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

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#21
I started reading Malazan again. About 25% into GoTM and I'm enjoying it so so much. It's about 8, maybe 9 years since I read it last, and thanks to my truly shocking memory I can't remember too many of the intricacies of the story BUT with the added advantage of remembering most of the characters and the general outline of the plot. There's references to characters who I know that will show up at a later time in the series, which is great, and I haven't minded one bit being dropped into the midst of the story, which is often a criticism of the book. I'm well and truly hooked .. again!!
 

fl1pper

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#22
I started reading Malazan again. About 25% into GoTM and I'm enjoying it so so much. It's about 8, maybe 9 years since I read it last, and thanks to my truly shocking memory I can't remember too many of the intricacies of the story BUT with the added advantage of remembering most of the characters and the general outline of the plot. There's references to characters who I know that will show up at a later time in the series, which is great, and I haven't minded one bit being dropped into the midst of the story, which is often a criticism of the book. I'm well and truly hooked .. again!!
We will need a specific Malazan forum at this rate. :) I've never understood the criticism of GotM for dropping you in at the deep end. Maybe it's because it means you have to concentrate which doesn't sit well in the modern tl;dr world.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#23
We will need a specific Malazan forum at this rate. :) I've never understood the criticism of GotM for dropping you in at the deep end. Maybe it's because it means you have to concentrate which doesn't sit well in the modern tl;dr world.
Ha, we may have to, although I can remember there being loads of threads somewhere from the last time quite a few of us were reading the series. I'm intrigued this time around whether certain books appeal to me than others. Had a strong preference for books 1,3,5&7 last time, not so much 2,4&6 (of the main 10 book series)
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#24
I started reading Malazan again. About 25% into GoTM and I'm enjoying it so so much. It's about 8, maybe 9 years since I read it last, and thanks to my truly shocking memory I can't remember too many of the intricacies of the story BUT with the added advantage of remembering most of the characters and the general outline of the plot. There's references to characters who I know that will show up at a later time in the series, which is great, and I haven't minded one bit being dropped into the midst of the story, which is often a criticism of the book. I'm well and truly hooked .. again!!
I read GotM 4 years ago and thought it was okay, and a couple of years ago tried to read (listen to) Deadhouse Gates, but couldn't get into it and gave up. I think it's a series I would need to really commit to and read back-to-back and not read other stuff in-between. I'm almost embarrassed to be a proud fan of Fantasy who hasn't yet read Malazan...
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#26
I read GotM 4 years ago and thought it was okay, and a couple of years ago tried to read (listen to) Deadhouse Gates, but couldn't get into it and gave up. I think it's a series I would need to really commit to and read back-to-back and not read other stuff in-between. I'm almost embarrassed to be a proud fan of Fantasy who hasn't yet read Malazan...
Can only speak for myself, but I threw myself into Malazan when I first read it, I read nothing else for 14 months, and it's the best experience I've had since starting on my fantasy journey 20 years ago. Which is why I've chosen to sink back into it having been on quite a long fantasy reading hiatus.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#28
We will need a specific Malazan forum at this rate. :) I've never understood the criticism of GotM for dropping you in at the deep end. Maybe it's because it means you have to concentrate which doesn't sit well in the modern tl;dr world.
I guess first I should say I started the series way back and made it to the beginning of the 4th or 5th book, can't quite remember. My issue with the deep end was two-fold

1. First and most important for me was simply that I didn't find it all that enjoyable or easy to connect to because so much of what was going on didn't always make sense and it was fairly hard to keep up with the constantly changing cast of characters. I don't think we need books to feed us everything but this went in the opposite direction of that, almost to the point of absurdity IMO.

2. When I read I want to read for enjoyment and while I did like certain things as I was reading, there were times where it felt more like work than a hobby. Constantly having to learn new names or go back and try and remember the relevance of old names definitely hurt my interest levels. Add into that my first point of so many things not seeming to make any sense as you were reading them and it felt like some crazy guy was just sporadically writing things down and calling it a book series.

I should also point out that this was after reading series like WoT and ASoIaF where there were tons of names and events to track as well. The difference was that those authors approached it with a much smoother, more "user friendly" style. Made it far more enjoyable IMO, and it is a shame really, because I do remember some great things mixed into the early books I read. There have been times I have been tempted to give it another go but the feeling of it being a chore to do still feels pretty powerful.

I read GotM 4 years ago and thought it was okay, and a couple of years ago tried to read (listen to) Deadhouse Gates, but couldn't get into it and gave up. I think it's a series I would need to really commit to and read back-to-back and not read other stuff in-between. I'm almost embarrassed to be a proud fan of Fantasy who hasn't yet read Malazan...
You aren't alone. I gave it a go awhile back and made it to book 4 or so and just couldn't get into it. You read this fantastic sequence of events and it draws you and then you go the rest of the book without ever hearing from those characters again only to start the next book and get dumped into an entirely different cast of characters. Wasn't for me.
 

fl1pper

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#29
I read GotM 4 years ago and thought it was okay, and a couple of years ago tried to read (listen to) Deadhouse Gates, but couldn't get into it and gave up. I think it's a series I would need to really commit to and read back-to-back and not read other stuff in-between. I'm almost embarrassed to be a proud fan of Fantasy who hasn't yet read Malazan...
I think that is absolutely true, it is a series you have to really engage with and concentrate on. I believe that is why I stopped after MoI last time. This time I properly have the bug and will not be stopping.

I guess first I should say I started the series way back and made it to the beginning of the 4th or 5th book, can't quite remember. My issue with the deep end was two-fold
You aren't alone. I gave it a go awhile back and made it to book 4 or so and just couldn't get into it. You read this fantastic sequence of events and it draws you and then you go the rest of the book without ever hearing from those characters again only to start the next book and get dumped into an entirely different cast of characters. Wasn't for me.
I love that part about it in that the scope of it is massive. The characters that Erikson writes are so good that I don't mind that they change between books. They don't all change either, there are several characters in DG that were in GotM which provided enough of a link to lessen the impact of the big change of cast. MoI reverts back to the majority of characters from GotM so again that provides some continuity. What happens after that I don't know, but I can't wait to find out.

I read the first book of Malazan and felt it was mediocre lol. Didn’t read anymore
:), I think all these comments just go to demonstrate that everybody's tastes are completely different. It took me a fair while to get that when I was young. I remember the endless arguments at school about which was better, punk or metal. It doesn't matter. I personally thought that the first book of WoT was a mediocre variant of LotR which I know most of you don't agree with. That actually makes me sad that I didn't get hooked and have the experience of reading the rest of it.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#30
I've never understood the criticism of GotM for dropping you in at the deep end
Reading Isslemont's great Path To Ascendancy would have helped there to give you an idea about who Kellanved and Dancer were. But that didn't exist then of course.

I read nothing else for 14 months
That was me too. Nine books were out when I started it so no waiting and book 10 came out shortly after I read book 9.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#31
I love that part about it in that the scope of it is massive. The characters that Erikson writes are so good that I don't mind that they change between books. They don't all change either, there are several characters in DG that were in GotM which provided enough of a link to lessen the impact of the big change of cast. MoI reverts back to the majority of characters from GotM so again that provides some continuity. What happens after that I don't know, but I can't wait to find out.
Oh I love things being massive in scope as well because when something is good you will always want more of it. Some of my favorite series include WoT and ASoIaF that I previously mentioned. It is also why I am so into where Sandersons Stomlight Archive has the potential to go. That being said, I think there are better ways of handling massive scope than what Erickson has done with his work. The best term I can think to use is that it just isn't "user friendly".

I think with book 4 you get thrust (at least early on) into an entirely new cast but my memory is a bit shaky on it. I do remember books 1 and 3 having continuity of characters though.

Last thing just to be clear, this is one of the rare occasions where I dropped a series but don't necessarily rate it badly. I think it has a ton going for it but you have to be ready to work really hard to get the results. When I sit down to read that isn't really what I am looking for though.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#32
To be clear on GotM I went back and read my review notes. I wasn’t bothered by being dropped into the middle of the story. But I did feel the book was too fast paced. It was a bit too high fantasy as well and I don’t like magic systems where they seem completely arbitrary and no power limits. Some complain about Sandersons rigid structures but my biggest dislike of any magic system are beings TOO powerful. Without limits it felt like absolutely anything can happen. Lastly I felt the first book was more story and less character driven. I need to be connected to the characters or I won’t like the book.

I have started reading the Wolf’s Call by Anthony Ryan. Giving his new duology a read after my disappointment with Queen of Fire.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#33
To be clear on GotM I went back and read my review notes. I wasn’t bothered by being dropped into the middle of the story. But I did feel the book was too fast paced. It was a bit too high fantasy as well and I don’t like magic systems where they seem completely arbitrary and no power limits. Some complain about Sandersons rigid structures but my biggest dislike of any magic system are beings TOO powerful. Without limits it felt like absolutely anything can happen. Lastly I felt the first book was more story and less character driven. I need to be connected to the characters or I won’t like the book.

I have started reading the Wolf’s Call by Anthony Ryan. Giving his new duology a read after my disappointment with Queen of Fire.
I tend to agree and it is my (probably) only gripe with the Alex Verus series. The author has never taken much time to really define or put limits on the magic being used and it always makes me wonder why one person is more of a threat than another given that I can't find a reason why they should be other than the author telling me so.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#34
On page 83 of Anthony Ryan’s Wolf Call and he doesn’t exactly hold your hand and re-introduce characters. I thought one of the weaknesses of the original trilogy was the sheer amount of names and the difficulty remembering everything if you didn’t read the books back to back to back. Story just starting to get interesting now tho.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#35
There it is, my Wheel of Time journey is over. There were ups and downs and while the final book wasn't as good as I was led to believe it was satisfying. Overall though, all I can say is what an incredible series. It could probably have been cut down a bit but at the same time, while the low points were still solid books there were also The Shadow Rising and Lord of Chaos. Both of which are definitely some of the best stuff I've ever read.

Finishing the series I fell a bit behind in my studies (obviously) so I'm going to take a short break until Battle Ground. After that I'm reading Dune. The trailer coming out made me decide I want to read it before watching any footage.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#36
Can only speak for myself, but I threw myself into Malazan when I first read it, I read nothing else for 14 months, and it's the best experience I've had since starting on my fantasy journey 20 years ago. Which is why I've chosen to sink back into it having been on quite a long fantasy reading hiatus.
I think that is absolutely true, it is a series you have to really engage with and concentrate on.
Yup, looks like that might be the best way to approach the series. I did something similar when I read WoT many years ago. I read all the 11 books that were out back-to-back (Sanderson's books weren't out at the time) and basically lived in the world for months. I don't know if I would have enjoyed the series as much if I had taken breaks and read other stuff in between.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#37
Being able to read a series from start to finish is invaluable. It's why I try not to start unfinished works although highly regarded ones or books from a favourite author do still get me to purchase.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#38
I checked out Daggerspell, the first book of the Deverry series, after Silvion recommended it to someone else and I haven't been able to put it down. I finished it last night and bought book 2 immediately. It's a wonderful, magic and action filled epic fantasy with characters you feel like you know. I'm so glad it's a four book series, and there are a couple more series after these four books. Great book, thank you Silvion.
My pleasure, kenubrion. I like to recommend the series (especially the core Deverry books), as they are not that well-known (when compared to other franchises), but they're great books.