I wrote this post weeks ago and kept forgetting to post it. Not a very auspicious return to Monthly Reading, is it? So before it’s time for March Reading, here’s January and February.
My husband got me The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson for Christmas–my first read of 2011. I am happy to report that it may well be the best book I read in 2011 (meaning no disrespect to the books listed below, of course). This is a big, thick book in the epic fantasy tradition, easily heavy enough to maim a person if you have the mind to do so. (It’s a weapon and a book for the price of one!) The thing I adore about this book is that it shows the full range of humanity–how low a person can sink and how high a person can rise. Over the magnificent backdrop of a magical world where plants seem almost sentient and armies war against each other with little understanding of why, Sanderson weaves the story of a man who has lost everything and has every reason in the world to just lay down and die, but who rises above it all to become a hero in the humblest of ways. For those wondering the future of Sanderson’s career, he will not merely be remembered for his role in finishing Robert Jordan’s work. I’ve been a fan of his since his debut novel Elantris, but he has reached new heights with The Way of Kings. It is every bit as worthy as a Robert Jordan, a George R.R. Martin, and every other high-profile, so-heavy-you-can-maim-a-person-with-it epic fantasy novel ever made.
I did not intend to go on about that book in such length. Oops.
For something completely different, I followed The Way of Kings up by reading Lauren Willig’s latest historical spy romance, The Orchid Affair. I’ve talked much about this series of Napoleonic-era espionage books in the past. This one is the first of Willig’s books which features a protagonist in her thirties and a romantic lead who is widowed or has children, which was kind of cool. Like all of her books, it was enjoyable, but it wasn’t one of my favorites.
The Mischief of the Mistletoe, however, is my absolute favorite Lauren Willig book. I have now read it three times since getting the ARC in September. Since I’ve mentioned this one before, I’ll skip the commentary.
While waiting for the long-anticipated Green Rider #4 to come out, I reread Green Rider #3, The High King’s Tomb by Kristen Britain. Again, a reread; skipping the commentary.
And then…ugh. I mentioned Blackveil by Kristen Britain here shortly after I read it. A super well-written book, but it made me so angry that I still get gloomy just thinking about it. I spent most of the book yelling for King Zachary to cut off people’s heads, or wishing the Weapons would open up a big can of whoop-ass on a whole bunch of people. Yes, I am a big fat drama queen about it, but I just can’t help it! I’m dying to find out what happens next, and if there’s as much unhappiness in Green Rider #5 as in this one, I’m liable to have a conniption.
Which is why I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare next. I needed a happy ending. This has been my favorite book since I was twelve years old, a historical Newberry winner about a sixteen-year-old girl who moves to the American colonies and is accused of being a witch. (It doubles as research, too, since I just finished the first draft of a historical fantasy about a broom-riding man who must evade witch-hunting Puritans in the American colonies.)
March Reading is coming soon to a blog near you!
(I am such a dork.)