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

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Something I forgot to mention about Wheel of Time. Knowing there were 14 books, going into it I was sort of expecting a story taking place over a long, long time. I don't know why but it was slightly disappointing that this 14 book series takes place over just
two years, I think?
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#5
I just finished East of Eden by Steinbeck. I understand why it is considered a classic. Great story with interesting characters.

I'm currently reading a bundle of books on the fall of the Roman Empire. After that I have to proof-read a thesis. No fantasy for me this month, maybe next month.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#6
In the middle of the fourth book of four in the great Deverry series, The Dragon Revenant. It's been a great epic fantasy series, the kind that creates new fantasy fans. Silvion recommended as well.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Something I forgot to mention about Wheel of Time. Knowing there were 14 books, going into it I was sort of expecting a story taking place over a long, long time. I don't know why but it was slightly disappointing that this 14 book series takes place over just
two years, I think?
I had completely forgotten about that, but I agree.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#8
In the middle of the fourth book of four in the great Deverry series, The Dragon Revenant. It's been a great epic fantasy series, the kind that creates new fantasy fans. Silvion recommended as well.
Holy crap! This series is longer than WOT! 16 primary works and 17 in total. I may check this out but are these books a full series or can they also be standalones?
 

fl1pper

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#9
Still reading House of Chains which starts in a different style to the previous books in the series in that it follows one character for a good 250 pages before reverting back to normal. I enjoyed that for a change, so much so that I've found the switch back to his traditional style a bit heavy going.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Holy crap! This series is longer than WOT! 16 primary works and 17 in total. I may check this out but are these books a full series or can they also be standalones?
I haven't read the books, but from what I can tell it seems that the overall Deverry Cycle consists of multiple sub-series (or what she calls "Acts"). I would assume, then, that each Act should be somewhat self-contained, with some larger inter-connected threads that run through the entire series. But I guess @Silvion Night would be the right person to answer this.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Holy crap! This series is longer than WOT! 16 primary works and 17 in total. I may check this out but are these books a full series or can they also be standalones?
Yeah, what afa said so well sounds correct. I already bought and am excited to read the first book of the next series, A Time of Exile in the Westlands series. The Westlands are the realm of the elves, who must take a leading role in this series.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#12
Yes indeed, afa is correct. The cycles / acts can be read as standalone, but you get the full enjoyment if you read them consecutively. Reason being that the series contain multiple intertwining storylines, set in different times and ages. The concept of reincarnation is also strong across the series, so that individuals sometimes are "reborn" as different characters. The series is confusing enough as is, you'd probably get lost if you don't read them chronologically.

Anyway, I must say I enjoyed the first 3 acts / cycles best. It could be due to sentimental reasons though, as I read those when I was a kid and quite new to fantasy (the series was still not finished at that moment in time).

It is indeed one of the series that got me hooked on fantasy @kenubrion (together with LOTR and WOT).
 

GreyMouser

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I'm reading The Black Prism.

It's been slow going because of my busy schedule these days but I'm really enjoying my 20 or 30 minutes of reading it before drifting off every night.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#14
I'm reading The Black Prism.

It's been slow going because of my busy schedule these days but I'm really enjoying my 20 or 30 minutes of reading it before drifting off every night.
I loved this series. First 4 books were awesome for me. Final book fell a little flat but the overall series was great. Tremendous characters - so many good (and bad) ones. I remember feeling some trepidation when I started reading the first book. The magic system is different and it’s not always easy to picture what is going on. But 150 pages in I got hooked and never looked back.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I loved this series. First 4 books were awesome for me. Final book fell a little flat but the overall series was great. Tremendous characters - so many good (and bad) ones. I remember feeling some trepidation when I started reading the first book. The magic system is different and it’s not always easy to picture what is going on. But 150 pages in I got hooked and never looked back.
Between Night Angel and the first 3 books of this series Weeks had basically become my favorite author but I have to say, books 4 and 5 were a disappointment. I mean I LOVED this series. After reading 4 and 5 I am not even sure I would want to go back and re-visit it. I will still pick up a new series if Weeks puts one out but it definitely hurt me a little how those last 2 went, especially book 5.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#16
Double posting here because it is 2 entirely different topics.

I finished Battle Ground by Jim Butcher a few days ago and have kind of been gathering my thoughts on it. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to risk any spoilers so I was trying to think of good ways to generalize while still giving a little depth to my opinions.

The best I could come up with is this book is like the Avengers Endgame of fantasy books, but if it was directed/written by Michael Bay. Like you and a group of friends come out of the theatre high fiving and talking about how cool it was but then once you get home and are thinking about it without the groups influence, you start nitpicking and realizing it wasn't that great. I will leave it at that until some more of you read it and I can talk out some of my thoughts with you.
 

GreyMouser

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I loved this series. First 4 books were awesome for me. Final book fell a little flat but the overall series was great. Tremendous characters - so many good (and bad) ones. I remember feeling some trepidation when I started reading the first book. The magic system is different and it’s not always easy to picture what is going on. But 150 pages in I got hooked and never looked back.
The magic system is testing the limits of my imagination for sure! And I'll admit, possibly from tired reading, there are times that I don't quite understand how aspects of it work.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#18
@Cyphon
It thought Battle Ground was solid. However the story should have been so much better with PT and BG as one book. PT was disappointing because it didn't have the usual climax, and while BG was great fun to read and was similar to Changes in how explosive it was it just didn't have any room to breathe.

You can also tell that stuff was added because of the split. It doesn't flow so well as one big book either. PT had a lot of threads and BG pretty much only dealt with one of them. For me both books had moments of brilliance but it was obvious that Butcher's been working on this for half a decade. It was all over the place. I also haven't re-read any books since Skin Game came out so there's probably much more that I didn't pick up on.

Overall both of these probably end up somewhere in the middle for me if I were to rank the books. Which is a shame because as one book with better editing it could have been the best one so far. The Titan showing up for the peace talks was great and I keep thinking holy shit imagine if we'd gotten the whole story at once. I mean everyone knew the peace talks wasn't gonna end so we'll but I don't think anyone expected all out war.

I'll keep hoping for an omnibus of these 2 with some editing.
 
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Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#19
@Cyphon
It thought Battle Ground was solid. However the story should have been so much better with PT and BG as one book. PT was disappointing because it didn't have the usual climax, and while BG was great fun to read and was similar to Changes in how explosive it was it just didn't have any room to breathe.

You can also tell that stuff was added because of the split. It doesn't flow so well as one big book either. PT had a lot of threads and BG pretty much only dealt with one of them. For me both books had moments of brilliance but it was obvious that Butcher's been working on this for half a decade. It was all over the place. I also haven't re-read any books since Skin Game came out so there's probably much more that I didn't pick up on.

Overall both of these probably end up somewhere in the middle for me if I were to rank the books. Which is a shame because as one book with better editing it could have been the best one so far. The Titan showing up for the peace talks was great and I keep thinking holy shit imagine if we'd gotten the whole story at once. I mean everyone knew the peace talks wasn't gonna end so we'll but I don't think anyone expected all out war.

I'll keep hoping for an omnibus of these 2 with some editing.
I think I tend to agree that combining them and cutting some stuff out would have benefited both books. With Battle Ground being one giant battle the premise sounds awesome, but as you are reading it, it all seems to run together and get repeptitive with "character A is the baddest thing I have ever seen but then character B is EVEN BADDER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE". The effect it had (for me at least) was that it kind of cheapened everyones power overall.

Murphys death I am torn on. On one hand I like that Butcher had the balls to take out an MC in such a mundane way because that feels realistic for such a chaotic battle, but on the other hand there is much invested in Murphy that it seems like her death should have been more grand. I did like some of the things Butcher did with humanizing Mab at times and the interaction with Harry and Marcone. Also thought he hit on some of the emotional notes really well. The return of Toot Toot and the reaction it got Harry from the rest of the crowd was one of the highlights for me.

So yeah, it is one of those weird things for me where I want to love it because there was a lot of cool stuff but then I finished and thought about how much better it could have been had it been tightened up and some things handled a little differently
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I think I tend to agree that combining them and cutting some stuff out would have benefited both books. With Battle Ground being one giant battle the premise sounds awesome, but as you are reading it, it all seems to run together and get repeptitive with "character A is the baddest thing I have ever seen but then character B is EVEN BADDER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE". The effect it had (for me at least) was that it kind of cheapened everyones power overall.

Murphys death I am torn on. On one hand I like that Butcher had the balls to take out an MC in such a mundane way because that feels realistic for such a chaotic battle, but on the other hand there is much invested in Murphy that it seems like her death should have been more grand. I did like some of the things Butcher did with humanizing Mab at times and the interaction with Harry and Marcone. Also thought he hit on some of the emotional notes really well. The return of Toot Toot and the reaction it got Harry from the rest of the crowd was one of the highlights for me.

So yeah, it is one of those weird things for me where I want to love it because there was a lot of cool stuff but then I finished and thought about how much better it could have been had it been tightened up and some things handled a little differently
Yea the battle felt slightly drawn out and I bet it wouldn't have if it was just the one book. Also, with this being a culmination type book I feel it didn't work as well as it would have if it'd have been released shortly after Skin Game. Idk there was so much momentum lost that these massive moments didn't feel earned somehow. So with that in mind I think it's likely I'll warm up more to these two books on a reread. Perhaps Butcher could have fit in a more stand alone type book in between here to draw one into the world again instead of going balls to the wall.

As for Murphy, I'm 50-50 on it. It was foreshadowed like crazy, but at the same time it didn't feel natural. Story and character development have always been fantastic so far but here her death felt forced. Again maybe it's because there's been so long since last book. I need to do a reread to see where my thoughts end up.

A few things I loved. Confirmation that Mac is an ex-angel, the blackstaff IS Mother Winter's walking stick (don't think this was 100% confirmed before this). Drakul made a great first impression and that he's also starborn was quite the shock. Mab was amazing. Harry got his place back. I'm really excited going forwards because it seems the story is going back to its roots, with Harry being watched by the Council and having everyone and everything hunting him. So it'll probably be more similar to the earlier books. Less war and more detective work.

We finally got to meet ''Nemesis'', although I'm confused about how it works. Several characters have been Nfected since the start of the series. Have they all been possessed like Justine or have they been infected without being fully possessed? I had the impression it was a contagion and not single person possession.
All in all it wasn't perfect but it was satisfying. I wasn't expecting something on this scale before the BAT but now that it happened I'm glad that it did. It really shows how the stakes have been raised and will be even more with Mab/Titania/Odin taking to the field. It was great seeing them in action.

Mirror Mirror will be more down to earth and personal. It'll be interesting to see if it's in the quality of Skin Game or PT/BG. Hoping for the former and that the problems with the two latest were due to them being written over 6-7 years.