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Topics - michaelramm

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Fantasy Resources / I need more Pantheons ....
« on: July 06, 2018, 05:02:04 PM »
I have been on a tear reading through the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I had known about them for quite awhile...but judged the books by their cover (is that Fabio on the covers?!?!) and dismissed them. Then a few weeks back, a co-worker convinced me to try boy did I LOVE it!!

One of the things that I love most about it (besides Oberon's "inner monologues") are the reliance on the Norse and Celtic pantheons/mythologies. I just finished The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion, and I am currently reading Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes. I have The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends on tap afterwards, as well.

Are there any other good resources for expanding my knowledge of the Norse, and especially Celtic pantheons out there? Also, any other fiction series with a focus on either of these pantheons would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

A good friend of mine released his first epic fantasy tome this past weekend. It is available in the Kindle and nook stores, as well as on Lulu as an ePub. It will be coming to the iBookstore very soon. I believe that it is $2.99 USD anywhere that you get it.

I just started it last night. I have not read anything that he has written in the fantasy fiction realm, but he is a very talented writer outside of fantasy fiction, so I feel that he will be successful.

You can download a sample (3 chapters) at

Quote from: The Hand of Andulain
When his simple life is shattered, Bran Somnerson must enter a world of powerful magic, dangerous enemies and his own unknown destiny. Chased by hideous creatures from another land, and bound to an ancient bracelet that he cannot seem to remove, Bran is forced to leave his old life behind before he even knows what his new life may hold.

But while forces of darkness pursue him and his companions across the vast leagues of the Four Realms, Bran discovers that he is being followed by something else. Something more ancient and deadly than he fully understands. And it is pursuing him in his dreams.

Can Bran overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, both around him and within him, that threaten his life? The fate of the Four Realms may very well rest in his hands.

I am just trying to help a friend get his debut work out. I am getting nothing except satisfaction from helping him out of this. Please consider working The Hand of Andulain into your TBRs.

Here is the GoodReads page for those that use it:


Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / American Gods by Neil Gaiman
« on: January 27, 2011, 05:31:21 PM »
Hello to all,

I am sure that there are a lot of you that have read American Gods. I am currently about 80 or so pages in and I am struggling to get through it.

I am not having any problems with the main story with Shadow and Wednesday. It is the 'Coming to America' interludes that I am struggling with. I just finished a long one about a lady who was caught committing a crime, banished from her land, came back and got caught again and banished permanently, then read about her life after that.

I may not be far enough along to understand what Gaiman is using these for, but could someone explain (without spoilers) the meaning of these interludes? If not, just tell me it will become clear later on.

I am hoping to get a BIG part knocked out so that I can get on my February reads.

General Discussion / Rating a Book
« on: January 22, 2011, 01:16:39 PM »
I was browsing GR just a sec ago and was thinking about the ratings system.

What kind of ratings systems do you prefer? Do you like their 5 point system? Would you rather a 10 point system? Would you like to be able to 1/2 points to a book?

Also, when do you come up with your rating for the book that you are reading? I noticed that ChristinaJL rated The King's Bastard before she had finished the book. Now, if you rate a book before you are finished, does the book have to go way above and beyond to increase your rating?

Just some thoughts that I had.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Cursing in Fantasy
« on: January 22, 2011, 01:09:39 PM »
To go along with the 'Sex in Fantasy' topic, what are your thoughts on the rampant use of cursing in fantasy.

The only real problem that I have is the use of the F word. I cannot stand that word, and I have found its use more frequently (Lies of Locke Lamora and Way of the Shadows). I fear that it is ploy for modern writers who don't want to take the time to have their characters express their frustration in a more creative way.

It also seems that the F word is the only word that has made it into the fantasy realms. I don't see a lot of other traditional curse words making it through, except for the many variations on whore, which I am not to keen on.

What are your thoughts? I am especially interested in what our English (Great Britain) folks think. I would have thought that the use of that kind of language would be frowned upon.

General Discussion / GoodRead Shelves Organization
« on: January 22, 2011, 04:54:48 AM »
I thought that this might be a good place to discuss how you organize your shelves and why you do certain thing, and maybe get some ideas from other users, or provide some insight to the newer users.

I thought that I would start this thread early so that we can keep track as we find new authors.

My first author is Scott Lynch. I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora and I LOVED it. It is one of the most original fantasy novels that I have read in a long time. I cannot wait to read more of the Gentleman Bastards adventures.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Janny Wurts
« on: January 12, 2011, 05:07:10 PM »
Any thoughts on Ms. Wurts or her The Curse of the Mistwraith book? I have never read her, but a lot of GR folks seem to really like her writing.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Assassin/Thief books
« on: January 12, 2011, 02:55:03 PM »
[Overlord, you may want to look at a Subgenre section of the forums. If you do, feel free to move this post in there.]
I am slowly deciding that I am liking the assassin/thief stories best of all. It is almost becoming a subgenre in Fantasy. I guess it could fall into a sword and sorcery (with more sword and less sorcery), but you get my drift. I love the grittiness of the assassin protagonist, the cunning guile of the thief in the night, the in your face-I'm better than you and we both know it attitude of both of them.

Since my fantasy readership has been so limited until late 2010, please use this topic to list some of the best assassin/thief novels/series out there.

So far I have read:
The Way of the Shadows - Night Angel Trilogy - 5/5
Assassin's Apprentice - Farseer Trilogy - 4/5
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Gentleman Bastard's - Currently Reading (50% through)

So help me out, and find me some more great Assassin/Thief novels to add to my TBR pile.

General Discussion / Science Fiction and Fantasy
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:59:20 AM »
Has anyone wondered why Sci Fi and Fantasy are always lumped together? Amazon and most other major booksellers do this. Outside of reading Star Wars novels, I don't read much SciFi. That is one reason why I love it here...focused discussions on the Fantasy genre.

When I want to talk find a new book, series, author, discussion... that is Fantasy,  I don't want to wade through a lot of SciFi hits.

Should we separate these discussions?

General Discussion / What is your secondary genre?
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:54:25 AM »
So obviously we are all here because we enjoy reading fantasy. We have preferences for stand alone novels or long fat series. We can argue about social commentary in fantasy.

But to take a break from all that (see I have a point) what are the other genres you really enjoy reading? Are you a military history buff? A biography nut? A closeted romance novel reader? Poetry?

My secondary reading is mainly computer books. I am in information technology and I read a lot of computer books whether it is learning a new skill or trying to keep up to date on my current skill set. My other love is Medieval history, especially the Crusades. You can see a good amount of Crusades books in my GoodReads profile.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Maps
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:48:56 AM »
I have always found the maps in fantasy novels interesting to look at as you follow a story and try to gauge how they are travelling. Some books thought have some poorly designed maps done by the author themselves, not a problem if the map isnt needed that much. I read that the Lord of the Rings actually had large fold out maps done by Christopher Tolkien in the earlier hard cover versions and have a example of one in The Silmarillion. Shame that those maps werent continued with in the later issues of the novels. So i did purchase The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad which is handy to gaze at while reading and has a lot of detail and virtually maps of everything. I think that the maps that are in The Way of the Kings are phenomenal! I saw this on a article:

In the panel, Brandon [Sanderson] asked a simple question: why do fantasy novels have maps? His self supplied answer: because Tolkien did it. Now, this is actually a good thing, he points out, as typically it is nice to be able to geospatially figure out where people are during the story without having to pen-and-paper it yourself from the vague (or sometimes not-too-vague) references. Still, it was standard and expected, and Brandon had been trying desperately to break away from it.

I love maps...geographic maps, fantasy maps, or any other maps. So I am very PRO maps in fantasy books. And my love comes from reading Lord of the Rings. I love that the map provided was PART of the story in that it was a reproduction of the map that the Fellowship carried with them.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Audiobooks/eBooks/Paper books
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:41:03 AM »
What is your preferred format for getting your fantasy fix?

I have never listened to a audiobook for anything. I have been contemplating getting a Kindle3 next month and the only eBook that I have read is Mistborn: The Final Empire. I think that I actually read the book faster through the Kindle app on my Blackberry than I would have read it traditionally.

Once I get my eReader, I will only buy actual books for my Star Wars novels (in paperback) and my favorite authors (Sanderson, Weeks in hardback, Salvatore and Kemp in paperback).

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Does size matter?
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:35:21 AM »
Are you intimidated when you go to the bookstore and look for that favorite book and you see the size of it? I went to grab the paperback of In the Name of the Wind and saw that it is 722 pages. I don't seem to mind so much for hardbacks (I did buy The Way of the Kings at 1007 pages!!)

Maybe it is the fact that paperbacks are so much more compact and harder to hold at that thickness. I will HATE to see how thick Way of the Kings will be in paperback.

We all have our favorite authors, and we like to discuss those at length. Sometimes it is just as hard to decide who our least favorite author is at any one time. Which author's have disappointed you either from the hype you had heard about their work, or they killed off a character that you like, or maybe they snubbed you at a signing.

For me, the hype for Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy was (and still is) so hyped that I was excited to read it. Finally late last year, I grabbed a copy of Assassin's Apprentice from my library, but all that I felt was a great big dose of 'meh'. There were many times when it was a struggle to get through it. I will give it another chance, but not until later this year.

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