kgbooklog: (Default)
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Turtle Moves!
BenBella (2008) ISBN: 978-1-933771-46-5
Score: 1.5

This is explicitly one author trying to cash in on another author's success. It's really more of a long essay than a book, giving an overview of the Discworld series (and each sub-series), discussion of how the series changed over time, and speculation about why it's so popular (short answer: it's stories about stories). The author is trying hard not to write a scholarly book, so none of these topics is pursued in much depth and the chapters are generally only about 3 pages long, with most of the book being brief descriptions of each story in the series, including the short stories and Science of books.
kgbooklog: (Default)
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Summer Palace
Tor (2008) ISBN: 0-7653-1028-7
Score: 2

Conclusion of the Annals of the Chosen trilogy, in which we learn more about the Uplanders and the giant anti-magic birds they live off of. I did correctly guess the direction of the main plot from the first book, but there were still a few surprises. I did find it odd that the protagonist's opinion of the ler (nature/elemental spirits) kept flip-flopping from "respected allies" to "evil menace". And a warning to anyone who checks the end of the book for appendices and stuff: this book does have an appendix, and the last line of it is a big spoiler.

Next Book: Naomi Novik, Victory of Eagles
kgbooklog: (Default)
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Ninth Talisman
Tor (2007) ISBN: 0-7653-1027-9
Score: 2

The middle of the Annals of the Chosen trilogy, in which it turns out that some people *did* think about what the protagonist said at the end of the previous book, but he has mixed feelings about the results. It ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger; I expect the next day or two to be very interesting. Also, the title isn't as appropriate as the working title Winterhome was (something about building roads would have been even better).

(PS. Does anyone know why my default userpic suddenly disappeared? The keywords and comment remained when I looked at all my userpics, but there was no image. I just finished deleting the original entry and loading it agains.)
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 06:16pm on 11/04/2006 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Wizard Lord
Tor (2006) ISBN: 0-765-31026-0
Score: 2.5

Start of a high fantasy trilogy (Annals of the Chosen), but can be read as a stand alone (the conflict is completely resolved; I suspect the next two books will deconstruct the setting like his Obsidian trilogy). This is clearly a "what if?" book concerning a nation ruled by a very very powerful wizard (the original purpose was to stomp rogue wizards, and now that they're rare he makes sure it never rains during the daytime) and the eight Chosen Heroes[1] (non-wizards with magical abilities) whose job is to kill him if he goes bad. I suspect a lot of readers will be frightened away by the fantasy cliches (the Chosen are explicitly stereotypes: the world's greatest swordsman, greatest archer, greatest thief, most beautiful woman, etc), and while the author does twist things a bit I would have liked a few more surprises.

[1]"... realize we aren't a bunch of heroes out of some ancient legend."
"But, Boss," the Seer said, "we are heroes out of legend."

Next Book: Charlie Huston, Already Dead
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 05:18pm on 06/03/2006 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, Out of This World
Del Rey (1993) ISBN: 0-345-39114-4
Score: 1

Beginning of the Three Worlds trilogy (and there's no hint that it's a part of a larger work until the very end). An ominous being known as Shadow has conquered the world of Faerie, and is starting to attack the universe of the Galactic Empire, who looks for allies and finds the universe of Earth. The book opens with both the Empire and resistance forces from Faerie trying to make an alliance with the USA, only to discover that Imperial tech and magic don't work here. The tone changes rather drastically halfway through: characters who made it through the first half literally without a scratch suddenly start dying off-screen. This is also one of those oddly dated books from the end of the 20th century: too recent to feel "historical" while still pre-dating cell phones and the internet.
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 03:21pm on 21/10/2005 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, Ithanalin's Restoration
Tor (2002) ISBN: 0-765-30012-5
Score: 3

Another Ethshar book (I've now read everything except a couple short stories), set at the same time as The Spell of the Black Dagger but in a different city, so there are some spoilers for that conflict; Gresh, Kaligir, and Valder are mentioned, but do not appear. Ithanalin is interrupted in the middle of a spell, accidentally animating his furniture while de-animating his body. And all the other wizards are busy panicking about events in Ethshar of the Sands, so his apprentice Kilisha has to fix things herself. It was nice to see a professional wizard at work, but this book made me realize how little we know of other types of magic. I did like the bit where Kilisha argues with a witch over whether herbalism is magic.

Next Book: Diane Duane, Wizards at War
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 09:06pm on 17/10/2005 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Spriggan Mirror
Score: 3

The above link leads to the complete first draft of the latest Ethshar book. This one is about Gresh the Supplier being hired by the Guild of Wizards (acting through Tobas of Telven) to find the spriggan mirror that Tobas accidentally created in With a Single Spell. So you should read that one first (I didn't, and it was really odd knowing in advance how the romantic subplot would resolve). This also contains spoilers for Spell of the Black Dagger, and I think Gresh is a minor character in Ithanalin's Restoration (which I'm going to read later this week). Finding the mirror turns out to be the easy part; figuring out what it's doing and how they should stop it is more complicated. I'm looking forward to the final version.

Next Book: Lemony Snicket, The Dastardly Denouement(?)
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 09:23pm on 08/10/2005 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, Taking Flight
Del Rey (1993) ISBN: 0-345-37715-X
Score: 2

Another Ethshar book, set between The Unwilling Warlord and The Blood of a Dragon, though not really linked to any others. A traveling charlatan gives a typical fame, fortune, and love prophecy to Kelder of Shulara, who doubts it somewhat, but is determined to make it come true anyway. He soon meets Irith the Flyer, who matches the description of his prophesied wife, and journeys with her along the Great Highway. The ending is rather abrupt and lacking in closure. That is clearly what the author wanted, but I would have preferred seeing what happens the next time Kelder meets some of these people, or at least see another day or two more. Doesn't really add anything the our knowledge of Ethshar (just some wizard spells, a couple Small Kingdoms, and Shan on the Desert).
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 07:55pm on 25/09/2005 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, Night of Madness
Tor (2000) ISBN: 0-312-87368-9
Score: 2.5

Another Ethshar book, this is mainly a prequel, taking place before all the others except Misenchanted Sword (and possibly Taking Flight; I'm reading that next). If you've read the books set later, you already know that the title refers to the night warlockry was introduced to the World. Needless to say, we learn a lot about warlockry in this book. We also see how the Wizards' Guild works, and get to see its Inner Circle. This isn't a bad place to start; in fact, the other books reveal certain aspects of warlockry that are learned the hard way in this book.

Next Book: Terry Pratchett, Thud!
kgbooklog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kgbooklog at 03:51pm on 18/09/2005 under , ,
Lawrence Watt-Evans, The Blood of a Dragon
Del Rey (1991) ISBN: 0-345-36410-4
Score: 2

Another Ethshar novel, this time about 12 year old Dumery's attempts to get an apprenticeship. His first choice was wizard, but it turns out he has absolutely no ability to perform magic of any kind (making him rare, possibly unique). Somewhat unhappy with magicians in general and wizards in particular, he decides to make his fortune selling dragon's blood for insane prices, and then things get complicated. This book has only a few minor connections to the others: Valder has a cameo to say a few words about spriggans, the Empire of Vond is mentioned, and Teneria (who will play a minor role later in The Spell of the Black Dagger) is a minor POV character, giving us our first inside look at witchcraft. We also learn a lot about dragons and get close to the Warlock Stone in Aldagmor.


2 3
6 7
15 16
21 22