Discussion Forums - Fantasy

Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- AUGUST DISCUSSION THREAD

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- AUGUST DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 8/1/2010 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

You know the drill, and I'm running out of different ways to ask the same question. . . ;)

I'm currently in the middle of two fantasy novels that I had hoped to finish last month: The Curse of the Mistwraith, by Janny Wurts (400 pages in, I kind of hate it, but I'm determined to make it count for the challenge so all that torture isn't wasted) and Tales of Nevčr˙on, by Samuel R. Delany (2 out of the 5 stories completed and loved, but they make my brain hurt a little in a good way so I'm limiting myself to one per day). Unfortunately, that means I've slipped just a teensy bit further behind. . .

Date Posted: 8/2/2010 8:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,858
Back To Top

While I did not get much done for my reading challenge, I did find some exciting reads this month.  Completed the following in spite of eye surgery on both eyes.  I consider that a great accomplishment.  In addition, I obtained a copy of The Carpet Makers for my reading challenge.  However, before I could begin it hubbie snatched it up to read so...

The City & The City by China Mieville (Locus Award Winner):  Imaginative approach by a creative author!  I liked the characters in the book very much - Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad (ECS) is dedicated to pursuing the murderer(s), working hard to locate whoever is responsible for the death of a young woman in his city.  His partner is Corwi, a woman who is devoted to her partner.  In the rival city of Ul Quoma he is paired with Dhatt, a policeman as dedicated as he, who uses different methods to obtain results.  Together the two investigate the murder, hoping to find who is responsible.  The ending is not what I expected but it fits the tale well.  This is a good read. I finished July reading Mistborn by Sanderson which I truly enjoyed.  It's a  wonderful fantasy.  I have read 32 books on my list.  

Warrior Woman by Marion Zimmer Bradley (First person perspective):  The adventures of Zadieyek of Gyre is quite different from other MZB books I have read.   A young woman has lost her memory, recalling only a brilliant white light.  She is sold into slavery where her fierce refusal to couple with men kills a man and earns her the right to enter the arena as a gladiator.  She is such a successful fighter  that an admiring noblewoman purchases her to begin her own gladiator team composed only of women.   She searches the world for other women to fight for Ifania, the noblewoman, and her identity.  As she does so she experiences only brief flashes of memory which mean nothing to her.  In her adventures, she relies again and again on her ability to fight, one of which is to remember her name, Amber.  In her last fight all becomes clear when she meets her opponent but to divulge her identity would be to remove incentive to read the novel.  Good read!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan:    The story of a boy who can't stay out of trouble, who can't stay in any one school for more than a year, who doesn't have friends, and who has strange experiences a good deal of the time.  Who wouldn't if you were a half-blood?  So, what does it mean to be a half-blood?  Can it explain why Percy is the way he is?  Can someone like him be a hero?  Read this delightful tale and find out.

Ruler of  the Realm by Herbie Brennan:  If you are a fan of The Faerie Wars Chronicles you find this an exciting read. Queen Holly Blue of the Faeries of the Light is faced with a war with her uncle, Lord Black Hairstreak who is leader of the Faeries of the Night.  Knowing how devious he can be, she doesn't know whether his negotiation offer is to be believed.  War does begin but before it can fully develop, Beleth, the Prince of Darkness, has a surprise for both of them.  The tale unfolds with unbelieving quickness as the wonderful characters of this series cope with surprise after surprise.  This is a really delightful read.  

The Host by Stephanie Meyer:  I liked this book a good deal - something I did not expect.  It's a most imaginative story and the characters have so much depth and and seem so real that I feel as if I live with them in their hidden cave in the desert.  Wanda/Melanie is the primary character whose strength, compassion and love for one another is heart-rending at times.  How can one soul care so much for life in all its forms.

The Riddle Master of Club Hed by Patricia McKillip (Mythpoeic Award Winner ):  This a light but fun read by McKillip, a most  talented writer.  The book is the first in a series about a riddle master travels throughout the kingdom.  Wizards have vanished from the world and all knowledge is found in riddles if one can but understand them.  A prince of the farmers of Hed, Morgan, is a master at understanding riddles.  Betting his life on this talent, he hopes to win a crown from the deceased Lord of Aum.  However, other forces threaten his efforts.  His friends are replaced by shape changers and he finds himself fleeing while trying to solve the strangest riddle of all - why does he have three stars on his forehead. 



Last Edited on: 10/2/10 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 19
Date Posted: 8/2/2010 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Alas, I haven't filled that category either. . .

Date Posted: 8/2/2010 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
Back To Top

For a translation, I read Italio Calvino's Baron in the Trees.  It's about a boy who doesn't like what's being served for dinner (among other things) and so climbs a tree and refuses to come down to the ground for the rest of his life.  The rest of the book follows his adventures as he goes from tree to tree, from youth all the way to old age.  It's a fun, rather lighthearted story.  Good, but not fantastic.

I've seen The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach recommended pretty enthusiastically for a translated novel, but I haven't read that one yet.

Date Posted: 8/2/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

I'm planning on reading The Carpet Makers for a challenge, but on first glance it looks like more science fiction than fantasy. . . but that's given my definition, which I know doesn't always jive with everyone else's. ;)

Italo Calvino is a great rec though -- I've already read The Baron in the Trees but maybe I'll try another (and I'll second the recommendation of The Baron in the Trees to anyone who hasn't read it; it's quite delightful).

Date Posted: 8/3/2010 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,858
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 9/23/10 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: The Truth-Teller's Tale, by Sharon Shinn
Date Posted: 8/6/2010 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Just finished: Romantic Fantasy
Filled with: The Truth-Teller's Tale, by Sharon Shinn
Other categories this novel would fill: Comic Fantasy; YA Fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18; Magical human protagonist; Told from a first-person perspective.

My review: Pleasant, lightweight, suitable for the young end of YA; plot is very much Shakespeare-lite-lite in the way it uses mistaken identities and people in disguise to get a large number of couples together happily by the end. Probably the most enjoyable of the three books in this world, but all of them are ultimately forgettable.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Just finished: Work by non-Caucasian author.
Filled with: Tales of Nevčr˙on, by Samuel R. Delany
Other categories this novel would fill: High Fantasy; Sword and Sorcery; Set in a radically altered historical milieu; Told from a third-person omniscient perspective.

My capsule review: Who knew that sword-and-sorcery metafiction was a possible genre? A tough but rewarding read.

My full review, mild spoilers in the section breakdowns, here: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasywithbite/221250.html

Amy
Date Posted: 8/10/2010 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
Back To Top

Ahh! Summer classes are finally over and I have a couple of weeks before fall classes start to see if I can try and catch up with the rest of you.

I did manage to read Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, but I couldn't really figure out how to fit it in with fantasy except for a fairytale re-telling. But, I've already filled that category with Spindle's End by Robin McKinley.

I imagine I'll use it somehow, if I can.

I am going to try to read City Infernal by Edward Lee and use it for the dark fantasy category.

About the Carpet Makers: I highly, HIGHLY recommend  this book in general but, I think you can definitely use it for the work originally written in another language besides English.

Melanti--I am putting Baron in the Trees on my RL. Thanks for the recommendation!

Date Posted: 8/11/2010 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

Just finished: Heroic Fantasy
Filled with: Curse of the Mistwraith, by Janny Wurts
Other categories this novel would fill: High Fantasy; Magical human protagonist; Told from a third-person omniscient perspective.

My capsule review: I knew it was crap by a hundred pages in, but I was doing a group read AND I wanted to count it for the challenge, so I stuck with it. The prose itself was solid, but everything else just made me roll my eyes. It wasn't helped by the fact that the author and the group leader were hyping it up like crazy, claiming it was subverting all the epic fantasy tropes (a blatant lie, and anyone who thinks this novel is subversive is living under a rock), but even without the hype I still would have thought this novel was crap. (Do I sound mean? It's because I forced myself to read 600 pages of CRAP.) :)

My full review, in more measured terms, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/91877.html

Amy
Date Posted: 8/16/2010 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
Back To Top

I finished City Infernal by Edward Lee.

This book was really gross and not my usual taste, but a fun and easy read overall. I finished it in less than a day.

City Infernal is the first book in a series.

Amy
Date Posted: 8/23/2010 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
Back To Top

Right now, I am reading Hussein: An Entertainment by Patrick O'Brian and I'm thinking this could qualify for the category "work written pre-1950" since some of the story is told from the POV of the elephants and other animals.

If not, then I might buy another book by the same author entitled Caesar: The Life Story of a Panda-Leopard and use it for the category, instead.

Date Posted: 8/23/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
Back To Top

I finished up Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner today.  It's the follow-up novel to Swordspoint and picks up 10 or so years later. 

I liked it a bit better than Swordspoint, mostly because I identify more strongly with the main character, Katherine, than I ever did with Alec.  I'm never certain if he's a jerk because he's crazy, or if he's seen as crazy because he's a jerk to those he doesn't care about.  There's also a lot more action in this novel than there was in the original.  There's still plenty of politics and posturing, but in general, more duels, fighting, and action.  You also get a bit more of Alec's back story.

I think it would still have enough politics and talking to qualify as the Fantasy of Manners, though.



Last Edited on: 8/23/10 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/28/2010 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
Back To Top

Done with book number twenty one: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin.  It could be considered High Fantasy, it has at least one protagonist older than 35 (I think), it definately has several protagonists younger than 18, it is told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint, and it is a Locus Fantasy Award Winner.  I plan to use it for the Protagonist younger than 18 category.

Awesome book, and the next book in the series, A Storm of Swords is what I am reading right now, and is even better.

Date Posted: 8/29/2010 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
Back To Top

Done with book number twenty two: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.  It could be considered High Fantasy, has several protagonists younger than 18, it is told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint, and it is a Locus Fantasy Award Winner.  I plan to use it for the Locus category, after I re-arange some some of of the other books in my list to open up the category.