March 2016 - What fantasy books are you reading?

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
I just finished The Color of Magic (audiobook) by Terry Pratchett today. This is a series I have always been interested in given the premise but hadn't pulled the trigger because of how many books there were. I am definitely disappointed in the results. The premise holds up and I find the world Pratchett created mostly intriguing but nothing else about this gives me any reason to carry on with the series. The plot felt all over the place and mostly uninteresting, and I never got into any of the characters. Doesn't help when a book dedicates so much time to certain POV's if you don't like them. The magic system has some minor interest from me but there wasn't enough time to laying it out and making it clear. Random pieces about it here and there basically running along with the incoherent plot that didn't seem to have any ultimate direction.

I haven't fully decided on whether or not to continue and want to research more to see how much the series changes over time because I really do want to explore the world he created.

3/10
Cyphon, Color of Magic is the worst book in the series and bears no similarity to any other Discworld books. If we had known, you would have been warned off. But it's so sad that you might miss the great books by Sir Terry Pratchett, most beloved author of all. They are funny, they are warm, and they are original. They are all standalones so the number of them has no bearing. There are themes, like city watch books, witch books, wizard books, but they all are a complete story in and of themselves.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Color of Magic is the worst book in the series and bears no similarity to any other Discworld books.
I liked it.
Also it does bears similarity to the 2nd book which is basically a sequel. As you might remember Pratchett leaves us with
literal cliff ending. Rincewind and Twoflower are left hanging on the edge of the world
Second book (The Light Fantastic) picks right back where the first left off.

I've been always told by readers who read more of Discworld, or even all of it, that the later books are way better. In one of his videos on fantasy traditions Sanderson explains it that Pratchett was basically writing parody of fantasy tropes. Then something changed around books 6-7 and he started writing satire instead. Most of the people will tell you that his earlier books are not as good as his later ones. There are reading orders based on re-appearing characters that are recommended over publishing order.
I personally disagree with them. I think publishing order is almost always the best option, but I don't see a big deal with people accommodating their reading to themselves.

I never had to go in that direction because I liked book 1 & 2 (I seriously need to continue with Discworld), but that might be something worth looking into for you @Cyphon.

There has been this guide that has been going around the web for few years already about this character order reading business. A lot of people seem to like Death character the best or the city watch guys. You may wanna try Mort or Guards, Guards!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
I liked it.
Also it does bears similarity to the 2nd book which is basically a sequel. As you might remember Pratchett leaves us with
literal cliff ending. Rincewind and Twoflower are left hanging on the edge of the world
Second book (The Light Fantastic) picks right back where the first left off.

I've been always told by readers who read more of Discworld, or even all of it, that the later books are way better. In one of his videos on fantasy traditions Sanderson explains it that Pratchett was basically writing parody of fantasy tropes. Then something changed around books 6-7 and he started writing satire instead. Most of the people will tell you that his earlier books are not as good as his later ones. There are reading orders based on re-appearing characters that are recommended over publishing order.
I personally disagree with them. I think publishing order is almost always the best option, but I don't see a big deal with people accommodating their reading to themselves.

I never had to go in that direction because I liked book 1 & 2 (I seriously need to continue with Discworld), but that might be something worth looking into for you @Cyphon.

There has been this guide that has been going around the web for few years already about this character order reading business. A lot of people seem to like Death character the best or the city watch guys. You may wanna try Mort or Guards, Guards!

Alucard, I'd like to know more about why you think it's best to read the Discworld books in publishing order. I've read the reading guide (the one you put in the spoiler tag) and it seems that many people on the internet agree that this is the best way to read the series.

I really want to know, as I'm planning on reading them all after I finish the Raven's Shadow trilogy.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
I agree and will add that I thought Liveship Traders was better as a trilogy than Farseer, although each of the individual Farseer books was better than any of the Liveship Books. If that makes sense?

If anyone can point me to an author that develops characters as well as Robin Hobb, please let me know!
And @ReguIa:

The Crown of Stars series has some amazingly written characters. It bears looking into.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Alucard, I'd like to know more about why you think it's best to read the Discworld books in publishing order. I've read the reading guide (the one you put in the spoiler tag) and it seems that many people on the internet agree that this is the best way to read the series.
I think it's the best way for me personally when it comes to Discworld, because I liked the first two books well enough. I see no reason, again personally, to hop around different books.

The reason why I prefer publishing order in general, to any other is because I appreciate and enjoy seeing and analyzing how the author evolves and changes in their writing.
I take a great deal of pleasure from watching/seeing/noticing how things evolve. I would only consider forgoing the publishing order if the author has given out alternative order of how his/hers books should be read and he/she has a strong opinion on that.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
I think it's the best way for me personally when it comes to Discworld, because I liked the first two books well enough. I see no reason, again personally, to hop around different books.

The reason why I prefer publishing order in general, to any other is because I appreciate and enjoy seeing and analyzing how the author evolves and changes in their writing.
I take a great deal of pleasure from watching/seeing/noticing how things evolve. I would only consider forgoing the publishing order if the author has given out alternative order of how his/hers books should be read and he/she has a strong opinion on that.
Thanks Alucard. I tend to agree with you. I followed your suggestion of reading the Lovecraft stories in publishing order and it was an immensely rewarding read because of the reasons you just mentioned.

I think I'll stick with publishing order then. Also for another reason you mentioned before: the later books in the series are supposedly way better than the older ones. I wouldn't want to have inconsistent quality, so I'm going for steadily improving quality instead.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
Thanks for the input folks. Maybe I will give it a few more books to see if it grows on me.

I like publishing order as well. If I do end up liking them and deciding to read them again at some point I can try the other suggested order.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
Thanks Silvion I've added Crown of Stars to the list, maybe I'll read it after Farseer. For the moment I decided to jump back into The Name of the Wind seeing as I was already halfway through it.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
Just finished Reign of Iron - last of the Iron Age books by Angus Watson... Epic fantasy ending there and overall this has been been a real treat of a series. Humour, violence, magic and history. Quite the unique little trilogy. May stalk the guy for an interview. Highly recommend that series - 4.5/5 (just because I never give anything 5).

Starting on "Dragon Hunters" by Marc Turner - going to interview him in April - has anyone else read his stuff?
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
And @ReguIa:

The Crown of Stars series has some amazingly written characters. It bears looking into.
Thank you. I have had this one on my wish list for a while but the cover art irks me. :wacky: I may just give it a go.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
Just finished Reign of Iron - last of the Iron Age books by Angus Watson... Epic fantasy ending there and overall this has been been a real treat of a series. Humour, violence, magic and history. Quite the unique little trilogy. May stalk the guy for an interview. Highly recommend that series - 4.5/5 (just because I never give anything 5).

Starting on "Dragon Hunters" by Marc Turner - going to interview him in April - has anyone else read his stuff?
No but I see he had a contract with Macmillan from book 1 so that's indicative something I guess. No indie status? Anyway thanks for that rec, book 1 sounds good, and also thanks for reminding me about Iron Age, which I had spaced. Those sound like they're right in my wheelhouse.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
I've tried to start The Powder Mage trilogy. As a person who've probably been throught close to 90 different audio books in the past 12 months I am saying with full responsibility that this is probably the worst narrated fantasy book ever. I cannot distinguish which character is speaking when, which makes the whole thing pretty useless.

I am just speechless at how awfully it's narrated.
 
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Peat

Journeyed there and back again
I just finished reading the Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart... ok, I just finished re-reading it, because I loved it enough that I read it twice in one month.

It makes me sad there's only three of them.


Also, just on the topic of Pratchett/Discworld - I would say he definitely improves as a writer and that anyone who doesn't like The Colour of Magic may well find they like later books. He also writes about some very different situations and characters in other books, which may appeal to people more.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
Starting on "Dragon Hunters" by Marc Turner - going to interview him in April - has anyone else read his stuff?
I've read last year the first book of his Chronicle of the Exile series, When the Heavens Fall, a mildly satisfactory old-fashioned quest story: a necromancer stole a powerful magical book and he is now hiding in the depth of a forest, the 4 POVs - a little bit lacking in depth - are, each for his own reasons, drawn to his hiding place, carnage ensues. Nothing groundbreaking, but quite enjoyable, especially when, after a quite slow first part, the different storylines start to come together for the final showdown - although first in a series, the book is a stand-alone.

I've also recently bought Dragon Hunters, the second of 6 planned installments, since it's quite reasonably priced and most importantly it seems to be, from every review I've seen, an huge improvement on the first book, and it seems to take place in the same world, but on a different area, with completely different characters and an apparently unrelated plot. Could you perhaps ask him if he's willing to share some details on what we could expect from the following books? Are they all going to be stand-alone novels sharing the same setting, a-la Gemmell or Duncan's King's Blades - I'd definitely love that - or there is a bigger picture?
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
I just finished reading the Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart... ok, I just finished re-reading it, because I loved it enough that I read it twice in one month.

It makes me sad there's only three of them.


Also, just on the topic of Pratchett/Discworld - I would say he definitely improves as a writer and that anyone who doesn't like The Colour of Magic may well find they like later books. He also writes about some very different situations and characters in other books, which may appeal to people more.
Welcome Peat, and thanks for that informative Discworld post. Bridge of Birds twice in one month is impressive. Sorta liked it, eh?
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
As McCaffrey says, Li Kao may have a slight flaw in his character but the book has none.

But then, I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment.
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
Why hello there old friends and new,

I just bought Control Point (Shadow Ops) by Myke Cole (awesome way to spell Mike i think). Seeing as I really like the last (only) military fantasy series. I read I think I'll dig this one.

/fingers freaking crossed.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
Why hello there old friends and new,

I just bought Control Point (Shadow Ops) by Myke Cole (awesome way to spell Mike i think). Seeing as I really like the last (only) military fantasy series. I read I think I'll dig this one.

/fingers freaking crossed.

Besides hating military fiction, I especially hate alternate spellings of simple names. It's pretentious, and so very American.

My name is Ian... henceforth, I will spell it 'Yan'.
Oh how I mourn for the letter 'i', the forgotten vowel, fallen from grace, hopelessly out of fashion, replaced by the letter 'y'.
And as for "Myke" Cole, oh my god, what a douchebag.

One of the best heavy metal songs in history... Black Sabbath's "I".



I am anger
Under pressure
Locked in cages, a prisoner
The first to escape

I am wicked
I am legion
Strength in numbers, a lie
The number is one

I, I, I
Everything that I see is for me

Yes, I am giant
I'm a monster
Breaking windows in houses
Buildings of glass

Rebel, rebel
Holy outlaw
Ride together, don't try it
The power's in one

I, I, I
I am standing alone
But I can rock you
I, I, I
On the edge of the blade
But the knife can't cut the hero down

I am virgin
I'm a whore
Giving nothing, the taker
The maker of war

I'll smash your face in
But with a smile
All together you'll never
Be stronger than me

I, I, I
Right here on my own
But I still rock you
I, I, I
Don't follow behind
Just leave me on the outside

I, I, I
I am standing alone
But I can shock you
I, I, I
On the edge of the blade
But no one makes the hero bleed

No, no, no
No, no, no

I am hunger
(No, no, no)
Feed my head
(No, no, no)
All together you'll never
Never make the hero bleed
(No, no, no)



Read more: Black Sabbath - I Lyrics | MetroLyrics
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
Ok @Sparrow calm down ;) . It's hard not to stumble upon something you dislike with intensity, seeing as you dislike lots of things and with such strange intensity.

Also, I changed my mind. I am now reading Drake by Peter McLean. It's pretty good so far!