Monday, January 19, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 19th, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun and dangerous meme hosted each week over at Book Journey. Fun, because we're sharing what we're reading. Dangerous, well, that comes from adding more books to the already shaky and toppling TBR stacks.

Anyway, it's been a long, long time since I've had a week as good as this past one. I finished reading three books!

Completed reads:

Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar Vol. 3) 
Mercedes Lackey

The product description:

With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.
But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar.
Of the three books in this trilogy, I've got to note that this one has my favorite cover art. My full review is here.

Read for both the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge and my own Valdemar Reading Challenge.

The Children of Kings - Deborah J. Ross and Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Children of Kings
Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross

The product description:
Millennia ago, the planet Darkover, a cold world orbiting a giant red sun, was settled by a lost colony ship from the Terran Federation. Alone on a new world, survivors interbred with the native chieri, psychically Giften alien humanoids. The children of these matings were Gifted with telepathy and other psychic abilities, and their descendants, the aristocratic Comyn, forged a civilization in which the arts of the mind were cultivated and cherished.

When the Terrans rediscovered Darkover, the seven Domains of Comyn struggeld to maintain their unique culture and independence, often at a terrible price. More than once, assassins and environmental saboteurs from the Terran Empire attempted to bring Darkover to its knees and erode the native culture for the benefit of the Federation -- seing Darkover as nothing more than a port of call for Terran military and trade. Eventually, a vicious interstellar war forced Federation forces to withdraw from Darkover, but Darkovans knew that it was only a matter of time before they would return.

Prince Garth Elhalyn has grown up in the shadow of his legendary grandfather, Regis Hastur, one of the greatest leaders Darkover has ever known. But he is also haunted by fear of the insanity that is prevalent in his Elhalyn family line. His world has become an unbearable counterpoint of meaningless aristocratic frivoloty and dangerous political schemes -- plots in which powerful lords attmept to use him to further their own ambitions. He tries his best to better himself through the study of languages, swordplay, and training his psychic laran with his grandmother, Linnea Storn-Hastur, Keeper of Comyn Tower. But Gareth cannot stop dreaming about a future without fame or family.

In a desperate attempt to remove himself completely from the restricted life of the Comyn, Gareth confesses his desire to his powerful grandmother, and with her blessing, disguises himself as a simple trader and travels to Carthon, on the border of the barbarous, warklike Dry Towns. The Dry Towns do not live under the rule of the Comyn, and no one in this isolated part of Darkover will recognize a Comyn lord.

In Carthon, protected by his guise of anonymity, Gareth overhears rumors of deadly, illegal Terran blasters being used in the barren lands beyond Shainsa -- one of the main Dry Towns. If the Federation has returned and is now arming the bellicose Dry Towners with banned technology, it will mean a disastrous conflict for the Comyn of the Domains, who have long sworn themselves to the Compact, an oath of honor that forbids the use of distance weaponry. Venturing deeper and deeper into the desert lands, Gareth stumbles upon a terrible reality no one could have suspected and he is ill-prepared to deal with.

But in fact, Gareth holds the key to protecting his world, if he can only stay alive in the deadly Dry Towns long enough to discover what it is....

The Children of Kings follows The Alton Gift and Traitor's Sun in the Darkover timeline.
Not the best introduction to the world of Darkover as it assumes that the reader already has the background knowledge, but a book I really enjoyed reading nonetheless. My full review can be found here.

The Oathbound - Mercedes Lackey
The Oathbound Book I: Vows and Honor
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1988

The product description:
Tarma witnessed her clan's murder and, swearing vengeance, became a master warrior. Kethry fled her forced "marriage" and became an adept--pledging her power to the greatest good. When Kethry obtains a magical sword which draws her to others in need, the two vow to avenge the wrongs done to womanhood.
This was the third book I read last week, and I haven't had a week like that in well over a year, perhaps two. My full review, though short, can be found here.

Read for both the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge and my own Valdemar Reading Challenge.

 I'm currently reading:
Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey, the sequel to Oathbound above, and I'm still working away at Adrienne Mayor's book on the Amazons.

I honestly don't know what I'm going to read next, although I suspect that there's a good chance it'll be Oathblood, the completing volume in the Vows and Honor series by Mercedes Lackey.

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