Friday, October 21, 2016

And two more books fall

When we last left our hero, he had just finished reading Silverthorn. But what happened after that? Some say he was assailed by a group of kobolds and bugbears. Others say he was eaten by grues, while still others claim that he was last seen riding into the sunset on the back of an owlbear.

And none of these are correct. The last one would have been pretty friggin' awesome, though. No, after finishing Silverthorn, I took a short respite from fantasy and read two sci-fi novels: Ender's Game (actually a re-read) and Parable of the Sower. I returned after that and dived straight into A Darkness at Sethanon and Arrow's Flight.

A Darkness at Sethanon is the fourth in the Riftwar Cycle and the final in the Riftwar Saga. The plot focuses on the story arc began in Silverthorn with the rise of Murmandamus, a moredhel warleader of a massive Brotherhood of the Dark Path army and probably a greater threat to the Kingdom than even the Tsurani were in the first two books, and the extra-dimensional threat of The Enemy, which we also learn the origin of. Actually, I'd imagine most people figured out what The Enemy is before this book; I had at least an inkling of it in Magician: Master.

I would say that A Darkness might be better than Silverthorn. It had a lot more action and the fortress-city of Armengar and its siege was honestly one of the coolest things I've ever read in a fantasy book. I'll write up a separate post for A Darkness later on because it deserves its own post.

I got an itch while reading A Darkness in Sethanon. An itch that only Arrow's Flight, the second book in the Heralds of Valdemar series could scratch. I had been planning to read it at some point, but the itch didn't make itself known until about two weeks ago.

It was so, so worth it. The Valdemar series is quickly becoming one of my favorite and I will read the books until I cannot stand them anymore. Whereas Arrows of the Queen dealt with Talia being chosen as a Herald and her life at the Collegium with all of it's hardships, perils, and adventure, Arrow's Flight focuses on her internship. She spends a year and a half riding a circuit through the Northern sector of the Kingdom of Valdemar, learning to do what a Herald does and all of the ups and downs that come with the job.

This book was honestly heartbreaking and I'm not going to lie, I got teary-eyed a few times because of all of the torment Talia goes through. There's also a lot of great moments that made me laugh and generally it was a short, but worthwhile read. Like A Darkness, I'll be writing a stand alone post for Arrow's Flight...once I finish the one I started on Arrows of the Queen. So in about 20-30 years.

So what am I reading now? Well, funny thing is that I had planned on taking another short break so that I could focus on Flag in Exile (Honor Harrington #5) and start to go through the literal shit ton of books I bought at a library book sale and Barnes & Noble recently (more on those later). That's what I had planned. My brain had other ideas and I'm not reading, among other things, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. My reading habits are both random and vexing.

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