welcome to the second post in our post series xx days until Christmas 2010. Let's start with a look at the calendar .... 61 days until 24th of December. Still a lot of time left think about and buy gifts four your dear and near ones. Today it is Bona's turn, Some of you may know Bona from former book review discussions. She/he (who knows) is the one responsible for the Books section within the Weekend Wave.
Enough said. Come on Bona, it is your turn.
Hello and welcome, I'm Bona. of course I could immediately recommend a dozen of books. But that would be all too easy. Why should I recommend books which we reviewed or recommended before? Just look through all our posts. My ideas went into another direction. We all - ediFanoB, KotM, Bona Fide, Fide and me - love to read series. But as we all know it can take decades until you get the last book in a series. Therefore I concentrated on completed series. Even a series is completed it can happen that one or more books are out of print. Then one term came up in my mind: Omnibus
Due to Longman Online Dictionary of Contemporary English
"omnibus is a book containing several stories, especially by one writer, that have already been printed separately;"That means to day I will recommend you some omnibus which ediFanoB eather wants to buy or which are on his shelves - unread. To be more precise I will recommend four omnibus. I noticed some funny things after I decided which book to present. There are two science fiction and two fantasy omnibus. They are written by two male authors and two female authors. And believe it or not the fantasy stories are written by women and the science fiction stories are written by men. I should stop to think about my selection. I do not understand what my subconscious tries to tell me.
I'm aware the some of you know one or more of these books. But did you read the whole series back to back?
Isn't it easier to read one book instead of three or four?
Let me start with a trilogy originally published in 2008 and 2009. I talk about Pamela Freeman, the successful Australian author of books for children and young adults. With The Castings Trilogy (omnibus,2nd December 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1841499499] she entered the world of adult fantasy.
"A thousand years ago, the Eleven Domains were invaded and the original inhabitants were driven onto the road as Travelers, belonging nowhere, welcomed by no one.
Now the Domains are governed with an iron fist by the Warlords, but there are wilder elements in the landscape that cannot be controlled and that may prove the Warlords' undoing. Some are spirits of place - of water and air and fire and earth. Some are greater than these. And some are human.
Bramble: A village girl whom no one living can tame, forced to flee her home for a crime she did not commit.
Ash: A safeguarder's apprentice who must kill for an employer he cannot escape.
Saker: An enchanter who will not rest until the land is returned to his people.
As their three stories unfold, along with the stories of those whose lives they touch, it becomes clear that they are bound together in ways that not even a stonecaster could have foreseen - by their past, their future, and their blood.
This omnibus edition includes all three novels - Blood Ties, Deep Water, and Full Circle - together for the first time." [Source]
I read reviews Blood Ties about the first novel in the The Castings Trilogy over at Grasping for the Wind, Bookworm Blues and Fantasy Book Critic. Fantasy Literature offers reviews of all three books. All reviews promise good fantasy stuff. In the end I chose The Castings Trilogy because some reviewers compared it with the series Green Riders by Kristen Britain. We all loved the first book - Green Riders (pb, new ed. 2000) [ISBN-13: 978-0886778583] - which we read several years ago but still remember. For more information about Kristen Britain and her books have a look at Fantasy Literature.
I don't know exactly how many people recommended the next omnibus to me. At least I did the first step. I bought a copy of The Deed of Paksenarrion (pb, reissue ed. 1992) [ISBN-13: 978-0671721046] by Elizabeth Moon.
"Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, headstrong daughter of a sheep farmer on the north edge of the kingdom, dreams of being a hero out of legend, of fame and magic swords and great deeds. When her father tells her she must marry the neighbor's son, she runs away from home to join the mercenary company her cousin told her about. But military life and warfare aren't anything like her daydreams...yet she holds to both her duty and her dreams. In the end, she pays the price that heroism demands and becomes the paladin who saves a kingdom...but the journey is longer and darker than she ever imagined. She has to confront and overcome her strengths as well as her weaknesses...and her triumph redeems more than herself.Read the reviews over at SFF World, Goodreads and don't forget to visit Fantasy Literature. Anyhow I must convince ediFanoB to read it .....
Originally written as one long story, it was broken into three for practical reasons when first published. Sheepfarmer's Daughter takes her from the farm through three fighting seasons as a mercenary in Duke Phelan's Company. Divided Allegiance describes her departure from Phelan and her training to become a paladin of Gird....a journey that ends in disaster. Oath of Gold finishes her story of recovery and redemption.
Sheepfarmer's Daughter was the 1989 Compton Crook Award winner. " [Source]
Do you know by Mark Charan Newton the author of the Legends of the Red Sun? No? Then you may not understand why I recommend The Tales of the Dying Earth (pb, 2000) [ISBN-13: 978-1857989946] by Jack Vance. It is something to do with something which I would describe as "back to the roots".
"The fourth in the Fantasy Masterworks series, the Dying Earth saga inspired writers like Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe, who freely acknowledges his debt to Vance in his own Book of the New Sun. Here, in one volume, is Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author Jack Vance's classic Dying Earth saga comprising The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rhialto the Marvellous. Travel to a far distant future, when the sun bleeds red in a dark sky, where magic and science is one, and the Earth has but a few short decades to live . . ." [Source]Have a look at Fantasy Literature and read all the reviews and comments over at Goodreads.
Anyhow there is no way out: You must read the impressive review which is like a kind of monument over at The Wertzone.
I must stop to write about The Tales of the Dying Earth... because I water my own mouth even I don't have a real one.
My last recommendation is another book from the Gollancz SF Masterworks series. Helliconia (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0575086159] by Brian Aldiss.
"This is the first volume of the Helliconia Trilogy - a monumental sage which goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers. An entire solar system is revealed, and with it a world disturbingly reflecting our own, Helliconia: an Earth-like planet where dynasties change with the seasons . . . . . . Events and characters and animals stream across the pages of this gigantic novel. Cosmic in scope, it keeps an eye lovingly on the humans involved. So the 5,000 inhabitants of the Earth's observation station above Helliconia keep their eyes trained on the events of Oldorando and may long to intervene though the dangers are too great. So we on Earth have them all in our vision in one of the most consuming and magnificent novels of scientific romance." [Source]The omnibus consists of the three books Helliconia Spring (first published in 1982), Helliconia Summer (first published in 1983) and Helliconia Winter (first published in 1985). (1985) Since I have read the reviews of Helliconia Spring, Helliconia Summer and Helliconia Winter over at The Wertzone the books entered my list. I was happy when I read about the Gollancz omnibus. After the release in August 2010 it did not take long until the first reviews of the omnibus found their way to some blogs like SFF World and SF and Fantasy Masterworks Reading Project. What shall I say. Every time when I talk about tuns a deaf ear. I want the book and be sure I will get a copy. The onlything I don't know is how long it will take. Maybe one of your dear and near one will get it as a gift. I will be envious of her/him.
I hope you found some ideas for a Christmas gift. I added three books to my wishlist. But I'm only Bona and I exist in ediFanoB brain. I need to talk to Bona Fide, KotM and Fide. The must help me to convince ediFanoB to buy and read this book.
One of us will be back soon with more recommendations. Until then ENJOY READING .....