Not For Children

My amazon order arrived ahead of schedule, and with it came Patrick Rothfuss' newest book The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed.  The book has a great children's feel to it - only one sentence per page - and the ilustrations by Nate Taylor are simply fantastic!  I also adore the fact that the entire book is black and white, including the cover.  It really brings me back to my childhood reading such a book, and quickly flipping through the pages. 

Rothfuss also did something different by deciding to include three different endings (which made me think of the choose your own path books that used to be so popular).  The first ending is fluffy and wonderful, the second is a little darker, and the third "has teeth" according to Rothfuss but was not really my taste.  I really don't want to post any spoilers because it would really ruin the whole experience for anyone who might read the book in the future.  The third ending should definitely never be read by children - nightmares for weeks I'm telling you!  I'm not even sure that I am old enough for that ending....

The Warded Man and The Ladies of Grace Adieu also arrived so I will be delving into those once I have completed A Game of Thrones. Ahhh so much to read, so little time!

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The Best of the Best?

I'm going to skip past Scott Lynch just for now because I have just opened up A Game of Thrones by the infamous George R R Martin and wanted to capture my initial impressions.  It seems as though every fantasy reviewer needs to compare new up and coming authors either to Tolkien or Martin.  These boasts of their talents made me question whether I wanted to read the Song of Ice and Fire set now or later.  I had decided to read a few books first - some by Joe Abercrombie, Peter V Brett and possibly others also.  Of course that was before I finished all of the books on my shelf that I was interested in.  The books I was intending to read next are currently in the shipping process from Amazon though, so I picked up A Game of Thrones.

My initial impression is quite good, though I do believe I prefer authors who stick to fewer characters (simply because then I feel more deeply for each one).  I do think GRRM is brilliant to have labeled each chapter after its prevailing character - it gets me into the storyline quicker, and it means that he is not forced to recap any of the storyline or reintroduce the setting.  The pace seems to be quite nice, and I enjoy the shorter length of the chapters (especially compared to Steven Erikson, whose series I just could not get into no matter how many good reviews I read extolling his virtues).  It is also very interesting to have so many of the characters be young adults or children, it creates for different vantage points concerning the same issues.  I have only just passed the two hundred page mark, so I can't really comment just yet as to the scope of the storyline or to how deeply I will become interested in the plot pertaining to each character. I will wait until I have finished the series I think, or at least the whole of the first book before I decide whether I think GRRM is truly the best of the best.  I will say only that I feel as though I should cut short this blog now simply so I can pick up the book again and see what happens next! 

But first I might just have to turn on one of my other obsessions - So You Think You Can Dance!

Hoping for Beginner's Luck

First Thing's First:
This is my first attempt ever at a blog or any such device with which to record my opinions on any subject.  Since I have finished a number of really great fantasy books in a row recently I thought this is where I might start (though I may later branch out into other things, say maybe the recipes I like most or some such).  Seeing as this is my first foray into this field I'd be glad to hear your opinions on not only the contents of my blog but the style as well.  This being said, I hope you'll be kind to a beginner.

What Have I Read Recently?
Well, I started out with reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke which was recommended to me by a friend who also reads frequently.  I am extremely glad that she introduced me to this author because reading this novel made my vacation in Italy even more enjoyable.  Clarke writes of an alternate history in which magic has always been present, but in recent decades it has declined to the extent where the only magicians left alive are ones whom we would consider to be "armchair magicians".  In this climate two new magicians come into their own - and these two can actually practice magic!  The real settings and culture and historical events merged with fantastical beings (faeries) and spells makes Clarke's work different from anything else I had read.  Even before I had finished the book I was already thinking to myself - how will I ever read anything else ever again?  It will feel so incomplete and immature next to this great work of art! 

Luckily the friend who recommended the book to me has a husband who is an author, and the next book I read was a recommendation from him.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was the next book I picked up, and I have to admit that I wouldn't know what to say if you asked me which book I enjoyed more.  Not only did I love Rothfuss'  book but I also love his blog and his personality in general.  He is the type of author who really makes me wish I was an author, just so I could be cool like him.  His book is written in the first person, which really made me identify with the main character.  I know that experts always talk about the fact that writing in first person can be dangerous, but I found it to be refreshing and insightful.  I wish more authors would take this chance with their work.  Rothfuss is extremely popular, and his book is even listed as number three currently on a list of top fantasy books (this list has the LOTR trilogy listed as number four and is very competitive).  I currently am waiting for a shorter story of his to arrive from amazon... and I am not waiting patiently anymore, I ordered it back in June.  The book I am waiting for is a fairy tale - but not a happy one like those that Disney produced when I was a child.  This is meant to be more like Hansel and Gretel where the witch really does want to put them in the oven and eat them.  I have a feeling that this book will be extremely different from his last, so we'll see if I enjoy it. 

I had intended to talk about the two most recent books I have finished but I have a feeling that this blog is starting to get longer than it ought to be - as my first ever.  So I will wait until tomorrow, or the next day.. or whenever I get the urge to write again.. to introduce Scott Lynch and his charming characters.  Also, I do intend to write more about how I feel about each of these four books on a later occasion.