*delurking to answer Micheal 's question*
I've read Night of Knives. It was a bit (just a little) dissapointing. For one, I wish it was a little bit longer. Second, I wish there were more of the "main" characters. There are only a few characters from the other books, which makes sense, I guess, since they were sent elsewhere. There were some questions anwered & new ones raised. All-in-all, on a scale of 1-10, I'd say about a 6 1/2-- maybe 7.
On the other hand, The Return of the Crimson Guard was much, much better. Longer. (wasn't there a couple of posts on another thread of people saying longer is better?) More new characters, again few from other books (but more than NoK). It's supposed to take place at the same time as Bonehunters, so there are some spoilers if you're not up that far. This one was fantastic! On a 1-10 scale, about an 8 1/2--9.
Hope that helps!
Barb: Thank you. I'm on Reaper's Gale right now, and hearing that Return is set during the chaos of Bonehunters makes me a little excited actually. I personally don't mind the thought of a lack of repeated characters.
I will second Trys and suggest Foreigner. I still remember my joy reading that book for the first time.
Welcome to de-lurk, Barb Yanaki!
Whoo-hoo!!! My favorite author posted a welcome message for me!! Thank you, Janny. That really made my day! Actually, I've been here for a while, but unreliable, intermittent internet (and a bit of shyness) has prevented posting before.
BTW, I recently finished a really, really good book. It's called The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's got a lot of music, some magic, and a dragon (well, sort of). It does start out a bit slow, but it's worth it. If you go to the author's website (www.patrickrothfuss.com), there is an excerpt you can read. Enjoy!!
Thank you very much Tryst and Jana for the recommendation. Am currently reading Joe Abercrombie's 4th novel after really enjoying his initial trilogy. Will pickup Foreigner during next trip to B & N. If you like lots of blood and guts, much warring, one on one banging you will enjoy Joe. His is a somewhat different style and approach to fantasy. I am really enjoying his work. Good plot development and excellent character development and he does have some real "characters".
Barby, read Patrick back in February and really enjoyed his work. I think book 2 is out. I'm trying to determine how to get a copy without the huge shipping expense. The last British published I purchased was from a house in Florida.
If you're into new aurthors suggest you try Brandon Sanderson or Larissa Niec. She is a child psychologist and a very good fantasy writer. Have exchanged notes with her and she has indicated that she is well underway with efforts on book two of her initial trilogy.
I note that Brandon has been selected to write the final book in the "Wheel of Time" epic. I haven't seen a release date but note that Amazon is taking orders. Maybe it will afterall get finished. Have read all 4 of his works published to date and really enjoyed them
Another new author, at least to me, is Daniel Hylton. Really enjoyed "The Mountain at the MIddle of the Road", book one of his trilogy "Kelvin's Riddle". Book two, "The walking Flame" awaits me.
Janny, please get my hopes to the ceiling and tell me that the next novel will be out next year.
barb y - read Name of the Wind, enjoyed it, but really wanted the sequel right away.
Frank - familiar with Abercrombie and Sanderson. Abercrombie - to enjoy this one, you'd better revel in cynicism. Sanderson - solid workmanlike reads.
Haven't read the other two you mention - as for next year, that's the hope! I am into the last sequence. There will be no firm announcement until I have turned in the manuscript, completed.
Rothfuss just turned his manuscript for A Wise Man's Fear in about 6 weeks ago, and the thing is huge. Earliest release would be February, given the normal times for publishing. The best guess from the publisher is May or June, 2010, but I think that is so they can "surprise" us with an earlier release. I hope he ends this one at a more logical spot.
The Gathering Storm, book 12 of The Wheel of Time (and book one of A Memory of Light, the three-volume conclusion of The Wheel of Time) is due to be released on November 5, 2009. It is finished, and a review of the book was recently posted on Dragonmount.com. It is to be hoped that Brandon Sanderson has breathed new life into what had sadly become a badly bloated series, that Jordan should have finished in 9 or 10 books. Had he done so, the series would have been so much better. Books 7 through 10 were successively worse, though book 11 did rescue it somewhat. Sanderson very honestly blogged that there was no way to finish the series in even two books. There were just too many plot lines to wrap up.
I thought WoT started out so very well, but then wandered so badly after book 6.
You've made my day with the news about the WOT series follow-ups. I had struggled on to the end, desperate for some kind of resolution which of course never happened. Somehow I'd never got around to finding out whether anyone had taken up the torch, probably because as you say it was all getting too much, which you can totally understand. At last I have hope of some answers sometime, even if it takes a while - for once I'm content to take what I can get and be grateful. Off to Amazon now
I came by to mention Steven Erikson and the Malazan Book of the Fallen - but I see he's been covered :D
I think his series is the best that has ever been written. He is simply phenomenal. That being said Janny remains my favourite.
Patrick Rothfuss is, I think, a little overrated. Solid fantasy, to be sure, but really, there was nothing groundbreaking or especially unique to the story. It was just well written, character stuff.
Joe Abercrombie is fantastic, to be sure, dark, vicious and humourous, to a fault.
As for the Wheel of Time - I very much disagree with the notion that a) it should have ended in 10 books, as no one here came up with the story, no one here can judge what should have been the length and b) that books 7 to 10 became progressively worse - if anything, those three books are the highlight of the series, the pace ramps up dramatically. It's truly fantastic stuff.
There's a perception I think, that a lot of what Jordan did was unnecessary and it's really depressing to come across. WOT is perhaps one of the most ambitious fantasy epics ever written and every new chapter, every book merely adds new depth to a splendidly diverse storyline. Having seen the first chapter released as a sneak preview on the TOR website, I have to say though, that the outlook is grim. It was very poorly done.
The latest series that I've been reading is George. R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Here's another series that hasn't quite lived up to the hype. I've just finished the second book. It's quite strange. It exists in an odd place for fantasy - a bizarre mixture of old and new that I'm not quite sure what to make of.
It's exceedingly well written to be sure; dark, grim characters, a viciously realistic world and actions - these are the hallmarks of the new wave of fantasy, the new style (I say new, I mean in the last 5-7 years or so) - but it's contrasted with an old style of prose and, here's the kicker, an even older style of dialogue. The dialogue, for me, is what jars the most. It doesn't match the grim characters, or the inherent realism Martin tries to stamp on us repeatedly. It's that high and lordly style of speech characterised by much older fantasy.
Well, it was, anyway. Toward the end of the second book, it began to loosen up a little. For the first time, a character said 'F***' - which annoyed me a little, since it seemed inconsistent with all that came before, but whatever. I'm still enjoying it very much...
(I think I'm rambling now...sorry. I'll stop)