Newest Fantasy Reviews

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Review of

Shadebringer by Grayson W Hooper

4star.jpg Fantasy

Clyde Robbins signs up for the US Army during the Vietnam War. He's not really that invested in the fight against Communism, nor is he particularly interested in a career in the military. If he's honest - which Clyde usually is, with himself at least - he hasn't got many choices and this one, at least, gets him out of the rut he's in. He's good in training and is quickly put onto a non commissioned officer training course. He's chuffed with himself. Full Review

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Review of

Elektra by Jennifer Saint

4star.jpg Literary Fiction

'Elektra' by Jennifer Saint tells the story of three women who live in the heavily male dominated world of Ancient Greece. Cassandra, Clytemnestra, and Elektra are all bit players in the story of the Trojan War. Yet Jennifer Saint shows us that often the silent women have the most compelling stories and the most extreme furies. Full Review

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Review of

Quicksilver by Dean Koontz

2.5star.jpg Thrillers

Meet Quinn Quicksilver. He's not had the chance to get to be a mercurial character yet, for he's lived in a nun-run orphanage since he was a three-day old foundling, and now is starting a career on a needless magazine's staff. But when this book starts he IS now subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind, for something – call it unearthly intuition, call it mind-control, call it a supernatural urge – has demanded of him that he go to a derelict diner, find a gold coin worth a fortune, cash the value of it out of his bank and prepare for going on the lam. And all this is just in time for two of those typical Men in Black types to turn up and suggest he's of interest to them. Helped to escape, he finds his flight is interrupted by other instances of him acting without being in control, the discovery that he is not unique in having some kind of burgeoning power – and a whole lot more besides. Full Review

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Review of

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

4star.jpg Fantasy

On the night of her sacred burning, Princess Malini defies her brother and refuses to step on to the pyre. She is immediately sent to be imprisoned on the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once filled with a community of people who got powers from the mysterious deathless waters. But now the temple is nothing more than an overgrown, decaying ruin. One day, Malini witnesses a girl kill someone with magic. Instead of reporting her for such a gruesome crime, Malini claims that the girl saved her from an attacker and begs for the girl to become her own personal maidservant. Full Review

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Review of

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

4star.jpg Fantasy

A modern and approachable reimagining of the Norse myths that centres around a witch named Angrboda. She hides in a forest at the edge of the nine worlds, remembering nothing of her past life but that fact that she was survived burnt at the stake three times because of Odin's wrath. Her attempts to live in peace, however, are quickly thwarted when Loki shows up with her literal heart—the one that was cut from her chest before she was tied to the stake—and refuses to leave her alone. After an initial period of mistrust, Angrboda begins to fall for Loki's charms, and the two start an unusual family made of up a half-dead daughter, a son that's a wolf, and another son that's a snake. Full Review

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Review of

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

5star.jpg Fantasy

In Red's family, the first daughter becomes queen, and the second daughter becomes a sacrifice. To Red's misfortune, she is the second daughter. Sent alone into the woods with nothing but the cape on her back, Red knows what to expect: within the woods is a wolf, and he is the one who will decide the fate of their kingdom. If she is not a worthy sacrifice, the monsters he keeps contained to the woods will be released, and the fabled kings he keeps hostage will never be returned—or so the stories go. But when Red enters the woods, expecting nothing more than to be killed within the hour, she finds that the legends are lies. The wolf is not a monster—he's a man. Full Review

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Review of

The Shadow Of The Gods by John Gwynne

5star.jpg Fantasy

The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle. Full Review

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Review of

Hall of Smoke by H M Long

4star.jpg Fantasy

Hessa is an Eangi: a powerful priestess of the Goddess of War. That is until she is banished by her high priestess for not following her one order: to kill the traveller that visits her temple. Her whole town is burnt to the ground while she is praying for forgiveness, and Hessa – now left alone – must find this traveller to atone for her weakness and win back her goddess' favour. On her journey, she encounters zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly awakened demons at every turn. It is a gruelling quest, and along the way, she discovers a harrowing truth: the gods are dying, and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa's trust in her goddess weakens, and she is thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New. Full Review

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Review of

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

5star.jpg Fantasy

There's no such thing as witches, but there used to be.

In 1893, after the purges and the burnings, witching has been reduced to little more than weak charms and simple spells. If women want to hold power in their hands, to have their voices heard, it is now through women's suffrage. Full Review

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Review of

The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire) by Andrea Stewart

4.5star.jpg Fantasy

I could never be what he wanted if I did not take what I wanted

In an empire controlled by a bone shard magic that powers animal-like constructs, an heir to the throne, a smuggler, and a warrior will fight to find their place in the world.

Lin is the emperor's forgotten daughter, kept locked away in a palace of secrets and closed doors. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to show him she is capable of reviving a dying empire and in secret, she begins to unlock one door after another, searching for the mysteries of her past and the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet Lin is playing a deadly game and her quest for power will come at great cost. With revolution in the air and creeping closer and closer to the gates of the palace, Lin must decide just how far she will to go to become a catalyst of change and save her people. Full Review

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Review of

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

5star.jpg Fantasy

Heroes cannot be forged without villains Princess Hesina of the kingdom of Yan has never wanted the throne. Instead of craving power, she has always considered the crown her inescapable duty and shrank away from the responsibilities of being Queen. To her, it has always been a distant, faraway future. Until that is, it isn't. When her beloved father suddenly dies, she is thrust into ruling. But contrary to the official report, Hesina knows all is not as it seems, her father didn't die. He was murdered. Determined to seek the truth and discover her father's killer, Princess Hesina will stop at nothing to find justice, even committing treason. Under the cover of darkness, her feet lead her to a soothsayer to learn what happened that day and who killed the King. Full Review

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Review of

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

5star.jpg Confident Readers

I have always been of the mind that once you're above picture-book level and before you get to graphic sex & violence, there is no difference between books for children and books for adults. There are good books and poor ones. And Joanne Harris does not produce poor ones. A Pocketful of Crows is clearly aimed at the younger readers as witness the use of the middle initial in the author's name to differentiate from her adult offers. Ignore that if you have loved anything from Chocolat onwards you will know that Harris is mistress of the modern fairy tale. This is no different. It is an utter delight. Full Review

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Review of

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

5star.jpg Teens

On the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl has assumed the identity of Florian the man in an attempt to fit in with the crew. Life is hard as a pirate, trust and empathy are the first things to be discarded, but anything has to be better than starving on the streets. Meanwhile, the young Lady Evelyn Hasegawa boards the Dove, headed off to be married to a military man she's never met on some far-flung colony of the Nipran Empire. Neither of them expects to be thrown together by fate, never mind fall in love… Full Review

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Review of

Ghosted: The Treason House Trilogy by Baye Hartshorne

4star.jpg Fantasy

'Julia Crawley has lost her job on Celebrity magazine and so she decides to cut her losses and return home to the village of Monmouth Cove on the Jersey Shore, hoping to return to her harder hitting journalistic roots via local news. She'll be staying with her grandmother - a woman always ready to help younger relatives in need of a hand. There's only one problem with that: creepy Uncle Dex, who doesn't always keep his hands to himself. Full Review

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Review of

The Library of the Unwritten by A J Hackwith

2star.jpg Fantasy

Bear with me, this summary is not going to be forced into the intended, one breath length. In this world, there is a corner of Hell that is employed to look after all the world's incomplete stories. (You'd think Heaven would look after literature, but as it has no loss, no need and no variation from heavenly norm, you can't have any decent narrative there.) Now and again something happens to the restless creativity on show – characters come to life as embodiments of the books they're in, and can even breach through to the human world. As a result of one such incidence, our heroine Claire has gone to Seattle to force a Hero type back into ink form, but has failed, resulting in him still living. But it's also brought something much more important close to the fore – at the same time as this, a human at the Pearly Gates has tried to bribe his way in by yielding a page of what is claimed to be Satan's Bible. The humble (and humbled) gatekeeper, the angel Ramiel, is on the hunt, but such is the import that Claire and her cohorts also feel the need to chase what fragments of it are floating about our world. Full Review

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Review of

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H G Parry

4star.jpg General Fiction

Brothers Rob and Charley have struggled to see eye to eye for years - Rob a sensible lawyer who exists in the "normal" world - and Charley a man who is blessed with an ability he can't fully control - one which allows him to bring literary characters into the real world. After years of protecting Charley, Rob wants to discharge his duties and leave Charley to his own devices - but circumstances soon take choices out of both their hands. As literary characters begin to appear everywhere, it soon becomes clear that someone out there shares Charley's powers and intends to use them for nefarious gains. Rob and Charley must team up to stop the madness - in a battle to win before they, the characters and the world reach The End… Full Review

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Review of

A Queen In Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

3star.jpg Fantasy

World-building is the backbone by which fantasy novels live and die. And what a pleasure, then, to get a novel with world-building you actually want to delve into. Sarah Kozloff's debut novel presents a startlingly rich and layered world, with a complex history of connecting nations that seems certain to have more to tap, and the characters are interesting – if a little underdeveloped. But it's a world I could – and did – eagerly buy into, and the struggle of each Queen to discover and hone her magical talent felt very real and very apt. Full Review

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Review of

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray and Manuel Sumberac (illustrator)

5star.jpg Confident Readers

In the last city on Earth, anyone can be the vessel of The Enemy - the god who drowned the world - who has come to wreak havoc on the last of humanity. When a mysterious boy is pulled from the corpse of a whale, the citizens immediately believe him to be the Vessel - all except for young Ellie Lancaster, a girl inventor. As the ruthless Inquisition prepares to execute the boy, Ellie must prove that he is innocent - even if it means revealing her deepest, darkest secrets... Full Review

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Review of

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold

2star.jpg Fantasy

The Last Smile in Sunder City is an urban fantasy noir written by Luke Arnold. It centres on a Private Detective, Fetch Philips, as he attempts to find a missing vampire in a world filled with magical creatures where all the magic has suddenly disappeared with catastrophic consequences. Full Review

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Review of

The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood

4star.jpg Fantasy

What does it mean to betray someone? What if that someone is a god? Csorwe has been raised knowing that she would be sacrificed to her god on her fourteenth birthday, yet when the opportunity arises, she chooses to abandon everything she knows and flee with her life. Who can blame her? Her god’s reach is limited and Csorwe intends to stay far beyond it, yet fate is a funny thing and when circumstances bring her back within the reach of her god Csorwe learns that her god remembers her, and blames her very much indeed. Full Review

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