It's May 2018: What fantasy book are you reading?

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#61
I will be starting "The Hyena and The Hawk" by Adrian Tchaicovsky. I'm really surprised this series doesn't get more fanfare. It's deep, dark and like all Tchaicovsky's books, intertwines fantasy, humans, animals and the natural world they inhabit. It blends seamlessly and concepts that sounds silly in concept come to life in a believable way.

I have not read a book written by him that I did not enjoy. This series has been wonderful. It's not a perfect 10 for me but it's close.

I would not recommend it for those that like swords, slashing, magic and tons of action. It's really character driven, and there are some interesting ones here.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#62
I've found his Conclave of Shadows trilogy to be the last mini-series of Midkemia books that are even partially worth someone's time. Talon is a decent enough character, even Casper grows on you with time, but I've always found the out of the planet chapters to be a real deal-breaker for me. I just cannot take the everyday's man struggles seriously when there's Pug going around defeating god after god.
I like the juxtaposition when I like the more humble characters. I think Kasper might be the last of Feist's non-magic users I find interesting.

And the most annoying part - Feist should trademark the phrase "We've beaten this bad bad entity, but guess what - he has a boss". He uses it in pretty much every trilogy or mini-series in this world. The Cosmere of Almost the Baddest Villains.
Yes. If there's a fantasy author with worse form for this, I'd love to know who.

Yet somehow I forgive him.

I've tried to get into his last trilogy a few months back, but it's generic it's not even funny.
Oddly enough, I find Feist so generic that he's gone through the wall and come back round the other side. I can't think of any other mainstream fantasy author who chucks so many fantasy tropes into the pot so gleefully. Maybe if I read more RPG based fiction I'd think differently.

nice. '
I wonder if there is a series out there without at least one retcon, or continuity error.

I Hva e been convinced to add Feist to my TBR, and I think I have a few books, but likely not this year,.

That's good about the training montage, if The timeline suddenly lurches forward and we don't get a montage, I feel wronged.
Almost certainly not, but I can't think of a series with more.

And... well, sometimes you don't get the training montage. But a lot of the time you do.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#63
I've been having hard time reading recently, there's so much going on right now, I rarely muster the strength to sit down and read. And it's even harder now that I've broken the habit. :confused:.

I'm still somewhere in first third of The Devil You Know. It's been very enjoyable so far, I like ghosts and exorcisms (fictional only :oops:).
I liked the First Law series but it was slower paced and while I liked the characters I wouldn't rank that as one of my favourite trilogies.
Have you read the standalones?I liked the trilogy, but it's the standalones where Abercrombie hits his stride. Best Served Cold is probably the best work of fiction I've read centered around the themes of revenge and Heroes is pretty amazing too. They aren't quick reads from my experience, though.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#64
Have you read the standalones?I liked the trilogy, but it's the standalones where Abercrombie hits his stride. Best Served Cold is probably the best work of fiction I've read centered around the themes of revenge and Heroes is pretty amazing too. They aren't quick reads from my experience, though.
I haven't read the standalones yet. Kind of left that world and moved on. The one thing that bugged me about the First Law Trilogy was the epic trek they had to take to get somewhere for something and then when they get there they just fast forward their way instantly back to where they started. Like all those dangers they faced just disappeared now. I did forgive that but too many of those things will irritate me completely.

As for reading, I think everyone goes through phases in life. Sometimes it's something to read, watch on TV, video games to play, whatever. I'm not completely sure what to read next so I'm taking a week off and just playing God of War lol.
 

Travis

Might as well be a Malazan regular
#65
I finished Morning Star last night and it was a solid read. Honestly, I think that Red Rising was my favorite of the trilogy. Overall it was a good series, but I do have a few gripes with it - which reached the pinnacle in Morning Star. One of them is a very minor thing but some of the pop culture references were very bizarre - i.e. the Warriors "come out and play-ee-ay" reference, and the Good Will Hunting "It's not your fault "It's not your fault" reference, among others. It was just kind of jarring to see some pop culture quotes verbatim replicated here and they really weren't necessary.

My biggest gripe with the series as a whole, which came at its worst in Morning Star was Darrow's ridiculous plot armor at times:

Seriously, the antagonists' could have and should have killed Darrow on so many occasions. It was incredibly jarring because they clearly were aiming to kill him multiple times, yet whenever they had their chance there were bullshit reasons why they let him live. Like the Jackal wanting to "dissect" him at the end of Golden Son. I do forgive this to an extent because the Jackal is a batshit crazy maniac and it kind of makes sense. But after Darrow escaped capture like 3 or 4 different times in the series, once they have him at the end of Morning Star they should have immediately pulled the damn trigger. Once they did begin too of course, Cassius saves the day (which I liked - but this brings me to another gripe with Morning Star in particular - the whole Cassius trickery plan). But it really makes the antagonists come across as conveniently stupid at the end, which is unfortunate for the overall narrative. Convenient plot armor is nothing new in fantasy - but it's tiring seeing it so blatantly here.

As for the Cassius plot at the end:

I did like how the Cassius trickery unfolded overall, and was very satisfied to see Cassius re-join Darrow in the end. The plan itself however was incredibly contrived. The whole "shooting Sevro" but having him take the haemanthus oil to fake his death in order to get close to the Sovereign was a bit of a mess. It kind of makes me think that Brown didn't know how to get them and the Sovereign in the same place in a realistic manner, so he just sort of rushed it with a sneaky-pull-the-wool-over-your-eyes plan. There wasn't much of a purpose in hiding this from the reader in order to make you think Sevro actually died. Granted, there were heavy clues it was all a plan - i.e. Darrow never internally freaking out that his best friend was dead. But even still, it felt very contrived, like the author was really trying to trick the reader as well as the antagonist and overall it came across as clunky to me.

But I digress, I still enjoyed the overall trilogy and even Morning Star quite a lot, despite the complaints. The ending (after everything resolved) was satisfying, if a bit rushed. Looking forward to Iron Gold but don't particularly feel an urge to read it immediately. Today I'm going to start The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham - starting of course with A Shadow in Summer.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#66
I will be starting "The Hyena and The Hawk" by Adrian Tchaicovsky. I'm really surprised this series doesn't get more fanfare. It's deep, dark and like all Tchaicovsky's books, intertwines fantasy, humans, animals and the natural world they inhabit. It blends seamlessly and concepts that sounds silly in concept come to life in a believable way.

I have not read a book written by him that I did not enjoy. This series has been wonderful. It's not a perfect 10 for me but it's close.

I would not recommend it for those that like swords, slashing, magic and tons of action. It's really character driven, and there are some interesting ones here.
I read The Tiger and the Wolf and just couldn't get into it and never have I wanted to love a book more (those being my 2 favorite animals). Can't quite remember specifics as to why I didn't like it though. I think in the end I didn't fall in love with any of the characters and the plot wasn't overly exciting.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#67
I've finished Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. It easily gets into my 2018 published books top 3 alongside Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron and Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft.

Finally Mark has managed not to write yet another Jorg book/series with this one. I feel that every female young adult fantasy writer should consider his new series as the go-to example of how one could write extraordinary interesting female characters without ever dabbing a finger into the cheap teen angst, purple romance daydreaming or the tried and proofed love-triangle tropes.

The book is a strange mix between very good continuation of the main plot, plus side-story, plus setting the scene for a more epic/dynamic consecutive books. It has narrowly avoided getting into the "just the middle book in the series" label, but it has enough meat to get away with it.

I am giving it 8.7/10. Mainly because of some deux ex machinas... which, honestly speaking, are almost a given in any Mark Lawrence book, so there's that.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#68
Happy Hour In Hell- Tad Williams book
2 of 3-Bobby Dollar series.
in fairness to Dante, Williams had over a millennium to create his own depiction of hell. Plus he worked off Dante’s version and even mentions him a few times. That being said, I thought this version was a lot more descriptive and really makes you think about things. Very creepy. Bobby spends almost the entire book in hell. If you liked Dante, I’m guessing you will love this. The material was heavier in this book than in the first one. I enjoyed it but was disappointed in the ending because I felt like it basically just set up book 3. It has the same tone and narration style as the Dresden books but I think there is a lot more action and IMO, much better so I cannot stress enough that Dresden lovers need to give this a chance. The characters are drawn up much better and are more interesting. There is a lot more going on here. Same deus ex machina though. The message in the first two books is that heaven and hell are both really messed up. Bobby/Harry and Dollar/Dresden. More than coincidence I think.
That reminds me. I still need to read the third book. Liked the first two quite a bit.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#69
I read The Tiger and the Wolf and just couldn't get into it and never have I wanted to love a book more (those being my 2 favorite animals). Can't quite remember specifics as to why I didn't like it though. I think in the end I didn't fall in love with any of the characters and the plot wasn't overly exciting.
It is a slow burn, I admit. I think I really took to a few of the characters...mainly Broken Axe and Maniye. I thought it was a great story of survival, betrayal and it was awesome to see the girl grow into what she became.

I tend to always enjoy books that take place in frozen wasteland type environments rather than the typical fantasy fare. Probably why I loved those J.V. Jones books.....still waiting on her.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#71
Going to start the Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb. About time I read one of her books and there are many more if I like it.
I very much loved this one but still haven't had the chance to finish the series. I will say though that more men in the grimdark group have openly admitted to crying at Hobb's books than any other author.

I guess that's an... endorsement?
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#72
I very much loved this one but still haven't had the chance to finish the series. I will say though that more men in the grimdark group have openly admitted to crying at Hobb's books than any other author.

I guess that's an... endorsement?
I can second this. Shed many a tear reading through all of Robin Hobb's books. I still think as a series, Liveship is the best.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#73
I've been having hard time reading recently, there's so much going on right now, I rarely muster the strength to sit down and read. And it's even harder now that I've broken the habit. :confused:.

I'm still somewhere in first third of The Devil You Know. It's been very enjoyable so far, I like ghosts and exorcisms (fictional only :oops:).

Have you read the standalones?I liked the trilogy, but it's the standalones where Abercrombie hits his stride. Best Served Cold is probably the best work of fiction I've read centered around the themes of revenge and Heroes is pretty amazing too. They aren't quick reads from my experience, though.
For what it's worth, I totally agree that Best Serve Cold is his best book by far. I would also agree that it's the best pure "revenge" book I have read. Admittedly, I have not read many...haha....but this one was awesome.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#74
I very much loved this one but still haven't had the chance to finish the series. I will say though that more men in the grimdark group have openly admitted to crying at Hobb's books than any other author.

I guess that's an... endorsement?
I cried a little realizing I would never get that time back lol.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#75
I can second this. Shed many a tear reading through all of Robin Hobb's books. I still think as a series, Liveship is the best.
I always thought you were a lady!
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#77
I haven't read the standalones yet. Kind of left that world and moved on. The one thing that bugged me about the First Law Trilogy was the epic trek they had to take to get somewhere for something and then when they get there they just fast forward their way instantly back to where they started. Like all those dangers they faced just disappeared now. I did forgive that but too many of those things will irritate me completely.
It's been a while since I read the books but I don't recall being bothered by the ending. I thought the bleak finale was brilliant and very fitting. The way Abercrombie subverted the genre tropes really impressed as a fantasy novice. I agree, though, that the plot wasn't the series' strong suit. It's the characters that have stuck with me.

The standalones, Best Served Cold especially, have much tighter plotting. They (BSC and Heroes, I haven't read the Red Country yet) have the best of both worlds, IMO: great plot and characters. I highly recommend checking them out when you feel like it :).
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#78
Okay. I have bitched about Feist continuity errors.

But in A Crown Imperiled, he has a character visit an island and meet a new race... then later in the book, when its reported to him, its treated like he never ever met that new race and goes and meets them afresh.

That's the single biggest continuity error I've ever seen in a book. Unbelievable and probably a clear sign that he wasn't working with an editor at that point.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#79
Is Feist even worth reading @Peat?
I have an impression of him being a second tier, or even third tier writer along the likes of Salvatore or Goodking. You know, the stuff good for people new to the fantasy genres or kids, but not really material worth reading if you're a more experienced reader.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#80
Is Feist even worth reading @Peat?
I have an impression of him being a second tier, or even third tier writer along the likes of Salvatore or Goodking. You know, the stuff good for people new to the fantasy genres or kids, but not really material worth reading if you're a more experienced reader.
*scratches beard*

I think for some people that would be a fair assessment. Its very traditional feeling in just about every sense; it might just be so generic that it's gone past being generic as nobody really has all those 'classic' fantasy tropes in one book... except Feist.

But I did start my mad bout of re-reading because a very experienced fantasy reader was talking about reading one of the later Feist books - one of the ones I'd remembered as being pretty meh - and enjoying it. So after that thread I went back to see for myself and ended up knocking out 10 books in a week (it will probably be 11 by the end of today, and the 11th comes to 800-some pages in my e-reader). He is very good at what he does and I think even a lot of experienced fantasy readers would enjoy his books - providing they know what they're letting themselves in for and it's what they want. I have a pretty high tolerance for 80s/90s fantasy tropes but I know a lot of other long time fantasy readers don't.

I will be starting "The Hyena and The Hawk" by Adrian Tchaicovsky. I'm really surprised this series doesn't get more fanfare. It's deep, dark and like all Tchaicovsky's books, intertwines fantasy, humans, animals and the natural world they inhabit. It blends seamlessly and concepts that sounds silly in concept come to life in a believable way.

I have not read a book written by him that I did not enjoy. This series has been wonderful. It's not a perfect 10 for me but it's close.

I would not recommend it for those that like swords, slashing, magic and tons of action. It's really character driven, and there are some interesting ones here.
I picked up The Bear and the Serpent by him on kindle sale not that long ago. Eventually got round to having a peek and promptly shut it in five pages because I knew I wanted to read the series from the beginning rather than from the second book - a very rare mark of respect from me, as normally I'll start any old place in the series. Just something about the way he wrote made me excited.