Books

Back At It!

I’m back from the West Texas Writer’s Academy. I got home on Friday afternoon, but I needed some recovery time. It was the best and worst week I’ve had in years.

First the good stuff. I plotted a novel! I started with a wreck of a first draft and ended up with the beginnings of something I will be proud of. It was hard work. The original book needed help, I’ve known that since I finished it. The problem was I didn’t know what to do to fix it. Now I do.

I panicked a few times, as expected. On the first day of class, we introduced ourselves. That’s always a not-fun experience. Then, we talked about plotting and got homework, which of course was to plot the first act. I was terrified because I knew I would have to read it all out loud the next day. We went in no particular order until someone volunteered me. I hated and loved that woman at that moment!

Each day I found it a little easier to speak, but I’m the type to get nervous anytime I have to talk to a group of people, so this went as well as it could have.

There was one late night when I sat down with some ladies and hammered out another act. I needed the help, and I got it. That late night was a turning point for my story. Everything from there was almost easy, creatively speaking.

It was wonderful how everyone wanted to help everyone else. We all wanted each of us to succeed. Writers don’t always like suggestions from other writers, but in this case, almost everyone seemed open and willing to listen. It was a great experience.

Now the bad stuff. You know how a lot of people believe hell is down below and unbelievably hot? They are wrong! Hell is cold and located in a dorm room on the campus of a college. Even though many of us complained, and they people in charge said they raised the building thermostat, my groups’ room was Antartica.

All day and night the air blew, colder than my heart after two divorces. I had two light blankets and a sheet as my only protection. Sleep was intermittent and miserable. Eventually, the last night, I thought to pull the bed into the middle of the room, which kept me away from the vent of torture and I slept a little better, but it was still not much.

Let’s talk about the bed for a moment. It had the worst mattress known to man. I guess the person before me either liked to jump on it or he/she used it to surf the stairs. The middle was sunken — maybe smashed in would be a better description. I tried turning it over, which didn’t work, then turning it around, which helped a tiny bit. My back is a wreck.

It didn’t help that I was sitting all day every day then going to the chamber of suffering all night.

Next year I’ll bring flannel sheets, a cotton blanket, and a comforter! Also, thick pj’s, a sweatshirt, and fluffy socks to sleep in. I won’t forget to move the bed too.

I need to rewind to the first day of class. I arrived on Sunday and class started Monday. So when I walked into the classroom, I wasn’t bright eyed and whatever-tailed. I was in pain, tired, and grumpy. Insert nerves, and I was a mess.

I forced myself to sit up front so I couldn’t hide, but I still wanted to stay under the radar. HA! If one wants to not stand out, then one shouldn’t screw up their medication. When I woke up that morning, I was hurting a lot, so the first thing I did was take a pain pill. An hour later, when I took the rest of my morning meds, I took another – I think. I was out of it, and I’m not sure exactly what I did, but the above is my best guess.

At breakfast, I started feeling odd and light-headed, but I chalked it up to being anxious. Then, about ten minutes into class, the waves of dizziness began. Any time I turned my head, I felt like I wanted to fall. Luckily I was sitting. Eventually, I realized what I had done, but there was nothing I could do about it. I did end up leaving the room and sitting in the hall. I was getting overheated so while sitting there I took off one shoe and sock and put my foot on the cold tile.

Several passersby were quite confused. I felt better and went back to my desk. I wasn’t better. When the instructor called a bathroom break, she asked if I was okay. I was embarrassed, but I was honest about what I did, and she was understanding. Several other students also checked on me. So much for hiding in plain sight!

At lunch, my friend (who was in class with me, yay!) and I walked across the street for food. I felt almost normal afterward. The meds were wearing off, and movement was the key to pushing past it all. What a day!

The rest of the week went well. In fact, I need to back up again to add something to the good stuff list.

There was a night where all the published authors attending of teaching at the academy set up tables in a big rectangle where they could sell and sign their novels. I roamed around a bit and bought a few. One of these books was written by the woman teaching the self-publishing class. She told me to sign up for her drawing to win an online version of the class. I never win anything, but I signed up anyway.

Fast forward to the final luncheon on Friday. Each instructor got up and said a little about their class and how the week went. The teachers who had giveaways also announced their winners.

When the self-pub teacher walked up to the podium, I said to the group at my table: “I’m out of the running, I never win anything, ever.” They all said things like “me either.” As I’m sure you guessed, my name was called. I truly hope no one was talking pictures because my mouth was hanging open in shock for much longer than I would have liked.

They went on with other teachers and winners while I sat there stunned. I did notice that every person who won something was in my class. Since I liked them all so much, I was thrilled. I’m still not past the shock.

The week was fantastic. Despite sleeping in hell, sitting more than my doctor recommends, walking more than I have in months, eating things I know I’m not supposed to, a major (but thankfully survivable) medication mess up, and having to speak in front of a classroom full of people every day, it was great. I will go back, probably every year from now on.

I’ll be better prepared and hopefully not as nervous.

The end of this story is really the beginning of the next story – my novel. It’s time to write it, and for some chapters, rewrite it. I’ll post updates as I’m able but I plan to be very busy until the book is written, revised, edited and submitted.

I typically write high fantasy, but I’ve found myself drawn more to urban fantasy lately. In fact, I’ve written more short stories set in modern times than a typical fantasy setting. The novels I’ve worked on that are urban are much easier to write, and I work faster on them. I find them more exciting too. The universe is telling me to put away the epic stories I’ve agonized over for too long and work on what I really want.

Therefore, the novel I’m writing now is about ghosts and a medium. The next one I plan to work on is about a witch/shaman, a vampire (not in a silly way), and the Fae. Plus my middle-grade fairy novel set in the here and now. It’s not only urban fantasy and paranormal trying to make it to the page. I have a suspense novel partly written, a vigilante story, and a book with fantastic elements but isn’t fantasy. It involves a portal and time travel but no magic. Each of these is more interesting to me than my fantasy trilogy.

I’ll write it eventually but I have to go where my muse takes me. I also have to rein it in. I will finish my current novel before working on the others!


Photo courtesy of Jesse Bowser

I chose this picture because my story is about ghosts and it seemed appropriate.

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Writing & Personal Update

Writing: I finished the five flash fiction stories I’ve been working on. They need some editing but the words are finally out of my head! This was both a win and a fail but in the end not really a fail. Confused? It’s a win because I set out to write the five pieces following the How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck course. I did this. It’s a fail because each story was supposed to be under 500 words and only one of them was.

I decided this wasn’t really a fail because most of the stories are fantasy. While I am capable of writing a 500 word fantasy piece, when I have I haven’t been as happy with them. For me fantasy needs more words. On four of the stories I stayed under a thousand words but on one of them I ended up with 1034. I haven’t edited it yet but I think I can get it down to 1000 or less.

Another one, the last one I wrote came in at 573. It needs some minor fixing but I don’t believe I’ll be able to get it under 500 and still make sense. I’m okay with this.

What I’m walking away with is a great way to make myself come up with ideas. I will probably use the method again but only through the first part: idea generation and writing the first part of each story. After that I’m letting my muse do what it wants. I felt a little restricted by not letting myself finish a story until I’d written all the middles. In defense of the course though, I did get the stories completed. I can’t stay it didn’t work. However, there is nothing wrong with me modifying the tool to suit me better.

Mainly I’m thrilled I wrote any flash at all, it’s been so long. I was also happy when I ended up writing a couple of things that aren’t really in my wheelhouse. The first one is only barely fantasy. Another one, while from the perspective of a horse, isn’t really fantasy at all. I wrote three that amused me. Only my husband has read them so far and he said they are funny. He swears he’s not just being nice. After I finish editing I plan on posting at least one of the humorous ones and one of the more serious ones. I’m undecided on which at this point.

Honestly, it’s been so long since I wrote flash when I started this thing I didn’t expect to end up with five stories I really liked. I would have been content with two or three. I don’t know if I should be patting myself on the back or thanking my muse for the bonus (and begging for more).

Also on the subject of writing I hope to do some more catching up on my big class this week. I’ll finish one lesson today and start the next. I don’t know how long it will take for that one. I am trying my hardest not to rush through. I’m super glad I’m not as behind as I was.

Personal: Physical therapy was a bust. That’s not entirely accurate. I definitely “strengthened my core.” I can’t complain about that. Unfortunately it couldn’t do much for the real problem with my back. Someone finally called from my doctor’s office and all they had to say was I’m being referred to a neurosurgeon. Since I’ve watched my mother go through four back surgeries and I’ve got almost exactly the same issues I knew exactly what that meant. 😦

I also go to a pain doctor next week. My brother’s fiance’ gave me a graphic explanation of what it feels like to get injections in the back. All I can say to that is…well I try not to curse too much so never mind. At least I know a little of what to expect though. If I’m lucky they can do something for me before I go on a very long (30 hours one way) road trip next month.

On the plus side I’ll have many photo opportunities along the way. I can’t do the actual driving for long periods of time so I will have time to work on writing in the car too.

Well that’s all for now. I’ll post one of the new stories soon!

Writing Update

Yesterday was a very busy day. I spend many hours working (on and off) on plot card outlines for the three books of my fantasy trilogy (this is a re-plot). I also outlined two other novels that have rattled around in my head for a while. At this point I’m not sure what my next step will be. Part of me wants to put away the fantasy story because I’m too married to it. The other part of me says it’s crazy to stop in the middle, after doing so much work.

If I put it aside I can come back to it later with fresh eyes. I will have to think about it. For now I’m going to work on plot card outlines for at least the first book of my middle grade fantasy story. Once I have all these stories laid out in front of me, maybe I’ll stop being indecisive.

Actually it’s inaccurate to say I can’t make up my mind. It’s more of a problem with figuring out what I can and can’t do physically. I have one more week of physical therapy before going back to the doctor. Unfortunately it’s not really helping. Not being able to stay sitting in my desk chair or any position for very long is causing no end of writing trouble! Some of these projects I can work on with a legal pad and a pen, which I can use anywhere. My fantasy WIP is not one that I can do that with. Using a laptop helps but not as much as I had hoped. I should probably get over hating the sound of my voice and start dictating.

Reading/research related update: I’m on book three of Dragonlance Legends. It’s all about the twins and I do not like this trilogy as much as the preceding one. I don’t hate it but I’m not really invested. Maybe I’ll like War of Souls more. Reading for research is completely different from reading for pleasure so I know I’m being super critical. I’m finding more in this book to avoid than to use. This is still a good thing. I’m a big believer in the process of elimination being valuable.

Another book I’m reading is Screenwriting Tricks For Authors. So far it’s interesting. I’m always willing to try something new and now that I can’t write as often, it’s a good time to learn other techniques. I’m not far enough into it to know if I will take much from it but I’m hopeful.

As for my writing class, I’m determined to finish lesson 9 by the end of this week. Based on what my doctor said about next steps if physical therapy didn’t work, well, I’m going to be behind for a long time so I need to do as much as I can now. It won’t be as much as I’d like but some is better than none.

Book reviews update: After I finish the Dragonlance books I think I’ll finally dive into Snow Crash. I’ve avoided the book for years, in fact my reluctance hasn’t lessened but I don’t want to put it off forever. Next month I’ll write the review.

Now I have a question for all of you. Does anyone find it difficult to find my writing on this blog? Someone recently asked if there was any of my actual writing on my site. I directed him to the links in my menu bar and category list. I don’t feel the flash fiction is hard to find but I could be wrong. If anyone else thinks there is a navigation problem, please let me know. Thank you in advance.

Writing/Reading Update

I’m not doing a lot of writing but I am doing a lot of reading. When I say a lot, I mean it. Yesterday I read two novels and a bit of a writing book that I started reading the day before. As of this moment I’m 116 pages into another book that I began reading around two hours ago.

The novels are the Dragonlance series. Even with all their flaws, I love them.The book on writing is Screenwriting Tricks For Authors. With my back issues I can’t sit at the computer for long so I haven’t done any real writing, unless you include making lists and notes for my characters.

The Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragonlance Legends, and the War of Souls series are great research and fun reading for me. They all include a group of people who are nothing alike, who don’t always get along but have to work together to save the world/stop a great evil/etc. Since my novel is along similar lines I get to use this down time in a way that I can enjoy and learn from.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is not to make things happen too quickly in a story. Again, I love these series but over and over it moves too fast. Every time someone falls in love, it’s immediately. When disaster is going to strike, it happens right away, with no real build up. As I read along, I feel like I’m intently watching a ping-pong match.

Someone needs to sober up after two years of nonstop drinking? Okay, hit him in the face with a mug, take his dwarf spirits and BAM, he’s cured. A bad guy needs to use a certain woman for his own ends. Okay, he only needs one dinner to make her fall deeply in love with him. Bah! Now I truly understand why I love so many of the newer, amazing epic fantasy series that are over 700 pages per book, with four to thirteen books in all.

I want the build up. I like it more drawn out and believable. I crave the detail. So as weird as it sounds, I’m so glad I’m rereading these older books and learning what not to do, while at the same time seeing what it is about them that is so good. Even though there are things I don’t like, they are still appealing. This is probably the 6th or 7th time I’ve reread them, although the first time with such a critical eye.

What I really like is the characters. They are either really likeable, or easy to despise. I like to write characters that are more ambiguous but there is something to be said for old-fashioned, black and white values in an adventure story. If most of the story is a little obvious, well, you can still come away satisfied when you’re finished reading.

It fascinates me in novels this old with a large cast of characters how everyone has their place, their established niche in the group. One guy always leads, another is always the tough one. There is the overly honorable guy who does the heavy lifting, the guy who bitches and moans all the time but everyone looks up to and the thief who doesn’t see himself as a thief. Of course there needs to be the most beautiful woman (with white blonde hair) anyone has ever seen that stops traffic and conversations everywhere she goes. Her beauty alone is enough to get the rest of the group in trouble. She has to either be practically perfect or a pain in the ass.

I have some characters with a few of those characteristics but nothing so cut and dried. What is so interesting is Dragonlance and others like it are the things I read for all those formative years when I was figuring out that I want to be a writer. Shouldn’t I be making characters just like that? Once upon a time I did. Then I outgrew the desire to imitate. I equate it to when my daughters were learning to draw. They would find pictures on the internet and copy them as closely as they could. This happened for years, all the while both girls claiming they weren’t good artists. Then one day they each graduated up to drawing something original, something they wouldn’t have been able to draw if they hadn’t been “copying” for so long.

Another thing I like about Dragonlance in particular is hope. Hope is something lacking in a lot of today’s books. A lot of authors are so intent on writing ‘grim’ and hope gets forgotten. Bad stuff happens but without the idea that it can get better, well, I would lose interest without some promise of life getting better.

Well that was a massive tangent I went off on. Now you see why the word ramblings is in my blog title!

Hopefully by the time I write another update I will finally have my series re-pre-plotting finished. I will probably have read 17 more books (if only that was an exaggeration) and maybe my back will be better. Next Tuesday is the cutoff day for my physical therapy. If I’m lucky it will be my only step instead of the first step into fixing the problem.


Sidenote for those who have asked: I am pretty sure I can see a difference with the thyroid medication. It’s only a been a week but I feel less foggy already.

Guilty Pleasures

There is one thing I despise above all others: crying. Yet I found myself watching “surprise” videos on YouTube this morning, bawling like a baby each time the surprised person/people cried. I do this on a semi-regular basis. It’s one of my weird guilty pleasures. While emptying my full trashcan of Kleenex I started thinking about other guilty pleasures, and since I need to write, I made a list. I don’t actually feel guilty about most of these, but some I think are strange and some I don’t do around anyone else.

  1. Obviously the surprise videos. It can be anything from announcements to proposals, to military homecomings. If someone is going to cry happy tears, I’m there.
  2. Reality competition shows. Not all of them, but I will watch any singing contest (minus America’s Got Talent) and I love So You Think You Can Dance. I do not watch Dancing With The Stars. I do like Project Runway (because I can’t do that stuff), some seasons of Survivor and Faceoff is a new love. I’ll confess to watching America’s Next Top Model occasionally but the super doses of drama always drive me away at some point. I was really into Hell’s Kitchen but not so much anymore, but Masterchef is required watching. Top Chef can go either way for me. I do not watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette. The Biggest Loser makes me cry so it’s on the list. I do not watch lifestyle reality shows or whatever you would call the Kardashian nonsense. I have been known to temporarily get addicted to American Pickers and whatever the gold rush thing in Alaska is called in August when we visit my husband’s parents in New Jersey every year, since his dad watching that stuff.
  3. I have a new appreciation for Canadian sci-fi shows. Luckily I have Netflix to feed this emerging addiction. If you haven’t seen Continuum you’re missing out.
  4. Easy Cheese. I know, but I can’t help myself. Also Oscar Meyer Ham & Cheese loaf lunch meat.
  5. 80’s music. Not all of it, and not very often but I love to sing along (when no one is around) and I already know all the words to every song from that decade anyway, so I might as well enjoy it.
  6. I like weird cute socks.
  7. Candy. Specifically Pixy Stix, Smarties, Lemon Drops, Lemonheads and cherry Twizzlers.
  8. Old X-men, Thundercats, Danny Phantom and Sailor Moon cartoons.
  9. The Fifth Element. I watch this a couple of times a year.
  10. Starship Troopers. I have no explanation for this. Also Dirty Dancing, even though it’s not an action movie.
  11. Catchy songs that will remain unnamed. I DO have a reputation to maintain! Lucky for me I have teenage daughters who I occasionally give control of the radio to. It’s not really my fault if I accidentally learn the words to the stuff they listen to over and over.
  12. Chips. I’m seriously trying to get over this one but I don’t want to! I gave up smoking, giving up chips is ten times harder! Plus chicken strips. This will be the last unhealthy food I give up.
  13. Snyder of Hanover’s Salted Caramel pretzel pieces, and English Breakfast hot tea.
  14. Mints, most flavors. This probably stems from the quitting smoking thing.
  15. Cracked.com. No one can read/watch just one. Same with Buzzfeed.com.
  16. Lootcrate.
  17. Online games, specifically World of Warcraft.
  18. Buying office supplies. I can never have too many pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Especially pens!
  19. I will admit to marathoning Buffy, Charmed, Smallville (surprised me too), Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, All the Stargate shows, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Arrow, Chuck, Continuum, Highlander, Alias, Firefly, Grimm, John Doe (so before it’s time!), All Star Treks, and occasionally Hercules and Xena. If you consider that I’m a fantasy writer, this is all research! I can neither confirm nor deny owning most of these.
  20. My last and best guilty pleasure is rereading certain Fantasy series every year. In no way do I feel guilty about this though. Certain books are meant to be cherished and enjoyed forever. Nothing heavy allowed on my reread list. I don’t do Lord of the Rings, but I do read Harry Potter every year. No literary fiction but Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson make the cut, plus many more. I read fast so the list is necessarily long.

What about you? Any guilty pleasure you want to share? I’m sure I’ve left some off the list.

Books I Should Have Already Read – Hounded by Kevin Hearne

I bought Hounded, book one of The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne some time last year based on the blurb. I’m not really into Urban Fantasy (at least not often) but something in the description pulled at me. I didn’t begin reading it right away for two reasons. One: at the same time I bought book three of another series I was really into. Two: Nanowrimo.

Sometime after that crazy November I picked it up again, turned to chapter one, read the first few lines and my heart sank. First person. My least favorite type of novel. I put the book down until last month. I shouldn’t have touched it at that point, since I was in the middle of another book I promised to review.

Denying Hounded was impossible. It was on the top of my ‘books I should have already read’ pile staring at me. Somehow I knew it would be good and I would be able to get past the POV thing. Everywhere I turned someone was posting on social media about how great it was. Kevin Hearne was tempting me into reader infidelity and I succumbed. Click here for that tale.

I’m truly glad I did. It’s funny, there is adventure, danger, craziness, a talking dog and magic. How could I not love it? It held my attention firmly, unlike some other books I keep trying to finish (pardon the snark). I finished it in two days and was angry at myself for it because I hadn’t already purchased the next book.

I want this review is spoiler free so the details will be a bit sparse.

Pros:

  • Almost all the characters are interesting.
  • The mix of the modern world and the distant past is intriguing.
  • The dialogue is fun.
  • The main character can be an arrogant ass but it works for him.
  • Also the main character is a ginger, but I’m biased.

Cons:

  • I didn’t really care for the antagonist.
  • You really must read the pronunciation guide.
  • Not a lot of depth.

Personally I’d give it 4 and a half stars based on the type of story it is, I don’t only want to read super complex novels. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, easy read then you’ll love this book.

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I apologize for this review being so late, as it should have been posted by the end of April. I’m not committing to a specific book for this month in case I want to switch in the middle again. I will manage to get the next review out on time though.

I Committed Reader Infidelity

Okay, I admit it. I cheated on a book. I didn’t mean for it to happen, I resisted for as long as I could. I was reading the novel I meant to review this month, The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One by Joe Abercrombie, but another kept catching my eye.

Joe’s book is good, but I was having a bit of trouble getting through it. It’s on the grim side. So was the book from last month, and the one before. That was the problem. Too much of the same thing wears thin, eventually. It got to the point where I was plodding through instead of enjoying myself.

Not helping matters, book one of The Iron Druid Chronicles — Hounded by Kevin Hearne was sitting on the shelf, metaphorically showing me leg. I don’t even know what made me do it, hell I don’t normally like first person narrative! There was just something about the book I couldn’t resist. So I gave in to temptation and read it.

At first I felt guilty putting Joe Abercrombie to the side, but not for long. The first line of Kevin Hearne’s book took away all remorse. Before long I didn’t consider it an indiscretion, it was more of a needed separation. Plus I loved Hounded so much, I am unable to regret reading it. The review will be posted soon.

Now I can go back to Joe with a more open mind and lighter heart. Sure I’ll be reading grim stuff again but it won’t feel like I’m reading the same old, same old anymore. I can give him my undivided attention and the appreciation he needs.

Oh look, Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law is sitting on the shelf winking at me.


Sidenote: I will be buying the rest of the novels in The Iron Druid Chronicles, so there might be more posts like this forthcoming.

Amendment To Previously Posted Writing Updates

One small, yet huge addition to my Writing Updates post from yesterday. The main character in my fantasy series, named Darian, was abruptly kicked to the curb today. At least, that’s how it felt. This has really been happening for months, but it took some time for me to face the facts. His younger brother, Caeleth has taken his place as my protagonist.

There are six main characters and Darian still has a place in that. However the story really centers around the brother. They’ve both been trying to tell me that for a long time and, as previously mentioned, I’ve been taking steps toward listening for a few months.

I have many reasons but one that stuck with me was there are so many stories with royal brothers told from the perspective of the crown prince. Also a lot of them pit the brothers against each other. I like the idea of the story coming from the younger sibling and he doesn’t want to kill his brother and take the throne.

I’ll tell you all more about Caeleth in the months to come. I put the poor guy through the ringer. He’s the best character I’ve ever written (my bias is showing) and I’m embarrassingly proud of him.

Back to writing for me!

Books I Should Have Already Read – The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham

This month’s book is The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. I’ll start with the good. The prologue was amazing. It pulled me in quickly and didn’t let me go. The last line got me super excited about the book. The world in this novel is fascinating. It is set after the fall of the dragons, which I certainly want to know more about! There are many races of humans and a lot of political intrigue. The settings are vivid and clear. The book is bursting with potential.

Unfortunately I don’t feel like that potential was realized. Five hundred fifty-five pages is too long for a prologue, which is what the entire book came across as. It seemed more to hint at the plot than reveal it. I understand that this is merely book one of four, but I wanted more. Instead of making me desperately want to read book two, it made me disappointed that I wasn’t as drawn in as I should have been.

There were several things that caused this. First and foremost, I didn’t like most of the characters and I should have. I couldn’t really relate. I apologize for the vagueness that will follow but I want this review to be spoiler free.

  • Cithrin – Orphan, ward of the bank. I had trouble seeing any depth in this character, although I hope that changes in the next book. It sounds horrible to say but I find that I want something terrible to happen to her so that she’s forced to evolve.
  • Marcus – Ex-military type with a sad past. I don’t dislike this guy but I didn’t love him either. He’s a little too broody and always seems to be right, even if he doesn’t always act on it. In short he’s the most predictable character of them all and I could be wrong but I think I’m supposed to like him best at this point
  • Geder – I felt sorry for this guy, until I didn’t. This is the guy that gets used by everyone, all the time, even when he thinks he’s in control. There was no real growth. However, there were hints of it for the rest of the books.
  • Dawson – The only things I can really tell you about him is that I like one of his sons and his wife, and he’s kind of an elitist jerk, but means well.
  • The Apostate – Seems good, at least wants to be good. He’s pretty interesting.

This is about all I have to say about the characters because I don’t know them better, and I wish I did. I suspect they will each become utterly fascinating, as I’ve heard the story picks up in the next two books but I want to be intrigued now.

I want to go back to some back-story here. There are a lot of different races in this world, although they all started from firstbloods, aka human. They were changed by the long dead dragons. I would describe them for you here, but I can’t. There was little description and nothing really stood out to me. I feel like this is a missed opportunity. I would love to know more about each race. Why were they changed? How? When? Was each race considered a success?

Another thing I want to know is what happened to the dragons. This is also something only hinted at, which is good in this case. I do hope to learn more though.

Earlier I mentioned political intrigue. The Dragon’s Path has plenty of that. The only problem is I didn’t care who came out on top. From all the scenes dealing with that, the only thing that stood out to me was a creepy banker guy. Now that is one character that is well written. He’s meant to be mysterious and scary and he is!

Overall I thought the book dragged on a bit. It wasn’t uninteresting, but it wasn’t compelling.

Does this review seem a little all over the place? That’s how the book was for me, so it seems appropriate. I guess this boils down to a question. Will I buy the next book and see if the story picks up? Probably. I am curious to see what happens. Book two will help me decide if I’m curious enough to see how it ends. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

In all fairness we need a little disclosure here. I am more into books with a lot of action, epic battles, magic, and emotional intensity. Since this is a series, it could end up with all of those things. I’ll let you know.


Next month’s book will be: Joe Abercrombie – The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One


For the full list of books I intend to read and review for this series, and my reasons for wanting to, click here.


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Sidenote: I’m sorry for this review being so late. I hope to have the next one ready for the middle of next month. However my priority needs to be on my own writing so I’ll also apologize in advance if the next one is late too!

One more sidenote: I bought The Dragon’s Path used from Amazon early last year but didn’t get to read it until this month. To my surprise and disgust, when I started reading it, in the first 25 pages, every time the word blood appeared (about 10 times), the previous owner literally covered the word with what looked like blood. GROSS!

Only Important To Me Update

I recently got three new bookshelves. As I’m sure most of you will understand, this only partially fixed the problem. I will still have to double stack but I won’t have to have two rows and two columns on every shelf (only half of them). Knowing myself well, I can tell you this post will not be accurate after six months or so. There are worse vices.