April 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#21
Currently reading "Night's Master, Tales From the Flat Earth" by Tanith Lee.

I was reading Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams but I did not finish it. Was actually about 90% done and put it down. That's not like me but I knew that I would never read the rest of the series and I simply did not care about the ending at all. I think it was a good book, well written with a classic fantasy tale. If I had read it 10 years ago, I would have loved it. The problem for me is that Simon was not developed at all. 90% into the novel, I had no idea who he was, where he came from, what his personality was, his fears, his wants, etc.

I can only compare this story to Farseer and the way a similar character (Fitz) was developed so thoroughly to create that bond with the reader.
For me Memory Sorrow Thorn was sometimes a bit of a struggle to get through, but it was one of those that when I finished, I had that wow feeling that I'd read a series that was absolutely top notch stuff. I was the same with Malazan at times ... hard work (in the sense that I had to push myself to get through certain parts), but completely worth it.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#22
For me Memory Sorrow Thorn was sometimes a bit of a struggle to get through, but it was one of those that when I finished, I had that wow feeling that I'd read a series that was absolutely top notch stuff. I was the same with Malazan at times ... hard work (in the sense that I had to push myself to get through certain parts), but completely worth it.
I can see that and like I said, if someone asked me what I thought of it, I would say it's a good read. Again, my main problem was Simon. He fell so flat for me. I may pick it up again at some point in the future. For me to read classic "farm boy with a sword" goes on a quest type fantasy, I need strong characters. There were some good characters here, but the main character was blank for me.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#23
I can see that and like I said, if someone asked me what I thought of it, I would say it's a good read. Again, my main problem was Simon. He fell so flat for me. I may pick it up again at some point in the future. For me to read classic "farm boy with a sword" goes on a quest type fantasy, I need strong characters. There were some good characters here, but the main character was blank for me.
He definitely improves as a character as the series progresses. For me that's what Williams did really well. Took a character that was a bit of a soft twat, and turned him into one who completely wins come the end of book 3.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#24
Currently reading "Night's Master, Tales From the Flat Earth" by Tanith Lee.

I was reading Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams but I did not finish it. Was actually about 90% done and put it down. That's not like me but I knew that I would never read the rest of the series and I simply did not care about the ending at all. I think it was a good book, well written with a classic fantasy tale. If I had read it 10 years ago, I would have loved it. The problem for me is that Simon was not developed at all. 90% into the novel, I had no idea who he was, where he came from, what his personality was, his fears, his wants, etc.

I can only compare this story to Faforme rseer and the way a similar character (sFitz) was developed so thoroughly to create that bond with the reader.

Odd. I thought aboutFitz too. I stopped reading Farseer after one book. Too depressing for me. I like this story better too. I keep hoping this does not go that way. I feel like it will really take off. The book started slow like everyone said, but still held my interest throughout. Halfway through.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#25
Odd. I thought aboutFitz too. I stopped reading Farseer after one book. Too depressing for me. I like this story better too. I keep hoping this does not go that way. I feel like it will really take off. The book started slow like everyone said, but still held my interest throughout. Halfway through.
I just felt like right from the beginning, we got to know Fitz. From the time he was a baby, his upbringing, his history, etc. With Simon, through the entirety of the first book, we learn nothing about him other than he's lazy. I'm partial though as Farseer is one of my favorite series ever and Hobb one of my favorite Authors.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#26
Finished book 8 of WOT. This book was under 700 pages and not many memorable things happened. There was one cool thing at the end with the Ashaman but overall probably the weakest book of the series for me. Not terrible or anything and I am now onto book 9. Two books to get through until the greatness of books 11-14 start.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#27
I find the Wheel of Time a bit odd in one respect. There hasn't been a single swear word in over 8 books (I don't consider blood and ashes cursing) and there are no explicit sex scenes with only a few even brought to mind. But Robert Jordan does love nudity and bosoms in low cut dresses. Between Aiel customs involving nudity or sweat tents among other things, it seems he has women naked all over the place lol. Most of the books are PG or PG13 due to some violence but if this was a TV show it would clearly be rated R.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#28
I find the Wheel of Time a bit odd in one respect. There hasn't been a single swear word in over 8 books (I don't consider blood and ashes cursing) and there are no explicit sex scenes with only a few even brought to mind. But Robert Jordan does love nudity and bosoms in low cut dresses. Between Aiel customs involving nudity or sweat tents among other things, it seems he has women naked all over the place lol. Most of the books are PG or PG13 due to some violence but if this was a TV show it would clearly be rated R.
If it were a TV show or movie, they would probably film it carefully so that you don't see all the nudity.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#29
If it were a TV show or movie, they would probably film it carefully so that you don't see all the nudity.
Once upon a time, maybe.

Now they'd add extra and put the implied sex scenes in.

I think its possibly just a product of its time. I remember Eddings talking about having to fight against his editor to show that girls existed below the neck. You could imply dirty stuff was happening, and show people being sexual, but not the actual deed itself.

Anyway, Path of Daggers is by far the weakest book of the series for me, and I enjoyed Winter's Heart reasonably well.

As for myself, I'm slowly reading through Equal Rites. Really don't appear to be in the mood for fantasy right now. Also been doing a bit of beta reading for people.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#30
I finished The Gunslinger.

This book is weird. You don't really know what is going on, even after you finish it, but it gives you just enough of that something that books give, that makes you wonder what will happen, or where this train is going.
Book's biggest strength are its characters. Of course Roland, the gunslinger is the star, and the insights we get into his past, just amplify that. I thought those flashback scenes were particularly well done. But there are some other supporting characters that make you wanna know more about them. Like Cole, Roland's teacher. Or Jake, the boy.
Overall, this reads as a dreamlike sequence and everything is foggy to you as a reader, but also to the gunslinger. He doesn't have insight in things either, he just plods through the whole book following only his intuition and willpower.

Also the world is crazy weird. Like China Mieville level. I dig it.

I gave it 3 stars on GR, just because it doesn't give much in terms of plot or characters. But it gives enough to hook a right kind of reader.

I'll give the second book The Drawing of the Three a go. It's almost double the size of The Gunslinger, and I'm hoping that SK will give me something more substantial in 400+ pages than The Gunslinger was.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#31
In paper, I am reading Red Tide by Marc Turner because I just finished books 1 and 2 of that series. On the Kindle I am reading Sabriel by Garth Nix mostly because it showed up near the top of the screen on my Kindle after I finished Reign of Iron (presumably because I bought it recently when it was on sale or something).
 

Vasher

Helped Logen count his fingers
#32
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Real interesting seeing Gaiman just straight up retell the Norse myths when he's been incorporating bits and pieces of them into his original works for his entire career. I'm enjoying it a lot so far. I'm realizing that nobody (that I'm aware of) has tried turning those myths into a novel before, with a beginning, middle, end and with fullly created dialogue and fleshed out personalities and thoughts and suchlike. Even the mythology books I read as a kid didn't fictionalize the myths in quite that way, it was still told in an impersonal, history-book way, just with a vocabulary dumbed down for children, so I've never really gotten to feel close to the gods the way you do to a typical fictional character. Gaiman continues to be a treasure.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#33
Of course Roland, the gunslinger is the star, and the insights we get into his past, just amplify that. I thought those flashback scenes were particularly well done. But there are some other supporting characters that make you wanna know more about them. Like Cole, Roland's teacher. Or Jake, the boy.
Is Roland the first grimdark/ anti-hero in the fantasy genre? I may be displaying my ignorance, but can anyone think of an anti-hero in the fantasy genre that predates his appearance in 1982?

I mean, it can definitely be argued that Conan was anti-hero, but I'd never really describe him as morally gray since he had little in the way of a moral code. Roland, on the other hand, is definitely out to do good, but just doesn't mind doing some bad to achieve his goal.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#34
I finished The Gunslinger.

This book is weird. You don't really know what is going on, even after you finish it, but it gives you just enough of that something that books give, that makes you wonder what will happen, or where this train is going.
Book's biggest strength are its characters. Of course Roland, the gunslinger is the star, and the insights we get into his past, just amplify that. I thought those flashback scenes were particularly well done. But there are some other supporting characters that make you wanna know more about them. Like Cole, Roland's teacher. Or Jake, the boy.
Overall, this reads as a dreamlike sequence and everything is foggy to you as a reader, but also to the gunslinger. He doesn't have insight in things either, he just plods through the whole book following only his intuition and willpower.

Also the world is crazy weird. Like China Mieville level. I dig it.

I gave it 3 stars on GR, just because it doesn't give much in terms of plot or characters. But it gives enough to hook a right kind of reader.

I'll give the second book The Drawing of the Three a go. It's almost double the size of The Gunslinger, and I'm hoping that SK will give me something more substantial in 400+ pages than The Gunslinger was.
I didn't care for The Drawing of the Three at all. However, the next few books are fantastic.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#35
In paper, I am reading Red Tide by Marc Turner because I just finished books 1 and 2 of that series. On the Kindle I am reading Sabriel by Garth Nix mostly because it showed up near the top of the screen on my Kindle after I finished Reign of Iron (presumably because I bought it recently when it was on sale or something).
@Sneaky Burrito how is that Marc Turner series?
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#36
I didn't care for The Drawing of the Three at all. However, the next few books are fantastic.
Why not? I've read the synopsis and it's like 180 turn compared to the first book.

Is Roland the first grimdark/ anti-hero in the fantasy genre? I may be displaying my ignorance, but can anyone think of an anti-hero in the fantasy genre that predates his appearance in 1982?

I mean, it can definitely be argued that Conan was anti-hero, but I'd never really describe him as morally gray since he had little in the way of a moral code. Roland, on the other hand, is definitely out to do good, but just doesn't mind doing some bad to achieve his goal.
What about Elric? Or Kane?
I haven't got to reading either Moorcock or Karl Edward Wagner yet, but those are well known in general.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#37
Why not? I've read the synopsis and it's like 180 turn compared to the first book.
I don't really remember. It's been so long since I read it. I just didn't like it. So much, in fact, that I quit the series for many years. I didn't finish it until a couple of years ago.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#38
I don't really remember. It's been so long since I read it. I just didn't like it. So much, in fact, that I quit the series for many years. I didn't finish it until a couple of years ago.
Wow. I hope I don't quit. The first book got me intrigued.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#39
I finished The Gunslinger.

This book is weird. You don't really know what is going on, even after you finish it, but it gives you just enough of that something that books give, that makes you wonder what will happen, or where this train is going.
Book's biggest strength are its characters. Of course Roland, the gunslinger is the star, and the insights we get into his past, just amplify that. I thought those flashback scenes were particularly well done. But there are some other supporting characters that make you wanna know more about them. Like Cole, Roland's teacher. Or Jake, the boy.
Overall, this reads as a dreamlike sequence and everything is foggy to you as a reader, but also to the gunslinger. He doesn't have insight in things either, he just plods through the whole book following only his intuition and willpower.

Also the world is crazy weird. Like China Mieville level. I dig it.

I gave it 3 stars on GR, just because it doesn't give much in terms of plot or characters. But it gives enough to hook a right kind of reader.

I'll give the second book The Drawing of the Three a go. It's almost double the size of The Gunslinger, and I'm hoping that SK will give me something more substantial in 400+ pages than The Gunslinger was.
They get much stronger. Book 2 is about him finding his very interesting members (ka-tet) for his journey. The train in book 3 is a really cool part. Book 3 clarifies much as the long journey to the Dark Tower begins...what was it Jake said above the pit.There are other worlds than these"? Some really cool stuff happens that you'll never forget.
 
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Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#40
@Sneaky Burrito how is that Marc Turner series?
You know, I think it is OK. It is probably not the first thing I would think of to recommend someone, in general, because it has a lot of tropes in it. It also has kind of a 1990s vibe to it. I am not sure why the first volume got so much praise (at least, I seem to remember some praise from when it was first released), and the second volume has very little to do with the first (apparently occurring concurrently with the first in a different part of the world).

That being said, I think the author improves with each volume and I can find at least some characters to root for each time. The worldbuilding is fairly complex and the final confrontations are well done.