Saturday, June 12, 2010

Read for Free: Vera Nazarian and Brandon Sanderson

Vera Nazarian's novel Dreams of the Compass Rose is available in several different formats as a free download for 90 days. (Note: I tried this link earlier and it did work but there seems to be an issue with it at the moment. Hopefully it will clear up soon - there just may be too many people trying to download it at the moment.) I haven't read this one, but I did really enjoy Lords of Rainbow by Vera Nazarian and the description sounds rather intriguing:

In the vein of The One Thousand and One Nights, Tanith Lee's Flat Earth, and Catherynne M. Valente's The Orphan's Tales...

The Compass Rose universe—an ancient milieu where places have no names, cities spring forth like bouquets in the desert, gods and dreams walk the scorching sands in the South, ice floats like mirror shards upon the Northern sea, islands that do not exist are found in the East, death chases a thief on the rooftops of a Western city, immortal love spans time, and directions are intertwined into one road we all travel....

You come to this place when you wonder, and sometimes, only when you dream.

The prelude, prologue and first three chapters of The Way of Kings, the first book in Brandon Sanderson's new series The Stormlight Archive, is available on It is required that you register and log in to read it, but registration is free. The Way of Kings will be released in hardcover on August 31.

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.


Amelia said...

This is off-topic, but a while ago you mentioned Robin Hobb. I was wondering which Hobb books you would recommend? My library has a few, and as I have never read any I thought I would try.

orannia said...

I have an online friend who has just started reading Brandon Sanderson's books. Part of me is tempted, and part of me wants to read the fantasy novels already on my TBR list without adding another series :) I'm such a wuss!

Kristen said...

Amelia - I haven't read the Soldier Son series yet or the two books I recently mentioned (Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven), which are a continuation of the three related trilogies I have read (Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man, in that order).

I'd recommend starting at the very beginning of those three series with the first Farseer book, Assassin's Apprentice. They make the most sense when read in order. However, a lot of people cannot stand the first person narrator of the Farseer books.

I liked him, but if you're one of the people who finds they do not, maybe try starting with Ship of Magic, the first Liveship Traders book. That one was harder for me to get into than the Farseer books, but I found I liked them better overall once I did. The liveships are pretty interesting and it also has a wider cast of characters. There are some parts you'd miss if you didn't read the Farseer books, but I don't think it would be confusing to read them without reading the other trilogy.

I'd definitely recommend reading both Farseer and Liveship Traders before The Tawny Man trilogy, though.

Orannia - There are too many books, I know! Sanderson does have a couple of stand-alone books so you wouldn't have to necessarily start a series, though. Elantris and Warbreaker are both not part of a series, but they are long - either one of them would count for the Big Book Challenge. The Way of Kings could count as two books at 1008 pages long in hardcover (!).

Mistborn was pretty good, but I've tried reading the second book in the trilogy twice now and just haven't been able to get into it.

Other than Mistborn I've only read Elantris by Sanderson. It had some problems like more explanation than necessary and characters that lacked depth, but I did enjoy the story.

Anastasia said...

Dreams of the Compass Rose is a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - It sounds wonderful! I've had it on my wish list for a little while, but I've never picked it up since it was rather expensive.