Sep 13, 2012

A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin

And so I read the fourth book in the Song of Fire and Ice series. As I'd been told by others, this is the weakest of the series so far. This isn't because of the writing, but because we're only getting half of the story. Martin's fifth book is a companion to the fourth, rather than a sequel, and tells the tales of the main characters we are missing. It appears that Martin's world outgrew him, and such is the problem with an undertaking as massive as this. Like the Wheel of Time series, the world has exceeded the author's grasp, and become a bit unwieldy. However, I think Martin is a better writer than Jordan (and Jordan's successor), so even though the fourth was a little weaker than the others, I haven't grown bored like I did with Jordan's series. I look forward to continuing the journey.

Sep 4, 2012

Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore

This is Cashore's third book, a sequel to "Graceling" and companion to "Fire," and it does not disappoint. I am exceedingly pleased that Cashore's writing has only gotten better with each additional book. She weaves a tale so enthralling, with such endearing characters, that this newest book was incredibly difficult to put down. This installment of the series follows Queen Bitterblue, the young daughter of the frighteningly evil King Leck of Monsea, as she tries to unravel the puzzles and lies behind her own administration.

The part of Cashore's writing I love most of all is her willingness to delve deeply into topics that many others would consider too dark for younger readers. She doesn't dwell on them, though, making you suffer along with the maudlin ramblings of a troubled adolescent, as some young adult authors do, but instead tempers the horrible things with those that are truly beautiful. As the truth about Leck's rule becomes apparent, Cashore makes sure you feel the pain he caused without overdoing it. I simply love her books, and I cannot wait to read more of them the moment they are published.

Sep 2, 2012

A Princess of Landover, by Terry Brooks

I've been wanting to try out Terry Brooks, having heard very good things about his writing, but of course the book I end up reading is the very last book in his collection of Landover novels. Be that as it may, it was a good, fun read, and it would be fun to start from the beginning. Brooks has a slightly British sense of humor, which I like. His characters are nuanced and believable, more so than in many other fantasy novels. I will say that I didn't enjoy it as much as Terry Pratchett, and their work runs in similar veins. Still, the book was fun, lively, scary when it needed to be, and an over-all good read.