May 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Silvion Night, May 1, 2017.

  1. Mohammed Al Mulla

    Mohammed Al Mulla Killed a Balrog

    Just finished the Immortal Throne from Stella Gemmell.. and Reading now Wolf of the Plains for Conn Iggulden, which I HOPE would provide the needed "Flushing" for my brain system from the Gemmell 2nd book...
     
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  2. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

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  3. paul james

    paul james Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar

    Just started The Scar by China Mieville.
     
  4. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Put Knight's Shadow aside for now so I can devote myself to The Once and Future King, which was on sale a bit ago and that I read many years ago. It's like a new book since I don't remember White's version of the legends and I'm surprised by the amount of good humor in it. It's great.
     
  5. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Fair warning: Queen of Fire is not at the same level as the first two books. It might have helped me if I'd had a summary of the previous books with a character sheet. At times, I wondered if I'd missed a bunch of things because I just couldn't remember what had happened.

    One of these days, I need to get around to his new one: The Waking Fire. But Queen of Fire left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I still gave it a 7/10, but compared to the 9.5 and 9 that I gave the first two books, that was a major drop.
     
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  6. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    After reading the notes provided I am considering just re-reading the series on the whole. I remember loving the first book and being kind of luke warm on the 2nd. So we will see what it is like a 2nd time through. It has been long enough where a lot of it will feel new again.
     
  7. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Same here, the only difference being that I wouldn't go as far as giving the second book 9/10. Maybe 8/10 if I am being somewhat generous. There was too much meandering for my taste.

    On another note - I am currently reading Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner. It was published 1-2 days ago, but I was in the middle of a fascinating Ready Player One read, and decided to finish my current book before delving into Thick as Thieves. It was a good decision. Both books are very enjoyable indeed. Although I think Thick as Thieves points to another book in the series before it finishes and Megan Whalen Turner is probably the only author who writes slower that G. R. R. Martin, so I am not quite sure how to feel about that. Happy it continues, but weary of its snail publishing pace.
     
  8. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Has Danced with Dragons

    The funny thing was I LOVED the first book Blood Song and after reading the second book, I liked it but felt it was a clear drop below the first book, but still very good at the time. However, after the reread I felt the second book was actually very, very good and I liked it more the second time. Both books were WAY better than Queen of Fire which was a big disappointment imo.

    I think if you guys reread the series (smart move since it's really hard to remember so much) you will really enjoy both of the first two books. Won't promise anything for the final book. Have to admit it was scary not remembering so much when I reread it but Ryan had way too many secondary characters imo.
     
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  9. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I've just started The Gathering Storm by Kate Elliott. Gotta say I'd missed the pseudo-archaic style quite heartily.
     
  10. Mohammed Al Mulla

    Mohammed Al Mulla Killed a Balrog

    To be honest.. I was hesitating to start reading the novel.. I mean.. i never read a book for Conn Iggulden before.. and did not know what to expect.. I just finished the 1st chapter (well, the intro basically), and the guy knows how to create an environment drags the reader into his realm is a smooth way.. the only thing I have an observation on is his way to refer to beings (Humans).. in 2 pages, he keeps talking of the Khan's sons, and would keep wondering whether he refers to the younger or older one.. specially that he refers to the infant as "Young Boy" and that confuses the reader with the older Boy... but good so far..
     
  11. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I read the entire series and really liked it. Iggulden takes some liberties when it concerns historical facts, and the book is very dramatized, but apart from that they're very good.
     
  12. Mohammed Al Mulla

    Mohammed Al Mulla Killed a Balrog

    You are good bro ^^
    I might need like 9 months to finish Book 1.. in the meantime, i will be putting an order for the last 2 books so I would collect the entire collection.. my only chance to speed up is when I will be attending an on job training in Saudi Arabia for 5 months.. I will be having plenty of time to read and pass through big chunks at a time.. if he is as you say (AND I AM SURE THAT HE IS, BECAUSE YOU NEVER WRONG), i will enjoy it..
     
  13. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I read them all in a row. I didn't miss anything (I think) but just didn't like the book as much as the previous two.
     
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  14. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    So... I have finished two thieves-themed books.

    The first one is more a part of a thieves-themed series rather than a heist book in itself - I am talking about Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner. The 5th book of The Queen's Thief series is a nice continuation of the main story, although it follow the tradition of telling a small chunk of story though some side-characters rather than the big players themselves.

    This approach worked particularly well for the 3rd book in the series. But that book had a much stronger connection to Eugeneties( the series' main protagonist), while the fourth and fifth book feel kind of redundant. Not because the books are bad, but because the author takes too much time between books - Thick as Thieves was released 7 years after the 4th book. That's way too much for an 8 hour audiobook( 1/5 of what Way of Kings is, for example).

    The book itself is an interesting road-trip story about friendship and hardship, about trust and about loyalties. And about clever schemes. And while it moved the whole plot forward, I don't think it merited the 7-years waiting period. She turned the too powerful protagonist into the chess player, using his pawns to tell the stories she wants to tell, and while that's a rather nice way of dealing with a character who is too awesome for his own good, it could've worked far better if the books were twice as thick, with twice the amount of story and progress packed in them.

    I am giving Thick as Thieves a 8/10 score. The prose is mostly good, the story flows quite fast and reads easy, I've managed to guess some of the plot-twists, but I wasn't certain whether I was right or wrong about my assumptions until the last moments, so it's a nicely woven plot over-all. And many obvious plot twist went by me, because I didn't think Megan Whalen Turner would go as far with her cheekiness, but well... she kind of did.

    The second book I've read I am more excited about. It was Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I will admit that I have started this book earlier this year, but gave up on it 10-15% through the story. It was a combination of the book taking some time to stack the odds, and of me experimenting with reading multiple books at once, instead of only one, which was a new thing for me back then. So I've pushed this book aside for a few months - which as it turns out was both very clever and very stupid decision all at once. It was stupid, because the book is awesome. And it was clever, because I've got to read this awesome book when I really craved to read an awesome book.

    How good is it? Think of The Gentlemen Bastards series. More specifically - think of the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is the best in that series so far. Well, Crooked Kingdom reads the same. Same quality, same style, very dynamic plot, multi-layered schemes and abundance of plot twists and antagonists to make the mess combustible x 10.
    The one minor complaint I'd permit myself is the romance. No love triangles for the most part, just plain relationships, which go just a step too goofy and romantic at times. But compared to other YA series, this one is quite the prude!

    But seriously - if you are like me, wondering why aren't there more books like The Lies of Locke Lamora out there... well, there are. Or more precisely - there is. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. It's the second book of a duology, so you'd still have to go through the first book, which is quite awesome too, although the second book puts awesome into a whole new universe.

    I'm gladly giving Crooked Kingdom 9/10. It one of those books that make you marvel at how cool the fantasy genre could be when someone procures the right scoundrel and uses him to stir the world a bit. Kaz Brekker goes at the top half of my top 10 rogues you don't wanna mess around with list, right after Matrim, Locke, Royce and Hadrian. A great character.
     
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  15. ofer

    ofer Journeyed there and back again

    After trying out a few first book in a series and usually ending out pretty lukewarm about them (none were actually bad, but none of them really grabbed my attention) I think I finally found a winner.

    Finished Low Town : The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky and really liked it. It's a detective noir story. The plot itself is quite interesting, but what I liked most of all is the writing - told in a first person, the book is brimming with dark, cynical humor. It's like you take Sam Spade or any one of the hard-boiled P.Is, and switch it over to a fantasy setting.
     
  16. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    If you're looking for another fun thief book, you should give Rachel Aaron's Eli Monpress series a try. It's a bit more over-the-top in terms of characters and plot events, but I thought it was a lot of fun.
     
  17. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Has Danced with Dragons

    The political chapters in WOT 10 are just so unexciting. Debating nobles or the Game of Houses isn't interesting and way too many pages are devoted to this. The Elayne and Egwene chapters are tough to get through since I'm so bored with much of the conversations here.
     
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  18. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Thanks, mate, Eli Monpress is indeed some of the better thief-themed series out there. I've read the first two books some time ago, but I decided to stop there since I needed a bit of a rest between the books - the sporadic nature of the plot/world-building made it harder for me to engage with the characters and it's not that I didn't, but I probably need a bit of nostalgia in order to continue with the series.

    However, Rachel Aaron's other series called The Heartstrikers is buckets of fun if you haven't read it yet. The world-building elements are somewhat similar, but more refined and better suited for a more mature story, although the series are still vaguely Young Adult-ish, but not in a bad way.

    But the plotting and characterization in the series are for the most part very well-done indeed. A nice mix of action, mystery, conspiracy, and not too prominent, but significant enough 'larger-than-life' type of conflict in the background - but there aren't chosen ones or something like that. A solid 8.5/10 series on the fun scale.

    In the meantime - I've decided to continue with another book that I've ditched before for various reasons - A Torch Against The Night, by Sabaa Tahir. The thing is - many YA books would've been so much better if they were approaching the romance/love-triangles tropes more sparingly. I don't know - are women really digging that 2 pages quality fantasy 1 page cheesy romance musing kind of structure?

    The thing is - I cannot speak for women. And I cannot speak for men either. However, I can speak for a man - me. I don't do the angsty/cheesy musings in my head when I am interacting with a woman I could be attracted to. When male characters do it in books - it breaks the narrative for me. I don't know - maybe I am doing the whole daydreaming part wrong, because I don't remember ever using purple prose in them...

    @rudyjuly2 - hang in there, buddy! Someday when you do some WoT re-reads, you'd be able to follow my tactic and go through the story diagonally. Meaning - no Egwene, and very limited Elayne/Nynaeve parts. And if you feel like losing heart, be grateful that there are no Ceisei, Sansa and late Daenerys chapters in the WoT books as well. Now that would've been a treat!
     
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  19. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Just finished With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P. Beaulieu. This is a really good series that doesn't seem to get all the attention it deserves. I think Beaulieu is a good author (this is the 5th book I've read by him) and also a pretty nice guy.

    Am in the middle of Lirael by Garth Nix on Kindle. I'm liking it well enough so far. Thinking of starting The Seven by Peter Newman as my next paperback read (I ordered it from the UK and it finally arrived).

    I just wanted to read more books this year than last. I believe I have finished 22 so far and I think I only got like 26 total, last year (granted, three of those were the final volumes in Malazan, WoT, and Thomas Covenant), so I am on track to do that, easily.
     
  20. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    I am devouring Uprooted after buying it on sale a couple days ago. Great story.
     
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