I recently finished book 1 in The Farseer trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. It was a fantastic read. My brother is sending me the next two and I can’t wait to dig in. He says that they are right up there with the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson–which I think is pure perfection. Needless to say, I’m in for a treat. If you haven’t read the Farseer or Mistborn trilogies, get on it! My best gal, Emily, read the Mistborn excerpt I included in my I ♥ Fantasy post and she was instantly hooked. Not being able to put the books down, she ended up reading the entire trilogy in 1.5 weeks. So don’t just take my word for it. Emily is way more rational and has much better taste than I and she even loved it (hugs and kisses Em!). I will keep you posted on how the Farseer trilogy compares.
I’m almost finished with The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe and let me just say that I really enjoy his writing style. My bro (who read about 60 books last year) gave one of his books a perfect 10 on his scale and I’m not surprised. Gene can spin a yarn. Here are a few excerpts from the book that have resonated with me thus far:
From page 8 of The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe:
We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin… Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life–they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.
From pages 132 & 133 of The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe:
I have said that I cannot explain my desire for her, and it is true. I loved her with a love thirsty and desperate. I felt that we two might commit some act so atrocious that the world, seeing us, would find it irresistible.
From page 133 of The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe:
No intellect is needed to see those figures who wait beyond the void of death–every child is aware of them, blazing with glories dark or bright, wrapped in authority older than the universe. They are the stuff of our earliest dreams, as of our dying visions. Rightly we feel our lives guided by them, and rightly too we feel how little we matter to them, the builders of the unimaginable, the fighters of wars beyond the totality of existence.
The difficulty lies in learning that we ourselves encompass forces equally great. We say, “I will,” and “I will not,” and imagine ourselves (though we obey the orders of some prosaic person every day) our own masters, when the truth is that our masters are sleeping. One wakes within us and we are ridden like beasts, though the rider is but some hitherto unguessed part of ourselves.