Fantasy Reading

I don’t normally read a lot of fantasy, but I became interested in a series of books while visiting my brother. The first trilogy in the series, The Farseer Trilogy, was okay. Though ostensibly we are following the life of a young man trained up to be the king’s assassin, there is not that much assassination and a lot of teen angst. Even worse, many times the danger that our hero has to face is a result of his own stupidity. It reminded me quite a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha in that the main character refuses to learn from his mistakes and errors simply so that the author can continue to create situations from which said character must extricate himself. Some of it I can understand, teenage hormones often override one’s sense of what is reasonable, but you’d think that lessons about spy-craft and saving one’s own skin would not fall by the wayside so easily. Moreover, for someone who is supposed to be adept and polished in the techniques required to kill, our hero gets caught and beaten up an awful lot. I’ll finish reading the next trilogy too, since I’m interested in the story and I’d like to know how it ends, but I’m certainly not going to add these books to my collection.

I also read How to Dominate Your Fantasy Baseball League and it was disappointing too, rather more than The Farseer Trilogy. The advice wasn’t terribly helpful and it really could have been condensed to a couple long articles. Or maybe a pamphlet. (Unrelated tangent: What ever happened to the pamphlet? Time was, pamphlets were published all the time. The Federalist Papers started life as a series of pamphlets, I believe, though they may have been newspaper articles. Used to be that people would write, sell and circulate pamphlets when they had some particular point, opinion or idea they wanted to convey without needing a book in which to encapsulate it. I suppose blogs have pretty well obviated any need for pamphlets any longer, but pamphlets disappeared from the scene long before the rise of the internet. Didn’t they?) Mostly the book repeated the points that one should do lots of research and not quit even if it gets boring from time to time. There was some helpful information about common fantasy leagues and a sample set of league rules and what kind of league would be best for certain kinds of players, but on the whole this book was a waste of trees.

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