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  1. #31
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    In the last few weeks I've finished up Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell, The Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, and The Wood Wife by Terri Windling. I got a review written for the The Wood Wife, but I'm still working on reviews for the others. I'm now reading Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Stover - I'd forgotten just how good he is.

  2. #32
    Analyze That
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyye View Post
    I wouldn't bet your house on that. With his Mistborn and WoT work he has legions of fans. I for one thought Way of Kings was the best or second best fantasy book I read last year. Can't wait for the next one.
    Yeah, I don't know of any cases where fans of an author suddenly realized that the author wasn't any good. Most of the time support for an author leaves when the books go downhill in quality. I don't see that happening with Sanderson. I thought Way of Kings both did a lot better with his weaker qualities, the prose and characterization, then he did with Mistborn, though the book overall was not quite as good.

    Sanderson's too creative to suddenly just lose it. He's got a lot of books mapped out already as well, so don't expect him to run out of ideas and just put stuff out to make money.

    I just finished Stonewielder. I thought it was another step up for Esslemont, though he isn't quite close to Erikson in my book (the awful Toll the Hounds notwithstanding). Fist is probably the most interesting place we've been to yet, and while the land itself seemed to overwhelm the story elements I was invested (if not so much emotionally) in what was occurring in the story.

    Next up for me is Kings of the Morning by Kearney. Looking forward to it even though I was disappointed by Corvus. Kearney's kind of on probation from me, as by my count out of the 5 Monarchies of God books and 2 Macht books I've read, there's been 2 excellent (The Ten Thousand, The Iron Wars), 1 very good (The Second Empire), 1 good (Corvus), and 3 mediocre (Books 1,2 and 5 of Monarchies of God). We'll see how this one turns out.

  3. #33
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksbane View Post
    What do you think of it so far?
    I wasn't sure where the story was going at first, but it's good like all of Parker's stuff.

  4. #34
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    The Wee Free Men by Sir Pratchett - not all that far into it (maybe 10%), but I've giggled a few times and I'm getting fairly interested, but it's still early days.
    Finished. One of the best Sir Pratchett books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

  5. #35
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    Finished Shadow's Master by Jon Sprunk (Great book! Great series!)

    Now reading Adventures: The Chronicles of Lucifer Jones Vol. 1 (1922-1926) by Mike Resnick

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyye View Post
    I wouldn't bet your house on that. With his Mistborn and WoT work he has legions of fans. I for one thought Way of Kings was the best or second best fantasy book I read last year. Can't wait for the next one.
    I completely agree with you on Sanderson and Way of Kings.

    Currently, I am about halfway through Rise of Empire by Michael Sullivan and am really enjoying it.

    I also just started on Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed which I think is going to be a great and fun read.

  7. #37
    Too many books to read... Siberian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterWilliam View Post
    I can't really attest to this series, but I expected it to show a lack of experience. However, I have read her Sacred Hunt duology and it was good. I fully expect that her works beyond that continue to improve and I intend to continue on with her series from the same world as Sacred Hunt, if not her entire bibliography.
    Someone on Goodreads recommended skimming through the first 100 pages or so to get to the "good stuff". I normally hate doing this, but the beginning was really too slow so I might end up doing just that.

  8. #38
    Registered User JustaStaffer's Avatar
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    Just wrapped up my review of NK Jemisin's new one - The Killing Moon. Awesome. Review is up on the blog.

    Also finished The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon (Sub Press). Excellent historical fiction pre-America and James Bond Dr. No pastiche.

  9. #39
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
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    Just finished Kings of the Morning.

    What can I say, it's very readable, but utterly underwhelming. Haven't been impressed with Kearney since The Mark of Ran, everything up to that point was brilliant. The Way of Kings continues the trend set by Corvur and The Ten Thousand, but while those books had redeeming qualities (a few interesting characters, moving scenes and good lines) the concluding book of the trilogy feels rather tepid. No good battles, underdeveloped (new) characters, lack of good drama and drawn out beggining of the book that doesn't bring enough to the story to justify underdeveloped and unfocused mid and ending. Kearney tries to cram an epic story, a large and memorable cast and intimate drama all within 300 something pages and the lack of breathing room shows. It just doesn't work for me. Rictus being the bright exception.

  10. #40
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    After finishing another Jack Vance quickie (it's very satisfying to read a novel in one or two sittings), I started Theft of Swords Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria omnibus volume one.

  11. #41
    Book of the Black Earth
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonReader View Post
    Finished Shadow's Master by Jon Sprunk (Great book! Great series!)
    Thanks, DR.

  12. #42
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Today, I started reading Caine's Law by Matthew Stover.

  13. #43
    Reader Moderator NickeeCoco's Avatar
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    Still reading Deadhouse Gates. It's picking up a bit more, so that's good. I only wish that we didn't have to follow around Felesin. I really can't stand her. I wish that those three (Heboric(sp?), Baudin and Felesin) had a different perspective.

    Spoiler:
    Though there's more than just the three of them now.


    Hate to say this, but I really hope she gets killed off soon just so I don't have to read anymore of her whining.

    Spoiler:
    Though I have a sneaking suspicion that Baudin is charged with keeping her alive for some reason unbeknownst to me. Well, not entirely unknown, I have more suspicions about that scenario.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siberian View Post
    I've been reading on and off Michele Sagara West's Into The Dark Lands. I like the ideas so far but the writing is choppy and I can't really connect with any of the characters. I know it's her first book and it shows, so I guess I'll have to ask if the book (and the series) is getting any livelier?
    I've read the majority of the bibliography of Michelle West & Michelle Sagara (after this early 90's series she decided to write under separate names with differing styles) but haven't yet gotten around to this series. If I had to speculate anyway from the info I do know, I'd say that the Goodreads recommendation sounds like it might be your best bet.

  15. #45
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    Speaking of Michelle Sagara, I've been busy reading her series "The Chronicles of Elantra" aka as "The Cast" series. So entitled due to the fact that all of the books begin with "Cast in....". There has been one installment published every year since 2005 (along with a short story set in that world which appears in the anthology Harvest Moon. The books out so far, in chronological order, are Cast in Shadow, Cast in Courtlight, Cast in Secret, Cast in Fury, Cast in Silence, Cast in Chaos, and Cast in Ruin, with another due in September.

    I'm unsure as to where the exact line between Fantasy and Urban Fantasy lies, but my guess is that this series straddles the line. The series seems fantasy, set in an original quasi-medieval setting filled with magic, dragons, an elf-like race, as well as several other races of varying degrees of originality. At the same time, it has been set entirely in one city (Elantra) and follows the sort of story structure seen in Urban Fantasy. At times there is a bit, or the hint of, romance, but much less than seems the norm in UF. And there's no sex. Imo this series makes The Dresden Files look "wild" by comparison. Additionally, the author has confirmed that she is limited as to page count and so the "rhythm" of the books remind me very much of the other UF that I have read. Generally, there is a mystery (or two or three), the main character goes out to investigate, and in the process meets with contacts both new and old in order to ultimately solve/resolve the issues that have arisen. Although some things do carry over from novel to the next, or to a later installment down the line.

    The books center around Kaylin Neya, 19 years old, who begins as a private in the Hawks, one of the three law enforcement bodies that exist in the Empire of Elantra. She escaped the fiefs of her youth (sort of like slums outside of Imperial control) and spent her older teenage years growing up in the company of the Hawks, as a kind of mascot. Her sole ambition is to be a Hawk (although she sometimes moonlights as an assistant to the Midwives Guild or the Foundling Hall [for young orphans]). Despite this, she harbors a secret that at times gets her wrapped up in events far beyond the scope of her station.

    I found the first book to be original, if somewhat muddled, with certain concepts a bit unclear and some characters a bit cardboard (though still very distinctive). But that too fits well with the other UF with which I am familiar, as I think that ime all take at least a book or two to sort out what they want to be and/or polish out the rough edges. I thought the second book to be a clear improvement, with the series becoming better as it goes along and quite good (imho) at this point. The author has clearly spent some time with her world-building, and there are quite a lot of secrets both old and new to be discovered in this setting. I think that beyond the first book Sagara does an admirable job of revealing them, or hinting at them, as the need arises. I often wished for a bit more explanation or discussion in at least several scenes in each story, not because I didn't understand what had been revealed, but instead because I very much was interested in exploring it further.

    I have two other criticisms. One is that certain plot patterns reappear, especially in the first couple of books. This definitely wasn't a deal-breaker for me, and I'd doubt that it's as noticeable for people who don't read the whole series one after another. The second issue is that, at her core, the main character displays some definite similarities to one of the key characters in the author's "Sun Sword/House War" books. Obviously this is only a potential issue for those who've read that/those series as well, and I've heard that many people can still overlook the comparison.

    Ultimately, I'm glad that I read this series, expect it to continue to improve and would recommend it to those intrigued by what I've written. Last year's installment had 358 votes for Best Fantasy Book of 2011 on goodreads, enough to garner it a 14th place finish, so I'm definitely not alone in my enjoyment of the books.
    Last edited by AmethystOrator; April 5th, 2012 at 02:25 AM.

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