Reading Period: December 17 - December 31
1. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Imagine the Illiad, but you replace the story with poorly written gay fanfiction. I am only slightly joking, the extremely high praise for this book is undeserved. I understand that I have a bias against gay romance stories. Generally, the popular ones are Oscar-bait. Underdeveloped, boring romances where if you switched one of the characters with a female, the flaws materialize immediately in front of your eyes. Patroclus imagined as a woman is a boring, useless, pestering nitwit whose only purpose is to worship the sexy, godly, flawless Achilles. That is it. No need to read the book.
The intelligence of the average character is staggeringly low. Patroclus gets all the way to Troy before he realizes, in complete shock and bewilderment, that he will have to fight in the war. Don't worry, he doesn't do anything except admire the softness of Achilles's feet as he ruthlessly slays Trojans. His character is truly ridiculous. An offensive caricature of a doormat. Such a boring book, quite a shock Madeline was able to improve so much by the time she wrote Circe.
2. Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson
As the highest rated book on Goodreads, this book had quite the expectations to live up to. Guess what? My expectations were shattered, this book is truly amazing. Definitely my favorite fantasy novel of all time, it's crazy that The Way of Kings could be surpassed so easily. Brandon builds off of his previous worldbuilding and characterization in order to make a truly thrilling story. There are some moments in this book that are truly iconic, some of the best plot points and character moments I have ever read. There is a two page sequence of events at the end of this 1,100 page book that I re-read multiple times, out of pure shock, and pure glee. This book is truly unlike any other I have read. I am going to take a break from The Stormlight Archive for now, but I will definitely be back. This book concludes as my 52nd book for 2021, and I couldn't have chosen a better book to end the year on.