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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dragon Awards deadline

If you want to nominate for the Dragon Awards, you've got to do so today or tomorrow. Here are my recommendations. Remember that a work cannot be nominated in two categories.

On a not-at-all-unrelated note here is a pair of recent book reviews by Jevaughn Brown, the latter of which concerns A SEA OF SKULLS, which is eligible in the Best Fantasy Novel category and is written by an author who is not only handsome and charming, but is also said to be "the most underrated fantasy author in fiction."
A THRONE OF BONES

A Throne Of Bones in one book is the kind of story/world in essence that I had thought A Song Of Fire And Ice was going to develop into by now, but hasn't quite. I loved how thoroughly embedded and powerful the Magic systems are into the fabric of Selenoth, yet they're not a cure-all in the slightest, playing a part at fitting moments within "believable" limits.

The interactions between characters based on their circumstances and personalities had the feel of Real People rather than caricatures acting in contrived ways only to advance the plot. When we're taken inside a character's perspective, you really get how justified they feel in their worldview - as we all are.

I personally haven't read more detailed yet visceral battle scenes. Vox retains the grandness of ancient armies and big sword-and-shield battles without washing out the fear and carnage and courage and confusion and skill and luck they really entailed.


A SEA OF SKULLS

As richly developed as its predecessor was, A Sea Of Skulls added many new dimensions to this world and the crisis it's in. All the positives I spoke of in my review of A Throne Of Bones, and more, were leveled up.

The standout achievement of this novel could be how well Vox takes us into the minds of the non-humans of Selenoth, and gives us just a taste of their civilizations - The underground dominion of the Dwarves, the stagnant decadence of the Elves, and the structured melee of the Orcs. Such is the depth Vox goes with such viewpoint characters that you may even find yourself *almost* starting to kinda sorta briefly feel a little empathy for an orc!

Minor characters are used meaningfully and there's no one I would want to cut out. There's a lot of traveling or being camped-out for extended periods, but we don't get lost in dozens of pages of interminable wandering or stagnation, a major grievance I had with parts of both A Song Of Fire And Ice and the Wheel Of Time series.

Also much appreciated was the expansion on Dalarn culture as its warriors made their last stand, and on the Savondir side of the world through Marcus' struggles and Theuderic serving his kingdom. If Book 1 left you asking for more elves and more battle magic, then your wish was granted. But again, the magic is the icing on the cake of well-scripted battles that feel as real as epic fantasy can get.

Things get unapologetically dark several times, so gird your mental loins going in. Every fan of Epic Fantasy should read this series.
You really should read it. At present, Theuderic is busy assisting the Marquis de Poncheaux perform a fighting withdrawal at a bridge near the town of Rouvillier. It's a cracking scene.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous RomanCandle July 22, 2017 1:50 PM  

Theuderic is my favorite character. Not even sorry.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 22, 2017 2:09 PM  

What is Lucky Man anyway?

Not that it matters.

Anything that is NOT A Handmaid's Tale is acceptable to me.

Anonymous Farinata July 22, 2017 3:09 PM  

Is the finished version of SOS still en route for this fall? Inquiring pre-orders want to know.

Blogger VD July 22, 2017 3:14 PM  

It will be published in December in ebook and hardcover. Coming along very nicely, IMHO. I'm back in the groove.

Blogger Jack Ward July 22, 2017 3:39 PM  

@4 Good News! Will delay reread until final version.

Blogger Sam Spade July 22, 2017 4:04 PM  

I'm doubting between buying it now or waiting for the complete hardcover in December. I finished 3 days ago ATOB,liked it A LOT and I want to continue the story, but I don't know if it's worth the wait to read the complete book.

Anonymous Jevaughn Brown July 22, 2017 9:11 PM  

Put in my nomination of A Sea Of Skulls for Best Fantasy Novel. Cheers Vox!

And I just searched for previous posts on ASOS and realized, bloody hell, what I read was just the early edition?!

WHY AREN'T YOU 50 POINTS AHEAD AMONG ACCLAIMED FANTASY AUTHORS VOX?! Lol! "Muh Evil Alt-Right "Leader"" hysterics no doubt.

Glad to hear the full version's coming out this December - Sweet Christmas! I'll email my Kindle receipt later per instructions.

Anonymous Cadwallander J July 22, 2017 10:46 PM  

Hardcover - skol! That will sit nicely next to my Marcher Lord AToB hardcover.

Blogger Dave July 22, 2017 11:15 PM  

VD wrote:It will be published in December in ebook and hardcover. Coming along very nicely, IMHO. I'm back in the groove.

Good news.

Type faster.

Anonymous Philipp July 23, 2017 5:51 AM  

Great to hear that you are back in the groove, Vox.

I enjoyed a Throne of Bones and the early version of Sea of Skulls tremendously.

Theuderic is one of my favorite characters. I thought the scence where he and his fellow battle mage were fighting the orcs, who were fleeing the Amorran legion, in the forest was one of the best.

Anonymous Crew July 23, 2017 2:31 PM  

I voted and was pleased to vote for Richard Fox's book. Recently read.

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