It's January 2020: What fantasy book are you reading?

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Still on A Song for Arbonne, me. Seems war happens now.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I am right around the halfway point of The Gutter Prayer by Garreth Hanrahan. So far this is one of those books that doesn't elicit much of anything from me to the good or bad. It isn't boring, it isn't exciting, I don't love any of the POV characters and I also don't hate any of them. My biggest worry is that there are no plot points where I am telling myself I can't wait to see what happens next or can't wait until they explore some part of the history developed so far. I am just picking it up for a chapter or 2 at a time and then moving onto something else.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Reading the Path of Flames by Phil Tucker. Bought this book about two years ago on a flash Kindle sale and it’s a really good start. The author finished second in the Mark Lawrence blog off competition or whatever and I can see why. It’s very well written and detailed so far. A bit of a stark contrast to the series I just read by Michael Sullivan which is a simpler, less detailed book.

Path of Flames has old school races and creatures from what I can tell. There is a humanoid that is strong, green and has tusks. They have magic although mages do not have unlimited power thankfully. The book follows a religious caste system where there are 7 levels of humanity. Do well and your next life you move up the ladder. If you advance to the top you achieve the White Gate/Heaven. Advance to the bottom and it’s the Black Gate for you. I’m only about 85 pages in so the overall plot isn’t clear yet. Quite a few POV characters so far although I am not overwhelmed and 3 of them are linked. About to introduce number 5.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#5
Finished The Gutter Prayer and it definitely picked up and there was overall improvement on all of my initial thoughts. It had a satisfying conclusion and I am fairly likely to pick up the sequel when it comes out.

My tentative reading order now will be Fallen by Benedict Jacka and then after that it will be Blood of Empire by Brian McClellan. Beyond that I have the new James Islington book but that will be a fairly sizeable undertaking because I need to go back and re-read the first 2 books. Should be fun because I don't remember a single thing about them.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#7
So I take it you enjoyed Islingtons first two books a lot? I never got around to reading the first book with some mixed reviews in goodreads from people I follow.
Yeah I remember someone here back when comparing them to Wheel of Time so I bought them and dove in. Pretty sure I disagreed on the WoT comparison at least early on but then maybe remember parts feeling like it? It is really odd that I don't remember a single detail about the series though. I have read a lot of books and even remember stuff about the ones I don't like. I can't tell you the plot of these books or the name of any characters.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#8
Yeah I remember someone here back when comparing them to Wheel of Time so I bought them and dove in. Pretty sure I disagreed on the WoT comparison at least early on but then maybe remember parts feeling like it? It is really odd that I don't remember a single detail about the series though. I have read a lot of books and even remember stuff about the ones I don't like. I can't tell you the plot of these books or the name of any characters.
Cyphon , can you tell me about something I think happens in this book (The Shadow of What Was Lost) and was as far as I got, so I can know where to start again. Does the main protagonist (Davian?) join an acting troupe when he gets to some large city? Or am I thinking of another novel. Thanks.
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#9
I've read a lot in December, trying to catch up with the Goodreads challenge before the year ended. I did it, but I didn't have much fun.
I've read Equal Rites and Mort by Terry Pratchett, and while Mort was better, I didn't particularly enjoy either. Maybe Discworld just isn't for me.

I also started a new series by Diana Rowland and that's what I'm currently reading as well. I absolutely love her unfortunately named White Trash Zombie series. It's probably the best urban fantasy / police procedural I've ever read because Rowland knows what she's talking about as an ex detective/ CSI/morgue assistant. Yeah, that's just a few of more than a dozen professions she's had. Absolutely nuts in a good way. I also love the Luisiana setting (I have a soft spot for US south).
Kara Gillian series is the first she wrote so it precedes WTZ series, but it ticks all the same boxes for me. The main character is a detective in a small town in Louisiana. She's a demon summoner.
The first book of the series is the first book Rowland ever wrote and oh boy, it leans heavily toward paranormal romance. I had to grit my teeth and go through it because I knew it will get better based on her later work. I'm on book 4 now and I wasn't wrong. The series is definitely improving as I'm going through it.

I also read A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. It was really good, but the book is more concerned with setting the stage for the trilogy and introducing new characters than a proper plot contained with itself. Even though we got some good new characters, I kind of miss all the northerners from the First Law. I really liked Rikke - the Dogman's daughter and prince Orso - Jezal's son. The third main character is Glokta's daughter - Savine. Not a bad character - but no Glokta (later we find out why).
Also seeing Caul Shivers was the highlight of my reading. I would argue he has one of the best character arcs in all of series (including 3 standalones).
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#10
After having re-read the "Lightbringer" series 1-4 over the Christmas holidays, I am now on "The Burning White".
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#11
The first book of the series is the first book Rowland ever wrote and oh boy, it leans heavily toward paranormal romance.
Yeah, the covers of the books on Goodreads look pretty romance-cringey.
The WTZ series sounds interesting, will take a look at it.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#12
I've read a lot in December, trying to catch up with the Goodreads challenge before the year ended. I did it, but I didn't have much fun.
I've read Equal Rites and Mort by Terry Pratchett, and while Mort was better, I didn't particularly enjoy either. Maybe Discworld just isn't for me.

I also started a new series by Diana Rowland and that's what I'm currently reading as well. I absolutely love her unfortunately named White Trash Zombie series. It's probably the best urban fantasy / police procedural I've ever read because Rowland knows what she's talking about as an ex detective/ CSI/morgue assistant. Yeah, that's just a few of more than a dozen professions she's had. Absolutely nuts in a good way. I also love the Luisiana setting (I have a soft spot for US south).
Kara Gillian series is the first she wrote so it precedes WTZ series, but it ticks all the same boxes for me. The main character is a detective in a small town in Louisiana. She's a demon summoner.
The first book of the series is the first book Rowland ever wrote and oh boy, it leans heavily toward paranormal romance. I had to grit my teeth and go through it because I knew it will get better based on her later work. I'm on book 4 now and I wasn't wrong. The series is definitely improving as I'm going through it.

I also read A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. It was really good, but the book is more concerned with setting the stage for the trilogy and introducing new characters than a proper plot contained with itself. Even though we got some good new characters, I kind of miss all the northerners from the First Law. I really liked Rikke - the Dogman's daughter and prince Orso - Jezal's son. The third main character is Glokta's daughter - Savine. Not a bad character - but no Glokta (later we find out why).
Also seeing Caul Shivers was the highlight of my reading. I would argue he has one of the best character arcs in all of series (including 3 standalones).
I did the same thing in December. I had to read a Saga and a Murderbot to get my last two in under the deadline. Ha!

I've had the same experience with Discworld. I've read Colour of Magic and Mort and did not care for either. I won't read any more.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I did the same thing in December. I had to read a Saga and a Murderbot to get my last two in under the deadline. Ha!

I've had the same experience with Discworld. I've read Colour of Magic and Mort and did not care for either. I won't read any more.
I will just third you guys on Discworld. I can't remember if I went chronologically with them or followed a different path but I listened to about 5 or 6 audiobooks and came away maybe liking 1 of them.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#14
The WTZ series sounds interesting, will take a look at it.
If you can try and get the 1st audiobook. The narrator really fits the main character. I've read them all as audiobooks.

I did the same thing in December. I had to read a Saga and a Murderbot to get my last two in under the deadline. Ha!
The grind is real!

I've had the same experience with Discworld. I've read Colour of Magic and Mort and did not care for either. I won't read any more.
I will just third you guys on Discworld. I can't remember if I went chronologically with them or followed a different path but I listened to about 5 or 6 audiobooks and came away maybe liking 1 of them.
Didn't expect anyone to agree to be honest :D
I know Discworld is well loved among fantasy readers, but I think I'm just too big of a grump and the books are too whimsical for my grumpiness level. So I blame myself.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Curious on your thoughts when done. I loved the first 4 books and found the finale the weakest of all of them. Was a bit disappointed.
4 and 5 for me were both a downturn for me after the first 3. After the first 3 I had it as one of my favorite all time series but 4 and 5 kind of tampered my enthusiasm. I can't say which is weaker because 5 was in a tougher spot as a final book.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Just finished Fallen by Benedict Jacka

10 books in and it is funny thinking back to being luke warm on this series when I first started it. Now I am not sure I can do enough to praise how well I think this guy does in making such short books feel so full. While it may not seem like high praise another thing about Jacka is that he is incredibly consistent. You don't get to book 6 and go "man he really let me down with that one". They are all just steadily good reads. Speaking to Fallen specifically I really like the direction he took Verus this time around. He finally had to pick a side and I like the one he chose. I think it will lead down some interesting avenues in the final 2 books.

One knock I have always mentioned with these books is that the magic isn't necessarily well defined or set within limits. If you are a fire mage it seems like you can just blast fire all day every day without any issue. It isn't a huge deal because it isn't like any specific mage or type seems to have unlimited power for no reason and can just roll over everyone but I prefer a more defined system. One other thing I will mention and not really as a negative is that there is no grand mystery in this series. The world and plot is precise and contained and doesn't leave you with many questions coming out of the books. That is good, but I have also always loved that wondering and excitement of waiting for those questions to be answered and mysteries to be explored.

I know he has 2 more books coming in this series and I always buy them as soon as they hit the shelves. Outside of those he is an author I can't wait to try his hand at something new once this is finished.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#19
I finished Kara Gillian #4 and that ended on a cliffhanger so I went for #5 immediately. These books are getting better for sure, but they still aren't hitting that 4★ territory.
My husband also bought V for Vendetta and Watchmen, so I'm gonna read those too. Never read either, not even in my manga reading days.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I finished Path of Flames by Phil Tucker. I thought it was a great book. I guess I wasn't expecting a lot since it was an indie release but outside a few spelling mistakes and an omitted scene (one character disappears from the group - we learn about that experience but not the rest of the party) I thought it was very well written.

With human and kragh it was sort of like a World of Warcraft character set possibly (I don't really know the WoW world but the kragh resembled strong, large humans with tusks). It featured a religious based re-incarnation caste system that had a lot of implications. There are some old school monsters and demons with some magic that was not over powered imo. Overall I really enjoyed the characters, world and story. I'd give it 4.5/5.

The story itself is setting up something epic although the first book probably wouldn't be called that yet. It's a 5 book series and I'm on to book 2.