Today’s Wyrd & Wonder prompt is Current Read, which is one of my favourites, although the posts often get a little long. Happily today, there’s only about ten or so, so let’s get talking about them.
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Technically I have just finished this, but I was still reading when the 16th day of May started. I very much like the characters and the way Bardugo balances levity and solemnity – more or less nail on the head for me – but I’m not sure the rest of the book worked for me. It was busy with stratagems but without many twists, as I guess many a closing book is. We’ll see what I say when I do a review but I don’t think I have it ranked as highly as King of Scars.
The Hidden City by Michelle West
I opened up this book as a part of my desire to dig very deep into 80s/90s epic fantasy and immediately fell in love with the prose. Unfortunately that turned out to be little more than an infatuation as the opening part of the book featured a great deal of not a lot happening, concentrating on the slow blossoming (but admittedly interesting) friendship between two characters, and I’m not sure where I’m going to end up with this one by a long shout.
Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle
So I looked into this one due to a friend’s rec and a desire to read more weird shit. I was expecting alternate history, mercenaries, medievalism, and some weird shit. What I did not expect was a start that left me massaging my eyes. Comfortably the most uncomfortable reading experience I’ve had with fiction. I continued on and find myself alternately intrigued and alienated by Gentle’s prose. I am intrigued by her ideas, but to the tune of 1100 pages? Well, we will see how it goes.
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
I’ve been reading this classic of yore on my phone while waiting for buses. It’s still very readable, and quite amusing in places. It’s not quite gripping my attention though for reasons I don’t entirely comprehend. Just a little youthful in tone? Half-remembering the plot a little too much? Maybe not quite as readable as I think? Another one where we’ll see how it goes.
The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall
I asked some people to recommend me something like AK Larkwood that isn’t AK Larkwood. Kerstin Hall’s name got mentioned. I’m enjoying the weirdness of this, the richness of this, the sense of myth. The prose takes some chewing but I’m happy to make an effort. Maybe a book to promote higher up the batting order.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I’ve wanted to find out what the hype is about Maas for a long time. Many friends sound surprised when they hear that but hey, why not? I’m a few chapters in but so far it’s fun enough, although I wonder whether being in Celaena’s mind all the time will wear thin. Still, assassin contest is a sound idea, and I’ve also just got Blondie stuck in my head while writing this which isn’t the worst thing.
Hyperborea by Clark Ashton Smith
Round two of trying to make friends with Clark Ashton Smith! I’ve read one of those short stories before, which was very lyrical and bleakly absurdist. Exactly the sort of weird I’ve been looking for. Hoping to get in another one tonight.
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Wyrd & Wonder is doing two readalongs. I decided to have a look at this one purely out of boredom after initially thinking it probably wasn’t me, and it has delivered. Twisty plotting and entertaining characters with smooth prose is a fairly sure way to my heart, and Black has just that.
The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
The other re-read is a book that I could give a detailed plot summary for in my sleep, and I am wolfing down each section the moment the questions are published regardless. No, I don’t have a problem, you have a not enough GGK problem.
Midnight Falcon by David Gemmell
The current gym book after striking out on all the paperbacks I got for the purpose. I hadn’t meant to reread it at this point, but there it was. And my gods its powerful. It’s taking an effort to be disciplined about reading it; I’m going to go and have a nice hour on the bike killing my legs once I finish this post. My appreciation for Gemmell only grows and grows; he more than had his day, but I’d still like to see him go down as the legend he was.