Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So Far So Good

I just recently got a Kindle, and I'm eager to try out my first ebook. First, though I want to get through my stack of already purchased physical books. Which might take a little while.

I'm happy to report, though, that so far this year I've read several good books in the fantasy genre. Here they are, in the order I read them:

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington. This is the only singleton fantasy of my reads so far this year, which is a testament of the difficulty in finding such an elusive beast. Bullington's is a picaresque historical fantasy about two dimwitted, and thoroughly reprehensible graverobber brothers who manage to defeat a number of demons. There's a bit of horror here, a generous portion of humor (a lot of it dark), and quite a bit of violence.  There are a lot of great incidents, though my favorite would come down to the surreal horror (and humor) of the appearance of a naked, possessed man astride a demonic pig, and the ironic, knife-twist of the witch's grim fairy tale.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. The second in his Gentlemen Bastards series. I didn't want to like the first book in this series, party because I find skepticism about a lot of recent fantasy a good hedge against disappoint, and partly because the title bugged me with its alliterativeness (The Lies of Locke Lamora)--its just a thing I have--but against my will, I liked it quite a bit. This one again has confidence men in a fantasy stand-in for medieval Italy going after a big score, but it also has pirates. A lot of nice, light-but-flavorful wordbuilding, clever dialogue, and intricate capers.

The Blade Itself  by Joe Abercrombie. The first novel in the First Law Trilogy. It reminds me a little bit of the work of David Gemmell--and that's good. Abercrombie's got grittiness, political intrigue, and an eclectic group of flawed characters gathered by a wizard to save the world. And cannibals. Or more precisely, people who gain magical power by cannibalism. I'm looking forward to Book Two.

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