“The Curse of Chalion” by Lois McMaster Bujold

I’ve often heard of Lois McMaster Bujold, but have never been tempted to pick up one of her books until I read Jonathan’s review of the Curse of Chalion.

I’m immediately drawn to fantasy novels in which religion factors greatly. It’s not something I often see in the fantasy novels I read. Often, religion is a slight thing in the society and not a major part of the world building. It certainly doesn’t often affect magic, unless it is to denounce the use of magic. However, in the Curse of Chalion, magic is greatly influenced by religion and the gods.

Side note:

I really enjoyed this book and it’s now one of my favorites, which means I went overboard with this reflection piece. It’s long ass fuck. Skip to the Overall section and read some of the quotes for a quickie.

Quick summary:

The Curse of Chalion is a high fantasy novel told using a limited third-person narrator from the perspective of our protagonist, Lupe dy Cazaril, a former soldier and courtier who returns home to the provincar of Baocia (basically a dukedom) mentally and physically scarred after his serving aboard a Roknari slave galley. Roknar is a country to the north of Chalion.

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“Assassin’s Quest” by Robin Hobb

Assassin's QuestI don’t know what to say. This trilogy was a quite a ride. I enjoyed every moment of it and it was great buddy reading it with Emily at Embuhlee liest because I had someone to talk to about the story but now it’s over and I don’t know what to think. Except, Verity…

Goodreads overview:

From an extraordinary new voice in fantasy comes the stunning conclusion to the Farseer trilogy, as FitzChivalry confronts his destiny as the catalyst who holds the fate of the kingdom of the Six Duchies…and the world itself.

King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz — or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest — perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return — or the heir his princess carries–can save the Six Duchies.

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“Royal Assassin” by Robin Hobb

Royal Assassin2Not long after completing the first book in the Farseer trilogy, Assassin’s Apprentice, I picked up the second, Royal Assassin, and was glad to find it just as great as the first.

Goodreads overview:

Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

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“Assassin’s Apprentice” by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice 1I first heard of Robin Hobb years ago and placed her book on my Goodreads TBR, but then forgot her. Luckily, I discovered booktube and Samantha’s channel, Sam’s Nonsense, where I was reintroduced to Robin Hobb. If not for Samantha’s love of Hobb’s books or her recent, ongoing readalong for Robin Hobb’s books, I would have missed out on a new fantasy series to love.

Quick summary:

From Goodreads:

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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“In Search of Lost Dragons” by Elian Black’Mor and Carine-M

In Search of Lost Dragons

In Search of Lost Dragons

A beautiful graphic novel filled with glossy pictures of dragons is sure to entice anyone who loves fantasy and art and, of course, dragons!

Quick summary:

A reporter documents his journey through Europe in a travel journal as he searches for evidence of dragons. Blessed with the ability to see the unseen, he draws what he witnesses in his journal and jots down quick notes alongside his illustrations. He is later chosen to discover what has happened to an exploration party, and the assignment takes him through Scandinavia and Asia, where he continues his documentation and happens upon an amazing race that might be connected to dragons.

My thoughts:

My first foray into graphic novels and comics kicks off with In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’Mor and Carine-M. This book was first published in France in November 2005 as Sur La Piste Des Dragons Oublies, and was translated into English and published by Dynamite Entertainment this year in February.

I discovered this book in a Shelf Awareness newsletter (what would I do without that newsletter) that contained a book trailer for it (see below). I usually don’t pay much attention to book trailers because they never get me hyped but this one did. The mention of dragons caught my attention and the shots of pages from the book excited me so much that I bought it soon after it was published.

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