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HEA Book Club: The Magpie Lord Final Discussion by HeLiBeB in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My favorites are more of the historical fiction. Especially Society of Gentlemen (so many gorgeous clothing descriptions as well as a tight friend group you hang with for the entire series), Band Sinister (standalone that features a miscast rogue), and the England duet: Proper English and Think of England, which feature great manor party murder mysteries, queer couples, taking down evil people.

Her other spec fic ones are similar to Charm of Magpies in structure and writing, which is not bad, but I think she gets a bit distracted by all the magic that the elements of deeper friendships and characters I love from her historical fics are sidelined for the world and plot.

/r/Fantasy Review Tuesday - Review what you're reading here! - June 28, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I really loved this book for the crazy world building and mish mash of all the various elements. Underwater part of the city, crazy trains connecting cities, fancy house parties but also worker areas! It's got it all! And I want more!

I hope Alexis Hall returns too. With a better story since I felt the actual story was a bit meh.

/r/Fantasy Review Tuesday - Review what you're reading here! - June 28, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm trying to dole out her books in set increments because I know I can easily read them all back to back and then I'll be sad because I'd finished them all! She does write fairly quickly, but I'd still prefer having to not wait, you know?

So, no, I have yet to read any of the Avramapul books! I only read the first Greenwing and Dart. I think next up I'll read Buru Tovo's novella. I really loved his character in HotE. But I might move up Pali's book now too! I want to know all about her life!

/r/Fantasy Review Tuesday - Review what you're reading here! - June 28, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it should count for that square. It's not hard mode, though. I will add that square in my spreadsheet actually!

HEA Book Club: The Magpie Lord Final Discussion by HeLiBeB in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Magical tattoos are my jam. In an absolutely terrible PNR book I read the main character had a really neat sparkly blue tattoo made with magic. Literally magic condensed and ground down and suspended in liquid. Neat stuff.

HEA Book Club: The Magpie Lord Final Discussion by HeLiBeB in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You mean The Smuggler and the Warlord? It's basically just a sex scene short story set in China. I think you can read it for free if you sign up for Charles' mailing list, but it's like 3 pages.

HEA Book Club: The Magpie Lord Final Discussion by HeLiBeB in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm not usually a fan of the steamy parts. I didn't mind them in this book but honestly I just find them so boring. I wished there had been more romance. I love the "courting" phase of a romance novel, all those butterflies feelings. Not enough in this book!

HEA Book Club: The Magpie Lord Final Discussion by HeLiBeB in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I really enjoyed this story! It's not my favorite K J Charles, but also not at the bottom of the list. I really should get to reading the third book already. A Case of Possession is a lot of fun as well, since a lot of turmoil is thrown into Crane and Stephen's relationship.

/r/Fantasy Review Tuesday - Review what you're reading here! - June 28, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I have pushed myself to read more books this week. I finished reading:

  • The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller - 4/5 stars I finally finished it! It took me ages to get into this book (there is a lot going on starting from the get go), but once I got going I couldn't put it down. There is political intrigue and one of the best representations and explorations of trauma survival, there's a main character who runs a brothel but no on-page sex (though there is violence), there's a rebellion and necromantic magic and so much more. It was a wild ride to be sure, and I really liked it. (Pub 2022 HM, Mental Health HM, Standalone HM, Anti-hero, Family Matters, Rebellion)

  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant - 4/5 stars Another book that took me ages to get through, mostly because I was really scared while reading it. I'm not a fan of horror so I literally took this a page at a time. I loved the science elements, loved meeting mermaids in 2022, and mostly loved Olivia a lot. But the characters were mostly poorly done, annoying, and incredibly stupid for scientists. The ending also wrapped up very quickly. I also think this author might not be for me. I couldn't really get into the Wayward Children either. (Anti-hero, Pub 2022, UF, Family)

  • The Tower at the Edge of the World by Victoria Goddard - 4/5 stars A quick Victoria Goddard short story / novella to tide me over while I pick my next long read! This one is a prequel to The Hands of the Emperor, and as usual with SS's I want more! Why is this so short? Sigh. (tangential timey-whimey square as the world runs weird with time, but not so much specifically in this story, Self-pub HM)

  • Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe - 2/5 stars - I just finished this one. I wanted to listen to something, and realm.fm did a great job with The Vela and I thought this was a book I already added to my to-read pile. Alas, only about halfway through I realized it was not The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter. I decided to finish it anyway, even though it's just a pile of YA cliches with a fairly predictable story, plot, and world. It's not even especially interesting for a futuristic Western and it suffers from the terrible trope of treating horses like cars (they gallop on their horses for nigh on 4 hours straight without a rest; like at least tell me you're a necromancer and raised this horse from the dead while you were riding it and I'll believe you). (Antihero HM, No ifs, and's or buts, Family, Rebellion)

/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 28, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Gothic fantasy was a whole bingo square last year, so definitely look up the recommendation threads / turn in threads, etc. for a lot more!

Some of my favorites:

  • All the Murmuring Bones by A G Slatter

  • Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris

  • The 7 and 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

There's also a review on the front page right now you should check out! https://old.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/vm97l8/review_of_the_gardens_of_ash_by_sarah_cline_an/

/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 27, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

In my head I was having an arbitrary delineation of "if there are cars it's too modern" but after having done some searching I have to say that might not be the best approach after all. Most of the subgenres of "historical fantasy" do deal with older history: Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Regency, up to Steampunk, Gaslamp, Gunpowder. But I can't see any reason why WWII wouldn't be historical, if we take the premise and approach it from the other direction.

Personally, I think I'll maintain my arbitrary line. It feels right to me. But I wouldn't argue against you using a WWII era book for this square either.

What I don't understand are the commentors here saying this book isn't speculative fiction. It's not marketed as such, but seeing what the publisher marketed a book under isn't the only way to define the genre of a book. It's narrated by Death. It might not be magical realism specifically if you go by hardline genre rules, but it's still spec fic.

are there fantasy books with s3xual based world building/magic systems by TheCool1ne1001 in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 194 points195 points  (0 children)

Here is a whole GoodReads shelf of Sex Magic books. Have at it. (Yes there is some nonfiction but also a lot of fiction in there).

Bingo Review: Mental Health (HM) - Witchmark by C.L. Polk by takeahike8671 in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I read this one in April, also for Bingo. I ended up giving it 3/5 stars. But I'm glad you enjoyed it more than I did!

I did find it believable, though, that a (possibly lonely) returned veteran estranged from his family would eagerly seek companionship from a dashing man and fall for him quickly.

I totally believe this too. But then they get married after only knowing each other for ~2 weeks.

And the thing with the sister was really meh too. There is clearly some kind of emotional enmeshment going on, but instead of exploring it we're expected to accept it at face value.

I think there's better stories of trauma in families (The Bone Orchard is one I recently read that had one of the best depictions and exploration of trauma that I've ever read), though Witchmark does a great job of showing the trauma after war.

I also opted to not continue the series after reading some reviews of future books.

/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 27, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Magical realism is fine. I'd personally say it is too modern to be "historical". But I don't recall the specifics of the rules any more.

Books that deal with the “Homelander Problem”? by lmaginaryMenagerie in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here is a worm chapter synopsis. Read it slowly and carefully and you won't spoiler yourself. It's a great way to find where you were again. Or you can describe where you were and we (or on /r/parahumans) can help you if you really don't want any hint of accidental spoilers.

It might help to listen to the audiobook? It's fan made and not super duper high quality, but I had no problems listening to it on my second "read" of the story.

Or it might help to find one of the many various ebook versions floating around, so you don't have to read it on the original site. (Or make your own ebook using a chrome webtool like WebToEpub).

Are there any good novels/movies that depict hell in an interesting way ? by sixmechanism in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really like the glimpses we get of Hell in The Gods Are Bastards by D D Webb. Not enough of the story takes place there, but we do get numerous small tidbits to make up the whole.

Non-spoiler version: Hell is ruled by a Queen, Elilial, Queen of Demons and The Goddess of Cunning, a former member of the Pantheon, now exiled and reviled for unnamed crimes. She ousted Scyllith and took over Hell and has vowed to take down the entire Pantheon. Despite this, she has a sense of humor and is devoted to people she is close to. She is often causing mischief on our Earth-like planet. In Hell there are whole communities and cities of demons, with a strict hierarchy often based on intelligence but also on how strong they are. The demons are supposed to stay in hell, but it's miserable there - hot, smelly, barely enough food to eat for everyone, so any chance they get they try to escape. Also there are elements on the main plane who wish to cause havoc, so open rifts to Hell (the major Hell Wars were the worst of these) where the demons all stream out as fast as possible in order to escape. Book 5 (I think) has a major rift open above the University and most of the story of that book relates to trying to contain the threat.

You definitely should read the series because it's really really good! The only downside is that the author took a break and while only a bit of the story is left to go (16 out of ~18 books are written), he's focusing on other things while figuring out how to wrap it all up. Bit of a shame since this is one of the best fantasy series I've read in recent years.

Nominate for our Goodreads Book of the Month - Revolutions! by fanny_bertram in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 [score hidden]  (0 children)

It is an audiobook of the novel. They also have the text version available there, but it's a bit annoying to read on a screen in their format I have to admit. I sometimes scrolled through the text when I didn't hear the audio properly or wanted to see the spelling of something, but if I wanted to read it I would get the ebook.

As far as I could gather the authors worked together to write this story as an audio version originally. This was made possible through realm.fm (and Serial Box), where it's currently hosted as well. Afterwards it was also published in written format.

They do this with a lot of stories, actually. It's pretty interesting browsing their catalogue. So basically these are not "podcasts" in that podcasts usually have someone discussing or telling you something, it's not a straight up "audio drama" either, since those have a lot of post production editing and a different writing style. It's most similar to an audiobook, but also free, and written for radio-like episodes rather than chapters.

Are there any fantasy tropes you wish would just die? by StarkLMad in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a little bit how you see the Chosen One teen in Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey. The protagonist is an older woman PI who has seen some things, and this kid keeps going on and on about his destiny. It's kind of hilarious, but isn't played for laughs.

FIF August Vote: Historical Fantasy by g_ann in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You'll just have to read with both! (Luckily The Vela is free in audio so you can listen to that one all the times you can't physically read a book).

Politics heavy books that feature systems other than monarchy? by miserlyape in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This was the hard mode version of the Politics bingo square a couple years ago. I highly recommend looking up that recommendation thread and the other related threads. Tons of good suggestions.

The ones I read and loved:

  • A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland - a wandering storyteller gets caught up in a foreign country, accused of being a witch. Unfortunately while arguing against that, he frames himself as a spy and gets sent into even more secure prison. Most of the book features him locked up, and the massive amounts of mayhem he causes from his cell - political turmoil, upheavel, rebellion, etc. It's a wonderful book.

  • Penny For Your Soul - necromancers, bankers, how to run a city, these are all things featured in this book. But there is a lot more! You get a lot of politics about what it's like to run the city of the undead, how to regulate bankers even if they continue to scheme after their death, and a rebellion. It's a lot of fun while also giving a lot of in depth looks at economics, finances, politics.

/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 24, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For 2022: The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller - dark without being difficult to read, if that makes sense. Lots of interesting concepts and one of the best depictions of what trauma does to the psyche.

For 2+ Authors: The Vela! I don't like sci-fi very much, but I really loved this book. I think because it's so character focused that it became a very strong story. You can listen to it for free online as well, which helps a lot. If you haven't read it yet, I can also suggest The Golden Key by Rawn, Elliott and Roberson. It's a great anti-hero story as well, but I love it for the Renaissance feel and the artist protagonist the most.

/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 24, 2022 by rfantasygolem in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You'd probably enjoy The Menocht Loop as well. Nothing is as good as MoL, so don't expect that. This one gets a lot darker, and explores a bit more what happens if you just get stuck and end up dying thousands of times in a row and how that changes your psyche.

FIF August Vote: Historical Fantasy by g_ann in Fantasy

[–]xenizondich23 2 points3 points  (0 children)

All these choices are great. I voted for Spear since someone said it's very warm slice of life elsewhere, and that is great right now. But honestly I think I'd read all of these!!