Reading Update 12/01/2021

Why oh why did I have to set myself Things To Do when it comes to reading? That review-a-day thing I’m planning for Wyrd & Wonder? Yeah I’m gonna have to get my read on if I’m to get up to speed with that. Of course this was always predictable for a committed mood reader – sticking to a set reading list was never gonna go well. I’m also really ‘behind’ on blogging too, with loads of outstanding reviews to write up before I forget what I have to say about the books. I’m dangerously close to becoming stressed out by my hobby, which I am viscerally against, so gonna do a bunch of reading and blog writing this weekend while it’s still fun. That being said, let’s have a dive in and see what I’ve got my nose in at the mo.

Recently Finished: FIREHEART TIGER by Aliette de Bodard
This just came out this week and there’s been a tonne of buzz about it on the old twitters. I was very fortunate to receive an ARC and I gotta say I really liked it. It’s the story of Thanh, a princess of Bình Hải, former royal hostage and now diplomat in the service of the queen’s court. There’s fire elementals and insightful stuff about colonialism and power, as well as lots of diplomats subtly insulting each other with seemingly polite words and sapphic romance. I’m still not 100% sure what qualifies as fantasy of manners stories, but I’m fairly sure Fireheart Tiger fits into the subgenre. The story is a romantic adventure that takes place within an elaborate, hierarchical social structure and centres around social intrigue anyway. so if I trust Wikipedia’s definition (and of course I’m happy to trust whatever an open source encyclopaedia on the internet tells me) then this is a fantasy of manners novella. I put a review up just the other day, so if you haven’t read it yet then go have yourself a little read here.

Currently Reading: RAVENCRY by Ed McDonald
The reading for my grimdark extravaganza is fully underway! Even if I am falling behind already *ahem*. Ravencry is the second book in the Raven’s Mark trilogy that began with the excellent Blackwing. I’m enjoying this sequel a lot, by which I mean some scenes are so tense I actually had to press pause on the audiobook, pour out a glass of water with a trembling hand and take a breather. If you’ve read this and remember the rooftop tower scene then you know what I’m on about. Ed McDonald writes fantastic grimdark mystery. And there really is a lot of mystery in these books. In the first book Ryhalt Galharrow, in his service to the mage Crowfoot, investigates a conspiracy at the heart of power and in the second book there’s a tonne of crazy mysterious shit going on, including trying to uncover the plans of a shady mercenary company venturing out into the Misery to make deals with the Deep Kings and recover a stolen magical artefact of disturbing power, all while a cult grows ever more powerful within the city of Vallengrad. Loving it so far and VERY excited to review this series.

Next Read: RISE OF THE RED HAND by Olivia Chadha
I’ve talked about this book a few times now on the blog, even mentioned it as one of my most anticipated releases this year 😀 Well the time is soon nigh to dive on in. This is cyberpunk climate fiction set in a near future South Asia where the wealthy Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome, dependent on technology and gene therapy to keep them healthy and youthful forever, while outside, the poor and forgotten scrape by with discarded black-market robotics – a society of poverty-stricken cyborgs struggling to survive in slums threatened by rising sea levels, unbreathable air, and deadly superbugs. Amidst all this we have Ashiva, a young revolutionary with the Red Hand, an underground network of revolutionaries fighting the government, which is run by a merciless computer algorithm that dictates every citizen’s fate. When Ashiva crosses paths with the brilliant hacker Riz-Ali, a privileged Uplander who finds himself embroiled in the Red Hand’s dangerous activities, they uncover a horrifying conspiracy that the government will do anything to bury. Fuck man, this sounds like exactly what I want out of modern cyberpunk and I’m chomping at the bit to read this story!

Anyway, that’s today’s update folks. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading at the mo. And if you enjoyed this update why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat.

11 thoughts on “Reading Update 12/01/2021

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    1. I may have chosen some difficult rereads in that my main reread is for GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire books, which are *ahem* a minimum of about 600 pages long, frequently surpassing the 1000+ mark. Reeally not doing myself any favours hahaha. I’ve got 2 separate week long stints off work between now and May though so I’ll be using them wisely.

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      1. Yup, that’s as light and breezy as concrete!

        I am really interested in seeing what you’ve got to say about them though, been ages since I read them and I’d love to know what re-encountering them is like… without having to do it myself.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m actually very excited to reread them. I LOVED them at the time, but honestly can’t remember much of what happened after the first book (there is a lot to keep track of after all and I only watched the first couple series of the TV show).

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Trying to stick to a plan, or a timetable, might indeed rob you of the joy of reading and blogging: IMHO it’s always best to go with the flow and to read more according to “moods” rather than goals, because when the fun takes on the guise of work, something feels very, very wrong… 🙂


    1. How you finding We Lie With Death. I’ve not got round to reading Devin Madson yet, but everyone obv loves her so I’m expecting I’ll enjoy The Reborn Empire books when I do get round to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying to wrap my head around it for the review right now. I really enjoyed the first book, and overall I enjoyed book, though some characters I felt had a problem of running all over the map to accomplish relatively little. But it’s also just a beautiful mess of culture and politics – none of the countries speak the same language, the conquerors are trying to figure out how much of the new culture to absorb to make ruling easier, there’s POVs from all sides of the conflict, a religious leader they have to tolerate because of his followers, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve not read any of them yet but that actually sounds really cool. A mess of people and cultures and politics all smashing up against each other has intriguing story-telling potential. I’m reading Yoon Ha Lee’s Phoenix Extravagant at the mo and that’s all about the assimilation and suppression of culture by a conquering power. I’m not far in but it’s very good so far.

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  2. Oh, I feel you. I loooooove to plan my reading. And then immediately abandon those plans because I also loooooove mood reading. It’s a bit of a conundrum! Good luck with your reading! I’m very excited to get to Fireheart Tiger. Especially if it’s fantasy of manners–that’s my bread, butter and jam right there, haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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