Miscellaneous Chatter > Literature

Yearly Reading Targets 2022

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The P:
Hmm..  I haven't updated in a bit.

The Thousandfold Thought by R. Scott Bakker (24)
The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker (25)
Pulling the Wings Off Angels by K. J. Parker (26)
Empire of Grass by Tad Williams (27)
Howls from the Dark Ages ed. by P. L. McMillan (28)

Bakker doesn't need to be talked about.  The reread on discord is trucking along.  The new KJP novella was, no surprise, great.  It kind of thematically revolves around guilt and judgement, and is quite fun, humorous, and dark.

Book two in the Williams trilogy is very good.  Things are ramping up and coming together for the finale (which is in typical Williams style, so big it's split into two books).  There is a shorter prequel novel I'll read first which is thousands of years in the past starring Ineluki and his brother.  It's probably not necessary for the series, but I enjoyed the other unnecessary prequel "novella" he wrote.

Howls was fine.  It's a short story horror collection vaguely set in the dark ages.  None of the writers stood out, and the only one I'd even heard of before only wrote the introduction (Buehlman).  There were a couple good stories, but most weren't memorable.  I've got another horror anthology, Isolation, which should be better.  There are a number of authors I recognize in the list.

I missed a few

1) Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Great book. I enjoy Muir's prose and story telling. Its often silly,  and in places overwrought, but that's really just part of the charm. A definite must read if you're following along in Locked Tomb.

2) Among Others by Jo Walton
This was just OK. It follows the pattern of all the Huge+Nebula winners, which is that it is quite political and generally well written but being on that shortlist is hardly enough reason for one to pick up a book. Its well written surely, but just not that entertaining. Turns out the life and times of a 14 year old welsh girl in the 70s just isn't that interesting to me. At least there are fairies, magic, and a witch, though all three are very limited.

x) Malice by John Gwynne DNF
No thanks. I got through about half but its too much a generic fantasy story without anything interesting to make it worth finishing.

Oct (15)
1) The Torch that Ignites the Stars by Andrew Rowe
Mentioned in an earlier post

2) Against All Gods by Miles Cameron
Not Cameron's best work. I like his writing, Red Knight remains a favorite, but Against All Gods just didn't work. Too many protagonists with too much plot armor to make it a compelling read.

3) The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Fantasy of Manners, which I probably wouldn't have picked up if I knew that going in, and I'm glad I read it. Addison wrote a great book here, with prose dripping in courtly etiquette which helps set the scene. I will probably look for something else from her in the future.

Nov (16)
1) Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Not as good as A Brightness Long Ago, but a marked improvement in writing from Tigana, though I  prefer Tigana over this (probably due to the setting and themes).

The P:
I keep forgetting about the Goblin Emperor sequels (I think they are only loose sequels).  I'll have to read them before I forget again.

After Tigana, there just doesn't seem to be enough fantasy in GGK's books for me.  Under Heaven might as well have been historical fiction, from what I remember.  I think the "barbarians" had some spirit magic thing going on, but even that was "maybe they have magics."  I read it when it came out 12 years ago, and haven't really desired to read GGK since, despite him being a good writer.

That's a fair assessment. The barbarians definitely had magic but it was tangential to the story and didn't really affect anything. A Brightness Long Ago was the same (though better written). Certainly Tigana was the only one of the three that had magic which was central to the plot.

The P:
The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker (29)
Brothers of the Wind by Tad Williams (30)

WLW is great of course.  It makes a good case for being the best of TAE.

Brothers was great.  Another shorter background story of Osten Ard.  Takes place 1k years before MS&T and involves Ineluki (big bad from that story) and his brother hunting a dragon.  It was not the story I expected it to be.  It deals more with surviving trauma and the limits of duty than dragonslaying.  But it was a very good read.  It was fun to get some ancient fleshing out of Osten Ard and what it was like before mankind had really established itself in the area.  I have two books left in the Last King "trilogy."  I might wait a little bit to start the third since the fourth isn't coming until Nov '23.  I'm very much looking forward to it.


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