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10 Fantasy Series to Read in 2021

I’ve made this post for 2019 and 2020 and I’ve actually made some progress, though it is…slow going (series are LONG okay). Because of that, there’s going to be a lot of repeats here, but some new series I’d like to begin or finish up as well.

I’m also no longer being a stickler about waiting for a series to finish before starting it, because now that I’m doing my own summaries of fantasy installments, I don’t have as much of a problem when it comes to remembering things, since my summaries prioritize everything that I personally want prioritized, or the little details that I, specifically, would be more likely to forget.

The series I am prioritizing tie in to one of my 2020 goals, which is to finish some of the many, many books I own physical copies of, so you’ll notice that most of these series I actually own, which in theory should help me to read them, since they’re, you know, right there.

Continue reading “10 Fantasy Series to Read in 2021”

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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”

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Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

The Black Prismthe black prism
Brent Weeks

Orbit, 2020
★★★☆☆

At its heart, The Black Prism is a spin on the classic fantasy Farm Boy trope. Kip, our farm boy, is just an ordinary 15-year-old kid living in a humble little village, when destiny suddenly comes a-knockin in the form of an army that slaughters his entire town. In the ensuing chaos, Kip discovers he is the illegitimate son of Gavin Guile, the Prism, who is a sort of religious/political figure, kind of like a Priest-King. Prisms are one in a generation; they alone are able to draft seven colors with no negative effects, making them extremely powerful; they also use this power to maintain “color balance” in the world. This particular Prism, though, is marked by a war from sixteen ago, when Gavin fought against his brother, who was seemingly also a Prism, leading the war to be known as the False Prism’s war.

There’s kind of a lot going on in this book, but also very little at the same time, so let’s break this down into categories. Continue reading “Book Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks”

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Book Review: Illusion by Paula Volsky

Illusionillusion
Paula Volsky

Bantam, 1991
★★★★☆

Like most dense high fantasies from the early 90s, Illusion takes some time to get started. It moves leisurely, taking us through a period of two years in a whopping 674 pages. But I didn’t mind the length and I didn’t mind the sometimes uneven pacing, and that was wholly because of the writing.

Before I get into anything else about this book, I have to stress the quality of the writing. Reading Illusion felt like reading a literary classic from the 19th century. Everything about the writing was so elegant, so old-world, so formal, so eloquent…from the very first page I was hooked, drawn into this world through the evocative and elegant syntax. I wish I could write like Paula Volsky. God, her writing is everything I aspire to. I was drinking it in as I read, sometimes going back and rereading various phrases just to marvel at the way she could make something so utterly simple sound so grand. Continue reading “Book Review: Illusion by Paula Volsky”