Newest Fantasy Reviews

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BL!NK (Hadron Damnation Book 1) by Mark Lingane

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iYe is a smasher: a child who is capable of sending back pictures of the future by travelling out to where the past and future meet. Smashers don't usually live to see their teens as the information generally returns without them. However iYe's mother, Captain Trix Raiden, is determined he'll be different and, indeed he is, in many ways. Not only does iYe survive, he is a chip off the same block as Cally, the planetary hero. However there is a darker side: iYe carries a message that Earth doesn't want to hear. The planet is used to dealing with the aliens that Cally originally fought but worse is on its way. We are coming to kill you. Full review...

The Never King by James Abbott

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The land of Stravimon is in chaos. Cedius the Wise died leaving the traitorous Mardonius to ascend to the throne. In far off Hell's Keep (the most deadly and remote prison in the Kingdom; a place no prisoner has ever returned from alive) Xavir Argentum is contacted by Cedius' former Spy Master, Landril. Betrayal, intrigue, violence and magic follow as we travel across this strange but familiar land on a quest for vengeance, justice and freedom. Full review...

Masquerade (Micah Grey Trilogy) by Laura Lam

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It's been a remarkable journey for our young protagonist. It wasn't long ago that Micah Grey was still living the life of Iphigenia Laurus, daughter of a noble family, trapped in a gilded cage forever hiding her true self. Since running away, Micah has managed to reinvent himself, first as a circus acrobat, and then as a magician's apprentice. Along the way he's discovered love and friendships that have helped keep him afloat, even as betrayal and tragedy seem ready to strike at every turn. But there's only so long he can keep running. His powers are growing, the Chimaera are returning, and Ellada is about to reach a violent tipping point. Full review...

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

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"Love is like killing," she said. "You do it with every part of you, or not at all.” Pyrre is a skullsworn; one who is devoted to the God of Death. Trained as an assassin and having studied under the deadliest killers in the world since she was eight, Pyrre is about to embark upon her final trial. A trial in which success will mean elevation to the rank of priestess, while failure will mean death. Full review...

A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab

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The Darker Shade of Magic trilogy concludes by continuing with the story of Lila Bard, finding her way through the different Londons', one with magic, one without magic, a London where magic has near enough destroyed their world and the last London, which balances precariously on the edge of oblivion. Full review...

The End of the Day by Claire North

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At the end of the day, Death visits everyone. Right before that, Charlie does. You might meet him in a hospital, in a warzone, or at the scene of a traffic accident. Then again, you might meet him at the North Pole - he gets everywhere. From jungles to deserts to tundra, you may come across Charlie. Would you shake him by the hand, take the gift he offers, or would you pay no attention to the words he says? Sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning. He never knows which. Full review...

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 1) by Jen Williams

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Ebora is dying along with its tree-like god Ysegril but Hestillion is doing all she can to keep him alive. In fact she'll go to any lengths to save him… any lengths at all. Hest's brother Tormalin can't sit around and wait for the end so he's engaged by Lady Vincenza (Vintage) de Grazon to be her factotum and hired sword during her quest for knowledge. It's turning into more of an adventure than they'd planned even before Fell witch and fugitive Noon joins them. Now the trio must work together, putting prejudices and passions aside (others' as well as their own). The Ninth Rain is coming and more than Ebora is in danger. Full review...

The Lady of the Lake by Andrezej Sapkowski

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This book was quite captivating in the beginning. The idea that the truths of ancient history and mythology can be unearthed by exploring them in the dreams of a talented sleeper is rather enchanting. It's an interesting idea, one that merges history and fantasy creating an almost dream like feel within the writing. Full review...

Stanly's Ghost: Book 3 (The Bitter Sixteen Trilogy) by Stefan Mohamed

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Cynical, solitary Stanly Bird used to be a fairly typical teenager – unless you count the fact that his best friend was a talking beagle named Daryl. Then came the superpowers. And the super powered allies. And the mysterious enemies. And the terrifying monsters. And the stunning revelations. And the apocalypse. Now he's not sure what he is. Or where he is. Or how exactly one is supposed to proceed after saving the world. All he knows is that his story isn't finished. Not quite yet … Full review...

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

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The fantasy genre is home to some of the best books that I have ever read, but also some of the worst. The very nature of epic stories that span generations means that few fantasy books rock up under 400 pages and many are part of long running series or trilogies. When done badly, fantasy books are bloated and boring affairs that rattle of every cliché the genre has had to offer since Bilbo exited Bag End, but done well they can be brilliant. They can be Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan. Full review...

Little Nothing by Marisa Silver

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In an unnamed country at the beginning of the last century, a peasant couple longs for a child. In despair they turn to gypsy tonics and archaic prescriptions, and one cold wintery night, the couple's wish comes true. But the silence that follows the birth forewarns of darker days to come. Strangers look on askance and fall speechless in the child's presence, and villagers protectively hush their children as they pass on narrow market lanes. Pavla is no ordinary child, but then this is no ordinary tale. Full review...

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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How did the Queen of Hearts become the monster we know from Alice's story? Welcome to Meyer's Wonderland and the peaceful kingdom of Hearts, where a young Lady called Catherine's heart's desire is to be … the best baker in all of Hearts. But while her mother tolerates her hobby, Catherine knows she will never consider it as a serious path for her daughter, unless Catherine can convince her. However, Catherine's dreams start to get that much more complicated once a mysterious stranger appears, a royal suitor materialises and deadly beast starts stalking the once safe Kingdom. What is Cath's destiny? To be the dreadful queen we all know or to be a dedicated bakery owner? Full review...

Freeks by Amanda Hocking

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In the spring of 1987, the carnival comes to small-town Caudry, Louisiana. Then events take a dangerous turn. For Mara Beznik, the carnival is home. It's also a place of secrets, hidden powers and a buried past - making it hard to connect with outsiders. However, sparks fly when she meets local boy Gabe Alvarado. As they become inseparable, Mara realizes Gabe is hiding his own secrets. And his family legacy could destroy Mara's world. They find the word 'freeks' sprayed on trailers, as carnival employees start disappearing. Then workers wind up dead, killed in disturbing ways by someone or something. Mara is determined to unlock the mystery, with Gabe's help. But can they really halt this campaign of fear? Full review...

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Scarlett Dragna has had one desire all her life: to visit a Caraval. These interactive events put on by magician and entrepreneur Legend are world famous but very exclusive. It's therefore a huge surprise when Scarlett and her sister Tella receive tickets. These will take them away from their sadistic father and prison-like island home for the first time. Caraval is never what one expects though and when Tella is kidnapped, Scarlett experiences the sinister side of a game in which nothing is what it seems. Full review...

Stardust: BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation by Neil Gaiman

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Tristan Thorn has never wanted to cross the Wall from his sleepy English village to the land of Faerie beyond. However, when the girl of his dreams – the beautiful Victoria Forester – promises to be his bride if he retrieves a fallen star, he has no choice. Without hesitation, Tristan sets out on a quest that will lead him into a series of bizarre adventures and set him against the dark forces of the strange and magical land of Stormhold. Full review...

Windwitch (The Witchlands Series) by Susan Dennard

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Merik Nihar, the Windwitch and former fleet admiral, must lay low on account of the fact that everyone believes him dead. He knows the attempted assassination was instigated by his sister, Vivia, but he doesn't yet realise how this attempt will change him and his powers. Safi meanwhile is regretting using her Truthwitch skills to help the Empress Vaness. Apart from anything else, it's deadly dull and has taken her away from Iseult, friend and Threadsister. Eventually though the dull disappears and it's not only Safi who's left with the deadly as allies appear from unexpected places and friendships are doubted while their world teeters. Full review...

Sealskin by Su Bristow

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Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous ...and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives - not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence? Full review...

Bane and Shadow by Jon Skovron

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I am beyond redemption

Bane and Shadow picks up a year after the final events of the first installment in the Empire of Storms series, which I highly recommend reading if you haven't already. Following the great characters we met in the previous novel, Bane and Shadow has even more action with brilliant battles, nail-biting tension and a new darkness to the story. Full review...

The Napoleon Complex by E M Davey

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Journalist Jake Wolsey's brush with the Book of Fate and that fatal Etruscan lightening isn't over. Historical quotes, intrigue and a call for help from former lover and MI6 operative Jenny start a whole new search for the source of power and destruction. This time it's linked to Napoleon Bonaparte and the odd inclusion of an Etruscan scroll in his portrait. If the scroll is what Jake and Jenny think it is, where has it gone? Our heroes aren't the only curious people and, while their search takes them across the world, it's as much about fatality avoidance as it is treasure hunting. Who will get the answer first and at what cost to themselves… and civilisation? Full review...

The Things We Learn When We're Dead by Charlie Laidlaw

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On the way to a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. Waking up in what appears to be a hospital, but a hospital in which wine is served for supper, everyone avoids her questions, and her nurse looks suspiciously like Sean Connery, it soon transpires that Lorna is in Heaven, or, at least, on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. At first Lorna can remember nothing, but as her memories return – some good, some bad, she realises that she has a decision to make, and that maybe, she needs to find a way home… Full review...

Death's Mistress by Terry Goodkind

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We start this novel as a Heroine and a hero travelling through the forest, in search of a witch. I immediately love it, when the focus is on the female lead and the male lead is painted as a bit of a pompous twonk, with more care for clothes and jewellery, than for saving mankind. However, it becomes harder to like her as the book winds its tale, when you realise that she is a heartless, murdering, uncaring, psychopath. It becomes relatively clear that she has been damaged from a young age (which was a while ago, seeing as she's almost 200 years old), that has had effects on how she has lived her life until this point. However, their goal of spreading the word of Emperor's Rahl victory over the evil Emperor Janang to the furthest reaches of his kingdom, becomes diverted, when prophecy leaves the world and an old witch imparts the knowledge of an old prophecy that foretells that Nicci will save the world. Full review...

The Liberation: Book Three of The Alchemy Wars by Ian Tregillis

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The war between the New Dutch and the New French continue aided and complicated by the Mechanicals' rebellion. In fact the day the world ended comes as a shock to everyone, not to mention a bloody mess. Let the apocalypse begin! Full review...

Dead Man's Steel (Grim Company) by Luke Scull

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The fehd move on, killing humanity with ruthless efficiency. The remaining heroes are trying to win the war but they've got issues of their own. Brodar Kayne, the Sword of the North, joins forces against fehd with Carn Bloodfist which has its problems since Brodar killed Carn's father. Davarus Cole and Sasha are slightly imprisoned whereas Eremul the Halfmage is still raging wherever possible. This raging takes turns with coming to terms with the shock of his apprentice's true identity. Indeed the former apprentice, Isaac, is fulfilling his true potential although not on the side that Eremul had envisaged. These heroes – all that remains of the Grim Company - are humanity's only hope… Good luck humanity! Full review...

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

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Brandon Sanderson is more cannon than man. He fires out more works than any other author of fantasy. Not only does he write an awe inspiring amount of novels, but he also writes various short fictions that go alongside them. And in here, for the first time, all the major ones are collected together. Full review...

Rise of the Dust Child by James Young

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An age has passed since the fall of the old world, and the rise of the malignant Dust people. Amongst the terrors of this new age, humanity still lingers within the wreckage of civilisation, held together by the promise of a better existence in the next life. But not all are satisfied by this dogma. Within the smoggy city of Fort Palmer, eight year old Doran and his friend Alena stand apart, struggling to retain the lost glory of their faith. But the unquiet dead and the forces of faith do not take kindly to those who try to fix a broken world. As the quest to save the future leads each of them down a dark path, they are cast apart - struggling to overcome the monstrous dusters and the fear within themselves, desperate to see each other again. Full review...

The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London 6) by Ben Aaronovitch

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When Lady Tyburn rescued Police Officer Peter Grant she put him in her debt. Now it's payback time as her daughter is implicated in a murder. Is this just another drug related killing? No, Peter is only involved in crime related to the supernatural side of life and since both Lady Ty and daughter are river goddesses, there's much to investigate. Full review...

Fireborn (The Seraphim Trilogy) by David Dalglish

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When the Center (the government that's meant to protect them) destroys the Academy Bree and Kael Skyborn take the only route open to them. They join the resistance and some allies who they'd be more wary of in other circumstances. Indeed the Prophet Johan may not have seemed that attractive to them in the past but he has resources that will come in useful as well as some interesting secrets. Bree and Kael will definitely learn a lot, including why the Skyborn family are so prized by the dictatorial organisation they now battle against. Full review...

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library Series) by Genevieve Cogman

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Think Indiana Jones, Robert Langdon or Jack West, with a sprinkle of the panache of James Bond and Raffles. Educated and courageous folk who risk all to obtain that magical talisman, that precious statue, that ancient scroll, and, now and then, to save the free world in the process. Place such a person in a multi-universe where on every world the same struggle is being played out: the dragons, who stand for order and control, oppose the Fae, who desire chaos and drama. And then turn your hero or heroine into a . . . librarian. Huh? Does not compute! Full review...

Class: What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss

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At Coal Hill School, things have started to get public. Kids have become obsessed with a website that demands you perform risky stunts, or tell it your most painful secrets. And Seraphin, everyone's favourite vlogger, wants you to get involved. All in the name of charity. At first people just get hurt. Then their lives are ruined. Finally, they disappear. As April's fragile group of friends starts to fracture, she decides she's going to uncover the truth behind thie site herself. Whatever it takes, whoever she hurts, April's going to win. But then, to her horror, she wakes up and finds her whole world's changed. What she does next will astound you. Full review...

The Shadow of What Was Lost: Book One of the Licanius Trilogy by James Islington

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Young Davian is an Augur; a once powerful race that has become almost extinct due to legislation. The surviving remnant stay silent about their powers lest they follow the same fate as their forebears – outlawed and then murdered by a harsh legal system. Up till now Davian has been safe within an academy for the Gifted: the Tol in Andarra. Then one day everything changes. Now Davian is running for his life, unaware of his capabilities or whom it's safe to trust. It's even worse than it sounds for this is a world on the edge of war, trying to suppress secrets that will endanger its very existence. Full review...

Class: The Stone House by A K Benedict

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There's an old stone house near Coal Hill School. Most people hurry past it. They've heard the stories. But, if you stop, and look up, you'll see the face of a girl, pressed up against a window. Screaming. Tanya finds herself drawn to the stone house. There's a mystery there, and she's going to solve it. But the more she investigates, the more she realises that there's a presence in the house. One that wants her. Something is waiting for Tanya in the stone house. Something that has been trapping others in its web over the years. Something that is far worse than any ghost... Full review...

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

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A City Dreaming guides us through a year in the life of the restless and enigmatic M as he returns to New York after travelling. A magical adept, well-known to the various non-human beings that frequent the alternative realities of New York City and not without power himself, you'd never guess any of it from his nonchalant hipper-than-thou attitude. He tries to keep out of local politics – opposing camps of magical affiliates in the city – but can be fiercely loyal to his closest associates. Though he reluctantly gets mixed up in various scrapes via his strange bunch of friends and acquaintances, and occasionally has to save the day, all he really wants is to be left alone to enjoy the sex, drugs and good coffee that abound in the city. Full review...