Saturday, January 30, 2016

Books, Books, Books

Well! Seems like I was trying to go TWO years without posting, huh? Looks like blogging is making a comeback, though, and I'm nothing if not on trend (lies. am never on trend.)

Anyway, I've thought of a couple topics to blog about lately, but the one that actually got me to the keyboard was my favorite: books!

I've never been much of a fantasy nerd.  I mean, I love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I really haven't even read much fantasy beyond those two. Unless you count Harry Potter, but everyone who matters loves HP. However, I have recently discovered three awesome fantasy novels. One is a two (hopefully someday three) part series, the other is a stand alone novel (although there is great clamor for a sequel!)

I think I discovered them both from a list of the "Best Fantasy Series"....hang on, I'll go find it....hmmm....maybe it was more than one list....

Ah yes, it was the number one entry from this list: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and the number one entry from this list: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. And there is a reason that they are number one on their lists.

The Name of the Wind, and the sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, are both excellent. There's a bit of a Harry Potter feel, in that the main character becomes orphaned and travels to a school to learn magic. The frame story is that Kvothe is now middle aged, seemingly powerless, and living a quiet life as a tavern owner. He's discovered by a scribe, however, who wants to document his life. He spends three days telling the scribe his life story.

The Name of the Wind was also featured on this article: "13 Fantasy Novels that are Good Despite Their Covers", as I knew it would be. That article shows a super cheesy cover with the main character, Kvothe, who has red hair, carrying a lute on his back. The description of what the cover looks like is, "What you expect: Carrot Top finally does a porno. A lute is involved. What you get: The (hands down) best high-fantasy series written in the last 20 years. If you haven’t read it yet and you like fantasy, immediately start reading it now."
You do also have to ignore the cheesy series name, which is "The Kingkiller Chronicles". But then again, we've been overlooking "A Song of Ice and Fire" for how long now? I think we can forgive "The Kingkiller Chronicles" as well.

The second is The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. Buzzfeed sums it up the best I've seen anywhere: "Hawkins’ fantastic debut novel The Library at Mount Char is the story of a deeply strange, highly unsettling family—the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Years ago, Carolyn and the other children were adopted by a cruel, powerful man they called Father, and spent years learning some of his secrets and how to develop their own brand of magic. But now Father has disappeared, and the siblings are pitted against each other—and the rest of the world, which has no idea what it’s up against—in their fight for dominance. A wild ride of a novel, fierce and totally bonkers yet moving and humane, The Library at Mount Char will stun you on every page."
The only thing I would add to that description is that it is laugh-out-loud funny at times, which I truly didn't expect.

So tell me....what is the best novel you've read lately?