It's March 2017. What fantasy book(s) are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Silvion Night, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I was slow getting through the first part, as well. I think I just cared more for the viewpoint characters later in the book.
     
  2. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Yeah. Hopefully, that changes because it really started bugging me. It's THAT bad. But the stories do get better, IMO. I would rate them 2-3-1 from top to bottom so far. I think you'll like Ghost Brigades as long as you go in with "realistic expectations" meaning a really fun ride but nothing deep. Hopefully you can help ne out with a seeming contradictuon right after you begin book 3.
     
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  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    3/4 through Lightbringer 4. This is really really good! Cannot think of another series with so many twists and ironies. Wow!

    @Sneaky Burrito Yep. My theory on
    Kips parents
    was pretty much shot down. But damn...who could have forseen THAT? :eek: Do authors plan this stuff in advance or make it up as they go along?
     
  4. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    We plan it in advance, usually. For instance, I have a character death lined up for Book 4 and have done since Book 1 wasn't even a finished draft.
     
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  5. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I plan the big things in advance, but I leave a lot of the details vague so that there's some joy of discovery in the writing. Sometimes, I end up changing some of the big things based on changes I've made to the story.
     
  6. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Gave up on The Dragon's Path about half the way in. Really not sure what to read next.
     
  7. Anti_Quated

    Anti_Quated Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Finished The Many Deaths of the Black Company. Excuse the gushing, but I felt compelled to offer my thoughts. As an avid fan of the Black Company, I would dearly love more books following their exploits and continent-spanning adventures and infamy, but if none ever surface, The Many Deaths... represents, whether intentionally or otherwise, a perfect place to end the series. A superb and thoroughly satisfying end to the best Fantasy series I've ever read. Conclusion and resolution both, with space sufficient to explore and extrapolate further (as I believe is Glen Cook's intention).

    Commensurate with the rest of the series, The Many Deaths of the Black Company is stuffed with brilliant characterisation; the key personalities figuring large even as you note the small nuances to their respective personalities that makes them so familiar, believable, and endearing. Thoughtful plotting and pacing sustains the book well, to the extent I had a couple of nights where I read for far longer than intended, such was the need to keep pace and follow the developments occurring. Those familiar with the tense and engrossing action sequences of the series will find plenty to enjoy here, of particular enjoyment the grand finale, so to speak, towards the end of the book.

    I have no complaints, no constructive criticisms, nothing at all I can find detrimental in any capacity in these books. So masterfully composed and constructed, with grizzled, curmudgeonly, and nefarious characters, most of whom are downright scoundrels, paradoxically enough, they're also the most charming and endearing characters I've ever encountered. The depth and complexity in the relationships Cook has constructed is the strongest asset of the entire series; yes there's a fantastic story of warfare and empires and dark prophecies, but it is these young (and old) Company lifers that carry us along with them through the vicissitudes of a mercenary's life.

    You're never quite satisfied or convinced that they're either wholly and solely the bad or good guys - their morality isn't quite fixed, sure enough, in concrete terms, but certain principles or omissions thereof remain firm and help give a greater sense of consistency and grounding realism to their actions, decisions, and delineated perspectives. These colourings help inform the profound relationship dynamics explored throughout the series; as Croaker notes very early on in his Annals, for many the Company is their only family, dysfunctional and more than occasionally terminal as it may be.

    Such as it is, I am indebted to Glen Cook for the epic adventure he has written here, for the sinuous machinations and unfathomable destinies played out, for the burdens of suffering and destruction wrought by and inflicted upon the Black Company's luckless bastards, and for the exemplary rendering and depth of the most human of qualities, time and again, amongst a motley group of characters - murders, thieves and miscreants all, who I have had such tremendous fun with. I cannot wait until I read it again.

    I know some aren't overly endeared to Cook's renowned 'terse' style, but it fits so perfectly with the nature of the Annalists, each with their own acute idiosyncratic approximations. I think anyone letting this small feature dissuade them is truly missing out on a magnificent body of work, and is doing themselves an immense disservice.

    Having been waylaid with work and my own writing after completing the final (until Cook completes the next two) Black Company book, and needing, well, a little 'emotional' recovery after such an excellent and captivating series, I've gone back to the iron-thews and panther-like reflexes of the Complete Chronicles of Conan, and again am wondering why the bloody hell I stopped reading these stories (because Black Company is too damn good to put down!). I feel I've injured Howard's work by reading it sporadically rather than in one hit, though it's not that the quality of the work or my experience derived therein has been impaired in any deleterious capacity. Rather, it has become all too easy, because of the shorter length of the stories, for me to read one or two here or there for a Conan 'fix', relishing the compact nature of even the longer entries, and then putting it aside again for weeks at a time. Such might suggest that there's not enough to sustain invested reading or that the familiar elements wear themselves out; neither of which is true to my experience thus far, but it's an odd habit I seem to have developed. Compartmentalised as they are, I suppose, and not necessarily linear in the sequencing within this tome, there perhaps isn't the same cliff-hanger allure to keep reading, or more correctly, I get hooked and have to keep reading, but the story is all over within another dozen pages or so. It is remarkably convenient, and I suspect a feature and habit quite common to novellas and shorter fiction, but one I'm otherwise unaccustomed to by and large outside of Plutarch's Lives, wherein I read one life specifically at a time and then take the time to indulgently reflect on the virtues and flaws of each ancient luminary I've read.

    So, high adventure awaits. Just finished A Witch Shall Be Born, with a chuckle to the origins of the Tree of Woe writ large in the Ahnuld film, and have moved on to Jewels of Gwahlur which is shaping up nicely for more sword-slinging fun.

    Finally, Shades of Artemis, historical fiction about Brasidas and the Peloponnesian War, is good, but has sadly had to compete with both The Black Company and Conan. Having studied Classics for 6 years, it's all too-familiar territory, though I am enjoying it and appreciate the quality and congruence of the historical research utilised to flesh out the book, my time immersed in Thucydides and the broader classical era of ancient Greece means it doesn't quite have the same pull or novelty. After the Barbarian's exploits are completed.
     
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  8. GreyMouser

    GreyMouser Journeyed there and back again

    Anti_Quated, you have convinced me after years of avoidance, to pick up The Black Company and give it a try again. I LOVED every book through Dreams of Steel, waited for over a decade for Glittering Stone or at least until I realized it had been written, by which time I hadn't read fantasy for years, and just couldn't bring myself to enjoy the new ones. About a quarter century after reading and loving the first 5 books, perhaps its time to re-read the entire series.
     
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  9. Brandon Stubbs

    Brandon Stubbs A Muggle

    I'm reading the American classic The Last of the Mohicans. If you can get past the wordiness and the antiquated references, it's quite good.
     
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  10. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I remember reading it as a little kid. I liked it quite a bit. The Last of the Mohicans and Moby Dick were my favourites. Don't know how well it holds up, though. I literally enjoyed everything I read when I was younger.

    At the moment, I'm in the last third of Proven Guilty (Dresden Files #8, #9?). I've heard it isn't as good as the previous instalment in the series, but I like what I've read so far.
     
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  11. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Today's for novellas.

    Finished rip van winkle,

    Okay it's a reread but I disappointed in the version given in "American folklore and legends" I'm reading that I had to read the real one.

    A delightful small story of Dutch American origin (New Amsterdam colony, now known as New york) about a henpecked benevolent man, who is,always trying to avoid profitable work. Even to the extent of helping someone with much more arduous labour. He wanders off into the woods to avoid his wife and
    sleeps for twenty years only to arrive in an unknown future after the revolutionary war.

    Dreadfully short, but enjoyable. It looked like a little pamphlet there on the shelf.

    7/10
     
  12. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I almost did the same. In the end, I thought it was solid but nothing special. I have read the rest of the series, which was good but far from making my list of favorites. I personally preferred Abraham's Long Price Quartet. It has a much more original setting. However, it also suffers from a slow start, and there are only a few brief spurts of action throughout the series.

    If you're into science fiction, you might give The Expanse a try to see if you really can't get on with Abraham's writing. He's one part of the duo that forms James SA Corey. There's a lot more action in this series. It reads like something you'd see on TV (and obviously I wasn't alone in thinking that since it's now a TV show).
     
  13. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Not a huge sci-fi guy thanks :) I like his writing but I didn't like his characters. Does that change much in Long Price?
     
  14. paul james

    paul james Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar

    Halfway through Words of Radiance and loving it.
     
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  15. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Third of the novellas for today.

    The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen ~unknown, the Rudolph Erich Raspe version.

    Where has this been all my life, I am such a big fan of the Terry Gilliam film of the same subject, and have loved the small bits of the old Czech film I have seen, but never knew the source material.

    This is very much so like the movies, as on overexaggerated big fish tales being told by a baron of repute in manners that seem impossible. But in this it seems to be told over drinks? Complete with interruptions, wagers and fines (if someone didn't believe his tale of his exploits at the siege of Gibraltar) although the individual tales might be the same or similar (sometimes very vaguely) the movie forms a cohesive story and over arcing plot, the book...seems to ramble, sometimes the segway between tales leaves a lot to be desired.

    Watch the movie first (the 1988) it's fantastic and well done and you are more likely to like the movie. if you love it try reading the book. The movie takes an almost vernian approach to much of the content, and the older Czech one makes at least a few well placed references.

    Movie is a 9/10
    Book 8/10.

    (I can see some people greatly lowering both these ratings, it's a very unique taste)
     
  16. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again


    I almost quit Dagger and Coin after one book.. Was 50/50. Glad I kept going. The first book mainly sets the table. Stuff starts happening later but the pacing remains pretty slow. It's a fun book to discuss, IMO, but at the same time I would hesitate to recommend it because I can see where many wouldn't like it.

    Completed The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer 4). The final book should be wild. Especially given all the ironies. I loved the last two books but not sure I can say that for the entire series as it didn't grab me for a while. I think a lot of the important characters are going to die.

    3/4 through Proven Guilty (Dresden 8). I read the first 7 pretty close together so I think I'm appreciating it more. It was nice reconnecting with "old friends". Harry is such a good egg. I still think the series is good fun but I'm still surprised so many people are just wild about it. I'm not a tv person but I would imagine it would make for great entertainment.
     
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  17. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    I think Dagger & Coin is one of those books at 2.80 Prime on Amazon UK aka 2.80 with 1 pound of kindle credit free, so I'll look at it some point I guess. Does he start with a lot of disparate plot threads in that one as well?

    I think I might go back to re-reads for a while.
     
  18. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I'm not sure. His characters aren't always the most likeable bunch. I didn't like them at first, but I liked them by the end of the series, if that makes sense.
     
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  19. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 A Poet of the Khaiem

    Finished book 7 of WOT. It wasn't too much of a slog for me. I enjoyed most of the characters and dialogue. I do think Robert Jordan can stop introducing new characters though including a new type of Shadowspawn. All the Aes Sedai names still make it a bit confusing. A couple of times the plot changed a bit too abruptly without enough info. either way I did enjoy the book. Not many wow moments and the book didn't have a big finish bit still worth reading.

    My reading has slowed. That's only two books this year but I still hope to finish the series by the end of the year.
     
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  20. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    Took me 6 years to read WoT so don't worry too much about slow pace, happens to the best of us ;) I remember being constantly baffled by the myriad of Aes Sedai characters. There were literally thousands of the buggers!
     
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