Two new books to distract me

Yes, I know I should be catching up with my Neuromancer, but two new books arrived at my doorstep this morning, and I'm dying to dig into them! The first is Renegade's Magic: Book 3 of The Soldier's Son Trilogy. Now, if you love fantasy and haven't read any Robin Hobb, I HIGHLY SUGGEST that you do so at your earliest convenience. Start with The Farseer Trilogy and work from there. Now, while I had a harder time getting into The Soldier's Son Trilogy a little more than her other works, I still really enjoy it. Here's a brief synopsis:
Loyal, privileged, and brave, Nevare Burvelle proudly embraced his preordained role as soldier in the service of the King of Gernia—unaware of the strange turns his life would ultimately take. Exposed to a plague of enemy sorcery that felled many of his compatriots, he prevailed, but at a terrible cost to his soul, body, and heart. Now he stands wrongly accused of unspeakable crimes—including murder, the most heinous of them all.

What I like most about this trilogy is how magic is both feared and condemned, yet you get a sense that the sides of good and evil aren't as clear as you may have thought. It's a very "man vs. nature" kind of book, and there's a lot of tension involved with the battles that Nevare is fighting inwardly and out.

The second book (and the one I'll probably fall prey to first) is Shadowplay: Shawdowmarch Volume II. Tad Williams is probably my favorite author in the fantasy world, but he pulled a fast one over me with this series -- basically, because I didn't realize I was getting involved with more than one book! I started reading Shadowmarch (apparently, Volume I) and with about forty pages left I started wondering "Wow... there are a lot of loose ends to tie up in these last chapters! I wonder how it's all going to come together?" The joke was that they didn't. Abruptly, the book ended, and the remaining pages were Appendix. I realized then that I had been sucked into yet another series (and how many volumes, I have no idea...) but I'm pretty OK with that. Here's a blurb for the first volume:
Shadowmarch: Volume 1 introduces a world conquered by humans, who have driven the Qar, or fairy folk, into the far north. There, the Qar hide behind the "Shadowline," a mysterious veil of perpetual mist, which drives mad any human who dares enter it. Bordering that mist and named for it is Shadowmarch, the northernmost human kingdom.

Shadowmarch has lately fallen on hard times. Its king has been captured by a rival kingdom, the regent has been mysteriously slain, and the new regents are callow fifteen-year-olds. Moody, crippled Prince Barrick is uninterested in their responsibilities and haunted by eerie dreams. His twin, Princess Briony, takes their new duties seriously, but is hot-tempered and headstrong. How can they defeat the greatest threats in Shadowmarch history? Their nobles plot to overthrow them--and the plotters may include their pregnant stepmother, seeking the throne for her own child. The expanding empire of Xis has sent its agents into Shadowmarch. And, for the first time since it appeared centuries ago, the Shadowline has starting moving. As the maddening mist spreads south over Shadowmarch, it does not quite hide the powerful, uncanny, and vengeful Qar army of invasion...

There are several story lines in this book, and I'm really excited to see how they all relate to each other!

As you can see, I've started a Goodreads account, and Tom has one too (which he's obviously spent a lot more time adding to than I have, I might point out). It's a great way to list the books and authors you're into, and also find new things to read! But don't get too distracted, we're still supposed to be working on S&L Book 4!