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About mushroomshirt

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    kept in the dark and fed s***

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  1. Read The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow. It was another posting by @Lord Patrek in the amazing book deals thread. ($3.99 on the kindle at the time I bought it). Thank you again for your posts! What a great book. Loved the old fashioned Jonathan Swift style first person narration. It seemed especially appropriate because the setting of the book is the late 1800s and very early 1900s. Loved the main character, Ade, Yule and the chief antagonist. The world was a great concept. Sort of the lion the witch and the wardrobe times 10,000 other wardrobes to 10,000 other places. I would recommend this to anyone here who hasn't picked it up yet. What I really wanted to talk about was how coincidentally similar the main character in this book is to the last book I read and posted about here, A Deadly Education, by Naomi Novik. Both authors are white (I think Harrow is white) and are writing about main characters who are half white and half another ethnicity. In Novik's case the other ethnicity is Indian, in Harrow's case black or possibly native American. Both characters are not really in touch with their non-white background, as explained in-story, which may make it easier for the author to write these characters. The interesting thing I think is that the race of Harrow's main character is more prominent in the her book than in Novik's. It's not a huge point in the book, but there is periodic talk about the overt racism of the time. Although ethnicity is prominent in Novik's book, she didn't really delve into racism to the extent that Harrow did. Anyway, as posted previously Novik got in trouble for seemingly accidentally or unconsciously putting racist elements into a book that I think she was trying to make "color blind," where Harrow does not seem to have gotten in to any trouble in a book that more frankly tries to deal with the racism of the time. I wonder if there is something to the idea that Harrow was trying to portray racism and therefore was more sensitive to race and unconscious bias when she was writing? Is that how she was able to, as a white woman, write a book with a decent number of non-white characters and escape substantial criticism? I'm curious what other people think. As a refresher, here was the controversy about A Deadly Education & the apology from Novik: https://www.themarysue.com/racism-vs-representation-the-missteps-of-naomi-noviks-a-deadly-education/ http://www.naominovik.com/apology/ To be fair, I did find one podcast that claimed that The Ten Thousand Doors of January was racist, too. But This doesn't seem to be a widely shared opinion. Claims of racism certainly did not go viral the way they did for Novik.: https://mythcreants.com/blog/280-the-ten-thousand-doors-of-january/
  2. Apparently there is quite a controversy about the book and the author being racist. This went completely over my head when reading the book twice. (although perhaps the most offensive stuff may have been removed from my version already). https://www.themarysue.com/racism-vs-representation-the-missteps-of-naomi-noviks-a-deadly-education/ Novik even issued an apology that addresses some (not all) of the controversy: https://www.naominovik.com/apology/
  3. Finished A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik this weekend. It was on sale for $2.99 on Kindle. (Thanks @Lord Patrek and the Amazing Book Deals thread!) I really enjoyed it. The first half I liked especially. I loved the concept - a twist on the usual secret hero destined for greatness. We get that hero, but he's not so secret and he's not the main character. The main character El seems to be destined to be the Lord Voldemort of the world, some massively powerful villain that will destroy all light and goodness. You might be able to argue that the author is a little heavy handed with this since she makes explicit reference to LOTR and "bad Galadriel" - which happens to be the main character's full name. (you know: beautiful and terrible as the dawn, all will love me and despair) I really liked seeing how miserable El is trying to be good even though everyone thinks she's bad no matter what she does. The second half is much more conventional, with El moving away from reclusive loner to having her own little group of friends. The book reminded me a lot of @Peadar's The Call, which I loved. There's no actual call, but there's the same school concept & lots of the kids don't make it because of the mals that can get them at any time. There's a bunch of magic though, so maybe it's more like The Call crossed with a bit of Harry Potter. I will definitely pick up the sequel, but I am a little worried since I liked the first half more than the last half.
  4. I just finished S.A. Chakraborty's Empire of Gold. Loved it! I enjoyed City of Brass, wasn't so hot about Kingdom of Copper, but wow was it worth it o get to Empire of Gold. While the first book was interesting with it's new settings, it was the twists near the end that I didn't see coming that I really enjoyed. I thought the second book was much more predictable. But the third book, wow. It is an expected fantasy trope that the hero / heroine becomes king of everything at the end. The secret orphan who is actually heir to a ten thousand year old legacy and all that. I expected this to be the same thing, replace the bad king with a good queen. Anyway I was very happy to have my expectations subverted. What an incredible trilogy, taken as a whole. I can't wait to read what Chakraborty does next. I am severely fanboying out here.
  5. Anyone have a comment on GRRM's latest not-a-blog "Moveable Feasts"? I thought it was some outstanding writing. If he would write not-a-blogs like that once a week, I don't think I would care it Winds of Winter never comes out.
  6. I finished City of Brass yesterday and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure what GRRM was talking about with the unexpected twists. I never knew what to expect at all from the book. The one thing I was not a fan of was the Hunger Game-style love triangle going on. But this is a super small complaint. I will read the next book soon (I usually try not to drop $10 on books too rapidly). I will also check out the spoiler-heavy threads to see what I missed. (ETA- well I guess I will wait on that until I read the whole series, seems like the thread is a spoiler for not just the first book)
  7. Anyone here read City of Brass? GRRM mentioned in his Not a Blog recently & recommended it. Just wondering if there were any opinions here from anyone if I should pick it up.
  8. thanks for putting this thread together. It's fun to think of all these questions and read all the replies. A) Who is the "Hodded Man" in Winterfell? 3 Someone else - I always thought it was Robett Glover. Where is he? Maybe he came to Winterfell with Manderly? B ) Who wrote the Pink Letter 1 Ramsay Bolton - this is the most interesting choice to me. Not that the letter is all true or even that Ramsay thinks it is true C) Rickon Stark, Shaggydog and Davos return alive from Skagos and Rickon is presented to Stannis and/or House Manderly 1 Yes D) Jon Snow after the mutiny at the Night Watch 2 is only wounded - death changes everyone who comes back pretty significantly. I don't think that is in store for Jon. E) Arya's killing of Raff the Sweetling (or someone from the entourage of Harys Swyft) was done on the orders of the Faceless Men 2 No - this is Arya crossing names off of her list F) Arya hears of or meets fArya (Jeyne Poole) 1 Yes - hears of for sure. Not so sure that she will meet Jeyne. G) Jamie/Brienne Lady Stoneheart 1 Brienne and Jamie meet Lady Stoneheart and Jamie survives the meeting - I hope this is what happens. The next most likely choice is that Jaime dies - that would remove a very interesting character from the books. I would like to see Jaime meet Cersei and/or Tyrion and/or Bran again. H) The boy with Jon Connington landing in Westeros in ADWD is Aegon Targaryen, the second child and only son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Princess Elia Martell 2 False (thus he is a fake = fAegon) - He is Illyrio's son. that's why lIlyrio is so affectionate towards him in aDwD. I) Jon Snow’s true parentage 1 Rhaegar+Lyanna = Jon Snow - clearly J) Grey Scale will be transmitted by Jon Connington and/or Shireen Baratheon to other people 2 No K) The outcome of the Battle of Ice (at the Crofters Village), the capture of Winterfell is not included 1 Stannis wins and survives - I want Stannis to live as long as possible. L) Who is the Harpy in Mereen? 4 someone else - there is no one Harpy. It is all the nobles together (likely including the Green Grace) M) Robb’s will disinherits Sansa 1 Yes - we know this. He chose Jon to succeed him N) If Victarion orders the dragon horn (“dragonbinder”) to be blown, Victarion himself gains control over at least one dragon 1 True - but not for long, I think.
  9. I am almost finished with Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. I hate to say this but I don't think I've ever read a book that was such a chore to finish. I really want to like the book. I love the world and the atmosphere. I love Gladstone's descriptive text & mood. I love his characters, Tara, Abelard and Cat in particular. I should really love this book. I'm not super satisfied with the lawyer fantasy genre here. It's more Law and Order detective / police drama and less the kind of Sidhe contract & loophole stuff of @Peadar's The Call and The Invasion, which I loved. But this is really a small complaint. I just can't figure out why I don't love this book when I love so many parts of it. When it comes together I can barely get the motivation to continue reading. Not sure if I'm making sense or if anyone else feels this way about Three Parts Dead or other books in general. I think I might try The War Hound and the World's Pain recommended by @stonebender next.
  10. Eight books now (Wintersteel just released a few days ago)
  11. Thanks for the suggestion. I started this book and I'm really enjoying it so far. Not your usual fantasy world. It reminds me a lot of Fallen London from the Sunless Sea PC game. Sort of steampunk with more magic. Mr. Gladstone really does a great job with establishing the atmosphere for his world, I think. I took a quick break from Three Parts Dead to read Wintersteel by Will Wight. Like the other Cradle books, I found it entertaining and very easy to read. Sort of reminds me of the Dresden Files where the protagonist starts as a "level 1" Wizard or Monk or whatever and gradually adds a collection of allies and magic trinkets to level up to fight tougher bosses and collect more allies and magic trinkets to fight tougher bosses. I don't mean that in a bad way. I enjoy that kind of thing. Now back to reading Three Parts Dead...
  12. Thanks! It is $2.99 on the kindle right now - I will read this next.
  13. I was intrigued by This is How You Lose the Time War, but never picked it up. I would like to try some more fantasy lawyering next, so if you have a suggestion on Mr. Gladstone's most lawyerly book, I will start there!
  14. Finished Peadar's The Invasion this week. Loved it possibly even more than The Call. I was afraid I would miss the chapters that covered each of the kid's calls, but I didn't. I really liked that we got even more characterizations of Anto and Nessa. I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about Aoife and Liz Sweeney. I wanted more of both, but particularly Liz Sweeney. I would take a whole book on her. I am very intrigued by the Faustian promises of the Sidhe and liked how they obeyed a twisted kind of legal code. I think there may be a whole missing genre of supernatural legal horror / drama. Probably I would be the only one interested... Not sure what else to say except I wish the book was longer.
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