Monday, August 24, 2009

Sampling Books

Lest you think I'm doing nothing whatsoever with this blog, I thought I'd put up a post about the two books I'm sampling.

Servant of a Dark God by John Brown. This novel opens with a squabble between siblings that quickly grows dangerous when young Talen flees up a tree, pursued by his massivly muscled brother Ke. Talen falls, Ke catches him, they both get in trouble, and Talen gets sent off to the neighboring town on a routine farm errand.

There, he runs into real trouble when villagers think he is under a form of possession. It seems that another family in town--who are of the same outcast race as Talen--have been accused of this form of possession and naturally, everyone of the same race is under suspicion.

It's an engaging start. I know some people are tired of farm boys as the main protagonist, but I have no problem with it. Until the industrial revolution, most people were farmers or in the employ of farmers. But what I'm really in the mood for is an epic fantasy with a female POV. Or a grown man. I'm tired of reading about boys.

Night of Knives by Ian C. Esslemont. This begins with a prologue in the point-of-view of some indeterminate human-like creature. The creature trudges through the desert, and stops to talk to another creature that is imprisoned at the base of an obelisk. When the imprisoned creature tries to escape, a bolt of magic descends the obelisk and knocks it senseless. They have a conversation about some change that is coming. I confess that I haven't gotten much further than the prologue. However, I have determined that the point-of-view character isn't a boy (or either of these creatures), but a grizzled, battle-weary veteran named Temper. A significant plus in its favor.

Okay, make that three books. I'm also sampling Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice. It's also quite engaging, as those of you who have read it would doubtless agree.

But it's also about a boy. I think I'm going to scream.

17 comments:

A. Grey said...

Hmm, that 'Night of Knives' sounds interesting. I must agree with you, I'm tired of reading about boys. I'm on an odd swing that way. Right now all I'm digging is young women just coming into themselves and battle-worn and tried men, either one being of any race.

Rabia said...

Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders is told from the POV of a young woman, two men, and a (very young) boy. Or at least the first book is. The second is still in my TBR pile.

Tia Nevitt said...

I'm kind of waiting on a debut that comes along with a female protag. That isn't an urban fantasy.

Maria said...

I didn't care for the Robin Hobbs. Or I guess I should say I didn't find it at all engaging. :>)

No, that doesn't help, does it???

Let's see...how about "The Skewed Throne" by Joshua Palmatier? (young girl who happens to be a thief.)

or in a similar vein, Tamora Pierce's "Terrier." Once you get past the prologue, the book was quite engaging!!!

ediFanoB said...

Tired of reading about boys? In case you didn't read it so far I recommend 'Best Served Cold' by Joe Abercrombie. Monza Murcatto,The Snake of Talins, is a tough female hero......

ediFanoB said...

To be honest 'Best Served Cold' isn't a really debut novel. But it is the first standalone novel by Joe Abercrombie.

Chicory said...

Have you read `Hobb's Bargain' by Patricia Briggs? Or `Resenting the Hero' by Moira Moore, or `Decoy Princess' by Dawn Cook, or Patricia Wrede's `The Raven Ring'? They all star heroines.

John Brown said...

Tia,

Glad to hear the sample is mostly working for you, but do not despair yet :) The female main character is waiting for you in chapter 5. In fact, earlier versions started with her. Give her a go. Let's hope she's what you are looking for.

Happiness,

John

Rabia said...

I second "Decoy Princess" by Dawn Cook. Both it and its sequel "Princess at Sea" are highly enjoyable.

Have you read "His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik? The protagonist is more man than boy. Holly Lisle has some books with female protagonists (and males who are men rather than boys). I especially like "Talyn" and "Hawkspar".

Tia Nevitt said...

All the fantasy I've read lately are debuts. The ones about females seem to be urban fantasies, and the epics are mostly peopled by boys. They grow up, but you still have to get through the boy chapters.

It's why Prince Amir in The Kings Daughters was so refreshing.

The Hourglass Door had a female protagonist. So did The Trouble with Demons and Black Ships. Of the three, I'd only describe Black Ships as an epic fantasy.

Tia Nevitt said...

Rabia, I've read all of the books in your second paragraphs, except Talyn. Yes, I read Hawkspar first. I did enjoy it. Holly Lisle is a very dependable author to go to for female protagonists. I keep meaning to go back and read Talyn.

Rabia said...

Tia, "Talyn" is my favorite Holly Lisle book. You should definitely give it a go. :D

Tia Nevitt said...

John, I have a review copy of your book. I think I have encountered your POV character, and will go read some more of it right now. Thanks for stopping by!

Tia Nevitt said...

Rabia, as I recall, she is some sort of heroine warrior? If I'm remembering it right, it's probably just the thing I need about now.

Rabia said...

She's a warrior mage. :)

John Brown said...

Oooh, the full enchilada. Hope you find yourself in the audience for the story :)

Maria said...

I second Patricia Wrede, Holly Lisle, and Patricia Briggs Hob Bargain. (Patricia Briggs does have two urban fantasies, but in general I prefer her earlier fantasy work. Steal the Dragon and When Demons Walk remain some of my favorite books of all time!)