July 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Andrew.J, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Back on topic:

    I just finished the Vagrant by Peter Newman. What an utterly bizarre book. The best label would be 'strange'. The prose is confusing, but very easy on the eyes. Poetic even. It doesn't make the story easier to understand though. The reader is left in de dark for most of the time. World-building is Malazan style (you're dropped right in the middle of it without explanations) and the world and setting are only very slowly and incompletely revealed. The world is very cool though. Post-Apocalyptic, fantasy, sci-fi; this books has elements from multiple genres. I really liked the Elder Scroll style Deadric antagonists too.

    Regarding the characters: the main players are really cool. The heroes are a mute, a baby, a singing sentient sword and a goat and the story is told from the third perspective. How about that? Due to the nature of the story it is difficult to build a relationship with characters, apart from the Vagrant and the baby (for all dads here; it is clear to me Newman wrote this when he himself had a young kid. Otherwise I don't think it would be possible to write a baby so well). This is a shame, because it made me detached from whatever happened to the other characters in the story.

    The story also felt a bit disjointed and there was a bit to much plot convenience as well. In the end the enemy was beaten quite easily too, which should have been handled differently in my opinion.

    Anyway, for me the pros outweigh the cons. This book is wholly original and has an awesome style. If I had to describe it to anyone I'd say it is a bit like McCarthy's the Road, mixed up with a bit of Hyperion and the video games Fallout and Oblivion.

    I rate this strange book with a 7.0/10 (***3 GoodReads Stars).

    Ps: my copy of the paperback showed a number of accolades for the book from various sources, among which was a quote from this very site! It said "possibly the best fantasy debut of 2015 ~ bestfantasybooks.com". Cool stuff!
  2. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    And because I liked the first book in the trilogy I went ahead and dived into book 2, the Malice, right away.
  3. Hand of Fear

    Hand of Fear Journeyed there and back again

    I'm really enjoying The Blade Itself so far, and for some reason Jezal seems to be my favourite character. He is pretty pompous, and has no regard for anyone but himself, but I can't help liking him. Logen is an interesting one, with a sharp wit and humour and I can't wait to see what fate has in store for him. Then there's Glokta, I can't help but feel sorry for him and how life has worked out for him.
  4. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    \Ahahaha! brilliant!
  5. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Well I'm glad someone like Jezal, always seems to be the least popular of the three. With reason in my book mind :p
  6. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I'm reading reviews for new laptops. Does that count?

    Right now, I'm typing on my tablet, and I really hate typing like this.

    Also not getting any writing done.
  7. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I've been posting mainly on my phone the past week or so. One reason being that my laptop doesn't want to load certain pages, this forum included (not BFB main site, though). But really because I rather like posting using my phone. I never seem to find time and sit down and now I can read or write something whenever I want to, on public transport for example. It's really convenient.

    I wouldn't write anything more serious this way, however.
  8. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    You're saying posting on the BFB forum is not serious? o_O
  9. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

  10. Cyphon

    Cyphon Journeyed there and back again

    Just finished up Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu. I won't give this one an actual score because I am sure of 2 things that negatively impacted my experience that normally wouldn't with other books. I was listening to the audiobook and didn't care for the reader and I listened to it in spurts which messed up the flow for me and gave me trouble remembering who certain characters were or why they were important at times.

    As far as the plot goes I liked the way the author mixed in the flashbacks along with the main story bringing the flashbacks slowly forward in time to meet up with the current plot. The bigger plot with the kings and the riddles on how to take them down was interesting and I kind of want to know how it plays out in the 2nd book, but the actual detail in getting there was just okay. There are no major surprises and some boring parts that didn't do anything for me.

    Ceda is a strong lead, but while I recognize that she is written well I never really felt ultimately connected to her. In fact, I would be much more interested in the past and following her mother through somehow ending up with a king, how she came to get all of the information on them she did and so on and so forth. Outside of Ceda we don't get a ton of focus on any other characters and for me at least, it left me with little interest in them. Can't think of any specific character I want to keep reading about or find out more about at this point.

    One thing I doubt most will talk about is the action/magic. I thought it was well done and will likely go overlooked because of the unique-ish setting and what have you. I would like to see the magic side of things explored more because I think it would open up some interesting possibilities in the last 2 books.

    Overall a solid book I would recommend people checking out. Like I said to begin with, there were 2 factors that negatively impacted my experience and even with that I would still say to give it a go. I haven't decided how likely I am to pick up the 2nd book but the draw of the riddles might just pull me in.
  11. Khartun

    Khartun Journeyed there and back again

    Currently reading The Library at Mount Char.
  12. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Finished Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone. Liked it a lot better than the previous one (actually, the previous one, Last First Snow could probably be skipped and you wouldn't miss much, since this is a non-sequential sort of series anyway). Still on Princess of Blood by Tom Lloyd but will probably finish tonight. Still thinking about what to read next in both paper and Kindle.
  13. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    What's the options Dr Sneaky?
  14. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I don't know in paper, I have to go through my bookshelves and see what I've got (once I've started a series in paper, I don't like to have part of it as ebooks, and vice versa). I am considering finishing the Nights of Villjamur series by Mark Charan Newton (not all published in the US but I bought the last few from the UK) or the Heart of the World series by Col Buchanan. I'm about halfway through both series. But I could totally see myself noticing some other book that I've completely forgotten as I scan my shelves for the ones already mentioned (I don't keep my fiction in any kind of order whatsoever, other than keeping series in order and together, so I usually have to do a bit of looking to find what I want). I might have some unread GGK (River of Stars? is that one by him? and did I actually remember to buy it?) as well.

    On Kindle, I don't have much unread at this point, but I am good with occasionally buying something new at full price. I also monitor the sale thread. Sometimes I go back through my Amazon wishlist of prereleases and find that the books are now out, so that is another option. (I don't usually preorder titles.)
  15. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    What's Nights of Villjamur like? My limited knowledge of Newton says he's good, but its a very limited knowledge.
  16. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    You can tell he's a big Gene Wolfe fan, but Newton's writing is enough dissimilar from Wolfe's that I don't hate Newton, whereas Gene Wolfe's writing makes me very, very angry. (You'll get little references here and there if you've read The Book of the New Sun, though. They're not important to the overall story.) If you are picky about concepts from biology, you'll roll your eyes a bit (this is a big thing for me, but I think it bothers other people less). One character is gay and scenes dealing with his sexuality can be a bit awkward (not because he's gay, but because of the way he's written), though his other scenes are fine.

    Other than that, I'd say it's easily been 5-6 years since I read the first two volumes, so I can't remember a lot else.

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