Showing posts with label fantasy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fantasy. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mercedes Lackey April

I don't know how I managed this (besides jumping right into my coffee and reading after work at 6am each day), but I managed to clean house with three Mercedes Lackey trilogy readings. It began with Tarma and Kethry adventures in Oathbound. This led to Oathbreaker and Oathblood. I've had the first two books on my shelf for over a year and bought Oathblood to round things out. Out of the three trilogies I completed, these ladies made my favorite party to keep company with. The books were fun; nothing deep nor complex. I learned reading Lackey's By the Sword that fantasy complexities and grandness weren't necessarily Lackey's edge. She does have charm. She is a storyteller. But epic? Nah. Especially when she constantly uses rape as a plot device. It almost took me chewing my teeth out not to throw her books when she does it. Nevertheless, Tarma and Kethry had some great adventures.

Ah. The Arrows Trilogy. I read the first book almost three years ago, and have been hesitant since. But I decided after completing Tarma and Kethry's stories I might as well keep the Lackey train going with Arrow's Flight and Arrow's Fall. Incidentally, the one I found most readers dislike the most was the one I liked the most. Can you guess which was that? It was Arrow's Flight, the second book. I won't get into the details as to why it is many readers' least favorite of the trio. The only thing I can attribute to my patience with the book is having read Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. If you can read those, you can tap into any reservoir of patience to get through a book you intend on getting through (as opposed to those you outright DNF for whatever reason).

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Do I Feel Like Reading More of Mercedes Lackey's Work?

So here it is. The truth. I closed out reading Mercedes Lackey’s By the Sword feeling unfulfilled and unmoved by the book. So I'm wary of trying more of Lackey’s work. Don’t get me wrong, though. I enjoyed Lackey's Diana Tregarde series, as well as the first book in her Elementals series. As for the two dips I’ve taken into her Valedmar series, I've yet to come away with a hunger for more. And after finishing By the Sword, I am stuck wondering whether Lackey’s work is worth it to me. You see, By the Sword started off great. I was into Lackey’s fantasy character, Kerowyn, catapulting in her own direction in life. She wasn’t interested in becoming anyone’s wife or housekeeper. Nah. She desired the mercenaries way of life, or a means to be a hero to people.


Cool fantasy stuff, indeed.

Unfortunately, by the end of the book things changed for me.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

I Did a Reading Thing this Year...

Totally caught up on the Green Rider Series by Kristen Britain.  Book #7, Winterlight, will release September of 2021.  Naturally...

I'M LEFT CRYING AND WAITTTTTTTTTT FOR MORE!!!


Friday, November 1, 2019

#WeekendReads First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain


#NonFictionNovember is going to have to wait a little bit longer, bro.  Why?  Because I got to stay up all night and read First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain.  It's the second book in her Green Rider series.  A series that follows this pretty neat-o young lady named Karigan G'ladheon.  She works as one of the king's (y'all know how these fantasy worlds go) messenger services dudes called Green Riders.  And, well, given her job she also has the ability to turn invisible...

AND I LOVE EVERY BIT OF ITTTTTTTTTT!  WITH ALL THE PERSONAL AND FANTASY INTRIGUE IN BETWEEN!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

{Let Me Know} Is Mercedes Lackey's "Arrows" Trilogy Worth It?



Not too much to add here that hasn't been said in the video.  LOL.  Heck, the title alone, right?


Anyway, books and such mentioned (all links are Amazon affiliate):

1.  By the Sword 
2.  Diana Tregarde Investigates (Children of the Night, Burning Water, & Jinx High)
3.  The Complete Arrows Trilogy (Valdemar) 





Monday, April 29, 2019

GUEST POST: How to Always be on the Lookout for New Inspiration by Kelvyn Fernandes

Hi, my name is Kelvyn Fernandes, author of The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi. As a writer of a fantastical journey, filled with peculiar characters and wondrous creatures, I’m often asked where do I get the ideas for my tales. Where do I pull my inspiration from? And the long and short answer is: everywhere at once.

The book I sought to write was based on snippets and extracts from memorable moments throughout my life. It is a compilation of every book I wanted to tell my way. Every movie I felt was missing something more. And every song whose lyrics stoked my imagination. A spark of an idea would start, based on a chance encounter or new set of information. And in my mind it would snowball through my backlog of interactions with the world; picking up bits and pieces to form a full character, a full setting, a full scene.

I take detailed notes on the thoughts that gain the most steam. From there I flesh out the narrative and over-arching plot. As such, I’ve formed a few tenets I try to live life by. These tenets help push me towards new, creative revelations. Therefore–in doing so–I keep my ideas fresh and interesting for the reader. More so, for myself.


It's important to embrace new experiences, even if you’re not interested or think they might suck. It’s almost never a bad idea to try something once. And if your bias is confirmed, a bad experience will likely make a great story.

Break away from your genre. Strong stories are found in strong characters. And strong characters can be found anywhere. If you’re writing a fantasy novel, don’t just look for ideas in other fantasy novels. It’s definitely good to familiarize yourself with fellow fantasy authors–and build on their stories. But sometimes if you’re stuck (anywhere within your writing), it’s refreshing to look somewhere outside your chosen genre.

For example, I read Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams as part of my friends’ book club. It follows a documented and real-life wildlife adventure the author took to see endangered species throughout the world. I wasn’t expecting to get so engrossed in a journal of his trip, but it really opened my eyes to the amazing places that exist in the world.

Most importantly, it gave me ideas for amazing places I could incorporate into my own writer's world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

CHOP IT UP: Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson


Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

So let’s summarize this three star read.  

Brown Girl in the Ring takes on a futuristic urban Toronto where the rich and wealthy have fled the inner city to keep away from the dangerous and troubled others.  This moves leaves the violent and murderous power over the city, in all their recklessly and unsympathetic glory.  To the determinant of the remaining downtrodden and disenfranchised innocents, they are stuck in the ugly walls and rules of the new Toronto.  

In enters Ti-Jeanne, a young mother grappling with newfound motherhood and living with a hyper-shamanistic grandmother.  Said shamanistic grandmother has roots deep in Caribbean traditions, including the kind geared toward wielding magic spells.  And it's Ti-Jeanne's grandmother who drills her on the importance of carrying on their family's cultural and magical traditions, as well as suffocating Ti-Jeanne with her overprotective and overburden concerns.

Unfortunately, despite showing innate abilities to communicate with Caribbean gods and goddess, Ti-Jeanne is reluctant to take part in her grandmother's beliefs.  Until Ti-Jeanne’s baby’s father comes seeking her help.  He works for a crime boss who shuttles drugs and harvests human organs for the rich and, having been caught sniffing some of the supplies, must now bring his boss a human heart fit for a politician looking for a transplant.  Though he's not a murderer, it's either the life of the transplant victim or his own. 

Suddenly Ti-Jeanne is forced to confront her family’s roots in servicing gods and goddesses to keep him, her baby, and her family protected from the organized evil knocking at their door.  And her family's connections to this evil runs much deeper than water.  It's all blood.


So first, what I did enjoy took place in the "inactive" areas of the book. Or the beginning’s relationship-heavy slices.

I loved the time Hopkinson’s spent in laying out Ti-Jeanne and her struggles as a character. Her being a mother was an issue. Her coming to terms with her walk-out mother was another. And, as well, she had issues with her baby’s father, Tony, who was back in her life. Hopkinson took care to spend time revisiting their past relationship as lovers. She also spent time going into its downfall due to Tony’s drug addiction. The issue of Ti-Jeanne not informing Tony how her baby was theirs complicated matters. And Tony himself was well-drawn, as he fought with loving Ti-Jeanne while working for a crime boss. And it's this boss who had him by the balls every step he took. So, needless to say, their drama had my undivided attention.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

4 Reasons Why I Enjoyed the F Outta Kristen Britain's Green Rider ~ As a Below Average Reader of Fantasy Books (Though I Want to Improve That Average Desperately, Making This a Great Start)


"On her long journey home from school after a fight that will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her uncertain future. As she trudges through the immense Green Cloak forest, her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves, as a galloping horse bursts from the woods.  
The rider is slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king of Sacoridia.  
Before he dies, he begs Karigan to deliver the “life and death” message he bears to King Zachary. When she reluctantly he agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission, whispering with his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man...".  
Taking on the golden-winged horse brooch that is the symbol of the Green Riders, Karigan is swept into a world of deadly danger and complex magic, her life forever changed. Compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is accompanied by the silent specter of the fallen messenger and hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination."

There are times when a book's cover will just… well… summon you.  It'll be a book cover that commands you–from a bookshelf in some random bookstore–to buy and read it.  While this year I managed to find a small piece of territory in the science-fiction space opera sub-genre (bless your sweet ASS Tanya Huff for creating Torin Kerr), my itch for a strictly traditional fantasy book had yet to be fulfilled.  Until I saw a mass market copy of Kristen Britain Green Rider at my local Barnes & Noble, and immediately became enchanted and curious by its cover.  It was giving me T. A. Barron The Ancient One tease (my favorite fantasy book).  Ever hesitate from being burned before, I waited matters out.  And each visit it kept calling.  No.  Screaming actually.  

But 500 pages for a fantasy book takes determination and stamina for a reader like myself, so I needed it in the comfort of a hardback if I was going to take it on by the book's weight alone.  Ordered online.  Spent five days reading it (took a day off so it would've been four).  And it was a win!  For once, I got shit right for myself based solely off a cover.


Nevertheless, I’ve stated this before how I’m not that great at taking on fantasy novels.  Why?  Maintenance.  Upkeep.  And little much-needed reference materials to draw from as I delve into all these innovative and imaginative lanes authors have created for themselves and readers.  I always need just a little something extra to remain anchored into the story.  And I can say brevity on the exposition concerning world-building and magic systems is essential to my reading experience.  I guess that brevity is what separates the "epic" in "epic fantasy" from... well... I guess "fantasy."   Forgive my ineptitude on the subject, because Green Rider does away with all my fantasy-reading anxieties and here’s why...


"Karigan thought desperately.  She thought back to summer evenings in an empty warehouse on her father's estate where the cargo master practiced swordplay with her.  For one lesson, he left the wooden practice swords leaning against the wall and devoted the session to what she could do with her bare hands."
~~~~~~~~~~ 
"'I once asked her what she wanted to do with her life,' Rendle said.  'She told me, something adventurous.  She wanted to be a merchant like her father.  It is not many children who choose to follow their parents' footsteps.'" 
~~~~~~~~~~  
"She dreamed also of her mother's ring, which Jendara wore.  Sometimes she dreamed that her mother chastised her for her carelessness.  Other times, her mother held her in a warm embrace....  How did a simple schoolgirl ever get into such a mess?"
The quick backstory of the lead character, Karigan, is simple enough.  Her father created a successful shipping business out of nothing.  This put her family in the spectrum of influence and aristocracy, though they are humble and quiet living below their means.  Her mother died some years ago, leaving just Karigan and her father.  And, also, leaving Karigan with very little baggage about the loss to mull depressingly over.  To further her educational purposes, she went to an elite school where she was later suspended because she crossed a governor's son on the practice field.  A big no-no.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Authorlight: Juniper Leaves by Jaz Joyner





By: Jaz Joyner

Author: Jaz Joyner
Publisher: Black Pansy Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 248
Release Date: OUT NOW (Ebook & Paperback)
ISBN: 978-0999538616
Synopsis:  Kinky-haired blerd Juniper Bray used to believe in magic, until she lost her best friend: her grandmother. Now this 15-year-old shy girl is headed to her father’s research trip on a farm hundreds of miles away, with a family she barely knows and the opposite of a best friend, her new arch nemesis, Bree Mckinney. As if she wasn’t miserable enough. Little does she know the next few months Juniper will discover magical powers she never knew she had, get a crush on a girl she never knew she’d like and well, quite frankly, save the world. Juniper Leaves is a fantastical coming-of-age tale of a girl who learns to let go, live a little, and best of all, believe in herself — all before her sixteenth birthday.


Jaz Joyner is a black trans essayist, humorist and author residing in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Afropunk, The Establishment, and others. One of Jaz's essays is featured in the LGBT anthology Outside the XY: Queer, Black and Brown Masculinity. Huffington Post Queer Voices interviewed Jaz to talk about their non binary identity as a person of color and experience as a writer. Most recently they've become a regular on the hit YouTube discussion show TheGrapevine. In 2016, Jaz started their passion project, a humor site called QUNTFRONT with the goal of uplifting QTPoC voices in comedy.  Follow Jaz Joyner on Twitter: @JazJoyner.  Visit Jaz Joyner's website by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Random End-of-Summer Book Haul Continues...


Well, damn.  Just when I hauled one set of books, here comes another.  Friday, it appears, I lost control with book hauling.  No worries.  All this was less than $7.
Since I’m suddenly on a “replenishing my love of fantasy” kick, I finagled my way to books #3 [Phoenix and Ashes] and #4 [The Wizard of London] in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series.  I bought them in the same place (public library used bookstore) for the same $1 price.  Apiece.  I figured why the hell not, before someone gets to them first.  After all, I noticed book #5 had suddenly went missing after my previous visit.  So I hurriedly grabbed these two.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Random Mini Book Haul (SO RANDOM)


After reading The Serpent’s Shadow, I was still in the air about how quickly I wanted to pick up another Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters book.  Removing this post from all the details on that hesitation, I’ll just link to my video thoughts on the book.  Nevertheless, it goes without saying that if you find a book you’re even slightly interested in nudged on a shelf for a $1, you may as well get it.  So, as luck would have it, I got this pristine copy of the second book in Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, The Gates of Sleep.  Why the hell not, eh?  Might as well for the future.
(Goodreads info on the book is linked HERE!)
Now this next book was one that had me gasping when I uncovered it during the whole browsing process.  Seriously, I was that surprised and pumped with glee.  A Cold Day for Murder is the first book in Dana Stabenow’s Alaska-based Kate Shugak mystery series.  I bought the third book back in March.  Needless to say, it’s been sitting around waiting on the first.  But, no lie, I really couldn’t believe my eyes when this book struck me.
LUCKYYYYY!
(Goodreads info on the book is linked HERE!)
Well, that’s it.  Not really intentional, but hey.  When you’re in the stacks, you’re in the stacks!
Carry on.

Final Thoughts | The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey (VIDEO)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What? Some Fantasy Novels...?


I told myself “what the hell” today and grabbed these two fantasy novels out of the library used bookstore for a $1 apiece.  As mentioned in the past, the fantasy genre isn’t my strong suit; Urban Fantasy I can nail, given the right ingredients.  Nonetheless, high fantasy–as I’ve learned in the past–takes me an unbelievable amount of energy to focus and survey my way through.  Seriously, with high fantasy you’re thrown into a whole different world of concepts, systems, and ecospheres that allows you little to no reference points to consider.  So I find it troublesome when I attempt to unfold the author’s imagination through my own–at the same time.  Or at least that’s how it feels to me when an author is pounding descriptive exposition of a fantasy empire built onto a water way; congregated by humanoids and humans with varied ascetics not remitting my needing a visual clue.  So it always feels like a gamble when I take on these books.  A gamble of cohesion and comprehension of the events and narrative flow through an author's particular style.
Yet, there’s a wall I want to break to get into these alien and fantasy worlds.  And that’s how I browsed my way to Jude Fisher’s Sorcery Rising (Book One of Fool’s Gold) and the infamous Mercedes Lackey’s The Serpent’s Shadow.  Both their selling points: they feature female leads.  Nonetheless, The Serpent's Shadow's lead is a half-Indian woman named, Maya Witherspoon.  Which really caught my attention.  Other than that, both leads partake in an adventure of some sort.  Oh, and magic will be had.
So it’s going to take some patience keeping up with their respective world-building, politics, and rules of etiquette.  As well as the patience I’ll need to roll my tongue/mind in attempts to correctly pronounce names like “Sanctuarii”, “Arahai”, and “Fotheringay.”
Oh, boy.
But here goes!
Should I jump ship for whatever reason, everyone will be the first to know.
Share your thoughts on high fantasy and these authors.

Friday, January 15, 2016

1Q84 | Aomame X Tengo | BOOK 1

Oh, boy.  Oh, joy.  Oh, what-the-Hell-I-like-this-book.
I decided to open 2016 going after my bigger books.  This includes omnibus editions containing a set of series entries of some sort.  Which is exactly where Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 lies.  Containing a total of three books, I recently wrapped up the first entry.  And have yet the precise words to describe the experience.  I don’t think there any concrete words.  Yet, not to suggest I didn’t enjoy the experience–because I did.  And a lot more than my previous–and introductory–reading of Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance.
I just don’t know exactly how to put the experience into words.  So perhaps a quick summary would get my thinking juices flowing.  Or one could hope.
So here’s what 1Q84 is about.  Which is only right for me to walk you through this summary alongside myself.  The little synopsis/premise I collected previous to picking the book (over a year ago) were kind of misty on its direction.  The book itself throws all these terms at you to describe your approaching experience.  Romance.  Mystery.  Fantasy.  All to name a few.  And it’s all those descriptions–in some gradient of each over another.  But I found those descriptions useless, for those grappling with engaging with the book.  To me, the book is a surreal reading experience.  One you have to take in without–I guess you could say–a concrete overture to rely on.  Funny how many Japanese writers put me in this frame of mind after venturing through their books.
The story alternates between two third-person narratives.  Of course they'll eventually float into the same literary space of Tokyo, 1984.

Total Pageviews