It's March 2021: What fantasy book are you reading?

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#4
I finished my reread of The First Law trilogy and I'm about halfway through Sharp Ends. This time through the trilogy was like reading a new series of books. Not that I had a lobotomy but when it was the first time reading and when it was also his debut I must not have paid as much attention.
 
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kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#7
started The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it, stenney. And what did you think about Holy Sister? After book 2 I went to something else and never got to it.
 
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Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#8
I read those Mark Lawrence books when they came out. I thought the Ancestor trilogy was very good, varying from ok to amazing throughout the trilogy, and I thought he'd really grown as an author. The Girl and the Stars was a bit of a chore.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Done with The Trouble with Peace. Another fantastic book by Abercrombie.

The story continues in the aftermath of the events from the first book, and the lives of our characters are changing. Orso is trying to recover from the shock he received in the first book, while also learning that much of what he thought he knew about the Union was quite naive. Savine dan Glokta is trying to recover from her own ordeal and seemingly more ruthless than ever, as if trying to remind everyone (or perhaps herself) that she is still a political and business badass. Leo dan Brock is getting restless in the supposed peace, eager as ever to prove that he is a worthy leader. And Rikke has to decide what to do about the Long Eye, whose powers are getting out of control and threaten to make her lose her mind (or her life). And all the while, the revolutionaries of the Breakers and the Burners are still out there. If that wasn't enough, there is now a threat of a coup, with unhappy members of the Open Council contemplating rising up against the Crown itself.

In what seems to be a rarity for the "middle book" in a trilogy, I found The Trouble with Peace to be an improvement over the first one. Things are happening almost from the very first page. It helps, of course, that the book doesn't have to spend time introducing characters, and can just get right down to it. All of our characters are changing as a result of their experiences, some for the better, some worse, some sideways. But all feel authentic and true, even (or perhaps specially) when their differing ideologies and ambitions lead them to choose sides against each other, making some allies enemies, and some enemies allies.

This is an excellent book. One of the best Abercrombie has written, and I whole-heartedly recommend it. 5 out of 5 for me. The worst thing about it is the fact that I will now have to wait another 6 months before I get to read more.

For now, I will be reading The Crimson Campaign, the second book in The Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan. I read the first one last year (it was the only novel I read in 2020, actually) and liked it.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Finishing up The Bard's Blade by Brian D Anderson

Put simply it is all just very mediocre. If Wheel of Time is the Filet Mignon of farm boy fantasy this might be a dollar menu hamburger. I can't say that I was ever bored but there was nothing especially gripping about the story. No characters have me wanting to know more about them and it was very light on the adventure.

What it did do is get me very much in the mood for a really good series of the same type. Going to have to look around and see what might be worth it.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#11
I just finished the main Witcher series (last book was The Lady of the Lake). I'm afraid it became quite the slog for me. In my view the story really derailed somewhere along the way. Made not much sense to me. I also didn't care for the various deus ex machina near the end and certain revelations turned out to be just plain weird. But what I really mourn is the fact that we didn't get to see all that much of what made the earlier books so much fun; the strange world filled with sundry monsters and above all the character of The Witcher. He was pretty much absent for the final book (not really a PoV character), and the parts where he did feature in he was mopey, taciturn, morose, and dare I say it... plain boring. The series started of great, the middle books were OK-ish and it tapered off to downright mediocrity. Last book: 2/5 GR stars.

As I'm not really one for leaving things unfinished though (and because it is staring at me from the bookshelf where I keep my To Be Reads) I started on a Season of Storms, a more or less standalone Witcher novel, taking place somewhere in between the stories of The Last Wish.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Anyone here read The Dragonbone Chair? I just bought it and have high hopes riding on it but I am only about 50 pages in and it already feels like a slog after so few pages. Very dry and (I will chalk this up to my own shortcomings) clunky to ready given the spellings of names and places. I am having a lot of trouble getting into it. Hoping someone has some potentially good news for me on what it turns into if I can find the hook.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#13
Anyone here read The Dragonbone Chair? I just bought it and have high hopes riding on it but I am only about 50 pages in and it already feels like a slog after so few pages. Very dry and (I will chalk this up to my own shortcomings) clunky to ready given the spellings of names and places. I am having a lot of trouble getting into it. Hoping someone has some potentially good news for me on what it turns into if I can find the hook.
I didn’t like it either. I found it slow and gave it 2.5/5 while almost giving up.

My review which doesn’t have spoilers but I will tag it anyways.
This book was just too slow to capture me and for me to continue with the series. The snail's pace of the book combined with a main protagonist who is a bit whiny (at least at the beginning) did not help with my interest. I felt detached and bored too often and a big part of that is the endless descriptive sentences in the book. Every scene change required a long winded description about everything around them. I don't need the forest or a mountain to be described in such detail every single time. I didn't need 20 pages to describe a journey through a dark tunnel. The story is slow enough and disjointed that without a big hook I found myself constantly putting the book down and forcing my way through. Even at 80% finished I considered quitting the book. The last 20% of the book was pretty good but I won't continue at this point.

The story is OK but parts of the book feel dated. There are some trolls and giants and different species which is more old school although magic is more limited. You have a couple classic small party journeys ala LOTR or the Hobbit. Renaming every day of the week, every month of the year and using difficult names of characters to pronounce didn't help. Adding songs to a book just kills me since I don't want to waste my time reading them but I don't want to miss what might be important either (I started skipping them after awhile). The overly descriptive nature and slow pace really dragged this down. In many ways it reads like an indie book where it would have been a lot better if released 10 years later with more experience. Maybe the next two books get a lot better but I am going to pass for now. This book should have been half the size it was imo. There just isn't any special about this book really.

2.5/5
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I didn’t like it either. I found it slow and gave it 2.5/5 while almost giving up.

My review which doesn’t have spoilers but I will tag it anyways.
This book was just too slow to capture me and for me to continue with the series. The snail's pace of the book combined with a main protagonist who is a bit whiny (at least at the beginning) did not help with my interest. I felt detached and bored too often and a big part of that is the endless descriptive sentences in the book. Every scene change required a long winded description about everything around them. I don't need the forest or a mountain to be described in such detail every single time. I didn't need 20 pages to describe a journey through a dark tunnel. The story is slow enough and disjointed that without a big hook I found myself constantly putting the book down and forcing my way through. Even at 80% finished I considered quitting the book. The last 20% of the book was pretty good but I won't continue at this point.

The story is OK but parts of the book feel dated. There are some trolls and giants and different species which is more old school although magic is more limited. You have a couple classic small party journeys ala LOTR or the Hobbit. Renaming every day of the week, every month of the year and using difficult names of characters to pronounce didn't help. Adding songs to a book just kills me since I don't want to waste my time reading them but I don't want to miss what might be important either (I started skipping them after awhile). The overly descriptive nature and slow pace really dragged this down. In many ways it reads like an indie book where it would have been a lot better if released 10 years later with more experience. Maybe the next two books get a lot better but I am going to pass for now. This book should have been half the size it was imo. There just isn't any special about this book really.

2.5/5
Damn, thanks for the detailed post on it. Basically everything you are saying is about how the first 50 pages feel which is not a great sign. Reading some reviews now I am seeing some consistency with people saying at around 160 pages it hits stride but you are saying even beyond that the problems hold true.

I hate to drop it too soon without giving it a chance but I have kind of done this before where I can feel I won't like something but talk myself into giving it a chance.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Damn, thanks for the detailed post on it. Basically everything you are saying is about how the first 50 pages feel which is not a great sign. Reading some reviews now I am seeing some consistency with people saying at around 160 pages it hits stride but you are saying even beyond that the problems hold true.

I hate to drop it too soon without giving it a chance but I have kind of done this before where I can feel I won't like something but talk myself into giving it a chance.
My initial feelings about Dragonbone are the same as you and rudy. I think I actually did quit at one point. But I went back and forced myself to read it and I'm glad I did. I just looked and I bought books two and three a few days after I finished Dragonbone. Obviously it caught me. And now I'm into the sequel as it is released which is very good. I think Williams' writing style takes time to get used to. But then the familiarity makes for a better read.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Anyone here read The Dragonbone Chair? I just bought it and have high hopes riding on it but I am only about 50 pages in and it already feels like a slog after so few pages. Very dry and (I will chalk this up to my own shortcomings) clunky to ready given the spellings of names and places. I am having a lot of trouble getting into it. Hoping someone has some potentially good news for me on what it turns into if I can find the hook.
I've never actually gotten around to reading it, even though it was one of the first Fantasy books I bought when I starting getting involved in the genre about 12-13 years ago. No real reason for it, I guess I was just always tempted by some other book more.

I have also heard similar feedback as what @kenubrion said, regarding how it takes a bit of getting used to but then becomes very good. For what it's worth, several notable authors have cited Memory, Sorrow and Thorn as an inspiration/influence on their own work, e.g. GRRM with ASoIaF.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Ok for now I guess I will stick with it and at least try and get to that 160 page mark I have heard about. Maybe just do 1 chapter every time I get the urge to read if it still feels like a slog until then.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#19
Anyone here read The Dragonbone Chair? I just bought it and have high hopes riding on it but I am only about 50 pages in and it already feels like a slog after so few pages. Very dry and (I will chalk this up to my own shortcomings) clunky to ready given the spellings of names and places. I am having a lot of trouble getting into it. Hoping someone has some potentially good news for me on what it turns into if I can find the hook.
I concur; it takes a while to lift off, but in my opinion the series really hits its stride about a third of the way into the first book. I fondly remember it as one of my favourite series. It's different though from series like asoiaf or Malazan. More whimsical perhaps? I tend to liken it more to the Assassin books by Robin Hobbs.