Turn the Page on Time

FBCSlogoAt the Fantasy Book Club Series group on GoodReads, we are approaching the end of time, or rather the Wheel of Time series.  We will start reading the final book in that series in May.  On the first day of March, I started a nomination thread, confusingly entitled ‘Life After the Wheel of Time‘ soliciting suggestions for our next series group read.  I remembered to send a spam-like e-mail to group members this morning, since I’d only seen a handful of series nominated in the first few days.   My marketing efforts must be paying off, as two more series were nominated and seconded within an hour of the mass mailing.

Here are just a few of the series that will make it into the first round of voting:

Nominations will remain open until the Ides of March.

The first round of polls will whittle the nominations down to two or three (depending on how close the voting is) for the final deciding vote towards the end of March.  You must be a member of the group to vote (and the group will close to new members once the first poll is open for voting).

Ides of Dragon-uary

I finished something on the Ides of January that I started nearly two dozen years ago, literally half a lifetime for me, or two turns of the Wheel of Time as respects the Year of the Dragon. I know, I know.  I’m mixing calendrical metaphors again with my Julian and Oriental dates. I’m inspired by both Ancient Roman history and enamored of my birth year in the Chinese Zodiac.  Only three weeks remain of my favorite of the twelve years, not to rise again until the day after my son’s thirty-eighth birthday.  By that time, I predict I’ll be a grandmother, introducing my grandchildren to the fantastic worlds found in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and The Hobbit.

When I picked up the first book in this series, The Eye of the World, my daughter was less than a year old; now she’s a mezzo soprano graduate student at the University of North Texas.  Last week, I read the final book, A Memory of Light, in the Wheel of Time series.  I resisted the urge to write a review immediately upon completing the series, knowing from past experience, that I needed to ‘grieve’ for the series and its characters.  Whenever I finish an epic and beloved book or series, knowing there will be no more adventures, insights, intrigues, anything from that world, I fall into a funk, almost a depression.  For two or three days, I felt morose.  In some respects, being incredibly stressed and busy at work kept me from indulging in those doldrums.

I finally gave a rating to the book at GoodReads sometime on Friday, remembering to move it from my currently reading shelf to my read shelf in a fit of digital housekeeping.  I almost gave it four stars, but reluctantly, and probably against my gut instincts, I relented and gave it a full five stars (with a 4.5 qualifier in my short written review).  I give an unreserved five stars specifically to scenes containing Bela, Tam, Egwene and Lan. And I also adore the relatively recent additions of Androl and Pevara.

To the question of ‘Was it worth the wait?’ I am still unsure.  Despite the bright shining stars mentioned above, much of the final book annoyed me.  Why bother to bring back Moiraine if she amounts to a footnote in the Last Battle?  And the same could be said for Nynaeve and Rand for that matter.  Mat and the Seanchan – I still wish either or both of them had never cluttered up this series.  And Elayne seems to be taking Empire-building lessons from Tuon’s ancestor.

The questions I wanted answered remain unanswered.  The resolutions I hoped for did not occur, save perhaps in some oblique off-hand hinted at way.

And thanks to my impatience, I will be re-reading A Memory of Light in May, as I continue leading the discussion of the entire Wheel of Time series (currently in the middle of the 10th book, The Crossroads of Twilight) at the Fantasy Book Club Series GoodReads group.  From this point forward, everything I re-read will be dimmed by my foreknowledge of the end.  I should, perchance, take to heart the final words of the author(s) and let go, for ‘… it was not the ending.  There are no endings, and never will be endings, to the turning of the Wheel of Time.  But it was an ending.’

Final Prologue Released Early

Tor announced today the early release of the final Prologue in the Wheel of Time series.

Click on the cover at left for more details on where to obtain your copy of By Grace and Banners Fallen.  Spoiler warning, though, as they comments on that Tor article are full to brimming with them.

I bought my copy over lunch and will read it this evening on my Nook Color.

If you’re looking for a friendly place to join a re-read (or inaugural perusal) of the Wheel of Time series, pop on over to the Fantasy Book Club Series group at GoodReads where we are currently in the middle of Lord of Chaos.

The Time Is Right For A Re-Read of WoT

What’s a WoT? (or so you might be asking yourself). A WoT is an acronym for The Wheel of Time series.

I love being born in the Year of the Dragon (Chinese calendar).   It’s just cool.  And this year, I can also enjoy an entire year of another type of dragon, the Dragon Reborn in Rand Al’Thor by re-reading the entire Wheel of Time series, in anticipation of the final volume’s publication next January.

But I won’t be doing this alone.  Oh, no!  And as if re-reading these massive epic fantasy tomes wasn’t enough, I volunteered to lead the discussion at the GoodReads Fantasy Book Club Series group, who will commence reading WoT beginning in April 2012.  Looks like I need to get cracking before the end of March to stay ahead of the Wheel!

And I feel like shouting “Tor-Rah! Tor-Rah! Tor-Rah!” with all the great news coming from the publisher of the Wheel of Time series in just the past few days:

So if you’ve been looking for an excuse to revisit Rand, Perrin, Mat, Nyneave and Egwene or, if you want to meet them for the first time, join me and a thousand of my GoodReads friends as we start the Wheel of Time turning with The Eye of the World, continuing inexorably on to the Last Battle in A Memory of Light. 

Cover Art forthcoming from Michael Whelan

Book Review: Peril’s Gate by Janny Wurts

Peril's Gate (Wars of Light & Shadow #6; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #3)Peril’s Gate by Janny Wurts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m speechless and breathless (and have been for several weeks) after finishing this penultimate tipping-point volume in Janny Wurts’ Wars of Light and Shadow series. Even taking a break and reading a half dozen other books hasn’t allowed me to express the emotions that wracked me or the wonders assuaging them. Not since reading Janny’s To Ride Hell’s Chasm has a book’s pacing been so unrelenting and rewarding. And to think she wrote that novel after Peril’s Gate to step back from writing this series!

I highly recommend this book, but also strongly suggest you not start with this novel. Begin at the beginning, with Curse of the Mistwraith and immerse yourself in all things Atheran.

Please see Stefan’s outstanding review of Peril’s Gate for a concise synopsis and insightful comments.

View all my reviews

Fantasy Book Club Series (GoodReads) Selecting Next Series to Group Read

Polls open until midnight Saturday night (15 January 2011).

Fantasy Book Club Series’s bookshelf: read

Fantasy Book Club Series 190 members

Can’t resist the lure of a soaring epic saga full of fantastic creatures, scintillating sorcery,…

Books we’ve read

Stormed Fortress
Stormed Fortress
by Janny Wurts
Start date: December 1, 2010
Traitor's Knot
Traitor’s Knot
by Janny Wurts
Start date: November 1, 2010
Peril's Gate
Peril’s Gate
by Janny Wurts
Start date: October 1, 2010

View this group on Goodreads »

Share book reviews and ratings with Fantasy Book Club Series, and even join a book club on Goodreads.


Members are Selecting the Next Series for Group Read

A dozen fantasy series were nominated, including Black Jewell by Anne Bishop; Corean Chronicles by L.E. Modesitt Jr.; Deverry by Katharine Kerr; Tales of the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee; Fortress by C.J. Cherryh; Inda by Sherwood Smith; Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist; Malazon Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson; Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan; Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.; and Windrose Chronicles by Barbara Hambly

Results of the poll will automatically be visible after midnight on Saturday 15 January 2011.

FBCS Nominations Average Ratings (from GoodReads)
Series Author Number Published All Avg Ratings Total Avg Rating for Series
Black Jewels Bishop, Anne 9 36.89 4.10
Corean Chronic
Modesitt, L.E., Jr. 7 26.69 3.81
Deverry Kerr, Katherine 15 55.92 3.73
Flat Earth Lee, Tanith 5 21.01 4.20
Fortress Cherryh, C.J. 5 18.69 3.74
Inda Smith, Sherwood 4 16.28 4.07
Riftwar Saga Fesit, Raymond E. 4 16.27 4.07
Malazan Book of the
Erikson, Steven 9 38.48 4.28
Mythago Wood Holdstock, Robert 5 19.27 3.85
Riyria Revelations Sullivan, Michael J. 5 20.35 4.07
Saga of Recluce Modesitt, L.E., Jr. 16 61.81 3.86
Windrose Chronicles Hambly, Barbara 4 15.45 3.86