Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lit Upd

It's been a while since I read and finished a novel that wasn't either related to the return of Star Wars or was a novel I've read at least once before, but last night I pushed through and finished Mark Lawrence's The Liar's Key, second volume in a trilogy centered on the Prince of the Red March, with the not very memorable name Jalan Kendeth (I don't know why, but I actually had to check his name online now; despite having been immersed in the novel for such a long time. My brain refuses to latch onto the name; I do remember Snorri, Kara, Kelem, Hennan...just not the main character, whose POV I've been reading for so many pages. Existence is weird.

I'm not going to launch into an in-depth review but if you're a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire it's a good bet you might enjoy Mark Lawrence's setting, the Broken Empire. It began with a preceding trilogy, featuring another prince, and I suppose you're better off reading about the exploits of Jorg of Ancrath before moving on to Jalan Kendeth, but I am sure this second trilogy (called The Red Queen's War, which began with Prince of Fools) may be enjoyed without having read the previous trilogy. What makes Lawrence a great read is that he has some great concepts going on, and, contrary to many fantasists, actually knows how to weave a compelling, well-written tale. It's not as ambitious perhaps as a Martin or Erikson, but I'd place it alongside some of the "second tier" fantasists such as Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss in terms of quality (they're all wildly different, though).

While reading The Liar's Key I've also been re-reading - for the third time now - Steven Erikson's Deadhouse Gates and that one is just getting better and betterer. What a brilliance, wow. Next on my to-read-fantasy-list is my first attempt at Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium), and beyond that I have plans to read the rest of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne - I read and enjoyed the first one (The Emperor's Blades) but for some reason I never soldiered on, despite the story being interesting enough. But I also want to try Glen Cook, and I still haven't acquired copies of Steven Erikson's Fall of Light and Joe Abercrombie's Sharp Ends. And I have to restart Ian C. Esslemont's Dancer's Lament as I kind of forgot to finish it and now I remember nothing of it.

Most next up, of course, is another re-read chapter, which I hopefully will have up as a post by the end of this week.

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