It's May 2020: What fantasy book are you reading?

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#22
Well I wasn't a huge fan of "Best Served Cold" by Joe Abercrombie. I liked the First Law Trilogy better. This was darker. I have dubbed it the Breaking Bad of fantasy in that it is a dark, depressing story where almost every character is scum or considered grey at best. There aren't many good people at all to root for. My wife liked Breaking Bad but I gave up on it. Even Ozarks is the same way for me - it's hard to feel good about much of what you are watching. The Bloody Nine looks like Ghandi compared to most people in this book.

I preferred the King of the Wyld as a stand alone gang adventure to this. This book lacks mystery for the most part and the second half was better than the first half. There were a couple twists that I liked. I'm not calling this a bad book as I would give it a 3.5/5 but I rounded down to 3/5 on GR. For those that like darker tales and characters I can certainly see why you might like this book more.

I liked Caul Shivers in the beginning. Initially he was probably the only decent guy in the book. And then he destroys the prince Foscar when Monza was probably going to forgive him. He is Walt from Breaking Bad. A decent guy that breaks bad. Becomes a killer and turns on Monza at the end. I was rooting for him to come back to being good instead of a loser. His development was a disappointment to me.

Monza ends up a nicer character by the end and I did like Nicola Cosca who was a fun character. Friendly was interesting. But almost everyone would slit the throat of their mother (Morveer actually poisoned her) for gold. Time to find a farmboy hero tale!
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#23
Well I wasn't a huge fan of "Best Served Cold" by Joe Abercrombie. I liked the First Law Trilogy better. This was darker. I have dubbed it the Breaking Bad of fantasy in that it is a dark, depressing story where almost every character is scum or considered grey at best. There aren't many good people at all to root for. My wife liked Breaking Bad but I gave up on it. Even Ozarks is the same way for me - it's hard to feel good about much of what you are watching. The Bloody Nine looks like Ghandi compared to most people in this book.

I preferred the King of the Wyld as a stand alone gang adventure to this. This book lacks mystery for the most part and the second half was better than the first half. There were a couple twists that I liked. I'm not calling this a bad book as I would give it a 3.5/5 but I rounded down to 3/5 on GR. For those that like darker tales and characters I can certainly see why you might like this book more.

I liked Caul Shivers in the beginning. Initially he was probably the only decent guy in the book. And then he destroys the prince Foscar when Monza was probably going to forgive him. He is Walt from Breaking Bad. A decent guy that breaks bad. Becomes a killer and turns on Monza at the end. I was rooting for him to come back to being good instead of a loser. His development was a disappointment to me.

Monza ends up a nicer character by the end and I did like Nicola Cosca who was a fun character. Friendly was interesting. But almost everyone would slit the throat of their mother (Morveer actually poisoned her) for gold. Time to find a farmboy hero tale!
Funny how it goes - I found The First Law darker. I think that's because I find the quest in Best Served Cold more sympathetic, and it was more even in tone from beginning to end, with The First Law being more about subverting expectations.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#24
It’s been a little while since I read the First Law trilogy but knowing Lord Grimdark wrote it I was surprised that it wasn’t darker in my first impressions. And now reading Best Served Cold I felt this was darker. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#25
It’s been a little while since I read the First Law trilogy but knowing Lord Grimdark wrote it I was surprised that it wasn’t darker in my first impressions. And now reading Best Served Cold I felt this was darker. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.
I think it's understandable. The POVs make a difference.
In the trilogy you had Logen, who optimistically wants to leave his past and violent other half behind; Glokta, who is literally a torturer and is clearly dark, but is also witty, sarcastic and smart, making him everyone's favourite; Jezal, who is vain, wimpy and full of himself, but ultimately a decent enough guy; West and the Dogman, who are good and honourable soldiers; and Ferro, who is a former slave and a fiery rebel, but is a sympathetic figure at the end after she is used by Bayaz.

In BSC, your POVs are Monza, who's basically a warlord; Cosca, a mercenary-for-hire who has few morals; Friendly, an autistic killer; and that poisoner guy, who is a murderer without conscience and literally killed his own mother. The only 'decent' POV is Shivers, who starts off with a Logen-like desire to live a less violent life, only to be left harsher than ever via the fate he suffered in the events of the book.
So yeah, I get why BSC seemed darker to you.
 
Last edited:

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#27
Finished a re-read of GGK's The Summer Tree and loved it more than when I started. I think once you start building off the implications he leaves hanging around, it's an incredible story, and it hits a lot of my sweet spots.

It’s been a little while since I read the First Law trilogy but knowing Lord Grimdark wrote it I was surprised that it wasn’t darker in my first impressions. And now reading Best Served Cold I felt this was darker. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.
I doubt your memory plays tricks with you; more likely we put emphasis on different things.

For me, it was my first encounter with the idea of Grimdark outside the realm of Games Workshop games; I think the way it's presented in novels, or at least the First Law, is rather different, so I got more surprises there. For me, I find bad people doing bad things to worse people less dark than supposedly nice people doing supposedly good things but actually they're awful.

I'd add that on my attempt to re-read, I simply couldn't read early Jezal chapters. Glokta remains a favourite because of his honesty. Logen's readable enough, but who cares what happens to the likes of Bethod, Bayaz and so on? Which makes it very difficult to engage with his arc. It's probably not a book I'll revisit.

At some point I'll have a go at the newest Abercrombie trilogy, and that'll probably be make or break for me with him. He does a lot of things very well, but ultimately it's added up to more disappointments than not for me.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#28
I started A Shadow in Summer today and I am only 2 chapters in (56 pages) and after I finished the last chapter I find myself thinking that I had no clue what the hell was going on or what I had just read. I don't know if it is the flow of the story or the names of the characters and how they are spelled that simply aren't clicking and giving me any connection to what is going on. It is making it very hard to want to continue but this is way too early in a book to give up.

Point is, I was wondering if anyone else has had this issue (not just with this book in particular) and if so, do you have a way that worked for you to kind of engage with the material better?
 

Bill Door

Firsthanded the newest Caine adventure
#29
I'm about half way through Glen Cook's Petty Pewter God's (Garrett PI). This is the first book I've read since I finished The Stand early in the year. Just been doing other things instead of reading the last few months. I figured it was time to get back to some reading so I decided to read something breezy like this before I get into some heavier material.
 
Last edited:

Kevin O Donoghue

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#30
I have being reading a fair bit in April and May. I tend to read alot of a series in one go and take a break after.

After seeing someone suggest The Chronicles of The Black Gate by Phil Tucker I read the series. It was enjoyable and a bargain.
The Girl and The Stars by Mark Lawerence was very good. I like series and the world he created. Looking forward to the next installment. It is a relief to start a new series and know that it will not be years before the next book is written and released.
A Time of Courage by John Gwynne was my first book in May. I like epic fantasy, the longer the book and the more depth in characters and the world the better. I really liked the original series and was slow to warm to the first book in this extension of it. This latest book was excellent. I cursed the author out loud once or twice for plot points.
The Bards Blade by Brian D Anderson, I have enjoyed his Godling Chronicles series so I thought I would try the authors latest work. It was very enjoyable.
I will probably take a break for a few days and decide what to read or read again next.

I might not post often but I do check in to see what others are reading as it gives me ideas of what to check out.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#31
Started reading the Sword of Kaigen. It won Mark Lawrence blog contest and it’s been really good. This is not traditional fantasy though. I guess there was an original trilogy set in this world and this is a new book. I don’t know if this is a new trilogy or a single book but it can be read on its own.

To be honest if I knew more about this book I probably wouldn’t have started reading it. It’s a Japanese setting and the samurai stuff does interest me. But it is modern and I generally don’t do urban fantasy. The world here has cars and planes. But there are some cool magical qualities and the main characters are set in an old school village that sticks to non-modern ways. So it’s an interesting mix with an interesting history. I really like the characters so far and it’s been well worth the C$3.98 it cost me so far.

I should add there are a lot of culture specific terms and the glossary is much needed lol.
 
Last edited:

Bill Door

Firsthanded the newest Caine adventure
#32
I finished Petty Pewter God's and decided just to jump right into Faded Steel Heat so I can finish the books 6-9 collection. After this I think I'm going to move on to Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet. That will be the first of his works I've read.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#34
I finished the Sword of Kaigen. This won Mark Lawrence book blog contest in 2019. It was fantastic. Read it in 5 days. While there are modern things it is largely written in an old school Japanese setting. The characters were fantastic and it wasn’t a dark book. Easy to root for the people inside. It’s only a stand-alone book and an excellent one. 5/5

I have not read her previous trilogy which apparently takes place after this and unfortunately only two books were written and she has abandoned the third book for now as her writing styles have changed.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#35
I finished the Sword of Kaigen. This won Mark Lawrence book blog contest in 2019. It was fantastic. Read it in 5 days. While there are modern things it is largely written in an old school Japanese setting. The characters were fantastic and it wasn’t a dark book. Easy to root for the people inside. It’s only a stand-alone book and an excellent one. 5/5

I have not read her previous trilogy which apparently takes place after this and unfortunately only two books were written and she has abandoned the third book for now as her writing styles have changed.
Thanks for the heads up for Sword of Kaigen, rj2. Sounds great and it was so inexpensive for a 651 page book. I just bought it.
 

Bill Door

Firsthanded the newest Caine adventure
#36
I finished the Sword of Kaigen. This won Mark Lawrence book blog contest in 2019. It was fantastic. Read it in 5 days. While there are modern things it is largely written in an old school Japanese setting. The characters were fantastic and it wasn’t a dark book. Easy to root for the people inside. It’s only a stand-alone book and an excellent one. 5/5

I have not read her previous trilogy which apparently takes place after this and unfortunately only two books were written and she has abandoned the third book for now as her writing styles have changed.
I'll check it out. It's free to read if you have amazon prime so why not
 

Bill Door

Firsthanded the newest Caine adventure
#38
I have Prime. I didn’t think that gave me Kindle Unlimited though. But Canadian prime is a bit different I think.
I don't have kindle unlimited either. I dunno how prime works outside of the USA, but here you can read it for free on kindle if you have prime.
 

stenney

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
#39
started The Belgariad. done with Pawn of Prophecy, now on Queen of Sorcery. i like the classic, epic fantasy. after Gormenghast, this is nice to get back to familiar style. the first book went very fast, doesn't seem like much happened, and at under 200 pages in the collected volume i'm reading, it seemed small. but i like the style of storytelling, even if it is somewhat cliche and played now. it is a classic and i'm not sure what has taken me so long to get to it.

i'll have to see when i'm done, but i think it may have resonated with me more if i read it back in the mid 80's when i was a teenager and the cliches and tropes were new to me. but as i said, i am enjoying it and looking forward to finding more out about the world and characters.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#40
Finished the Warded Man. Really enjoyed it. A great first book. I loved all of the characters and the world is interesting. I’m always leery of fast forwarding through time and this book covers about 15 years as it’s a coming of age and set up book. The epic nature of the world is still a mystery. The battle of humans vs demons is interesting and I’m looking forward to the next book.

5/5
I feel this is some sort of post apocalyptic story with a weird twist. Not sure if I like that but so far so good. Just not usually my personal preference.

The rape scene was tough. At least nothing was detailed. I’m not in favour of any censorship but those events are things I would prefer not to read even though that kind of stuff happens irl. Really didn’t buy Leesha getting raped by multiple guys and then two days later wanting to have sex with a stranger. That made no sense to me.