One of the interests I mention in my little profile/write-up is reading (books); something I’ve hardly written about on this blog. Time to rectify that.
In the last 2-3 weeks I’ve returned to one of my major literary loves: fantasy. As happens with many of the things I do in life, I’ve completely forgotten the genesis of this shift in my reading. It could be that I need to fill a gap of sorts, created by the extra time I have on my commute to and from work; most likely this is due to a reduction in the number of magazine subscriptions I hold (only two) and the fact that I no longer feel compelled to read The Economist cover to cover. However I developed an urge to start reading fantasy again (something I’d had to a lesser degree prior to moving last year and losing most of my books to boxes that have remained packed up for logistical reasons), I turned to the internet, naturally, to do some research.
I happened upon this portion of Fantasy Faction, whose purpose is unmistakable given the name. This drew my attention to the most anticipated book in the list, way down at the bottom: Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson. Not having that much familiarity with the author, I somehow made my way over to Goodreads to do some research. There I discovered that Words of Radiance is the second book in a trilogy that began with The Way of Kings. I’ve since purchased and read The Way of Kings; I enjoyed it very much and look forward to reading Words of Radiance when it comes out in mass market paperback (I hate lugging hardcovers around and love the tactile feeling and textures of an actual, physical book). Brandon Sanderson does a wonderful job in weaving the stories of the major protagonists into a grand, heroic and marvellous tale, and has created a very well-developed and intriguing world around them. I should read the details on Lashing and gems at the end of the book; I really like it when authors add extra details to the already well-developed worlds that they create.
I’m currently reading The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s an incredible story: Kvothe (pronounced somewhat like Quothe) is a fascinating character and Rothfuss ably switches between first-person and third-person narrative. I’ve torn (figuratively) through the first 500 (out of 722) pages. And to think that this is Mr. Rothfuss’ first book! It’s quite an achievement. Like Mr. Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss has given his readers an incredible story with all the extra details that make for a captivating story and setting. The arcanists, different languages and cultures, songs and dramas that are performed by the characters really draw the reader in. The second book, A Wise Man’s Fear, is already on my shelf, ready for when I finish The Name of the Wind. And I have placed a hold on the third book, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, at the library (I’m breaking my hardcover rule just this once). Sadly I think I ruined part of the story when I looked up the title just now, but what I saw could mean a number of different things.
Wow! So much reading and discovery awaits. In addition to what I’ve covered above, I have books by a number of author authors lined up: Brent Weeks, Peter V. Brett, Jason K. Lewis, Mark Lawrence, and Joe Abercrombie. I’d be doing a grave error by not including Steven Erikson as well: the books in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series are very good. Toll The Hounds is, sadly, buried in one of the aforementioned moving boxes so I’m stalled on that set of stories. Before I resume I’ll have to review the preceding seven books (Gardens of the Moon; Deadhouse Gates; Memories of Ice; House of Chains; Midnight Tides; The Bonehunters; and Reaper’s Gale). I might re-read them but that would take quite a long time as each book is no less than 600-650 pages! There are another 3 after Toll The Hounds so I think I’ll have to content myself with summaries.
So, there we have it: I finally talked about books. Fantasy and Science Fiction are my favourite genres by far and I’ll be writing about them again some day, perhaps an entry each for my top sci-fi trilogies: Isaac Asimov’s original Foundation novels and William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy (an umbrella name given to cover the world of Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive).
Until then: happy reading!