Monstrous Regiment

Do you think it’s possible for an entire nation to be insane?

Well…


Warbound

We become Grimnoir in order to become heroes, to sacrifice our lives in the pursuit of a higher cause, to defend the defenseless … I’ve found that means attending a lot of funerals.

Hard Magic was a magical detective / spy story. It was a lot of fun, but there were only a few hints of the bigger story behind the story.


The Blinding Knife

The Blinding Knife is what a sequel should be. It takes the action and magic that made The Black Prism good and made it better while toning down a lot of the exposition and over-characterization that made it a bit of a drag at times.

On the plus side, the magic system has a lot more depth than it did in the first book while at the same time not spending quite as much time hitting us over the head with terms we don’t quite understand yet. Even if I don’t necessarily like some of the choices (like why you can’t draft green from white light by default), it’s still a well done system. Otherwise, the worldbuilding has gotten bigger. Magical trading cards. Seers. Old Gods.


Spellbound

Spellbound takes the straightforward noir/spy/magic Hard Magic and makes it bigger.

This is America. The government doesn’t own the people. The people own the government.


Hard Magic

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die. The appearance of esoteric and etheral abiliites, magical fires and feats of strength, in recent decades are the purest demonstration of natural selection. Surely, in time, that general law will require the extinction of traditional man.

—Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Man and Selection of Human Magical Abilities, 1879


The Truth

There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.

The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?

And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman’s eye.


Moving Pictures

Discworld goes Hollywood. Or perhaps Hollywood comes to Discworld?

Basically, Hollywood is a manifestation of a ‘Great Old Ones’ esque cult where the final cultist keeping the Holy Wood from arising once again dies. One thing leads to another, trolls get dressed up as elephants, and a movie hero has to save the day.


Oathbringer

Hooooly crap. The first three quarters of Oathbringer are fairly slow. They’re still fascinating, building up more and more of the world of The Stormlight Archive, answering some questions while raising even more.

And then crap really hits the fan. I read the final several hundred pages in one session and wow a lot of things happen. Epic. Just epic. Read the book just for that and don’t put it down early.


Words of Radiance

“I am offend!” Shallan yelled. “You have offended Her Highness again!”

“Very offend!”

“You’d better apologize.”

“No apologize!” Shallan declared. “Boots!”

Kal leaned back, looking between the two of them, trying to parse what had just been said. “Boots?” he asked.

“Yes,” Shallan said. “I am liking your boots. You will apology with boots.”

“You … want my boots?”

“Did you not hear Her Highness?” Tyn asked, arms folded. “Are soldiers of this Dalinar Kholin’s army so disrespectful?”

“I’m not disrespectful,” Kal said. “But I’m not giving her my boots.”

“You insult!” Shallan declared, stepping forward, pointing at him. Stormfather, those horses were enormous! “I will tell all who are to listen! When arriving, I will say, ‘Kholin is stealer of boots and taker of women’s virtue!’”

Kal sputtered. “Virtue!”

“Yes,” Shallan said; then she glanced over to Tyn. “Virtue? No, wrong word. Virture … No … Vesture. Vesture! Taker of woman’s vesture! That is word I wanted.”

The soldier glanced to his companions, looking confused. Drat, Shallan thought. Good puns are lost on men with poor vocabulary.

Words of Radiance takes The Way of Kings and builds it up in all the right ways… only to tear everything down once again.


Snuff

And so it ends.

Yes, sir, thank you, sir, and I wouldn’t trust me one little inch, sir. I knows a bad one when I sees them. I have a mirror.