Book Nook

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Book Nook

   By Hunter on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 - 05:09 am: Edit Post

Cherryh's Morgaine and Foreigner books (all 18? of them!) are some of my favourite all time. The Foreigner books really do hold an unflattering mirror up to humanity so whilst it is probably Sci-Fi, it is a story about human emotions, character and dealing with foreigners.. which is funny as Bren Cameron is technically the Foreigner in a bi-species relationship! Super highly recommended..

   By Clansman on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 07:47 am: Edit Post

A recent discovery of mine is John Gwynne's Malice, the first book in the Faithful and the Fallen series. It's been a round a little while, and I'm only into the first book, but I find it intriguing, something of a late Dark Ages tale, where Kings were really chieftains, and the culture is somewhat pre-Norman Conquest Anglo-Saxon. It echoes a number of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, however, without the bleak cynicism and the pornographic sex scenes of which GRRM seems to be so fond. There are some definite GRRM references/influences, and some might find Gwynne a little derivative in that regard, but I've been able to look past those, particularly in the first book of the series. If he doesn't grow beyond those by the end of the first book, I'm likely to be more critical of him.

Characterization is really good, and all but one of the POVs are "good" people, making the build up all that more sinister. I'm going to like a character who will do something really, really bad, and the ultimate "good v. evil" challenge will, I think, be played out in the hearts of each character. Even the one "bad guy" is sympathetic, a man who loves his wife and son, and will do anything for them.

The plot is likely to be a sprawling one, which I love (my favourite genre is epic fantasy, of course!), but it's too early to tell what Gwynne's skill is in that regard.

I'll let you know how it goes. The reviews I've read are really encouraging.

   By Melanie Trumbull on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 02:16 pm: Edit Post

An acquaintance who works in a second-hand bookstore
just recommended to me
the author James Branch Cabell,
who was most active in the 1920's.

This is the sort of author
whom writers recommend to other writers,
while a lot of readers scratch their heads.
I had never heard of Cabell but
it seems that while his books have
fallen into obscurity,

he has been hugely influential on writers
from Robert Heinlein to Neil Gaiman.

Actually Cabell seems a little daunting
at first look:
historical fiction goes into his world-building
and he has a wicked satirical streak.

I may look at The White Robe
which is a black satire in which
a werewolf goes to heaven -- !

   By Melanie Trumbull on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

I'm also making the acquaintance of author
Anne Bishop,
whose fantasy-author debut
was at ROC publishers before 2000.

Like Janny, Anne Bishop had to transition
to a different publisher.

I don't love what Bishop writes as
it is full of post-traumatic triggers for me,
but I respect how she confronts
the reality of trauma and healing.

Her writing is skillful,
so it pleases my mind if not my emotions.

And I am partial to what she does
with sentient animal spirits,
although some readers get turned off by
talking animals.

   By Clansman on Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 04:42 pm: Edit Post

I finished the John Gwynne series. Exceptionally violent, and the characters are compelling. I also like the fact that there are strong female characters in non-traditional roles, and that you get perspectives of the not-so-good characters. Pacing is very fast, and the main protagonist becomes an expert swordsman over the course of several years, not in 6 months like so many farmboys seem to do.

The cons: Aside from the armed conflict and some magic, there is little beyond that by way of plot. I think Gwynne was best in the first book, when there were great unknowns about the future, and he could have done some neat things with the "Otherworld", from whence came the Faithful (Ben-Elim) and the Fallen (Kadoshim). A lot more could have been done with that setting. Also, there was very little in the way of political intrigue or alternate story lines.

The editing was a little sloppy, too.

In short, the guy can write, but I'd like to see a lot more in the way of plot development, and story lines that stay separate and don't converge so quickly. Too much resolution is just too pat. A good read, but not challenging. Left me a bit disappointed at the end, actually, but hoping for better from this writer.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, June 14, 2019 - 08:31 pm: Edit Post

Try Miles Cameron's The Red Knight. Best read I've encountered in quite awhile.

I also loved Carol Berg's latest - but she's had to change bylines to Cate Glass. The title is An Illusion of Thieves.

For a new and unknown writer who impressed me quite a bit, try Paige Christie's Draigon Weather and Wing Wind. Sequel is due shortly...she's set to wrap it in 4 volumes. If you like broken heroes and a very unusual take with a female lead (he totally but TOTALLY doesn't get her POV, being too stuck in his traditional tunnel vision to understand what she's about)...this writer deserves a wider readership.

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 10:22 am: Edit Post

Update: I have now read four of five books in Miles Cameron's Traitor Son series.

People: if you love my work, you will love this series. It works on ALL THE LEVELS. The characters, both male and female and other - are fantastic. PERSPECTIVES shift, and so do alliances. It does not do cliffhangers. Book I is carefully complex; it is worth pushing through the bits you 'care' about a little less, he is world and character building for FANTASTIC stuff, coming later. (Curse of the Mistwraith in many ways did the same, had detail you didn't know why, yet).

If you are craving a read that is adult in concept, adult in ideas and deeply enveloped in views and philosophical differences, IS NOT NIHILISTIC, and in fact, is a grand bit of fun on top of the serious, give this one a go while you are waiting for Song.

I had all but given up that books like this one existed at all/were being published in this day of the light bite/dumb it down to shallow and suck the juice out of language until it is BLAND/have it all now era.

I love to read, and rarely ever, gush about a book. These ones have earned it times over.

   By Brian Uri! on Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 08:03 pm: Edit Post

I just finished Book 1 of the Traitor Son series. My review is on Reddit: cameron/

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