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Old 06-01-2017, 11:26 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,988
I’ve much enjoyed Frederick Forsyth’s novels -- “thrillers with some intellectual worthwhileness” -- IMO varying somewhat in quality, but I’ve been moved to read more than one more than once, and never come upon one which I reckoned a total dud. For me, though, his The Fist of God (about the 1990 – 91 Gulf War) is special: I’ve read it at least four times, and will likely do so again in the future. I find it totally on-the-edge-of-one’s-seat gripping and suspenseful -- even if one is re-reading and knows how things will turn out -- and fascinatingly complex: this, so far as I’m concerned, irrespective of one’s sympathies or otherwise, with the countries involved.

(My respect for Forsyth has increased, on hearing that he -- in his late seventies -- has lately told of his retiring from further writing, fiction or otherwise; informing, with admirable candour, that “I ran out of things to say”. One could wish for similar conduct on the part of other authors, “well-stricken in years”, who nonetheless -- relying on their reputation established in earlier times -- go on and on into their dotage writing and having published, stuff which becomes quite embarrassingly awful.)

Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
I've read The Curse of Chalion, by Bujold, probably 8 or 9 times, which is 6 or 7 more times than any other book I can think of. It's just a beautifully written book, an interesting fantasy incorporating an interesting theology.
Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle View Post
Me, too. In fact, I love - and frequently reread - all of her "World of the Five Gods" works. The religion is, as you noted, fascinating - one reviewer called them works of "speculative theology". The last novel, about Penric and Desdemona, she seems to be writing as a series of novellas. The first three, Penric's Demon, Penric and the Shaman, and Penric's Mission can be read as standalones; but the next one, Mira's Last Dance, not only flows directly from the event's of Penric's Mission, but ends on a cliffhanger. I suspect that is when she realized she's writing a serialized novel. I can't wait for the next installment.

Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga is also fantastic. She has the gift of writing believable, fleshed out male characters, as well as female. As well as a nice touch of humor.
I take delight in the Vorkosigan Saga, especially the books in the latter half / two-thirds thereof -- can read those time and again. Less happy outcome for me with other works by Bujold. Her "World of the Five Gods" failed to do it for me. Read The Curse of Chalion and was favourably impressed, without being totally bowled over. Went on to Paladin of Souls, and had to give up something like halfway through -- struck me as just trite, and wearisome. To be honest, what really killed POS for me -- people will probably think this absurdly trivial -- was that dratted "Pony Express messenger-girl" Liss. Bloody smug twerp, she irritated the heck out of me: I was pushed over the already-nearly-reached edge, by the great desire to hear no more about her.