astusid vastu (põhieesmärgiga siiski omakasu saamiseks) kohalike rahvastele ning kõige huvitavamaks aspektiks ongi äkki kirjeldusest läbikäiv kohalike rahvaste südisus vastupanus.
Veel üks asi, mida tasub mainida, on autori järjepidevus suhteliselt standartse riimikasutuses — tema keeles ei olnud väga palju või häid võimalusi, kuid ta on järginud ja pusinud läbi umbes kaheteisttuhande riimirea, mis on päris hea saavutus (eriti arvestades, et see projekt võttis vist aega umbes kuus aastat ning takistus edukale lõpule oli ilmselt kirjutada surm).