September 2022’s (brief) reading wrap-up

I had every intention of just lumping September’s reads into October’s wrap-up as a lazily do for months that weren’t spectacular. However, I’m already at 12 books for October, so I figured it would be smarter to just throw together a quick, very late wrap-up of all of my reads from September.

In September I was able to finish three fantasy trilogies and make progress on another one. While I enjoyed most of the reads, none of them really stuck out as major favorites.

Check out notes on all of my September reads below!

Notes on september reads

The Burning God / R. F. Kuang

The concluding book of the Poppy War Trilogy left me feeling about the same as the middle book. The world-building and character work is all great, but there was a special magic to the first book that the latter two failed to capture (it probably involved the magical school setting.) All in all, a serviceable conclusion to this fantasy trilogy.

Magic for Liars/ Sarah Gailey

My quest to find a good magical school book started here, and Gailey’s take is basically “what if Hogwarts was just an average high school?” It’s a fun murder mystery, and I do enjoy the point of view of the banality of magic, but this didn’t fully scratch the magical school itch. I’d still recommend it though!

The Winter of the Witch / Katherine Arden

I eluded to this last month, but after really enjoying The Girl in the Tower, I thought I had found my footing with the Winternight Trilogy. Alas, the problems from the first book returned: the pacing was all over the place and the characters as well as the conflict were hard to follow. There was still great atmosphere and a sense of playfulness you don’t always find in fantasy like this, but overall I felt a little disappointed closing this trilogy out.

The Magician King / Lev Grossman

The search for the magical school book continues! It had been awhile since I’d read the opening book, The Magicians, that I’d forgotten our characters graduate in that book. No magical school to be found in this volume! What The Magician King ends up being a a classic quest novel, and a fun one at that!

The Magician’s Land / Lev Grossman

The search continues! In this concluding volume, our main character takes up a post teaching at his alma mater (MAGICAL SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!) I really love this trilogy, but many people hate the sarcastic, caustic characters. I love them all. We don’t get characters like this in fantasy, and I am so glad that after all these years I finished this series. I’ll miss them!

The Gunslinger / Stephen King

I have tried to read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger three times in my life before this, each time setting it down. It is just a slog, despite being so short. However, it is the opening book to a beloved series that includes a few books that many agree are among King’s best. So, as a means to an end, I trudged through this time. It’s still a slog.

Kingdom of Copper / S. A. Chakrobarty

City of Brass was my travel read last year during the holidays, and having large blocks of time on a plane was the ideal setting to consume it. I read the follow up, Kingdom of Copper, in fits and spurts and it made the overall experience less immersive and ultimately less enjoyable. I still really enjoy this world, but I may hold off on reading the concluding book until my next vacation.

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