I read a couple of books this weekend: A House in Amalfi, by Elizabeth Adler, and The Steel Remains, the acclaimed novel by Richard K. Morgan.
Amalfi was that subgenre of romance known for food and house porn — it was set in Italy, the main character is fixing up her childhood villa, there are loving descriptions of Italian villages and Italian food, and there’s a love story.
The Steel Remains was just porn. Well, it wasn’t, because if you took out the gay male sex scenes what was left was a sturdy sword-and-sorcery fantasy in the vein of Glen Cook and David Gemmell and others. But I had to read some of it with my eyes averted. It lived up to its critical reviews and I’m glad I picked it up. I liked the characterizations of the elves (called dwenda in the book). Look, they are a separate race, they have their own motives, and there’s a reason they are amoral. They aren’t just pretty pretty people, is all I’m sayin’.
Amalfi was not bad. I had to laugh at some of the scenes though. I mean, people say I write fantasy. This is the main character describing her best friend:
“I don’t know where she puts all that food; she’s as slender now as she was at seventeen.”
Or the main character herself, woefully tall and skinny and gains weight in Italy and it all looks good.
On another note: Here is my year’s resolution. I have officially selected a project and intend to finish it by summer’s end (August 30). I have made my commitment and am looking forward to writing The End.