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Messages - Elfy

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Can’t leave out the Assassin’s Creed books based on the popular video game. While the books have a cast of thousands, Arya, who is training as an assassin, is one of A Song of Ice and Fire’s most popular POV characters.

I did 6 books in February, which given that its a slightly shorter month is fairly good going.

The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove. This is the second of the licenced Firefly novels. The first one Big Damn Hero tended to focus more on Mal and his past, and with this installment it's Jayne's turn. It was very much The Magnificent Seven in outer space, with the crew of Serenity taking the place of Yul Brynner and Co. Really fun.

Five Dark Fates and Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake. The first one is the conclusion to the highly entertaining and quite dark Fennbirn series and it was rather bitter sweet. The second is a collection of 2 novellas about the world and it's past.

The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga. I loved this! It was set in a secondary world that was reminiscent of our Europe in the 17th century, and had a bit of Dickens thrown in for fun. It follows a princess of the realm and her childhood friend who has been reduced to sourcing cadavers to keep body and soul together. It was just such a well told story, with two great complex central characters.

The Tigers Almanac: 2019 edited by John Harms and Mandy Johnson. Non fiction. A collection of supporter written pieces about the Richmond Tigers Premiership winning season of 2019.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix. A largely YA story set in alternate France in the 18th century, where angels are used as magic. The system was extremely interesting and kind of unique. It had 4 central characters, but only 1 of them is really important to the story and I did find myself wondering why I should be interested in the other 3. Interesting enough to read, but won't live on in my memory as anything particularly special.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 29, 2020, 12:34:46 AM »
Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Overall: +9
Loved it. A refreshing read, which is wildly gripping and totally different from any other book I've read. A roller coaster adventures both geographically and plot-wise keeps moving to keep you stuck to the book.

Freshness: +10
The Lot Lands is a gritty hard place stuck between a semi-hostile kingdom on one side and wild orc hordes on other. A wild west meets sons of anarchy set in fantasyland! Both the setting and the characters plus they way book is written clearly sets itself on a level outside of most other fantasy book out there.

Prose: +10
An unapologetically disgusting and dirty prose that shreds modern political correctness and sensibility expectation on it's way to a wildly entertaining romp. A cascade of vulgarity and lewdness seeps through every page of the book topped with base jokes, that actually make you laugh rather than cringe, which is not an easy balance to achieve! Despite that the book has a nice flow to it and it drags you right in to experience the life on a hog in lotlands right with the characters.

Plot: +8
What starts off as a personal duel rapidly escalates into a far bigger conflict which the author keeps you from guessing till the end. The way the lead character plods through the events trying to find this way, but finding his beliefs yanked repeatedly makes this a obsessive page turner. I have dropped some points on this because of a minor gripe...the books focuses on the protagonist but fails to provide a view of other parties that will be impacted but are not properly covered.

Explicit content:
Los of vulgar speech and base humour. Some explicit but very brief sexual content. Overall good for 18+ audience.
I largely agree with this review, Bender. It was one of my best reads for the year when I read it, and the fact that I picked it up on the off chance made it even better. It does help that I really enjoyed Sons of Anarchy.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, said this before, but the city of Camorr is like an extra character in that book.

I've been looking at this sentiment and thinking that I slightly disagree, and trying to put a finger on why. I think it's less a disagree on the sentiment, and more a difference in definitions. I feel in TLoLL, the people of Camorr (as a whole) are vitally important to the book - what makes a Camorri, how they live and interact and the systems they build and support... all of that is hugely important. I feel like the place of Camorr is much less vital - there are settings, obviously, and those settings are unique and well-drawn and bring together a great sense of place, but I don't feel that the story was deeply steeped in that place. People yes, place no.

So that's just making me thing: is a city a place or the people? (The answer, I think, is: yes. But hitherto on this thread I'd been thinking of city as place.)
It’s kind of both in TLoLL. Camorr is a part of them and it has that reputation outside of the city itself.
Spoiler for Hiden:
theres that bit in Red Seas Under Red Skies where the pirate captain is reluctant to take Locke and Jean into the pirate city until Jean mentions that they’re from Camorr, and she immediately acquiesces
. I like all of the books, but I like the first one even more because of Camorr. I doubt the circumstances that created Locke and the Gentleman Bastards could have happened in any other city in that world, because Camorr is kind of unique in its setup.

General Discussion / Re: If there was a brand new Fantasy TV show
« on: February 24, 2020, 08:16:28 AM »
I would love to watch Drizzt and Malazan on TV.

@Eclipse would probably prefer WoT or Mistborn :P

I would look forward to the 2 hour episode set in the bath tub.
Only one episode? That’ll need its own spin off series.
There have been a couple of really good TV fantasy shows of late, Magicians springs to mind, especially once it goes off book. Although it’s a super hero show Legends of Tomorrow is fantastical as well as being a whole of of fun, although be warned the first season is awful. I’d skip it altogether and start with season 2. I also have high hopes for WandaVision.

Locke and Jean are up there, as are Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy and Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale. Bronn and Tyrion are also quite fun.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, said this before, but the city of Camorr is like an extra character in that book.

Feist and Wurtz’s Empire series was based on medieval Japan. That’s basically what the world of Kelewan was. The closest Feist came to doing something middle eastern themed was Prince of the Blood, which was largely set in the Empire of Kesh, which was kind of Egyptian in feel.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Reading SFF is escapism
« on: February 21, 2020, 05:01:49 AM »
Isn’t most entertainment some form of escapism? Even sport, which many like to spend a few hours watching, provides an escape from the pressures and issues of real life.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What is sword and sorcery to you?
« on: February 13, 2020, 05:40:40 AM »
For me, it means the works of Howard/Ashton Smith/Leiber and what you find in them - high adventure, personal stakes, a high level of amorality, heroes who fight on their own (or maybe with one other), and 'ordinary' men & women pitched up against supernatural forces such as sorcerers, godlings, strange beasts and so on. It's very rare for the hero of an early S&S to be a sorcerer themselves - magic users are mostly the enemy.
Leiber actually coined the term in response to a letter from Moorcock demanding a name for the sort of thing written by Howard and his contemporaries. Lin Carter believes you can trace its origins back to mythology like the stories of Hercules and The Odyssey.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Children Fantasy Books
« on: February 12, 2020, 08:46:04 AM »
The older one may like The Borribles by Michael de Larabeiti.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Dresden Files
« on: February 11, 2020, 08:37:10 PM »
I'm resisting reading the teasers, I want to go in blind when it's finally here.

You might want to. From what I see, I want to brush up on the novellas a bit. Looks like some peripheral characters gain prominece.
i havent' read the teasers, either, but I did read the whole thing, including the 2 short story collections last year.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in January 2020
« on: February 02, 2020, 03:33:14 AM »
Quite a good reading month for me.

One Dark Throne and Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake. This is quite a good little YA gothic horror fantasy series. The fight for the throne takes a turn, as three sisters still remain in the hunt, when by now two should have been murdered by their sister.

The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes. The premise of this is wonderful. An imaginary detective who resembles a fluffy toy triceratops called Tippy goes hunting for a killer in a world of make believe. It suffers in execution largely because the author seemed to be terrified of offending anyone in any way.

They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded by James Gardner. A follow up to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault. The first one sounds like fun and is, but the second ups that by using the best character from the first and making her the focus.

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim Hines. Part of my reread project. It's the first of Hines' Princess series where he explores what happened after 'happily ever after' to three of the most popular fairy tale princesses in Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. It's a little uneven in tone, but fun to see the princesses as a sort of fairy tale version of Charlie's Angels.

This Body's Not Big Enough For Both Of Us by Edgar Cantero. I enjoyed the same author's Meddling Kids in 2018, and this was a great new novel by him. It's a mystery, but that's the only similarity. Where Meddling Kids was about a group of kids who were kind of like the Scooby Doo gang crossed with the Famous Five, this is an Elmore Leonard style detective story, with the twist being that the detective in question is actually two separate people inhabiting the one body.

The Anarchy by William Dalrymple. Non fiction, about the rise and fall of the East India Company and how it effectively controlled an entire nation.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine. The sequel to Arabella of Mars. The Napoleonic Wars in outer space. Space opera crossed with planetary romance and it reads kind of like a cross between Patrick O'Brien and Jane Austen with some Edgar Rice Burroughs thrown in for good measure.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, the most recent entry in McGuire's Wayward Children series. These novellas just don't miss a trick and they're all absolutely captivating.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Gothic Horror Fantasy
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:46:36 PM »
I’d say anything by Grady Hendrix, but a warning, they’re often intentionally quite funny as well as creepy.

Just a point about No Time to Die the Bond film. At this stage the black female character is NOT Bond. James has retired from active service and his 00 number was assigned to another agent, who happened to be female. He’s worked with a number of competent female agents: Anya Amasova, Wai Lin and Eve Moneypenny are 3. Holly Goodhead and Jinx were billed that way, but were badly acted.

That's the point where this no longer is a Bond film but rather a 007 film. A notable distinction! Wonder if we'll see a 007 Boy (instead of a Bond Girl) as eye candy  8)

I hope they get some new plot. Russia/Eastern Europe and Middle East/Terrorism plus nukes have been done to death. Goldeneye was refreshing and we need newer plots.
James is still the heart of it. He returns from retirement to find someone else has his 00 number. The villain is being played by Rami Malek from Mr. Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody. Bond have been trying to a spin off for years. There were plans to do it with Jinx, but the film bombed and people didn’t connect with the character. As Halle Berry seemed to be more interested with her fashion choices than anything else that’s probably not surprising that the idea never went anywhere.

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