Sunday, December 20, 2015

This is what 2016 is looking like for me

YUP. I call it my 2016 Fuck Me in the Asshole Reading Pile™. I counted and it's a hot mess of 15 fantasy, seven scifi, a legal thriller, and a military fiction. It's a work in progress because I have plans to add to it this summer and I don't doubt that some of these books may fall to the way side if they don't get their hooks into me. Right now, I'm reading The Sword of Shannara and Star Trek Vanguard: Reap the Whirlwind, since I like having a book I can switch to when I don't feel like reading the other. I'll probably give precedence to the library books since I don't own them and can't take my slow and steady time with them, but other than that, there's no reading order to this madness.

See anything you like or have already read?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Finished: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (The Broken Empire, Book Two)

Ten books in a year isn't great, but it's still pretty decent. A really excellent book, better than Prince of Thorns. That'll probably do it for the year, unless I manage to finish up this Star Trek novel I've been reading on the side. I'm shooting for fifteen books in 2016.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And that makes nine

Just finished Dark Jenny not more than an hour or so ago, which brings my book reading total to nine with five of those being of the fantasy genre. I really binged on this book, running through 192 pages in a few hours. Dark Jenny is 348 pages total and if Google's math isn't wrong, that's more than half the book. I'm not sure if it's related or not, but I felt exhausted afterwards.

So next is either King of Thorns (Mark Lawrence) or The Mirror Empire (Kameron Hurley). The former is 419 pages, while the other is 511, not counting the glossary and such. Not even a hundred page difference, so either could work. They're both longer than Dark Jenny, which means it might take longer to read through whichever one I choose before the month and year end and I'd really like to make the number of books read a nice even ten. I guess it'll all come down to the one that hooks and pulls me in.

I do plan on writing reviews (or what I call reviews) for Dark Jenny and The Crown Tower at some point soon. I might wait until next month when I have more time I can spare away from reading. I have a mostly finished review about Legacies that I need to finish too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Guess I wasn't in a reading slump after all

I thought I was because it felt like I hadn't laid a hand on a fantasy novel let alone read one straight through in a while and boy, was I ever wrong. I tallied up all the books I've read this year and while the number currently stands at only eight, I was very pleased that four of them were fantasy novels: Prince of Thorns, Furies of Calderon, Legacies, and The Crown Tower. I'm currently working on adding a ninth book before the year ends, Dark Jenny. Five fantasy novels in a year? Not great, but I'll sure as hell take it!

What will I read after Dark Jenny? Well, it depends on whether or not I feel like picking up another fantasy book or if I make a brief incursion into SF. If I stick with it, I might read King of Thorns, followed by The Mirror Empire or something from my own shelves. I really want to get my hands on some Joe Abercrombie, and that Ken Scholes book, Lamentations. Truth be told, if I ever made out a list of fantasy novels I want it would comprise several scrolls.

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five hundred thousand is certainly a nice number

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

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.


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