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.