Friday, January 27, 2012

Talking Up Books You Love

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
I've read 3 fantasies this month and I enjoyed every single one of them. I think it was a record -- both how many I've finished (I don't have as much time to read now that I write, especially big meaty fantasies) and how much I enjoyed them. But the trick this time: these books were highly recommended by people I "know" online.

First up was Master of Crows by Grace Draven, recommended by @has_bookpushers on Twitter. If you like fantasy romance but dread the fluffy "fantasy lite" this is a really interesting book with memorable characters and a satisfying romance ending. For me personally, I could have used more steamy romance and even more magic details, but overall the book was well balanced and I enjoyed every moment of it.

The other two books I read this past weekend were The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells, recommended by The Book Smugglers. The Cloud Roads was one of Ana's top 2011 picks - how could I resist? Wow, am I glad I gave these books a chance, because I totally gobbled them up. I loved the unique Raksura culture, both bird like and even insect like in a way. There are two different kinds of Raksura, one winged and one not. They remind me of bees or ants, with workers and the queen ensuring the survival of the colony.

My only complaint (and I say this lightly) is the romance aspect was pretty lacking. I mean, yeah, there is an important relationship between Jade and Moon, but it's not the focus of the book at all. This is solidly in the fantasy camp, and the characters just happen to end up together to continue the colony. The fantasy is so strong and rich, though, that I didn't mind the lack of romance at all.

I find myself still thinking about the Raksura, even a week later. I wonder how Jade will challenge Pearl to become the queen. When Moon and Jade will start their first clutch. What will happen at the other colony when their old queen dies. Ahhh, I love a book that lingers on and on!

I am still on the search for deep, rich, sexy romance AND detailed fantasy worldbuilding - so if you have recs, please shout them out!! What great books have you read lately that you're still thinking about?


  1. I'm reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and so far, I'm really liking it. A romantic relationship does feature prominently in the storyline. I wouldn't necessarily call it sexy, but I like a slooow build and lots of sexual tension over outright sexy, anyway. I'm only on page 210, but so far, so good.

  2. Master of Crows is sitting on my kindle, waiting for me ... Joely, you might just have bumped it up the TBR list :)

  3. P. Kirby, I've heard good things about that book. I'll have to check it out!

  4. Jenny, it's really good - definitely bump it up! The romance ending was especially satisfying.


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