February Book Club Selection

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club

Oh darn, I missed the science fiction selection in January because I will be at a Metallica concert! I suffered only mild disappointment. February brings us fantasy choices, and I’m a bit peeved at how things went down.

The Options

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny

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Amber, the one real world, wherein all others, including our own Earth, are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin’s blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne. From Arden to the blood-slippery Stairway into the Sea, the air is electrified with the powers of Eric, Random, Bleys, Caine, and all the princes of Amber whom Corwin must overcome. Yet, his savage path is blocked and guarded by eerie structures beyond imagining; impossible realities forged by demonic assassins and staggering horrors to challenge the might of Corwin’s superhuman fury.’ to ‘Awakening in an Earth hospital unable to remember who he is or where he came from, Corwin is amazed to learn that he is one of the sons of Oberon, King of Amber, and is the rightful successor to the crown in a parallel world.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

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At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

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A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

My Selection

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

If you read this blog at all, you should have known this would be my selection. Hell, I am the one that suggested at multiple meetups how we should read it. This was the group that did not care for Lawrence’s other book Prince of Thorns, and I thought it would be great to see the difference. Plus, I just wanted to talk to someone about it! Nine Princes in Amber is definitely old school. Just look at that cover! I am also not a fan of fantasy books with science fiction elements. I like my swords and sorcery, thank you very much.

The Voting

Nine Princes of Amber by Roger Zelazny (36%)
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (36%)
Air Awakens by Elise Kova (36%)

WINNER: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

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Details

  • Pages: 330 (Paperback)
  • Cost: $14.61 (Paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)
  • Amazon Rating: 4.3 (574 ratings)
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.01 (1,952 reviews; 16,790 ratings)
  • Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, High Fantasy

Are you just as confused as I am when looking at the numbers from the poll? You are not mistaken, each book had exactly the same number of votes. This meant it was up to the organizer to choose. So, rather than pick a book that a member suggested and was cheap in both mass market paperback and Kindle (not to mention available at the library), she went with the book that was cheapest on Kindle (free if she has Kindle Unlimited) and Audible.

This is why I am annoyed. Consistently, our organizer chooses books for the polls that are cheap in those two formats, ignoring that some of us prefer a physical copy or not to have to buy at all (library). She looks at reviews to make sure they are decent, but we rarely get to pick between newer titles. On principle, I’d boycott, but I don’t think anyone would care. And to be fair, the winner sounds interesting, and I am hoping to enjoy it. It does scream sword and sorcery.

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Have you read any of the books that were our choices this month? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

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