Friday, August 18, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 27 -- The Swords of Lankhmar

by Fritz Leiber

Started: Aug. 8
Finished: Aug. 18

Notes: I was fortunate enough a few months back to stumble upon this first edition, as well as several others, during a foray to quite possibly the best used book store I've ever encountered. "Best" at least for fans of sci-fi and fantasy from the 1960s through the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, this book store is going out of business before year's end. On the plus side, the owners have informed me they still have plenty of stock in their warehouse. Which means I'm visiting every few weeks to see what they've got that's of interest to me, and so far I've found quite a lot. Anyway, it's not impossible I've read this novel or parts of it in one collection or other, but I don't believe I have.

Mini review: Rats, rats and more rats! Yes, an army of rats invades the fabled city of Lankhmar, and its up to Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser to do something about it in their usual rambling, sporadic, even comical manner. I still don't remember having read any of this before, though the Gods of Lankhmar seemed familiar, yet maybe they've shown themselves in more than one tale. Sword and sorcery fans will find much here to love, though I was a little disappointed at how much time Fafhrd and the Mouser spent apart from one another.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 26 -- The Hero, The Sword, and The Dragons (The Chronicles of Dragon: Book 1)

by Craig Halloran

Started: Aug. 6
Finished: Aug. 8

Notes: This is another one from an indie fantasy author who has done fairly well over the last decade. I not only like to read authors new to me, but I also like to study their writing style, to see how they do what they do.

Mini review: An easy enough read and somewhat fun. In this world, young dragons have the form of humans and only begin to grow their scales once they reach a certain level of maturity, and the main character here is such a dragon. In fact, he's the son of the most powerful dragon in the world, a dragon who protects the world and its races. Unfortunately for that main character, he has a tendency to rashness and has not grown his scales as of yet. Some interesting ideas with decent writing, but overall this felt a bit generic to me. However, the material was good enough I might be willing to give the author another shot at some point.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 25 -- A Quest of Heroes: Book 1 in the Sorcerer's Ring

by Morgan Rice

Started: July 30
Finished: Aug. 6

Notes: This prolific indie author has done quite well during the past decade. I've heard some good and some bad, but figured I would read at least one novel to decide for myself.

Mini review: A village boy shows signs of having magical powers, lands himself in the king's Legion, is told by a powerful wizard hints of his destiny, and becomes embroiled in courtly intrigues. I can't say this was awful, but I also didn't see much here to recommend. The writing is fair, reminding me somewhat of teen or young adult fantasy (and maybe that was the author's goal), but my major complaint would be the main character who is so ignorant of practically everything that's going on in his world that he sometimes comes off whiny. His biggest fault, however, is how he never opens his mouth when he should, and far too often he allows others to dictate his actions. Too often he reacts instead of acts. And, oh my gosh, the fantasy tropes pile up faster than perhaps anything I've read this side of Etragon. That's not all bad, however, as many casual fantasy readers love those tropes. Not for me, but not the worst I've read.