N.K. Jemisin’s novel, The Fifth Season launched an eponymous and celebrated science fiction and fantasy trilogy. With the release of the third and final book, The Stone Sky, it’s a great time to discuss her world of earth-shattering sorcerers. James Fouhey fills in for Kyle Willoughby, and focuses on the books’ central theme of systemic racism, particularly as inspired by the off-reservation boarding schools used in the United States to assimilate Native Americans. Claire builds on this by describing N.K. Jemisin’s inspiration for the series, as well as her journey from writing as a hobby to winning the Hugo award for best novel two years in a row. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the trilogy, the quality of Jemisin’s world building, and the kind of reader who might not enjoy her work.
Faith Erin Hicks has released the second volume in The Nameless City graphic novel series. It’s been recognized by many as one of the best comics of the year, and since it’s a historically influenced YA fantasy, it’s given Kyle and Claire a chance to talk about some of their favorite things. Kyle gets to discuss the Mongolian invasion of China in the 13th century and the establishment of the Yuan Dynasty. He even gets to mention the other Khanates, including “The Golden Horde”, so you can be sure he’s having a good time. Claire tags in to talk about the writer and artist, Faith Erin Hicks, and how creators like her are broadening the appeal of comics to include young girls. To conclude, our hosts discuss the two volumes, The Nameless City, and The Stone Heart, as well as their favorite comics and how they discovered them.
The new Netflix original series, The Defenders, is the streaming service’s sixth collaboration with Marvel TV and unites the central characters of five previous seasons. Kyle connects the comic book origins of the superhero team up to the forming of the first Defenders. Claire discusses the career of show runner, Marco Ramirez, and why Disney’s new streaming service won’t stop Netflix from making more Marvel shows. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the show’s script, its stage combat, and which hero is their favorite.
This past January, Image Comics brought Santiago Garcia and David Ruben’s graphic novel, Beowulf, to America. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White have been all about two things lately — fantasy books, and relating everything back to Tolkien. That makes this new adaptation a perfect excuse to discuss English literature’s oldest written fantasy and it’s place in modern culture. Claire begins by historically placing the English Vikings who told the story, before moving on to explain how J.R.R. Tolkien brought the poem out of obscurity and into the popular imagination. Kyle uses this comic as an opportunity to discuss what’s so special about its publisher, Image Comics. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the graphic novel and the power of adaptations.
Our next episode about Santiago Garcia and David Rubin’s graphic novel, Beowulf, will be delayed for just a couple of days, while the DSRA team gets back on their feet.
The Witchwood Crown is the latest entry in Tad William’s new high fantasy book series, The Last King of Osten Ard. It marks his return to the world he created for his first series, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, after 30 years away. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White have been reading everything thing they can from the continent of Osten Ard, and they’re ready to talk about this influential author and his significance to the genre. Kyle begins by attempting to frame Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn‘s place in modern high fantasy and the bridge that it creates between the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and contemporary authors like George R.R. Martin. Claire take this further as she explains what led Williams to write his first series, and the challenges he faced returning to his characters with so much time passed in their life and his. Our hosts conclude by discussing their thoughts on the original books and what it feels like to be back.