Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Challenge: Favorite Books Series and Why

Okay, look: the world's on fire. It is actually the end of the world as we know it -- whatever comes next, it won't be this. And I was going to throw up several series -- Roger Zelazny's Amber, a favorite from my youth; about a half-dozen Lilith Saintcrow series starting with Bannon and Claire; Steven Brust's Jhereg and related books -- but I'm going to go with one, and it's not the one the author is best known for.

This is part of the weekly Blogging Challenge over at Long and Short Reviews. If you'd like to participate, you can find the prompts here. They also put up a post every Wednesday where you go and link your response -- and see everyone else's. Check out their homepage to find it.

The challenge for this week is Favorite Book Series and Why.

And I'm going to have to go with Martha Wells' Books of the Raksura. Starting with The Cloud Roads, but read at least the core books and if you're at all like me you'll want the whole series.

So... why? Well, they're atypical fantasy: not much in the way of swords, only a little sorcery, not even muskets. It's a fantasy world that owes its shape more to Animal Planet than medieval Europe, and has not a single human in evidence. Despite this, the primary protagonist is immensely sympathetic, possibly the most reluctant hero ever to join a found family. The world-building is superb, but the characterization is top-notch as well: our hero isn't just another orphan with trust issues, he's someone who works at resolving his issues and has to face the fact that his lost family actually looked for him. And he's accompanied by perhaps the most grandfather of all grandfathers, who's a vastly fascinating character in himself.

The core society is a race of matriarchal were-dragons in a world of competing predator arrangements, but it's brought to life with emotional personal ties as well as social and interpersonal obligations, against a competing enemy race that operates in some ways more like a plague. And all this informed by ancient history, high magics, and deep mysteries in need of resolution.

So yes: Start with The Cloud Roads. But follow Moon all the way through his discoveries.


  1. That series sounds so good. I need to check it out.

    My post:

  2. I like Martha Wells a lot, so I'm going to have to look into this now, thanks!

    My post

  3. Maybe I"m showing my age, but when I read the first lines of your post, all I could think of was REM's It's the End of the World As We Know It. I now have an ear worm, too. :) Good book choice, though. I'll have to check it out. Here's my post:

  4. The series sounds good... I'll definitely check it out. My post is here:

  5. I read a lot of Sci-fi back in that day, but can't remember if I read anything by Zelazny. The name is familiar.

  6. Wow, never ready those books, but am definitely going to go look 'em up. Love dragons! thanks so much for sharing. Here's mine.

  7. I love dragon books! I think I read every single one of them at the library when I was a kid. I need more of them on my to-read list.

  8. Good post. Thanks for the suggestion.

    My oldest son was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon, so when he was younger, I'd check anything out of the library that had "dragon" in the title. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede are most excellent, filled with sly humor, especially for middle school readers. The Boneless King series by Laurence Yep is great, with a really eerie bad guy who is so flat he can slither under your door when you're sleeping. Kept my kids up nights a lot when I was reading those books to them! LOL.

  9. This is such a great topic. I'm learning about all sorts of series I've never heard of. The Raksure series doesn't sound for me but it sounds smack in my other half's zone. I'll pass it on. Thanks!

  10. That sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.


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