Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Read or to Read More

My reading of novels is going slow at the moment. I'm still infected by the Forgotten Realms-virus and so I have been reading through my old source books (and a few new ones I ordered from the fantastic online store for used/out-of-print/new gaming material, Noble Knight Games - excellent service) with an interest in reacquainting myself with the setting since I've started a campaign in it. So while novels have been languishing, I've had a good time reading Cormyr, The Ruins of Zhentil Keep, Anauroch, The Bloodstone Lands, The North, Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast, Adventures, The Moonshae Isles, Elves of Evermeet, Secret of the Magister and heaps more. There really is a lot of setting information available and it is full of good and not so good inspiration. I'm restricting this investigation to 2nd edition material (that is, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) which is more than enough. There are boxed sets, campaign expansions, pre-written adventures, accessories and everything in between and this has kind of accelerated so now I'm hunting for those books I'm missing. 

However, yesterday's Game of Thrones season three premiere had me itching for some good old George A Storm of Swords to bed. It was like revisiting an old friend...in bed. Kind of. First there was the Arya chapter that I'll post about next, and then came the chapter where Daenerys goes to buy Unsullied, which was extra fun of course since I watched the episode twice yesterday. The book did confirm what I said in my post yesterday, that this scene (and the Tywin/Tyrion scene) were very close to the source material. In the book, Kraznys has even more lines of foul dialogue but all in all the scene followed the book closely dialogue-wise; I had forgotten that Daenerys understood Kraznys' words, so it was a fun experience to re-read the scene right after watching the show. 
R.R. Martin so I brought a copy of

I did a little rearranging of my bookshelves last night before reading as well, and I re-arranged my outrageously large to-read-pile. I'm about 3/4 done with another Realms novel, War in Tethyr, and halfway through yet another Realms novel, Shadowdale, but I want to get cracking on those fantasy novels that have been lying around for so long that I believe will be good reads, and of course I still have to finish Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings (three years now it's been on my night table). While checking out them shelves I also felt a sudden urge to re-read Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy and R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing trilogy. Ack, the days are so short and the fantasy worlds so large. No, I have to get on with it and read fresh stuff. Until Steven Erikson's Fall of Light appears, of course. In the to-read pile I found a few interesting titles that I have stacked on the night table for the coming months, now all I have to do is actually read them (Winterbirth, The Stormcaller, The Broken Council and The Mongoliad - I believe I have started at least three of these without ever getting further). And then there is the brilliance of an entire row of Malazan books that I'd like to revisit. They are whispering to me with all their magnificence. But I can't just roam around in the Malazan Empire all the time either, those books are so long and complex...but they are so good...when I discovered how joyful re-reading Gardens of the Moon and the first half of Deadhouse Gates was...oh man.

Ah well. Having too much to read is a luxury and I really can't complain. But if more fantasy series were turned into TV shows, now that could save some time. So here's to seeing the worlds and characters of Abercrombie, Rothfuss, and all the others on the TV screen, made possible through the success of Game of Thrones.

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