Lol! I did the first part of this book tag exactly one year ago. If Emily at Embuhleelist keeps creating them, I guess it will become an annual event on my blog to do the Spoopy Memes Book Tag on October 26, lol!
Name a character that keeps repeating the same mistakes, despite having multiple opportunities to prevent them.
Nevare from Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
Emily chose Fitz from Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, so I’m gonna choose Nevare from Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy, which Emily and I are currently buddy-reading. We are about to start the last book in the trilogy now — Renegade’s Magic. To me, Nev is as hardheaded as Fitz so far, and it took him until the end of the second book, Forest Mage, to realize that he should start trying to do things a bit differently. It was a bit frustrating to read about even if I understand the reason for his obstinacy.
The Soldier Son trilogy is a fantasy story that begins with Shaman’s Crossing. It’s set in a very patriarchal society in which each person has a place and a duty and the duty of the second son is to join the king’s army, which Nevare believes he’s destined to do. However, Nevare’s kingdom is colonizing the lands of the Plainspeople and when he was younger, Nev got caught up in some Plains magic that upended the trajectory of his life. Now Nev fights against what the magic wants him to do. It’s an interesting, engrossing, and sometimes frustrating read, but I’m hooked because it’s Hobb.
Name a book where the characters got their just desserts.
Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb
Once my mind goes to Hobb’s books, it’s hard to turn it back, so Assassin’s Fate was the first book to come to mind when I thought of this question. All the baddies got their just desserts in it and that’s all I’ll say since it’s the last book in her Realm of the Elderlings series. (Got my fingers crossed that there’ll be another book.)
Name a book that tries to put a positive spin on something terrible.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
This was a tough one, but eventually I settled on a book that did something horrible — a picture book without pictures 😱 — but put a positive spin on it because it’s so funny! I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best books I read this year.
Name a book that delves into an existential topic.
A Long Day’s Evening by Bilge Karasu, transl. by Aron Aji and Fred Stark
A historical fiction book of three stories. The parts I read were about monks living through a period of iconoclasm in the 8th-century Byzantine Empire of Leo III, who outlawed all religious paintings and icons. The first section is about a monk named Andronikos struggling to understand and accept what this means and how it affects his faith and identity.
What trope or theme in a book do you really like that you don’t feel gets enough attention?
An older hero or protagonist in typical high fantasy novels
I haven’t read that much fantasy, so I don’t know if it’s a common thing. But it seems like it isn’t because many folks complain about the typical young, inexperienced hero in fantasy novels. The first time I encountered an older, veteran protagonist in a fantasy novel was in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion, which I loved. It’s about a man returning to his home country after a long time away on adventures that deeply scarred him and now seeks a quiet life. But that’s not what he gets. I love this book.
Name a character whose humor is consistently underappreciated by those around them.
Definitely Mat from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’ve completed 5 of the books so far, and Mat is the only character, other than Moiraine and maybe Lan, that I’ve consistently liked and could tolerate through the books. (Although there was a time on one of my reads when I thought he was annoying in the first book.)
The series is about three farm boys who are essential in saving their world from “the Dark One.” Mat is one of the boys, but he is a practical joker and quite a gambler too. I would prefer to stick to his perspective than Rand’s or Perrin’s or Egwene’s or Nynaeve’s or Elaine’s or even Min’s (whose entire POV chaps are mostly about how much she loves Rand ONLY because she’s destined to do so and how much she wants and needs to be with him. Ugh!!)
Name a book (or two or three) that has helped you get through this year.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
Assassin’s Apprentice because I began rereading the Realm of the Elderlings books (which I finished late last year) by audio this year and I love them and they’ve kept me going through several bouts of reading slumps since corona started. Shaman’s Crossing because my buddy-reads with Emily has also kept me going and motivated to read through various reading slumps. And Witches Abroad, which I’m reading now, because I felt another reading slump coming on until I picked up this delightful book.
What are your plans for Halloween this year if you celebrate it? How do you plan on spending what’s left of October?
Just my usual plan to watch scary movies and TV shows (which might just be me watching a bunch of Supernatural episodes, lol) and read a couple books that fit the Halloween spirit. I am low-key participating in Spooktastic Reads by reading books for the holiday. I’m in a weird mood at the moment, so I’m just taking it easy and doing a bunch of tags for the while.
AND THAT’S IT FOR THIS ENTRY IN MY BOOK TAG WEEK SERIES LEADING UP TO HALLOWEEN!
Consider yourself tagged if you want to do it too.
(And if you’re looking for book tags to do, here’s a long list of ones I’ve done so far.)