#WyrdAndWonder 2021 | Three chunky fantasy novels I’d like to read in 2021!

IMAGE CREDITS: images by Svetlana Alyuk on 123RF.com

Wyrd & Wonder is a month-long celebration of the fantastic hosted by imyril, Lisa and Jorie. Get involved here!

It’s the final day of Wyrd & Wonder (boohoo!) and, I have to be honest, May hasn’t been a great month for me. My mental health is a bit low – my skull feels very full this year, in a way it didn’t feel in the midst of the pandemic this time last year – and my reading hasn’t been going very well. I’ve been struggling to find books I’m in the mood for and struggling to get into anything, even though there’s so much I really want to read, and so far this year I’ve read quite a few disappointing books which hasn’t helped. In fact I haven’t read a single one of the books on my TBR for this month, which is very embarrassing, but I don’t want to force myself to read something and not enjoy it, when I know I could love it if I pick it up when I’m in a better mood.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to start afresh this summer and get back into one of my favourite hobbies! So because it doesn’t feel like there’s much point in me doing a Wyrd & Wonder wrap-up, today I thought I’d talk about three of the particularly chunky fantasy novels on my TBR that I’d like to try and get to this year…

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Thief and con-man extraordinaire, Locke Lamora, and the ever lethal Jean Tannen have fled their home city and the wreckage of their lives. But they can’t run forever and when they stop they decide to head for the richest, and most difficult, target on the horizon. The city state of Tal Verarr. And the Sinspire.

The Sinspire is the ultimate gambling house. No-one has stolen so much as a single coin from it and lived. It’s the sort of challenge Locke simply can’t resist…

…but Locke’s perfect crime is going to have to wait.

Someone else in Tal Verarr wants the Gentleman Bastards’ expertise and is quite prepared to kill them to get it. Before long, Locke and Jean find themselves engaged in piracy. Fine work for thieves who don’t know one end of a galley from another.

I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora when I finally read it in 2019, so it’s about time I carried on with this Italian-inspired series! The only thing that’s really preventing me from throwing myself into this series is knowing how long it takes Scott Lynch to write it; in fact part of me is tempted to wait until he’s finished the series before I carry on, but if I do that I think I’ll be waiting for years.

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

Wizardwood, the most precious commodity in the world, comes only from the Rain Wilds. But only a liveship can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain Wild River, and liveships are hard to come by. They quicken only when three family members from successive generations have died upon their deck.

The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening: Althea Vestrit waits for the ship that she loves more than anything in the world to awaken. But her dream of taking her father’s place at Vivacia’s helm is not to be, for her family have other plans. . .

And the dark, charming pirate Kennit also lusts after such a ship: he well knows the power of wizardwood and has plans of his own . . .

I don’t think I’ve seen a single bad review for this book and I’ve heard so much praise for this particular trilogy within Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings, and yet every time I pick this book up I end up putting it down again before I give it a go. At over 800 pages I think I’m a little nervous I’ll be one of the only people who doesn’t like this book, especially after I read Assassin’s Quest, which is also 800+ pages, only to give it two stars. Someone convince me to read this book, please!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

I’ve started this book a couple of times now and, both times, I’ve lost interest at around the 50-page mark. I’m determined to give this book a proper try, though, even though the amount of three star reviews I’ve seen for it makes me a little nervous. Let’s be honest, none of us want to read a book that has 800+ pages and not give it at least four stars.

Which one of these books do you think I should try first? Which chunky novels are on your TBR?

18 thoughts on “#WyrdAndWonder 2021 | Three chunky fantasy novels I’d like to read in 2021!

  1. Pingback: Quest Log the Last
  2. Susy's Cozy World says:

    I have Priory of the Orange Tree waiting for me, while I have put Hobb’s series on hold. Her books about Fitz and the Fool are between my favorite but this series isn’t really working for me, sadly 😭 that lefts Lynch’s book, and I really really enjoyed it! (I haven’t loved it as much as the first one, but it is tremendously good all the same!).
    I have some chunky books waiting for me as well, The Helm of Midnight is the one I have just started but The Wintess For the Dead and The Blacktongue Thief are waiting for me, too, and I am so looking forward to them!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jaime says:

    I need to read Red Seas Under Red Skies too! I hate waiting for series, so I’ve thought about waiting as well but I’ve been told this book has pirates! And great things! I should just read it. But I feel like I should reread Lies of Locke Lamora first and that’s what is really keeping me from reading Red Seas. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tammy says:

    I have seen so many mixed reviews for Priory of the Orange Tree, I don’t think I’d ever pick it up. Plus I read her first book and didn’t really like it. I also didn’t read as much as I wanted this month, but there is always next month😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. azucchi says:

    I haven’t read any Locke Lamora yet (she says as the first book glares at her from the shelf after at least 6 years sitting there) but I have read the other two. I found The Liveship Traders series a bit slow but overall enjoyable… from my memory it’s very different to Assassin’s Apprentice in terms of format: it does have some younger characters but doesn’t have that obvious coming-of-age narrative, and it’s got multiple POVs which I find in that kind of world was more interesting. Definitely a lot more morally grey characters, if I remember well. Plus, talking ships.

    As for Priory it’s my absolute favourite book, so I’d definitely recommend it, but if you’ve struggled to get into it I know it’s hard, especially since it’s so massive! I’ve had the same with John Gwynne’s first series, and I keep trying to push through because of the high praise from everyone else, but at about halfway through the first book it’s still not gripped me as it seems to have everyone else. I hope you manage to get back into the joy of reading soon, whatever you pick up! I always enjoy your reviews and posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      That’s certainly high praise for Priory! I really need to give it a proper try. I definitely recommend The Lies of Locke Lamora – it’s a little slow at the start, but once you get into the story it’s so much fun to read.

      Thanks so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. peatlong says:

    Thank you for reminding me that I got 10% of the way into Priory of the Orange Tree and got sidetracked. I should get back on it. I can’t say I loved the start, but it was intriguing enough to want to go there.

    Liked by 1 person

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