It's September 2017 - What fantasy books are you reading?

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
Its hard to give a time period for it. There is technology, powered by divine forces, but not huge amounts of it. I think the ships rely on wind. No guns. Carriages pulled along by horses. I suppose its all physical might and magic, although mainly magic. I guess my end answer would be its sorta steampunk but not really. I'm not sure if it would be too modern for you, but its certainly not Urban Fantasy or a modern day one.

Reasons people might love this book -

The writing style sits somewhere between neo-noir and somewhat ornate trad fantasy. I'm jealous of now that I think about it.
Interesting magic system that has a big influence on the world and the story
Good mystery plot
Interesting characters - they're not explored that deeply, but Gladstone does a fair bit with the time he gives them
Interesting world - great mix of metaphysics, modernism and post-apocalyptic

The comparison I make in my mind is to Robert Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs - half-modern, half-archaic mystery with gods and bureaucracy - only this book has a better style and pacing. Other comparisons might be a grown-up chain-smoking cynical version of Pullman's Northern Lights, The Goddess Project only with mean streets and lawyers instead of occult adventures... uhm... Gaiman, but with far less passive characters and far less fairy tale and a brisker style. I'm struggling a little here tbh, there's not a lot to compare it to, although whatever this subgenre is I want in.
Great info Peat, thanks. I had also been under the impression that it was modern from reading the sample and I've avoided it because of that even with the bargain price. I wonder how much the books were before the sale?
 

MorteTorment

Knows Who John Uskglass Is
Currently reading The White Rose, #3 in the Black Company series. Shadows Linger was superb, possibly the best book I've read this year. Great characters (very Malazan-esque), a page turning plot and a dark, dank setting. I'd put this series as a cross between Malazan and Drenai. Good stuff!!
In that case you win the 'Morte is super happy that you can get into something that I he can't' of the year award then, because I so would probably be all over The Black Company if It weren't for the terse prose.

Speaking of hapiness, and the best of things, I'm currently reading something right now that's probably the best Urban Fantasy novel I've ever read. Grimnoir Chronciles Book 1: Hard Magic.

First of all, it's an eye opener of an obvious fact that I never thought about. That being that in fact not all Urban fantasy is episodic. This is actually a trilogy.(well actually sort of a quadrilogy as there's a book 3.5)

I love how the world building is very much a what would America be like if a lot of people were able to use different magical powers inherently?

That's right, you heard me, I, Morte like the world building. How is this possible? Why it's simple, it's all in the presentation. At the beginning of every chapter there's a quote from a noteworthy American figure, from Babe Ruth to Abraham Lincoln.

Here's an example.

I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball. The harder you grip the bat, the more magic power you use all at once, the more you can swing through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got, muscle and magic. So now they’re talking about banning us Actives from baseball because we’re not fair, not sporting? Hell, I hit big or I miss big. I am what I am and I live as big as I can.
—George “Babe” Ruth,
interview after hitting his
200th season home run, 1930
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
Finished up A Feast for Crows

After this time around I am finally joining in with the majority that this was the weakest book in the series (at least before Dance and we shall see about that one here soon). First thing first, I have said before that if I am really into a series and the characters I can deal with books where the plot doesn't progress a whole lot. I don't mind a little minutia so long as the characters are enjoyable or have personality traits that can help carry the down time. With that out of the way we can get into why this book doesn't fall into that category and it is simply because the characters are more or less unanimously boring in this one. Martin took the approach of separating this enormous book into 2 and also splitting the characters so that he could focus on finishing story lines for half of the characters instead of giving us halfway story lines for all of the characters (paraphrasing his own words). The problem is he put most of the ones I don't like into one and the ones I am more interested in into the other.

So just to reiterate I think you can have a semi boring plot so long as you have interesting characters or you can have somewhat boring characters but placed in an interesting plot and either way can work. Obviously the preference would be great on both ends but that is hard to pull off in a series so large. I have never been a fan of Sansa, Cersei, or Samwell and there wasn't anything overly interesting about what they were doing. Only at the very end when you get the reveals of peoples plans do you get a hint of something that could turn out to be very enticing to the reader. I have never minded following along with Brienne even though she isn't a favorite and Jamie was good again in this one although his story arc was mediocre. I can't say that the Dorne stuff was bad but it is "shocking" if you will, when you are looking forward to Tyrion or Jon or whomever and you get this whole new POV and new information dump. Makes it harder to enjoy IMO.

7.5/10
 

MorteTorment

Knows Who John Uskglass Is
Finished up A Feast for Crows

After this time around I am finally joining in with the majority that this was the weakest book in the series (at least before Dance and we shall see about that one here soon). First thing first, I have said before that if I am really into a series and the characters I can deal with books where the plot doesn't progress a whole lot. I don't mind a little minutia so long as the characters are enjoyable or have personality traits that can help carry the down time. With that out of the way we can get into why this book doesn't fall into that category and it is simply because the characters are more or less unanimously boring in this one. Martin took the approach of separating this enormous book into 2 and also splitting the characters so that he could focus on finishing story lines for half of the characters instead of giving us halfway story lines for all of the characters (paraphrasing his own words). The problem is he put most of the ones I don't like into one and the ones I am more interested in into the other.

So just to reiterate I think you can have a semi boring plot so long as you have interesting characters or you can have somewhat boring characters but placed in an interesting plot and either way can work. Obviously the preference would be great on both ends but that is hard to pull off in a series so large. I have never been a fan of Sansa, Cersei, or Samwell and there wasn't anything overly interesting about what they were doing. Only at the very end when you get the reveals of peoples plans do you get a hint of something that could turn out to be very enticing to the reader. I have never minded following along with Brienne even though she isn't a favorite and Jamie was good again in this one although his story arc was mediocre. I can't say that the Dorne stuff was bad but it is "shocking" if you will, when you are looking forward to Tyrion or Jon or whomever and you get this whole new POV and new information dump. Makes it harder to enjoy IMO.

7.5/10
Boring characters gets a 7.5 out of 10? really?
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
Great info Peat, thanks. I had also been under the impression that it was modern from reading the sample and I've avoided it because of that even with the bargain price. I wonder how much the books were before the sale?
Can't remember exactly, but fairly sure they were in line with other books from Tor.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
Boring characters gets a 7.5 out of 10? really?
Yes and there are a couple of things here.

1. I am already into the series so there is still intrigue there. If this were a first book it would be more of a problem but I am already heavily invested. So while the characters and plot aren't great, there is still enough there to keep me turning the pages for the payoffs I expect.

2. Despite me having entertainment problems it isn't as if it is poorly written and there is still some good there. Jamie chapters are good and he has plenty and the Dorne stuff is interesting. I only said it was "shocking" because you have hopes for something else and get a whole new story dropped on you.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
The Thousand Names. (Book 1 Shadow Campaigns. Military fantasy. Flintlock. Mostly told through two characters POV. IMO, well written with likable characters.

The good
...............
Started a bit slow and then the pace picked up.
Likeable well drawn characters. Not too heavy on politics and lots of battles. Unexpected twists. We'll written Looking forward to book two and finding out where this goes.


The bad
--------
The last 100 pages were very exciting but there were several very unrealistic things going on. Figuratively rolled my eyes.


The ugly
--------
This guy is another Jim Butcher with all the Deus ex machina. But a worthy debut.


Rating 4/5
 
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ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
Haven't done much reading the past few months but I'm finally back on The Eye of the World. Only have about 150 pages left and so far it's great. Super excited to continue with the series:)