Big Reading Update – Mistborn, Stromlight, Reckoners, Gentleman Bastards, Red Rising …

This site was originally intended to support my awesome writing venture, with updates and supplemental content, and all that good stuff … but due to a variety of real-world circumstances, my creative writing efforts have been all-but-completely halted for a while now. So instead, you get a bunch of updates on works that I’m reading (reading is writing research, so it counts, right?).

Because of the nature of audio books, there is no such thing as “too busy to read” because in my life I commute–like most of us–and I do menial chores around the house–again, like most of us–and these have become reading moments for me, so I’ve been burning through a tremendous amount of amazing work. And incidentally, my house has never been cleaner! Though I refuse to clean my kids’ room. That’s their job.

Brandon Sanderson — how did this guy fly under my radar? How?!

To use the phraseology coined by the great Artosis, Brandon Sanderson is a literal god of creative writing. I don’t even understand how I’ve been a reader for this long and didn’t know of his genius modern masterpieces. Good lord. I read “The Final Empire” first, was instantly hooked, and am now rapidly consuming everything he’s ever written–and can’t get enough.

Books finished:

Series: Mistborn

Medieval Fantasy with an awesome magic system, and a tight-but-epic storyline sprawling the original trilogy. The follow-up trilogy takes place in a different time period in the same world, and it’s interestingly Fantasy Western / Steampunk. Highly recommended.

  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1
  • The Well of Ascension: Mistborn, Book 2
  • The Hero of Ages: Mistborn, Book 3
  • The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
  • Shadows of Self: A Mistborn Novel
  • The Bands of Mourning: A Mistborn Novel

Series: Stormlight Archives

Epic High Fantasy with a fascinating magic system. This is a modern works, as he’s only written three of a planned ten volumes–ten! Each book is massive, and sprawling, each weighing in at around a 45-hour listening time. It’s hard to truly convey how epic these books are, in every sense of the word. Highly recommended.

  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive
  • Words of Radiance: Book Two of The Stormlight Archive
  • Oathbringer: Book Three of The Stormlight Archive

Series: The Reckoners

This is Sanderon’s way of showing us that he is not just a master of medieval fantasy, epic high fantasy, western / steampunk fantasy, but can also do modern fantasy in the vein of the old TV show “Heroes” or the “X-men”. It’s absurd how awesome these books are. Extremely fun young adult fantasy that is highly enjoyable as an adult. I loved these books.

  • Steelheart: The Reckoners, Book One
  • Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two
  • Calamity: The Reckoners, Book Three

Other Notable Authors I’ve Been Reading

So, besides my cave diving into the works of Sanderson, I’ve also been reading quite a few other notable fantasy authors.

Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy, and then his follow-up Book IV

So apparently I haven’t written an update since I finished Morning Star, Brown’s finale to the original Red Rising trilogy. It was ridiculously awesome! Some time later–actually, quite a bit later–he released Iron Gold, the 4th installment of the Red Rising series, but it’s more a Book I in a second trilogy. Iron Gold felt substantially weaker than the original trilogy, but it was still awesome and I still eagerly anticipate the follow-up works.

Books finished:

  • Morning Star: Book III of the Red Rising Trilogy
  • Iron Gold

Jonathan Renshaw’s Dawn of Wonder – Next please?

This coming-of-age fantasy was a bit slow to start, and by that I mean, the whole thing until nearly the final third felt a bit like a slog. But it was awesome once it picked up. By the time it ended I really wanted more! That’s when I learned I had just read a Book I of a trilogy and Book II is nowhere to be seen. Ugh. And so we wait …

Book finished:

  • Dawn of Wonder: The Wakening, Book One

Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard Sequence – We eagerly await more.

I finished the first three books of the planned seven-book Gentleman Bastard Sequence and I desperately want more! This medieval fantasy book has a very rogue-centric heist-oriented feel to it. Very much a fantasy caper sort of dynamic. I highly recommend it. Extremely engaging and creative, but unfortunately it seems that Lynch ran into some personal / health trouble and the series has been halted. Wishing him and his the best.

Books finished:

  • The Lies of Locke Lamora: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book One
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book Two
  • The Republic of Thieves: The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, Book Three

 Wrapping things up …

I’m currently reading Elantris, and have a few more Sanderson books to read (though I will probably skip Alcatraz, since it’s for Young Readers). My buddy wants me to read Ready Player One, and I probably will, but I might just see the movie. And I’ve also been urged to read Meg, which I think I will probably do. I could use a departure from my normal channels of escapism.

And what type of update would this be if I didn’t call out Mr. Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie, the brilliant author behind The First Law series? What’s the deal, Grimdark? We want more!

I kid, I kid. Turns our Joe Abercrombie is diligently working on the follow-up trilogy set in his First Law universe and is taking an interesting approach. He is writing the drafts for all three novels first. His latest update claimed he only had a handful of chapters to write in his first draft. So that’s awesome. But geez … it’s been a while. But I guess the idea is that there won’t be big delays between books in this next series. Sounds good in theory! 

Oh, and hopefully I write some shit that doesn’t suck soon. Goodness. Every time I discover a new author or read a new series I realize what a pathetic little writing fool I am! Haha. Kidding. Sort of.

Thanks, all!