Anyway, book challenge. Haven't stopped reading - just haven't been updating! First book is actually a trilogy, but I figured I'd treat it as one, given that I read it long, long ago. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen Donaldson. This was an interesting re-read for me, in that I really can't stand the main character. I find Covenant extremely unpleasant. And while I vaguely understand the philosophical themes Donaldson is exploring with this anti-hero who refuses to engage, to feel, to believe, because he's afraid for his survival and sanity if he does, I don't agree with Covenant. I find his refusal to take the step of believing in the impossible terribly frustrating, given that, to borrow from another author, I like believing in seven impossible things before breakfast.
On the other hand, Donaldson does build some freaking amazing supporting characters. The Ranyhyn, the Lords, the Giants (omigod the Giants!)! They're all just amazing.
My favorites, though, are the Bloodguard. There's just something so. . . resonant about a bunch of guys so hardcore that they swear a fealty oath that binds them beyond death. As in, they don't sleep, they don't age, they don't die. Because that might interfere with their sworn duty, and we can't be having that. Man, and I thought the Chushingura were hardcore! I love these guys. Even though, in many ways, they are pretty unloveable.
So, First Chronicles - B, B- or so. I love the land, I love the people, I want to drop kick the main character off a cliff and then drop a train on his ass. *shrug* Win some, lose some.
Second book, unfortunately, is one that I really wanted to like, because I wanted to recommend it to a friend. Unfortunately, I didn't and I really can't. The Blood of the Heroes, by Steve White, is another one of this author's entries in the I Never Met a Myth that I Couldn't Screw Around Into Being About Aliens theme. Sorry, Quinn. I forgot he has this particular theme going. I won't go into the plot much more, but I'm reasonably certain it would infuriate you. Particularly since the destruction of Santorini takes place off camera, as it were. *shrug* I really love Steve White's stuff with David Weber. But his solo work generally irritates me a lot, which I keep forgetting, since I really love his stuff with Weber. Sorry, love. If accioayla happens to have a copy, or you run into it in the library, give it a go, but it's not worth you shelling out for the hardback.