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

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#1
I just finished the 4th book of the Dagger and Coin. On to book 5.

This last book was better than book 3 which was the worst in the series. Overall the series has been a little too slow. I wouldn’t have minded the speed if I cared about more of the characters. Some characters’ plot just don’t feel that important. A decent series but it could have been better imo. Hopefully there is a great finish.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I just finished the 4th book of the Dagger and Coin. On to book 5.

This last book was better than book 3 which was the worst in the series. Overall the series has been a little too slow. I wouldn’t have minded the speed if I cared about more of the characters. Some characters’ plot just don’t feel that important. A decent series but it could have been better imo. Hopefully there is a great finish.
I felt the same way about the series in my first read, mostly positive about the series, with some complaints about certain characters and the pace of the story, but on the other hand it's a great re-read exactly for that purpose - when you aren't expecting fireworks, but a comfortable camp fire, that's exactly what you get and it's great.

But my first read was positively miserable at one point too. Especially with Clara's chapters and the general slowness of books 3 and 4. Well, book 5 isn't all that different, although it's more balanced so to speak. A good finish to a decent story, but noting groundbreaking in the grand scheme of things.

I myself am finishing with Malazan 3, about 1/2 through Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan, 1/3 through Vlad Taltos 4 and 1/2 through my Way of Kings re-read. The Taltos book is the one big offender of the bunch - not bad, but I bet that I'd forget the plot in less than a year. The main character lacks a bite so to speak. He is a rogue and a thief and an assassin, but fails to be singular in any of those things - a very meh kind of a main character.

Legion of Flame is so/so as well. I'd hate to hate it, so I hope that it would manage to keep itself from going there. So far there are parts of it that are great, and some parts for which I don't really care. It's a very Anthony Ryan thing to be honest, he always drags those viewpoints way too much, overstays his welcome so to speak. Still, I like it better than I expected( I was expecting a total disaster btw), but my expectations grew as the series progressed, however Anthony is always just one step away from crashing my new found hope for his books. :D

His upcoming Vaelyn book is one of the most exciting things ever, though. If he betrays me with anything less than a 8/10 novel that would be my last time where I'm considering him as an A-list fantasy writer.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I think I am finding some momentum reading again. I am most of the way through Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan and once again he has delivered a solid book. For me he lands in that zone where if I am not into reading at the time he isn't going to make me jump back in with excitement but I also know when I pick up one of his books I will get something that definitely isn't going to let me down either. I don't want that to come across as a backhanded compliment either because I genuinely have enjoyed all 5 of his books to this point, I just don't sit around twitching waiting for the next release.

With that being said I would go right into Blood of Empire if it was out already. Unfortuantely it looks like December for that.
 

stenney

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#4
finished Blood of Assassins, and King of Assassins. enjoyed the series a good deal, cool magic system, and a nice break with only 1 POV and a pretty much straight forward story.

then finished Priest of Bones, really enjoyed it, went in directions that were unexpected, but work. looking forward to the 2nd book when i get it tomorrow.

reading Manticore's Soiree now until Priest of Lies comes in.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#5
Finished the Spider’s War. Final/fifth book of Dagger and Coin. I will give the final book a 3.5. Much like most of the series the book was on the slower side and lacked urgency. I was largely happy it wrapped up. Overall the series was average. Solid writing for the most part but too many slow or uninteresting spots and characters that dragged it down.

I found most of the series realistic but the finale was not. To gather all of the spider priests from across the continent and bring them together before the opposing army just outside Camnipol got there was very unrealistic. It was a stretch I just have to swallow I guess but disappointing.

There were questions that weren’t answered. What purpose did the Drowned have? I thought we would learn more about how the first Dragon war sort of ended. Did the humans kill all the dragons and force the spider priests into hiding? I guess so but I thought we would hear more.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I found most of the series realistic but the finale was not. To gather all of the spider priests from across the continent and bring them together before the opposing army just outside Camnipol got there was very unrealistic. It was a stretch I just have to swallow I guess but disappointing.

There were questions that weren’t answered. What purpose did the Drowned have? I thought we would learn more about how the first Dragon war sort of ended. Did the humans kill all the dragons and force the spider priests into hiding? I guess so but I thought we would hear more.
I cannot remember exactly, but weren't the drowned created for the sabotage maneuver made by Innis against his brother where he killed off every single dragon by mistake?

That answers your last question either. It probably wasn't all the humans, but the newly created scaled variant of humans that Innis made exactly before going to sleep. So he basically killed off all of his kin and left behind a human race capable of ending the dragon priests before going into hibernation and he basically wakes up in the present to see the results of that strike against his brother.

I'm left with the impression that the dragon war you're referring to wasn't exactly a dragon war, but two powerful dragons trying to outsmart each-other, things escalating beyond normal and one of them ending up blowing their city and everyone in it apart, basically ending his own race's existence.
[/SPOLER]
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#7
That might be the case.

I can’t remember the exact details about what happened to Morade and the rest of the dragons and exactly how they all died. It was an odd story of a joke gone wrong.
 

Bill Door

Killed a Balrog
#8
Finished William's, Empire of Grass today. Took me a long time as I just wasn't reading all that much in may or June. I basically read the last 2/3rds the last week or so. It was good. It starts off on a slow burn and takes about the half way point to really get going, but it then gets really good and becomes an absolute page turner. I'm a bit upset, though. It being the 2nd book means it ends on all kinds of cliffhangers when things are really reaching a fever pitch and now I have to wait till the final book comes out. This is why I prefer to wait for a series to finish before I start it. lol I'm not a patient person. I'm going to now read a Garrett P.I. novel to cleanse my palette before I jump into something more serious. I need to get back to Path of Ascendancy, but I'm just not feeling it right now for whatever reason.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Little bit of a list today.

Wrath of Empire - Already mostly gave it a review and it finished well. Looking forward to the final installment. I'd give it about a 4/5.

Spellslinger - Castells other work is better but this was still entertaining enough. I guess the best word I can think of to describe it is "basic". There are elements of the magic I am interested in and some of the plot but on the whole it didn't stand out much within the genre. 3-3.5/5

Since I have finished those I have picked up Impyrium by Henry H. Neff. I was a big big fan of his Tapestry series and often cite it as very underrated but Impyrium is starting off slow for me. Having a little trouble turning pages in the early goings. His reputation will keep me in it but I remember quite early being hooked with Tapestry so I am hoping this isn't a bad sign.

Lastly I am listening to the Acacia audiobooks on my drive to work. This was another series I liked that rarely ever gets mentioned but I read it a long time ago so I will be interested to see how it holds up for me.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Finished Impyrium last night. It was a good book but different than what I hoped for and expected. Anyone who has read Tapestry knows it was about a boy who gets invited to a school for magic and things unfold from there. I bring that up simply to express that the first series was very much centered around magic and all things related. Very enjoyable. Impyrium takes place 3000 years after the last happenings and magic is very much not what the book is centered around. In fact it barely seems in it at all.

I am trying to decide where I fall between disappointed that I didn't get the book I wanted but also still getting a good read. I suppose that is the problem with expectations when trying to review things, they make it all become cloudy. I'd say 3.5-4/5
 
Last edited:

Bill Door

Killed a Balrog
#12
I saw Joe Abercrombie has a new novel coming out in a new trilogy set in The First Law world in September so I decided to read his Sharp Ends short stories set in that world instead right now.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I saw Joe Abercrombie has a new novel coming out in a new trilogy set in The First Law world in September so I decided to read his Sharp Ends short stories set in that world instead right now.
Thanks for the heads up about the new novel and for the tip about the short stories. That's the kind of info that we need here to keep this place useful. I'm getting ready to begin The Heart of What Was Lost as the precursor to the Osten Ard series based upon your recommendation. I was hesitant to pay $12 for 200 pages but it's now down to $7.99 and Witchwood Crown is down to $8.99. Waiting paid off for once.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#14
I really liked “a long way to a small, angry planet”. Gonna give it a 4.5 but round down to 4 rather than 5 for score.

Likes: the crew. This is the best part and a big part of the book. Many different type of people and species and their relationships are the core of this book. This is not a science heavy book and the dialogue is great.

Cons: my only complaint is that the book didn’t really have much of a plot. The entire book felt like a setup book for future ones. It introduces us to the galaxy, the different species, politics and the cast of the Wayfarer and heart of the story. But there isn’t much of a climax or major plot imo.

Definitely going to read the next book. Great start to the series.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I finished Shadowblack, the 2nd book in the Spellslinger series.

I thought overall it was an improvement on the first with a more interesting plot and a pretty good progression on the expansion of the world Castell is building. One thing I am not a fan of is the non violent approach the author is taking here. I know it is YA but the main character has the shadow black that is supposed to make him crazier and more prone to violence and the worst he did was miss somebody with a poorly aimed blast. It makes it feel like the consequences are never really enough, especially for the villains. The same goes for Reichis the squirrel cat. Always talking about eating eyeballs and ears or tearing throats out and the worst he does is scratch someones face a little in every battle. I think you can still manage a YA feel and have death for the villains and dark decisions from the good guys, you just don't have to be gruesome about it.

I'll give this a strong 3.5 but could have been a 4 or better had those things not bothered me so much.
 

stenney

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
#16
finished Priest of Lies, good continuation of series.

finished The Silver Sorceress, solid second book, looking forward to more.

started The Black Prism, my first Weeks series, as i didn't read Night Angel. even thought they are unconnected, i always wondered if inshould read it to get a new author's style and see his progress, but the Lightbringer just seemed a bit more interesting, as a lot of series have assassin type characters,and i thought a break would be fresh.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I've barely started Priest of Lies, good to hear something positive about it.

I'm currently on Age of Legends by Michael J. Sullivan and it's one of the best additons to his most recent series. Before that I was delving into Awaken Online: Dominion by Travis Bagwell and I'm more than happy to have done that.

Just finished Legion of Flames by Anthony Ryan as well. A good book for his standards, although way too cluttered with stuff I didn't care about. Still, it's readable and there's just something very captivating in his prose that keeps you interested. But yea - too many words.

I'm also doing a Stormlight 2 re-read and I've started on Draconis Memoria 3. So far so good.

However, probably one of the most exciting things I'm currently reading is the Saxon series by Bernard Cornwell. I'm two book in and very excited to be reading this, although it's historical fiction it reads like a low fantasy Medieval setting tale, which is awesome. :)
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#18
I haven't started the new series by Michael Sullivan. I own the first book (bought it on sale) but just haven't moved it to the top of the pile.

Second book of Angry, Small Planet has started slow. Most of the time is with a new character and it's not grabbing me that much but I'm only 35-40 pages in.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Finished the audiobook for Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham. This was my 2nd time in this series and it made for an interesting comparison given how long it has been since my first time through.

First thing I want to touch on is the narration of the audiobook. I have never paid much attention to the names of the readers in these things but you do start to notice who you like and if you have heard someone before and that was the case so I went and got his name. Dick Hill. I recognized him from listening to audiobooks from the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly and I have to say he is absolutely fantastic here. This guy isn't just reading you the book he is acting it out. A ton of emotion in his voice when appropriate and he adds a gravity to the characters you don't get just reading it to yourself. 10/10 for him. Perfect.

Now to the book itself. I was a bit surprised in the early goings that I had liked this book so much back when I first read it because it starts off pretty slow. Even when it gets into the meat of things it isn't necessarily a page turner but boy is the payoff worth it in my opinion. The way they build Alivar up just for the big let down brings you right along into the crushed feeling the characters must have. If you are into the books where things are pretty neat and clean and go the heroes way this isn't for you. Not a lot to be happy about reading this book and even the ending leaves you with a bit of a gut punch. Very Game of Thrones ish in that way I gues.

Just a couple of more points have to do with the writing. On the bad side of things there are a lot of POV's and the book lacks a rhythm at times because of it. To the good I think the authors prose stands out amongst his peers and that is definitely a plus given the slow pacing of the book.

I think I am somewhere between a 4-4.5 on this one.

On another note he finished this trilogy in 2011 and that seems to be the last novel he released. Anyone know anything about him or if he has plans for anything else?
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#20
Just finished with Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan. I feel cheated, or disappointed at the least.

This was half a story pretending to be a full story. Despite being a 4th book in a series, it reads more like a prequel, ended on a cliffhanger, without resolving anything in the book's main conflict, let alone the series' main conflict. I positively hate it when authors do that. I don't care for the money or the number of books, but did he seriously made us wait a f*cking year for a taste of a story... One of my top 5 fantasy authors pulling a lazy book like that, damn it.

I won't even be rating this thing, I cannot give an impartial rating without taking a few points for the cheek and I neither feel like putting him down too much for it, nor giving him credit for half a book. He should do better next time. This was the first time in 14 books where he pulls off something like that, so I'll try to be forgiving, but I'm pissed for having to wait half a year for the conclusion of this book, let alone the full story.

The Hobbit" An Unexpected Journey in a book format. You pay for a chicken, you get a chicken wing instead.