East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Books for August – a list of five


My brand consultant (yeah, I’m just like the pros, see?) tells me I should do what everybody else does, and post a list of suggested books for my readers to pack as they go on vacation.
Make it a five points list, he said. People love five points lists.
And who am I to ignore my brand consultant on such matters?
So, here we go… a few books you might like to pick up for your summer reading, provided with handy Amazon link and all.
Many of these I have already mentioned, because I don’t like suggesting stuff I have not read myself.

Let’s see…

P.C. Hodgell, The God Stalker Chronicles

A big fat volume including the first two of Hodgell’s Kencyrath novels, this is a good, fun, sprawling fantasy series that manages to be both traditional and off-beat. P.C. Hodgell’s a criminally underrated writer, and you should really read her work.
This edition’s cover features a strange woman with big boobs by the great Larry Elmore, but don’t let her cleavage deter or distract you. These are great novels about a strange world full of gods and mystery (and should you like it, there is a long series of sequels ready for you).

Gaie Sebold, Babylon Steel

I mentioned this one a few days ago, and I still consider Gaie Sebold’s book one of the best light fantasies I have read this year. Great characterization, fun without being silly, with a sort of mystery-style plot and an intriguing setting.
Even manages to be naughty without being vulgar or simplistic.
Yes, I love this book and I’m planning on getting everything Sebold wrote or will write.
There is also a sequel, called Dangerous Gifts, should you like it as much as I did.

Adrian Tchaikovsky – Redemption’s Blade

Apparently a more traditional fantasy than the two above, Tchaikovsky’s novel is set in the aftermath of a magical war, and looks at what the survivors must deal with to try and go back to normal. Cruelly ironic, serious without taking itself too seriously, and neither too grim nor too dark while still being pretty hard-hitting.
Quite good for a change of pace.
And there is a sequel, but by a different author – now that’s intriguing, right?

Fonda Lee – Jade City

First in a trilogy, winner of the World Fantasy Award and so cheap Amazon won’t let me use an affiliate link to try and sell it to you, Fonda Lee’s Jade City is a tour de force of worldbuilding, a great story, and a fantasy that probably owes more to John Woo than to John Tolkien, and that’s a good thing in my books.
First in a trilogy, this is once again something pretty different.

And I finish off with a book that is not a fantasy but that is close to the topics of this blog and to my interests…

Philip Mansel – Constantinople, City of the World’s Desidre, 1453-1924

A big, colorful historical account of one of the great cities of our past, here caught in all of its Ottoman splendor and mystery. Mansel is a good historian and is an excellent guide through the history and lore of the Gateway to the East. By the same author, you might also like to check out the volume on the Levant, charting the port cities of the Near East.

And this is it, I guess.
You have a few thousand pages of great storytelling and exoticism and adventure.
Karavansara will keep broadcasting during the dead month of August, but now I’m sure you’ll have something to distract you.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Books for August – a list of five

  1. Redemption’s Blade has me interested…. off to go check it out.


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