Sunday, 25 July 2010

Books I Adopted This Week

It's another bumper edition of Books I Adopted This Week - I like to think of myself as some sort of book saviour, rescuing all those poor books from the ignominy of the bookshelves in some identikit bookstore where they are unloved and unwanted. Something like that anyway! Most of my haul is as a result of the generosity of Black Library, who made sure that my own series of Horus Heresy is complete. I will merely list these and point you in the direction of the Black Library page where you can find more details and buy these lovely books (not only are they decent sci-fi stories, but they look sleek and lovely on a bookshelf!)

I received:

Horus Rising
False Gods
Galaxy in Flames
Fallen Angels
Tales of Heresy
Descent of Angels
Battle for the Abyss

(any gaps in the series are as a result of me already owning the book! And here is the link to the Black Library Horus Heresy page.)

Other than those, I received the following three books and my level of excitement is high for all of them:

The Crown of the Blood by Gav Thorpe

He had brought his master’s Empire to the furthest reaches of the world. All had fallen before him. Now he longs for home. But home isn’t what it was. Could it be that everything he’s fought for all those years has been a lie? A sweeping fantasy of immense battles, demonic magic and dark politics.

I know of Gav Thorpe from my wargaming (read: geeky) side. He has been involved with Warhammer for as long as I can remember, and had his hand in a lot of the codices and army books that I've read. He's also dabbled in some Black Library writing (Path of the Warrior being the most recent). But this is his first foray into his own creation, without the restrictions and guidelines of a shared universe, which makes it a very interesting read to me. I am excited to see what direction Gav has taken - whether he goes a more traditional route or whether he subverts fantasy tropes. (I also find it intriguing that Angry Robot have picked up the non-Black Library work of both Gav Thorpe and Dan Abnett - wondering whether any of the other Black Library authors will be snapped up *grin*)

Published by Angry Robot Books on 28th September 2010

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

(For the life of me, I couldn't find a decent resolution image of this beautiful cover online).

For the first time in his life, Jacob Reckless is afraid. For years he's stolen across to another world. A dark enchanted place he's loved for its treasure, secrets and dangers. Until now. Will, his younger brother, has followed him with terrible consequences: the boy will turn to beast; the girl he loves will break her heart and chaos will rule forever, unless Jacob can spin a fairytale to save them..

Cornelia Funke is best known for her Inkheart/Inkspell/Inkdeath trilogy (which I have yet to read), and returns with this curious fairytale of a book. Like I say, the cover is simply lovely and I'm sure will have people reaching to see what it is about. I think this has shades of Narnia - and also most every fairytale ever written. It could be dreamlike and gorgeous or it could be cliched and terrible - I'm hoping fervently for the former.

Published by Chicken House on 6th September 2010

The Book of the New Sun Volume 1: Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe

Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is an extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, on an Earth transformed in mysterious and wondrous ways, in a time when our present culture is no longer even a memory. Severian, the central character, is a torturer, exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his victims, and journeying to the distant city of Thrax, armed with his ancient executioner's sword, Terminus Est. This edition contains the first two volumes of this four volume novel, The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator.

This book has been received as a result of two projects: one is obviously the SF/F Masterworks Read I am involved with. The second is thanks to this email received from the notorious Sam Sykes:

Dear Bloggers,

I had an inkling for a fun activity to do and wondered if any of you wanted in on it. After perusing your blogs for awhile, I think I've got a pretty keen grasp on your tastes. My proposal to you is this: if you should accept my challenge, I will do my best to find a book I think you will very much despise based on what I know of you. I mean, I will go balls-out offensive if I can. Your task will be to finish and review it and see what happens.

The purpose? To see how set in our tastes we are and to perhaps for me to cause you some mental anguish.

After Sam gave it some thought, he came back to me with this email:

Dear Amanda,

Yours was the hardest to pick out, but I think I've done it. Gene Wolfe's Shadow and Claw is one of the most beloved science fiction stories in the genre. It's also decidedly harsh and, some say, rife with a distinct anti-female streak. Your challenge is to read this genre classic and see if it's worthy of the title!

All the best,

So, I rise to the challenge! Let's see if I hate and despise this book as much as Mr Sykes believes I will!

Okay, that's your lot for another week. Do let me know what you received through the mail this week, and which of the above are of interest to you!


  1. Nice haul this week Amanda! I think the Cornelia Funke book interests me most, since I really liked her The Thief Lord, which I listened to in audiobook format a few years ago.

    Haven't gotten any books this week, though I got the last of my birthday haul last week, so my TBR-pile is plenty full for now lol

  2. Oh now I wait with interest to read the outcome of that challenge :P

    I've read Inkheart but not the rest of the series. I did enjoy Inkheart - more so than the film I have to say so will definitely look out for that one.

  3. I like the theme you have going this week. I will be eager to hear what you think Gene Wolfe. I haven't read him. My mailboxes are at Inside of a Dog and Ms. Martin Teaches Media. Happy reading!

  4. I'm a big fan of Wolfe's BotNS, so it should be fun ripping apart anything you have to say about it. You can insert the evil cackling laughter here ;)

  5. @Mieneke - The Funke book interests me loads too, and it looks great! My TBR pile just grows every week *sigh*

    @Carmen - Ha, the challenge should be very interesting. Mr Sykes has chosen well, since classic SF tends to be an area that I just don't read much in at all.

    @Kathy - I've commented on your blog as well, but it is the Sagara that I want to know more about :-)

    @Larry - oh ye Gods, I thought I was worried enough about reading the book as it is, let alone with you casting your evil eye over the review as well! *quakes* :-p

  6. I want Sam to give me a book, SNIFF. ;-)

    I really hope Reckless is the gorgeous faerie tale you (and I!) want it to be, I'll be so disappointed if it's tedious and cliche...