Oh bummer, I read all the original Myth books long ago. Some rip roaring laughter there.
Okay Trys. I finally finished Deadhouse Gates about three weeks ago. Wow. Fabulous finish, and I can see that the plot of any one book is merely a piece of a greater plot inside the Malazan world. However, for such a dark story, the most compelling character was Duiker the historian. Felisin drove me absolutely nuts, and I wanted to learn more about Heboric. And Kulp? What the heck happened?
Anyway, I have two big fat complaints.
The first is that I could not develop any sympathy with the characters, at least, not the way that I would like to. It is good to see the flaws in people, but when you compare Erikson's characterization to, say, Martin, it is weak. Compare it to Janny, and it is bloody well non-existent.
The second complaint is that there are huge holes in the story that the reader needs filled. I did not get the sense of a mystery yet to be solved, or of past facts missing that would help the resolution, but rather of back story that was not there and that was necessary to understand the motivations and actions of the characters. I was left a lot of the time wondering "why are they doing this???" And please, will someone explain what the heck D'ivers and Soletaken are, and why they are bad, or sometimes good, as the case may be?
This being said, Erikson is a GOOD writer. He has amazing ideas, and this is not rip-off fantasy. I expect that the books that follow will fill me in, but I am not rushing into Memories of Ice just yet.
I read Rothfuss' book, and even reviewed it on Fanlit.net. It was an enjoyable read, and the use of the first person was daring, but it starts getting old pretty fast. I hope that the "chronicle" part ends and that the foreshadowing of the beginning picks up more. He had me hooked with that beginning, and that soldier that came in in the middle of the book.
I also just finished a great book, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. He was a little too descriptive on the sex scenes, but it was a great book nonetheless. I would recommend it to anyone who likes medieval fantasy. Despite the lack of a fantastic element, it is just a great story. It is about the trials and tribulations of building a cathedral in 12th century England, during the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud (eventually resolved by Henry II taking the throne). There are multiple POVs, and it is a long book, but a fast read.
Hey, Has anybody read A Sword From Red Ice by J.V. Jones.
I read the other two in the series, A Cavern of Black Ice and a Fortress of Grey Ice. So far I kinda like the books. Enough anyways that I bought the third one. But I can't say that I love them. The way Jones writes is weird. I feel like there is no plot to the book at all until I get to the last 20 pages. I hope the third book is better. Goodness knows it is certainly longer.
Any one got any opinions on this series?
My complaint about the first two Malazan books was that I was left feeling flat by the time I got to the end of the books... most especially after the second book. The actions taken by the Army of the Apocalypse against the survivior's of Coltaine's army was anticlamcatic and Felisin's reaction was insufficient.
That said, Memories of Ice is, IMO, a much better book. While this world is still dark (I'll put it this way, I'd like to visit Middle Earth for a vacation... I'd like have an extended stay on the continent of Paravia... I've no desire to visit Erickson's world) the 'hole's you refer to start to get filled in. The depth and history of this universe is very complex. In case you were interested MoI goes back to Genebackis and you find out that book 2 occurred in the same time frame as book 1. Book 4 goes back to the Seven Cities.
I am reading (slowly) Tad Williams' Shadowmarch...haven't read his stuff for a long time - I am about a third of the way through this, and it's quite engaging. If I recall correctly it seems to be going a bit darker than his last. Anybody read this? If so, don't spoil, but does this trend get darker (as in horrific?) I just want the warning so I pick my reading times...I DO get nightmares if I watch or read scary stuff too close to bedtime, and prefer to avoid the unpleasantness, so a heads-up on the continued tone of this duology would be welcome.
Shadowmarch gets darker, Shadowplay (book 2) gets considerably darker. Book 3 (Shadowrise) isn't out yet...might be another year, so slow reading is good! (Clanny and I are Tad fans, too, your authorship!)
Hi Mark - thanks. Tell me it's not going to morph to the point where it's one of these series where there's not Somebody left to root for???
There are, but Tad is giving us precious few to choose from! Ack! It will be interesting to see how Shadowrise turns out... I could always go across the causeway and sit on Tad's front porch and deliver your requests if you'd like... ;^) Tad is just across the river from me; I've even had the fortune to bump into him at a couple of places. Have you had a chance to read his "War of the Flowers?" It is a very excellent one-book wonder with extremely engaging characters... though there are a couple of parts that gave ME nightmares as well, but only a couple.
I have strayed from Tad in recent years. I loved Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, but got lost (not in a good way) in his science fiction thing, Otherland, and never finished the series. I couldn't quite relate to the characters, and the fantasy land of what the internet might become did not grab me. I have been meaning to start his newest stuff for a while now, but something else has always come first. I'll definitely move War of the Flowers into the TBR pile, followed by the newest stuff when the next volume comes out.
Mistakenly, I started J.V. Jones A Cavern of Black Ice ten days ago. I am almost done, and though a couple of things have really bugged me (namely a 16 year old stripling becoming an unbeatable bezerker warrior capable of killing three seasoned warriors single-handedly), it is generally a very compelling read, with lots of mystery building behind the scenes. I say mistakenly, because there are only three volumes out of five that are published, and she started this series almost ten years ago (she's even slower than G.R.R. Martin, f.c.o.l!). The last thing I need is yet ANOTHER epic series on the go (present company excepted, of course!)
Hi Walt - I have not read War of the Flowers.
Thanks for the view ahead - I will hang on if I can, the story is certainly well written.
I seem to have "hit" a rash of books, lately, where every character acts despicably, and they go from bad to worse without letup. Makes for depressing reading!!!! not to mention a grind on the heart.
In general, I tend to like books where the predictability is varied - good characters may change, but so might "bad" characters - and a full spectrum of experience is available. The nightmare bits, balanced, as it were, with others that lift the heart. And where the motivations and susceptibilities are tied to human traits.
I liked Roberson's Karavans series VERY much, because the "dark" was stuff humans just did not understand. The "malice" was presumed, on our part. In her series, the characters who straddled the line dared not reveal themselves - but you had a "view" into what was other - the line was not hard-drawn.
Also McKillip's "Magic of OD" book - brilliant! and another of hers, that crossed into contemporary - she had a real genius for showing how fear creates the monsters, not the monsters going for "us" -
Guess I get to see where this one takes me...it's gorgeously written.
To my taste, unremittingly bloody and grim getting grimmer is just as insipid, to me, as the saccharine stuff, where the sweet bits have no substance.
Tad Williams is a fine writer, no question, tell him that from me, if you see him.
We just watched the movie "Catch Me If You Can" and I dreamed THAT all night - ! Too much dwelling on the nightmarish stuff just wrecks me, period. There's a point where it's (for me) just not entertaining anymore. But it's hard to say where that line falls. I loved Karavans but I also avoided it for a long time, and chose the timing to read it (the opening bit just gave me the shudders!) The sheer humanity of the characters played it through. Roberson's an excellent writer, no doubt about that.