Joe Abercrombie’s A Little Hatred: A Book at War With Its Past


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What must it feel like to live in your own legend?

This is one of the key themes of Joe Abercrombie’s books: characters swept up in their own narrative, sometimes willingly, more often not. The burden of being a Named Man or a hero; the heart of the narrative, the one in the spotlight and the storybook.

Over the course of the six preceding books in the universe of The First Law, we’ve seen characters work their entire lives to become heroes, and others cross continents to run from their past. We’ve seen villains use stories to deceive and heroes deliberately foster lies. In The First Law, we read an entire trilogy set around manipulation—a conventional, page-perfect epic fantasy in which everything was a lie, and, yet, somehow it didn’t matter. In Best Served Cold, Abercrombie wrote a master-class on perspective: how heroism, vengeance, ambition, and cruelty are all ...

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 62 and 63


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CAKE OR DEATH, Tor.com? Cake? Well, we’re OUT of cake! So instead, have a RROK Goddess of Death with your afternoon tea, won’t you? I thought you would!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 62, “The Gryphon Ring”, and Chapter 63, “Tea with Death.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

 

Chapter 62: The Gryphon Ring (Talon’s story)

[In which a boy, a thief and an expository interlude walk into a bar, and stop me if you’ve heard this one]

You probably haven’t heard this ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Rise of the Evil Bubbles in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 4)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Perrin and Faile find the halls of the Stone surprisingly busy with both off-duty Defenders as well as servants making their way to and fro. Perrin keeps his head down unless he is right in the light of a torch, not wanting people to observe his eyes glowing gold in the dim parts of the hall. No one has mentioned his eyes, of course, not now as servants bow as they pass or at other times—not even Faile has asked him about them—but Perrin still feels uneasy whenever someone seems to notice his golden gaze, and when they don’t say anything, it reminds him of how apart he is from other people.

The Defenders mostly bow when Perrin and Faile pass, but they also start or give them suspicious looks before hurrying away as if they are afraid of Perrin, which puts him on edge. He wonders aloud to Faile ...

Download a Free Ebook of New Spring, a Wheel of Time Novel by Robert Jordan, Before Sept. 21


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The Wheel of Time, New Spring by Robert Jordan

For three days battle has raged in the snow around the great city of Tar Valon. In the city, a Foretelling of the future is uttered. On the slopes of Dragonmount, the immense mountain that looms over the city, is born an infant prophesied to change the world.

Moiraine Damodred, soon to be raised to Aes Sedai, must find this child.

Each month, the Tor.com eBook Club gives away one (or two, or five last June!) free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers. For September 2019, the Ebook Club pick is Robert Jordan’s stand-alone Wheel of Time novel NEW SPRING.

Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time is heading to screens soon (filming began this month!), with an initial season focused from the viewpoint of Moiraine Damodred, the One Power-wielding Aes Sedai who stumbles upon Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve in an out-of-the-way village ...

The Wheel of Time New Spring by Robert Jordan ebook cover
Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan

Continue Jin Yong’s Kung Fu Wuxia Epic A Hero Born: “Swirling Sands” (Part 5)


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Jin Yong’s A Hero Born is a fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, filled with an extraordinary cast of characters. This Chinese classic—coming to the U.S. for the first time on September 17th as translated by Anna Holmwood for St. Martin’s Press—is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.

Want to start reading now? Tor.com is serializing selections from A Hero Bornyou can find all the previous chapters here! And check back every morning this week for another installment of the third episode: “Swirling Sands”.

 

CHAPTER TWO
“Swirling Sands”

 

5

 

One day, Guo Jing was playing with some of the other children when two riders came galloping into the encampment with urgent news for the Khan. They rushed to Temujin’s ger and within moments the horns were sounded and soldiers ran from their tents. ...

Continue Jin Yong’s Kung Fu Wuxia Epic A Hero Born: “Swirling Sands” (Part 4)


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Jin Yong’s A Hero Born is a fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, filled with an extraordinary cast of characters. This Chinese classic—coming to the U.S. for the first time on September 17th as translated by Anna Holmwood for St. Martin’s Press—is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.

Want to start reading now? Tor.com is serializing selections from A Hero Bornyou can find all the previous chapters here! And check back every morning this week for another installment of the third episode: “Swirling Sands”.

 

CHAPTER TWO
“Swirling Sands”

 

4

 

Guo Jing waited until darkness had fallen and the soldiers charged with clearing the battlefield had left, before emerging from his bush and starting back.

It was well past midnight by the time he arrived home, where Lily Li had been waiting with ever ...

Continue Jin Yong’s Kung Fu Wuxia Epic A Hero Born: “Swirling Sands” (Part 3)


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Jin Yong’s A Hero Born is a fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, filled with an extraordinary cast of characters. This Chinese classic—coming to the U.S. for the first time on September 17th as translated by Anna Holmwood for St. Martin’s Press—is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.

Want to start reading now? Tor.com is serializing selections from A Hero Bornyou can find all the previous chapters here! And check back every morning this week for another installment of the third episode: “Swirling Sands”.

 

CHAPTER TWO
“Swirling Sands”

 

3

 

Years passed. Lily Li named the boy Guo Jing as Qiu Chuji had suggested. He was a slow developer, speaking his first words only at the age of four, but he was strong and able to herd cattle and sheep all by himself. Mother ...

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 60 and 61


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I never really cared until I met you, Tor.com! Have a post in token of how I Heart you!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 60, “The Invitation”, and Chapter 61, “Guardians of the Cage.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

 

Chapter 60: The Invitation (Talon’s story)

[In which Galen and Kihrin hear an unexpected conversation they probably shouldn’t, and receive an unexpected warning they definitely should.]

So You’re Summoning A Demon; ask Darzin how!

At this point in the story the reader ...

Continue Jin Yong’s Kung Fu Wuxia Epic A Hero Born: “Swirling Sands” (Part 2)


This post is by Jin Yong from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Jin Yong’s A Hero Born is a fantastical generational saga and kung fu epic, filled with an extraordinary cast of characters. This Chinese classic—coming to the U.S. for the first time on September 17th as translated by Anna Holmwood for St. Martin’s Press—is a tale of fantasy and wonder, love and passion, treachery and war, betrayal and brotherhood.

Want to start reading now? Tor.com is serializing selections from A Hero Bornyou can find all the previous chapters here! And check back every morning this week for another installment of the third episode: “Swirling Sands”.

 

CHAPTER TWO
“Swirling Sands”

 

2

 

Justice Duan grabbed at Lily Li, slipped out of the temple and began running. Some distance thence, he looked back, and was relieved to see no one following them. He slowed the pace and made for the river. There he spotted a small boat, ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: The Boys Confront Themselves (Kind of) in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 3)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Welcome, everyone, to chapter two and week 3 of The Shadow Rising.

I loved this chapter. It might be one of my favorite chapters to date, in fact. Meeting up with Perrin, Mat, and Rand both serves to remind us where they are and also show us how they’ve grown since the end of The Dragon Reborn (looking at you, Perrin). And then of course there’s the attacks, which are beautifully imaginative and described in perfect, vivid detail. It’s very cinematic, this chapter, and I could picture everything as though I were watching it on a big screen.

I have a lot of feelings and compassion for all three of our Emond’s Field boys this week, and I am so curious as to what could have caused these strange occurrences. Perrin and Mat believe it was Rand, while Rand thinks it was an attack by one of the Forsaken. Perhaps ...

Defying Genre Expectations: Troy Carrol Bucher’s Lies of Descent


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You’ve heard this narrative before. Young people chosen because of a special bloodline, a special talent, a rare ability or heritage that they themselves don’t know about. Gather these special people, bring them to an isolated space, be it in the mountains, the world next door, a remote island. Possibly one or two of the chosen have an even more special talent than the usual. Train them in their heritage, preparing them to face against a threat to themselves, and possibly the entire world. It’s a well worn path for a SFF novel to take. Or Star Wars, for that matter.

In Troy Carrol Bucher’s epic fantasy novel Lies of Descent, first in The Fallen Gods War series flips that script and its expectations, early and often.

The novel focuses early and strongly on Riam, a twelve-year-old who lives on a dirt poor farm with an abusive father. In ...

Defying Genre Expectations: Troy Carrol Bucher’s Lies of Descent


This post is by Paul Weimer from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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You’ve heard this narrative before. Young people chosen because of a special bloodline, a special talent, a rare ability or heritage that they themselves don’t know about. Gather these special people, bring them to an isolated space, be it in the mountains, the world next door, a remote island. Possibly one or two of the chosen have an even more special talent than the usual. Train them in their heritage, preparing them to face against a threat to themselves, and possibly the entire world. It’s a well worn path for a SFF novel to take. Or Star Wars, for that matter.

In Troy Carrol Bucher’s epic fantasy novel Lies of Descent, first in The Fallen Gods War series flips that script and its expectations, early and often.

The novel focuses early and strongly on Riam, a twelve-year-old who lives on a dirt poor farm with an abusive father. In ...

Defying Genre Expectations: Troy Carrol Bucher’s Lies of Descent


This post is by Paul Weimer from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




You’ve heard this narrative before. Young people chosen because of a special bloodline, a special talent, a rare ability or heritage that they themselves don’t know about. Gather these special people, bring them to an isolated space, be it in the mountains, the world next door, a remote island. Possibly one or two of the chosen have an even more special talent than the usual. Train them in their heritage, preparing them to face against a threat to themselves, and possibly the entire world. It’s a well worn path for a SFF novel to take. Or Star Wars, for that matter.

In Troy Carrol Bucher’s epic fantasy novel Lies of Descent, first in The Fallen Gods War series flips that script and its expectations, early and often.

The novel focuses early and strongly on Riam, a twelve-year-old who lives on a dirt poor farm with an abusive father. In ...

Exploring the People of Middle-earth: Denethor II, Steward of Gondor

In this biweekly series, we’re exploring the evolution of both major and minor figures in Tolkien’s legendarium, tracing the transformations of these characters through drafts and early manuscripts through to the finished work. This installment looks at Denethor II, son of Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor, and father of Boromir and Faramir.

Over the years, and perhaps especially after the release of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Denethor has become one of the most despised characters in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. His blatant favoritism of Boromir over Faramir seems to be at least one root of this hatred. But where did the Steward’s cruelty come from? And is there any reason we should extend an attempt at compassion to a man so twisted and broken with hate? Did Tolkien conceive of the character that way from the start?

The short answer to that last question is: …

Exploring the People of Middle-earth: Denethor II, Steward of Gondor


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In this biweekly series, we’re exploring the evolution of both major and minor figures in Tolkien’s legendarium, tracing the transformations of these characters through drafts and early manuscripts through to the finished work. This installment looks at Denethor II, son of Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor, and father of Boromir and Faramir.

Over the years, and perhaps especially after the release of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Denethor has become one of the most despised characters in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. His blatant favoritism of Boromir over Faramir seems to be at least one root of this hatred. But where did the Steward’s cruelty come from? And is there any reason we should extend an attempt at compassion to a man so twisted and broken with hate? Did Tolkien conceive of the character that way from the start?

The short answer to that last question is: ...

10 Expansive SFF Worlds We Want to Get Lost In


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You can tell an epic story at any length; sometimes a standalone fantasy can traverse just as much narrative space as an entire trilogy. But when it comes to fantasy worlds that we can explore every inch of, we are particularly fond of series with nine books or more. Yep, you heard us: we want trilogies upon trilogies (with the occasional side duology/quartet) in our favorite long-running SFF series. From alternate histories to fantasy that slowly becomes science fiction, from lady knights to more than a few telepathic dragons, from sagas that span one generation to multiple centuries, these series are so expansive and immersive that reading them feels not just like visiting a new world, but like coming home.

 

Tortall

expansive SFF series 9+ books Tortall Song of the Lioness The Immortals Protector of the Small Alanna Daine Kel

At the start of Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, it’s been nearly a century since the kingdom of Tortall has seen a lady knight. Within 25 ...

expansive SFF series 9+ books Wheel of Time
expansive SFF series 9+ books Discworld
expansive SFF series 9+ books Dragonriders of Pern
expansive SFF series 9+ books Realm of the Elderlings Robin Hobb
expansive SFF series 9+ books Malazan Book of the Fallen
expansive SFF series 9+ books Kushiel Jacqueline Carey
expansive SFF series 9+ books Sandman Neil Gaiman
expansive SFF series 9+ books Temeraire Naomi Novik

From the Two Rivers: Casting and Race in The Wheel of Time


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“It’s about my story, isn’t it? That’s what this is all about. He didn’t want to publish my story. And we all know why—because my hero is a colored man.”
—Benny Russell, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Far Beyond the Stars”

“Momma! There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!”
—Caryn Elaine Johnson, age 10, watching Star Trek in 1966, 16 years before becoming Whoopi Goldberg

Last week the producers of Amazon’s Wheel of Time television adaptation announced the cast for what can reasonably be called the show’s main protagonists, insofar as a 15-book series with over 2000 named characters and 147 unique point of view characters has main protagonists. In the books, the five characters announced today serve as the reader’s eyes for over 40% of the action, whether counting by words or by POVs. These characters matter—they are among the most famous ...

Reading the Wheel of Time: Death, Love, and Fate in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 1)


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Reading The Wheel of Time on Tor.com: The Shadow Rising

Hello hello, and welcome back to Reading the Wheel of Time. This week is the very first week of the fourth book in the series, The Shadow Rising, and I am tremendously excited about it. Chapter one manages to hit a really good stride where it simultaneously repeats all the information readers might need to be reminded of since they read The Dragon Reborn, but also gives us lots of new information in each section. The narrative is tight and exciting, and it serves as a pretty good reminder of everything I love about the series so far.

The title of chapter one is “Seeds of Shadow” and it is so long that I had to break this post up into two and I am sorry but everything in the Min and Amyrlin section seemed so important and I had to cover it all. So this week will ...

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 56 and 57


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Hey howdy hay, Tor.commers, it’s a RROK post. There’s a snake in your boot!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 56, “The Octagon”, and Chapter 57, “Ghost Walk.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

 

Chapter 56: The Octagon (Talon’s story)

[In which we meet our chronicler, but not my expectations.]

[Footnote:] It’s very odd to read a description of oneself written by other hands, although I must admit Tishar’s description flatters. She had a keen eye for detail, or more likely, Talon gave ...

White Sand Is the Hidden Gem of Sanderson’s Cosmere


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Brandon Sanderson is one of the biggest names in genre fiction right now. His young adult offerings, ranging from The Reckoners to Skyward to The Rithmatist, have attracted hordes of ardent fans. His adult fantasy set in the Cosmere universe features the heralded Stormlight Archive and six (and counting) installments under the Mistborn title, including multiple bestsellers. Warbreaker and Elantris are standalones (for now) with plenty of enthusiastic supporters. Even some of the shorter stories in the Cosmere—like the Hugo Award-winning The Emperor’s Soul—are well-known.

But seemingly lost in this impressive mix is White Sand, chronologically the earliest currently-published work in the Cosmere.

Perhaps it’s because of the medium: White Sand is published as a graphic novel, with two of the three volumes already released and the third and final installment currently on its way, scheduled for release on September 10, 2019. There have been ...