Once upon a time, I was right into reading sprawling fantasy epics that encompassed a trilogy of more of books. It all started with the ubiquitous Lord Of The Rings, The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, Conan The Barbarian, and various others. I used to rip through these at a fair rate when I wasn’t reading horror, sci-fi and occasional thrillers and odds and ends of non-fiction/biography. Then came Robert Jordan’s interminable Wheel Of Time series – it just went on and on. And on.
I got as far as the 6th book in the series (Lord Of Chaos) and just couldn’t take it any more. For those that don’t know that’sjust half way around the Wheel, which consists of 12 books in all.
I haven’t read a fantasy novel since. Nor have I read anything that extends to more than 1 book.
Now, I find myself deeply engrossed in the third book of The Saga Of Seven Suns by Kevin J. Anderson. This series (7 books in all) is a space opera on a truly enormous scale. And despite numerous sub-plots, a galaxy of characters, and some startling twists and turns the story zips along sweeping you with it as you visit a plethora of new worlds. It really does make for very good reading which is kind of surprising given the circumstances in which I found myself reading the series.
A few years ago I received the second book in the series as a freebie from a book club of which I was a member. I hadn’t ordered anything from them for a while so I guess this was their way of encouraging me to buy. However their marketing ploy was something of a failure – now, if they’d sent my the first book in the series things might have been different. So, A Forest Of Stars sat on my book shelf for months. Then, as the result of another sales drive by the same book club, it was joined on the shelf by the third book in the series, Horizon Storms. I have now cancelled my membership of the book club!
Anyway, aware that these two books were on my shelf and having become curious about them, I kept an eye open for the first book in the series – Hidden Empire. I found it in a branch of Waterstones and a read of the blurb convinced me that it was the beginning of an interesting story. I bought it along with a couple of other SF novels (aren’t Book Tokens wonderful?) and now here I am, hooked.
If you enjoy speculative SF then this as a tale you’ll want to read and you should check out Kevin J. Anderson’s web site for more details. But be warned, even the paperback copies of the books are not pocket sized so it’s maybe better as a holiday read rather than for the daily commute.