Teresa Hughes

A Song of Ice and Fire

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May 072014

I’m sure by now we’ve all at least heard about A Game of Thrones, the TV series based on the books by George R. R. Martin. Brave knights, daring swordfights, fierce dragons, a little treason and murder to stir things up, and who could forget the beautiful Khaleesi? If you’ve seen the show, I absolutely recommend the books. The difference between TV and a book is that TV has limits. A director only has so much in his budget to create the world and so many actors to live in it. A book is only limited to the imagination of its author! And let me tell you, Martin has one crazy mind’s eye. So while I will say I love the show as much as the next person and they do a really good job of following the books with what they have, you’re still only getting half the story.

I know the size of the books can be a little overwhelming, and the TV series is definitely an easier commitment, but once you start reading, you won’t want the book to end. Just take it one chapter at a time, and try not to express your shock too loudly after ten. Then, when you review the TV series before the next season comes out, you’ll have all sorts of fun facts to share with your friends like: “What’s Hodor’s real name?” and “Who really killed Jon Arryn in the beginning?”

Martin puts a lot of details in his books. Like reading a book from J.R.R. Tolkien, you won’t be left to create a scene in your head alone; you’ll know details from the most extravagant house to the smallest cobble in a cobblestone walkway. Perhaps you’re reading in a doctor’s office, waiting for your name to be called so you can go back for your annual checkup. One minute you’re in a crowded room with frightened and crying children in the corner, then you open A Clash of Kings and you’re standing at the base of the Red Keep fighting in the Battle of Blackwater Bay while the water is ablaze with wildfire.

If you’re a fantasy lover, A Song of Ice and Fire series is the epitome of fantasy! Pick up one of the library’s many copies of the first book A Game of Thrones and find out just what your sci-fi/fantasy life has been missing all these years.

The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

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Jan 202014

The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks is easily my favorite trilogy, and it shocks me to hear the name “Brent Weeks” isn’t more renowned for his tales of treason, friendship, murder, and magic. The books follow Azoth, an orphan boy living in the slums, as he progresses from a bullied child to an apprentice assassin as Kylar Stern working under the legendary Durzo Blint Kylar’s conquests range from overthrowing the treasonous king to overcoming his fear of women, especially women that look like his mutilated friend “Doll Girl”. While Kylar grows, the realm falls. A war is about to break out, and Kylar might be the only hope to save his home, for Kylar is the Night Angel, an immortal. With the help of Logan, the true king of the realm; Viridiana, a female assassin with more than one trick up her sleeve; Elene, formerly known as “Doll Girl”; Durzo, the master that taught Kylar everything he knows; and Dorian, a fortune-teller slowly losing his mind, Kylar might be able to save the world and live out his life as a normal person.

Weeks doesn’t just change the world you know and live in every day, he creates a new one. A world where women working in brothels have more protection than the king himself, where it’s not unusual for children to live in the streets, and where hell is quite literally a hole in the ground. Magic is in abundance, but it’s restrained by rules, and contained in spheres spread throughout the land, so no one character will ever be ridiculously overpowering (which gets a little annoying in books). If you’re looking for an exciting read with compelling characters and nonstop action, pick up the first book in this astounding trilogy, The Way of Shadows, and join Kylar in his struggle against his calling and his conscience.

The Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh

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Jan 202014

The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh is a series of six books set in a modern world where angels live among mortals and create vampires to serve them. A group of powerful Archangels called the “Cadre” rule the world from their preset territories, and an organization known as “The Guild” works for angels to wrangle in runaway vampires who don’t want to pay the price for their immortality – 100 years servitude. The Guild trains and becomes a home to special mortals with a sense of smell for vampires – these beings are called “hunter-born”. The books follow the story of Elena, a hunter, and her experiences with the Archangel of North America, Raphael, and Raphael’s loyal Seven, a group of angels and vampires sworn to serve and protect Raphael and his territory from the invading, untrustworthy Cadre members, especially the mysterious Lijuan, Archangel of China.

Nalini Singh deserves a seat at the top of the fantasy writer’s ladder, right next to George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien. Singh paints a picture of beautiful scenery that can only be seen from the sky carried on breathtaking wings. Nalini will make you wish you could fly and you’ll find yourself turning page after page with no desire to stop. Corrupted politics, adult humor, mystery, and just enough erotic romance to keep anyone interested. Start with Angel’s Blood, the first in the start of this never-ending adventure, and see just how deep you’ll be buried in the words that will sweep you off your feet and drop you in the middle of Manhattan.