July 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#81
I am currently reading "Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings" by Diana Pavlac Glyer. Probably the flimsiest way an Audible credit have been ever spent, but I wanted to get rid of it and I was intrigued by this book, so why not...

I am approximately half-way through and I am enjoying it a lot. The book has this perfect quality of something you'd read with a glass of cognac and hot tea on a lazy summer evening. Thoroughly enjoyable read in tone and pace - it basically re-tells or speculates about the habits of Tolkien, Lewis and the authors which were part of the Inklings, describing or guessing their personal relationships, and collaborative/influencing vibes, and the reasons of why this writing group turned out to be so effective for its participants.

The tone is at the same time accessible, affirmative, speculating, underlining and all those wondering scholarly vibes, without being condescending or trying to influence the reader's opinion too much. And it's quite snarky too - I realized the book was written by a woman when I've checked Amazon for the full name of the book while writing this post. It has a self-satisfied( almost smug or cheeky) cleverness that I instinctively assign to male narrators, but this isn't the case.

A truly masterful read so far, drenched in both scholarly thoroughness and entertaining qualities. Well-done indeed!
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#82
Couldn't decide what to read, so decided on some short stories. Went with Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#83
I drool over Anthony Ryan's book covers every time I see them, but I haven't read any of his books. Are they as good as the covers hint they are?
Sorry about the delay in replying Jordan. You're right, the covers of these two books nice. I have to say I am surprised you haven't read Blood Song. You owe it to yourself, and even those who pan books 2 and 3 say they really liked it.

I'm noticing in this new book that Ryan is developing into a wordsmith as well as a writer. "Perhaps he thinks this ship will make it to the ice-cap under the power of destiny alone." Nice.
 

GreyMouser

Journeyed there and back again
#84
Just started The White Rose a few days ago. Realy enjoying the Black Company re-read.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#85

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#86
Almost done book 13 of WOT. I have to say Elayne's story line in the second half of this epic fantasy has been the most boring of all the characters. The "political intrigue" and alliance building bores me to tears. I was fine with her through the first 6 or 7 books but she adds next to nothing interesting for me.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#87
I appear to have the attention of a goldfish, as in addition to Lyonesse, I've also started reading Name of the Wind, Servants of the Underworld, and Gods and Fighting Men, re-picked up King in Yellow, and am re-reading Kushiel's Mercy.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#88
I've reading/listening to King of Thorns for a while now. I'm losing interest in the series very quickly. This and the prequel have been my least liked books this year. I don't know if I'll finish the King or continue to Emperor of Thorns.

In light of that I started Side Jobs by Jim Butcher yesterday. It's a short story collection from Dresden Files, the earliest story is set before Storm Front and the latest after Changes. I've only read one story so far, but I liked it a lot.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#89
Mini-rant ahead -

I picked up Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard because it has the coolest premise ever. Aztec Priest of the Dead murder mysteries? I'll take ten.

So I started reading and at page 46, I get idly curious about how many pages it is (not a good sign but whatever) and flick to the back to find a list of characters.

Who the hell puts a list of characters at the back?

Look, dramatis personae are useful. I'm not dissing them. Particularly in convoluted stories with a lot of foreign names. But they're only useful if you know they're there. And if its not at the front of the book, how am I going to know its there?

Its at the back. If I've made it all the way through the story then do you know what I don't need? The dramatis personae. I know who the characters are already. And if I don't, if I've somehow lasted 406 pages in confusion, its too late to tell me then.

The only way the character list is useful is if someone were to flick all the way to the back early in the story. And if you think everyone who reads this book is going to flick all the way to the back early on, why the hell do you think its good enough to publish?

This is the most baffling decision I've seen in a book in some time and its made me far angrier than it should. It's the book equivalent of spending forever looking for your keys only to find out a toddler dropped them down a drain.
 

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
#90
I finished reading Alloy of Law today, and up until this point I was pretty happy with the books I have read by Brandon Sanderson. I wasn't particularly keen on the new setting, or the advancement of the world so not a great start.

I also found the use of Wax full name for 90% of the book irritating, a small thing perhaps. Following on from that Wayne and his not funny jokes and mannerisms were annoying (and that silly hat of his). The relationship between Wax and Wayne felt a little forced and Sanderson tried to make it fun, which for me didn't work.

Then you have Marasi who is an intelligent woman but with a lack of confidence and a little unsure of herself, does this remind anyone of any other female characters from his other books ?

As you can probably tell I didn't like it that much and I won't be continuing with this particular series.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#91
Finished book 13 of the WOT! Will start the final book tonight or tomorrow. I think I liked book 12 more than 13. Both were very good but this book didn't have a great finish and I was soured by the Elayne political crap chapters in the back half of the book. I still think Perrin is my favourite character. Rand was very interesting in this book as well. I like Mat but I do think he was written better by Jordan. He's not as intricate as he was before.

When I am all done I will probably start a thread seeking some other answers (if I still have questions). I'd also like to know what people would have cut or changed from the series. I have some thoughts in my head right now but I need to finish the series as there are still some puzzles and people that need to come together.
 

The bard`s song

Will likely be killed by a Lannister soon
#92
I have started the first book of The Black Company. Pretty weird. I don`t know if it is Cook`s writing or the German Translation. Probably both.
I will stay with it and hope it gets better.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#93
Mini-rant ahead -

I picked up Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard because it has the coolest premise ever. Aztec Priest of the Dead murder mysteries? I'll take ten.

So I started reading and at page 46, I get idly curious about how many pages it is (not a good sign but whatever) and flick to the back to find a list of characters.

Who the hell puts a list of characters at the back?
Hm... isn't that a thing in fantasy? I've stopped reading paper books some time ago and switched to e-books and audiobooks, but I do remember almost every fantasy book having a bunch of pages in the end with characters, places, things from the world-building explained. Maybe it's just something done in my country only - I don't know.

As to not be completely off-topic I've started The Wolf of the North by Duncan M. Hamilton - so far it's good enough, considering how it's a self-published book and all... It does nothing special, but there just enough of Blood Song meets Age of Myth tone to make it a nice read. The rural, slightly uncivilized feel to it certainly enhanced the story that goes along with it.
 
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Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#94
Hm... isn't that a thing in fantasy? I've stopped reading paper books some time ago and switched to e-books and audiobooks, but I do remember almost every fantasy book having a bunch of pages in the end with characters, places, things from the world-building explained. Maybe it's just something done in my country only - I don't know.

As to not be completely off-topic I've started The Wolf of the North by Duncan M. Hamilton - so far it's good enough, considering how it's a self-published book and all... It does nothing special, but there just enough of Blood Song meets Age of Myth tone to make it a nice read. The rural, slightly uncivilized feel to it certainly enhanced the story that goes along with it.
Glossaries at the back are not uncommon. Character lists, in my experience, are almost always at the front. Martin is the only one I can think of who doesn't follow this and his character lists about 30 pages long or so.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#95
Glossaries at the back are not uncommon. Character lists, in my experience, are almost always at the front. Martin is the only one I can think of who doesn't follow this and his character lists about 30 pages long or so.
Every time I think of a character list it's a Russian novel like War and Peace or the Brothers Karamazov; you know, the type of book where you definitely need a list of everyone involved and the eight variations on their six different names. GoT has always reminded me of a Russian novel, so it is a bit odd that his list is towards the back, though, if memory serves, I believe his list is more about the houses than the individual characters. Were I not so lazy I might walk over to the bookshelf to check, but, again, lazy. So much so I might not even finish this
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#96
Every time I think of a character list it's a Russian novel like War and Peace or the Brothers Karamazov; you know, the type of book where you definitely need a list of everyone involved and the eight variations on their six different names. GoT has always reminded me of a Russian novel, so it is a bit odd that his list is towards the back, though, if memory serves, I believe his list is more about the houses than the individual characters. Were I not so lazy I might walk over to the bookshelf to check, but, again, lazy. So much so I might not even finish this
You are broadly correct, his characters are organised by house.
 

Tanniel

Journeyed there and back again
#97
I put my character list at the back of the book because I was worried that seeing the number of characters would turn any reader off (and I already took several other risks that might do that). Funnily enough, I also organised mine by major houses (and then high nobility, low nobility, commoners etc.) without having ever looked inside a GoT book. It just seemed like the logical thing my chronicler would do, start with the most important people and then work his way down.