On Thursday 11th February I turned 23. It was a gorgeous sunny day and Ryan and I spent the day wandering around Cambridge book shopping. Perfecto if you ask me. It was super successful and I managed to find nearly everything I wanted. As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts recently I’m really into fantasy at the moment so I’ve been trying to catch up with some of the greats.
We also had lunch at Jamie’s Italian. Sadly it wasn’t the best meal we’ve ever had and the atmosphere wasn’t great. It had a canteen vibe and we felt really squashed in. The food did not live up to hype and although nice it was very bland and average. My mum cooks a better bolognese I must say. Still it was lovely to do something different and less washing up for us! It was a good excuse to wander past King’s College and remind ourselves of how stunning it is.
I really recommend Cambridge, it is a gorgeous city and full of great things to do! Anyway, back to the books… Obviously I haven’t read any of these yet so my summaries are not full of insightful comments on the plot and characters yet.
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, Orbit, 661 pp
This is the first in his Lightbringer series where the protagonist, Guile, is the Prism. The Prism is a position of power but an uneasy one, with the threat of death forever looming and when he discovers he has a son Guile has to choose what is more important. I’m really looking forward to starting this, it promises to be action packed and full of cool magic. He comes highly recommended and I can’t wait to tell you what I think.
The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett, Harper Voyager, 544pp
Peter V Brett is another big name in the fantasy/sci fy genre. Recently Harper Voyager named 8th February the Demon Cycle day in honor of this series. All the hype that ensued on Twitter over this debut made me super curious to see what the fuss is all about. It is set in a world where every night demons rise and attack humans. For hundreds of years humans were protecting themselves with wards but they are starting to become less efficient and demons are sneaking through the defences. Once humans and demons were able to face each other as equals but now the demons are getting stronger and the future is looking less bright for the human survivors. A group of them decide to take on the impossible in order to save humanity. This sounds so good! I love the idea of magical wards and demons rising.
Mage’s Blood by David Hair, Jo Fletcher Books, 704pp
Mage’s Blood is the first of Hair’s Moontide Quartet. The Moontide Bridge is under the sea separating the East from the West. Every 12 years the Bridge rises above the waves and connects the two and opens trade. The West always sends armies across in order to conquer the other side and rule, but this time the East is ready. This. Sounds. So. Good.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Arrow, 864pp
I doubt this needs much introduction… This has exploded across the internet, helped hugely by the Amazon Prime tv series, and has made me curious. I’m not usually drawn in by time travel in novels but from what I’ve heard it’s done really well. It’s 1946 and Claire Randall and her husband are holidaying in the Scottish Highlands hoping to reconnect after being separated during the war. One day she walks through a stone circle and is transported to 1743 where she runs into her husbands ancestor… It’s not normally a time period I am interested in but I like learning new things and historical fiction is often an easy way to get a flavour of the time. Naturally there is a touch of the fantastical in the time travel element but I’m not sure if there are any more fantasy elements in the story, I guess I’ll find out.
Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, British Library Crime Classics, 211pp
I’m super super excited about reading this one. I loved the Lake District Murder by John Bude, another British Library Crime Classic, so I’m keen to dive into another. I know this is a bit of a Christmasy read as the plot follows group of travelers who find shelter in an abandoned manor house after their train is halted by a snow storm. The table is laid and the candles are lit but no one seems to be home… until a murder is committed. I love a bit of a crime/thriller novel on these long winter nights and at 211 pages I doubt it’ll take me long to get through.
The Inheritance by Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm, Harper Voyager, 416pp
Naturally it wouldn’t have been a good spree if I hadn’t picked up some Robin Hobb! This is a collection of short stories written by both of Margaret Ogden’s pseudonyms Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm. Hobb makes it clear that her writing differs under each author name so I’m interested in comparing the two. This collection features stories relating to her Realm of the Elderlings series as well as others so I consider it important in the RoE canon. Might have to do some research into whether I should read this before or after I’m fully caught up with the series.
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb, Harper Voyager, 640pp
This is the first instalment of Hobb’s Fitz and the Fool trilogy, the latest trilogy she is working on. The third is still yet to be written. I just like collecting the series so I know I always have the sequels. I am still waiting on the release of the final two books in the Rain Wild Chronicles in their new Jackie Morris covers to match the others and the second Fitz and the Fool book to come out in paperback and then I will have the entire collection thus far. I’m only 5 and half books in to the Realm of the Elderlings series (Including the Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince prequel novella and not including The Inheritance) and still have 10 and a half to go… I love knowing I can just grab the next one when I’ve finished each book. Obsessed, I know. She’s just so good.
Wonder Woman, Vol 1, Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang (artist) and Tony Akins (artist), 160pp
Something a little different here. Ryan has got really into DC and Marvel comics lately and while watching a few of the films/tv shows associated with these characters I thought I’d give them a try too. I’ve read the first two volumes of the Justice League and enjoyed them so tried the Superman and Wonder Woman Power Couple collection. I really enjoyed the first volume but the second was really odd and I can see why it wasn’t very popular. I like Wonder Woman though and I am super intrigued to read more about her origins as I know it’s steeped in Greek mythology and that appeals to my history geek side. I’ve heard this volume isn’t the best but that they get better. I thought it’d be better to start from the beginning so as not to get confused. I’m also not overly keen on the artwork of this volume but again I’ve checked out later issues and it gets better. I really liked how Wonder Woman was drawn in the Justice League and Superman/Wonder Woman so I’m sad it’s not the same but oh well. Hopefully it’ll be a good start.
I’m really pleased that I managed to get most of the books I’ve had my eye on for a while. Unfortunately a lot of them are the first in a series which means I’ll have more books to buy soon enough… for now though I think I’m set for a while! So many books so little time… Please let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought or if you have any other fantasy/crime classic recommendations! Especially the latter as I’d like to cultivate a collection.