It's August 2019: What fantasy book are you reading?

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#1
I'm reading the last book of Hyperion Cantos, but after that I'll be starting the last book Raven's Mark series. I'm really looking forward to going back to Ryhalt Galharrow world. He's pretty much one of my favourite characters.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I started Hyperion not too long ago but at that time it was too ''heavy'' for me to read because of finals.

Right now I'm halfway into the Shadow Rising. I haven't read more than 1 Wheel of Time book before taking a break and it's fantastic being back in that world this way. I also went back and bumped up my goodreads ratings I had for the Eye of the World and the Great Hunt.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I’m 60% through “A Closed and Common Orbit” which is book 2 in the Becky Chambers trilogy. Been pretty disappointing so far. While parts have been interesting it’s just very slow and much like the first book there is no plot or focal point of the story. I really liked the first book since the Crew was great and I forgave the lack of plot assuming this was a set up book. But book two has been almost exclusively about only two new characters. So the enjoyable crew is gone and now I’ve got two new people in their own story (and backstory) with no plot. Ugh. Right now book 3 is not gonna be read unless something doesn’t improve in a big freaking way.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Just finished Awaken Online: Unity. For the 3 people and their dog that follow this series in this forum - it's legit passable. Something like 7.4/10 kind of passable. The sub-plots were obvious from the Moon, but they were executed in a decent guilty pleasure kind of way. Although you'd still feel stupid for liking it, as I did. :)

But all that put aside - this is the most in-depth and making sense LitRPG series when it comes to plot and characterization, hands down. It's gaming meets fantasy in a story-telling extravaganza.

I'm not sure whether to count it as fantasy, but I'm also reading The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell and his down to Earth viking king of story-telling + the occasional mystical things that he throws away at the reader are just the perfect fix for between more serious fantasy series. I never expected to get so much into historical fiction, but this one is great. Reminds me a lot about The Wolf in the North actually, one of my favorite self-pub fantasy books. It has the same 95% vikings and 5% mystery stuff that's so mesmerizing and if you don't know which is which, you might mistake the two series for one-another, genre-wise.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I am 36% into The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams and I cannot put it down. Non-stop action and much less exposition than the Memory Sorrow and Thorn series. If you liked the previous trilogy read the prelude, The Heart of What Was Lost, first so you will know what is going on in Witchwood. Both books were reduced in price recently to $7.99 and $8.99 so if you waited like I did, you win. The second book is already out.

Hey Extended, if you like Miles Cameron he writes historical fiction under the Christian Cameron name and he is considered the other great author of that genre.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Thanks, mate! He is actually in my TBR for his historical fiction as well, although I have different brackets of reading so to speak, things to read while working and things to read while relaxing, and his for the latter pile, but I'm behind on so many awesome things there... While for my reading while working piles I tend to use less known or renowned fantasy books, self-pub, other genres sometimes, etc. things I won't regret reading while being distracted by work. So it's more a conflict of too little time for everything than me not giving his historical stuff a chance. :)

In my relaxing TBR I'm currently reading Dark Age by Pierce Brown, after that I have 2 books from Anthony Ryna, a novella and his latest Blood Song book, after that I might want to jump on the latest DFZ book from Rachel Aaron, after that it's the two latest books from Ed Mcdonald, somewhere in between the latest book by Miles on his Masters and Mages trilogy that comes out in the end of this month, Malazan 4 to 10... and maybe after that it's gonna be Miles Cameron's historical fiction. But I prioritize new releases for this bracket, so it's a matter of progressing through all new books from things I follow and reading something of a good quality like Malazan in between, and then jumping to something else that interests me while waiting for another new book. :)
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#8
I'm like 75% finished with the 3rd book in his latest trilogy and it's actually decent. The first book was still the best so far, but the 2nd and the 3rd are a much better continuation than what he did with his Raven's Shadow trilogy, so I'm cautiously optimistic. :) Plus the new book looks like it would feature on;y Valyn and that's what made Blood Song so epic. I'm really rooting for hi newest book to be awesome while keeping my expectations moderate. :)
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Finished a “Close and Common Orbit” - book 2 by Becky Chambers. This was a slow and disappointing sci-fi book for me. I assumed this was book 2 of a trilogy that was meant to expand upon the first book which I really enjoyed. But this was 99% a stand-alone book set in the same universe as the first book. Both books don’t really have a major plot which was my major complaint of book 1. I thought the first book was a setup for the future but instead they are just short stories in some ways. This book focused on two characters barely introduced in the first book and I missed the crew from book 1.

On its own this book is slow. It starts slow and with only two POV characters it could have used more variety. The second half was better and it finished well but I really wish it would have expanded on book 1.

3.5/5 rounded down to 3. I am taking a break from the series. Have no clue if the next book will continue anything or just be another standalone offering.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Finished The Empire of Ashes by Anthony Ryan. I remember complaining about the narrator change after book 1 - boy was I wrong! Steve West is a magnificent, magnificent man who've managed to put even more soul into this series! I was pissed about them replacing Steven Brand with mr. West, since Brand is right there in my top 10 fantasy narrators, but all I can say is - kudos to both of them, Steve West joins my top list of narrators after this one.

I'd give the book a 7.8/10 for literary prowess and 9/10 for enjoyment level on my part. It grew on me, despite its apparent flaws, the characterization was out of this world in the trilogy and even the characters I didn't care about in books 1 and 2 I ended up caring about or rooting against in this book. This was a VAST improvement over my impressions from Raven's Shadow 2 and 3, where I didn't care for half of the cast and the ones I did care about had mostly luke-warm adventures at best.

Anthony Ryan is being officially let loose from my fantasy authors quarantine pen. I really hope that he won't manage to find his way back there soon.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Finished The Shadow Rising. Another great book but IMO it could have been a bit shorter. Probably going to start the next one later today.

I am confused about this part
So for the first 3 books it pretty much is clear that Ba'alzamon is the Dark One isn't it?. Rand ''kills'' him at the end of The Dragon Reborn. Since that can't happen I guess he was just a vessel for him or something?
Anyway there's this passage from The Shadow Rising between Rand and Lanfear : Rand - 'And if he knows I exist, he'd want me dead. I mean to fight him. '
Lanfear - ' Oh, he knows. The Great Lord knows more than you would suspect. It is possible to talk with him. Go to Shayol Ghul, into the Pit of Doom, and you can ... hear him. You can... bathe in his presence.

So have I gotten it all backwards here? Because this goes against everything I got from the first 3 books. Who was Ba'alzamon, just another forsaken?
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Finished The Shadow Rising. Another great book but IMO it could have been a bit shorter. Probably going to start the next one later today.

I am confused about this part
So for the first 3 books it pretty much is clear that Ba'alzamon is the Dark One isn't it?. Rand ''kills'' him at the end of The Dragon Reborn. Since that can't happen I guess he was just a vessel for him or something?
Anyway there's this passage from The Shadow Rising between Rand and Lanfear : Rand - 'And if he knows I exist, he'd want me dead. I mean to fight him. '
Lanfear - ' Oh, he knows. The Great Lord knows more than you would suspect. It is possible to talk with him. Go to Shayol Ghul, into the Pit of Doom, and you can ... hear him. You can... bathe in his presence.

So have I gotten it all backwards here? Because this goes against everything I got from the first 3 books. Who was Ba'alzamon, just another forsaken?
Yes. It was just another Forsaken masquerading as the Dark One. It wasn’t really him. The Dark One is in Shayol Ghul and growing stronger.

I think the 4th book might have been my favourite.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#13
Yes. It was just another Forsaken masquerading as the Dark One. It wasn’t really him. The Dark One is in Shayol Ghul and growing stronger.

I think the 4th book might have been my favourite.
Is that actually said somewhere or is it something you learn about later? I'm too scared of spoilers to look any of this up. Did Jordan retcon Ba'alzamon to being a forsaken. And which one by the way?

Book 3 to book 4 just instantly went from Ba'alzamon being the Dark One to not at all, with no explanation in between. I've been going back and looking through the previous books but they're so incredibly dense it's hard to find the details.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#14
Is that actually said somewhere or is it something you learn about later? I'm too scared of spoilers to look any of this up. Did Jordan retcon Ba'alzamon to being a forsaken. And which one by the way?

Book 3 to book 4 just instantly went from Ba'alzamon being the Dark One to not at all, with no explanation in between. I've been going back and looking through the previous books but they're so incredibly dense it's hard to find the details.
Yeah, it's confirmed that the Dark One in the first three books was actually a Forsaken( Be'lal) who was tasked of pretending to be him, but eventually might have had believed in the lie himself a little bit, hence the agrandizement.

I'm not 100% sure, but if I remember correctly Moiraine tells Rand something of the sort at the end of the 3rd book, i.e. warning him that this was just a minion pretending to be the big thing.
 
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ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Yeah, it's confirmed that the Dark One in the first three books was actually a Forsaken( Be'lal) who was tasked of pretending to be him, but eventually might have had believed in the lie himself a little bit, hence the agrandizement.

I'm not 100% sure, but if I remember correctly Moiraine tells Rand something of the sort at th end of the 2rd book, i.e. warning him that this was just a minion pretending to be the big thing.
Wow, I need to look through The Great Hunt again it seems. I must say though this does take care of one of the few issues I've had with this series so far, namely that the big bad showed up as early as book 1 in a 14 book long series. Thanks for clearing it up for me. You too @rudyjuly2
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Seems that I have forgotten how The Dragon Reborn ends. Basically Ishamael was Ba'alzamon during the first three books, no Be'lal. Be'lal was just posing as High Lord Samon, planning on stealing Callandor from Rand and baiting him by kidnapping the three girls to lure him to the sword. While Ishamael decided to crush the party, because Forsaken aren't obliged to work together or not spoil each other's plans, as long as the Dark Lord hasn't specifically ordered them to work together towards a goal.

MILD FORSAKEN SPOILERS, I don't think you'd learn something that would spoil the surprises for you, but be warned anyway.

Have in mind that Ishamael was due to circumstances the least trapped Forsaken during the three thousand years in which the other Forsaken and the Dark Lord were trapped, so he had some opportunities to cause mischief around the world and since he could've played the part of the Dark Lord while the Dark Lord was sealed, he did, in order to be better able to control the Darkside's armies due to their ultimate fear of the Dark One. And since the bore, living so many years, plus the taint of the power still had some maddening effects on him, at the time Rand meets him, Ishamael is both in role he's kept for a long time, and partly believing to be true. I cannot tell you more because it would really spoil the fun of guessing for you, so yeah... many of the mysteries in the books are not meant to be easily understood right away anyways. For some you get more and more clues trckling in thorough the whole 14 books.[/SPOLER]
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Seems that I have forgotten how The Dragon Reborn ends. Basically Ishamael was Ba'alzamon during the first three books, no Be'lal. Be'lal was just posing as High Lord Samon, planning on stealing Callandor from Rand and baiting him by kidnapping the three girls to lure him to the sword. While Ishamael decided to crush the party, because Forsaken aren't obliged to work together or not spoil each other's plans, as long as the Dark Lord hasn't specifically ordered them to work together towards a goal.

MILD FORSAKEN SPOILERS, I don't think you'd learn something that would spoil the surprises for you, but be warned anyway.

Have in mind that Ishamael was due to circumstances the least trapped Forsaken during the three thousand years in which the other Forsaken and the Dark Lord were trapped, so he had some opportunities to cause mischief around the world and since he could've played the part of the Dark Lord while the Dark Lord was sealed, he did, in order to be better able to control the Darkside's armies due to their ultimate fear of the Dark One. And since the bore, living so many years, plus the taint of the power still had some maddening effects on him, at the time Rand meets him, Ishamael is both in role he's kept for a long time, and partly believing to be true. I cannot tell you more because it would really spoil the fun of guessing for you, so yeah... many of the mysteries in the books are not meant to be easily understood right away anyways. For some you get more and more clues trckling in thorough the whole 14 books.[/SPOLER]
Yea I went back and looked and figured it was Ishamael. I'm guessing he was the guy with Lews Therin in the Eye of the World in the prologue, the one referred to as ''Betrayer of Hope''?
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Yea I went back and looked and figured it was Ishamael. I'm guessing he was the guy with Lews Therin in the Eye of the World in the prologue, the one referred to as ''Betrayer of Hope''?
Indeed. Although I'd abstain from telling you more, since it would be quite spoilerish for me to do that, so just for the sake of it - Ishamael was called Elan Morin Tedronai in the Age of Legends before converting to the Dark side, and he was the one who taunted Lews Therin in his castle in the prologue. As he wasn't completely sealed in the bore with the rest of the Forsaken and the Dark One( the event that causes Lews Therin's madness) he had the opportunity to continue the good fight in some small/medium ways and at the time Rand( The Dragon) is reborn and the Forsaken/The Dark One start to slowly be freed from the bore, he has been causing mischief for millennia, waiting for them to join in the fun.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#19
I finished the absolutely great The Witchwood Crown a couple days ago and immediately bought the next book Empire of Grass. I am loving this action-packed epic fantasy that features less exposition than the original Memory, Sorrow and Throne trilogy and more exciting plot development. It feels like this sequel series was a necessary addition together with The Heart of What Was Lost, which needs to be read to know what has happened between the end of Memory and the beginning of the Last King of Osten Ard stories.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#20
Been looking forward to starting Memory, Sorrow and Thorn for years, great knowing the sequels appear to be a solid continuation!

I myself decided to give Foundryside a try before I start The Fires of Heaven. It's an absolute blast. I'd heard good things about this so I had pretty high expectations. So far it's even better than I could have hoped.