Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Handy guide on how to tell if you're living in a high fantasy novel

From The Toast:

  • The Elders would like a word with you.
  • The Ritual is about to begin.
  • Something that has not happened in a thousand years is happening.
  • You are going to the City. There is only one City. It is only said with a capital C. No one needs to bother saying the name of the City. It is the City.
  • Certain members of the Council are displeased with your family’s recent actions.
  • A bard is providing occasional comic relief; no one hired or invited him and his method of earning a living is unclear.
  • The High Priest is not to be trusted.
  • Someone is eating an apple mockingly.
  • There is one body of water. It is called the Sea. The Great Sea, if you are feeling fancy.
  • You live in a region with no major exports, no centralized government, no banking system, a mysteriously maintained network of roads, and little to no job training for anyone who is not a farmer.
  • You have red hair. You wear it in a braid. Your father was a simple man, and you don’t remember much about him – he died when you were so young – but you remember his strong hands, as he fished or carpentered or whatever it was that he used to do with them.
  • You’re going to have to hurry, or you’re going to miss the Fair – and you never miss the Fair.
  • There is trouble at the Citadel.
  • Your full name has at least one apostrophe in it.
  • It is the first page, and you are already late for something. Your mother affectionately chides you as you gulp down a few spoonfuls of porridge; she will be dead by page forty-two.
  • There are two religions in your entire universe. One is a thinly veiled version of Islam. It is only practiced by villains. The other is “being a Viking.” You are a Viking.
  • There are new ways in the land that threaten the Old Way. Your grandmother secretly practices the Old Way, as do all of the people of the hills.
  • The real trouble began the day you arrived at court. Every last nobleman hides a viper in his smile. How you long for the purity of life in your village, which is currently on fire or something.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Read some fantasy books recently

I'm still alive! My lack of posting recently is due entirely to being lost in a dungeon while trying to find a bathroom. I was sure that door said "Men's". Suffice to say, I know now why those places are dank. In any case, my fantasy reading drought broke this month and I packed away two, count 'em, TWO books!

(via Amazon)
(via A Fantasy Reader)
Both were enjoyable, but Prince of Thorns was a rough and tough one to get through because of how grimdark it was. I'm used to being able to sympathize with the protag, but Jorg is not a sympathetic character at all, even after you learn his life story and how he became the bastard he is in book.

I plan on doing separate posts about each book soon, so look for those. Furies is probably going to fuel several posts because of its magic system - furycrafting.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

No not Terry Pratchett too...

2015 is the worst year ever. First Leonard Nimoy dies, now Terry Pratchett? Fuck.this.year.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five hundred thousand is certainly a nice number

(via FirstEmpireSeries.com)
Especially when you're a fantasy writer and that's the paycheck you're getting for a new series. That's how much Del Rey is paying Michael J. Sullivan of the excellent Riyria Revelations series. The new five book series will be called The First Empire and the the titles of each book are: Rhune, Dherg, Rhist, Phyre, and Fhrey. According to Fantasy Faction, there was a potential bidding war brewing between several publishers for the new series and Del Rey essentially said "screw that noise" and laid down half a million bucks. In addition, because this story needs some gravy, an audiobook company called Recorded Books picked up the audio rights for another six figures.

I think the reason why people are talking about the money is because I doubt a lot of writers - even a minority - get paid that much and the ones who do are probably the big timers like GRRM, Terry Brooks, and such. Welcome to the big time, Mr. Sullivan!

Edit: According to Michael J. Sullivan on reddit, just the first four books were included in the deal and the fifth will be negotiated later on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

You know what's a good book? Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe

(via alexbledsoe.com)
Actually read this book during the Summer and thanks to laziness, never got around to posting a review or anything else about it. Too late for that now, since it's been a while, but I still want to talk about it. Here's two reviews from two awesome blogs, though. First, here's the blurb:
Eddie’s riding back from a routine investigation when he nearly tramples a half-naked blonde who runs in front of his horse. The frightened young woman is clearly in serious trouble. Against his better judgment, Eddie promises to protect her, only to find himself waylaid by unknown assailants and left for dead beside her mutilated body.

Eddie isn’t the kind of guy to let this pass. But who killed Laura Lespertitt? Eddie’s quest for payback soon leads him to a tangled mystery involving a notorious crime lord, a backwoods dragon cult, royal scandals, and a duplicitous femme fatale who has trouble keeping her clothes on. As bodies pile up, attracting the unwanted attention of the king’s own men, Eddie finds that life is cheap compare to “the fire that dreams are made of….”
Burn Me Deadly is a really, really good book. It's a fantasy story with a seemingly standard grim and gritty setting, but with touches of detective and noir fiction. Eddie, for example, has a collection of swords with model names like what you would find today with firearms. Eddie is a sword jockey, a kind of man-for-hire and private dick (in more ways than one, badum bssh) who lives in a backwater town in a backwater kingdom. I like the modern touches because Bledsoe never allows them to overwhelm the medieval-ish setting. Then there's the assholes. MAN, are there assholes in this book! There's more than a few that you'll personally want to beat the living crap out of. I wish I had written a post about this book sooner, because I am leaving a lot out that I can't recall clearly.

Overall, Burn Me Deadly is worth reading.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Michael Whelan's painting of Shallan from Brandon Sanderson's Words of Radiance looks gorgeous

(via Tor.com)
Tor also has the picture available as wallpapers, so take a gander at those. Truth be told, I didn't even know this picture existed until I saw this post over at A Dribble of Ink. Worth a read, as it talks about why this would have been a better cover for Words of Radiance instead of what ended up being the cover. It is pretty odd and dumb that Shallan isn't on the cover of what is apparently her book, though.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Check out this awesome Vlad Taltos fan art by AshleyCope

Stolen shamelessly from The Wasp's Sword & Sorcery blog.

Credit: Ashley Cope.
I dig the smirk on Vlad's face and the way he's holding his sword. It's almost like he's saying "that's a nice face you've got there, be a shame if my rapier went through it."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Still alive, just not in a fantasy reading mood

It's one of those situations where I have books to read, but I just don't feel like reading them at the moment. Pretty annoying too because I have a lot of fantasy books that I want to read, like LOTR, ASoIaF, Promise of Blood, Dresden, Avempartha[1], Lord Foul's Bane, the rest of Belgariad, and Wheel of Time. Oh yeah, I've got my work cut out for me. Given the size of Martin and Jordan's works, I should be finished at some point after the 2020 presidential elections. Maybe then I'll be able to read Mistborn, The First Law, and every other fantasy novel and series that I want to read.

I think immortality may be required here.

[1] The second book in the Theft of Swords omnibus and part of Michael J. Sullivan's excellent Riyria Revelations.
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