It's December 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Currently about halfway through The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan. Really liked the first book and this one isn't quite as good so far but still good and still a lot to go. These books really fly by.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#3
Blackwing by Ed McDonald and still stuck on Oathbringer.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Going back and forth with Blackwing, The Monster War by Dave Duncan, and the first part of the serial Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade (historical fiction) because I just can't give up on Miles/Christian Cameron's writing.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#7
I started to listen to The Steel Remains and the narration is perfect. Simon Vance is so good.
But the book itself is looking good so far. I like the writing style and the characters (so far anyway - I'm only 3 chapters in).
The atmosphere and the monsters reminded me of Garth Nix's original Abhorsen trilogy, which is a very traditional fantasy. First book was from 1995. In today's standards I suppose it would be considered YA, but it's not what I would typically consider YA.
The main class are Necromancers, so you can imagine the kind of monsters you would encounter in Abhorsen. The Steel Remains reminded me of that in atmosphere and monsters, only the MCs are older than in Abhorsen.

In any case, I think I'm gonna like this and I'm very happy about it since last epic fantasy I tried (Kevin Hearne's A Plague of Giants) was sorely disappointing and boring.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#8
I am reading The City of Brass by by S.A. Chakraborty. I heard about it in one of those Washington Post best fantasy novels of __ (I forget if it is "November" or "fall" or something else filling in the blank). Normally I take such recommendations with a grain of salt as they are not usually to my taste, but I like this one. It starts in Cairo and reminds me a little of The Golem and the Jinni (lore from some of the same roots, anyway) and also the desertscape has me thinking of Bradley P. Beaulieu's Shattered Sands series. I have a feeling it's going to be one of those "girl with a mysterious past fulfills her destiny" kinds of books, but the details are enjoyable nonetheless.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Still on Firebrand. Hit a slump with my reading lately.
 

ExTended

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#10
I've finished Temeraire 7 and The Witcher 3.

The thing about The Witcher books is... So far they've been super strange when it comes to plot elements and progress.

The first two books, which are prequels, lack a beginning and to a big extent a middle part. The 3rd book, which is the 1st book of the actual story - lacks any kind of ending. And a middle part, if we are to be honest. It's just one big call-to-action piece. Well-written call-to-action piece, but it's more like a Wheel of Time prologue disguising itself as a opening novel.

I am still inclined to give 7 and above for each Witcher book, for entertainment value and so forth. But the structure is strange and I don't think I would've given it as big a chance if it wasn't for the successful video games marketing behind it. Also the philosophy and the expositions are very forced. Just on the border of being too annoyingly present.

So there's that. But considering that it's an old series already, such things are probably to be expected of it.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Finished up The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan.

I can more or less sum this up with the same thoughts I had on the first book. Very enjoyable throughout and such an easy going read but still some flaws that keep it from being the top of the top. I still don't like that the magic seems to more or less be very limitless and not much is explained (Ka-Poel in particular seems broken) and it still feels at times as if everything is just slightly too convenient for the heroes. I will grant that they go through some trials and not everything is a cake walk but ultimately the tension is never really there. As I say though, still very enjoyable.

9/10
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#13
The first two books, which are prequels, lack a beginning and to a big extent a middle part.
Well to be fair they are loosely connected short story collections. It's not fair to expect that such a collection has a novel structure.
The one thing I found annoying in them wasn't their structure (I like reading short stories in general). You as a writer may notice those things more. But me as a reader, I had hard time with how the dialogues between Yennefer and Geralt were written.
Honestly, they are so cringey and nonsensical. I guess they were supposed to come of as tragic and romantic, but no. I don't know if it's Polish to English translation to blame or is it straight up Sapkowski's fault, but damn. So much cringe.



As for my own reading I'm still on The Steel Remains. More than 1/3 in and things are starting to get sinister. The 'threat' - whatever it is, is slowly creeping out.

Honestly I love it. The audiobook is amazing.

@Darwin
Thanks for bumping it up on my PTR list. Because of your recommendation a couple of months ago I finally got to it. Lol, I know that sounds bad, but I have close to 800 books on my ptr list, so it's very hard to actually pick out things. Ironically enough with such a big choice.
 
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Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Finished up The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan.

I can more or less sum this up with the same thoughts I had on the first book. Very enjoyable throughout and such an easy going read but still some flaws that keep it from being the top of the top. I still don't like that the magic seems to more or less be very limitless and not much is explained (Ka-Poel in particular seems broken) and it still feels at times as if everything is just slightly too convenient for the heroes. I will grant that they go through some trials and not everything is a cake walk but ultimately the tension is never really there. As I say though, still very enjoyable.

9/10
Roughly how I felt about it. Not so much the limitless nature of the magic though, but the sense that there were plenty of rabbits hiding in bags.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#18
I discovered that there are three "new" novellas in the Song of Shattered Sands series so I dropped everything else to read these. Nirvana has set in.
 
#19
I've finished The Defender. I had never heard of the author before, but clicked on a sponsored ad and liked the description. As right now, I've got a lot of free time in my hands, I decided to give it a try. It didn't disappoint. It was a fun read. Simple writing, nice story, good characters.
Since I'm giving unknown authors (at least unknown to me - I have just entered the Kindle world), I'm going for a DN Erikson book. Lightning Blade (The Ruby Callaway Trilogy). It has some nice reviews and I liked the first chapter, even though I must admit I'm not a huge fan of first-person narrative.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#20
I've just finished Stonewielder by ICE. This one is the best of ICE's Malazan books so far. The story is way better structured than the story in ROTCG and the characters are fleshed out better. I particularly liked the POV of Suth and his squad mates. It sometimes rivaled the feeling I got when reading about Fiddler, Hedge and the other Bridgeburners (you know, the jokes, camaraderie, infighting, devil-may-care attitude etc). I also really liked the story-line at the Wall and the whole fight against the Lady stuff. I give this book a 9/10.

I also just bought Orb, Sceptre, Throne, but shipping has been delayed, so I can't pick it up just yet. I'm currently reading the third Science of Discworld novel until the new Malazan book arrives.