The Official Book Thread

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Post by Firenze Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:51 am

Yeah, I know about The Black Company since it inspired Malazan's authors so heavily. Always planned to get around to it but I already have a backlog of stuff I keep wanting to read but kept putting on hold for manga lel.

The last few books of Malazan weren't all that great anyway tbh. I still retained a good knowledge of Malazan since I have a few online friends that are into it and discuss it every now and then. I think being away for years was actually good since I needed a break from it and I always compared the co-author to Eriksen reading them around the same time and that was unfair because he was a hugely inferior writer by every metric.

I'm gonna read The First Law series after I finish up the follow up to Dancer's Lament. Always sounded appealing to me and I think it has a decent rep.

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Post by M99 Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:28 am

Yeah, heard good thing about Dancer's Lament and the Kharkanas Trilogy that Erikson is writing. Planned to start reading Kharkanas when he's done with it.

Crippled God was a good book tbh, Dust Of Dreams was brutal to get through though.
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Post by Firenze Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:26 pm

Kharakanas trilogy is on hold now. Eriksen mentioned recently how sales were terrible for the second book compared to the main series and even Dancer's Lament which had way more sales than it and even the older Malazan books continue to sell more than Fall of Light. So he figured reader demand for it wasn't all that high, I didn't bother with it myself so I guess he's right. He's focusing on the Karsa trilogy now (already underway) and will wrap up the Kharkanas trilogy when he's done with that. So probably never, lol. Yeah, TCG was decent from what I remember, especially in terms of trying to wrap up all of those plot threads. I don't have too many complaints, from what I've read about other epic fantasy series and how they end, we were kinda fortunate that not many complain about Malazan's. Dust of Dreams is by far the worst book in the series, such a chore to get through, genuinely remember very little about it.

Any of you lads read some good Urban Fantasy? I'm thinking of trying some in that genre. But the stuff I do see around seems kinda cheesy, I think seeing almost every cover having some buff guy or hot chick puts me off even before I read a synopsis lol. Want something gritty.
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Post by Kaladin Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:09 pm

The only urban fantasy i read is Dresden Files, i like it but i dont think its your taste, check /r/fantasy for recommendations, they’re usually spot on
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Post by Firenze Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:41 pm

Just started the third book in The First Law trilogy (I think there are more books planned in the universe but this is supposedly mostly self contained)..anyone else read it? no spoilers if so. It's one of the more popular Fantasy Series in the last 20 years I think. It's good, but just doesn't have the highs I'm used to. And definitely a disappointment due to the hype. Characters are good, their storylines are alright..just again, lacking high points. It's pretty well written though with good pacing. Easy read. The characterization is decent too, everyone feels realistic in their actions and dialogue.

When I finish this, I'm gonna read The Prince of Nothing series and then The Way of Kings.
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Post by McLewis Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:46 pm

Running through the Shannara books on Audible while still slogging through the Malazan series on Google Books.

Alternatively, also listening to the History of Rome podcast as well.....extraordinary stuff.
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Post by Firenze Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:22 pm

thoughts on noise when reading? specifically music or media, since I'm pretty good at drowning out real life chatter around me. I find myself sometimes listening to ambient music and stuff without spoken word, when reading, but anything more than that and I just lose focus. I also can't really listen to audiobooks, podcasts yeah, but not books.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:26 pm

Need absolute silence to read books.
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Post by Kaladin Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:37 pm

I am used to driving 1hr+ everyday back and forth, so listening to Audible was a must for me, at some point you lose interest listening to songs everyday. At home i don't really listen to Audible, unless im in the bath. But yeah for going out i tend to use it a lot.

Ambient music is what i use when writing, those mixes on youtube help me focus, i can see where you are coming from, read some people like to listen to music whne reading, personally i don't, but hey, different strokes, different folks
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Post by Firenze Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:21 pm

@M99 @Kaladin

definitely consider The First Law trilogy when next you look for a good fantasy series, I still maintain it doesn't have the sheer highs of other things I've read, but it's well written, with a well defined cast and fantastic pacing. Things really came together perfectly in the third novel. Def worth a read. A couple of characters in particular will be memorable long after I'm finished with it. I can understand why it's praised now. Not all that complex though.

Also what happened to that novel you were drafting, ES? still working on that or not? think you mentioned some writer workshop videos? I'd be interested in checking those out online, link 'em if they're on youtube or just tell me what to look for.


Last edited by Firenze on Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:33 pm

@McLewis wrote:Running through the Shannara books on Audible while still slogging through the Malazan series on Google Books.

Alternatively, also listening to the History of Rome podcast as well.....extraordinary stuff.


****ing love this podcast with a passion

Aurelian most underrated emperor of all time

Also agreed with Kal's recommendation to check out r/fantasy. Constant source of new reads for me. Currently reading Divine Cities series based off recommendations there and I'm enjoying it a lot

https://www.goodreads.com/series/159695-the-divine-cities

Don't think Kal would enjoy the First Law (altho amazing series imho). Take into account that the author's twitter handle is @LordGrimdark
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:38 pm

@Firenze wrote:Just started the third book in The First Law trilogy (I think there are more books planned in the universe but this is supposedly mostly self contained)..anyone else read it? no spoilers if so. It's one of the more popular Fantasy Series in the last 20 years I think. It's good, but just doesn't have the highs I'm used to. And definitely a disappointment due to the hype. Characters are good, their storylines are alright..just again, lacking high points. It's pretty well written though with good pacing. Easy read. The characterization is decent too, everyone feels realistic in their actions and dialogue.

When I finish this, I'm gonna read The Prince of Nothing series and then The Way of Kings.


Please post your reactions when you're done with Book 3 eco smile

Also the 3 individual novels set in the world of the First Law are each completely worth it and I think even better than the original trilogy. The Heroes is probably the best one. Best Served Cold is a Tarantino-esque revenge story. Red Country is his take on a western and I thought he pulled it off nicely.
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Post by Firenze Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:57 pm

Sure, I plan on reading the standalone novels when I'm done. Was speaking to a friend while reading the books since he read them before I did, and one gripe I had was that I pretty much pieced together a lot of the plot and twists far in advance so there wasn't much payoff (not me bragging, I think it was an issue with him being too heavy handed with foreshadowing) I got pretty attached to the cast though, Glokta and Logen in particular. Well defined characters, always a joy to read. Can't really think of a single character/POV I disliked. I'm basically wrapping up the third novel now and I like how nice and clean it all came together.

Funnily, this was a series/world I always wanted to jump into many years ago when I picked up The Heroes randomly in a book store and the synopsis caught my interest. On one hand, it's a shame I waited all of this time - on the other, my friend tells me that the author recently revealed there will be a sequel trilogy of sorts releasing with the first coming next year. I'm definitely looking forward to it and glad I don't have to wait a decade.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:04 am

Ah yeah if you figured out the Keyzer Soze-esque moment at the end of the book far in advance then a lot of the enjoyment I remember while reading it is lost. While reading it I thought it was just an above average fantasy with a few highlights (also Glotka and Logen). You can also clearly tell that these are his first books as the writing improves a lot with each one, and continues to do so in the stand alone ones.[adm][/adm]
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Post by Kaladin Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:24 pm

@Firenze wrote:@M99 @Kaladin

definitely consider The First Law trilogy when next you look for a good fantasy series, I still maintain it doesn't have the sheer highs of other things I've read, but it's well written, with a well defined cast and fantastic pacing. Things really came together perfectly in the third novel. Def worth a read. A couple of characters in particular will be memorable long after I'm finished with it. I can understand why it's praised now. Not all that complex though.

Also what happened to that novel you were drafting, ES? still working on that or not? think you mentioned some writer workshop videos? I'd be interested in checking those out online, link 'em if they're on youtube or just tell me what to look for.


I've read First Law painstakingly many years ago, it was recommended, wasn't my cup of tea.

As for the book, i've been bogged down as of late, i've written 33k words so far, average debut books of fantasy authors usually sit around 100k-120k. Been hassled with UK Visa, apartment hunting, uni documents, scholarship and whatnot, will get back to it once im in the UK.

Some of the videos:



















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Post by Firenze Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:47 pm

halfway through Best Served Cold atm @BarrileteCosmico

enjoying it, it's pretty much on par writing wise so far for me, maybe a little better, but the pacing is really good and it's nice to have a decent female POV after Ferro being, IMO, a disappointment in the trilogy

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that a large part of the cast were all prominent characters from the trilogy, or at the least notable presences, I was under the impression these individual novels were going to be set in the world but complete standalone with no real prior knowledge of the series necessary, they almost seem like must reads considering it's a direct continuation chronologically leading into the new trilogy. Hopefully I finish all three by October.

anyone read anything interesting recently?
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Post by Firenze Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Finished all 3 of the standalones novels for First Law. Consider them a trilogy, really. So much better than the first three, for numerous reasons. Can't wait for the upcoming novels.

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:01 pm

@Firenze wrote:Finished all 3 of the standalones novels for First Law. Consider them a trilogy, really. So much better than the first three, for numerous reasons. Can't wait for the upcoming novels.


Completely agreed, the writing and character development all noticeably jumped in quality, and nice!

Just saw the other post. Agreed Ferro was a disappointment. And I had the opposite experience than you, I was disappointed he stand alones were focused on distant secondary characters I didn't really care that much for (except the last one), but by the end of those novels I ended up liking those guys way more than the ones from the original trilogy, which I think is a credit to Abercrombie.
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Post by Firenze Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Started reading the Prince of Thorns, since I saw it rated highly among grimdark books. Not too far in yet, but I'm not feeling it. Not really used to a sole POV series (I hear it is mostly anyway) and the prose seems lacking and the main character just self-fellates constantly, reads like it's some guys first fanfiction. Gonna give it until the halfway point to see if my opinion changes, if not I'm gonna start reading The Lies of Locke Lamora like I originally planned.
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Post by Firenze Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:56 pm

@Kaladin @M99 @BarrileteCosmico

any of you read the Broken Empire series? Prince of Thorns

just finished the first book, can't believe it's as popular as it is. I'm gonna read the second novel but christ, it reads like some teenagers first attempt at an edgy dark fantasy, actually cringed reading it a few times. Incredibly basic all around, like it was the first time the guy had ever tried to write a story. The second and third book are much better rated though, so I'll give it another chance. Though tempted to give Locke Lamora a shot instead.

Then probably Stormlight, I need to be credible when I shit on it going forward :coffee: I honestly can't see it being for me tbh, have a friend who says the characters are as black and white as they come, that just never does anything for me. I need moral ambiguity. I get that classic heroism vs evil is a draw for a lot of folks with Fantasy, but it's definitely not for me..
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Post by Kaladin Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:53 pm

The characters aren't asblack and white as some other fantsy series i've read, i'd put it as moderately morally ambiguous, as you progress the series, there's a lot of moral ambiguity, especially in book 3.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:43 pm

I haven't read it as I've heard that book 1 is pretty meh, but the rest are supposedly quite good. I keep meaning to pick it up at some point.

Finished reading The Traitor Baru Cormorant and definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys the intrigue aspects of more famous series like ASOIAF. Book 2 (of 4) is coming out in October and I'll definitely be picking it up.
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Post by Firenze Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:43 am

Finished the Broken Empire series. Complete and utter drivel. Glaring issues in every facet imaginable. I struggle to find praise for any aspect, if pressed it would be the setting, but the author somehow manages to completely under-deliver on it and also go ridiculously over the top. The fact that it's one of the first things mentioned when looking for Grim Dark recommendations is both bewildering and inspiring, as I feel emboldened to write something in the sub-genre myself. Do yourself a favor if you're ever considering this series and just please, please skip it. Good lord.

Gonna pick up Lies of Locke Lamora next which I imagine will come off as a masterpiece in comparison.
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Post by Kaladin Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:21 pm

Good choice
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:14 am

https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/afmkie/some_insights_on_author_income_in_the_wake_of_the/

Thought this was a super interesting reddit thread on the business side of being an author
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Post by Guest Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Currently reading "Proust was a Neuroscientist" and absolutely loving it!

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