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Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- MARCH DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- MARCH DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Welcome to month #3! How are you all doing? I'm afraid I fell a tad behind last month (it being a short month and all) so I'm only at 7 books when I planned to be at 8. My classics challenge book took me half the month! Up next for me are:

Little, Big, by John Crowley (in progress)

The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden, by Catherynne M. Valente
Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees
The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson
One of my Patricia McKillip books (I have Song for the Basilisk, Ombria in Shadow, or Winter Rose to choose from)
 



Last Edited on: 3/1/10 3:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2010 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I'm slightly ahead, at 11 books.

Let's see....I'm currently reading Over Sea, Under Stone (I am enjoying it, but I don't get why the bad guys are bad guys.  Maybe it's explained more thoroughly in other books?  So far they're just bad guys because they, too, are looking for the grail and trying to stop the Drew children from finding it first). 

I recently realized that I have quite a few books based on the Arthurian myth, so I'm going to try to read one or two of those this month. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 4:23 PM ET
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From what I recall of Over Sea, Under Stone (and the rest of the books) the bad guys just ARE bad guys. It's one of those totally good vs. totally evil things. . . though that might not totally be the case in Greenwitch. . . hmm. . . it hasn't been THAT long since I read these books. . . wonder why I can't remember more?

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Yeah, but so far the bad guys haven't been revealed as evil.  They're just plot devices used to make the grail a little trickier to find.

I think I'd like this book a little more if I had read it when I was 12 instead of at 23. :)  I tried to read it as a kid, but never got very far.

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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LOL, that's true. . . I suspect that was why I don't remember them that well. . . I read them for the first time around 23 too! There is a pretty neat image in Greenwitch though. . . so you have that to look forward to if you continue with the series!

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Well, the bad guys are clearly evil in the next chapter (which I just read).  :)

I do plan to continue the series, eventually. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
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I am slightly ahead as well, though only with nine books read.

I had originally planned to read Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson in February, but I'm just getting to it now.
 

I hope you enjoy Valente's book PH.

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I'm at 24.   Bah.

I'm only reading 3 books at the moment.

Little, Big by Crowley
Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher  -- Not for the challenge
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold is on it's way to me right now, so I'll probably read that this month.  I read Beguilement last month (didn't count it) but didn't care for it nearly as much as I liked Curse of Chalion

I think The Dark is Rising sequence is almost certainly one to read when you're younger.  I read it when I was 21 or 22 and I remember wishing I'd found it when I was old enough to appreciate it more.  I don't know why I never read it back then.  I was obsessed with anything King Arthur/Grail related when I was in middle school/Jr. high.

On a completely unrelated note, I just got done with Little Gods, an anthology by Tim Pratt.  Has anyone read anything by him?  His writing style really reminds me of someone, but I can't figure out who.
 

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Much though I love Bujold, I understand every time somebody says they were disappointed in The Sharing Knife quadrilogy. It just feels so much less substantial than her other work. . . even less than the most ridiculously farcical Vorkosigan novels. The Sharing Knife books are sweet and especially in Beguilement Fawn is another of Bujold's female characters that is wonderfully fleshed out and taken seriously by the male characters (and the author) without ever being (in Aral's phrase) an "imitation man." But there was just so much less. . . jeopardy. The world never felt at stake, even though Dag kept pointing out that every malice had the potential to destroy the world. . . maybe that was it. Maybe the fact that EVERY malice put the world at stake lessened the emotional impact.

Meh. I still own 'em all and reread them. . . but only when I'm in the mood for something light.

And I'm so jealous of your progress Melanti!

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 6:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I think The Dark is Rising sequence is almost certainly one to read when you're younger.  I read it when I was 21 or 22 and I remember wishing I'd found it when I was old enough to appreciate it more.  I don't know why I never read it back then.  I was obsessed with anything King Arthur/Grail related when I was in middle school/Jr. high.

A YA discussion list I lurk on plans to read and discuss The Dark is Rising in April, which is why I read Over Sea, Under Stone.  Someone posted a quote from someone else that was something like, "You never love a book like you do when you're 10 years old," and I think it is true.  When I was about 11, I read Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, which I loved, and I still remember lots of details from the series (though I probably read it two or three more times after the first) and when I was about 12 I discovered Harry Potter.  I had probably reread the first four books about 15 times each by the time the fifth was released.

I've been curious about The Dark is Rising since the movie was released (haven't seen it, it's supposed to be a horrible adaptation that mutilates the spirit of the books so I don't plan to see it) but even though I knew they existed as a kid (or maybe it's because Alexander had The High King and Cooper has The Grey King) I just wasn't interested enough to read them.

I also read a lot more fantasy as an adult than I did as a kid.  I'm still catching up. :)

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 6:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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My childhood passion was Narnia.  (Which is probably why I loved The Magicians as much as I did.)  I read all of them except the last one over and over.

Regarding the Sharing Knife book, I liked the world, Fawn, and Dag but didn't like the relationship between Fawn and Dag.  It just didn't seem all that believable to me.  Maybe the lack of tension had something to do with it too.

Amy
Date Posted: 3/2/2010 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I'm way behind all of you, as I am only on book #5. With school and work, I've been kept pretty busy. I'm hoping once Spring Break gets here I'll have a good week to get in at least 2 books.

So far, though, I love this challenge. I have all of the books I need to read in two stacks in plain sight so I'm always reminded that I need to get reading. I'm so excited to read all of them, too.



Last Edited on: 3/2/10 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Childhood Reading
Date Posted: 3/2/2010 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I have definitely found that you can't love a book the way you did when you were ten. . . for me it was Madeleine L'Engle's time quartet (though I later discovered it was a quintet, and it was just enough later that I never loved the fifth book). But I don't mind trading the passion for new awareness. . . it's fun being able to analyze books in ways I never could have conceived of back then (for instance, I was one of those kids that scoffed at English teachers making us pick out themes. . . I was convinced that anything like that was only in the mind of the reader, the author never intended to do anything but tell a story. . . now, of course, when I write I have a totally different viewpoint. . .)

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Oh, I don't know why I forgot about Madeleine L'Engle!  I chose my college because of her.  If that's not an excellent reason to choose a school, I don't know what is... (though I love Vicky Austin more than I do the Murrays/O'Keefe's.  Vicky Austin got to go to Antartica)

Date Posted: 3/2/2010 10:08 PM ET
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LOL, I can't think of a better reason. . .

I don't understand my younger self. Today if I find a book I really enjoy I assiduously collect everything else by that author. . . but back then I was perfectly satisfied to just read and reread whatever the initial book I enjoyed was. Very bizarre. I mean, if it was a series I'd read the whole series (well, as much of it existed in my parents' library) but I never checked out anything else a lot of those authors wrote. . .

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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When I was young, 95% of what I read came from the local library where selections were pretty slim until you graduated to the adult books.  They normally only had one or two books by each author.  I never really thought of it that much.

When I was about 11 or so, we were in a used book store when my sister came up and handed me the second book in a trilogy.  I was floored.  I'd really liked the first book in the trilogy and though it ended abruptly, I'd never considered the idea that there would be more of story somewhere.  It was just amazing to me that I could read more than one book about the same characters!   Needless to say, that series (Pern) became one of the first series/authors that I had to have absolutely everything she'd written.

Looking back though, I wonder why I never thought books could be a series.  My parents' book shelves were crammed with books, and there were multiple authors that had entire shelves to themselves.  I had the Narnia set, some Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc.  But I'd never thought anything else I'd read would have more books. 

I liked A Wrinkle in Time too, but didn't read any of the others until years later.  

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
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I am reading Dont Hex with Texas, and The Graveyard book as two of my march books.

After these I am reading two Tom Holt books. So should get around 6 read this month for the challenge. :)

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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I haven't been around for awhile, and missed getting in on all this challenge (although I'm participating in similar challenges on my blog), but I'd love to be able to join in on these discussions and just chat about fantasy books, if that's okay.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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It's only March-  You still have time to join up.  But if you don't want to -sure join in the discussions.  The more the merrier.

I just finished the Princess Bride and I enjoyed it but it wasn't as good as I expected.  It kind of faded in the 3rd quarter.  It did come back strong though. 

Amy
Date Posted: 3/5/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Last night I finished my fifth book for the challenge: The Kingmaker's Sword by Ann Marston.

I would almost but this in the category of high fantasy, but for some reason (IMO) it doesn't quite make it.

Categories it could fit: Heroic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, magical human protagonist, action takes place while traveling (non-quest structure), told from a first-person perspective.

Highly reccommended.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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Okay, I'll join in.  I've started my list, and have read a few other fantasies that I haven't put on there yet, because I'm not quite sure where to put them, if anywhere.


Amy, I loved The Kingmaker's Sword!  It's one of the few books that is on my favorites list. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 2:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Brenda: Welcome to the challenge! Which books are you unsure of the categories for? Maybe we can help! :)

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:45 PM ET
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Glad you decided to join in, Brenda.  The chatting is half the fun.  I'm getting lots of new ideas for my reading list.  It's growing faster than I can read.

 

I just finished Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison.  I thought the world/setting was very interesting, as was the vampire roommate, but I kept getting annoyed with Rachel for not thinking things through.  This fits under Paranormal.

Yesterday I finished Door into Fire by Diane Duane.  The only thing I can think of to describe it is odd.  I'm not sure whether it being published in the 70's makes it more or less odd.  Basically, in this world, people are obligated to have at least one child (females have to have 2) early in their lives but after that they're free to enter into whatever relationships they wish, whether it be hetero or homosexual, polygymous, or even with a non-human. 

Also, there's plenty of drug use, which is done as a way to better understand yourself/your world/your friends.  

The "bad guy" in this is the same as the one in her So You Want to Be a Wizard series -- entropy.  I think that's something that would be hard to pick up on unless you've also read the other series, though it might become more apparent later on in this series.  The bad thing is, I didn't realize that this series was unfinished.  I knew there were 3 books in it, so I figured it was a trilogy.  Turns out it's a set of 4 with the 4th book still unwritten 30 years after the first one was published.

I'm using this for a book written the year I was born, but it would also fit under Swords & Sorcery, Magical Human protagonist, or action while traveling (non-quest).



Last Edited on: 3/7/10 12:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/7/2010 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
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I finished off my tenth book for the challenge last night, Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

It could be considered either High Fantasy or Heroic Fantasy, has a protagonist younger than 18, has a magical human protagonist, is set in a royal court, and is told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint.  I believe I will use it for the royal court category..

Warbreaker is the most enjoyable book I've read for the challenge so far.  It isn't Sanderson's best work (that would be Hero of Ages) but it is certainly excellent in its own right.  Almost 600 pages of action and intrigue.

Amy
Date Posted: 3/7/2010 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Brenda, I really enjoyed The Kingmaker's Sword. I plan on reading the rest of the books in the series plus the books in Ann Marston's other series.

In other news, I finished my sixth book for the challenge: A Scattering of Jades by Alexander C. Irvine.

I'm using this for the Magic Realism category, but it can also be used for Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, protagonist older than 35, told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint, set in a recognizable historical milieu.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it was really very hard to get into and could be very confusing at times.

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