What I’m Reading: A Feast For Crows

God help me, but I’m determined to finish this 4th installment of Fire and Ice before the end of April and the beginning of the new Game of Thrones season.

I can’t even really “review” this book because it’s just too complicated to try and rehash, but I will say that I have been trying and failing miserably to read this particular book for the last two years.  Yes, the last two years.  I’m a quarter of the way thru it and I just had to stop because it was so heavy and dry.  If you’re familiar with any epic fantasy you’ll know that over the course of any series there is bound to be a few duds in the mix.  It’s hard to avoid from an author’s perspective, I’m sure.  I can see the need to flesh out a character better, maybe spend more time dealing with their issues and all the craziness that their actions have caused or will cause.

But.

Dear. God. Help.

I’ve been reassured that Feast For Crows will get better and Dance of Dragons, the next book, is “sooooo much better”.  I sure hope so because this lull of interesting story lines, intrigue and bloodshed is fast running its course.

If you’ve been reading GRRM for any length of time (I like to pronounce those initials as “Grimm” just to make myself chuckle) you’ll have the same concerns as most readers.  Will he finish before he dies? I’m confident he will.  I don’t really care whether HBO has to carry out it’s own “ending” if GRRM can’t write his books fast enough.  I’d much prefer quality over quantity especially in a genre this demanding.

So wish me luck! I’ve been chipping away at it in between other far more fun and interesting reading material. I will eventually, persevere.

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What I’m Reading: The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2)

I’m often loathe to try new fantasy authors.  I tend to stick to books that are highly recommended or suggested by friends.  I don’t often have the time to browse for new books, whether it’s in a store or from my tablet. And I don’t have the resources like I used to to just purchase a book in hopes that it might be a keeper.  Considering The Warded Man (Demon Cycle #1) or as I like to call it “Arlen’s Book”, was Peter V. Brett’s debut novel, it was surprisingly decent for a first attempt.  I also admit that while I wasn’t too taken by the plot line in The Warded Man at first, the characters ended up making the story.

As far as this second book goes I like it much better than the first. The Desert Spear is “Jardir’s Book” mainly.  I think Peter’s writing “grew-up” a bit more and the editing feels more complete.  The characters are fleshed out better and their paths are starting to show a firm direction.  In the first book you’re really not sure where anyone is heading and what the overall arc is going to be. You just know you’ve stumbled across a series that you know has the potential to be pretty darn good.  I can’t even say for sure how long this series is going to stretch out (I’ve seen that it might be 5 books total), but The Desert Spear is definitely moving things right along and I appreciate the backstory on how Jardir came to be the man he is.  I don’t mind re-reading previous plots from a different point of view as it seems to show how each character was “justified” in his/her own actions.  It can make the bad guy turn into a good guy.  I like it. It’s a different writing style.

The demons are still just as creepy and the battles with them just as bloody and intense. Though I’ve read much better fight scenes these are just enough to further the plot without being frilly and dragging on for pages.  I’m barely half way thru The Desert Spear, but I know I’ll be staying with this series till the end and that’s a good indication of how great this is turning out to be.

If you’re willing to try new things and just “go for it” you might just surprise yourself with a new favorite author.