Sneak Peek at “The Throne” cover — Lee Duigon

I love this cover, it’s stunning!


via Sneak Peek at “The Throne” cover — Lee Duigon

Book Review: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Earthsea Cycle
Author info: http://www.ursulakleguin.com/

This is one of the classics of fantasy. It was written in 1967 when the only example of fantasy literature out there was LOTR. It has wizards and dragons, but it’s nothing remotely like a typical fantasy book. It’s more literary fiction than genre fiction, despite the fantasy elements in it, and also it’s quite original and nothing like any fantasy book I’ve read.

If you read this book with the typical expectations you’d have for genre fiction, you might be disappointed. Quite a few friends who read it found it boring, but I beg to differ. I have read plenty of literary fiction in my younger days and A Wizard of Earthsea has reminded me of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach -which were written years later- even though it’s quite different. I have read a review in Goodreads saying Ursula K. Le Guin has studied Taoist philosophy and A Wizard of Earthsea has heavy Taoist themes, even though I am not much familiar with Taoism, I can say I noticed the underlying East Asian philosophy in the story.

The prose is beautiful, there are no plot holes at all, and none of the typical tropes and cliches. The twists are masterful and a delight to read. Where everyone copied from Tolkien, even decades after LOTR, Le Guin wrote a completely original story when there was no example of fantasy fiction other than LOTR. That alone makes it worth a read. It’s not even 200 pages anyway, for those of us who are used to 600-700 page fantasy books, it should take a day or two day to read this book.

I didn’t find it boring at all and loved the philosophy in it. If you read it like literary fiction with fantasy themes, you will most probably love it.

Top 10 Fantasy Trilogies you should read!

TheTattooedBookGeek

Well, the title of the post is itself quite explanatory, I’m going to list 10 fantasy trilogies that I think every fantasy fan should read and if you’re not a fantasy fan “shudders, tuts and then shakes head” well, you just might find something that piques your interest on the list!

Now, when I first thought about writing this post I started to simply make a list of fantasy books with the idea that I would list 10 fantasy trilogies and series, however, I ended up with finished trilogies, unfinished trilogies, finished series and unfinished series and I thought damn, that’s a long list so instead for this post I have decided to just give you my top 10 finished trilogies that I have read.

So, in no particular order:

The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie:

first law trilogy

  1. The Blade Itself.
  2. Before They Are Hanged.
  3. Last Argument of Kings.

Well, we…

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Book Review: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of The World
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Wheel of Time
Author info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jordan

Everyone, including my editor, roommate and my first beta reader has been bugging me to read the Wheel of Time for the longest time. The sheer size of the series made me push it to the back of the TBR stack cause I had other review commitments and ARC’s, but I finally got into it now. This is the first book of this magnificent series and I must say I read it until I fell asleep at night, it’s very hard to put it down.

First of all, it’s a damn good read and a 3 am in the morning page turner with top notch worldbuilding and intriguing characters, even after reading all that modern fantasy by Mark Lawrence, R. Scott Bakker, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss etc. That alone should say something.

Some folk told me the first book has a bit too much Tolkien influence and similarities to the LOTR plot lines, but I found that hardly noticable. There are a few parallels but the rich details, diverse cultures and cities, awesome original fantasy elements and the finely woven plot threads make the LOTR influence fade away quickly.

Supporting characters are incredibly well done and I liked them a lot. Another thing I must mention is the female characters. Nynaeve and Moiraine are some of the best I’ve read in fantasy so far. Their battle of wills was damn entertaining to read. Jordan’s female characters are brilliant, they have important roles and they aren’t there to look pretty and stand as the important male characters’ love interests. Also I love how they can be powerful and badass and yet still be feminine. They aren’t fighting men with breasts or immature girls pining over some dude half the time, they can take care of themselves and the others.

The main hero Rand felt like a looking glass character throughout the first book until the last few chapters. Now that I’m 3/4 through the second book, I must say Rand is one of the most impressive slow character development cases I have seen to date. One thing I have heard a lot about the Wheel of Time is the brilliant delayed gratification and how it pays off huge to stay patient and keep reading. I have already seen what they mean, and slow character development is realistic as hell.

The bard character Thom Merrilin was my favorite along with Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve. He is a grumpy old man but funny as hell, and saves the day in quite a few places. I love it how it’s the greybeard bard saving the hero’s neck, and not the big muscular warrior wielding the sword. One of the many great details in this amazing book.

The intricate political plots were well done and I think the Game of Houses/Great Game concept might have influenced the game of Thrones, but it is a bit more colorful and exaggerated in places, yet quite entertaining to read. I have a feeling the political intrigue will get even more complex and epic as the story unfolds.

Another thing I really like about this book is how Robert Jordan establishes such a strong and detailed lore and feeds it to the reader without doing boring infodumps. One thing I can’t stand in books is the outdated wall of text style infodumps, I take pains to avoid it in my own writing. Robert Jordan did such an impressive job of it, all the lore and world info unfolds thread by thread, we get to see it through the characters’ eyes as we go along, not hit by gods-awful walls of text distracting from the story. I think every aspiring fantasy writer needs to read Patrick Rothfuss and Robert Jordan to learn how to convey lore and worldbuilding without slapping the readers with the horrendous infodumps.

Plot twists you don’t see coming and the brilliant foreshadowing is another thing that impressed me about this book, like I said even after reading all that modern fantasy and realistic grimdark books, The Eye of The World still managed to drop my jaw.

My only criticism is the name of the bad guy (sort of a fallen god) is the Islamic name of Satan and his main alias is too similar to a Solomonic demon’s name. With all the original elements and names in the book, that was a bit of a disappointment, albeit a minor one.

Long story short: You are missing out a LOT if you haven’t read this book (and the rest of the series!) I highly recommend it. In fact don’t call yourself a fantasy reader if you haven’t read Robert Jordan.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You’d Want As Family

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey and now hosted by Samantha. You can find more information about it on the Goodreads group page and you can see the Complete List of Wednesday-ers here. This week’s theme is Top 5 Characters You’d Want As Family.

Here goes my top 5:

1. Snorri from Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence (Older brother)

I think Snorri would make an excellent older brother for someone hyperactive and impatient like me. He has that aura of wisdom, incredible levels of patience and determination. With an older brother like Snorri you simply can’t screw up anything (if you listen to his advice and follow his example, that is!)

2. Alica Kendeth (Red Queen) from Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence (Grandmother)

Man, I envied Jalan for having such a badass grandmother. I would most definitely love to have Red Queen as my grandmother and I think I would do a better job than Jalan staying on her good side😀

3. Moiraine Sedai from The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (Older sister)

Moiraine has the magic, the charisma, the level-headed cool attitude so she would be a perfect older sister to get me out of tight spots and give me good guidance.

4. Konig Furimmer from Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher (Father)

It’s not just the dude himself but his doppels, too. No one messes with you when your father is Konig and he hynotizes everyone and sets his Doppels loose for the extra mayhem. Where Konig fails, one of his Doppels will take the helm, so it’s a pretty darn good deal.

5. Chade from Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (Uncle)

Who wouldn’t like an uncle who was the King’s master poisoner and assassin? If his face wasn’t ruined with pockmarks I’d want him as my husband, but alas, I’m shallow like that, so uncle it is.

Let me know your top 5 in the comments!

Red Sister: The Beta Reading! (Spoiler-free)

Mitriel Faywood

I’m primarily writing this blog post for those people who either on Facebook or on Reddit indicated that they would like to hear a few spoiler-free thoughts on Mark Lawrence’s The Book of the Ancestor trilogy which starts with Red Sister. But I’m also writing this blog post for me. Being involved in the creation of these books was a wonderful experience and this poor blog of mine had been neglected for too long as I tend to spend most of my time and energy on That Thorn Guy. Which I love doing, so it’s really not a complaint, more just an observation.

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I started beta-reading for Mark Lawrence over two years ago, when one day he said to me: ‘I’ve written a short story (I foolishly agreed to write 3 for various things) – I’m not sure it works … maybe it does … dunno ……

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Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

The Wheel of Osheim

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Series: Red Queen’s War
Author info: http://www.marklawrence.buzz/

This book picks up the adventure where The Liar’s Key left it, with a bang -quite literally! This book is one of the best conclusions of a series I have ever read to date and it answers all of the questions in the most brilliant way with mind blowing twists and reveals. No question was left unanswered for me and the climax was brilliant.

And, if you are a Jorg fan, you will get a stunning scene featuring Jorg and Jalan’s dialogue with Jorg is one of my favorite parts in this book. Jalan’s desert scenes were splendid, but his journey through Hell with Snorri was even more so. Snorri is one of the best fantasy side characters ever and the emotional depth in Snorri’s character arc is incredible.

I am not a fan of battle scenes featuring the zombie/undead enemy armies, those bore me to death but the battle scene in The Wheel of Osheim was an awesome read with ingenious twists and turns. The prose is amazing and the flow of the story is smooth as usual. Jalan’s change and the way he gradually leaves his old life behind along with old Jalan is one of the best parts of the entire series. So is his relationship with Snorri, it’s something only a master wordsmith could write so beautifully.

Red Queen, Silent Sister and Garyus are superb minor characters, I enjoyed their scenes in The Liar’s Key and they get their awesomeness show in this book. The other great thing about this book is the way the answers to all of the questions raised in Prince of Fools and The Liar’s Key are revealed one by one, sometimes with a bang. The major reveals are the sort no one will see coming.

This book, like the previous two, is peppered with hilarious moments and clever quotes, the dialogues are damn good as usual and the action doesn’t let up. One thing I love about Mark Lawrence’s books is that there is always the great philosophy and the reflections of the characters which make you stop reading and think, without letting up the action and the thrill one bit. That is one hell of a feat few authors can accomplish.

If you are a fan of journeys you will love this book and series, there are quite a number of different journey arcs, some featuring just Jalan, some with Jalan and Snorri and some featuring the whole gang (Jalan, Snorri, Kara, Hennan) in different lands, with all kinds of crazy stuff happening along the way.

There are so many things I could say but I can’t say any more for the sake of keeping my review spoiler free. I can’t recommend this book enough, in fact I can’t recommend Mark Lawrence enough.