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About Andorion

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  1. Just read two books by Lilith Saintcrow - one featuring Dante Valentine and one featuring Jill Kismet. Really liked both.
  2. Is it a true restoration though? Aragorn and Arwen's marriage is highly symbolic in the way it brings together the blood of Numenor, Earandil, and the greater Elven lineages, but one thing that was repeated time and time again was that something very old, and very precious was lost and it cannot be recovered. I think the desertion of the great Elven lands of Lorien and Rivendell point to this. Also It was mentioned several times in the text how Gondor is more like Rohan than Numenor now. Also the idea of a slow but inevitable loss of that which had gone before is consistent with the Scouring of the Shire and the idea of never being able to truly return home.
  3. An interesting idea, and one that certainly has merit. I have not read all the authors you refer to here, but such an axis of analysis could potentially be used to examine fantasy. Where would you place the Grimdark authors? I am not very familiar with all of them, but Mark Lawrence would despite appearances probably be in the Optimistic Cynics group. Where would you place Steven Erikson? Malazan is very complex, thematically speaking, but Erikson has repeatedly decried nihilism and spoken of compassion and hope. I think Matthew Stover would be in the pessimistic cynic department.
  4. In terms of quality, it should have been either Jemisin or Benett winning. Both had excellent trilogy concluding novels.
  5. I just finished the entire His Dark Materials Omnibus and I quite liked the last book. The third book was definitely far darker and lacked the childish adventure quality of the previous two, but given the overall trajectory of the series, I felt it to be appropriate.
  6. Popularity contest continues to be farcical. Screenplay should not even have been allowed in the fantasy category. But Potterverse will rule. I really liked the film too, I loved the character of Kowalski and pre-Depp Grindelwald was awesome. I am more interested in the second and third place - Gaiman's Norse Mythology and VE Schwab's book - I had not really considered Norse Mythology as a fantasy book, more a retelling of tales, and having read one Schwab, I would comfortably put Hobb, Bennett and Jemisin above her. To me the vote counts just drove home the lack of connection between popularity and quality.
  7. Knife of Dreams was such a huge improvement over all the previous books! I almost feel like its his best, though I think books 4 and 5 are the series best overall. If only he could have finished the series... The worst part of having Sanderson was the stupid humour. Sanderson writes 5 year old level humour.He ruined Mat. The part he got right I felt, was the huge battle. He can write epic stuff.
  8. Oh yeah, reading order definitely matters, but the story itself is quite detached from book to book. BTW Discworld does have something like an internal reading order logic though. If you consider the sub-series like the City Watch or the Witches books.
  9. Of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series (It's not really a trilogy as they are separate stories in the same world rather than the connected stories of a trilogy) I loved the first two, the third was a bit of a letdown. I didn't really mind the romance, I usually don't unless it becomes the single dominating feature of a story. The Broken Earth trilogy is absolutely outstanding - worldbuilding, character construction, writing technique - I loved every aspect, and I usually don't read or enjoy postapocalyptic stuff. There's also the Dreamblood duology, but I haven't read those, so I can't comment.
  10. I rather liked it, principally for Dalinar and Shallan's character threads. Shallan in particular was quite surprisingly good especially compared to the previous books. Also this book got in a lot of worldbuilding and loreconnecting. It also made me feel very excited for more Szeth and Nightblood. Odium was your typical cartoon supervillain - take over the world/destroy the world... bla bla bla, but the champion fight being Dalinar against himself via the Thrill was interesting. Also I loved Jasnah. She was the low key badass in the background, getting work done. Also she made the best use of the explosion of Stormlight. Weaponised Soulcasting is awesome to read and there should be more of it. The Bridge 4 PoVs were great. More could have been done with Moash. A quick PoV switch when the Parshendi die and he killed Elhokar would have been perfect. I was never really worried that Kaladin was in physical danger, I was terrified that he would lapse into depression again after the end of part 3.
  11. Peter Wilson's History of the Thirty Years War is a book I have been meaning to read for a long time, but I have never gotten around to it. Its a huge work.
  12. I think it can quite safely be asserted that the notion of classics being ancient is now completely outdated. A large amount of 19th and 20th century literature is now being tagged as classic. What I find interesting about such shifting definitions of classic is that it makes problematic the idea of a "timeless" canon of literature. As you have stated, what we call classics today - Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and the Russians, Dickens, the Brontes, Hardy, Austen, French authors like Victor Hugo - were often derided by the literary establishment of the time, just like Shakespeare's plays were popular mass productions of the 16th century. What this points to is that different societies prize different qualities at different times. In the Enlightenment period, still obsessed with Greco-Roman heritage, modern novels were looked down upon. In our current period I think we have a similar problem of an over-glorification of the 18th-19th century literary canon. Oh and BTW I disagree with you sharply regarding War and Peace. That novel was such a peculiar reading experience. The first half of the book is brilliant. Biting social satire, beautiful characterization and a magnificent description of the Battle of Austerlitz. Reading that chapter gave me goosebumps. But then things start going downhill. On the one hand I think it is because of the increased emphasis on Pierre, and the decreased emphasis on Prince Andre - though this may be a matter of personal preference. But what shines through regularly is Tolstoy's Francophobia and Bonapartephobia, and this results in heavier and heavier doses of philosophy being injected into the text. While the part about Pierre in Moscow was very good, the general tone of the book suffered. And the second epilogue is practically unreadable. You do realize that by relegating the oral to low literature, you are also relegating most of the Homeric canon? Before they were written down, they were oral retellings of poetry, often growing organically, performed publicly. This "low literature" of the later middle age and the early modern period was often a very intricate and effective way to depict and express the problems of the common people. If you read Robert Darnton and his book The Great Cat Massacre, he comments in detail on the cultural value of the antecedents of modern fairy stories and nursery rhymes.
  13. If you define high literature as something that outlives its own time due to certain unique qualities of its own, I doubt if a lot of the "classics" will actually hold up. Several of them come over as being extremely dated. A good example is War and Peace. A good portion of the second portion of the book including the entire second epilogue is basically Tolstoy's meditation on the nature of history and providence. And it is extremely dated. Practically everything he says can be traced back to people like Kant and Hegel who were also vocal about the nature of history during the late 18th - early 19th century. Tolstoy's observations are mostly stale and lack relevance as the scholarly debate has of course moved on. All those sections do is bog down what would otherwise have been a pretty good book. I think a lot of the books remain classics due to the innate conservatism of the literary establishment. As many commenters have pointed out, it is the lowbrow "popular" literature that has often withstood the test of time - Shakespeare being the most prominent example.
  14. You didn't read Vor Game? I skipped Barrayar. Regarding your point about the smallfolk, I suggest you read the novella - At the Mountains of Mourning, which was included in the novel Borders of Infinity. It is about this particular aspect. For me the best book of the series was Mirror Dance, and the funniest was A Civil Campaign. When reading Miles,I don't mind admitting that I often suspend critical thought and disbelief for a bit as following Miles into one of his peculiarly vertiginous capers has an euphoric feeling.
  15. Are you reading in publication or chronological order?