September 2015 - What fantasy books are you reading?

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Irregular Creatures is a collection of short stories he wrote which I'd recommend for getting a flavour of Wendig!
That one is probably better, because this short story is right in the middle of Miriam Black series. I don't expect I'll understand what's going on much, but I have Three Slices and I'm going with this :D
Even though I might lack the context I'll still be able to discern his writing style and decide if Miriam Black is a series I should take on.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
Am now on "As Flies to Wanton Boys" and really like it!

While "Blood, Steel, and Fire" was IMO a bit one-dimensional and totally focused on the military conflict between Tarmun Vykers and The End of All Things, the second book has more opportunities for creative twists of the story.

As I have been occupied a bit with the Best Books ranking list recently, and have again been confronted with the sheer amount of good books out there, I will likely check out some classics after that.

David Eddings, Jois Masters Bujold, Jack Vance - they all sound good and intriguing to me, am curious how they compare to the "modern stuff".

Best regards,
Andy
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
3 chapters into Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell I had a mindblowing epiphany, realizing what I hate about the Grimdarks... They don't have enough fairies!

The part where the statues in the cathedral were talking and moving around won me over.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
I finished reading The Name of the Wind and started on The Wise Man's Fear (both by Patrick Rothfuss).
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
What would you rate it @Silvion Night? The Name of the Wind is probably the one book I'm most looking forward to reading in the future.
I'm a bit torn on this one. At first I hated the main protagonist (Kvothe). It's hard to like a book when you hate the main character, especially when the story is told from his perspective. When I was about halfway through the book I warmed up to the novel. Patrick Rotfuss' prose is really good, the story finaly picked up a bit and at that point I was enjoying it so much that I gave the book an 8.5 rating in my top-25 list (my full list can be found in that particular thread).

However, when I had nearly finished the book my old gripes with Kvothe again came to the forefront. He's just such an ass. He appears to be physically all powerful, a self declared genius (and he succeeds in almost anything he sets his mind to), arrogant beyond belief, self-righteous, and basically a big whiney emo. Don't get me wrong, Kvothe's character is very well fleshed out. The problem is that there are not many redeemable qualities in him.

Also, he's the only fleshed out character. All the others, including his love interest, are one dimensional puppets. They're unbelievably shallow. I particularly dislike how everyone just seems like a prop in Kvothe's story.

Also, the dialogue is a bit overbearing. People just don't talk like that in real life.

Now, what's good about the book, you may wonder? Well, quite a lot. Rothfuss' prose is wonderful for starters. Also, the world-building is phenomenal. The world somehow feels rich with history and full of mysterious creatures. Also, the magic systems are quite cool (notice the plural). Furthermore, I really like a particular institution where Kvothe spends most of his time (can't say much without spoiling). One thing needs to be said about the humour in this book: it was better than in most other fantasy books I've read. A bit lewd even at times (which always felt surprising in a book that sometimes feels a bit YA-ish)

All in all I'd give the book a 7.5 now. I definitely hope the next instalment will get better, because frankly, this was hyped up so much that I'm a bit let down at this point.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
Have started "Curse of Chalion" by Lois McMaster Bujold, and it seems quite promising so far.

I had also tried to start "Pawn of Prophecy", the first book of the Belgariad by David Eddings, but somehow I could not make it through the first few pages, they were simply too dry for me.

Best regards,
Andy
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
I always find it interesting how many people really hate Kvothe as a character and find few redeeming traits in him. While he has some negative aspects of his character, he's much more redeemable than the majority of characters in Grimdark fantasy.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
Storm Front
This was one quick, fun read. Not a very complex story, but short and to the point. I'll be reading more of this.

I don't really know what to read next, The Master and Margarita or The Dark Forest or something else entirely.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
I always find it interesting how many people really hate Kvothe as a character and find few redeeming traits in him. While he has some negative aspects of his character, he's much more redeemable than the majority of characters in Grimdark fantasy.
I don't know about this. Sure, Kvothe may be a better person than let's say Glokta or Logen (from a moral standpoint for sure), but the latter characters are way more likeable. Kvothe is a pompous ass. I don't mean irredeemable in the sense that he's evil. It's just that the sum of his characteristics make him an unlikable person (at least to read about). After the umptieth time of hearing Kvothe say something along these lines "sure, it has to do with hours of studying, but mostly it has to do with the fact that I'm brilliant" I just started hating his guts. I literally struggle to find a likeable characteristic of Kvothe. Could you perhaps name any?
 

Laughing Mime

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
Just finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

I previously avoided this book in part due to misconceptions about the premise, part due to it being a stand alone and finally because i thought his earlier work would have to be of lesser quality than his later. I shouldn't have, I ended up enjoying it much more than Words of Radiance.

I loved the mystery, the unique supernatural creatures and was really impressed with the way he managed to world build behind the scenes without info dump.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
Finished Shadowmarch and jumped right into Shadowplay. He takes so long but once he gets going, Tad Williams is superb.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
Consideration, compassion and loyalty to his friends ?
Aye, compassion maybe. But loyalty? He consistently ditches his two best buddies to go traipsing after his numerous girlfriends. Not that considerate if you ask me. He is compassionate, when it suits him. He's also a cruel bastard though.

I have only read (& loved) the 1st book, and will be interested to hear how you find the 2nd @Silvion Night.
I'll be sure to let you know. Please note that I don't hate the book, I rather like it, but it's just that Kvothe is such a nuisance. I hope I wam up to him again int he 2nd book.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I'll be sure to let you know. Please note that I don't hate the book, I rather like it, but it's just that Kvothe is such a nuisance. I hope I wam up to him again int he 2nd book.
If it helps, remember that he must get some kind of comeuppance. (Not a spoiler because this is information from like the first chapter of the first book.) Because despite all this badass stuff he does as a youth, he ends up running an inn. So what I am interested in is how he gets to that position. At the end of book 2 (which I did not like as much as book 1), I still don't know the answer to that.
 

Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
I can't say that I ever hated Kvothe and for someone who is meant to be so great he can be really naive for example
Taking a lantern into a library full of really old books, that still makes me smile now
.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
My advice for possible future re-reads is to recall that the story we're reading is the story Kvothe is telling.
That's true and I've kept that in the back of my head all the time, but still this irritated me. Maybe it's just that our characters clash or something like that. He just grates on my nerves.


Honestly, I found it refreshing. A protagonist getting ahead through sheer academic hard work and not being moronically or coyly oblivious about it is a nice break from all the chosen farmboys too stupid to deserve the brute strength that comes with being the Chosen One.
Very minor spoilers ahead (not enough to warrant a spoiler tag)

It's not sheer academic hard work though. Kvothe has a knack for everything, and he never passes up an opportunity to rub it in his friend's faces. Kinda like Hermione in Harry Potter. Kvothe is bizarrely intelligent. he has a propensity for language. He is a great actor. He's an amazing singer (on several occasions people weep because of his beautiful performances. I almost threw the book out of the window when I read the third such paragraph). His rhetoric is flawless. He is a philosopher. He's great at sneaking. He is a powerful wizard (in multiple magical disciplines). He is a very good artisan. He's an accomplished swordsman. He's amazing with the ladies. Did I mention he is very lucky too? Kvothe has a nearly photo-genetic memory. He is very resilient (surviving stuff that would kill any normal person) and the list goes on and on.

Now, even keeping in mind that it's Kvothe's story, which he is telling from memory (thus allowing for the fact that he has exaggerated his feats and accomplishments), it irritates me no end. The entire book is about Kvothe's omnipotence. The question of whether or not the stuff he's telling actually happened is at this point in time irrelevant (it may become relevant in book 2 or 3 though).
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
I always find it interesting how many people really hate Kvothe as a character and find few redeeming traits in him. While he has some negative aspects of his character, he's much more redeemable than the majority of characters in Grimdark fantasy.
I loved Name of the Wind and I was totally rooting for Kvothe, and like @Fantam said, he had many redeemable qualities.

But...

While I didn't hate him, he had this one particular annoying characteristic - He was always in the right, at least in his mind. Regardless of reality, he was always convinced he had the moral high ground and that everyone else who disagrees with him is plain wrong. Such people annoy me not only in literature, but in real life as well. Hell, give me Logen every day - at least when he'll drive a spear through my heart he'll have the decency not to argue it's because he's the second coming and everything he does must be right, but that he did it because I pissed him off in some way.
Of course, it will be a moot point by then. ;)