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Or What You Will

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  9 reviews
From the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author of Among Others, an utterly original novel about how stories are brought forth.

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god.

But he is in fact nothing more than a spark
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2020 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Jo Walton
Jun 07, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
"Of course, all books are easier to read that to describe. This is true even when youre a character in them, when thats been your whole life, when you began as the authors imaginary friend and wound up as narrator, protagonist, and bit part player in her over thirty novels. But I dont know why were talking about you. This is a book about me."

That's the narrator's blurb for Or What You Will, and it's about a good a description of it as I can get.

The first chapter of this book is extremely fun to
...more
Mike
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is not a book for beginners. I hate saying that, because its super patronizing - Malazan devotees, Im looking at you - but I kinda have to on this one. Not because it expects you to remember a zillion details and characters (theres about half a dozen of significance) but because this is a book that assumes you are a serious, serious reader. If you havent read a ton of books, especially fantasy books, theres a lot that youre going to miss. If you arent interested in the craft of writing, ...more
Alison
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, wonderfully strange imagining of the links between author & character, and those between the our world and fictional worlds. Plus a little Shakespeare thrown in there for good measure. Whats not to love? ...more
Steven Halter
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished an ARC of this fantastic, in every sense. ...more
Kaora
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have never read this author before, so this is my first experience with her although I have heard so much about her that I've been wanting to try her for a while. This book immediately sucked me in, the writing between Sylvia and her character is lovely, and the author is truly gifted. In a short amount of time I fell in love with the character and Sylvia, the sign of a good writer.

Then we started to get more into the Illyria side of things and I found it more of a struggle to get through. I
...more
Bex Kachman
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
This book is not what you think it is.
Beginning with a strange stream-of-consciousness spiel from a self-proclaimed unreliable narrator/imaginary friend and transitioning into a strange fantasy world and back, Or What You Will takes our narrow definition of fantasy literature and speculative fiction and pulls on it until it twists. Perfect for a rainy day (or a day in quarantine). I highly recommend it.
Kendra
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This heavily meta-conceptual novel is divided into two kinds of narration: a second/third-person narration by an author's imaginary friend/alter ego/internal voice, and a fantasy novel, drawing heavily on Shakespeare, that the author is writing during the timeframe of the book. I enjoyed the imaginary friend narrative a lot--it's engaging and different and a pleasure to read. It is full of fun and quirky and useful references to other books and written works. But the other half--the ...more
bluereadsbooks
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This book gets meta very fast, and it took me a while to get used to the structure. Once I got into it, I found it to be pretty enjoyable, a mostly fun story with some depth and darkness. But to be honest, the concept didn't really work for me, as it could be jarring and the logic of the different worlds didn't always make sense.
Alexis Stankewitz
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
To be quite honest, the synopsis hooked me. I mean, what if a character could trick his author into not dying? The descriptions were interesting, especially about "the bone cave" and "the mist".
Maya Chhabra
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2,185 followers
Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.

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