Hannah: Hey guys, this is the first of my new associate reviewers! I’m planning to have three of us bumming around the place so do keep spreading the word, as I’m still watching out for a third. This guy is somebody whom I met in the World of Warcraft blogging/Twitter community and haven’t been able to shake remained friends with even after we both became a little sporadic with our appearances. He shall be providing the long-missing epic fantasy aspect to the blog and I can’t wait to have him around as a permanent part of the blog. However… I may need to hire a cleaner as well. *removes dirty sock from head* I’ll now let him get to introducing himself.

Oh, er. Hello.

Why am I holding these socks? Let me just put these over ... there.
Naithin is 28, games casually, reads Fantasy/Sci-Fi, and occasionally puts thought to paper. Some may instead argue he only occasionally thinks.

*Fidgets a little* I had been quite prepared to sit back, take it easy, and let fluffy meme-like interview questions guide you all upon your quest for knowledge of all things Naithin.

Instead — *casts a glare at Hannah* — I am to lay bare my secrets with only my own sense to go by. This is going to be awful.

Well, I guess then that the first thing I can tell you — if you haven’t already figured this one for yourself — is that I loathe writing anything remotely akin to an ‘About’ page.

It seems likely that I shall need to do an actual one of those in addition.  So clearly, I have been twice punished already. I haven’t even had a chance to break anything yet! So what if I added a little touch of ‘boy’ to the place… The strewn socks and undergarments add a certain charm to the place, really. It’s all a matter of perspective. Sure, you could see it as the mark of an irresponsible man-child. But that would be really uncharitable of you.

For shame.

Instead, one would rather the strewn items of clothing be viewed with a certain level of excitement at the prospects both naughty and mysterious they might represent from a certain intriguing bachelor as myself!

Eh? Eh? No takers then?

Well fine, I suppose to be fair I’m not actually a bachelor. Or intriguing. Married life does that. I’m fairly sure I’d get in trouble for acting as either. I might very well be mysterious though. Who can say? Oooer!

I’ve known Hannah for quite a long time now, originally via the World of Warcraft community. We shared in a number of interests outside of that though, including tastes in anime and of more relevance, books. Although now I guess if we were to represent our tastes of book in Venn diagrams and set theory, ‘Books Hannah Enjoys’ would probably not be that much smaller than, ‘The Set Universe of All Books’. 😛 In contrast, ‘Books Naithin Enjoys’ would be a speck, a singular mote of dust in the middle of it somewhere.

My go-to genres are Fantasy and Science Fiction primarily. I occasionally wander into other genres such as Spy Thriller or even Horror. The only Urban Fiction I’ve read in recent memory are the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Despite an ever so slight turning up of my nose at the prospect of reading those before I had done so, I ended up on a Dresden Files binge. I was hooked. Kept promising myself I’d take a break and read something else after, ‘just one more book’. In the end, I read the entire series from Storm Front through to Changes in rapid succession, then pined after Ghost Story until it finally came out later that year.

Typically though, I stay within the realm of Fantasy. For a long while, George R. R. Martin topped my list of favourite authors. More recently he has been toppled from that lofty height by not one, but two three others. Sitting atop that pinnacle of greatness currently is Patrick Rothfuss.

I cannot adequately express the depth of my appreciation for Mr Rothfuss’ work to date on the Kingkiller Chronicle (Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear). I read them again relatively recently and was able to pick up on so much more, particularly from NoTW now that I possessed more knowledge about Kvothe’s world from the second book. I expected a lessening of the emotional impact from knowing what was coming, but it didn’t happen that way. Certain scenes still managed to create runnels upon my face from manly-man-tears-of-manlyness.

Sitting only a little lower, I place the works of Scott Lynch for the first two volumes of his Gentleman Bastard series (The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, with a third volume; The Republic of Thieves anticipated to release later this year). Quite a different style to Rothfuss, and yet some similarities too. Both are stories of the man behind the legends that surround them.

Traipsing off to Epic Fantasy land, Steven Erikson is another recent addition to my library. I’d been somewhat vaguely aware of his series for a while, but hadn’t made the plunge until recently. He beats out Martin, beats out Jordan, knocks Goodkind to the floor (although yes, yes, I had rather gone off his work some time ago). They’re dense reads to start with, containing little to no exposition. No-one will explain anything for reader’s benefit so at first you can sort of ride along in a bit of a bemused befuddlement. Things become clear through context and action before too long however, and it is immensely satisfying. I suppose it may also help that the characterisation is well done and the story is brilliant though.

I also quite enjoy Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb (mostly. Let’s just all pretend The Soldier’s Son trilogy never existed) and to represent Sci-Fi which to this point has been mentioned and then neglected, Peter F. Hamilton.

It is these sorts of authors and books I intend to do reviews for and perhaps even the odd discussion of.  Reviews for the most part will remain spoiler free. I’ll try to mark it very clearly if spoilers were unavoidable — which may happen in particular in reviews of later volumes in a series. That said, I do see value in meatier no-holds-barred discussions of books from time to time. Particularly on re-reads or books that I’m in general late to the party for. Those I’ve try to be extra careful about again, as even if I employ a ‘behind the break’ method for on the site, I understand the vast majority of readers do so from a FeedReader of one form or another. Perhaps a graphical warning at the top of the post. 🙂

If my arm gets tweaked just the right way, I may even give the whole ‘Indie’ thing a go. Heaven knows I’ve garnered enough enjoyment out of a vast array of Indie games, so mayhaps the same could be true of books! Recommendations welcome. 🙂

Although I must confess my ‘To Read‘ list is already fairly sizeable. No-where near Hannah’s gargantuan list, but it’s up there!

Right, well, I think that’s me then! I’ll save the other bits and pieces for an actual About page. In the mean time, if you’d like to follow me on Twitter or Goodreads, feel free! 🙂