The Tattered Scroll News, Reviews, & Opinions on Fantasy and Espionage Books

13Jul/11Off

Fantasy Round-Up: July 13, 2011

Now Reading:
I'm going one of those phases where I am reading several books at once. I think that is the biggest negative, for me, with an e-reader. It holds so many books in such a small package, and it makes it very easy to jump between books. If I am reading and one book isn't doing it for me at the moment, I can switch to another in 5 seconds. So last night, I read parts of Shadowplay by Tad Williams, Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson, The Last Patriot by Brad Thor, and Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman. At one point, I think I read parts of all 4 books within a 5 minute stretch..that is how indecisive I was. Frustrating. I am enjoying my new Kobo Touch, though. More on that later this week..I'll most likely write up a Pros/Cons post to list the things I like and don't like about it after using it for 1 week. Oh, and last week I finished reading Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski..I need to write up a quick review of that one (it was a very good read).

Authors/News:
-Read an excerpt from Ari Marmell's new book, The Goblin Corps. Details here.
-Joshua Palmatier announces a new anthology he co-edited with Patricia Bray.
-Paul S. Kemp's Godborn isn't published until 2012, but you can read an excerpt at his blog here.
-The Ranting Dragon blog is giving away a complete set of the 4 book series Relic Master by Catherine Fisher.
-Paul, at Blood of the Muse, is giving away a copy of Hammered by Kevin Hearne.

Reviews:

As much as I enjoyed reading The Conqueror’s Shadow by Ari Marmell, The Warlord’s Legacy left a bad taste in my mouth, and because of that, I almost passed on The Goblin Corps. That would have been a huge mistake. As good as The Conqueror’s Shadow was, The Goblin Corps is better. Better written, funnier, more fulfilling, and twice as entertaining. Basically, The Goblin Corps is must-read material for anyone who is a fan of Joe Abercrombie and likes seeing fantasy tropes viciously subverted. Don’t let the Abercrombie comparisons fool you either. Ari has his own style which he is perfecting, and if he can continue writing books like The Conqueror’s Shadow and The Goblin Corps, then I wouldn’t be surprised if exciting new fantasy authors were one day compared to Ari Marmell...

-Fantasy Book Critic: The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell

I haven’t enjoyed a quest fantasy this much since I read David Eddings back in middle school. Marmell has the wit and charm of Eddings’s stories coupled with the grittiness of Joe Abercrombie or Sam Sykes and a narrative style that is completely his own. If you ever wished that Brandon Sanderson or David Eddings could be a tad bitter more realistic in content, or Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie a tad bit funnier then you will love the way that Marmell has struck a wonderful balance between the two. I haven’t laughed so hard or been so into a book in many a year. Highly recommended!

-Grasping for the Wind: The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell

The Crippled God, the tenth and final tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. With this novel, Steven Erikson's epic project has come to an end. After 3 million 300 thousand words, I can't actually believe that it's over but I'm also glad for it. I remember asking my friend (to whom I lent the physical book while I was starting to read the e-book edition) what were his feelings about the book and seeing him smile immediately. I think I would have the same reaction if you ask me. Erikson has always been a clever writer and he proves himself once again.

-A Fantasy Reader: The Crippled God by Steven Erikson

Thoroughly entertaining and engaging, I devoured Perfect Shadow in one (rather late) sitting. It’s really great stuff. It could serve as an excellent introduction to the Night Angel Trilogy, although I do think someone who has read the trilogy might get a little more out of this than a total newcomer.

-Civilian Reader: Perfect Shadow by Brent Weeks (I haven't quite finished this one yet, but I actually think this book is better for someone who has already read the first trilogy. I think it could be a bit confusing to read this short story first, but maybe that's just me. Has anyone else read this and want to chime in?).

I found very little to criticise in Songs of the Earth. I enjoyed the writing style, which was full of dialogue and enhanced the characterisation. As already mentioned, there were familiar tropes and archetypes, however, the characters were strong and well-rounded people, and I found them realistic not stereotypical. No-one was perfect and flawless.

-Speculative Book Review: Song of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper

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