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Wrap Up: August 2020

  • The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (★★★★☆)
  • Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (★★★★☆)
  • Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (★★★★☆)
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (★★★★★)
  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (★★★★★)
  • The Burning God by R.F. Kuang (★★★★☆)

MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 80

So! This was an unusual reading month. I read fewer books, but they were all gigantic fantasy tomes, so in terms of number of pages, I probably read way more than I usually do. I had committed this month to finishing three fantasy series, but I only managed two – the Daevabad series will have to wait!

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Book Review: The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

The Dragon Republic
R.F. Kuang

Harper Voyager, 2019
★★★★★

There are some books that, while not perfect, just make you feel very strongly. I was on tenterhooks the whole time I was reading The Dragon Republic. I was so heavily invested in the characters and their relationships with one another that I really didn’t care about anything else in the book, so I easily overlooked the minor issues with pacing that may have bogged down another novel.

In The Dragon Republic, Rin finds her self dealing with the fallout of her actions at the end of The Poppy War. What this means, practically speaking, is that she is dealing guilt, or rather guilt at her lack of guilt, opium addiction, PTSD, and a a nation overrun with bitter Mugenese soldiers who have no home to return to. Then Yin Vaisra, the Dragon Warlord and Nezha’s father, strides into this mess and declares his intent to transform Nikan into a democracy, so he essentially begins to wage war against the Empress, Su Daji. Since Rin is intent on killing Su Daji, she allies herself with Vaisra.

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10 Weirdest Books I’ve Read

Emily from BookswithEmilyFox recently posted a video called Weirdest Books I’ve Read about…you guessed it…the weirdest books she’s read. I watched the video and I thought, hey, that’s fun.

Weird, of course, is a matter of taste and opinion; one person’s weird is another person’s pedestrian. But, going off a generic interpretation of weird, I’d say that I don’t read too many weird books! Mainly, this is because weird books are often weird because they don’t make sense, and I really dislike books that are confusing and have no satisfactory explanations. But there are exceptions! To that end, I’ll mostly stick to books I really liked!

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Fancast: The First Law Trilogy

From the moment I started reading The First Law trilogy I knew I wanted to fancast it. Some books just have that cinematic quality, y’know? Frankly, I can’t believe this hasn’t been optioned for a TV series yet, considering the fantasy golden age we’re in!

Anyway, for this fancast, I tried to stay true to the spirit of the characters while also, as Logen Ninefingers would say, being realistic: that is, I tried to pick actors who weren’t too high-profile for a particular role, who could, theoretically, actually be cast if a show were to be made. Of course, there’s really no reason to do that, since it’s not like Hollywood casting directors are gonna look to my fancast when making decisions, but it makes it more fun for me to pretend that’s a possibility. Continue reading “Fancast: The First Law Trilogy”

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Book Review: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself the blade itself
Joe Abercrombie

Orbit/Gollancz, 2006
★★★★☆

The Blade Itself is a rather standard, basic high fantasy, which isn’t necessarily a criticism (I enjoy basic European-esque fantasy very much!), but I guess I just expected more from this series, since it’s often spoken of as one of the best in the genre. I enjoyed it, to be sure, but I wasn’t blown away. Much more classic fantasy than I was expecting, with some clear inspiration from A Song of Ice and Fire. Based on this book alone, I’d say this series is 1000% overrated and over-hyped, but I keep hearing that the sequels make up for it, so I’m withholding judgement. Continue reading “Book Review: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie”