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

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I'm starting The Black Prism since the series finale is due to come out in October.
Ah... you lucky, lucky man! To be reading this magnificent series for the first time!

Myself: I'm wrapping up my first The Book of the New Sun series read. I'm probably 80% into the 4th book and to be honest I'm not sure how well I'm liking the story so far. I've enjoyed the first book the most - afterwards it's too much philosophy, too little action and at many a time - conflicting decisions and loyalties from the main character that are somewhat jarring in the abruptness.

And I feel conflicted by the glorification of some of the ideas/plot devices in the series also
Cannibalism being the main one. Especially of a loved one... yikes!

Are the following series any good? Better/worse than the first one?
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Ah... you lucky, lucky man! To be reading this magnificent series for the first time!

Myself: I'm wrapping up my first The Book of the New Sun series read. I'm probably 80% into the 4th book and to be honest I'm not sure how well I'm liking the story so far. I've enjoyed the first book the most - afterwards it's too much philosophy, too little action and at many a time - conflicting decisions and loyalties from the main character that are somewhat jarring in the abruptness.

And I feel conflicted by the glorification of some of the ideas/plot devices in the series also
Cannibalism being the main one. Especially of a loved one... yikes!

Are the following series any good? Better/worse than the first one?
I didn't like the first book enough to carry on with the rest of the series.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Still slogging through Blood and Bone, as the characters and story lines also slog through this infinite jungle setting. As I've noticed as I have been working my way through the six-volume Malazan series by Ian Esslemont, not much happens in the first half of his books except setting up the scene. I'm getting tired of the setting and the endless complaining of the characters who do nothing but struggle through the bungle in the jungle.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#8
Still slogging through Blood and Bone, as the characters and story lines also slog through this infinite jungle setting. As I've noticed as I have been working my way through the six-volume Malazan series by Ian Esslemont, not much happens in the first half of his books except setting up the scene. I'm getting tired of the setting and the endless complaining of the characters who do nothing but struggle through the bungle in the jungle.
That's next on my list of ICE books. I just read OST not too long ago. I loved it but I've heard that is his peak in Malazan Empire books.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#9
A little over halfway through the Wise Man's Fear and I think I may be enjoying it more than the first book. Haven't gotten to Felurian yet. On the road with the Adem and bandits right now. The University and the Maer are both very interesting and I haven't felt too flustered with the whining for Denna yet.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#10
A little over halfway through the Wise Man's Fear and I think I may be enjoying it more than the first book. Haven't gotten to Felurian yet. On the road with the Adem and bandits right now. The University and the Maer are both very interesting and I haven't felt too flustered with the whining for Denna yet.
Give it some time. :p

I'm myself about 85% into Howl's Moving Castle and I'm very much liking it so far. It's not as complex as I expected it to be from the anime's trailer though.
 

Noor Al-Shanti

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#11
Give it some time. :p

I'm myself about 85% into Howl's Moving Castle and I'm very much liking it so far. It's not as complex as I expected it to be from the anime's trailer though.
Very strange, but I also had a similar feeling! I watched the anime first then tried reading the book and found it too simple compared to the anime!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#12
That's next on my list of ICE books. I just read OST not too long ago. I loved it but I've heard that is his peak in Malazan Empire books.
I don't really agree with that. I really liked the brooding atmosphere of 'blood and bone'. The stories of the later Malazan Empire books are also more contained and have better pacing in my view. OST and RotCG are more sprawling, but I also feel that is detrimental to the story (it's a bi8t all over the place).
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I finished Blood and Bone last night, and although I just bought Assail, I also peeked into Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett and it has grabbed me immediately. It is obviously by the man himself as his writing style and especially the small stuff he always peppers it with is all him. Which is great. Going to be sad though.
 
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rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#14
Finished my re-read of Wise Man's Fear. I really enjoyed it. Got sick of Kvothe's pining for Denna again but not as bad as I thought and her absense down the stretch was nice. I actually have no problem with her character - just Kvothe being annoying about her.

I'm not sure I figured out anything new but it was nice to try and discover clues. Some scenes I remembered well and others I completely forgot. Great and unique series still. Not sure anything else really compares to this.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Finished my re-read of Wise Man's Fear. I really enjoyed it. Got sick of Kvothe's pining for Denna again but not as bad as I thought and her absense down the stretch was nice. I actually have no problem with her character - just Kvothe being annoying about her.

I'm not sure I figured out anything new but it was nice to try and discover clues. Some scenes I remembered well and others I completely forgot. Great and unique series still. Not sure anything else really compares to this.
My biggest frustration with Denna comes from her having too many contradicting traits/behaviors. She's either
Princess Ariel
or a person in a complete denial with the world she's built for herself.

On another note - I've been going through Malazan 3, Waking Fire, House of Many Ways( Howl's Castle 3) and Greatcoats 3(re-read). Why I'm still bothering with Howl's Moving Castle book 3 is quite beyond me. The leading gal is unsympathetic, the side characters are at best tolerable, and the plot is a jumble of three shy and unassuming plots, each of them being too insecure to take a central role in the action. Quite... average.

Greatcoats 3 isn't helping either, being my least favorite book in the tethralogy. Still - it's a damn good tethralogy, so there's hope! :p

Waking Fire is nice, although it over-stayed its welcome a bit. The book could've easily been 10-20% shorter without any major loss in plot events/development. The ending is dragging quite badly. The sad thing is - I like it so far. It's on par with The Raven's Shadow book 2( and quite above Queen of Fire!) in quality, in that it has 2 interesting and 1 meh POVs to follow. I like Lyzanne( or however she might be spelled) and Clay, the 2nd dude is quite the placeholder, mostly playing the role of a glorified cameraman than anything else. I'm 3 to 5% away from the grand finale and I should've been finished with this book 15% ago, but alas...

Malazan 3... is darn good. Its take on realism through the prism of magic exhausts me - in a very cheer-worthy way. It's like reading the Silmarillion, but with an actual gripping plot to boot. :) I'm 50-55% in the book by my best guess.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#16
My biggest frustration with Denna comes from her having too many contradicting traits/behaviors. She's either
Princess Ariel
or a person in a complete denial with the world she's built for herself.

On another note - I've been going through Malazan 3, Waking Fire, House of Many Ways( Howl's Castle 3) and Greatcoats 3(re-read). Why I'm still bothering with Howl's Moving Castle book 3 is quite beyond me. The leading gal is unsympathetic, the side characters are at best tolerable, and the plot is a jumble of three shy and unassuming plots, each of them being too insecure to take a central role in the action. Quite... average.

Greatcoats 3 isn't helping either, being my least favorite book in the tethralogy. Still - it's a damn good tethralogy, so there's hope! :p

Waking Fire is nice, although it over-stayed its welcome a bit. The book could've easily been 10-20% shorter without any major loss in plot events/development. The ending is dragging quite badly. The sad thing is - I like it so far. It's on par with The Raven's Shadow book 2( and quite above Queen of Fire!) in quality, in that it has 2 interesting and 1 meh POVs to follow. I like Lyzanne( or however she might be spelled) and Clay, the 2nd dude is quite the placeholder, mostly playing the role of a glorified cameraman than anything else. I'm 3 to 5% away from the grand finale and I should've been finished with this book 15% ago, but alas...

Malazan 3... is darn good. Its take on realism through the prism of magic exhausts me - in a very cheer-worthy way. It's like reading the Silmarillion, but with an actual gripping plot to boot. :) I'm 50-55% in the book by my best guess.
Memories of Ice is fantastic. One of the best in the series.

I believe Greatcoats 3 was my least favorite as well.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Memories of Ice is fantastic. One of the best in the series.

I believe Greatcoats 3 was my least favorite as well.
About Memories of Ice - yeah, so far, so good!

Greatcoats 3 is super heavy read all things considered, noticeably darker than the other books, and those are dark-ish too... It's a bit tedious going through it a second time.

I've finished The Waking Fire and have officially liked it. Not hated it to be more precise. I went into this book with the attitude than it couldn't possibly be worse that Queen of Fire and it wasn't. 2 of the 3 main characters were like-able, the main two, so to speak. The magic system isn't very well suited for carrying big battles, or at least it wasn't up my alley in that regard. As I've already said Cley and Lyzane are interesting enough characters to carry the series on their shoulders.

I've actually listened to half an hour of the beginning of that book again by mistake, thinking it to be the 2nd book of the series, since it's starting with this report kind of chapter, it's almost like an author being witty at info-dumping you about what happened last time... Talk about feeling like a fool! :D

And they've changed the narrator for the last 2 books. I'm nearly heart-broken - Steven Brand has one of the most magical/soothing voices ever. A voice to kill for! The new guy is decent too, I've listened a book of his before and he's like 9.5/10, but not 11/10 like Brand. If the 4th Raven's Shadow book is narrated by the new guy that would be a point down from my final review score on principle. Just listen to this epic man( sorry for the copyright violation, no other way to show it):
This is the voice of Vaelin Al Sorna! This is Sparta!

On a more serious note - I've started Last Bastion by Rachel Aaron and her husband. It's a solid book, for its sub-genre: LitRPG. For anything else it's a cheesy pile of ****. What I really dislike about her writing, and I'm pretty sure it's her, due to the two main male characters being like two sides of the same coin, i.e. the main character of her Heartstrikers series, is how naive those characters are, without ever suffering their deserved consequences for it. I really dislike when she does that - the book goes relatively okay, and then the main character has to choose between two evils, he decides to choose good instead, and no consequences... why are you doing this to me, Rachel!? For a 7th consecutive book... Honestly, if I haven't read a few books of her Eli Monpress series, I would've have given up on her characterization by now. Her female characters as just as bad, but at least there's more variety in the ways in which they are being annoying. I me being a reasonable reader - I can respect that.

At least her new DFZ books are good, or at least the first one was good. The second one was released a few days back, unfortunately the audiobook is being delayed until 2nd of July. But with the speed in which I'm reading Malazan, I'd probably free my schedule for it 1-2 days later than its release. :D
 
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kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Turns out I am still in the Malazan frame of mind after Blood and Bone so I set Raising Steam aside and I'm well into Assail, which makes sense as Assail continues some story lines and grabs you from the start. I'm going to miss this six book series a lot when I finish Assail. I'll have to finally start Erikson's "new" (to me) trilogy that begins with Forge of Darkness.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#20
Turns out I am still in the Malazan frame of mind after Blood and Bone so I set Raising Steam aside and I'm well into Assail, which makes sense as Assail continues some story lines and grabs you from the start. I'm going to miss this six book series a lot when I finish Assail. I'll have to finally start Erikson's "new" (to me) trilogy that begins with Forge of Darkness.
I recommend the three prequel books by Esllemont instead, kenubrion. Have you read those already? Forge of Darkness is a bit of a different style (similar to the difference between LOTR and the Silmarillion).