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I seem to remember that words of radiance contained absolutely nothing of interest for 900 pages then exploded. I’ve got one page into oathbringer - currently reading the biography of Alexander Hamilton.

 

loved the Broken Earth trilogy over Xmas: quite obvious why the first got a Hugo, and second and third built nicely.

 

also, Senlin Ascends is out this week. If you haven’t, you need to at least try it...

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I'm on part 4 of 5 and it's slowly getting better, but right now I wouldn't really recommend it. It's not bad, but it's nothing special like his best work either. It's a timewaster book but I hardly ever mind putting it down, unlike some his earlier titles which were real pageturners. It just plods along forever with no real stakes, barely any action or adventure, and the characters aren't very interesting (especially as many of the best cast of the first book are hardly featured). One girl is particularly annoying but features in much of the book (not helped by her voice actor, admittedly). Nothing like the fairly tight writing of Age of Kings or the Mistborn series. Sanderson works best when he restricts his cast roster to small numbers, and puts them in a "confined" scenario where he can show his imagination and bring out interesting plot twists and intrigue. 

 

Has anyone read the side stories for the Stormlight saga? In the intro Sanderson says that they are worth checking out as they have references, but I'm in no great hurry to hunt them down after this book.

 

Hurry up George Martin and finish the next Game of Thrones, good fantasy is thin on the ground these days!

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I forgot to cancel my three month Audible trial in time and ended up with three credits, thought I may as well try and bust through three books in twenty days or so. Currently on the first Dresden Files, wasn't sold at all for the first bit but it's really got its hooks into me now. James Marsters has a great reading style for it and I'm totally imagining Dresden as Spike with dark hair. 

 

I also have the first two Chalion books to get through, a friend of mine has been banging on about them for ages so I thought why not. Anyone read them? They're eighteen hours apiece so I've some serious listening to get through, I'm already listening every break I get in work! 

 

Re Stormlight, I'm really starting to get bored now. I get there's supposed to be a sense of worldbuilding but it's just crossed miles into self indulgence. I hammered through the first half after the pretty good Words of Radiance and have pretty much crawled to a dead stop about two hundred pages from the end. The only characters to hold my interest are Dalinar and Taravangian, I read the rest on auto pilot. The other irritating thing is that for all the pages of zero action, there's no character building either - they're all pretty much the same as they were one page into Way of Kings, especially the group I've christened The Boring Saviours - Kaladin (who used to be my favourite) = brooding, Adolin = a bit snooty but his heart's in the right place, Shallan = needs a swift shake and a pretty hard slap and FAR less page time, she seems to have had about half the book. 

 

For all the faults of the Malazan series, you can't argue that there's loads of character development and intrigue during the many many many pages of downtime and that's a series specifically designed to put off the casual reader. Stormlight seems to have slid into "complicated, but in a hugely boring and pointless way". I think the editor needed to have a serious word because for a 1200 page doorstopper I reckon there's been about 300 pages worth so far. Compare that to a Joe Abercrombie book where you can have the whole thing done and dusted in under 400 pages and it's really starting to feel like a tremendous chore. 

 

Sorry, ranted on a bit there. I'm off to let James Marsters soothe me by talking about vampires and stuff and occasionally mispronouncing bits but not being arsed to do it again. 

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I read Oathbringer in a weekend, I didn’t do much else, mind.

I’d have found it much more difficult if I’d been listening to an audiobook and not able to just speed through pages.

 

It followed a similar pattern to the previous book: not much, then an explosive conclusion (if not one that felt tightly plotted enough to be satisfying). Dalinar was ok, but, again, insufficient foreshadowing in the present to really make his back story sing; shallan was a little less boring, but a lot more repetitive, and adolin really didn’t follow through on what could have happened. 

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Re: Oathbreaker

 

Agree, I think that's one of the problems, the characters hardly change and there's very few who are interesting. Starbreaker mentioned the Malazan series and I was thinking about that too whilst listening to Oathbreaker. I'm on like book 5 or 6 of Malazan and it's characters, intrigue, universe and plotlines are so much more entertaining than the treading water this series has become. In Malazan even though there are few battles, there's always tons of interesting stuff going on, and the characters and their shifting alliegances and politics keep it engaging. Although the politics in Oathbreaker is kind of welcome as Sanderson fleshes out the world, it ends up being really dull as Dalinar's never ending quest in appealing to the other world leaders. Like you say, Shallan is just like a repeat of book 2, and she's so bloody annoying I want to slap her. Dalinar is probably the best though his flashbacks feel very tacked on, Kaladin's story is pretty much over, Adolin is boring, Bridge 4 is Bridge 4. I'm still on part 4/5 but I think Elokar has potential to be a good character. I agree Terevangian is probably the most interesting character and it's that kind of intrigue that the story needs. Wit is good too.

 

It's testament to the plodding storyline that I found the interlude short stories way more interesting than the main plot, and would have preffered to hear more about them instead!

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I don't think Sanderson is for me. It's a shame as I'd like to be a fan given that he puts out so many books, wouldn't have to wait long for something to come out.

 

I enjoyed the WoT books he did, read Mistborn which was OK, read the first Stormlight book which I didn't enjoy.

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Just finished ‘The Waking Fire’ by Anthony Ryan. 

 

Slightly unusually for fantasy the setting is akin to 19th century Europe in terms of technology and the world being largely controlled by corporations analogous to the East India Company. Dragon Blood is a hugely valuable commodity and facilitates a type of magic which only certain people are able to use. The author himself said he was influenced by Dune and spice in that regard. 

 

It’s really quite good. First of a trilogy. 

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Because my finger is always on the pulse, I've just read through the Patricia A. McKillip's Riddlemaster series (having loved The Forgotten Beasts of Eld a few years back, after somebody in here recommended it). It was a bit fucking excellent; a bit less of the ethereal quality that I so enjoyed in Forgotten Beasts, but I loved that once again the stories are always touched by a mythical, almost whimsical quality, and set their (otherwise epic) narrative in a world that isn't afraid to feel small.

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I just bought this on the basis of the very interesting premise. 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tangled-Lands-Paolo-Bacigalupi-ebook/dp/B077YH1215/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519771598&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tangled+lands

 

Khaim clings to life. Flooded with refugees and slowly starving, the last city of a once-great empire is surrounded by a choking thicket of toxic bramble. This is a world poisoned by magic. Every time a spell is cast, the bramble advances, sprouting in tilled fields and roof beams, thrusting up from between cobblestones and bursting forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more – until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines. Armies hack and burn... but in a world that can't give up magic's sweet succour, the bramble can't be stopped.

Or can it? After ten years of research, an alchemist believes he has found a potent new weapon to wield against the bramble. His invention promises freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom from the rule of Khaim's tyrant, the Jolly Mayor. But these are twisted times – there are no easy answers, only unforeseen consequences...

Award-winning authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell have created a radical and darkly relevant fantasy, conjuring the collapse of a civilization, smothered by its addictions. This is a world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses just a little magic... and someone else always pays the price.

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On 2/21/2018 at 01:08, Wiper said:

Because my finger is always on the pulse, I've just read through the Patricia A. McKillip's Riddlemaster series (having loved The Forgotten Beasts of Eld a few years back, after somebody in here recommended it). It was a bit fucking excellent; a bit less of the ethereal quality that I so enjoyed in Forgotten Beasts, but I loved that once again the stories are always touched by a mythical, almost whimsical quality, and set their (otherwise epic) narrative in a world that isn't afraid to feel small.

 

Bloody hell, that is a blast from the past.

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Yeah, I like to keep it modern! I'm currently reading C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen for the first time, which at least was released when I was alive, so that's something! Quite fancy rereading the Earthsea quartet afterwards though, so any books released within the past decade may have to wait a little longer for me to get around to them.

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8 hours ago, Wiper said:

Yeah, I like to keep it modern! I'm currently reading C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen for the first time, which at least was released when I was alive, so that's something! Quite fancy rereading the Earthsea quartet afterwards though, so any books released within the past decade may have to wait a little longer for me to get around to them.

Think there are 6 books set in Earthsea these days. I remember reading of a hardcover omnibus of them all coming out in the next year or so.

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Very much enjoyed Kings of the Wyld.  Great debut book and I'll definitely pick up the next in the series.

 

Enjoyed most of the classic rock and other pop culture references (I generally hate this in books but given the premise it was fine and not immersion breaking, with one or two exceptions). A really fun read with great characters and dialogue, which was a good palate cleanser halfway through a reread of Malazan.

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On 3/3/2018 at 12:43, Wiper said:

Yeah, I like to keep it modern! I'm currently reading C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen for the first time, which at least was released when I was alive, so that's something! Quite fancy rereading the Earthsea quartet afterwards though, so any books released within the past decade may have to wait a little longer for me to get around to them.

 

There was a bunch of women fantasy writers I got into back in the late 80s - as well as Cherryh, Le Guin and McKillip, I recall enjoying Diane Duane's 'Tale of the Five' series, although incomplete (Door into Fire, Door into Shadow, Door into Sunset); and RA Macavoy's 'Damiano' series as being a bit different.

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By the way, I finished Oathbringer in the end. It does heat up in the final chapters but it still struggles to make the slightest impact. Massive dissapoinment overall after the previous Stormlight books. I honestly wouldn't bother with this, and confine Stormlight's future to the bonfire. Brandon Sanderson grew too big for his boots.

 

He barely got away with it in the direction he took the Mistborne trilogy, this time he spoiled an even more promising series. Should have kept it small, kept it contained, kept it simple. Stick to the core characters and unique magic/world building instead of these overblown world spanning adventures, which aren't adventures but tedious time sinks full of forgettable and annoying characters, boring moments and inane politics. 

 

Where to look for my next original fantasy action fix, and please don't say Robin Hobb or The Wheel of Time?!

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Has anybody read Peter Higgins' Wolfhound Century trilogy? Just started on the second book and it's compelling stuff. All set in a fantastical analogue of 20th century Russia called The Vlast. Can't recommend it enough. 

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On 27/03/2018 at 03:04, Alan Stock said:

By the way, I finished Oathbringer in the end. It does heat up in the final chapters but it still struggles to make the slightest impact. Massive dissapoinment overall after the previous Stormlight books. I honestly wouldn't bother with this, and confine Stormlight's future to the bonfire. Brandon Sanderson grew too big for his boots.

 

He barely got away with it in the direction he took the Mistborne trilogy, this time he spoiled an even more promising series. Should have kept it small, kept it contained, kept it simple. Stick to the core characters and unique magic/world building instead of these overblown world spanning adventures, which aren't adventures but tedious time sinks full of forgettable and annoying characters, boring moments and inane politics. 

 

Where to look for my next original fantasy action fix, and please don't say Robin Hobb or The Wheel of Time?!

 

Senlin Ascends. I’ve now bought four copies (kindle, paperback for me, two paperbacks to give away).

 

I’ve also just reread Rothfuss’s first two kingkiller books, but you’d never recommend those till he publishes book three. They do work a lot better back to back than I remember A Wise Mans Fear working the first time around.

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Cheers for the recommendations folks. Currently Critical Role is giving me plenty of fantasy entertainment on my walks, in podcast form, whilst I await more Audible credits.I wish they had a bigger fantasy library as many recommendations on here don't have audio books on there. Anyway I recommend Critical Role if you have ran out of stuff to listen to, its like a never ending fantsy yarn, and its free!

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Shadow of what was lost / an echo of things to come - James livingston

 

Kind of cookie cutter in the first third of the first book, only missing the farmboy, but then deepens. Then deepens again. Then continues to deepen throughout book two with a lot of timelines interacting in interesting ways...

Quite looking forward to book three next year.

 

 

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On 28/05/2018 at 20:47, Sirloin said:

I read like the first ten pages of that and gave up. Is it worth trying again?

 

The first forty or so pages are the most generic fantasy startup ever: kid in school has a unique talent and is about to be expelled, gets help from a kindly Elder, runs away.

 

Two, possibly three, of the things I wrote in that sentence you’ll discover are wrong very quickly. The depths of how wrong you still are continue to cascade with every twist.

 

But it’s a very twisty book. Some of the twists are obvious. Some of the twists less so. There’s enough of them, particularly by book two when Livingstone has started to get the hang of following multiple overlapping storylines and using them to play off against each other around a theme (something which, for example, the likes of Brett/Sanderson et al. singularly fail to do) that I think you’re guaranteed to miss some.

 

So if you want twisty, how is the author going to upend everything next, how many more times can he do so, is this deux ex or cohesively plotted*, they’re quite fun and once you get past the first town of the hero’s journey, the ride picks up.

Probably not worth reading a second time.

 

* A mix, I think.

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On 02/06/2018 at 23:16, footle said:

 

The first forty or so pages are the most generic fantasy startup ever: kid in school has a unique talent and is about to be expelled, gets help from a kindly Elder, runs away.

 

Two, possibly three, of the things I wrote in that sentence you’ll discover are wrong very quickly. The depths of how wrong you still are continue to cascade with every twist.

 

But it’s a very twisty book. Some of the twists are obvious. Some of the twists less so. There’s enough of them, particularly by book two when Livingstone has started to get the hang of following multiple overlapping storylines and using them to play off against each other around a theme (something which, for example, the likes of Brett/Sanderson et al. singularly fail to do) that I think you’re guaranteed to miss some.

 

So if you want twisty, how is the author going to upend everything next, how many more times can he do so, is this deux ex or cohesively plotted*, they’re quite fun and once you get past the first town of the hero’s journey, the ride picks up.

Probably not worth reading a second time.

 

* A mix, I think.

 I did the same thing after 10 pages, might pick this back up when I get time, cheers!

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