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Help me, internets!

I finished Shattered Pillars this morning, a wonderful second-world fantasy by Elizabeth Bear. I reviewed first book, Range of Ghosts, briefly (is there any other way?) on twitter: “Is ‘one of the top three books I read last year’ enough, or would you like specifics? Incredibly well-developed world, realistic interactions among fully-realized characters, emotional resonance. Second-world fantasy with not-Mongols, not-Islamic empire, not-Chinese empire. Magic, monsters, many horses.” Shattered Pillars is a middle book, so there’s neither the thrill of new worlds nor the resolution of a final book, but it nonetheless carried me along as the characters did perfectly reasonable (to them) things that I never would have thought of. One of Bear’s strengths is getting inside the heads of people whose worldviews are utterly unlike our own: not just worldbuilding, but how it affects the way the characters perceive their surroundings.

I’m very much looking forward to River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay, the sequel to Under Heaven, out today. But I think reading those two books back to back might kill me.

So internets: what should I read next?

2 Comments

  1. Heidi Waterhouse says:

    Shattered Pillars WAS great, wasn’t it? But you’re right, you want something to cleanse the palate before you plunge into the Kray.

    I suggest a much smaller-scale, but still interesting novel: Herb-Witch, by Elizabeth McCoy. It is in my top 3 self-pubbed books I’ve read.

    So it turns out that even if you are a powerful, reasonably attractive, and extremely entitled man, proposing to someone of much lower status while they are in a dungeon is no way to woo a girl. This is the story of a girl who doesn’t want to be a dynastic pawn and a guy who comes to see her side of the argument, instead of the more traditional arrangement in romancy-novels. Also, this book and its sequels are thick and rich with the power of consent.

  2. Sarah says:

    That has potential, thanks!

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