I got my monthly shipment of books:
– “The Name of the Wind” Patrick Rothfuss (660 pag.)
– “The Blade Itself” Joe Abercrombie (515 pag.)
– “Gardens of the Moon” Steven Erikson (700 pag.)
– “Deadhouse Gates” Steven Erikson (935 pag.)
– “Memories of Ice” Steven Erikson (1180 pag.)
This time all ordered from Amazon.co.uk because I wanted the UK version (all paperbacks).
“The Name of the Wind” is a MASSIVE edition. It’s one of the hugest books I’ve ever seen and truly impressive. I’m sure the UK edition is far superior than the US one, and the cover is pretty. “The Blade Itself” is a physically smaller book but finely crafted too. Both are from “Gollancz” and I’m going to stick with those editions because they are really wonderful. I like this publisher, it shows some tangible love for the books.
Speaking of what’s inside, instead, both are debuts and Most Recommended along with Scott Lynch. Those kinds of book you can blindly buy and be sure they will be great. If you look around you can read plenty of comments and reviews on blogs and forums, hot stuff. Both are trilogies. Rothfuss’s series should be already complete but we’ll have a new book every year, with the first out not long ago, while Abercrombie is already at the third book that should be out in March.
Just for a vague idea: “The Name of the Wind” should be an epic/adult version of Harry Potter, but where the comparison doesn’t make it justice. “The Blade Itself” instead is a character-driven epic, playing with the classic “party” stereotype to then turn it upside down. Gore and humor part of the recipe.
“The debut novel from Patrick Rothfuss — the first installment of an epic fantasy trilogy entitled the ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’ — not only lives up to its extraordinary pre-press hype (DAW president Elizabeth Wollheim called it “the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have read in over 30 years as an editor”), it surpasses it. When fantasy fans begin reading THE NAME OF THE WIND, they should be fully prepared to lose all contact with the outside world while immersed in this highly original and mesmerizing tale of magic, love, and adventure.”
“Folks, this is the real thing. Though it’s considerably darker than the HARRY POTTER series, this is also a bildungsroman — the story of the childhood, education, and training of a boy who grew up to be a legendary hero. Not a word of the nearly-700-page book is wasted. Rothfuss does not pad. He’s the great new fantasy writer we’ve been waiting for, and this is an astonishing book. I don’t recommend it for pre-teens, mostly because it moves at an adult-fiction pace and has some truly disturbing events. But he does not describe gore (though the action is intense) and while there is some sexual tension, nothing is shown that would shock a teenager. If you’re a reader of fantasy or simply someone who appreciates a truly epic-scale work of fiction, don’t go through this summer without having read it. At the very least it will keep you busy till the last HARRY POTTER comes out. But I warn you — after THE NAME OF THE WIND, the HARRY POTTER novel might seem a little thin and — dare I say it? — childish. You have been warned.”
-Orson Scott Card
“The Blade Itself easily equals anything released in epic fantasy in the past few years, and just may rise to the top … This book is about characters first, and Abercrombie skillfully portrays them with near-perfect internal and external dialogue set at an ideal pace … he stops just short of spitting in the face of genre and set my heart racing through some the best written fight scenes of any genre. This one is not just for fans of epic fantasy.”
“Abercrombie kicks off his series masterfully with a heroic fantasy without conventional heroes. Its clearly the characters that take center stage here. Their dialogue is full of cynicism and wit, their lives full of intrigue, battles and magic.”
“The Blade Itself is simultaneously an homage to fantasy of old, a satirical riff on cliches common within the genre, and a contemporary revision.”
Fantasy Book Critic
The fascination with this Noir fantasy is the key cast members. The foursome is not epic heroes, but instead they are flawed to the point that the story line at times feels like an amusing satire of the Tolkien lite imitations. Not for everyone, THE BLADE ITSELF is carried by its deep characters, who tote more negatives than positives and may prove to cause the beginning of the end; these incredibly flawed souls make for a fresh and outstanding fantasy.”
If you want those books try to get them in the UK editions. I can’t stress enough how good they are. Really worlds apart.
Erikson instead goes without presentation. I decided to drop the US version for the UK one but I was betrayed by new editions. I got the first two books in the new edition and new cover, while the third in the old one.
Now not only I’ll need to repurchase that third book in the new version so that I have a homogeneous collection, but I also want “Gardens of the Moon” in the old cover, because I really like it. And I liked more the overall layout of the older version.
Following the new covers of the new editions (of books three and five, as book two and four have old covers even in the new ed):