ABERCROMBIE, Joe – Last Argument of Kings (Gollancz)MARILLIER, Juliet – Heir to Sevenwaters (Tor UK)
SANDERSON, Brandon - The Hero of Ages (Tor US)
SAPOWSKI, Andrzej - Blood of Elves (Gollancz)
WEEKS, Brent - The Way of Shadows (Orbit)
Firstly, I'm obviously disappointed Paul Kearney's The Ten Thousand hasn't made it to the shortlist. I know I'm not alone in thinking that would have been a very suitable winner for the award's first year, so it's a real shame that it's not made an appearance here.
I'm not surprised by the appearance of Abercrombie, Weeks and Sanderson - all of these are big authors with big internet presences. I very much enjoyed Last Argument of Kings, haven't read The Hero of Ages and thought The Way of Shadows was distinctly mediocre.
The appearance on the list of Sapowski and Marillier is more surprising. Given the Legend Award is a purely online award, it would make sense that the novels on the shortlist would have generated a fair amount of buzz online (this is certainly true of the Abercrombie, Weeks and Sanderson novels). But I've seen very little online reaction to Sapowski's Blood of Elves and none at all to Heir to Sevenwaters.
The one major notable omission for me (except for The Ten Thousand) is Peter V. Brett's The Painted Man. This book has done terrifically well and generated a very positive online buzz. Plus Brett has a strong online presence, so for me its non-appearance is a strange one. I find it very hard to believe that more people voted for Sapowski than Brett.
Anyway, I hope either Sanderson or Abercrombie win the award. Expect a rant of epic proportions if Weeks wins, as in my opinion that would be a bit of a joke (and would also blow the organisers' claim that fans are 'well-informed about the genre' out of the water).
Full details of the next voting process are due to follow shortly...