Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 1983.03


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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man: Jennifer Lawrence of Arabia

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is the third volume of the SONG OF THE LIONESS quartet and the weakest volume of the series. Tamora Pierce makes a good effort of exposing Alanna (and thus, the reader) to some of the varying peoples and customs within the Tortallan kingdom and its neighboring countries, but relies too much on the White Savior trope, and the entire book suffers as a result. As I’ve said before,


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The Limbreth Gate: Ki and Vandien are two of Lindholm’s most intriguing creations

The Limbreth Gate by Megan Lindholm

Lindholm’s work under this pseudonym is very diverse, but the Ki and Vandien novels are more or less straightforward fantasy. A secondary world with a long, largely unknown history, lots of different sentient races, magic and divine creatures. All the ingredients are present. They are pretty focused on the two protagonists, however. No huge cast of secondary characters and countless side plots. They are very efficiently written. Each book is a complete story, there are no major cliffhangers or unresolved questions; the relationship between Ki and Vandien is what ties these books together.


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Seed Seeker: Interesting world, weak characters

Seed Seeker by Pamela Sargent

Seed Seeker is the third book in Pamela Sargent’s Young Adult EARTHSEED trilogy (following Earthseed and Farseed), but you don’t necessarily need to read the previous two books to get up to speed — Sargent does a great job at catching the reader up without any info dumps. Seed Seeker fairly stands alone. Most of the characters are new, though Nuy, from Farseed,


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Equal Rites: Discworld gets a visit from the Equal Opportunities people

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

When a wizard on the Discworld knows he’s about to die, he passes on his staff and magical powers to the eighth son of an eighth son who is being born at that time. So, that’s what the wizard Drum Billet does just before his death — he passes on his powers to the baby who’s just been born to the Smith family. But nobody notices in time that Eskarina Smith is not a boy… Several years later Esk realizes she’s got some uncontrollable powers so she,


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Teckla: In which Vlad Taltos broods

Teckla by Steven Brust

Teckla is the third novel in Steven Brust’s series about Vlad Taltos, a human assassin who lives in the empire of Dragaera which is populated mostly by a species of long-lived tall humanoids who were genetically engineered by sorcerers and divide themselves into clans depending on their specific traits. In the first VLAD TALTOS novel, Jhereg, we met Vlad, an Easterner whose father bought the family into the nobility of the lowly house of Jhereg. Vlad, like many of the Jhereg,


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The Witch of Lagg: Really spooky

The Witch of Lagg by Ann Pilling

Ann Pilling, who also goes by the alias Ann Cheatham or Lillian Cheatham, is an author with a great interest in taking historical events and folk-legends and bringing them into the present day. She has done this for the two other books concerning Oliver, Colin and Prill, Black Harvest and The Beggar’s Curse — with her three contemporary kids finding themselves caught up in the unquiet remnants of the past.


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Madouc: Lyonesse is Pythonesque

Madouc by Jack Vance

Well, here’s the finale of Jack Vance’s Lyonesse, and I’m sorry to see it end. This novel was about Madouc, the changeling princess of Lyonesse, and her interactions with Casmir, Sollace, Aillas, Dhrun, Shimrod, Throbius, Sir Pom-Pom, Umphred, Twisk, et al.

Madouc maintains the quality of this excellent trilogy — it’s filled with clever prose, charming characters, and lots of imagination. Jack Vance’s careful planning produced a tight plot and Madouc wrapped up all the loose ends from Suldrun’s Garden and The Green Pearl.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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