I’d hoped that this “What I’m Reading Post” would be a book review but alas it’s not. I had that hope because this book is scheduled to be released today in the U.S. and the publisher sent me an ARC, and I’ve had it a while, and I usually try to get reviews for ARCs posted before the book comes out if not weeks before it comes out. But I didn’t. Because I’m still reading it. Because I’m behind. Because life.
Anyway, the least I can do is get a What I’m Reading post put together to go live on the day the book releases. That’s something right? So what am I reading? Well…it’s The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso.
When I first received a copy of The Shadow of The Gods in the mail I can’t tell you how excited I was. I’d never read a John Gwynne novel before but I’ve seen pretty much nothing but acclaim for his work. And the reviews from those other books had me thinking any story by Gwynne would be right up my alley. Friends, those thoughts were not wrong.
The Shadow of The Gods is a violent, bloody, Norse inspired saga that I didn’t want to set down. I was disappointed at the end not because it was bad, but because I hungered for more. My tastes in fantasy vary, and I like to think they are wide ranging, but that gritty, battle filled epic is definitely a favorite of mine.
It’s been almost a month since my last “What I’m Reading” post. That’s due in part to the fact my reading slowed down significantly recently. It’s something I’m not happy about but what ya gonna do? I also had a couple reviews I really needed to take care of as I was getting behind. I’m still behind (but so are many of you so we’re all in the same boat).
Anyway, that’s not really the point of all this. The point is to introduce my current read…The Shadow of The Gods by John Gwynne.
Why? Why did I wait so long to read The Ikessar Falcon? Like, seriously why? I mean yeah I’ve got a lot of books on my TBR and this was just one among many. But I could have bumped it up the stack a bit. I should have bumped it up the stack a bit. I loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro so why didn’t I read the follow-up right away? Why?
Look, here’s the takeaway you need from this review…you don’t even need to read the rest of it if you don’t want to…the one thing I want to get across if nothing else is this…
If you’re not already reading The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen, you should be because this series is just damn fantastic.
There. That’s it. That’s the whole point of anything else I might have to say about this book and this series. If you want a little more keep reading.
Sometimes a book will just put you off kilter. Either in a good way or a bad way you end up unsure of what’s up or down. I kinda felt that way while reading The Unbroken by C.L. Clark. By the end I felt off and I’m still getting my bearings locked on to how I really feel about it.
The Unbroken is a story about colonialism, identity, rebellion, faith, love and betrayal. Clark weaves these themes into the narrative and what emerges is a tapestry that will move you, even if a few threads seem a little out of place.
Whenever I read a second book in a series I’m always a little concerned it will suffer from that dreaded sophomore slump. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a BAD book, just that it isn’t as good as the first. Often this is because it spends a lot of time serving as a bridge between books 1 and 2 and is really just developing character and narrative arcs for the big payoff in the final installment. This is nothing new to us who love to read fantasy and sci-fi series. I’d say we kind of expect it. So, when I sat down to read The Fires of Vengeance I expected a book I’d like, a book that would be entertaining, but a book that would ultimately get me from book 1 to 3 without wowing me. That isn’t what I got.
In The Fires of Vengeance, Evan Winter delivers a book that is even better than his first.
My next read is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. When Orbit posted the cover on Twitter I knew I wanted it even before I read the synopsis. And then I read the blurb and was like yep, just give me a big heaping plate of that. This one checks off a bunch of boxes for me and I’m struggling to make myself finish this post before I start reading.
So What am I reading? Well…it’s The Unbroken by C. L. Clark.
My fifth book of the year is one I’ve sat on since September. Orbit sent it to me at my own request and as is usual one thing after another came up and I’m just now getting to it. I might have put it off longer if it weren’t for a recent dust up on Twitter which I’ll discuss below.
So what am I reading? It’s The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso.
I’m starting my fourth book of the year, and the first published by a traditional publisher. This is somewhat out of character for me. Waiting this long in the month/year to read a traditionally published book I mean. This wasn’t pre-planned really but it does feel odd. But I’m plugging ahead with a book I’ve been anxious to read since…well since I finished reading the first book in the series back in the summer of 2019.
So what am I reading? Well…it’s The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter!
I’m always nervous to start reading a book that I’m also going to review when that book has already received gobs of praise from other readers. I’m always worried that it will be a letdown for me and I’ll be that one guy who craps on what everybody else loves. Thankfully, in the case of Jade City this isn’t the case.
Jade City is a vivid, gritty, gangster fantasy. I seriously enjoyed this read.