There’s a certain nervous expectation when going back to my favorite things. Do you know what I mean? Especially with books (and movies). I’ve found so much of how much I like something depends on my mood and mindset at the time. When I dive back in, there’s always a chance I was somehow out of my mind on that first interaction…
That’s why it’s even more exciting when something is just as fabulous the second and third time. Here’s when you really know you have a favorite among favorites (a FAF? Can we make that a thing?).
The final book of The Sun Eater series came out in December. I was there on release day, picking up my copy, live and in person. Here is a series too good to get in electronic form. These books need to be handled in the real world.
Of course, to properly enjoy Ashes of Man, I had to reread the entire series before diving in. Naturally, my time management sucked and here we are a month later, and I have only just finished book 1 of 5. But that’s okay. This is not a thing to be rushed.
As with the first three (four?) times reading Empire of Silence, I was instantly taken in by the style. Reminiscent of The Name of the Wind (another favorite of mine), I got actual goosebumps as I settled in to read. My first experience with Christopher Ruocchio was through an audiobook, and reading it brought to light details I missed in the distraction of carrying out tasks while I listened. This second read-through had me tagging my favorite passages and quotes, of which there are many. I don’t usually do this, though I love collecting quotes through my Kindle’s highlighter. Here’s the bad thing about not having the e-version (though upon writing this, I’ve added them to my wishlist). I don’t have a system to capture favorite lines with physical books. Only with The Sun Eater have I ever stopped to text out my favorites.
When I think about Hadrian, away from reading, just as I think of Kvothe, I think of an over-dramatic, arrogant person who has more adeptness at whatever they do than is healthy for any individual. Then I reflect on everything that happens to them, and I reconsider. “With great power comes great responsibility,” but also a fierce probability of heinous things happening. Of being ostracized by the people you love and, most horrendously, facing the consequences of your grand gestures and decisions. Both characters share a similar fate in this. Here is why this series keeps me coming back. This equality of dark and light. Of the good with the bad. Of planning a path to find it crumbling beneath them only to see that this path was where they had to end up. On this newest re-read of Empire of Silence, I wonder if Hadrian’s course would have always brought him to his final point. If he hadn’t run, if he’d followed the plan set by his father, would he still have found this operatic end? I think so, but only in an obsessive, over-analyzing mindset can I even pretend to have the discussion. I’d be shocked to hear if even the author ever considered this. There is little point of considering these what-ifs and might-haves in our real lives. Still, I find it a fun thought experiment. And isn’t part of what makes these books so great the fact that we can have these discussions about them? Here is why they’re FAFs. And unlike many series, The Sun Eater gets better with each installment.
It’s strange. I’m a little hesitant to read Ashes of Man, because once I do, it will be over…
Of course, there’s always the coming back to look forward to…
Happy Reading 🙂