Double book review!

I read these back to back, and they are very similar books, right down to my actual opinions of them, so let’s do a dual review sort of thingie here. I ordered Kill the Queen a month or so ago after reading an article that recommended a bunch of epic fantasy by women, and Throne of Glass is the first book in a series whose final book just came out and which apparently a lot of my friends enjoyed, because I saw alllll sorts of tweets and Instagrams and all sorts of stuff when it came out. So I jumped in. Throne of Glass has six or seven sequels out and the series is complete; Kill the Queen’s second book comes out in June or July and I’m not certain how long it’s planned to run.

tl;dr: neither book is perfect but both have a lot of potential and you should check them both out.

Somewhat more detailed: both books feature young, orphaned women as the main protagonist (I’ll admit to rolling my eyes when KtQ’s protagonist first mentioned her parents were dead; I read that book second) although KtQ’s Evie is ten years older than seventeen-year-old Celaena in ToG. Both books spend the majority of their time in or around castles and dealing with the problem of royalty, although in different ways; Celaena, an actual assassin, is freed from jail by the crown prince at the beginning of the book and offered her freedom in exchange for serving as the king’s assassin for four years, and Evie is seventeenth in line for the throne at the beginning of KtQ, although … well, some stuff happens that sorta moves her up in the line of succession a bit. Spoiler alert, I guess. Celaena is uber-competent from the jump– if anything, a bit too competent for a seventeen-year-old; Evie starts off kinda useless but gets over it quickly.

ToG is Young Adults, although it’s the kind of YA that bitchy old men like myself can read without complaint. It’s real YA, as in the publisher markets it that way and that’s where you find it at bookstores, not the sexist “fantasy written by a woman, starring a woman, so it must be YA” YA. KtQ might fool you for about fifty pages and then the shit hits the fan and it definitely ain’t YA no more.

As I said, both books have some weaknesses, although ToG’s are less weaknesses of the book and more consequences of being YA: Celaena is an impressive badass, but I was never really sold on the idea that this seventeen-year-old who has been in jail for a couple of years working the salt mines was a world-renowned assassin. She doesn’t really ever come off as super assassiny, I guess? I mean, she’s a bitchy asshole, and I mean that as a compliment– I like her personality– but there’s a bit too much tell and not enough show, and I want much more backstory on her. But there’s six more books coming, so I’ll probably get it. In KtQ’s corner, the book begins with (spoiler) a Red Wedding-esque massacre that Evie is one of a very small number of survivors of, and I kinda feel like PTSD should have played a bit more of a role in her story? There’s also not as much societal upheaval as I’d guess from a book that starts with the utter destruction of damn near the entire (spoiler) ruling family. Like, nobody really seems to notice much other than a day of mourning.

Both books have romance; in no case does the romance go quite where you think it’ll go, which is cool. Throne of Glass also has a great bit where it is made clear that the book was written by a woman, and one who has thought about the biological ramifications of her protagonist basically being enslaved in a salt mine for a couple of years.

Also! I like the worldbuilding and the magic in ToG quite a bit, and again, I like Celaena quite a bit despite not quite believing in her, and despite being fucking called Kill the Queen, Kill the Queen‘s story managed to surprise me twice. I mean, it’s called Kill the Queen. You might imagine there’s some queen-killing! And there is! And it’s surprising anyway. It’s weird, but it works.

So, yeah: these are both four-star-out-of-five reads, with KtQ’s excellent ending very nearly pushing it up another half-star or so, and they’re both definitely checking out. I’ve already ordered the next two books in the Throne of Glass series, and I’ll be buying the sequel to Kill the Queen, called Protect the Prince, when it comes out in a few months. Check ’em both out.

For the record

I had plans for a longer post tonight– a double book review, in fact– but life appears to have gotten in the way, so this:

I intend to be the type of person who believes victims of violence first, even– and quite possibly especially when– the victim’s version differs from that of the police. As someone who lived in Chicago for a decade, this was the only reasonable way to act.

It is true that this hierarchy of belief may on rare occasions lead me to initially support someone who has behaved dishonestly. That fact changes nothing; I will continue to provide victims of violence with my support and with the benefit of the doubt until specific circumstances demonstrate otherwise.

On a broader level, anytime someone throws a rock at a tank, I am on the side of– or at least more interested in hearing from– the person throwing the rock.

Yes, this could probably have been a Twitter thread; I’d prefer a bit more permanence to it in this case, so to the blog we go.

Briefly

This thing I’m doing on Saturdays lately where I get up and spend the first two or three hours of the day reading is really working for me. I finished an entire book cover-to-cover this morning. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about me, but I like books.

Also, I finally gave up and went to the doctor last night after work, only to be told that my suspicion that my cold had morphed into a sinus infection was probably correct, but that said sinus infection was almost certainly viral and so there really wasn’t anything to be done other than wait it out and drink something called “throat coat” tea, which strikes me as a weirdly pornographic name for a beverage.

Today, I feel shittier than I have in the last several days. We’re up to two weeks and some change now, I think, and I’m heartily tired of this.

The end.

Can we impeach this asshole now?

It’s almost too on-point to be real; the shitgibbon not only announces his fake national emergency so that he can pretend to build his shitty little breadstick wall on the day after the first anniversary of the Parkland shooting, but there is another mass shooting on the day the asshole makes the announcement.

And here’s how fucking dumb this madman is, in a world where I thought further evidence of his unfitness to serve as a third-string substitute ass-wiper at a coprophagia convention was unnecessary: this ignorant motherfucker announced in front of Jesus and everybody that he knew good and goddamn well that his announcement was bullshit but he did it anyway so that his dumb fucking Lego wall, which will never ever be built, could be done “faster.” He just came right the fuck out and said it, because he’s a fucking idiot.

Impeach this stupid bastard. Impeach him right the fuck now, and while we’re impeaching him, the 25th fucking Amendment needs to be put into play. I want his ass removed both ways. Once this fucker is out of office seal him and his entire fucking useless scumsucking bloodsucker vampire family into cement coffins and drop them into the fucking Pacific Ocean and then I never want to hear about any of these stupid fuckmonkeys or for that matter the entire Republican party ever the fuck again.

Get. Him. The. Fuck. Out. Of. My. White. House.

In which I need to snap out of it (again)

It is not, strictly speaking, especially necessary to take this post terribly seriously. This is one of those “get it out of my head and onto the page” things, and it’s not like I have the sense to make anything private, so y’all get to see it regardless.

I’ve been on a prolonged dry spell, fiction-wise, lately, and it has rolled through my head a few times in the last couple of weeks that it would literally take less than half an hour to utterly eliminate every trace of Luther Siler– remember, it’s a pseudonym– from the internet. It’s basically just a matter of deleting a bunch of social media accounts. I don’t think I’d be able to completely eliminate the books from Amazon since it would continue allowing used sales, but I could stop new sales.

And if I did that, I wouldn’t have to keep worrying about the goddamn sequel to Skylights, now, would I? Or feeling crap about the fact that I haven’t put anything useful on Patreon in weeks and those folks are sending me money.

Again, don’t take this seriously. The punch line is this shit isn’t even true– I wrote Skylights before I’d ever even imagined Luther Siler, and I’d been thinking about the fucking sequel for years before this blog even got started. So this goddamn thing is going to be hovering over my head until I write it or die, whichever comes first. I could 86 my Luther Siler identity tonight and I’d still be kvetching about this damn book in a month.

I dunno. This is how I work; I have prolonged periods of Nothing and then a switch in my brain will flip and I’ll write two books in three months. I was hoping that the pressure of the Patreon would get me better at reliably producing short fiction but apparently ha ha ha I’ll just take your money is winning instead. I mean, there’s a whole book on there, so it’s not like it’s a worthless investment, but I want regular new shit, and right now I’m not producing regular new shit.

Baaah. Need to kick this and get back on the horse. Just gotta figure out how.