High Fantasy Month is back to slay some dragons
The last time I did this was back in July, so I thought it was time to knock out a few more fantasy books. Next time, I may switch up the media and do High Fantasy movies instead of books only. I’ve been sort of dying to see Sword & the Sorceror.
Anyway, recently I bought a few fantasy books I’ve been eyeballing during a fire sale on Google Play and Amazon. So let’s see how I did.
The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (2011) – Patrick Rothfuss – I read the first book in Rothfuss’ series, The Name of the Wind, back in January 2014 and I enjoyed it. It was very story heavy with lots of characters with weird names but the book is well written and I was very interested in the world that Rothfuss had built. So, when I found the sequel on sale for super cheap a few months ago on Google Play, I snatched it up. It continues the story of Kvothe, a legendary arcanist (ie magic user) who is relating the unbelievable events of his life story to a scribe. Overall, this book is good. However, it’s LOOOOONG. The eBook is 875 pages long. And it feels every bit of that length. And I didn’t realize this, but it’s also a road book. The main character, Kvothe, is sent out on a journey that lasts FOREVER. He finishes the initial task on the journey and then goes off on an interlude. And then another interlude. And another. To infinity. I was ready for the book to end. But the book is written very well and is set in an interesting world with an interesting take on magic. I just think, since we KNOW this book is continuing into a third book, that Rothfuss should have ended it a little sooner. And I feel this is a gripe I have with many books in the fantasy genre.
Troll Mountain: The Complete Novel (2014) – Matthew Reilly – I’ve read most of Matthew Reilly’s books. He’s a great action adventure author who’s most famous series involves a special forces officer code-named Scarecrow. So, this was a bit of a genre departure for Reilly. It’s a junior fantasy adventure. Very simple. Short. The novel is in three parts and each part is only about 50 pages long. I actually liked it quite a lot. It reminds me of L Frank Baum’s fantasy stories. Like this could have been a lost fantasy fable found in his papers after he died. It has that type of heart and charm with a touch of morality and lessons to be learned. The story involves our hero, Raf, who has a sister that has fallen ill to a disease that is plaguing the land. There are trolls living in a nearby mountain that have an elixir that will cure it but they require a high payment. Raf, who is poor, decides to travel to Troll Mountain, sneak into their vault and steal the elixir in order to save his sister. It’s a pretty fun, quick and light read that I highly recommend.
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book 1) (2006) – Brandon Sanderson – I’ve had my eye on Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy for a while. Finally Amazon put the Kindle versions on sale for a song (all 3 books for less than $6) and I snatched them right up. So, I read the first book in the trilogy and it’s pretty damn good. The world Sanderson creates is interesting and he has filled this world with interesting characters and a very interesting system of magic. And the setup is similar to something you’d see in another fantasy series I like, The Lies of Lock Lamora by Scott Lynch. It’s a group of thieves and cons who are hired to perform an impossible heist. Exactly the type of plot I love. I will definitely continue this trilogy. However, I have a similar gripe about this book that I had with the first book in this list. The book is a little bit too long. The first book in this trilogy is nearly 700 pages. Knowing there are two more books in this series, reading through to 700 pages starts to get a little tiring. And slightly annoying. Even when I enjoy the characters and subject matter, story fatigue sets in around 600-700 pages. However, that being said, I really did enjoy the book and would recommend it.
The Second Book Of Swords – Fred Saberhagen – You’ll recall during my last High Fantasy Month that I read Fred Saberhagen’s First Book of Swords. I actually have the compilation of all three of the original swords books, so I thought I’d pick up the book and read the second book in the series. But, alas, I didn’t get much further than 4-5 pages. I just couldn’t get into it. I kept glazing over reading the pages and nothing would stick. Not sure what was wrong. I’m close to saying I’m not reading this series anymore, but I may give it a few months and try again. When I couldn’t finish this book, I started to read Mistborn instead. And you see how that turned out, so clearly it was an issue with this story and not with me getting tired of reading fantasy books.