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Author Archive: "Mary Jo Schimelpfenig"

Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi of 2014

Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that inexpressible delight of finding an author you are excited about.

Fitz and the Fool

After 10 long years, Robin Hobb revisits two of her most beloved characters, Fitz and the Fool, with Fool's Assassin. If the ending of Fool's Fate made you want to fling the book across the room, you'll be happy to hear that Fitz and the Fool do meet up again.

The opening of Fool's Assassin finds Fitz living in relative peace at Withywoods with his beloved wife, Molly, but naturally that doesn't last long. Fitz is still making his characteristic bad decisions and is completely unable to understand that he is well loved. Fool's Assassin is the first volume of a trilogy, so there's a fair amount of setup before things really get going. We meet a few new characters and some old friends reappear. As usual, things go awry, and the book ends with a good, solid cliffhanger.

Hobb is particularly skilled at building multidimensional characters. By the time you finish reading even one of her books, you feel as if you've known the characters half your life. She is a fabulous storyteller and does a bang-up job of world building, but it is her ability ...

Sassy Men with Swords

It all began with a long plane flight. For years my coworker had been enthusiastically recommending Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, the first book of the Gentleman Bastard series, and I had nodded my head and moved on. Dashing off to the airport, I finally grabbed my copy off a teetering pile of unread books and headed out the door. I was delighted to discover that most of the major characters were sassy as all get out and they could wield their swords just as adeptly as their words. The book did exactly what I wanted it to do: create a world I could step into and be thoroughly entertained.

There are currently three titles in Lynch's series, and the latest one, The Republic of Thieves, comes out in mass market later this month. The book finds Locke and Jean tinkering in politics, while alternating chapters tell the story of a summer long ago when the two wound up starring in a play.

Lynch's writing just keeps getting better and better. He writes some of the most bawdy and hilarious dialogue I've ever read. ...

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