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Has anyone read any NK Jemisin? I've just finished the Fifth Season and it was absolutely fantastic. Really unique writing style for a fantasy, consistent and logical worldbuilding, interesting characters and a really well realised world. About to start the sequel and would thoroughly recommend for anyone looking for a new read.

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1 hour ago, The Grand Pursuivant said:

Has anyone read any NK Jemisin? I've just finished the Fifth Season and it was absolutely fantastic. Really unique writing style for a fantasy, consistent and logical worldbuilding, interesting characters and a really well realised world. About to start the sequel and would thoroughly recommend for anyone looking for a new read.

I've got it, but I;m finding it hard to get into . It's not really grabbing me.  I need to make a concerted effort.

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I just finished the third book. It stays great all the way through, although the third book has to do a fair bit of heavy lifting to land the ending.

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R Scott Bakker's Prince Of Nothing series. Worth a read? Just polished off Anna Smith Spark's The Tower Of Living & Dying (a worthy sequel to The Court Of Broken Knives, which I also enjoyed) and she seems to cite RSB's books as influences in interviews. Might take the plunge on the first book 

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First hundred pages of TDTCB seemed very dense with references to about 8 or 9 different political factions and a lot to take in, but now it's settled down into a very compelling multi POV grimdark fantasy number. Glad I took the plunge 

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8 hours ago, SM47 said:

First hundred pages of TDTCB seemed very dense with references to about 8 or 9 different political factions and a lot to take in, but now it's settled down into a very compelling multi POV grimdark fantasy number. Glad I took the plunge 

The what now?

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17 hours ago, SM47 said:

First hundred pages of TDTCB seemed very dense with references to about 8 or 9 different political factions and a lot to take in, but now it's settled down into a very compelling multi POV grimdark fantasy number. Glad I took the plunge 

They kind of reminded me of a fantasy version of Nevernes, with philosophy replacing the Hindi?? folklore.

 

 

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It's certainly a different kind of fantasy world to the usual medieval western Europe type affair. It's definitely more of a Morrowind than an Oblivion. 

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On 18/06/2019 at 13:24, The Grand Pursuivant said:

Has anyone read any NK Jemisin? I've just finished the Fifth Season and it was absolutely fantastic. Really unique writing style for a fantasy, consistent and logical worldbuilding, interesting characters and a really well realised world. About to start the sequel and would thoroughly recommend for anyone looking for a new read.

 

Finished the second of the 3 and taking a break before piling into the Stone Sky. I'm really impressed by it so far. I agree the narrative style is very unusual (at least for the sort of stuff I read). The overall story setup is excellent. I also like how the world building is explained as it goes and not explicitly basil expositioned at certain points. It feels very natural. Would also unreservedly recommend.

 

Just started The Arm of the Sphinx, directly after finishing Senlin Ascends, 100 pages or so in. Would absolutely recommend this too, my god it's amazing. The last time something totally blew me away like this was Cryptonomicon about 10 years ago I think. Obviously it may go to shit in books 2-4, but so far it's so so good.

 

While I'm here I feel duty bound to recommend Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Mieville. Amazing world, and beautifully written. Two of my favourite books.

 

All of this with the caveat that I don't generally get on with the fantasy genre. LOTR bored me so badly I gave up. I've tried various fantasy books over the years and just cannot get on with them at all.

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A Little Hatred turned up today. Forgot I'd pre ordered in and have just started Winslow's The Cartel :(

 

smells lovely though. 

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Finished A Little Hated a few days ago (on Audiobook). Abercrombie read by Steven Pacey is incredible, he puts so much life into all of the characters.. every voice is perfect. I love it and have not found another narrator/author combination like it since I started audiobooks about 3-4 years ago.

 

Non-spoiler thoughts on ALH: I love Orso, maybe even more than I loved Jezal. The self-aware avoidance of (almost) any kind of effort or responsibility just really warmed my heart for some reason every single time. His small acts of kindness and unselfishness too.

 

And it even had some cameos from probably my favourite Abercrombie character; Corporal Tunny :D. I could listen to Tunny's philosophy on life all day.

 

I loved the setting too.. I don't really know anything about the industrial revolution at all, but the clash of progress and the common person's way of life was really fascinating.

 

In terms of the story...

 

Spoiler

I had truly brilliant moment where slightly mis-remembering my First Law history gave me the most epic dramatic reveal. The bit where Jezal is looking at Savine strangely the first time they meet in the book (at the Solar Society).. it *suddenly* dawned on me that she is his daughter! I just lazily hadn't put the pieces together.. and then 5 seconds later I got a proper OMMGGGG moment when I realised who Orso was to her :D. I know it wasn't totally designed to happen like that, but being a bit slow paid off big time!

 

The pace of the whole thing just never let up at all. All of the stuff in Valbeck was very interesting.. and the set-piece with Savine escaping came off really well (for me.. though I could see how some people think it might have been a bit overly dramatic). And the Brock vs Nightfall in the circle had me properly on the edge.

 

Finally, I love how that we're now at the stage with the First Law where the background has become rich enough for you to get a little bit of excitement every time something from a previous book is dropped in. Characters that you know from the first 3 books now have almost mythical status and I find that really compelling. The character who Vic sleeps with at the beginning.. him reading Dab Sweet, for example.. just such a nice touch that really captures the imagination.

 

I was basically just so sad it was over. Might have to go back and listen to the first three books again soon actually, even though it hasn't even been that long :).

 

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On the flip side of this, I've started Throne of Glass as I wanted to try something written and narrated by women.. but it's a bit... shit (I admit I just saw over 4 starts on Amazon and figured how bad could it be?). Can anyone recommend any female written/narrated fantasy?

 

Edit: Oh just googled NK Jemisin.. think I will try that next! :)

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I just finished A Little Hatred too - but really really wish I'd reread the earlier books first. Whilst the story in it doesn't rely at all on prior knowledge, I'd forgotten some of the characters and relationships from the First Law and I'd have gotten more out of it, I reckon. 

 

At least I know what I'm reading next! 

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9 hours ago, John0 said:

On the flip side of this, I've started Throne of Glass as I wanted to try something written and narrated by women.. but it's a bit... shit (I admit I just saw over 4 starts on Amazon and figured how bad could it be?). Can anyone recommend any female written/narrated fantasy?

 

Edit: Oh just googled NK Jemisin.. think I will try that next! :)

 

Quote

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

 

The best of her kind, yet at 17 (at 18 she'd already spent a year in prison, going by the first paragraph) she's already been caught and serving a life sentence. Not really a great start to your career is it?

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Not sure if it’s already been mentioned in the thread, but I’ve just finished The Traitor by Seth Dickinson.

 
A really non standard fantasy. No magic, no much fighting, and a rebellion underpinned by inflation and monetary policy. Betrayal within betrayal and a great ending. Surprisingly upsetting at the end.

 

The best fantasy novel involving a lesbian accountant I’ve read all year.

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13 hours ago, Radish said:

The best of her kind, yet at 17 (at 18 she'd already spent a year in prison, going by the first paragraph) she's already been caught and serving a life sentence. Not really a great start to your career is it?

 

It suffers a lot from telling instead of showing in the beginning (I've given up). I listened for a good couple of hours, and I was told constantly how she is the BEST, but in that time she only had one sparring fight... which she lost. I think there were three or four separate sentences that formed the structure "As if that would work on her." in the opening two or three chapters alone. I did like the premise, but the prose was very tiresome and off-putting. Having an arrogant protagonist is not an easy thing to pull off.. but I feel like boasting and bragging to the reader directly (rather than to other characters) is not the way to go.

 

It was quite interesting to listen to something that I actively didn't like though :) I follow so many recommendations that it's nice to put that quality into perspective.

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On 21/10/2019 at 11:24, John0 said:

Can anyone recommend any female written/narrated fantasy?

 

Anna Smith Spark's The Court Of Broken Knives is very enjoyable. It's set in a vaguely medieval China-ish type fantasy setting rather than a medieval western Europe analog. Some nice worldbuilding going on, good characters. I enjoyed the heck out of it. If you like Abercrombie you'd probably get a fair bit out of it. 

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On 21/10/2019 at 20:51, Fondue said:

I just finished A Little Hatred too - but really really wish I'd reread the earlier books first. Whilst the story in it doesn't rely at all on prior knowledge, I'd forgotten some of the characters and relationships from the First Law and I'd have gotten more out of it, I reckon. 

 

At least I know what I'm reading next! 

I have had the same thought but a few wiki Google's later and it was up to speed. I think Joe Abercrombie is my favourite author tbh. I find his books so much more compelling than done other titans of fantasy. I'd read his novels over J.R.R.Martin tbh and I absolutely loved those. 

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On 21/10/2019 at 19:24, John0 said:

On the flip side of this, I've started Throne of Glass as I wanted to try something written and narrated by women.. but it's a bit... shit (I admit I just saw over 4 starts on Amazon and figured how bad could it be?). Can anyone recommend any female written/narrated fantasy?

 

Edit: Oh just googled NK Jemisin.. think I will try that next! :)

 

Jemisin's Broken Earth or whatever the most recent trilogy is called is excellent, so I hope that you get on with it.

 

I have to shamefully admit that I haven't actually read it myself but the Daughter/Servant/Mistress of the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Jenny Wurts is supposed to be excellent (and apparently draws a lot from Japanese medieval culture)

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On 11/11/2019 at 22:16, Sirloin said:

Yeah that’s great. Robin Hobb’s Assassin books are excellent if you want to destroy yourself emotionally several times.

 

Omg I do want to do that! Excellent.

 

Yeah getting on pretty well with the first Broken Earth book, though think I have been a touch slow on the uptake with a couple of things. But all three storylines are compelling and interesting, and it's pretty nicely written. What's super weird (perhaps a touch nervous about admitting this) is how long it took me to "see" the characters in my head as not being white. I have definitely got there eventually, but having read exclusively fantasy where most of the main characters are white I think my brain just thought it was a given. Definitely not a comfortable feeling!

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Just finished K J Parker's Scavenger trilogy at long last (bought the paperbacks like 10 years ago then bought them again on Kindle since the physical books are in a different country to me right now). 

 

The first book is the best as the main character blunders from disaster to disaster as he keeps on meeting people who know him but don't realise he's lost his memory. The second book is provides background detail, despite the long-winded tracts of interminable detail about blacksmithing (with some horrific outcomes) before the the final book ties up all the loose ends, albeit doing so with a 10 page summary of the entire plot at the end that was somewhat overdone. 

 

It's not prime Parker (that being the Engineer trilogy, Sharps and The Folded Knife) but if you're a fan then it's certainly worth reading.

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Been listening to King Killer Chronicles on Audiobook and really loving it. About 6 hours into the 2nd book now but it's 50 hours long on 1.3x speed so once I've finished the book I'm on now I'm gonna switch between reading and listening because I keep finding myself wanting to know the next bit.

 

Also, I'm gonna throw out another plug for Ian Irvine's Three Worlds Saga. It's 13 books into a 15 book story and one of my favourite series.

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15 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

Been listening to King Killer Chronicles on Audiobook and really loving it. About 6 hours into the 2nd book now but it's 50 hours long on 1.3x speed so once I've finished the book I'm on now I'm gonna switch between reading and listening because I keep finding myself wanting to know the next bit.

 

Also, I'm gonna throw out another plug for Ian Irvine's Three Worlds Saga. It's 13 books into a 15 book story and one of my favourite series.

 

Oh man, you've got the Felurian section to "enjoy" in Kingkiller. You'll see.

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