QUILTBAG+ Speculative Classics: The Way of Thorn and Thunder by Daniel Heath Justice (Part 1)

Daniel Heath Justice’s Indigenous epic fantasy trilogy The Way of Thorn and Thunder (The Kynship Chronicles) was originally published between 2005 and 2007 by Kegedonce Press, in three separate volumes: Kynship, Wyrwood, and Dreyd. The revised and expanded 2011 reissue from the University of New Mexico Press appeared in one huge omnibus volume: one novel now divided into seven cycles. I only have the re-release, but I decided to review it in three installments roughly corresponding to the original three volumes—there is simply too much material otherwise to fit into one of my standard-size columns.

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Will George R. R. Martin’s Books End Like Game of Thrones? “Yes. And No. And Yes.”

Following the Game of Thrones series finale, George R.R. Martin has weighed in on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ ending to his epic fantasy series. On his Not A Blog, the author and TV writer/producer waxed nostalgic on his first meeting with HBO and the showrunners over a decade ago, thanking the hundreds of people involved in bringing his vision from the page to the screen.

Reflecting on the bittersweet feeling of this life-changing journey wrapping up, he made the point that “last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning” for all involved.

Part of that beginning? Finishing A Song of Ice and Fire.

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Trauma and Disorientation: Her Silhouette Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan

Bee doesn’t remember her life before prison, not really. She knows what she’s been told by the only other person who shares her confinement in a twisty maze of rock chambers occasionally filled with large insect-like alien lifeforms that compete with them for food and sustenance: that she’s a telepath, and that she’s here because she killed a lot of people.

That other person is Chela, her lover, a telepath like Bee. Chela is everything Bee’s not: a better climber and survival expert, tall and light-skinned and model-gorgeous, invested in exploring their prison and keeping alive. But unlike Bee, she’s not determined to map the limits of their prison, to find a way out—and in the meanwhile, to find what beauty she can in the inside.

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And Now Her Watch Is Ended: Writing 8 Years of Game of Thrones Reviews

Millions of fans watch Game of Thrones like it’s their job, but when you review television, it is in fact your job.

All the recent articles looking back on the early days of Thrones might have you reminiscing about what was going on in your life when the show first started, and everyone in your circle was eagerly awaiting the same pop culture mega-event.

For me, there were colleagues who joined me in ducking out of work early to stalk the Game of Thrones’ food trucks; my BFF helped create themed cocktail recipes for crowded viewing parties; and there were so many knowing looks passed between two strangers both reading ASoIaF books on the subway.

This was before people started ducking out on the show because of lack of time, general boredom, or because they didn’t like the amount of violence on display, especially sexual violence. Then there are the book-only stans who preferred to avoid spoilers for George R. R. Martin’s still unpublished books. (Poor, hopeful and deluded souls.) In the meantime, friends moved away, had babies. Coworkers got new jobs.

A lot can happen in ten years.

In light of the last season, here are some reflections and observations I’ve made about writing about Game of Thrones on the internet. It’s hopefully a not-too-self-indulgent peek behind the curtain into the salacious life and times of a TV blogger.

There was a lot of tea and fretting. But sometimes cool perks and hard lessons.

[“A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Netflix Reveals Black Mirror Season 5 Episode Titles and Teasers

The first trailer for Netflix’s Black Mirror season 5 (coming in just a few weeks) teased plenty of eye-popping visuals and potential storylines for its impressive roster of guest stars, while still keeping most of the plot blurry. With just a few weeks until the new season drops, Netflix has shared three new teasers, one for each episode, revealing the titles for each dystopian near-future tale. This time around, virtual assistants, fertility apps, and ride-shares are the pieces of tech that bring out the worst in their human consumers.

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Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 36 and 37

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Rereads of the Ruins of Our Kings! Violins intensify!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 36, “Testing the Lock”, and Chapter 37, “The New Tutor.” Please note that going forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

[Luckily, no one gets turned into a leopard while possessed by Satan. YET]

Series: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Read the First Four Chapters of Kel Kade’s Fate of the Fallen

Not all stories have happy endings.

Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.

Fate of the Fallen is the start of a brand new adventure from author Kel Kade—publishing November 5th with Tor Books.

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Read an Excerpt from Marie Brennan’s Turning Darkness Into Light

Marie Brennan’s Turning Darkness Into Light is a delightful fantasy of manners, set in the same alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape as her Natural History of Dragons series.

As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

Turning Darkness Into Light is available August 20th from Tor Books. Read an excerpt below!

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Read Chapter One of Wayne Barlowe’s The Heart of Hell

Wayne Barlowe returns to the epic dark fantasy world of God’s Demon with The Heart of Hell, where rival demons war for control of the infernal domain.

Sargatanas has Ascended and the doomed, anguished souls have found themselves emancipated. Hell has changed… hasn’t it? The demons, wardens of the souls, are free of their inmates…

And the damned, liberated from their terrible torments, twisted and bent but thankful that they are no longer forced to be in proximity to their fearsome jailors, rejoice. But something is stirring under the surface of Hell’s ceaseless carnage…

The Heart of Hell is available from Tor Books on July 2nd. Check out Chapter One below!

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Read the First Chapter of Myke Cole’s The Killing Light

Heloise and her allies are marching on the Imperial Capital. The villagers, the Kipti, and the Red Lords are united only in their loyalty to Heloise, though dissenting voices are many and they are loud.

The unstable alliance faces internal conflicts and external strife, yet they’re united in their common goal. But when the first of the devils start pouring through a rent in the veil between worlds, Heloise must strike a bargain with an unlikely ally, or doom her people to death and her world to ruin.

The thrilling conclusion to Myke Cole’s Sacred Throne trilogy The Killing Light is available November 12th from Tor.com Publishing. Read the first chapter below!

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Read the First Three Chapters of L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s The Mage-Fire War

Once again, prejudices against the use of chaos magic force Beltur and his companions to flee their refuge in Axalt. The rulers of nearby Montgren have offered them sanctuary and the opportunity to become the Councilors of the run-down and disintegrating town of Haven. Montegren lacks any mages—white or black—making this seem like the perfect opportunity to start again. However, Beltur and the others must reinstitute law and order, rebuild parts of the town, deal with brigands—and thwart an invading army…

L. E. Modesitt Jr. returns to the Saga of Recluce with The Mage-Fire War, the third book in a story arc which began with The Mongrel Mage and Outcasts of Order—available August 13th from Tor Books. Get started now with the first three chapters, below!

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Reading the Wheel of Time: The Power of the Ta’veren in Robert Jordan’s The Dragon Reborn (Part 13)

Hello, good morning, and welcome back to week 13 of Reading The Dragon Reborn! Although traditionally an unlucky number in the western world, thirteen has always been a lucky one for me—I was even born on a Friday the 13th. And it seems to be a lucky number for Mat, too, although in a rather alarming sort of way, which may foreshadow some pretty strange and dangerous consequences for the grabbiest of heroes. Also Thom comes back (you all know my feelings about Thom) and we learn some more creepy things about the High Lords of Tear.

In other news, I’m going to try to really shorten the recap sections of the posts. As the books get longer and more complicated, so too do the recaps! You’ve all read the books, so you know what happens—so I’m going to try to cover only the broad strokes in the recap portion, and spend more time getting into the nitty gritty of the analysis. And with that, on to Mat’s gambling adventures.

[Next you could try telling the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks he should marry the Amyrlin Seat.]

Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Chapter 10

In Chapter 10 of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Cordelia is preoccupied with her impromptu visit from her grandchildren.

Cordelia’s grandchildren are amazing. Taura is my favorite. There’s nothing wrong with the rest of them, I just appreciate a person who knows a good hopscotch opportunity when she sees one. I’m ride or die for a tile floor. We’d get along.

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Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

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