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ssleif

ssleif

Joined January 2020

Primarily Queer SpecFic, and then a few odd ones.
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Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer
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ssleif
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Pickpick

This was good fun. Some of the stories on here are quite inventive, and though the characters and plots sometimes differ from the TV adaptation, it was a really good time. It's a different take and some fresher mythology to a lot of far west/American readers, and quite engaging. I totally recommend it to fans of the show/games, or fantasy fans in general. It's not long, so you'll be able to get a good taste of this universe, and pretty quick.

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ssleif
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Oh man, I'm really enjoying this. I like the way each of the chapter so far has been a unique story/hunt/fight/fable, told in two parts. the first was the striga hunt that features both in the opening of the first video game, and also in the second episode of the Netflix TV series, but the second, to my surprise was beauty and the beast. And it was great. You know that painting of Belle, naked, blowing a horn and riding a bear into battle?

ssleif That was apparently fanart of this chapter. And it was friggin magnificent. This is so much fun. Here's a link to that pic, NSFW obvs, if you wanna see what I mean. https://m.imgur.com/KPRFtF0 4w
2 likes1 comment
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ssleif
Arrow's Fall | Mercedes Lackey
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Pickpick

An excellent end to probably the best trilogy to start with, if you want to get into Valdemar/Mercedes lackey. Technically this trilogy has spoilers for the Magic's Pawn trilogy, but I think this one has a better balance of tragedy and success, and this book in particular makes you feel you've earned the ending, and sets up several future quartets quite competently. For as short as the books all are, this one does a lot of good work!

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ssleif
Arrow's Flight | Mercedes Lackey
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Pickpick

I always forget that nearly the entirety of this book takes place while she's on circuit. I think it might be the most time in the actual job of a Herald we ever get. So many of the one-off books are people's journeys to becoming a Herald, and the longer cycles usually have to do with some huge historical event or crisis... Not that Talia doesn't go through a crisis in this, but I forgot how much I enjoyed the minutiae of her actual internship.

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ssleif
Arrows of the Queen | Mercedes Lackey
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Pickpick

Always a good read. I saw RBdigital was carrying these, so I expect that's what I'll be up to for a bit. Although there are lots of good things, and lots of queer themes, I'm not sure I can in good conscience recommend then as #queerfantasy, or #queerbooks since, as expected for the times, the more explicitly queer characters tend to meet tragic ends. But then, the whole Valdemar series is a delicate balance of joy and tragedy for most characters.

ssleif This trilogy, and the Vanyel/Magic's pawn trilogy, were actually the very first books I read as a young person with explicitly GRSM characters. I have always loved them, and with the caveat that Lackey sometimes Buries Her Gays, at this point in her career, I think these books still hold up really well, especially if you enjoy heroes that get beat up, self sacrifice, and save everyone, often with a miraculous last-minute plot point. 1mo
ssleif Also there are magic horses that talk to you and become your soul mate. 👍 1mo
3 likes2 comments
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ssleif
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Pickpick

A re-read, and always a fav. A nice big city, swords and horses universe, with magic and necromancy and mythic races and thievery and Valor and two bi/pan protags who come to care for eachother at just the moment where they're each gonna need an unbelievable amount of support to survive the magics and political machinations. #queerbooks #queerfantasy #epicfantasy

ssleif Particularly, there's a great deal of master!spy/theif stuff in this one-- which is great. Skullduggery indeed. 1mo
Kenyazero Always worth a reread! 1mo
2 likes2 comments
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ssleif
Wizard's First Rule | Terry Goodkind
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Pickpick

I was feeling kind of stalled out, trying to start a couple of new books and didn't make any progress, so I went back to an oldie but goodie. This series is very flawed, but also pretty good. It's one of my very favorite of all time, especially the first two books. It probably resonated with me more as a teenager than it would for someone just picking it up now as an adult. Epic fantasy, epic stakes, epic romance. Always a fav.

ssleif This is very much High Fantasy. Richard is a woods guide in a land without magic, and one day shortly after the death of his father, he encounters a woman with waist-length hair in a pristine white dress being pursued by four men intent on murdering her. he steps in and lends a hand, and they manage to survive, and he's then plunged into a world of underworld monsters and human monsters and wizards and dragons and spirits and moral conflict. 1mo
ssleif Swords and horses fantasy mostly, lots of flawed/amatuer philosophy and politics. There is some LGBT Rep, and it's better in later books, but it's a bit not good. Clear product of the times. And there's some real graphic grizzly s*** in here, including some CSA stuff, and a very long section where the main adult male character is tortured, including sexually tortured. But goddamn. It's still one of my fav books of all time. 1mo
2 comments
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ssleif
Restless Spirits | Jordan L Hawk
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Pickpick

Okay, this was lovely. Romance/erotica technically, I think, but what a plot! Felt a bit like an Agatha Christie, actually, but more ghosts, more racial, gender, and sexual diversity, and way more kissing. I was invested in both leads, the side characters were nicely fleshed out, and if the mysteries weren't always particularly surprising, I still had fun getting there. And a good length as well! Pretty excellently paced! I'll have to read more!

ssleif #queerbooks #transbooks This was a solid A, I think. if a few things had been more exciting or less predictable then maybe it would have gotten an a+, but I really had nothing more I wanted or could ask for from this book. It had me engaged the whole time. 👌👍 2mo
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ssleif
Grasshopper Jungle | Andrew Smith
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Panpan

You know those books that never leave you? I have to give credit-- this is one. Plays out a bit like a Ray Bradbury, a Goosebumps, Lovecraft... Definitely a Kurt Vonnegut. And if they had solved the love triangle with an Ot3, and stuck the landing, I might have recomended it... But instead they remove all agency of the sole female character, eventually reducing her to nothing but a biological function-- Handmaid's tale-esque in a real bad way.

1 comment
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ssleif
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Just started this one, and already not sure if I want to continue. This was recommended as high-fantasy and queer-inclusive, which it is. Very Valdemar, in a good way. I dig the voice, the style, the world.

But I'm really really not interested in a pregnancy story? Particularly one where it's the POV Character (cis female) that's pregnant, and that is fulfilling for them?

Nothing wrong with the book, that's just something I don't enjoy... Hmm.

ssleif If anybody sees this and wants to chime in and reassure me that this is not the focal point of the book, or something like that, I'm all ears. Like, if there happens to be a time skip after another week of story time, and like skip till after she has a kid, that'd be fine with me ... Though it would probably make for a less well paced and constructed story. XD 2mo
Kenyazero I haven't read this one yet, But I loved a different book in the series, Sing the Four Quarters. 2mo
ssleif @Kenyazero Which book did you read? I think this is the first in the Quarters series, but I really only got a couple chapters in, maybe, just until Annice Makes it back to the Bardic College, has the pregnant confirmed, and decides she wants to keep it despite royal edict. I know the person recomended Sing the Four Quarters to me really enjoyed it, but we never spoke specifics, just that there were LGBT/GRSM MCs in the series. 2mo
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ssleif I've put it down for now, but I do like the world and voice, so I might read the wiki or something. Fast forward, or skip to another in the series... 2mo
Kenyazero @ssleif 🤦‍♀️I meant to say the quartered sea. It‘s the fourth book. I haven‘t read the rest of the series yet, but enjoyed that one. The world captivated me. 2mo
ssleif @Kenyazero XD Sweet, I'll give that one a shot then. 👌👍 TY! 2mo
Kenyazero @ssleif I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
1 like7 comments
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ssleif
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Pickpick

It was lovely. Not particularly long or complex, but a nice period romance/erotica with distinct and compelling leads. B+ If you think it's up your alley, it probs is. #queerbooks #transbooks

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ssleif
What the Wind Knows | Amy Harmon
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Originally picked it up last summer because I was on an Outlander kick and this is much in the same vein.

IMHO, this is a more succinct version of outlander. The timeline is shortens, the characters are deeper and more compelling much faster, and there is a lot less melodrama. Basically, I found it to be a lot of the things I loved about the first couple outlander books, but without a lot of the things I didn't love. And a real fresh setting.