I found this delightful tag on this treasure trove of ideas, and immediately thought that it would be perfect for Wyrd & Wonder: listing fantasy books with a connection to the ruling families of another fantasy saga sounded like the kind of challenge I enjoy, so here we go…
HOUSE LANNISTER: “HEAR ME ROAR!”
Name a book you were certain you would love, but later realized that it wasn’t so great after all.
Besieged by Rowena Cory Daniells
There were many details in this book that I fond intriguing – the complex world divided into three races which gave rise to a layered society, the complex politics and the foreshadowing of a possible bloody conflict on the horizon – but at some point the writing became somewhat sloppy and despite my curiosity to see where the story would lead, I never felt compelled to move forward with the series.
HOUSE STARK: “WINTER IS COMING”
Name your most anticipated book release for 2021
The Wisdom of Crowds (Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie
Take the First Law world, add a layer of industrial revolution and a number of new players vying for power and concocting complex plots, and you have a winning combination: if I were not already a staunch fan of Joe Abercrombie, this series would have turned me into one, and the final book in this series cannot be published soon enough for me…
HOUSE TARGARYEN: “FIRE AND BLOOD”
Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.
The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
It took only one book to appreciate John Gwynne’s amazing storytelling, but with this first book in his new series he managed to surpass himself – and that’s no mean feat from where I stand. A world inspired by Norse myths and peopled with strong, intriguing characters embroiled in a multi-layered quest that held my spellbound attention from start to finish. Probably one of the best books I’ve read this year, and we’re not at the midpoint of it yet!
HOUSE BARATHEON: “OURS IS THE FURY”
Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger ending that genuinely pissed you off
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Much as I enjoyed Holly Black’s series The Folk of the Air, the way she closed this second book in the saga, playing a terrible “prank” on her main character and leaving me – as well as other readers, I’m sure, stranded and unsure of what would happen next, was NOT appreciated at all. The trilogy ended in a satisfactory way, granted, but still, the sting of this cliffhanger has left its mark…
HOUSE MARTELL: “UNBOWED, UNBENT, UNBROKEN”
Name a book, or book series, that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Yes, ok, sue me: I must be one of the two or three people who still has to read anything by the highly acclaimed Brandon Sanderson. Should I hire a defense lawyer? 😉
HOUSE BOLTON: “OUR BLADES ARE SHARP”
Name the most graphic or disturbing book that you’ve ever read
The Hunger by Alma Katsu
This book was my introduction to the tragedy of the Donner Party: despite the horror of what happened to the colonists headed toward California and stranded in the Sierra Nevada during a particularly harsh winter, what I found most distressing was the way in which events drove people to forget much of their moral behavior, showing that civilization is indeed a very thin, easily removed veneer.
HOUSE TYRELL: GROWING STRONG
Name a book, or book series, that gets better and better with every re-read (or by simple recollection of its story…)
Well, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings would be the obvious answer for me, so I chose to look elsewhere – if nothing else because I’ve mentioned this book far too often… Once upon a time I would have named GRR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, but the ever-lengthening waits between books has considerably cooled my enthusiasm for this series so, after long consideration – there is a LOT of great book/series I recall with great fondness – I’ve decided to name
Juliet Marillier’s Blackthorn and Grim
a story that will always hold a special place in my heart.
ASOIAF fans, what are the Game of Thrones books in your bookcase? 😉