A Fantasy Bookish Memory Check

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of “let’s copy a book tag from Imyril“, because why have your own ideas when the ones she’s got/are using are great. If that sounds lazy, that’s because it is.

This tag is Tanja’s Bookish Memory Check from at Where Stories Lie, a devilish test in which you randomise your Goodreads shelf and see how much you can remember about each book. Piece of piss, thought I, a man who can’t remember anything other than details from books I read ten years ago.

Well, we’ll soon see the truth of that eh…

Jade City by Fonda Lee

What I remember: I looked this up regularly to refresh my memory for a blog post, so this one should be fine. A wuxia-Godfather style story of family, extortion, and sweet flying kicks to the face, Jade City follows the Cauls, one of the two major criminal clans in Kekon. Their power comes from pieces of jade which, when worn, give people with the right bloodlines and training supernatural martial arts abilities, allowing them to fuck up people’s days even more than the jade fucks up theirs. Also in the bad news column are all the effects of being a gangster; there’s one major character death (the main one I was interested in, which possibly accounts for why I never read the second) and a decent amount of general collateral damage.

Also I’ll forever remember this book as in my first submission, I used Fonda Lee as a comparable but somehow had a brainfart and wrote her name as Jade Fonda and will forever wonder if that was part of why I didn’t hear back. For. Ever.

Actually: Nailed it. Okay, forgot the bit about the new drug that lets everyone use jade from the Goodreads blurb, but that’s it.

Thief of Time by Sir Terry Pratchett

What I remember: How much time do you have and how many spoilers do you want?

Lobsang Ludd is an apprentice at the History Monks, the secretive time-bending sect that sees time goes as it should. As a punishment for his precociousness (there’s no teaching a clever boy, as the t-shirt my sister made for me says), he is placed under the care of the sweeper Lu-Tze, legendary field operative and follower of the way of Mrs Cosmopolite (it won’t get better if you pick at it!). Jeremy Clockson is a clockmaker, a man so sane that the world can only see him as stark raving mad, but that’s alright because he makes incredibly good clocks. Clocks so good they could measure the tick of the universe…

And Susan Sto Helit is the teacher who’ll have to clear up the boys’ mess. Also featuring the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, a very helpful Yeti, reality’s least friendly auditors, a lot of chocolate, and one perfect moment!

Actually: Yup, I remember everything.

Well, this is easy isn’t it…

The Conan Chronicles 2 by Robert Jordan

What I remember: Well this takes the piss.

This contains three of Jordan’s Conan pastiches, where the prose is purple and Conan has the sort of sex life that pro athletes, Hollywood leads, and porn stars can only aspire to. I’m pretty certain one of them is the Conan the Destroyer one, the novelisation of a movie I think I’ve seen but refuse to remember. I’d like to refuse to remember the story too, which is the weakest of the six and only really memorable for the villain shagging the statue of a god. Uhm. I’d do better at this, but there’s two editions, and I don’t remember which is which. There’s one where a noble woman goes hunting, and barbarian tribesmen are after her jeweled orbs (fnarr), and there’s a foxy thief after them, so obviously Conan demonstrates his mastery of the spear to both. Then there’s the one with the noble lady who worships the incredibly evil Al’Kiir and Conan’s dong.

Yes, they really are as sex obsessed as I make out.

Are those two in here? I can’t remember. Let’s click the blurb and find out.

Actually: “An omnibus edition of the last three Conan novels by Robert Jordan, author of the bestselling Wheel of Time series”. Well, I remembered more than was in the Goodreads blurb. Lets scroll down and see which stories were in here…

Well, shut the front door. Conan the Magnificent, the one with the noble hunting woman and the thief, is in here. Conan the Destroyer is in here. Which one is Conan the Triumphant? It contains Al’Kiir and the noble lady!

I did tell you. Wife’s birthday? It takes me a moment every time (I have two different dates stuck in my memory for some reason). My phone number? Why would I want to know? Details of a book read in 2003? Yup, important data. Not at all full of myself here.

The Stone Road by G.R. Matthews

What I remember: Set in an ancient not-China, this one features a bureaucrat in service to the expansionist regime, and a martial artist who may or may not be initially on that side but ends up on the other. There’s some enlightenment on a mountain. I think the martial artist may be an orphan part of the evil lord’s super special secret squad? Hmm. Details are eluding me, so lets that click that link.

Actually: Ah, Zhou’s a diplomat, not a bureaucrat. But “Haung has no family but the army that raised him… then comes an offer from an unexpected source and Haung must train to be a Jiin-Wei; a master swordsman, magician and spy.” So I nailed that. I don’t remember much, but I do have the basic details down. I also own the second book in this series, might give it a gander again one of these days.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

What I remember: Quite a lot, what with how easy it is to run across references. There’s a guy wanting to rebel against the Overlord or whatever his face is, he finds this thief called Vin who can do all the metal magic, trains her up, she meets and falls for some noble drip, they woah I’m veering into spoiler category. There’s a lot of training montages, a super-butler, and a prologue where Vin’s mentor is meeting some of the oppressed folk and I think I’m meant to be impressed by his daring and how everyone’s heard of him, and am instead wondering “if it’s obviously him, why’s nothing being done, and if it isn’t, why is this dude going “oh yeah, it’s you””.

Actually: The mentor is Kelsier, the Overlord is actually the Lord Ruler, and the oppressed folk are the Skaa, which is just madness to me. Guess they find themselves thinking they better knock on wood, eh? At least there’s not many sellouts. Did those references go over your head, or do you hate me as much as I hate myself right now?

Well that was fun! I kinda want to do it all over again. Maybe you should do it too.

Image credit to Svetlana Alyuk on 123RF.com

3 thoughts on “A Fantasy Bookish Memory Check

  1. Oh boy, shoot me right now! Honestly, if I had to do this to save my life, let’s just say I’d be lucky to get off with just less a limb or two…

    Apart from a few books I don’t remember anything. Maybe a few characters or events, but no – nothing, zilch, nada. That’s why re-reading is such a good thing for me (if I ever got to it properly) – I’d be discovering books which I know I like, and reading them as if it was the first time, hehe

    By the way, I’ve read G.R. Matthews’ full trilogy and the last book was the best for me. Judging by my rating on LT and a general feeling, of course, not that I remember many details of what happened 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tbf, this is a very minor gift. I think having fresher re-reads might be more fun! Clearly you need to go do more 😛

      And I should go finish that trilogy up. One of these days…

      Like

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