We’ve been stockpiling content, working on our own creative projects, watching movies like the seventh episode of that little known franchise, and recharging our batteries over the past two-ish months. We dimmed the lights down low, and while we weren’t closed, it might have seemed like it.
I want people to know we’re still live, and we’ll be back in full-force in January!
-We have a lot of The Dresden Files content in the works, and it will be posted to The Butcher Blocksection of our site soon. THE REAL Jim Butcher did offer up the name The Butcher Blockwhen asked about an appropriate name for the section of the site (I believe the exact words were, “You’ve got to go with The Butcher Block, right?”) so we’ve got that going for us. A complete re-read of the series is in process as we all gear up for Peace Talks. Articles about several aspects of the Dresdenverse are already written and we’ve delved deeper than we (well, some of us) knew the subject could be delved. We have the start of a virtual companion or an (unofficial) Encyclopaedia of All Things Dresden. It will be glorious.
-We’ve also collectively read dozens of books and have some reviews already written. We look forward to sharing them with you!
Ever since the Order of the Equites Cineré stole his memory, his name, and his heart, thinking about the past makes Greenshank’s head ache. After two years of rigorous training, he is almost ready to embrace the mission of the Order—to use selfless magic to heal the troubles of Navronne. But on his first assignment alone, the past comes racing back, threatening to drown him in conspiracy, grief, and murder.
He is Lucian de Remeni—a sorcerer whose magical bents for portraiture and history threaten the safety of the earth and the future of the war-riven kingdom of Navronne. He just can’t remember how or why.
Fighting to unravel the mysteries of his power, Lucian must trace threads of corruption that reach from the Pureblood Registry into the Order itself, the truth hidden two centuries in the past and beyond the boundaries of the world…
A few words about this book. Several years ago, she wrote a duology about a young wastrel named Valen, who is addicted to drugs and on the run from his family. Obviously, there is much there that resonates with me, and the Lighthouse Duology became two of my favorite books ever. Berg is one of those writers who likes to keep it fresh and exciting — much like Guy Gavriel Kay, she completes a project and then starts over with a fresh world, new characters, a new system of magic, and new challenges. Never once did I think she would return to Navronne and to Valen. Then, a couple years ago, she announced that she would indeed be exploring Navronne again, in a companion series.
I have to admit, that made me groan. If there is one thing I like more than falling in love with a character, it is having the promise of more books featuring said character. A new duology set in Navronne, but void of Valen? It seemed a sort of torture. There is room for more about Valen — the ending of Breath and Bone seemed poised to be the perfect spring from which a new duet could emerge.
And then I read Dust and Light.
Lucian is the complete opposite of my favorite rampaging drug addict. He never met a rule he didn’t love to uphold, he took his responsibilities seriously, and he would never, ever have repudiated his family as did Valen. Lawful good types usually annoy me, but there is something beautiful and pure about Lucian.
The world-building, though. I am deeply amazed at how the two duets fit so seamlessly together. The Sanctuary books (Dust and Light, and Ash and Silver) fulfill the Lighthouse books, and give them more meaning, more nuance. I don’t know how she did this, I really don’t. Maybe she had Lucian in mind all the while she wrote Valen. Perhaps she knew the mysteries of the Sanctuary duet before she even probed the mysteries of the Lighthouse. Perhaps she is a genius.
I miss my drug addict wastrel Valen, but throughout Ash and Silver, Lucian became the bravest man I have ever met. Word is that she will one day return to Navronne to finish the story, to have the unstoppable Valen meet immovable Lucian, to see what happens when Order meets Disorder. Until that day comes, I think I will go ahead and reread all the books (again) to see if there are any connections I missed the first three times. Come join me!
Carol Berg is the author of several fantasy novels, including the books from the Rai-Kirah series, Song of the Beast, the books from The Bridge of D’Arnath series, the Lighthouse novels, the Collegia Magica Chronicles, and the Sanctuary Duet.
Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Colorado. Before writing full-time, she designed software. She lives in Colorado, and is the mother of three boys.
The week has flown by, and I’ve been reading delightful secret things I can’t talk about. Well, and ‘Wise Man’s Fear’ which is more like revisiting an old friend than anything else.
But it does have me thinking about those books that you go back to over and over and over again. Sometimes they’re comfort reads; you know books that you just get a particular feeling from, and want to enjoy that feeling again and again.
And then there are those books where maybe you have a slight crush on a character. You know the book. And you know the character. And you know I would never ever judge you.
At least not publicly.
And then there are the books that are somewhere in the middle. They’re the ones that you pick up and just find yourself in. I can think of several stops my head that this category for me Patricia McKillip, Sharon Shinn, and more and more I find myself comfort rereading Patrick Rothfuss. I’m not entirely certain I’ll feel that way after ‘doors of stone’ has come out but that’s the joy in the wait, isn’t it?
I don’t find myself rereading George R Martin as a comfort. But that’s possibly because of the body count.
And these books I revisit have changed as I’ve gotten older. I can look back and think of innumerable times as a teen I reread Piers Anthony or David Eddings novels (But is that something I should admit?). I never fell in love with Robert Jordan as a writer. Possibly because I was already in love with David Eddings. And that influenced me I think as a reader, that preference for Eddings.
Because Eddings was more about character and less about plot, possibly less about world building as well. I’m not writing best start a fight about Robert Jordan’s writing quality though I’m sure that some have a snarky comment for me.
However, Eddings led me to Dave Duncan. And Dave Duncan led me to Kate Elliott. Kate Elliott lead me to Robin Hobb. And, to quote Jordan, the wheel turns.
I’m sure that these books that we reread time and again reflect something deeply personal about us. And it’s possible but even the sections of books we read reveal to some extent the secret turnings of our soul.
What does it say about me after all, that I can read the ending of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Stardust’ over and over again, reveling? Is it the sweet or is it the bitter that draws me back? Or maybe it’s just Charles Vess’ gorgeous art.
Or, in another case, those opening pages of Jacqueline Carey’s ‘Kushiel’s Dart’, with its heart stopping prose, and heartbreaking losses.
In the end I don’t think it’s necessarily the books we read that define us, I think it’s the ones we reread. Those of the ones that embed themselves on our souls.
Fourteen bestselling authors twist up your favorite tales. Will your favorite have a happily-ever-after?
Get ready to meet some sexy, not-so-valiant princes, punk-rock princesses, villains turned heroes, and truly vile monsters wreaking havoc within our favorite tales.
Read about Dancing Princesses getting their groove on in a disco club, a seriously sexy Rumpelstiltskin, and one alluring Puss-in-Boots, plus many, many more captivating characters in these fourteen all new short-stories.
Jim Butcher seems delighted to find so many of his fans in the room at 10am on a Sunday morning. The moderator is really charming!
1) The Cinder Spires is potentially nine books long.
2) He’s been wanting to write naval combat battles since he saw Star Trek II. (As someone who has read the book — you can tell he loves it. The action scenes are incredible.)
3) Aeronaut’s Windlass is the longest book he has ever written, and is just over 200,000 thousand words. The excitement he feels toward it really comes through here — you can tell he loved writing it.
NEW DRESDEN INFO!
1) “Cold Case” is a Molly novella, and details her first job as the Winter Lady. It’s a Molly/Ramirez team-up. It’s in Shadowed Souls, an anthology he edited. This might be the new name for Fierce. It’s a novella, woo hoo! The entire novella was written to the song “Gonna Make You Sweat”, and that will be funnier when we read it.
2) Dresden’s first day on “Jury Duty” will be published in Shawn Speakman’s anthology, Unbound.
3) Butters’s first mission as a Knight is being written right at this moment. The way Butters gets a call to action is he sees exclamation points over someone’s head. He doesn’t get a still small voice, he gets WOW.
4) The romance between Murphy and Harry was pretty inevitable from the first moment he tried to annoy her by opening the door for her. He never wanted to plan out the romance. He wanted the characters to grow into whatever was going to happen. Like, he didn’t know Susan was going to die awfully until he was writing it.
5) He sent chapter 14 of Skin Game to his beta readers, and his only feedback was gifs of people throwing over tables.
6) “If you were weird enough, you could get magic to do some really weird things.” One of the main duties of the Council is to make sure wizards don’t do crazy stuff — like take out ads in the Yellow Pages.
7) MOST of the Knights of the Cross pick up the Sword for a day, then put it down. There are a lot of Knights who died, also, doing the right thing. It’s meant to be a sacrifice, and some laid their life down.
8) I don’t understand why people are so skeptical that he planned this out — it’s obvious that he knows the major landmarks.
9) Mab was not the first Mab. Mab was the Winter Lady. Lea was her handmaiden, so when Mab got a power boost, so did Lea. The first Winter Queen died the last time things really went to hell in the Wizarding world. Just like they’re about to now. (I wonder who Molly’s handmaiden will be…?)
10) A funny guy stood up and said he’d tweeted Butcher after he finished the second Alera book, asking why he wrote the way he did, and Butcher tweeted back: “I need money, I need you now.”
11) Loki is not in Demonreach. There are no snakes dripping venom there, and Norse gods are literal. Several of the gods are pro wrestlers because you get much more worship as WWE than you do as a Greek god. This will be the subject of book 18, which I hope will be called Cut Man.
12) Lea will have a big part in Peace Talks.
13) Bob is sort of a mirror to whomever is holding him. The Sword will be way easier to misuse; it has less of an affect on regular human beings. It will be hell on wheels against the truly evil.
14) He’s writing the next book right now: “Poor Murphy.” (Yay!)
15) Basically, we’re spending the worst weekend of his year with Harry Dresden. He will be writing more after Mirror Mirror, when he establishes the parallel realities, and how much trouble he can get into with them.
16) He will not delve too deeply into the Sidhe. They were created by certain agents who felt they did not have enough influence on the mortal world.
17) Bob was originally created by Etienne the Enchancer. He was born in more or less the same way that the new spirit baby (her name is Bonnie), but a different agent. Athena was born in the same way. Bonnie has a lot of knowledge but little experience. Like, she’s realized that pancakes are inanimate, and that’s big for her. (LOL)
Andrea Gonzales not only provided the video for the panels Jim Butcher was part of at Dragon*Con, but also was the official photographer for his Cinder Spires cosplay team. If you’d like yet another reason to be excited for the September 29 release of Aeronaut’s Windlass, you should check them out!