Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

The Earthsea Trilogy (Earthsea Cycle, #1-3)
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Challenges - Discussion > Ends September 15th, 2018: The Earthsea Cycle <No Spoilers>

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message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
A spoiler free thread for the current challenge


message 2: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
I will take part.


message 3: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
I have a pretty big map of Earthsea (you will want a map). How do I post it? Click and drag? Do you want me to?

You probably want to make it downloadable it because, if I put it in this box, it will be made smaller


message 4: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I have a pretty big map of Earthsea (you will want a map). How do I post it? Click and drag? Do you want me to? "

The best way is to post it to one of the file-storage clouds, like GoogleDisk or Dropbox. Then give a link here


message 5: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
Sorry, not conversant with such things. But I guess I can give you the link where I got it . . . I will see if I can find it again soon.


message 6: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited May 20, 2018 06:08AM) (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
OK, not sure which I liked and saved to my desktop, but here's a LOT of maps . . .

https://www.google.com/search?q=map+o...


message 7: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "OK, not sure which I liked and saved to my desktop, but here's a LOT of maps . . ."

Can't wait for these maps to make sense to me, gotta love good world building.


message 8: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
I love maps


message 9: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
My problem with kindle is, if there is info like a map, it is too small, so I go find one. And if the book is complicated enough that the author thinks it needs a list of characters, I'm going to be referring to it so much that I take a picture of the Kindle pages on Amazon, blow them up if necessary, and print them out.

So I will usually have auxiliary info, though getting it to you guys may be a problem.


message 10: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Nearly 30 books pledged, a couple of days ago I even got the 7th title I was missing. Pretty excited about immersing myself into the world I've been hearing so much about.


message 11: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Why is it called a Trilogy if it has 7 books in it?


message 12: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "Why is it called a Trilogy if it has 7 books in it?"

Because at first, the original trilogy was written as a complete story, but later several several more books set in the same world were added


message 13: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Everyone is quiet today. I finished A Wizard of Earthsea a little while ago. It was pretty good. I found myself thinking I would be willing to read this book to my child...when I have children.

I also wondered if Patrick Rothfuss got some inspiration for his books from this series. We may never know.


message 14: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
They are all good kids' books, I think. Some won awards for being good kids' books I think.


message 15: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "I also wondered if Patrick Rothfuss got some inspiration for his books from this series. We may never know"

I haven't read him but most good modern fantasy writers were avid fantasy readers as kids, so won't be surprised. By the way, he is an active reviewer here of Goodreads, so you may go to his Q&A page and ask :)


message 16: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
Have not read Rothfuss at all but hear he is great.

Too many books, so little time.

What I find weird is, for as great as he is supposed to be, he has won few awards . . .

Compare http://www.sfadb.com/Patrick_Rothfuss with http://www.sfadb.com/Anne_McCaffrey or even http://www.sfadb.com/Brandon_Sanderson for example


message 17: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "What I find weird is, for as great as he is supposed to be, he has won few awards . . .

Yea, I have no idea why he hasn't. Other than maybe because he is a new writer and has only 2 books and 1 novella out. When he finally finishes the 3rd book, I bet he will win something with that. That's his only problem as a writer, is that he doesn't like being "forced" to write. So this 3rd book has been in the works for years and years now. I messed up and got my brother and my wife to read his books, because they are just so good. Well, they are not patient people and have given me hell about it.

They want the next book and they want it now. I can wait. I'd like it now...but I know Rothfuss doesn't owe me anything.

Oleksandr wrote: "By the way, he is an active reviewer here of Goodreads, so you may go to his Q&A page and ask :)"

I did not know that. I will have to start bugging him a bit! Thank you.


message 18: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 722 comments Bryan wrote: "Everyone is quiet today...."

The site was down for at least an hour. Not technically "down" because you could access the site, but you would only see a message about site maintenance.

It was killing me! I simply HAD to mark a book as "read". I didn't want to wait!

I re-read Earthsea #1 recently with a different group. I loved it as a kid, but merely liked it now. The main character spends too much time moping. I plan to re-read #2, but don't know whether I'll go further than that.


message 19: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Jun 21, 2018 12:38PM) (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
So, Bryan, just briefly, back to Rothfuss . . .

Just thought you should know there are five things of his listed on Fantastic Fiction just in case you missed any . . . but the name of one series makes it look as if the series may be children's books . . .

Kingkiller Chronicle
1. The Name of the Wind (2007)
2. The Wise Man's Fear (2011)
3. The Slow Regard of Silent Things (2014)
The Kingkiller Chronicle Collection (omnibus) (2018)

Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle
1. The Thing Beneath the Bed (2010)
2. The Dark of Deep Below (2013)

I was surprised by how few books, considering all the talk about him. I must read them soon!


message 20: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "So, Bryan, just briefly, back to Rothfuss . . . "

Well, that's cool. I bet the collection one is just the 3 books above it. The Adventure ones said they look like children's books, but they are not. I'm going to have to look into it!


message 21: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 722 comments One of those books even has a sticker on it saying:
"This shit is not for kids. Seriously."

Apparently the author reads them aloud on Yoo Tube.


message 22: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "Everyone is quiet today. I finished A Wizard of Earthsea a little while ago. It was pretty good. I found myself thinking I would be willing to read this book to my child...when I have children..."

Started reading the first book in the cycle yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly. To be honest I don't even remember the last fantasy novel I read, especially one written this well. It reminded me of my childhood days, when I devoured every fantasy book available at the local library.

While reading anout the various islands I've also felt the urge to check out those maps Kate recommended, which is what I'm going to do right now.


message 23: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I can't get enough of some of the passages describing the world and its magic, it borders on unsettling how a few sentences paint a picture in the mind's eye so vivid, that one is able to almost see it as clear as day.


message 24: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
I'm on my 5th book. the short stories. Good so far.


message 25: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "OK, not sure which I liked and saved to my desktop, but here's a LOT of maps . . .

https://www.google.com/search?q=map+o......"


I totally forgot that Kate posted the maps! Thanks again Kate!


message 26: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
yes, the Tombs of Antuan maps are not in the Kindle edition.

the Wiz of earthsea has the overall map of the world, but it's too small to really see in the Kindle ed. (It was pretty small in the paperback if I remember properly)


message 27: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new)

Bryan | 480 comments Mod
Holy God! I just finished Tombs of Antuan and it was freaking amazing!

I haven't felt this satisfied after finishing a book in quite some time. I can't wait to start the 3rd book. Alas, it will have to wait till after I finish out July reads.

I don't think I'm going to start another book till tomorrow. Today...I'm just going to reveal in this feeling the book has left me in. So freaking good!!


message 28: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
Yes, it's a great one. I've now gone back to read the first one. I love it, too.


message 29: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Can't wait to get back to reading the series, even though I enjoy reading The Curse of Chalion immensely.


message 30: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
I decided to jump in on this one after I found the first three books at my local used book store. I've managed to knock out Wizard and Tombs in under 5 days and will get through The Farthest Shore this weekend. I've never read the series; heard of it but never focused on it because I tend to lean more heavily to sci-fi than fantasy. Seems like I've read a lot of books written in first person perspective lately, so the detached third person view is very refreshing. LeGuin was such a masterful writer. She is so concise, just drills right through the story without a lot of chaff, yet achieves a high level of emotion, excitement and wonder. Truly amazing stuff, and it's provoking me to dig into her catalogue more.


message 31: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Jul 20, 2018 06:50PM) (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
I could not agree more with what Allan said, Le Guin is one of those authors that can be succinct and concise, but without the story suffering even a tiny bit for all its brevity.

I'm not much of a fantasy reader myself, but this month I feel as if we've struck gold, first with Le Guin and then with Bujold.


message 32: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
I came in a little late to the Bujold reads, so I haven't decided if I'll take them on with daylight fading fast in July. I did find copies of both so I have them, but I want to keep my main goal of working on my composite Top 100 list in sight while still trying to keep the group goals (they do overlap). One of my major goals is to finish Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy by year-end, so I've started chipping away at The Naked God here and there. Geek that I am, I've figured out that I'm reading about 2000 pages a month, so I have to decide carefully how to "spend" those.


message 33: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
If you guys decide you like fantasy, don't read it indiscriminately. There's a LOT of mediocre fantasy out there.

I'm not a huge epic fantasy fan, except for Tolkien, of course. I get tired of descriptions of majestic mountains and trudging through the tundra and huge, epic battles. I like those kinds of things better when someone from our world gets dumped into a world like that.

I'm more a urban fantasy gal, myself, but not really paranormal romance, which is a lot of it. I just wasted my time on a really highly rated one (3.98 with 5600 rankings), "Touched" by Corrine Jackson. It started out great but was SO boring in the middle that I almost quit several times. Then, the end was ok but left strings hanging for an obvious sequel, which I am obviously not reading.

I can suggest some interesting (and sometimes underrated) writers, so if you have any spare reading time (HA!) and are considering fantasy, let me know.

Now I am going to go pull the "Touched" rating down by writing a review. Later!


message 34: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Haven't read a single fantasy novel in years, not since the school days and can't say I missed it much, at least not up until now. But this month's reads really hit the spot, both Earthsea and World of Five Gods are well-written series and the fantasy aspects, while present, not overwhelming.

In any case, will be starting on the Farthest Shores some time next week, so I'm really looking forward to that.


message 35: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
Thinking about it, my fantasy reading has pretty much been restricted to Tolkien, Feist, GRRM and Jordan, the epic series, all of which I've finished except Feist, which I just got tired of. I've got Goodkind and Tad Williams on my shelves but not sure when I'll get to them. I'm really glad to have found the superb fantasy writings of LeGuin and Bujold through this group. I'm sure there are plenty of others I'll learn of, but in the meantime, I do want to reach this year's sci-fi goals. I'll just try to mix them in as the spirit moves me.


message 36: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
I got bored with Jordan's books sometime during book 4. Plus, one of my problems is, I often don't remember books, so in a long series, I get lost and give up.

I have not read GRRM, but I'm planning on it. I do have a Kindle copy of Game of Thrones, though I have not started it.

I was just reading Elantris, but I got really bored. It's on hiatus indefinitely. I know Bryan really liked it, but now I am wondering if I should bother. Though I really liked what I read of Steelheart (library loan expired). So maybe I will try Mistborn.

I thought the Sword of Shannara was boring, as I recall. That was years ago. I know there have been others that I got bored with.

I bought all the Feist books when they were on sale a few weeks ago. So now, I am sorry to hear that you got tired of it, Allen. I read the first part of the first book and bought them all. Probably stupid on my part.

Too many books, so little time!


message 37: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
Don't be discouraged on Feist! The Riftwar Saga (Magician, Silverthorn, A Darkness At Sethanon) is classic, among the best fantasy I've read. The Empire Trilogy is also excellent, reminding me of Shogun in many ways. The Serpentwar Saga was also very good. The Krondor's Sons books were ok, but I felt that the series started to get formulaic and predictable in the Riftwar Legacy books. So that's at least 11 volumes that are well worth reading. There are 4 sagas after that totaling another 11 books that I have not read, but I do have them on my shelf and still want to try them out sometime.


message 38: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Jul 21, 2018 10:14PM) (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
By the way, back to the subject here.

I just want to say to Allen--I think that the first three Earthsea books are far, far superior to the rest even though the later books are the nominees!

But that's just me . . .


message 39: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
I only have the first three right now, so I'll move on after the third and pick it up when I find the others. I only buy online if I'm desperate, because I love the thrill of the hunt!


message 40: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
While we are offtopic, discussing other fantasy, I once again recommend Witcher series. The first 2 books are a collection of linked short stories, and starting with Blood of Elves they are full-length novels.
The first one is The Last Wish


message 41: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "I think that the first three Earthsea books are far, far superior to the rest even though the later books are the nominees!"

I just finished rereading the initial trilogy and I guess that later books were just due to the popularity of the 1st three and nominations are a homage to the initial books as well


message 42: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (last edited Jul 22, 2018 07:33AM) (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
Oleksandr, I think that the nominations are an homage to LeGuin's life and body of work, as well.

To me, the first three are basically juveniles with the usual messages about bravery and honesty and what goes wrong when you are prideful, just like juveniles traditionally have mostly been.

The rest, however, are not necessarily so. The book of short stories is more like the others, but I found the last two novels to be a couple of LeGuin's more philosophical tomes. Nothing wrong with that, but I read to have fun. You guys who liked The Dispossessed may like the later books better than the earlier ones


message 43: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
Thanks, Kate, that is helpful to me. I admit (shamefully) that I haven't yet read The Dispossessed, but it puts the later books in context, whenever I find them.


message 44: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
Finished #3. I thought it was awesome.


message 45: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Allan wrote: "Finished #3. I thought it was awesome."

Starting on it tonight, it's been a string of good reads and I honestly doubt that it stops here.


message 46: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3986 comments Mod
When I read the #3 as a teen I was disappointed that Ged became so old and this somehow put me off the book. Re-reading it this month I of course changed my mind :)


message 47: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
I think, Oleksandr, the first three were written with with a juvenile at the center because they were written as juveniles. But, as a kid, you still wanted Sparrowhawk to be the center. Your protagonist, though, was not necessarily supposed to be Sparrowhawk, it was supposed to be . . .

Book#:
1) sparrowhawk himself
2) arha the eaten one
3) the young to-be king Arren
You can kind of tell this because of the POV. We are seeing from Arha's POV in book 2 and Arren's POV in book 3.

but then in the rest of the books, not a kid protagonist:
4) in Teranhu there is a girl, but she is not a central character. At least, we never see her POV
5) in the short stories volume and in the stand-alone story there are stories that have the growth of the young to mature understanding, but they are not in the main sequence of the other books, and so do not attract me as much as the ones that have Sparrowhawk as a character
6) in that last novel, there are really not any kids/teens at all.

So really, the whole tenor of the series changes in the last three books.


message 48: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2341 comments Mod
I needed something to listen to in the car so I got Tehanu. Same narrator as Doomsday Book, one of my early Audible listens, well-suited.


message 49: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 4060 comments Mod
Good


message 50: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2546 comments Mod
Allan wrote: "I needed something to listen to in the car so I got Tehanu. Same narrator as Doomsday Book, one of my early Audible listens, well-suited."

Seems like you are almost done with the entire challenge. If you manage to knock the remaining 2 or 3 titles off you will be earning an ENC , which you can use during a voting stage.
If you could, feel free to go to the challenge tab and add those books you've already read, counting your read books we will have over 40 books pledged for the current challenge!


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