This is traditional portal fantasy: two outsiders from our world are sucked into a conflict with an ancient, (literally) nebulous enemy in a parallel fantasy world. Darwath is losing the war, its King is dead, his heir a baby, and the political powers are at one another’s throats as they vie for control in spite of ongoing assaults. This first installment sets the scene and embeds the offworlders for (presumably) future glory.
Another year down the line, and our so-called heroes are flailing around the far north failing to find […]
Picking up a year after The Steel Remains left off, our heroes have moved on, sort of. Ringil, […]
A re-read for me, and my first dip into grimdark for quite some time. I have an abiding […]
The short version: some good character work (especially on the lead women), clear definition of 4 cultures on an alien world (1 alien) including different takes on gender and sexuality, and interesting ideas (cultural isolation, culture exchange, managing the impact of high tech on low tech society, and re-casting science as magic). On the down side, it's flabby, I couldn't help but feel it was lazy in the world-building, and it's overly simplistic in its conclusions. Ultimately entertaining but not stellar.
For those who can bear it:
Third time lucky. I had no problems engaging with The Steerswoman on this attempt and enjoyed it as […]
I completed The Invisible Library on my second tilt, but I have to admit I didn't enjoy it […]
Blood and Iron is a slow ride that is quietly demanding. Elizabeth Bear makes no allowances for her reader’s familiarity with faerie tales or Irish pronunciation, weaving the implicit weight of her chosen myths into her own sharp tale of the war between Faerie and Man. If you don’t know what you’re missing, it may feel both surprising and sketchy; if you have long loved Irish myth and the Matter of Britain, you will probably get a good deal more out of it.
Alanna doesn’t want to be a Lady. She wants to be a Knight. Her twin brother Thom would rather study sorcery than swordsmanship. When her father packs them off to school, they swap places. With the help of grumpy retainer Coram and charming George the thief, can Alanna keep her secret long enough to win her place?
I commented a while back that this was at risk of turning into nothing but a bookblog, and I suspect that 2014 will see it go one step further and become largely dormant as my bookblogging transitions across to LibraryThing. However, I started so I’ll finish – my final round-up of 2013 before my look back at the year to see whether any of it was really up to scratch.
Yes, I’m procrastinating. Two posts in one day? What else could possibly be going on? I’ve got a document to draft by Tuesday, and I meant to have it finished by Thursday evening. It’s far from done, so I’m crossing off other bits of mental laundry so that tomorrow can be as productive as physically/mentally possible. Terrifyingly, it’s nearly 6 months since I last jotted notes here on my recent reading. In the meantime, I’ve finished 32 books (what can I say, the longer commute and the part-time work suit me down to the ground). As last time, links go to my commentary elsewhere online.
Three brutalised teenagers escape a monastery that turns out hardened soldiers for God. They stumble into the clutches of the most powerful empire in the region and unwittingly provoke a war between the monks and the empire’s peerless warrior class.
This is not what the book appears to be about from reading the blurb.
As some of you are aware, I’ve been lucky enough to have some extended time off this year, which inevitably means that I’ve been reading like the dedicated bookworm that I am. I’m likely to read as many books by the end of June as I’ve read in an entire year (during a lean year, anyway), and I’ve loved every minute. It’s been a couple of months since I last captured what I’ve thought of this mountain of material, so I wanted to do another recap – although I have had the time to be much, much better about logging reviews and ratings on my LibraryThing, which is increasingly becoming my main platform for all book-related activity.
Adoulla is fat, grumpy and getting old, but he’s the last true ghul hunter in Dhamsawaat, capital of the kingdoms of the Crescent Moon. And frankly, that set-up is more than enough to get me excited. Bring it on.