Books Fantasy Reads

Edgar Allan Pillow

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@harshad Peace Talks cover released. There is also an excerpt from the book in the list, which is amazing. I just can't wait! Looks like I need to read Brief Cases and Side Jobs again for this as Fomors seem to get back in picture.

https://ew.com/books/2020/01/16/jim-butcher-peace-talks-preview/

 
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DMacgraw

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Will start my re-read in June, with Summer Knight. That should give me enough time to be turning the last pages of Zoo Day when Peace Talks rolls out.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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and


Paternus - Rise of Gods (Book #1) and Wrath of Gods (Book #2)
- Dyrk Ashton

A roller coaster of a fantasy read. It's a hot pot of mythology with references and characters from Egyptian, Indian, Sumerian, Greek, Buddhist, Irish amongst others.

The first sentient being on this planet is Father who sired Firstborn who then procreated the Secondborn and so forth. After a huge war amongst themselves, these creatures still walk amongst humans in current day Earth, cloaked and hidden, with their own intents and purposes....which is about to change. And the protagonist kids Fi and Zeke are caught up in this. It's captivating from the get go and has mega fights to satisfy even the most die hard magic fan.

The writing style is a bit bizarre as the pov switches multiple times in same page. The effect is weird, but somehow fits the story well. The books takes some getting into, but never lacks entertainment from page one.

If you like a book between gods, angels, monsters and powerful creatures slugging it out amongst themselves, then dig in. I loved it.
----

Book 2 continues from book 1 and author just throws character after character from various mythologies right at you. He has used the Hindu mythology as the base for the story (it's not a Hindu mythological story though) which is vastly refreshing as I've rarely read a book in this setting. As if that's not enough, book also features multiverse, travelling between them etc in a fantasy setting.

Sometimes it just feels like a mythology lessons distracts from original plot and you actually realize you're being info-dumped...but not to an extent to drag down the pace. Like Book 1 establishes the characters, Book 2 develops the characters of the protagonist kids and sets the stage for a epic finale. Also looks like we're heading to Chinese mythology at least in start of book 3. It's just amazing the author weaves all these mythology is a standard biblical story! Can't wait for Book 3 to be out.
 
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DMacgraw

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That snake with arms (holding swords) is how I imagine the dai'garthin in the Licanius Trilogy!
 

ivaldo

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Never Die - Rob J Hayes

Wuxia fantasy is closest I can describe this. Like a written version of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers and like. Quite simple plot-wise but the writing style just takes you along for the ride and you get regular vs people battles and vs monsters battles to spice things up. Book has a good flow and doesn't let pace sag.

Climax is quite unexpected. I didn't see that coming. Poignant, fitting...not sure how to describe it. But immensely enjoyable and leaves you with a fully satisfied feeling.

Definitely recommended!
Is that a fat guy in pants holding a umbrella?
 

DMacgraw

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Just finished The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington (1, The Shadow of What Was Lost; 2, An Echo of Things to Come; 3, The Light of All That Falls). I loved it, and wouldn't mind re-reading it some time in the future to answer some of the questions it left with me. Highly recommended. 7.5/10.

I'm not sure whether my enjoyment of the trilogy is because or in spite of the very broad similarities to The Wheel of Time in many plot points. In my view the WoT is a much more broad, detailed and richer story, but there is something to be said for the fact that Licanius manages to tell its story in only 3 novels while WoT took 14!

The shortness of Licanius, however, makes it a pretty dense series, and its employment of time travel as a plot device causes some confusion in the timelines. It also doesn't mind violating the usual caveat in time travel tropes, the paradox of someone travelling back in time to meet their past self, and having an extended interaction with their past self!

Islington suggests that he'll likely tell the Aelric and Dezia story in a forthcoming novella.
 

giorno

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Finished Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes

9/10 i loved it
 

Pexbo

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Three quarters of the way through Rivers of London and I'm really enjoying it so far. A very easy read that ticks along at a comfortable pace.
I just finished this.

I thought the first 3/4 of the book was really good and introduced a really interesting world and set of characters but the whole Punch and Judy story arc was really weak and the book really lost half its charm when Nightingale was as out of action.

I might give another book a chance as it seems there’s a chance it could be a half decent series but there’s enough doubt that it will suffer from the same weakness this one had.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Just finished The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington (1, The Shadow of What Was Lost; 2, An Echo of Things to Come; 3, The Light of All That Falls). I loved it, and wouldn't mind re-reading it some time in the future to answer some of the questions it left with me. Highly recommended. 7.5/10.
I'm just starting Book 1. Looks to be an interesting read...
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Overall: +9
Loved it. A refreshing read, which is wildly gripping and totally different from any other book I've read. A roller coaster adventures both geographically and plot-wise keeps moving to keep you stuck to the book.

Freshness: +10
The Lot Lands is a gritty hard place stuck between a semi-hostile kingdom on one side and wild orc hordes on other. A wild west meets sons of anarchy set in fantasyland! Both the setting and the characters plus they way book is written clearly sets itself on a level outside of most other fantasy book out there.

Prose: +10
An unapologetically disgusting and dirty prose that shreds modern political correctness and sensibility expectation on it's way to a wildly entertaining romp. A cascade of vulgarity and lewdness seeps through every page of the book topped with base jokes, that actually make you laugh rather than cringe, which is not an easy balance to achieve! Despite that the book has a nice flow to it and it drags you right in to experience the life on a hog in lotlands right with the characters.

Plot: +8
What starts off as a personal duel rapidly escalates into a far bigger conflict which the author keeps you from guessing till the end. The way the lead character plods through the events trying to find this way, but finding his beliefs yanked repeatedly makes this a obsessive page turner. I have dropped some points on this because of a minor gripe...the books focuses on the protagonist but fails to provide a view of other parties that will be impacted but are not properly covered.
 

Pexbo

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Finally got around to picking up the first WOT novel today. Not sure whether I’m in for something extremely epic or something quite tedious.
 

Pexbo

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Mix of both. Starting and ending books are superb and story sags in middle. Overall, I found it worthy.

The prequel or book 1?
Eye of the World
 

Art Vandelay

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Dragonslayer

By Duncan M Hamilton. I finished this last night, it wasn't bad, but not particularly great either. I finished it though which says something as with time constraints if I'm not feeling a book I will just abandon it. It's a bit David Gemmell lite and probably in the young adult category. It doesn't work particularly well as a stand alone but is a decent opener. A nice setting, interesting characters and it's well told. It just feels a bit basic and like an opener rather than a story on it's own. Not sure if I'll bother with the rest of the series.

5/10

Started The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson. Seems decent so far, so will see how it pans out. If I'm not feeling it I'll read the second Poppy Wars book.
 

Revan

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Finally got around to picking up the first WOT novel today. Not sure whether I’m in for something extremely epic or something quite tedious.
Fantastic at parts, with a few boring books in between (2 of which are quite unreadable). 5th one is the highlight, one of the greatest books in the genre.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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The Shadow of What was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy #1)
- James Islington

Overall: +7
An interesting read that'll fulfill all the fans who liked WoT, but in the end book 1 does not set itself apart from being a WoT inspired work rather than a new work of its own. But it does just enough to make you continue the series.

Freshness: +6
A standard coming of age fantasy novel. Young protagonists coming into power, unknown foe to be defeated, legendary sword to be acquired, unstable political situation...all the standard trope for this genre has been covered. The author manages to give the proceedings a twist to keep things novel and this works a great deal to this not looking like a WoT clone. The world building feels very familiar from get go. Magic system is intriguing, but nothing revolutionary. Power within yourself, power drawn externally fighting with magic compulsion vs controlling, seeing vs foretelling, angreal vs vessels....there are many similarities again to WoT.

Characters: +8
The protagonist duo is nothing new. Usual kid with mysterious past coming into his powers, his friend is a powerful bureaucrats. But rather than plug them into one quest, the way author split their paths was nice. Davian becoming harder and the out of blue beginning of relationship between Caeden and princess, just felt off and not organic. The character which elevates this is Aarkein Devaed. Very promising character with lots of complexity and highly intriguing. Am looking to get to know him more.

Writing/Plot: + 7
Writing style is good. Author keeps the pages ticking without being a drag. Although the books feels slightly bloated as characters are in finding out stage, but nothing to be a detriment. The books at the end felt like a intro/place setter rather than the first step to a journey.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Overall: +8
Just like it says on the blurb, Fast and Furious meets Pacific Rim...a race through a island filled with various Kaiju's. A roller coaster ride with enough twists and turns not just in the race but in the plot too makes this a totally fun book to read.

Freshness: +10
Dutch was sprung out of prison to participate in a dangerous race held in a Japanese Island which is run over with various types of Kaiju monsters to retrieve a secret cargo. Straight out of the gun, the action starts and doesn't stop till the penultimate page. A book, I'd love to watch as a movie. Immensely entertaining.

Writing/Plot/Pacing: +8
Nothing complex, but gripping. Very few info dumps, but even that is fascinating and kept within the context of the book. The characters are introduced early then stage is set and we get to know about the Island and monsters. Then actual race starts and action kicks in. New revelations occur, plot twists keep you engrossed.

Characters: +7
Probably my only gripe about this book, but very understandable considering it's shortness. Book just drops you in at the start and you don't get a deeper understanding of the intentions and/or background of the characters. I wish the book a bit longer and we could understand the characters and overall world more. The macro world which is totally ignores also sounds intriguing and wish author spent more time/pages there.
 

Beachryan

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The Shadow of What was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy #1)
- James Islington

Overall: +7
An interesting read that'll fulfill all the fans who liked WoT, but in the end book 1 does not set itself apart from being a WoT inspired work rather than a new work of its own. But it does just enough to make you continue the series.

Freshness: +6
A standard coming of age fantasy novel. Young protagonists coming into power, unknown foe to be defeated, legendary sword to be acquired, unstable political situation...all the standard trope for this genre has been covered. The author manages to give the proceedings a twist to keep things novel and this works a great deal to this not looking like a WoT clone. The world building feels very familiar from get go. Magic system is intriguing, but nothing revolutionary. Power within yourself, power drawn externally fighting with magic compulsion vs controlling, seeing vs foretelling, angreal vs vessels....there are many similarities again to WoT.

Characters: +8
The protagonist duo is nothing new. Usual kid with mysterious past coming into his powers, his friend is a powerful bureaucrats. But rather than plug them into one quest, the way author split their paths was nice. Davian becoming harder and the out of blue beginning of relationship between Caeden and princess, just felt off and not organic. The character which elevates this is Aarkein Devaed. Very promising character with lots of complexity and highly intriguing. Am looking to get to know him more.

Writing/Plot: + 7
Writing style is good. Author keeps the pages ticking without being a drag. Although the books feels slightly bloated as characters are in finding out stage, but nothing to be a detriment. The books at the end felt like a intro/place setter rather than the first step to a journey.
Good review, will be curious to get your thoughts on the whole series. I quite enjoyed it.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Good review, will be curious to get your thoughts on the whole series. I quite enjoyed it.
Will take some time. I heard that book 2 was a bit slower and bigger and it put me off it for now. Started another LitRPG book (Euphoria Online #1) now and will probably get back to this later. I was so invested in Rand at end of Eye of World, but not so much to Davian.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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Euphoria Online Trilogy:
Death March (#1)
Nightmare Keep (#2)
Killer Dungeon (#3)
- Phil Tucker

Overall: +8
A cracking LitRPG fun read. Set in a world where apocalypse due to climate change in immient, the protagonist sign up to play a game in death mode as the prize would help him save his brother...not realizing his ex-girlfriend has already sabotaged his character already. So stuck in a level that way higher than a beginner, he struggles to survive only to realize that the future of entire world is at stake.

Writing/Pace/Plot: +8
The pace is breathtaking from the beginning and the in-world game is engrossing. The author has done a nice job to keep the LitRPG elements (skill tree, stat sheets etc) to a minimum to not detract non-gaming readers. The plot revolves organically and the macro-plot hinted in first two books comes to fore in Book 3 in a smashing climax. Lots of dungeons to clear, monsters to defeat, areas to explore, grinding to level up, epic items and powerful other players..it all feels well meshed and fits in well.

Characters: +7
Characters are also very relatable, though a bit more can be given on intentions (real world vs in game) of the cast. Lots of focus on protagonist who literally steps into improbable situations and comes out with a scrapy win.Enjoyable underdog wins all through.

If you are looking for a fun read to cleanse palate between other heavy novels, or just to enjoy a light read...this is it. Recommended.
 
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DMacgraw

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Finished the 5-volume Eli Monpress series, plus the short prequel novella. The good parts felt a bit juvenile to me, and the bad parts, all of Book 5 to be more specific, felt wildly overblown with a story that was illogical and required massive suspensions of disbelief, and a magic system that seemed to have no structure, just allowing the heroes to constantly exhibit hitherto unknown powers in order to triumph. 6/10.

Starting the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown.
 

harshad

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On a long road that returns to Old Trafford!!!
A deeply unsettling story, for what it may portend about Ivy's future without Kincaid or anyone else to protect her
That line by Ivy was super cold. Also telling Kincaid to perform the task in a particular manner seems to suggest she had some idea about what could happen after Kincaid performed his task.
 

DMacgraw

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Finished Book 1 of the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown. Loved it. On to Book 2.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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That line by Ivy was super cold. Also telling Kincaid to perform the task in a particular manner seems to suggest she had some idea about what could happen after Kincaid performed his task.
Feels like that, but I'm intrigued. Archive is repository of knowledge which has been uncovered. They shouldn't be able to know the future.
 

Crashoutcassius

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After reading a lot of fantasy as a teenager 15 years ago +. about 2 years ago I decided to step it up and get through some series. I DLed book 1 of about 8 series and have been working through since, mostly on holidays or planes. So far I am up to date on gentlemen bastards, the stormlight archive, mistborn, kingkiller chronicles. I'm stuck half way through book one of Malazan for the last 6 months... my god it is tough
 

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Kingkiller Chronicles - Patrick Rothfuss story of Kwothe in the books Name of The Wind and Wise Man's Fear - has become my favourite fantasy series. It hasn't ended yet, with the third book Doors of Stone rumoured to be released early 2014. It follows the story of Kwothe, a coming of age story which shows a boy with humble and dark beginnings becoming a notorious arcanist. I couldn't recommend this series more, it's a great story with a great character.
And counting...

I'm beginning to suspect this will never be written.

Hands down the Malazan Book if the Fallen is the absolute best thing I've ever read.

I'm thinking of reading for a third time at some stage in the next couple of years.

@Crashoutcassius I don't recall it being tough to get into. It hooked me from the start but it's definitely worth it.
 

celia

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But I thought Rothfuss was way closer to finish this third book. Even if I suppose it is better to not really have high hopes of a close release.

I found book one of Malazan hard to get into too. I finished the second half in one day but haven"t tried to read another book of the series.

After finishing the Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb; I read more dubious books like The Ghost Bride (interesting background, terrible plot and MC), and Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (popcorn fantasy). I probably will try to read the Priory of the Orange Tree before going to read the next cycle of Hobb.
 

giorno

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Almost finished with Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Overall a good book so far, but not quite great. Characters are a bit too flat and there are scenes that just seem forced there because the author ran out of ideas on how to advance the plot, or solve a particular plot point

The book is at its best when reflecting upon the overarching themes(even when it's heavy-handed) or making a point.

The cyberpunk/fantasy world and plot are really cool and Bennett can seriously write an action scene

6.5/10 for now

After this i think i'll dig into either the licanius trilogy or the priory of the orange tree. Read some reviews of the latter and it's universally praised as a masterpiece, very curious about that one. Licanius gets compared to wheel of time and i'm not a fan of that. Hopefully it's wheel of time done well

Finished. 6/10, disappointing all in all. Not sure i'm gonna check the sequel
 
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DMacgraw

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Finished Books 2 (Golden Son) and 3 (Morning Star) of the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. A cracking read. Book 2 was almost non-stop action from when the first book ended, and Book 3 continued in much the same vein to the surprising and satisfying conclusion. I don't read much SF, usually confining myself to Fantasy, and I was disappointed in the much-hyped Hyperion Cantos. But I found Red Rising totally engrossing from beginning to end with only a few cases of stretching my credulity. 8.5/10 for the series as a whole.

A second trilogy continuing the saga is in progress with 2 books already written, waiting for the third. I am going to dive right in.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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The Library at Mount Char
- Scott Haskins

A unique, weird and brutal book that is as engrossing as it's weird. Brutal and stark, the story and characters just pull you in a story that can at best be described as weirdly absorbing!

Tbh, I haven't rad any book that can be described similar to this. Awesome and unique characters, lovely plot and pacing that keeps you turning the pages...knowing you'd not like what you will read, but at same time can't out it down.

7/10
 

DavelinaJolie

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For anyone that doesn't check out the r/fantasy subreddit, there's a bunch of authors offering free ebooks at the moment. Most of it isn't in my wheelhouse, but worth looking into.