I started reading Peerless a couple months ago, very excited to do so, because I’d liked Thousand Autumns quite a lot and absolutely LOVED The Fourteenth Year of Chenghua (despite a not great translation). And well… the thing is… am starting Book 3 (Chapter 70) and I’m just not that excited about it. And I really wish it wasn’t that way.
I suspect my biggest issue is I don’t really like Cui Buqu that much, or find him particularly interesting at this point. Like yes, weak and sickly but is actually super powerful and very smart, but I just don’t find his personality engaging? I liked both Shen Qiao and Tang Fan very much, on the other hand. Shen Qiao in particular, because of what happens at the start of Thousand Autumns, is in a situation somewhat similar to Cui Buqu’s (weak body, might very well die), but I find the exploration of his inner life so interesting, while Cui Buqu is just kind of… not that interesting to me yet.
And then there’s the main ship. Look, I love a good slap slap kiss story, I love ships that start out with the two people in question getting under each other’s skin and irritating the fuck out of each other, but with this one… I just don’t see the sparks at this point. Yes, they both acknowledge the other is beautiful. Yes, they PRETEND to be a couple sometimes, but I don’t get, so far, anything that tells me there is tension because of hidden desires. I absolutely buy that Feng Xiao is starting to feel an attraction (and I like Feng Xiao more than Cui Buqu, there is that), but so far… not doing it for me.
Of course, I know I’m not even halfway through the book yet, and I keep reading because I did love Meng Xi Shi’s other two books that I’ve read, but I’d really like to start getting excited about this story, its characters, and their relationship. Here’s hoping it happens soonish.
A recent conversation on Twitter about the trend of advertising (romance?) novels simply by their tropes got me thinking about how I choose what I want to read, what gets me interested, and how different it is for books vs fanfic. And so, here I am writing this post, which honestly is of interest to exactly one person (me!).
There is no other story that I have as much history with. I started reading it over 25 years ago, when I was 13. It was my Harry Potter. I read it through all of high school and university and then, like many people, I took an extended break at around book 9, before coming back two years ago, rereading the whole thing, and going on to finish it. More than that, The Wheel of Time was my introduction to online fandom, back at the old WoTism boards. In a way, I might not be quite who or what I am today if not for The Wheel of Time.
(Using tv show screencap for a book post because, well, it fits.)
So, Game of Thrones, Sansa I. I have to say, I’m not actually planning to blog about every chapter as I read (I’d never finish!), but Sansa I in particular stood out to me, because I enjoyed it a lot more on reread than I did originally. In part I think it’s that now that after you’ve read all the books and know who Sansa is, who she was and who she is becoming and why, you appreciate that this initial chapter kind of encapsulates, in and of itself, her initial journey.
Just a warning, this post ended up being spoilery for the reminder of Game of Thrones (no specifics though), and is also very vaguely spoilery for Arya in general, although only in the most general of terms.
I finished A Dance With Dragons in May, went on to The Tales of Dunk and Egg in July, and have since read a few other books (including Robert Jordan’s New Spring, which I really enjoyed; it’s been years since I read a Wheel of Time book) but mostly I’ve fallen pretty deep into ASoIaF withdrawal.
So I decided to just start rereading!
In part it’s because Cast of Thrones (a great, wonderfully funny Game of Thrones podcast) is just starting their book club for Clash of Kings, so reading along seemed a good idea. It’s a nice slow pace, so I can read other stuff at the same time.
On the other hand, I wanted to reread Game of Thrones because I keep hearing about how much foreshadowing and clues you find in it once you’ve read all the books, and it seemed a little strange to skip the first book in a reread. The solution I came up with was to read them both at once!
It may not be the best idea I’ve ever had. In fact, it’s probably the same level of insane as watching most of the Heisei Kamen Rider series during Kamen Rider Decade‘s original run. I expect I’ll get things mixed up here and there, but oh well.
I read Game of Thrones last year, and then in the past month and a half tore through Clash of Kings, Storm of Swords and Feast for Crows. The trigger was the beginning of the second season, two hours after watching the first episode I was well into Clash of Kings. Game of Thrones had left me with somewhat mixed feelings (I get the sense that occasionally having something of a love/hate relationship with these books is not that uncommon). My feelings about the series are no longer mixed, and Storm of Swords in particular was amazing. I could not put it down.
I first read of Brandon Sanderson in the context of The Wheel of Time books, and how he was the one that would complete series since Robert Jordan’s death. I used to be really into WoT, and although it’s been awhile since I stopped following them (around book 8 or 9, I believe… I always meant to go back and finish someday) I was interested in what would happen, and more specifically in what kind of a job the new writer would do. By all accounts, Sanderson is said to be doing a good job, and although I’m not quite up to the task of playing catch up with WoT, I decided to start reading his Mistborn Trilogy.