Thursday, December 12, 2013

First and Last: What's Next? Butcher, Scholes or Redick?

I receive a lot of books for review, I get books as gifts, and I buy books on my own. In short, I’m a bibliophile. Most of you who are reading my blog are aware of this, many of you likely have the same habit. As I've mentioned many times, my reading leans towards Epic Fantasy.

One of the odd occurrences or results of receiving so many review books is that I will often receive series books out of sequence. That is, I will be sent the third book of a four book series without having received the first two books, or on other occasions, just the last book in the series. Scenarios like this have led to this blog post, as three series fit into this category. I've seen good things from quite a few internet colleagues and friends about these three series, which makes plucking the first book of one of these series a bit more challenging.

For Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera I purchased the first installment Furies of Calderon years ago and when the final installment First Lord’s Fury published, it arrived for review. I'm two books away from being caught up with his wonderful Dresden Files, so I'm not sure if I want to get caught up with Dresden before diving into the Codex.

I recently received the fourth book in Ken Scholes’s The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem. I have the first installment (Lamentation) on my kindle and have had this series on the back burner to read for a while since reading the short story, “Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing with the Sunrise,” which is a precursor to this series, way back in Realms of Fantasy in 2006. One quirk on this series is the drastic change in cover art and design after the second book.  I like Chris McGrath's art but the sweeping landscape Greg Manchess did for the first two installments gave the books a more epic feel, at least on a superficial level. It just seems odd to change the look and art of a series mid-stream.

The third author / series to complete today’s Triforce is Robert V.S. Redick and his Chathrand Voyage four book series. This one is odd because I had an ARC of the first book and third book that sort of left my house in one of a few purges (either donations to troops or when I let my gaming group pull books from the unread stacks). As it stands, I currently have the first book, The Red Wolf Conspiracy and the final (which switched form initial hardcover release to trade paperback release) The Night of the Swarm. (Oddly, Redick’s debut was in a poll I ran when I first received it since I wasn’t entirely sure which debut fantasy novel to read).

All that said, anybody have thoughts on which way I should lean for the next series of these three should be pulled from Mount ToBeread? (I am and have been leaning strongly towards one of these for a while).


Paul Weimer said...

I'm a particular fan of both the Codex Alera and the Psalms of Issak. I think you might like the latter better. CA is relatively middle of the road (but well written) epic fantasy. Psalms is a little more ambitious

RobB said...

I might have guessed Psalms is what you'd suggest. Still unsure which I'll next begin reading.