Thursday, February 28, 2008

What I'm Reading

I'm in the middle of several books, so I thought I'd break up the debut announcements with some miniature progress reports.

First a guilty admission--I'm reading non-debuts! And *horrors!* some of them are not even fantasy!

Actually, I read a lot of non-fantasy, which is part of the reason that it APPEARED like I only read about fourteen books last year. However this year, I have resolved to blog on all books, whether fantasy or not, giving special emphasis to debut fantasy, of course.

(This first one may make you men cringe.)

Duty and Desire, a Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, by Pamela Aidan

Yes, it's Jane Austen fan fiction. I read the first book in this series last year (one of the Mysterious Unread) after spending about a year drooling over it. I must admit that I am a die-hard Jane Austen fan. I have multiple productions of various Jane Austen movie adaptations (2 each of P&P, S&S and Emma, and one each of the other titles, plus Clueless, which almost counts as another adaptation of Emma)

This one intrigued me because of course, I love Mr. Darcy. (I also love Mr. Tilney and Captain Wentworth. They are my favorite Jane Austen heroes.) The first novel in the series is called An Assembly Such as This, which refers to the assembly where Lizzy and Darcy first met.

The first book was very true to Austen, reproducing faithfully every line of dialog from the original, cast among Darcy's tumultuous thoughts. During this novel, the pace has slowed down quite a bit until it seems to be little more than the daily life of a country gentleman. It takes place during a separation between Lizzy and Darcy, and Lizzy's presence is much missed by both Darcy and this gentle reader. I'm about a third of the way through.

Magic Lost, Trouble Found, by Lisa Shearin

I'm about halfway through this book, and it's the only one I'm seriously reading right now. Or actually, I am rereading it, in preparation for reading the ARC that Lisa had her publisher send of the second book in the series, Armed and Magical. It's proving to be a lively reread, with details I missed during the first reading coming out during the second.

Incidently, Lisa is now hurtling toward the conclusion of the next book in the series, The Trouble With Demons. The book after that is called Bewitched and Betrayed. I must say that I love the titles of all Lisa's books.

In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck

In the wake of Febuary's multi-blog David Keck hoopla, I started reading his debut novel. I'm only a chapter or so into it, so I don't have much to say yet except I am enjoying the opening very much. It's been a long time since I read a knight novel. In fact, I think the last novel I read that featured knights was the omnibus version of The Deed of Paksenarrion, which is one of my favorites, ever. I have a soft spot for knights even though, as Keck's novel suggests, most of them were brutish thugs.

His novel is striking so far for its unflinching portrayal of medieval life. It must have been a very nasty time period to live in, and so the novel has lots of cringeworthy moments.

I have also tasted a bit of the first chapter of Liar's Diary by Patry Francis. It looks very good.

Other books sent to me by various parties are, in no particular order:

Apricot Brandy by Lynn Cesar
Queen Ferris by S. C. Butler. (Looks like I'll need to read Reiffen's Choice before tackling this one.)
Best of the Rest 4, edited by Brian Youmans (given to me by Sandra McDonald--thanks!)
Armed and Magical by Lisa Shearin
The Veil Gold by Kim Wilkins
The Ancient by R. A. SAlvatore
Griffin's Daughter by Leslie Ann Moore
The 13th Reality by James Dashner
Seekers of the Chalice by Brian Cullen
In a Time of Treason by David Keck

I'm going to put all of these in a backdated post on the sidebar, and I'll strike through them as I read them.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I love Jane Austen, too! When I was in England several years back, I went to Bath, where she lived for a time. There's a Jane Austen society there. I wish I could have spent more time in Bath. Anyway. I've not yet read a Jane Austen novel. With all the fantasy I read, trying to keep up with what's happening in the genre, I don't get to read other genres as much as I used to. And... wow, this comment is getting long. I'll stop now.

Tia Nevitt said...

So nice to find another fan! I'm a little confused . . . you've not yet read a Jane Austen novel? I guess you've seen the movies, then?

Anonymous said...

Emma was such an amazing book! I also love Jane Austen. On the knight subject though, Mary Gentle's Ash: A Secret History was an interesting take on knights and mercenaries, though a little gritty at times.

Tia Nevitt said...

Oooh, that does look like a good one!

Anonymous said...

Urg. Sorry. Must remember not to be an idiot. What I meant to say is that I've never read a Jane Austen fanfic novel.

Tia Nevitt said...

These are my first Jane Austen fanfic novels. There seem to be a lot of them these days.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Cool books you have going ... despite the cringe-worthy one ;)

Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day -- made my day, and wouldn't have noticed otherwise!

Tia Nevitt said...

They are cringeworthy in a good way.

Precongratulations! You may find yourself on the Hugo Ballot!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Lynn Cesar's new book Apricot Brandy and i love it!!

I can tell you it is a uniquely fantastic ride! There are wicked characters and evil scary events, interspersed with hilarious observations.

Check out the author's website for more about her book with it's unique blend of dark fantasy and supernatural horror!