Hello, all. Super Hubs here!
Confession time: I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I love the idea of fantasy. I love being whisked away to another world where the laws of physics don’t adhere to the boring bullshit of our stupid, normal world; I love imagining sprawling landscapes full of impossible geology and incredible cultures; I love crazy monsters and magic. Everything about fantasy seems like it should appeal to me…and yet, the only fantasy I’ve read has been the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings series, and GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.
There are lots of reasons for this, all of them pretty dumb. However, the dumbest reason I have thus far avoided most fantasy novels is also probably the biggest reason: almost as a rule, I hate fantasy language. By that, I mean I hate the way that almost every fantasy I’ve ever tried to read has been very…insistent…about how alien the language is supposed to be. All the characters are speaking English, but their names are all craaaaaaaaazy. They have unnecessary apostrophes, lots of consonants, and no real reason for being as weird as they are considering how, again, everyone is speaking English and almost always with an implied English accent. For an example:
Tua’t’thallamon cocked an eyebrow at his companion, the question lingering between them unspoken but powerful.
Baalroar bellowed, and pulled the hood of his cloak forward, shielding his eyes. His voice was rough-hewn and brimming with anger. “Piss off. I’ll tell you when I bloody well know.”
That’s how I imagine all fantasy. Stupid names and English accents. Like I said, my reasons for avoiding fantasy are insanely dumb. I’m not even really sure where this aversion came from—probably from forcing my way through Lord of the Rings in seventh grade and being bored out of my mind. Yes, Internet: I don’t like Lord of the Rings. I love the story and the lore, but the writing bores me to tears. COME AT ME BROS!
Regardless, it has been a part of my life for a long time. Which is unacceptable. I’m supposed to be a Reader. Not just a reader. I can’t let the trappings of genre discourage me from trying new things. That’s what scrubs do! My wife is a semi-devout follower of the Church of TLC, and rule 1 is that scrubs can’t get no love from them!
And so, having been faced with the nigh-inevitable dissolution of my marriage, I decided to stop being a scrub and open my damn mind. There are many options for the burgeoning fantasy fanatic out there, but I decided to jump straight into the deep end and go with the universally acclaimed Wheel of Time series, the highest of high fantasies.