I'm trying to remember what it is. Oh, just remembered his brother. Must be that.
I was going to say how great Cold Iron is and then I glanced at my Kindle and started reading again for a half hour. It's that good. So much happens that it's exhausting. It's a run down a step hill where you can't stop and just keep going faster. One of those books where I lament getting closer to the end and want to put it aside for awhile to save it. It reminds me a lot of Quillifer.
Next up, Richard Morgan's return to sci-fi, Thin Air.
edit: just looked at the fantasy forum on SFF World, and it seems similar to this place. Anyone here a member there?
Me too, Extended. Started Cold Iron yesterday when I dropped Grey Sister at 90%, the story just dropped off a cliff for my overly critical self. I'm at 27% in Cold Iron and it's great. I'll go back to Grey Sister. For Cameron fans I cannot recommend more highly his historical fiction Chivalry series starting with Ill-Made Knight. Cold Iron reminded me of it. Chivalry is written under his Christian Cameron name and doesn't have magic but you don't miss it, seems to have some anyway.
Yeah, Grey Sister is kind of all over the place and it's one of those good, but definitely wandering/aimless second book stories authors are so fond writing about. It ends on a bang, though, so definitely finish it up at some point - you've worked hard enough to earn it, after all.
I myself have finished with Cold Iron and I am both pleased and a tiny little bit frustrated. This book should've been 10/10, but it went down to 9.7/10 at the very end. It just ends in the wrong place. I hate when books don't push the narrative enough to give a closure, or as in this book - decided to push a tad too much. It needed to ernd one chapter earlier, damn it. He gave too much away this time around and all ended on a low between too highs. I am not a fan of those wrap ups.
Anyway - I'd say the book did pretty well. I was very, very hesitant after the way in which The Traitor Son Cycle seemed to lose its edge and well-defined conflict/story structure after the first two books of the series. Granted - it ended well, but the battles were too much for any meaningful character development and tension outside of them. And that where Miles in my opinion excels - the quiet everyday moments of an unwanted interesting life for the main protagonist.
But in this one he nails it. The coming of age structure gave him so much freedom to explore the world through the main protagonists' POV/perceptions and self-doubt/growth. Cameron is a master of bringing out the extraordinary in the everyday ordinary. I can say now, after this book, that he slowly but steadily turns into one of my most favorite fantasy authors, not because his magical systems, which are still confusing to me after 6 books( in that I never ever know what's possible and impossible inside his magical rules), but in the way he grounds the reader into a imagined, but so well-defined world that feels so alive and inviting. I am awed.
There was the added benefit of nostalgia for me.
Nostalgia 1: My country( Bulgaria) and the Byzantine Empire were the bitterest of enemies for over half a millenia and then again the same repeated between us and the Ottoman Empire, and this books seems to portray a very loosely Byzantine/Ottoman culture inspired setting. Looking at the map I am not really sure if my country is represented in the book or not, but stories about our old enemies are always fascinating to me, reminding me of my childhood and school years, where we've been hearing about victories, loses and dire battles with them( surely sprinkled with a good dose of nationalism and fairy-tale heroism) so it's an interesting feeling. Some of our most notable national heroes and folk lore champions were forged and etched in our national identity thanks to those struggles, so one learns to appreciate the conflicts of the past and their lessons, their fruits too, be they good or bad.
But outside of my own personal fascination about his inspiration sources, this is a rather well-done coming of age book, managing to avoid most of the pitfalls of the sub-genre and running guns blazing into the rest of them intentionally, which while slightly getting in the way of one's suspension of disbelief, t least let's you know that this book would dabble into coming-of-age tropes, but only in the ones picked up by the author to move the story along. I've liked that.
I'd say that only Red Sister and Cold Iron have managed to really pull me into the coming-of-age sub-genre these past two years, without relying on too much tolerance on my part to keep me interested into the trope-littered stories. It's just done right.
I am cautiously excited about the next one. Not because the first book didn't live up to my expectations, but because it ended in a awkward spot and the audiobook narrator predicted 3 books, so we're looking at trilogy at least and ended with the impression that the 2nd book will be one constant change of directions and conflicts and circumstances and tensions. I.e. a meandering before things are ready for the showdown in book 3. But even so - I am ready to slog through another Dread Wyrm if that's what it takes for a good 3rd book to be se up for us.
Great post, Extended. A reviewer on Amazon makes the supposition that he's inferring the same regions of our world that you do. I really like how you put things and I imagine your reviews are excellent, like Sneaky's are. Man do I miss her. And Tom. And everyone. But you have no peer when reviewing here.
I've already snuck a peek into the twenty or so pages at 90-92% that made me drop Grey Sister, and I will return when I finish Cold Iron. I'm at 75% and trying to read slowly and savor it's greatness. As I typed that sentence above I realized that I still don't totally get what a Grey Sister can specifically do that sets them apart. Hopefully I will by the end. I've already pre-ordered Holy Sister.
SFF World says, on the Cold Iron page, that the next book will be called Dark Forge and is coming out in January 2019! That can't be right.
Did you notice the new member? Means the software let someone in, maybe this place won't blow away after all.
Thank you for the kind words, mate! Let me assure you - it's a matter of mutual admiration here, since we tend to share very similar tastes in many regards, and that's one of the main reason of me frequenting fantasy communities - finding ways of knowing whether a book is good or potentially average by listening to the people with whom I tend to share certain weaknesses for specific tropes or styles of writing! I've rushed many books in front of my TBR thanks to your excellent reviews and added some books to it for later( Quillifier and the non-fantasy Miles Cameron books to name a few). Only if I had enough time for them all...
That's why I'd always love forums more than the likes of Reddit and Facebook - it's just so much personal and easy to follow along with conversations, and trends and people's tastes. We should do our utmost to keep places like this alive in my opinion, because not everyone is cut for the chat-like discussions via the other platforms, and that's totally fine too! I am probably a little bit old school in this regard, though.
And thanks for the Dark Forge heads up - now I am doubly or triply excited about 2019. We seem to be getting a Miles Cmaeron book, the ending of Lighbringer, 2nd Pierce Brown book, the last Mistborn era 2 book, probably another First Empire book by Michael J. Sullivan - exciting times!
As far as I can tell - Grey Sisters are either students who've managed to add arcane powers to their fighting sequences/prowess or it refers to the level of progress in one's path towards full sister, i.e. you're more than just a scholar, but one idea below full-fledged fighting machine due to inexperience with wielding your magical talents. Who knows... really. Mark Lawrence has never been one for straight-forward progressions or hard magical systems.