March 2016 - What fantasy books are you reading?

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#61
I'm reading Corpse Cold right now and while enjoying it immensely, I feel that it is a slight step down from the previous two novels in the series. I have found that in each of these novels, there is one character POV that carries the story for me. In "Steel Blood and Fire" it was Aiofe. Her story was the most intriguing to me and this is where I started to appreciate Mr. Batchelder's writing. Same in "As Flies to Wanton Boys." I attached to Kittin's story the most. In Corpse Cold, it is Mureen's POV that has me hooked.

These books are so easy to read and engrossing.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#62
Haven't read anything in February. Had a lot on my mind and in life and didn't feel like reading at all. Yesterday I've finished The Witch in the Wood, or as was previously called The Queen of Air and Darkness. This is decidedly a different kind of tale compared to The Sword in the Stone. Where TSitS is basically a growing up tale of a boy meant to be king Arthur, TWitW deals with political and ethnic makeup of UK and how all that plays a part in the war Arthur (now a young man) is waging, as well as the reasons for his eventual downfall. Not a lot happens in it either, aside from the part on king Pellinore.
Continuing with The Ill-Made Knight, 3rd book in the series, which is Lancelot's story.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#63
@Alucard I found out just after I finished The Once and Future King that I'd been reading the version with the edited second book! That's so frustrating, but it at least justifies a re-read sooner than otherwise.
I found out with TSitS that there are many versions of the 1st book as well. People complaining both on Amazon and Goodreads about some chapters and parts of chapters missing from the newer editions, and hence people are having bad time with it. Especially book one is not as they remember it from editions they've read as kids. I'm personally reading an omnibus edition, but I never log omnibuses as single book on Goodreads. I always split them up.
Though I'm not particularly worried if this edition is the "correct" one either. I have what I have, I'm not inclined to fuss about it.
 

mizztara71

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
#64
I'm 2% into Snakewood by debut author Adrian Selby. I was sort of spooked by all of the DNF's posted but the blurb pulled me in. Boy, am I struggling to continue. This writing style takes some getting used to. I saw a couple of reviewers say that it gets better, so I will plod on. Wish me luck.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#66
Is it just me or has Sanderson's writing started getting a little lazier as of... like, past Firefight? He seems to assign a quirk to a character and insist on having them display it in every scene, like Wayne and his stealing, Marasi and her statistics, David and his metaphors... everyone feels a little less interesting and a little more forced, lately.
I've not read anything past the 'everyone is mopey and listens to My Chemical Romance' phase, so no comment.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#67
I'm 2% into Snakewood by debut author Adrian Selby. I was sort of spooked by all of the DNF's posted but the blurb pulled me in. Boy, am I struggling to continue. This writing style takes some getting used to. I saw a couple of reviewers say that it gets better, so I will plod on. Wish me luck.
Thanks for the info, mizztara. I first saw Snakewood promoted and sampled at the end of Miles Cameron's Dread Wyrm, and I was struck by the price for a debut. I didn't know it was now available so thanks again, I'm going to download the sample now.
 

mizztara71

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
#68
Thanks for the info, mizztara. I first saw Snakewood promoted and sampled at the end of Miles Cameron's Dread Wyrm, and I was struck by the price for a debut. I didn't know it was now available so thanks again, I'm going to download the sample now.
I got a copy from Netgalley. I started last night and I am now stuck at 3%. I see that it's $13.99 on Amazon for the e book. Geez. The difference between chapter 1 and chapter 2 is like night and day. It seems like they were written by two different people. I refuse to not finish it.
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#69
I recently finished the omnibus The Lords of Darkness which is composed of the first three of the Flat Earth books by Tanith Lee. They are Night's Master, Death's Master, and Delusion's Master. There are two more books left in the series and then two that have yet to be published. The books in the omnibus I read were published in the late 1970's and 1980's. I loved them! This is definitely the best fantasy series you've never read. It's a fantasy series that reads more like mythology than a modern fantasy series so that definitely makes it different and this series is very epic and also has a very mythic feel to so there is a since of the mysterious to it which to me is the key to fantasy. Unfortunately so many contemporary fantasy authors are missing that key element of fantasy. Tanith is definitely one of the best in the fantasy genre at using language. Her prose are lush, insightful, complex, vivid, wondrous, compelling, and many more great things. Without a doubt Tanith Lee is the queen of fantasy. It's a shame she's not better known, especially since she is so well received by critics and has been around for such a long time. I actually searched for Tanith Lee on these forums and she has only been mentioned a few times, mainly by me and one other person who is literally the one person I would have expected to have read her if anyone here had. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR NOT EVEN KNOWING ABOUT THIS AWESOME AUTHOR TANITH LEE! And too bad she is dead now since she obviously can't write any more books.

The Flat Earth series is just as good or nearly as good as the best fantasy I've read. The fantasy novels I'd rank higher than this series I like more only because they may be slightly more compelling or more original but no this is a truly great fantasy series! People compare it to One Thousand and One Nights, the Dying Earth, and in Delusion's Master there was some pretty obvious copying from the bible. There was one particular author thought that when I was reading Death's Master I knew Tanith had to have been influenced by and that author is none other than the great Mervyn Peake. The atmosphere and the way she constructed certain scenes in that book just struck me as very Peake-like, and that is a great thing and probably one of the main reasons Death's Master is my favorite of the Flat Earth books. In an interview I read Tanith was full of praise for Peake. Here's what she said:

“I hope I’m in error here, but I think generally Mervyn Peake is still not properly valued. His incredible 3-volume epic (the 4th volume cut short by his early illness and death) of the Groan Dynasty and their habitat, Gormenghast, is unique–in that word’s true meaning. There was nothing like it. And where there is, somewhat, now, that is due only to the exquisite influence of his work on others. He wrote like no one else. His was, and is, a Voice that–though I suppose it is copy-able–stays yet unreachable. His structures–words, images–his moon-high illuminations and abyssal shadows are frankly inimitable. He breaks the rules, even of Weird, while remaining one of the kings of it. Here and there Peake can, admittedly, be a densely-forested read, but these passages are, too, like a graceful movie of perfect camera-work and lighting. Like paintings coming calmly into life. Or riotously. The sequence circles on itself like music, and then one falls out into the glowing, breathable water of his prose. Peake can terrify and make laugh, and shock and tantalize–and break your heart. He can do it in 10 pages. Or 3 words. Unique, as I said.”

Speaking of Peake I do have a compilation of short stories by him I am going to read real soon. Now that I am excited for.

Is it just me or has Sanderson's writing started getting a little lazier as of... like, past Firefight? He seems to assign a quirk to a character and insist on having them display it in every scene, like Wayne and his stealing, Marasi and her statistics, David and his metaphors... everyone feels a little less interesting and a little more forced, lately.
Sanderson is a hack. That should be obvious book. I mean publishes like a thousand novels per year. He has his methods for hacking out his commercial books quickly and it looks like the character quirks might be one of them. Very cheap way to make the characterization look adequate without taking the time to give them any depth.

I'm still reading HP Lovecraft's collected works. Really liking it so far, but it's a very tricky read. The prose is nothing short of beautiful, but it doesn't read away easily. Sometimes I re-read a sentence several times, just because it's so beautifully crafted. The book is enormous, standing at 1000+ pages (small letters, big pages). I'm about 250 pages in.
This is a curious thing to say. The only story I've read by Lovecraft is the Dunwich horror and I wasn't especially impressed by his prose. There is no doubt that his paragraph's and sentences are extremely well crafted, that he is a really good technician but I just didn't find his prose to be as....lively as some authors of similar genre. It was like some spark was missing from the writing, that spark that really makes me say wow! You should read the Willows by Algernon Blackwood. Now that is a great example of beautiful writing and gothic horror. In fact Lovecraft loved that story but Blackwood was noticeably less impressed with him.

Here is the quote from Lovecraft: ‘Of the quality of Mr. Blackwood’s genius there can be no dispute; for no one has even approached the skill, seriousness, and minute fidelity with which he records the overtones of strangeness in ordinary things and experiences.’
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#70
I haven't read Calamity yet, but I haven't noticed any decline in Sanderson's writing. I think what you perceive is more to do with the types of books he's writing. The Alloy Era Mistborn books aren't meant to be deep character-focused books. They're meant to be fun, fast-paced adventures that reveal a little more about the world. He's mentioned again and again that he needs to write these lighter books as a way to recharge between something as complex and intense as the Stormlight Archive.
 

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
#71
SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR NOT EVEN KNOWING ABOUT THIS AWESOME AUTHOR TANITH LEE! And too bad she is dead now since she obviously can't write any more books.

The Flat Earth series is just as good or nearly as good as the best fantasy I've read.
Never read the Flat Earth series (never seen it in a store before), but I'm glad to see Tanith Lee getting more love. I thought the Secret Books of Paradys series was very good (wasn't as crazy about the middle book), and The Blood of Roses is one of my favorite books of all time. She swung and missed a few times (I was REALLY not fond of the Birthgrave books), but that's basically true of any writer who writes so far off of the standard for their entire career.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#72
Took a little break from reading and then jumped into Calamity. I liked it a lot better than Firefight and it was mostly enjoyable but the ending wasn't satisfying for me. Not sure what I will get into next. Maybe Ketty Jay.
 

Sir Arthur

Journeyed there and back again
#75
I've read a few books since I last posted. I've been taking advantage of free Kindle ebooks. Lots of free reading, most of it really enjoyable.

Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and that's a good thing. I love this style of classic sci-fi.(Tons of his work is free with Kindle unlimited)

Trysmoon saga,by Brian K. Fuller. I took a chance on this one, but it turned out to be better than a lot of the highly praised fantasy I've read lately. Simple plot, light read, and some cliche characters. However, great action, pacing, and a few original thoughts. I'd give it 8.5/10. Four shortish books, reads like one long novel. (Free with Kindle Unlimited)

White Fang, Jack London. Because Call of the Wild was one of the first books I read as a child, and got me interested in reading. It was great. Coming of age tale, but the protagonist is a wolf. (Free Kindle classic).

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/ The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin. I really enjoyed these, and could discuss them more if I had time. However, I don't feel compelled to read the third book just yet. ( Not free, but the first book was only $1.99 so what the hell!) I'll wait till I finish the series to rate it, but I'm thinking 8+.

The Grim Company, by Luke Skull. :banghead: :rolleyes:. This is one of the most overrated pieces of rubbish I've ever read. I dropped it after 200 pages, over halfway through. Something I almost never do. I was in the mood for simple action packed sword and sorcery, but I found this to be unreadable. (Local library)

Currently I'm enjoying The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux. So far so good. I always enjoy Gothic horror.(Free Kindle classic)
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
#77
I just started A Memory of Light yesterday and to be honest... it's going to be a little emotional to finally be at the end of the WOT. It was a long ride but well worth it at the end.
Oh god that book. I couldn't stop reading it. Every spare second I got... the pacing is relentless. If I was going to narrow down to one 'best' book... that's the one. I don't know if I can explain why but that is the one.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#78
I've read a few books since I last posted. I've been taking advantage of free Kindle ebooks. Lots of free reading, most of it really enjoyable.

Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and that's a good thing. I love this style of classic sci-fi.(Tons of his work is free with Kindle unlimited)

Trysmoon saga,by Brian K. Fuller. I took a chance on this one, but it turned out to be better than a lot of the highly praised fantasy I've read lately. Simple plot, light read, and some cliche characters. However, great action, pacing, and a few original thoughts. I'd give it 8.5/10. Four shortish books, reads like one long novel. (Free with Kindle Unlimited)

White Fang, Jack London. Because Call of the Wild was one of the first books I read as a child, and got me interested in reading. It was great. Coming of age tale, but the protagonist is a wolf. (Free Kindle classic).

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms/ The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin. I really enjoyed these, and could discuss them more if I had time. However, I don't feel compelled to read the third book just yet. ( Not free, but the first book was only $1.99 so what the hell!) I'll wait till I finish the series to rate it, but I'm thinking 8+.

The Grim Company, by Luke Skull. :banghead: :rolleyes:. This is one of the most overrated pieces of rubbish I've ever read. I dropped it after 200 pages, over halfway through. Something I almost never do. I was in the mood for simple action packed sword and sorcery, but I found this to be unreadable. (Local library)

Currently I'm enjoying The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux. So far so good. I always enjoy Gothic horror.(Free Kindle classic)
Good to see you back! Interesting to hear your thoughts regarding Grim Company .. I own the first in the series and was considering starting it soon, but may have a re-think, or at least research it a little bit more.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#79
Oh god that book. I couldn't stop reading it. Every spare second I got... the pacing is relentless. If I was going to narrow down to one 'best' book... that's the one. I don't know if I can explain why but that is the one.
I like to refer to that book as the 900-page battle. You'd never think that would work, but at that point, you're so invested in the characters and world that it's simply amazing to read.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#80
Good to see you back! Interesting to hear your thoughts regarding Grim Company .. I own the first in the series and was considering starting it soon, but may have a re-think, or at least research it a little bit more.
For what it's worth, I actually liked The Grim Company, which is strange because I'm usually not the biggest fan of Grimdark.