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AMAs, Awards, and Challenges
Something that was either unexpected or not, but punched you in the guy regardless.
This question is something I’m quite interested in cause everyone has differing opinions. Let me know what you think!
Do you think Fantasy Romance should become it’s own genre?
Personally, I had thought “No! That’s ridiculous!” But with the recent growth of romance in fantasy, and both genres are too strong to be considered subgenre, I’ve begun to wonder if Romance Fantasy should become a new genre. This would likely help readers who are hardcore fantasy, stop picking up fantasy with a really strong romance aspect that is becoming more popularised. Like ACOTAR for example.
SPOILER FREE PLEASE 🙃 Someone once told me the measure of quality art is how long it stays with you once you experience it. On that note, what stories have been burned into your mind after reading? Ones you can’t forget? (Some obvious classics for me include works by Poe and Lovecraft)
I found out about this challenge for the first time last September and instead of waiting until April 2023 to join in on the next one I decided to haul donkey to try to do this one in time too - and I made it just in time!
A surprising amount of musical chairs went into arranging the final bingo card, because a) a lot of these books could fall under 2 or even 3 categories and b) sometimes I read a book intending to use it for a square and decided I didn't like it enough to immortalize it on my card forever and c) sometimes I read multiple books for a square and loved all of them and had a super hard time picking just one (as you can see, I gave up on choosing for Short Stories and for Award Finalist and just slapped on a general 'bleehhhh this is covered somewhere in my Hugo noms hoard' label.) But in the end it was a super fulfilling challenge and I got through both books that had been on my tbr forever AND tried things I wouldn't have tried otherwise!
LGBTQIA List Book: Across The Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) - Seanan McGuire
Weird Ecology: Dune - Frank Herbert
Two or More Authors: The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer - Janelle Monae, Yohanca Delgado, Eve L. Ewing, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, Sheree Renée Thomas
Historical SFF: The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight #1) - Katherine Arden
Set in Space: Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir
Standalone: Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
Anti-Hero: Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire #1) - Yoon Ha Lee
Book Club or Readalong Book: The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Cool Weapon: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time #1) - Robert Jordan
Revolutions and Rebellions: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) - Pierce Brown
Name in the Title: The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) - Seth Dickinson
Author uses Initials: Orconomics (Dark Profit Saga #1) - J. Zachary Pike
Published in 2022: Legends and Lattes - Travis Baldree
Urban Fantasy: Babel - R. F. Kuang
Set in Africa: A Master of Djinn - P. Djèlí Clark
Non-Human Protagonist: The Dark Yule (The Pumpkin Spice Tales #1) - R. M. Callahan Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey: This Is How You Lose the Time War - Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Five Short Stories: I read all the Hugo noms!
Mental Health: A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk and Robot #1) - Becky Chambers
Self Published: The Hands of the Emperor (Lays of the Hearth-Fire #1) - Victoria Goddard
Award Finalist: Hugo noms again...!
BIPOC Author: The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) - N. K. Jemisin
Shape-shifters: The Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) - Ursula K. Le Guin
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts: Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente
Family Matters: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) - Fonda Lee
I already can't wait for the reveal of the next card and I'm so glad I found this challenge.
This was my third bingo and as April 1st draws near I think about New Bingo Card Day a lot; the April Fools card (how can I fall for it year after year when I literally know it's coming?), the actual card, the big recommendation thread, going through all 500+ books I've read to see what fits for other people, planning out my own card (hahaha, as if I ever stick to that). It's just pure joy distilled into a single day.
I have very bad seasonal depression which is at its worst in March. I have two modes: Seasonal Depression fuckit_sowhat and Summer Time fuckit_sowhat. Bingo Day is a whole entire day of feeling like Summer Time me . . . it's like coming up for air for 24 fun, splendid hours. And April isn't as bad when you know Bingo starts at the end of it.
April 1st is when I can see the first hints of light. May 1st is like stepping into the light.
I didn't realize until today how important it was to me. I've always loved bingo even before I actually participated, but to have it be a defining marker of my year and a genuine bright light in the middle of my worst days, was not something I ever expected.
Thank you to everyone that participates, writes reviews, asks for recs, mods all the posts, and just generally making this place the best place. Who knew the internet would ever give me this? What a gift.
Anyway, I'm mushy and high (hence the mushy) and so so so pumped for Saturday.
Share your book love, your Bingo love, your love of bees, your own mushy thoughts.
I liked the first three books a lot. They weren't groundbreaking or brilliant, but I read them last year after having not read fantasy for about 10 years, and as a way for getting back into fantasy, they were just the ticket. Tolkien-esque, Arthurian-influenced, they were just cheesy, fun fantasy, and I really appreciated them. They could be a little slow, but in a nice way, they set up a few character arcs that I was excited to see developed over the next couple of novels, I was thinking with a great deal of wonder at how far the series must go if it's fourteen books long.
The Shadow Rising was alright. I loved Perrin's sections, and I admit Rhuidean was very compelling. The Tanchico stuff was only so-so but it was still pretty cool to see the world branch out more. It really looked like the characters were on their way to some vast changes, but then...it just kind of stopped. Fires of Heaven wasn't great, but the ending was fantastic, it promised a lot of insanity to come. Then I read Lord of Chaos: the worst fantasy novel I have ever experienced. People like to say that Crossroads of Twilight is the worst novel because nothing happens, but if Lord of Chaos was cut down to the same word count as CoT, even less would happen than in CoT. This book was mind-numbingly dull. And it prepared me for Robert Jordan's absolute worst writing trait: he sets things up, and then does nothing with them.
Alanna bonds Rand? That seems important! NOPE! I'm on book twelve now and NOTHING has happened regarding this "event". SIX FULL NOVELS LATER AND THIS HAS NOT BEEN DEVELOPED. Nynaeve can cure stilling/gentling? Yooooooo, get ready for NOTHING TO HAPPEN, because nothing happens with that. We just get the reveal later that the Asha'man can also cure stilling/gentling and it's like oh ok. In The Shadow Rising, Rand learns how to travel instantly. The rest of the main channellers learn how to travel over the next couple novels. You'd think this would allow them to quickly pass messages and information between each other (on top of the ability to dream-contact each other), but NOPE! Up until book fucking twelve here and characters are incomprehensibly unwilling to communicate and travel between each other, instead they all just go on not talking, not communicating, not passing on vital information. And don't get me started on the vast amounts of characters failing to communicate with one another. I get it, in real life, people often fuck up, they don't talk to one another, but GOD DAMN IT GETS SO UNREASONABLE IN THIS SERIES. Characters won't communicate emotionally or rationally just for the sake that they need to do things secretly. Cadsuane hatches a plan to make Rand not hard but strong, but instead of talking to him, connecting to him, discussing how he should lead, she just fucking bosses him around and doesn't communicate properly at all. Far too many characters will expect another to do something, but instead of communicating what they want, they wait for the other character to puzzle it out. This leads to every chapter having the POV character say, "Hmm, X is being kind of a piece of shit. I must have done something wrong", and this just constantly cycles, for several books on end, where nobody communicates. Perrin and Faile have the dumbest fucking marriage in the world where Faile is mad because Perrin won't dominate her, but she won't tell him that, and for like THREE FUCKING BOOKS Perrin is sitting there being a fucking baby because his wife hates him and she won't tell him why. THIS ISN'T COMPELLING, IT IS INFURIATING. GIVE OUR CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS REAL OBSTACLES RATHER THAN THESE MANUFACTURED SHITFESTS.
Then there's Jordan's inability to show anything of interest. What was Kurt Vonnegut's writing advice, something like, "start as close to the end as possible"? Robert Jordan starts as far from the end as possible. Is there a chapter where two characters who haven't seen each other for six books finally meet up? Instead of starting a chapter with their meeting and giving us the interesting character moments between these two, Jordan will start with one of those characters 20 minutes before they meet having a bath and thinking about the same shit they were thinking in the last chapter, and he'll intimately describe how they get dressed and drink a tea and talk to their servants and then they'll finally meet up with their old friend and as soon as they do, BAM, CHAPTER OVER, and we go back to square one. Perrin is now watching his camp peasants do laundry, have fun. Oh you wanted to see the interesting scene? Nope, it's not there.
Like what the fuck happened in The Fires of Heaven when we see Mat about to fight some Shaido, and then the chapter ends and it opens up the next chapter with the battle being over, and we find out through dialogue that Mat killed Couladin. What the fuck??? SHOW US THE INTERESTING MOMENTS, JORDAN.
I could keep complaining forever. This series drove me to fucking insanity. I don't get it at all. Perrin was worrying about the choice between axe and hammer in the FIRST BOOK, and he does not conclude this "arc" until BOOK ELEVEN. This was not a complex character arc. Perrin's worrying about being a lord, his hammer and axe, both of these character conflicts should have been concluded by the end of The Shadow Rising. Perrin should have developed new conflicts and arcs after that. Instead I'm on book twelve and he is still complaining about people looking up to him. Perrin, buddy, two million fucking words have passed! CHANGE.
Also, the ending of Lord of Chaos, the "peak of the series" for most fans? Completely fucking contrived. Are you telling me that Rand, the guy who swore in this very book that he would never trust an Aes Sedai again, decided to meet with a group of Reds from the White Tower alone?
Also what the fuck does "bosomy" mean, Jordan? WHAT THE FUCK IS A "BOSOMY" WOMAN? WOMEN HAVE TITS, JORDAN, WE GET IT.
Oh, and the "world-building" quickly reveals itself to be a shallow puddle of trash. All cultures are mono-cultures. Fashions and ideals and concepts are universal. All Aiel are universally incapable of understanding water for swimming in, or a life without "ji'eh'toh", all Illianer men have a moustache-less beard, all Ebou Dar woman are cool with killing their husbands, all the Seanchan are fans of slavery, all Tairens fucking love fishing and fishing related dialogue. Oh Siuan grew up as a fishergirl? I couldn't tell because all he dialogue features fish-based expletives. I grew up by the ocean you don't hear me fucking saying "Oh saltwater!!" when I'm mad. You're telling me there's no division in these countries? And when there is division, it's universal. The Shaido are all dicks who betray Aiel ways. A few are mentioned to have left back to the Aiel Waste, but this isn't explored really, at all? Like, Jordan, you finally showed that this culture has a sense of life and division to it, are you going to explore the idea of what it means for there to be a conflict here? NOPE, instead we'll mention that a clan chief is briefly having reservations, but then one of the Wise Women will just make them be okay with it behind the scenes. It is an unbelievably shallow approach to world-building. Nothing feels real. It's all just set dressing for our protagonists to do nothing in.
Sorry if this is a dumb or repetitive question, but are the Shadow and Bone books worth reading after watch season 2?
My wife reads and enjoys fantasy, mostly stuff I hand her (Abercrombie, Martin, etc), but this series has been sort of my radar. She has enjoyed the TV show, but I'm curious - would be worth getting the novels for her after we've watched the show? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
I actually really dislike how the Douchebag Elf character has become a stock trope of fantasy writing in recent years.
Just for once, I would like to see an Elven character who has the kind of depth and complexity that you'd expect from someone who is centuries old. The whole concept of Elves offers so much potential character ideas that it's mind boggling. Off the top of my head for example, I can think of:
For a more villainous take:
You don't have to make your Elf character a good person - just, for Lords sake, don't make them a one dimensional snobby jerk.
Think the title covers everything
Just looking to see if anyone has read this book and if you would recommend it! What are the best aspects, and would you compare it to any other well known work/series?
Hey guys, i read a time ago a PF book that i forgot, what i remember is the MC being a slave to some kind of Monster(Mage?) And he needed to fight in some kind of arena in his name.. also remember his master having some kind of tower with artifacts that he was the One who sorted them out, and eventualy he fell in love with another slave of his master? He eventually Kills his master and leaves with a bunch of other slaves.
Any One knows?
Phew! I just finished this years bingo challenge with one day to spare - here is my card!
I wanted to do mini reviews for each book but I don't have time (also I didn't keep notes so I've already forgotten the details on some of these) but I do have a few stats and thoughts:
Looking forward to seeing next years bingo card on the 1st! :) Next year I want to try doing hard mode and read more books by BIPOC authors. I also really need to stop reading books that are the first in a series, and start reading a few of the sequels I have waiting for me!
Hey, I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for German fantasy books at a relatively low reading level - at least nothing more complicated than Brandon Sanderson is in English. Currently learning German and was thinking I'd get some volume/practical training by reading a lot of it. That (combined with games and shows) helped me a lot when learning English at least, so I was thinking I'd try it out.
So yeah, please let me know if you know about something!
a fantasy novel about clan societies. i would like to read a novel about rival clans fighting among each other.
I personally love getting hyped up for books being released and following authors updates.
I know there are a lot of legendary fantasy authors like Robin Hobb, JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss etc being mentioned on this subreddit. However for obvious reasons the greats have finished (or will never finish) their series.
Who do you follow right now, eagerly awaiting their next book?
Looking for some funny fantasy. Already ready:
Potentially okay with something more along the lines of First Law or Red Queens War that aren’t actually comedy but have comedic lines and elements.
“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”
CW for sexual assault, incest, physical abuse.
So What’s It About?
The convent has returned Sybella to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
What I Thought
I made the debatable decision to start this series here instead of book one because this book is the one that I was particularly interested in. Thanks, Recaptains, for making my strange decisions easier! I’d say that Dark Triumph stands out from other YA fantasies I’ve read mainly because of its difficult main character and willingness to explore her suffering. I enjoyed Sybella as a protagonist because I like that she’s such a difficult character - full of despair and self-hatred, vicious and manipulative and cynical. You see this side of her the most often, but there are other moments that belie a softer interior, particularly with her sisters, Ismae, and her love interest Beast. She eventually sees the way that all of her hardness exists to protect her from the self- blame that she carries with her. We see this self-blame many times, especially for Alyse’s death and her brother’s actions towards her. She assumes that people hate her as much as she hates herself for being a part of the d’Arbret family, leaping to the conclusion that Beast must hate her and she has ruined their budding relationship when he finds out about who she is.
Her journey is one of realizing that the hardness meant to protect her from that blame is just hurting her even more, and that she does not need to blame herself for everything that has happened to her or the family she was born into. She >!realizes that she is being used all over again by the abbess, makes meaning of her suffering to become Death’s justice and starts to self-describe as a survivor. I really like this trajectory overall, but I will say that things feel a bit too tidy and perfect to me given that, after her encounter with Mortmain in the graveyard, she says that “all the fear and doubt and shame are stripped away” so that she doesn’t struggle with them at all anymore.!<
Her father D’Arbret is a veritable caricature of evil and there are multiple rape threats towards towards nearly every single female character at every time there possibly could be one, which ends up feeling like a bit much. Probably the most effective moment in Dark Triumph’s handling of the topic is when all of the men on the Duchess’ council initially refuse to believe Sybella about her father’s abuse of his wives and his plans for the Duchess. Sybella’s feelings towards her brother Julian are very interesting and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this part of the book. When she was younger, Sybella felt that she had to accept his sexual advances for him to still love her and be her friend, and at the end of the book he >!sacrifices himself to save her and her feelings about him are greatly softened.!< There is a lot of emphasis on the fact that he was also abused by their father, and the overall feeling I have is that the book wants to make it clear that his own abusive actions happened on the basis that he himself was being abused but what he did was still absolutely wrong. His own suffering is an explanation, not an excuse. This is obviously an incredibly sensitive issue and I can understand people’s feelings about the issue itself and the book’s handling of it varying widely.
On the final subject of the romance, I really didn’t like the fact that Beast hit her a couple of times, once when lucid and once when delirious, as well as the basic fact of their relationship featuring a significant age gap when she is seventeen and he is much older. This is a reoccurring thing that you kind of just have to expect in fantasy romance, but it sort of sticks out in stories that are specifically about these topics. If I could ignore both of these things, I would just say that I think it could have used a lot more development, but I did like the scene where she >!unburdens herself of all her secrets to him and he validates that none of the things that happened to her were her fault and makes sure that they only have sex if she really is sure that she wants to.!<
I’m not particularly inclined to read any more of the series and I am clearly mixed about how the book handles its themes, but Sybella was an interesting character to spend time with and I don’t regret doing so.
Read The Festival of Trial and Ember and the following books in the series. It is so beautifully written and wonderfully fantastical. You will not regret taking a leap into this magical realm.
I just finished The Faithful and the Fallen series, and I enjoyed it, but it was 4 books of near constant battle and fighting and I need a break from that theme. Does anyone have any suggestions about good non-war related fantasy books?
Has anyone read these besides me? They are middle-grade horror-fantasy. They're excellent; well-paced with great world-building. I'd love others to talk to about them because I just finished the series and have so many thoughts and questions and no one to share them with!
I have been reading some challenging books recently, and I want to pivot to something fun that I’ve never read. I’m thinking along the lines of Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms - staples of the genre that I probably would have loved as a 14 year old boy, but never got exposed to.
I have read plenty of Dragonlance, so I’m not looking for any of those books. I’ve never read the original Drizzt Do’Urden trilogy, so that’s what I’m thinking right now. But I figured I’d ask here first.
Basically, I’m looking for a guilty pleasure read - fun, exciting, don’t have to think too hard, maybe extremely cheesy, but something I’d probably think twice about reading in public.
Currently on book 3 of the faithful and the fallen and am really struggling to get through it. Currently about half way through the book and it just feels so slow and nothing really seems to be happening. Does it get better. Does Wrath provide a good end to the series or does it just get worse.
Typically protagonists receive some kind of call to adventure. Their hometown is raised by the evil hordes. A mysterious wizard arrives to proclaim them the child of destiny. Or they live under oppression and are pushed to fight back.
Are there any stories with none of that. I'm picturing some happy well adjusted farmboys/girls from loving families lying in a field chatting, and just realizing they want more than a farmers life so they run off to become an adventuring party.
This was my first bingo card, and I told myself when I saw the board last year that doing all hard mode would be nice, but I wouldn't push myself for it. That was a lie. Plus I always review my reads on Goodreads, so it ended up being hero mode too!
This challenge definitely changed how I approached reading for the year, especially the past few months as the deadline came closer. I put aside some books I've been wanting to read and really pushed myself to finish things I wasn't in the mood for. At the same time, it opened my eyes to some books I wouldn't have read otherwise, or maybe would have put off for longer.
I'm not going to write a review for every read, but I will list some noteworthy things and statistics.
I am telling myself I'll be better about reading bingo books more consistently next year, but I'm probably lying to myself. Either way, I'm excited to see how the next board will challenge my reading!
Do authors get any compensation whatsoever from “used books” on Amazon? Books are one of the few areas where I feel pride as a consumer to support authors but sometimes I find hardcover books on Amazon in the used section that I prefer over getting a small paperback. Usually it’s older series that are not printing new hardcovers anymore.
Farm boy finds a sword and a wise old man books get a lot of shade in the genre. From Paks to Rand there have been some great stories, though. What are some of your favorites?
I am in a semester that is very brutal and I do not have as much time to read as I would like. I have only been listening to/reading the wandering inn to keep my sanity. I need some book recommendations that are in those page range that have Terry Pratchett vibes (small gods in particular) or something light like Legends and Lattes or something that can be standalone-ish like Walter Moers 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear.
I practically need anything that you can easily follow and not get overwhelmed by the plot complexity thus I haven't tried to progress the series books that I have read during the holidays and hold it off until the end of the semester.
The latest one I finished that gave me the vibes of the aforementioned books was KJ Parker's 16 ways to defend a walled city and now I am drawing blanks on what else to read that satisfies my criteria.
Hi all. I Recently read Abercrombies “Best served cold” & really enjoyed it, so I decided to give The Blade Itself a shot.
Well, I’m 10 chapters in and have no idea what the plot is or the central story. Logan just arrived to meet Baez and Glokta is currently up to some mischief with his practicals…But I’m literally lost. Any advice?
I’m already having to do extensive amounts of googling to find out when new fantasy books are going to be release and the whole process is just kinda of annoying. Movies , games, etc. for the most part all have hard dates when the product is going to be released .. why not books ?
So, lots of Fantasy uses one of a few stock character types for the MC. There is the Trenchcoated Detective who somehow despite being cynical is really easily conned by women, The Young Broke Girl With A Mysterious Power She Doesn't Understand and a thing for old rich vampires, the Assassin Who Never Assassinates Anyone, etc.
What Stock Fantasy Characters do you think are most overdone? Which ones do you still kind of like? Which ones are so specific you find it weird they have been used more then once?