Saturday, March 19, 2016

From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

In case you missed any of it, here's what happened in the Ruins this week . . .


WTF Friday review of Stuck On You by Jasper Bark

Waiting On Wednesday with Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd

Fantasy Review of The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley


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Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

For Review:

The Vagrant by Peter Newman
Published May 10th 2016 by HarperVoyager

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.



Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont
Expected publication: April 21st 2016 by Tor Books 

Taking Malazan fans back to that troubled continent's turbulent early history. the opening chapter in Ian C. Esslemont's epic new fantasy sequence, the Path to Ascendancy trilogy.

For ages warfare has crippled the continent as minor city states, baronies, and principalities fought in an endless round of hostilities. Only the alliance of the rival Tali and Quon cities could field the resources to mount a hegemony from coast to coast -- and thus become known as Quon Tali.

It is a generation since the collapse of this dynasty and regional powers are once more rousing themselves. Into this arena of renewed border wars come two youths to the powerful central city state that is Li Heng. One is named Dorin, and he comes determined to prove himself the most skilled assassin of his age; he is chasing the other youth -- a Dal Hon mage who has proven himself annoyingly difficult to kill.

Li Heng has been guided and warded for centuries by the powerful sorceress known as the "Protectress", and she allows no rivals. She and her cabal of five mage servants were enough to repel the Quon Tali Iron Legions -- what could two youths hope to accomplish under their stifling rule?

Yet under the new and ambitious King Chulalorn the Third, Itko Kan is on the march from the south. He sends his own assassin servants, the Nightblades, against the city, and there are hints that he also commands inhuman forces out of legend.

While above all, shadows swirl oddly about Li Heng, and monstrous slathering beasts seem to appear from nowhere to run howling through the street. It is a time of chaos and upheaval, and in chaos, as the young Dal Hon mage would say, there is opportunity.



Into the Black by Rowland White
Expected publication: April 19th 2016 by Touchstone

The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight.

Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America’s top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world’s first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again.

On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen’s spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn’t be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight.


Purchased:

Hit the used bookstore this week, traded in some of the stacks from under my desk, and came home with copies of Melusine by Sarah Monette (the mass-market edition is hard to find), The Pariah by Graham Masterton (love the original paperback cover), and Robotech, First Generation by Jack McKinney (an altogether very cool discovery).


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1) by Steven Erikson
Published September 18th 2012 by Tor Books 

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told...

It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...

Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut Gardens of the Moon. Now he returns with the first novel in a trilogy that takes place millennia before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness. It is the epic story of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in shaping the world of the Malazan Empire.


What's topping your shelves this week?

10 comments:

  1. that first blurb sounds almost like DARK TOWER :)

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    1. Funny you should say that, Dez. It was actually pitched to me as "Mad Max meets The Gunslinger and The Book of Eli".

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  2. Hope you enjoy all your new reads Bob! Have a good week!

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  3. Ooh, I need to get round to reading both The Vagrant and Mélusine. Do you like Sarah Monette's other work (e.g. The Goblin Emperor)? I forget!

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    1. I haven't read The Goblin Emperor, but it's on my list - curious to compare her different styles/voices.

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  4. Apparently I have a copy of the Vagrant in my Audible library, I must have bought it when it was released with the print version in the UK. Glad to see Harper US is publishing it stateside soon, I'll have to bump it up!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Okay, so I'm not crazy! I thought it had been previously released, but I never considered UK. Odd delay, but definitely curious to give it a read.

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  5. Dancer's Lament looks hauntingly beautiful. I hope you enjoy your books!

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

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