I'm a little more mollified after reading part two but only slightly. A cliffhanger for each of the most interesting characters left me a little heart...moreI'm a little more mollified after reading part two but only slightly. A cliffhanger for each of the most interesting characters left me a little heartsick. Yea I'm that invested now but I'm horrified as it's also with an author that loves to torture and I don't just mean his characters. I mean his readers. I'm a little tired of being a plaything.
The thing is I was lucky enough to have been able to read all five books fairly close together and with the help of the TV series it helped keep it alive and somewhat fresh for me but I can be fickle too. If it takes an age for this series to wrap up I may well abandon it like I did the Wheel of Time series as I'm not fond of being led by the nose. I'll just watch the show!
Bah, who am I kidding. I'll gobble it up like most of the others because the story is far more engrossing than I care to admit.
One nitpick. It's a parliament of ravens not a murder.
I'm giving this book a 4 but it's truly a 3.75. I think Martin really needs an editor.(less)
If I was the type of person that rages, this book could well push me into one. I hate two part books. It's bad enough to have to wait for more...more/Rant On
If I was the type of person that rages, this book could well push me into one. I hate two part books. It's bad enough to have to wait for more in a series let alone to learn that you may not find out about a character's fate in the next one because the second book as about other characters!
I also found too much time spent on other characters that were both uninteresting and seemed like filler rather than being tangential to the series. It's kind of a shame because Martin's writing is finally gelling for me but I think he was given too much leeway on this.
I resent having to go straight to the next book but it looks like I will to see if I get some satisfaction. I'll admit I've become invested with a few characters so that may be why I'm so disappointed.
It would rate 3.5 but I'm giving it a 3 for annoyance value.
I think that this book made me very glad I persevered with this series. Unlike most I really didn't like the first. I found the second better only in...moreI think that this book made me very glad I persevered with this series. Unlike most I really didn't like the first. I found the second better only in that it expanded and gave some realism to some characters, but in this third volume I have some answers and that has made me happy. I've also found myself bonding with some of the people I never thought I would even like.
The brutality continues in a most horrifying and surprising manner. Had this been two books ago I wouldn't have cared but Martin's writing has grown a bit tighter and he seems to write his best when his characters are at their most despicable or vulnerable. So what does this mean? It means that I have grown to like and cheer on some of the heroes and even some of the villains. If you can call them that. It's nice to see the lines blurring when we learn more about the residents of this world.
I do note that Martin seems to have written himself into a corner with one of his main contenders and having her remain in one area to learn how to lead is akin to a cop out to me. I shan’t name names for those that haven't read this but those that have should understand what I mean. I also wonder if some of his other characters tangled skeins can even be unravelled. One of Jordan's problems with The Wheel of Time is the story went on far too long and became such a convoluted mess that some characters were either left hanging or became contradictory. I hope Mr. Martin avoids this pitfall and doesn't just milk the series.
In the meantime I'll enjoy the heartbreaking moments as much as the briefs triumphs because I'm ready for more of this game.(less)
I think what starts to get to me is the unrelenting brutality in these books from both the characters and the author yet I found myself warming to thi...moreI think what starts to get to me is the unrelenting brutality in these books from both the characters and the author yet I found myself warming to this volume a little more than the first. I have to wonder if it's the more fleshed out characters or the fact I'm also starting to watch the series which seems to burr some of the edges off of the sharper nastier characters.
I also note that a lot of the women seem to come into more of their own. While they are still treated as mostly chattel and possessions, a few of them are showing their strength and abilities. Brienne has won a small place in a man's world and Daenerys is so single minded that she accomplishes each step she sets out to do. A trio of real dragons certainly doesn't hurt her stature any either! I'm glad to see some truly strong women and not just the bitch on wheels known as Cercei.
While I appreciate the depth added to the people that live in this world it still felt like just a set up for more action with nothing really resolute other than death and destruction. I'll admit it has hooked me into reading the next but I really can only give this a 3.5 which I'll round down to a 3. (less)
I am almost tempted to call this “Neil Gaiman Lite” and not just because of the length. The writing was up to Neil's great descriptive standards but t...moreI am almost tempted to call this “Neil Gaiman Lite” and not just because of the length. The writing was up to Neil's great descriptive standards but the story was not in places. It really felt like it was lacking his usual depth and was aimed at a young adult audience and not the adult one that was touted.
All that side I still devoured this book. I must admit Neil can make the horrific seem almost normal in his worlds and the sense of whimsy is just enough to offset the horror. The main character's love of books will probably reach out and touch almost everyone that reads this that felt the same as a child. The Hempstocks were both scary in their power and symbolic as the three ages but they were also tempered with love and compassion. I would have liked to see the mother and grandmother as more than just caricatures but he made up for that in Lettie.
This is what Neil does best and is why his portrayal of the deepest fears and highest hopes of childhood always resonate with me. If it weren't for some of the things lacking this would get a solid five but I doubt I'll reread this as I already have done twice with American Gods.(less)
My Mom passed this audio book to me thinking I might like it because it said it was fantasy, so it was with some trepidation that I started listening...moreMy Mom passed this audio book to me thinking I might like it because it said it was fantasy, so it was with some trepidation that I started listening to it when I saw it was Reader's Digest production. I'm glad to say there were some great stories and most of the angels weren't happily flitting things but the stuff of nightmares.
One of my favourites was obviously the PKD story but Kate Wilhelm kept me the most enthralled. I really will have to read more by her. It certainly helped that they did a good job of pairing up the narrators with the stories.
As per usual there were a couple of mediocre ones but I would recommend this for Wilhelm's alone.(less)
While the world may be shared with Bacagalupi's The Alchemist I didn't find this work as impressive. The bramble is mentioned but it really doesn't pl...moreWhile the world may be shared with Bacagalupi's The Alchemist I didn't find this work as impressive. The bramble is mentioned but it really doesn't play an integral part of this story. Neither does the use of magic. This seemed to center on an excuse for a war and even though it was women leading it I didn't feel any better about it.(less)
First things first I have to get my main complaints about this second book out of the way. I really think there could have been a much better way for...moreFirst things first I have to get my main complaints about this second book out of the way. I really think there could have been a much better way for Kvothe to get a new cloak other than the really jarring and out of context with the rest of the book, encounter with Felurian. The same could be said for his encounter with the Cthaeh. This almost seemed like a section tacked on to appeal to some juvenile sex fantasies which is something that eventually turned me off from reading more of Piers Anthony than I did.
Secondly is the Adem. I see that being as fruitless as the fae encounter an used to just give him a sword and more skills. While Tolkien used what seemed like forays into unassociated areas they became part of the story and were revisited and expanded. Rothfuss uses a little too much of the synopsis method.
Third and finally is Kvothe's emotional growth. He really hasn't had any. Our hero seems to become more powerful by leaps and bounds but still has the emotional level of a 16 year old. Not to say that that's a bad thing but I'm finding it hard to believe he could be so disciplined with some of his learning yet he manages to earn responsibilities without having the maturity that's usually needed to attain his achievements. I think this bothers me because the opposite was true in the first book. I won't even get into his changing (for the worse) attitude towards women.
Now that the negative is out of the way on to the positive. Rothfuss really is a fantastic writer. He manages to make a lot of the mundane and unnecessary seem fascinating. The daily minutia of college life or even the training with the Adem becomes something that has to be known. I'd like to see a bit less repeated detail but enjoy his word crafting.
The character that's becoming more interesting to me is Bast and while it is Kvothe's story I hope we learn more of this fae in the next volume. While some of Rothfuss' characters are one dimensional filler he has established a good number of them that I'd care to know more of.
While I didn't love this book like I did the first it has still whetted my appetite for the third and I hope final volume in this series. I'd give it a 3.5 but with this system it will get a 4 as 3 is too low.(less)
People who rave about how wonderful The Game of Thrones and The Wheel of Time are really need to read this book and see how a fantasy should be writte...morePeople who rave about how wonderful The Game of Thrones and The Wheel of Time are really need to read this book and see how a fantasy should be written. Sometimes gritty and sometimes whimsical this book doesn't disappoint and is a cut above most of the current fantasy volumes .
The writing is solid and the characters well thought out. The hero is not stereotypical and even though he seems to excel at everything, he finds more than enough bumps along the way to keep him humble. The world building is wonderful and at times Rothfuss reminds me of Frank Herbert's Dune. His lore and mythology are so detailed and well enmeshed into his story.
I'm really looking forward to the next book but I have one fervent hope. That this will not become some gigantic multiple volume mess like Jordan's or that it devolves into just a cliffhanger for the next book in the series. This one managed to not seem like that was it's aim but that we needed a start for a very epic saga.(less)
I've always liked short stories. They are a great way to fit in a good read when reading time is limited or you jus...moreThe Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
I've always liked short stories. They are a great way to fit in a good read when reading time is limited or you just want a tasty morsel you can finish quickly. The whole problem with them is balance. Considering I grabbed this by mistake, thinking it was a fantasy, sci fi mix and not horror, it turned out a lot better and more balanced than a lot of anthologies I have read.
That might have to do with the editors. Datlow and Whitling have done not only a fine job of selecting the authors but also which of their stories were included in this volume. While not all were my cup of tea I can say that the majority of the writers managed to convey the mood they wanted in a short amount of time.
A couple of my favourites were represented such as Gaiman and Murikami but I've also discovered a few new authors that I've had on to read lists but now will now get bumped up the list a lot faster. China Mieville, Jeffrey Ford and Brian Hodge come to mind.
It's odd because I've already forgotten the misses in this book and can only remember the hits.Maybe that says something about the calibre of writing.(less)
I started out by becoming thoroughly engrossed in this story. I loved the idea of the circus and it being an odd battleground for a contest. The more...more I started out by becoming thoroughly engrossed in this story. I loved the idea of the circus and it being an odd battleground for a contest. The more I read the less I cared about the people involved and the more I came to care about the circus. That should have told me something right there.
This really isn't character driven which is a shame as one of the major antagonists was wonderfully written to begin with. It's the rest of the characters that people this tale that I found lacking. That can usually lead to me not liking what I'm reading but in this case it didn't. Mostly because the circus itself seems like the main protagonist and that was surprisingly enough for me to keep reading but not enough to love this book.
Ms. Morgenstern does have a way with words and painted some of the scenes perfectly. If she can learn to give her characters more depth I believe she could write some epic fantasy.(less)