Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is Spring TBR and here goes mine (though I highly doubt I will manage all of them in spring, it’s more like spring+summer TBR!)

The White Luck Warrior

The Great Ordeal

Ghosts of Tomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m planning to finish all of Aspect-Emperor before the next one (The Unholy Consult) comes out in summer. And there’s the grimdark new release from Michael R. Fletcher I will squeeze in, I normally don’t read western fantasy but Fletcher’s Manifest Delusions books were so damn awesome, I will read everything he publishes cause he writes some of the most messed up and complex grimdark characters out there.

 

The Shadow Rising

The Fires of Heaven

Lord of Chaos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m aching to get back to the Wheel of Time world after reading the first 3 books, but some exciting new releases came out and the news of Unholy Consult coming out got me to grab Aspect-Emperor books. I am really dying to read the rest of the WoT!

 

Danse Macabre

The Falcon Throne

Sword of Destiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I’m ever the impatient one, which means sometimes I get way too hyped up about certain books and I will grab them before finishing the series I have at hand, no matter how awesome it is. I’m bad like that!

Best Served Cold

 

I have been meaning to read the standalone First Law world books by Abercrombie since The First Law trilogy felt too short and left me with a big book hangover. This is the first of the three standalone First Law world books.

What is in your TBR? Link to your post and let me know!

 

WWW Wednesday: 8 March, 2017

WWW Wednesday weekly blog meme

WWW Wednesday is hosted each week by Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

The Judging Eye

The Last Wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Wish, Witcher book #1 and The Judging Eye, Aspect-Emperor Book #1. Both are excellent so far.

What have you recently finished reading?

Red Sister

This was one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. Review coming soon!

What are you planning on reading next?

The White Luck Warrior

This is the second book of Aspect-Emperor, I need to catch up by the time The Unholy Consult comes out!

What have you been reading lately?

Waiting on Wednesday: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

new-wow
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine.
I am waiting for Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, to be released on April 4, 2017.

Red Sister

Here is the blurb:

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

I’m looking forward to this one because:

I’m a huge fan of Mark Lawrence and I’m reading the e-ARC at the moment. It’s totally different from the other books he has written and it’s truly glorious. Even though I have the e-ARC, it would be real nice to have the hardcover copy on my shelf.

What new release are you looking forward to? Share your post in the comments below!

Late 2016 Wrap-Up and Best of 2016

I’m a bit late to the party since I should have done this on December, but life and chronic illness got in the way. I made a Goodreads challenge for reading 25 books, but fell a bit short. Most books I read last year are old school fantasy classics I’ve made a personal goal to catch up with, and only a couple new releases. Btw this is why you shouldn’t ask me to review new releases. Unfortunately I am not one of those people who read 150-200 books a year, my own writing takes a lot of my free time. Here goes my 2016 top ten list:

1. The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

The Wheel of Osheim I had been anxiously waiting for this book, since I’m a huge fan of Mark Lawrence, and his was hands down the best book I have read in 2016. See my review.

2. The Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher

The Mirror's Truth I had been looking forward to sequel to Beyond Redemption, and it turned out to be more glorious than I expected. Superb characters, excellent prose and a superb grimdark setting, this was definitely the best grimdark I have read in 2016.See my review.

3. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends I picked this one up after it made it to the SPFBO semifinals and Mark Lawrence recommended it. I normally read fantasy in pre-modern settings, but I have been curious about steampunk and Senlin Ascends turned out to be quite an excellent choice. It’s very different from the usual genre fiction, leaning more towards literary fiction/magical realism, but steampunk to the core. I can’t recommend it enough. See my review.

4. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of The World I have been wanting to get into the Wheel of Time and finally managed in 2016. Never too late to read the Eye of the World! I loved it so much I am planning to re-read already after I finish the whole series. See my review.

5. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy

I will cheat and put the whole trilogy here. I loved these books to death, though it is quite a heavy read and you need to read something funny afterwards to get out of the intense melancholy it gives you. See my reviews for book #1, book #2 and book #3.

6. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

The Great Hunt The Eye of the World got me hooked and this book got me addicted to the Wheel of Time. The way Jordan unfolds the world and the characters is truly stellar. The length of the series may be intimidating, but it’s such a great joy to slowly explore the eormous diverse world, you gotta read it to see how awesome it is! See my review here.

7. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

The Dragon Reborn Book #3 of the Wheel of Time distinguished itself with the non-Rand POV’s and the impressive character development while showing the plethora of diverse cultures and lands. Matt’s slow character development reaches the level of awesomeness I have a hard time describing with words and the Aes Sedai world has the supreme dose of magic all epic/high fantasy fans will love. Character development and depth in general is some of the best I have read in fantasy to date. See my review here.

8. Road Brothers – Tales From The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

Road Brothers : Tales from the Broken Empire This indie published collection of short stories from the Broken Empire explores the various side characters in depth and gives a good glimpse to their background stories. I greatly enjoyed this book, it was like meeting old friends again. See my review here.

9. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings I am a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy and this book made a superb ending with fireworks and lots of twists. See my review here.

10.The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

Tombs of Atuan I am glad to read the first two books of the Earthsea Cycle, and liked this book more than A Wizard of Earthsea. Perhaps it was the gritty, melancholy atmosphere, or the awesome female protag, but Earthsea is definitely a must read for all fantasy fans. See my review here.

Book Review: The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

Tombs of Atuan
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Earthsea Cycle
Author info: http://www.ursulakleguin.com/

This is the second book of the great classic Earthsea Cycle. See my review for the first book here.

A Wizard of Earthsea was about Ged’s journey to become a sorcerer and his struggle with the evil shadow, this book tells the story of Tenar, a young girl taken away from her family at the tender age of five to be raised as the priestess of the Nameless gods.She is forced to shed her identity and they call her Arha in her new life.

It starts a story of loneliness and continues as a story of courage. Tenar is incredibly lonely despite the high position she holds, a position which is more symbolic than one of real power. She has no close friends other than the eunuch guardian, and learning the ways of the dark labyrinths where no light is allowed is a daunting task.

This is not your typical epic fantasy full of action, but a beautiful tale nonetheless. Ursula K. Le Guin’s prose is amazing and the imagery is vivid. This book explores the limits of faith, loyalty, trust and tradition. The stark contrast between the unyielding religious devotion and the doubts hacking away the faith, the religious authorities bending the faith to their agenda or lacking it altogether, the courage to question everything you have been taught and break through the dogma is brilliantly depicted.

As it is mentioned in the blurb,Ged shows up later as a secondary character, and the relationship between Tenar and Ged starting with suspicion and turnign into mutual admiration and trust is fascinating to read. Tenar’s character development is stellar.

This is a great book. I think even the people who found a Wizard of Earthsea boring will like this book. I liked it a lot, it’s different from most fantasy books I read and I loved both the worldbuilding and the philosophical aspects. Earthsea books are leaning more towards literary fiction than genre fiction, but I highly recommend this book and its prequel, A Wizard of Earthsea, to fantasy lovers out there.

Book Review: The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

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

This is book #3 of the legendary Wheel of Time series. See my reviews for the first book and the second book.

Warning: Spoilers for the previous books, since it’s inevitable when reviewing series, especially a long one like The Wheel of Time.

I enjoyed reading this book a great deal, I must say it was quite interesting to read a whole book with non-Rand POV’s and getting to know some of the supporting characters better. I didn’t care much for Perrin in the beginning, but he grew on me since he had some great POV chapters showing his internal conflict quite well.

The pacing is excellent, a lot of things are going on, different teams of characters set out on different journeys and deal with serious threats.

The star of the book was Mat without question. He has been a great burden on everyone in the previous book, paralyzed with the curse of the dagger and pretty much out of the game. Once the Aes Sedai cured him of that horrible curse, he started to kick serious arse. His gambling runs and inn-hopping with Thom were some of the most entertaining parts of the book. Mat is awesome and he grabbed the spot for my favorite character in this series so far.

A new character called Faile aka Zarine is introduced in this book and dear Gods she is irritating as hell. She wins the second place for the most annoying female fantasy characters after Denna from the Kingkiller Chronicle, though I’ve been told she cleans up her act and becomes nice in later books. We shall see.

Hopper, Perrin’s wolf familiar is another favorite of mine. He sort of reminds me of Nighteyes from Farseer books, but unlike vigorous and youthful Nighteyes, Hopper is a wise elder wolf type.

We get to know the mysterious Aiel people and their awesome warrior culture. Aiel girls were cool as hell and I loved their witty lines. A Goodreads reviewer wrote Aiel sound like a fantasy version of the Fremen in Dune, and not very original, but it has been many years since I’ve seen the Dune movies and I’ve never read the books, they seemed quite original and awesome to me. They actually sound a bit like the Tuareg tribes in our world.

Tear setting was excellent, so different from the other cities -which were also different form each other- with its unique power structure and strange culture. The details of the cities and the different cultures never fails to immerse me in the world and the story.

Only two things bothered me so far about the Wheel of Time series: 1) Nynaeve’s constant braid tugging (the girl will go bald if she keeps that up!) 2) Bad guys’ names being Hebrew demon names (Sammael, Bel’al=Belial) and the Dark One’s name being the same as the Islamic name for Satan (Shaitan), his alias Ba’alzamon sounding too much like the Hebrew demon Beelzebub -it is kind of annoying. I imagine it shouldn’t bother the readers who are not familiar with Middle Eastern demonology.

Verdict: I loved it. Excellent prose, characters, pacing, action, worldbuilding. I can’t wait to dive into book 4!

Book Review: The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

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

This is book #2 of the legendary Wheel of Time series and I enjoyed it even more than book #1. See my review for the first book here.

The plot thickens and Robert Jordan’s amazing worldbuilding starts unfolding for real in this volume. I was happy to finally see some character development with Rand and hear his voice more. Rand felt like a looking glass character in the first book, but in The Great Hunt Rand really starts to shine. His refusal to accept being the Dragon Reborn and inner struggles was quite intriguing to read.

I honestly didn’t care for Egwene in the beginning, but she grew on me later on. My new fav character was introduced here: The Amyrlin Seat, leader of the Aes Sedai in Tar Valon. She is quite a remarkable character. She came from a fishing village background and the way she makes fishing related analogies about everything is brilliant. Robert Jordan is a genius about weaving characters with such fine details. Also I’m always on the lookout for female characters that aren’t pretty princesses or warrior vixens, so I’m quite happy to see an awesome motherly character with a sharp wit.

Lan got on my nerves a bit in The Eye of the World but here he shines with his cool charm.

The Shienarans have a very different and interesting culture, again Robert Jordan’s superb talent for creating believable and richly detailed cultures keeps impressing the hell out of me. Their attitudes and worldview is quite interesting, nothing like the mainland Andor folks.

Children of the Light continue to be a horrible nuisance, I hate them even more than the Darkfriends. They remind me of the Westboro Baptist Church. They are even more irritating than them.

The Great Game of the Houses in Cairhien puts the Game of Thrones court intrigue to shame, though it gets a bit too colorful in places, but those chapters were my favorites nonetheless. Rand’s attitude is brilliant, too.

I was happy to see Min again, she had a very small part in book 1 but she intrigued the hell out of me, the way Robert Jordan brought her back tot he story was superb.

Girls will kick arse, I am hell bent on keeping my reviews spoiler-free but I found the scenes where they pulled serious badassery quite pleasing to read. These are the kinds of female characters I want to read about, they can take care of business and kick arse when needed. After the weakling messed up females of Asoiaf, Robert Jordan’s girls are such a delight to read. I’m a fan!

My search for a crush-worthy male character continues, I think I will settle for Ba’alzamon for the time being, he comes the closest.