I just got an email from Tor announcing the name of the 2nd Stormlight Archive book coming in November 2013 (from what I read, for that to happen Brandon needs to finish the book by April. So there is a chance that the book gets pushed back, though I would assume that chance is small).
Anyway, the title of the new book will be Words of Radiance. Below is more info on the title from Brandom himself (this was included with the press release) Interestingly, I while I knew the series was 10 books, I didn't realize it was 2 5-book sequences:
One of my goals for the Stormlight Archive, which you may have heard me discuss, is to focus each book on a specific character through a series of flashbacks. In a large series like this (the Stormlight Archive is two five-book sequences), it can be difficult to give each volume its own identity. By devoting a sequence of flashbacks in each book to a specific character, I can better separate the volumes in my mind--and therefore make them more distinctive to readers.
(By the way, the fact that Book Three will be Szeth’s book and Book Five Dalinar’s should not lead you to relax and take for granted that they will survive until those books. They might indeed; but I decided early on in the plotting that I was fine with having a flashback sequence at any point for a character who had died in a previous book. Just saying...)
The Way of Kings was Kaladin’s book. He will have a lot to do in Book Two, of course, and you can expect some great sequences within his viewpoint. However, the flashback sequences in Book Two belong to Shallan. In my notes for the series, I had planned for Shallan’s book to be named after the tome she is given at the end of the first novel: The Book of Endless Pages. On Roshar, that is a book of knowledge that can never be completed--because people should always be learning, studying, and adding what they’ve learned to it.
I don’t always think out book titles with marketing in mind, and a title isn’t set until the book is finished. In this case, once I mentioned the prospective title to my editor, he grinned and said, “Uh, are you sure you want to name a very long, very thick fantasy book The Book of Endless Pages?”
I hadn’t seen it, but as soon as Moshe mentioned it, I found myself chuckling. That’s not a good reaction to a book title. Now, if I’d still been in love with the title, I’d have kept it no matter what--and let the reviewers have their fun. However, the more I thought about the title, the less I liked it. It didn’t quite capture what the book was about.
And so, the search for a new title began. Naming books can be really, really hard. Some do pop out immediately (The Way of Kings, for example), but finding others can be as productive as beating your head against a wall. The more you work on the book, the more it takes on a distinctive identity to you--and the harder it is to name it, since you have a “feel” for the book in your head and need a name that truly fits that.
Lots of people weighed in with their feelings on Stormlight Two. For a while, I toyed with titles that still had “book” in them, as I liked how that fit with Shallan’s scholarly nature. The Book of Lies was one of these, as was The Book of Dusk and Dawn. (As a side note, being a fan of Magic: The Gathering makes naming things harder sometimes, since the creative team over at Wizards has named A LOT of cards--and the titles I think of sometimes sound too much like things they’ve done. That’s why Book of Fact and Fiction was dead the moment it occurred to me.)
Moshe suggested Lightweaver as a title. It was thematically important (as a hint, one of the orders of the Knights Radiant was the Lightweavers) and hence appropriate. However, having just been involved in a book called A Memory of Light, I wanted to avoid having “light” in this title.
In the last few months, the title that has really been sticking with me is Words of Radiance. (Admittedly, “radiance” is a synonym for “light,” but at least it’s a step away.) With “words,” it still has a slight tie to my original desire to have “book” in the title, and I believe it’s significantly meaningful for people who have read the first novel. It also works very well for reasons that I can’t tell you now without spoiling the story.
So there we are! Words of Radiance. The book finally has a title. Now if I can just get back to writing the thing, life will be groovy. (And for future reference, I don’t expect this will be the only entry in the series to change names from its working title to its real title. Stones Unhallowed, Szeth’s book, might change. Highprince of War, Dalinar’s book, most certainly will.)
I am a really big fan of David Keck's first book, In The Eye of Heaven (review), and have been (im)patiently waiting for the 3rd book in the series (trilogy?) to come out. While I own book 2 (In A Time of Treason), I have held off reading it until the series is complete. With the first book hitting shelves in 2006, and the 2nd in 2008, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see the 3rd book. Back in 2010, I asked a Tor marketing rep if there was any word on Keck's 3rd book, and the answer was no. I've occasionally checked the author's site, but no updates there either. Finally I decided to shoot off a question to David via his site, asking if there would be a book 3. I got his permission to pass along his answer, so here his update on book 3:
It's well underway, but not finished yet. (I am likely within 15 thousand words of the end).
Sadly, I seem not to be able to write as quickly as I'd like while teaching full time (and the 3 year old girl at home doesn't help!)
In any case, it'll be finished this year. We'll see what Tor wishes to do with it then.
So there you have it. Things look positive, at some point, that we'll get a 3rd Durand book. To that I say "Hoorah!". Hopefully, if David does finish the book this year, we'll get some sort of a release date by this time next year (news of a release date, not the actually book). When it does become official, it will move right up to the top of my "most anticipated books" list.
Oh, and I can totally relate to David's situation. I work full time and have a 4 year old daughter, but would like to spend time in the evenings working on my own Android app. But I can barely find time to read in the evenings, much less to program an app. Trying to raise our daughter "right" means giving her a lot of time and attention at this stage. Thus, I understand David's dilemna.
Currently Reading: Shadowplay by Tad Williams
I only managed another 40 pages of reading this weekend, as I have a big house project in progress. I'm trying to re-seal our big, outdoor wooden deck. I cleaned it last week, then started using a wood deck stripper (chemical) to remove the old sealer and stain. I'm guessing this will be a 40 hour job, meaning the 2 hours per day I can find to work on it will mean this project won't be over anytime soon. And to top it off, I spilled some of the chemical on my arm, and didn't notice it until my arm started burning a bit. Turns out the chemical was eating my skin. Good times! I think I am ok for now, but keeping an eye on it in case I need to head to the Dr. So that is why I only read 40 pages of Shadowplay over the weekend. Hopefully next time I will have read enough to give more impressions.
I don't have much in the way of news to report since my last round-up post on Friday, so lemme throw a bunch of reviews your way.
Among Thieves is a dark and twisted story that is firmly focused on the seedier and darker side of life in a fantasy city. If you are happy with your main character being less than perfect then you will enjoy this, but if you need a hero with a chiselled jaw and no flaws then look elsewhere. It’s brutal, brilliantly told, gripping and very exciting read. When I finished I was desperate to read more and I hope there will be other novels in the series as there is certainly a lot left to explore in the world Hulick has created.
I wasn't sure how many parts there would be in this series when I wrote the review of the first book but the publisher has informed me in the mean time that there will be seven Fires of Eden books. I felt that the first volume did have a certain appeal to fans of the epic fantasy sub genre but that the execution left something to be desired. Dream of Legends better in some ways but much worse in others. Ultimately, I felt it was a seven hundred page book with only two hundred pages worth of story in it.
-Val's Random Comments: Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer (For some reason, I really struggle to be interested in the books where characters from our world are somehow transported to some fantasy land. Just never really cared for those much.)
Without intending any derogatory meaning, I would say that Empire in Black and Gold is good solid Fantasy 101. With the lack of language, the minimal on-screen blood and guts, and the familiar tropes of fantasy, I would say this could be offered to readers just embarking on their fantasy reading "career". It gives everything you could want, to demonstrate what fantasy is all about, while also offering a wonderful world for the reader to discover and immerse in. Tchaikovsky has written a very commendable novel that doesn't reach the heights of such debuts as The Lies of Locke Lamora, but definitely offers more than the ordinary fantasy.
-Floor To Ceiling Books: Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky (I will mostly agree with that review, and will echo the comments of others..that the series continues to get better with each book. One of my favorite "in progress" series at the moment, though I have yet to read books 5 & 6)
Problem the third and my biggest problem was a problem that arose mostly after finishing the book. Where is Rothfuss taking this? If you see how slowly the story moves, how on earth can he wrap it up in only one more book? If you see what Kvothe has done and learned in this book, and if you take into account what he still has to do, guessing from the story so far, I can't see how Rothfuss can do all of that in one book. At least not in one that's the same size as The Wise Man's Fear and maintains the quality of the series. And of course, there's the question of what will happen after. In the interludes it seems af if both Bast and Chronicler are trying to manoeuvre Kvothe towards something, some action, though it isn't clear what. And if that is the case, will Rothfuss tell us that story in a new series? Or will it be left untold? There are so many question marks after this book. And we'll have to wait for the publication of book three for the answers.
-A Fantastical Librarian: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (I've pretty much decided that even though I bought The Wise Man's Fear in hardcover and kindle format, I'll most likely hold off on reading it until the series is complete. Since it seems to be a single story spread across 3 books.)
The Book of Transformations reads as a deceptively more carefree novel than its predecessors. Gone is the decidedly noir atmosphere of Nights of Villjamur or the war-tense aura of City of Ruins. This is, after all, fantasy doing superheroes, and those aren’t particularly known (despite recent fantastically dark and in-depth adaptations on the big screen) for their profundity. But this is also Newton, the man who as mentioned before makes the kind of daring decision of having a transexual protagonist, so you’ll understand that he adds his own twist to these would-be superheroes.
On the plus side, this is a clever and thoughtful conclusion to the series. Through authors such as Bakker and Erikson, epic fantasy has of late been more and more interrogating itself and asking hard questions about its underlying assumptions, but Carey does the same here a lot more concisely. Carey also delivers a story that is an emotionally powerful tragedy. The opposing factions cannot agree on anything and good men on both sides die needlessly as a result of mistakes made thousands of years earlier. The reader becomes as frustrated as the characters do at the ongoing carnage that is only happening at the whim of the proud and long-absent gods.
-The Wertzone: Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey (this sounds like a series I would probably like, unlike her other works. Plus, this duology is complete.)
This book was wonderful. Wonderful. Intricate, almost labyrinthine, beautifully written, and stunningly constructed. It flows effortlessly through genres, starting out like pure historical fiction, but then it becomes steampunk, romance, mystery, and science fiction in turns, so smoothly and so subtly that you barely notice the transitions. Each of its three separate stories could, with a few tweaks, stand more-or-less on its own, but they’re woven together so neatly and perfectly that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. And the ending… no spoilers here, but I will say that this ending is one of the most perfectly constructed that I’ve ever come across, just a wonderful summation of everything that has come before it, something that fits the story and its characters and its themes together so completely and so beautifully that I was actually left with tears in my eyes at how right it all was.
-Fyrefly's Book Blog: The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (this sounds pretty good, even though I'm not sure its my type of thing)
Yet another attempt to revive the fantasy roundup posts..
Now Reading: Shadowplay by Tad Williams
This is my second attempt to read this book..I put it down around 200 pages into it last time (last fall I believe). Since I couldn't remember much of what I read, I decided to start over from page 1. Like last time, the book still feels a bit plodding and slow...so it doesn't give me that "I really can't wait to read more" feeling, but I know Aidan really liked the last 2 books in the series, so I'm going to do my best to make it through this one to get to the better books. I was reading A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, but that story is so complicated (but good!) that I'm thinking I might have to wait until its complete. Either that or be prepared for re-reads when each now book comes out. I also hope to resume my Malazan read soon-ish. And once we are within 10 months of the release of the final Wheel of Time book, I'll start reading those books. Finally, I go back and forth on whether to only read completed series..I guess that is a debate I'll be having with myself for a long time.
-Get a free digital short story from Juliet E. McKenna, courtesy of Solaris, here.
-InReads is a new social networking reading site. Anyone have any opinions on it? I haven't had time to check it out yet.
-Tor/Forge announces a new digital download initiative. Too many details to list them here, so check the blog post on their site.
-Book Country also launched this week. Robert from FBC has a nice write-up about it.
-Tor/Forge has a contest where you can win 14 mass market paperback books.
-Yet another new book-related site has launched. BookLikes is some sort of book discovery site. Looks interesting, but haven't spent much time there yet. Side note: Visit the booklikes home page, then click mobile apps. Anyone else find it funny that a book-related site would use the phrase "comming soon"?
Overall, this is a superb addition to the series, and I can’t wait to read the final volume when it comes out. Newton continues to improve with each new novel, and his talent for writing atmospheric plots peopled by interesting, fully-realised and often sympathetic characters is near-unrivalled. This is not your standard fantasy novel, but this series is certainly one of the most satisfying I’ve ever read. I’ll be very sad when it’s over.
The magic system in this series is really impressive drawing from this shadow realm and actually using shadows as the magic. There are lots of fantasy books/series that involve shadows, but I'd never seen one that actually uses the shadows for anything from healing to torture and even fighting. What a great concept that's used in a really unique way.
--Only The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy: Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk (I think I will finally give this series a go...when I can buy ebook editions of the books)
In a lot of ways, Magyk was pretty standard fantasy fare: the evil dark lord seizing power, the missing royal heir being raised by a poor family, none of this screams originality. Similarly, while younger readers might find the plot twists surprising, older readers should be able to spot Boy 412′s importance to the story from very early on. On the other hand, Sage is clever and inventive enough with the details of her world and her story that her use of fantasy tropes seems more like gently poking fun at the genre’s conventions, rather than slavishly adhering to them. There’s plenty of silly, quirky humor for the younger set, of course, but there’s also some sly snarkiness to a lot of the story that made it an enjoyable read for grownups as well.
--Fyrefly's Book Blog: Magyk by Angie Sage
If you are, like me, a fan of traditional epic fantasy like The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time, you will definitely enjoy The Unremembered. While this book has a great many flaws, it is certainly a worthy read. It is conventional material with a dark and promising edge. I look forward to its sequel, which I hope will surprise me with twists and turns, leading away from the somewhat obvious tropes and into original territory. While it is far from the best book I’ve read, the many layers of The Unremembered make The Vault of Heaven one of the most promising series I’ve encountered.
--The Ranting Dragon: The Unremembered by Peter Orullian (the quote above is why I still have hopes of liking this book. Also, if you haven't visited this blog before, do it now. The quality of the reviews is excellent.)
I appreciated what Erikson tried to do with this book a bit more on this second read. As with the three previous books, I picked up a lot of stuff I missed during my first pass through this part of the story. I still feel Erikson is building a bit too much in this novel. It is a bridge to the third major story line Erikson will open in Midnight Tides and events that will take place in The Bonehunters and beyond, but it doesn't stand on its own quite as well as the previous books did. That being said, it is still an amazing fantasy novel, once again underlining the enormous scope and ambition of the series. It is not my favourite but even so, it is a treat to fans of the series. And a novel that only gets better the second time around.
For all the books supposed flaws or oddities of construction, I have to admit that I have rarely enjoyed a Forgotten Realms novel more. The book is easily read by anyone unfamiliar with the Realms, is entirely stand-alone (so far) has exceptional characterization and a complex but easily followed plot. It borrows plot devices from Shakespeare while also being full of sword and sorcery pulp action. I highly recommend Samantha Henderson’s Dawnbringer.
Just a quick passing on of some information...engadget has just posted their review of the new nook touch e-ink reader. Their review is mostly positive other than a couple of minor issues. Also, while originally the new nook was scheduled to ship June 10, some folks are reporting that they received an email yesterday saying their nooks were shipping today. If you order today, it looks like it will ship in the next 24 hours (I just put one in a cart to check the shipping time, and it says "usually ships within 24 hours").
I am still on the fence between this and the new kobo..but since this runs Android, I bet it will get rooted. I don't expect to turn this e-ink device into a tablet or anything, but rooting it might open it up to more book formats. And maybe the ability to add more fonts, font sizes, etc. At least that is my hope. Who knows, I might talk myself into ordering one of these by the time I post this blog article.