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

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Ha. I just started Blood of Elves last night. Let's see what all this Witcher hubbub is all about then, shall we?

Finished up The Poppy War the night before and would give it four stars. Great writing and world with a cool magic system well used. Little tonal whiplash when it goes from a rather YA feeling school upbringing story with hurt feelings and the like to a very grimdark take on the atrocities of war. Even my flinty heart recoiled a bit there but certainly not a deal breaker for me. What I think did bug me about it was how much the main character was led around by the events rather than driving them. But again, not a deal breaker in the least. Solid book and I'll definitely read the sequel when it comes out.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#3
I just started Blood of Elves last night.
Have you read The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny before?
Because if you haven't BoE will make you feel lost. Though BoE is technically the first novel of the series, it is actually third book of the series for a good reason. The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are short story collections, but they do actually prep the ground for the series, do some worldbuilding and introduce all the major characters as well as the relationships between them. They are not just random stories, they are connected.


Season of Storms, that I'm reading, came out in Polish in 2013, so it's only an add-on to the series, but the actual order of the books is this for your reference:

  1. Season of Storms
  2. The Last Wish
  3. The Sword of Destiny
  4. Blood of Elves
  5. Time of Contempt
  6. Baptism of Fire
  7. Tower of the Swallows
  8. The Lady of the Lake
 
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kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Ha. I just started Blood of Elves last night. Let's see what all this Witcher hubbub is all about then, shall we?

Finished up The Poppy War the night before and would give it four stars. Great writing and world with a cool magic system well used. Little tonal whiplash when it goes from a rather YA feeling school upbringing story with hurt feelings and the like to a very grimdark take on the atrocities of war. Even my flinty heart recoiled a bit there but certainly not a deal breaker for me. What I think did bug me about it was how much the main character was led around by the events rather than driving them. But again, not a deal breaker in the least. Solid book and I'll definitely read the sequel when it comes out.
Thank you for the rec and review Matticus. I have it waiting and now I'll put it at the front of the queue, or right after Thin Air and Ravencry.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I've started Barren from Peter V. Brett - the newest Demon Cycle novella.

I am ready to bet hard money that the guy listens to porn while writing. There's no other explanation. In the course of 5 books and a smattering of novellas, he have managed to include any possible category from the more prominent sites on the subject and I am pretty sure that he have had managed to invent a category or two on his own.

I thought that he couldn't surprise me with the level of disturb-ness his books tend to offer after The Core, but no - he outdid himself yet again.

I am quite tempted to skip the sh*t out of anything else that man might decide to put out there in the future. He literally cannot go a page without using a sexual innuendo or outright throw a tit in your hand for good measure. I am baffled and quite nearly speechless.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Have you read The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny before?
Because if you haven't BoE will make you feel lost. Though BoE is technically the first novel of the series, it is actually third book of the series for a good reason. The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are short story collections, but they do actually prep the ground for the series, do some worldbuilding and introduce all the major characters as well as the relationships between them. They are not just random stories, they are connected.


Season of Storms, that I'm reading, came out in Polish in 2013, so it's only an add-on to the series, but the actual order of the books is this for your reference:

  1. Season of Storms
  2. The Last Wish
  3. The Sword of Destiny
  4. Blood of Elves
  5. Time of Contempt
  6. Baptism of Fire
  7. Tower of the Swallows
  8. The Lady of the Lake
Thanks for this. I was just saying on another forum that I thought he made some weird structural choices, and this would explain them. Now I'm not so sure if I want to continue if there's reading I have to do just to enjoy the book I've already got. I've been meaning to get back to the Craft Sequence, so this would be a good opportunity.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#8
Thanks for this. I was just saying on another forum that I thought he made some weird structural choices, and this would explain them. Now I'm not so sure if I want to continue if there's reading I have to do just to enjoy the book I've already got. I've been meaning to get back to the Craft Sequence, so this would be a good opportunity.
No problem.

My recommendation to you, based on me reading the entire series, is to pause it and when you're ready for some sword & sorcery to buy The Last Wish and start with that. Then Sword of Destiny and so on..
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I'll second that( although I am still only 75% into Baptism of Fire).

The first two books are much closer to The Witcher feel and tone from the video games, so if you are coming into the universe from them, it's an easier transition. I'd also argue that those pre-quel books, even though they're short stories, are much better written than what comes next, since the 'normal' books I've felt them to be somewhat strange at places when it comes to pacing or story structure.

I'd say that missing The Witcher prequels would be equivalent of missing The Eye of the World from WoT - you can get by without, but all of the context of the later events will be lost on you.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#10
I finished Mein Kampf some days ago. It was read by quite a large audience back in it's time before WW2, but rarely taken seriously. Unfortunately so, because it's pretty much a blueprint for all Hitler's later actions in relation to foreign politics, war and his stance on Jews. It's a disturbing book, but also very educational. I can recommend it to anyone who is interested in history. There's also some very disturbing and accurate points in there regarding propaganda. Especially this part is very relevant to today's day and age. When you read Hitler's chapters about this topic (and he was an expert on this, believe me) and compare it to modern day advertising campaigns and political campaigns, it paints a worrisome picture.

Anyways, I've now started a non-fiction book about shyness in children. My oldest had recently started to attend elementary school and she could use some help in getting op to speed (nothing serious, but I just want to be able as a parent to give her the mental tips and tricks she needs to navigate our demanding world).

I recently both three new books by Guy Gavriel Kay; the Lions of al-Rassan, Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. They'll be next.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#12
I saw the goodreads voting for best fantasy of 2018. Haven’t read one of them! I do want to read Naomi Novik new one though.
It's probably because it's populated with YA fantasy books, which is a shame considering how there's literally a separate category for those books. In my opinion the Goodreads stuff should do a bit of pruning on the matter - if a book is being marketed as YA fantasy by its publisher, just put it in the Best YA Fantasy of 2018 section, it's not so hard. Last year the traditional fantasy ist was full with YA romances as well... :)

I only know 4 books from the whole 170+ lot. And only 2 of them are traditional fantasy.and not YA.

And my favorite books for this year so far are nowhere to be found( Cold Iron, Wrath of Empire, Senlin Ascends, King of Assassins, Last Dragon Standing, Master Assassins, etc.)
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I'm finally reading The Heresy Within by Rob Hayes because there is so much praise for him and he must write with both hands as he's so prolific. Very good as most of you already know. I'm having to take breaks from Kings of Paradise which is my main read because it's so intense and violent. The writing is great though.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#14
I'm finally reading The Heresy Within by Rob Hayes because there is so much praise for him and he must write with both hands as he's so prolific. Very good as most of you already know. I'm having to take breaks from Kings of Paradise which is my main read because it's so intense and violent. The writing is great though.
Rob's got his cover reveal over at Barnes and Nobles' site today for his Eastern-inspired next novel. It's a fantasy take on The Seven Samurai and is ten types of awesome. But yeah, him and Phil Tucker can really just crank them out without it affecting the quality of their work at all.

Did you see that KoP got knocked out of this year's SPFBO? It and Benedict Patrick's book (title too long to look up) were both the two highest picked in the SPFBO brackets, so it was a bit of a shock.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I'm finally reading The Heresy Within by Rob Hayes because there is so much praise for him and he must write with both hands as he's so prolific. Very good as most of you already know. I'm having to take breaks from Kings of Paradise which is my main read because it's so intense and violent. The writing is great though.
Rob's got his cover reveal over at Barnes and Nobles' site today for his Eastern-inspired next novel. It's a fantasy take on The Seven Samurai and is ten types of awesome. But yeah, him and Phil Tucker can really just crank them out without it affecting the quality of their work at all.

Did you see that KoP got knocked out of this year's SPFBO? It and Benedict Patrick's book (title too long to look up) were both the two highest picked in the SPFBO brackets, so it was a bit of a shock.
I'll have a couple of Rob's books but haven't read them yet. I'll have to move them up mount TBR. Phil Tucker is one of my favorites.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Did you see that KoP got knocked out of this year's SPFBO? It and Benedict Patrick's book (title too long to look up) were both the two highest picked in the SPFBO brackets, so it was a bit of a shock.
Thanks Matticus, I did not, as I don't follow it anymore after they didn't even give Allan's Steel Blood & Fire a look.

Guess it was you whose praise prompted me and I'm very glad you did. Now it will be Phil Tucker as well, see a lot of praise for him also. I'm a little torn by Thorn, as in do I want to like someone like this? The girl at the beginning was so casually...well you know.

Edit to say that considering how important books are to me, being gifted a new author and great books is about the nicest thing anyone can do for me. Meaning I owe you and everyone else here a huge thank you. This needs to be able to continue for new readers so I hope that is fixed with the newbie last week or so. I think that the block has produced the slowdown as well as the departures of some mods. It's fixable and a place called BEST Fantasy Books needs a forum to spread the word(s).

Matticus, do you have a specific book by Benedict Patrick in mind as a first to read by him? Or I might just try the first book of the Yarnsworld series.
 
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rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I took forever to finish the City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett although that was more due to other things rather than a disinterest in the book. I got the entire trilogy for $3 and even though I had already bought the first book and read it a couple years ago it was worth it.

It's a different world with Divinities and unique magic and yet it's fairly modern with automobiles and electricity gaining footholds. I personally liked but did not love the first book. I took a break from the series. But this second book was better imo. I liked the main character Turyin Mulaghesh, who also had a role in the first book. I liked her more than the first books main protaganist Komayd. Tough, gritty and real. Very likeable for me. Sigrut is back and I liked his daughter too.

The entire book is more of a detective solving mystery with Turyin and we learn more about her past. It was intriguing and moved at a good pace. At just under 500 pages it doesn't drag.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#18
Thanks Matticus, I did not, as I don't follow it anymore after they didn't even give Allan's Steel Blood & Fire a look.
Rob Hayes took part in SPFBO 1 and his entry didn't make the first cut either even though I enjoyed it immensely. WLL almost didn't make the first cut at Fantasy Book Review, but one of the judges asked for it to pass to the semifinalist round so s/he could read it and the rest of the judges loved it, and it eventually went on to win the whole comp. Which is the long way to say it's the luck of the draw. I might not have been chosen as Fantasy Book Critic's finalist, but thank goodness my book resonated with Mihir there, as he's been the biggest champion for it.

Matticus, do you have a specific book by Benedict Patrick in mind as a first to read by him? Or I might just try the first book of the Yarnsworld series.
I've only actually read Benedict's Where the Waters Turn Black, which is a great book and a lot different than most epic fantasy quests. All his Yarnsworld books are stand alones, but his latest (looked it up this time) From the Shadow of the Owl Queen's Court I believe returns to the area of They Mostly Come Out at Night, so you should definitely read that one first.

Also-also, Phil Tucker, Rob Hayes and Benedict Patrick are in the same self-published guild as myself and BFB member Tanniel. So if you're ever looking for some new books, I'd highly recommend checking out our Sigil Independent website (for selfish reasons, of course).
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Pretty near the end of Skyward, and I can say without reservation that this is Brandon Sanderson's best work. It's sooo smooth, without his normal overexplaining.
 

Darwin

Journeyed there and back again
#20
DAMNIT! I'm SO close to the end and he had to ruin it with an inexplicably annoying personality dominating a scene for page after page. DAMNNNNN ITTTT