Newest Fantasy Reviews

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The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Literary Fiction

The Nightjar is an unusual and exciting story. Alice Wyndham lives a normal life in London until she finds a box on her doorstep one morning and her life begins to unravel, fast. From that very moment, her life is flooded with magic, loss, expectation and particularly, betrayal. As everything around her shifts, all that she knows, all that she thinks she knows, must change. Who can she trust? Who must she trust? Who will she trust? More importantly, can she even trust herself? Full Review

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We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Mike Shackle has written a really interesting and unusual story in We Are The Dead; the tag line for the novel is 'No More Heroes' and that is what makes this story so different. There are villains galore but no specific heroes; rather the story is scattered with characters doing their own small part to survive, to fight back, and to find vengeance, in a world that has been utterly torn apart. The plot does not hang on any one character, no one is important, anyone can die and many do, but, like ants working together, each small character achieves their own part of a much larger plot that is rich and complex and keeps the reader glued to the story. Full Review

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

People will not forget. Or forgive. An ugly girl is too great an offense...the world is made for men. An ugly girl can never be forgiven.

Stepsister tells the gripping story of Cinderella's 'ugly' stepsister, Isabelle. We've been told this fairy-tale over and over again throughout our lives and know the characters well. But have you ever wondered what happened to the sisters after Cinderella married the Prince? Or why the sisters disliked her so much? Full Review

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The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Every so often, as a reader, a book comes along that is utter and complete perfection. This book is one of those. Utter and complete perfection. Winter has created an absolute masterpiece of a novel, set in the fantasy land of Uhmlaba the reader is instantly thrown into war, a battle for survival for the Omehi people. Fleeing their homeland, they have to fight to remain on the only scrap of land they can reach. The culture of the Omehi people is rich and deep but not perfect, not sanctimonious. They have villains, they have faults, they are the invaders after all, but Winter creates a realistic and honest portrayal of a people desperate to survive, to save themselves and their culture for future generations. Full Review

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Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Robin Hood is gone – denouncing both his former life and his love Marian, and retreating to a monastery – although no-one knows quite what led him to abandon all that he had built. Marion's life since has been relatively quiet - but when her friends start dying, Marion is tasked by Father Tuck to break the curse surrounding them and to save their lives. Setting off with a soldier, a Fey Lord and a sullen Robin Hood, she becomes tangled in a maze of betrayals, complicated relationships, and a vicious struggle for the throne…Full Review

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The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens, Fantasy

Meet Cecilia. It's her twelfth birthday, and after a scene that shows her parents to be wacky, witty and wonderful as if fresh from an American sit-com, the whole family is set to go out for a grand day of celebration. Cecilia is toting a large, silvered ball that her younger sister found as a present, but ends up dropping it, and watching it as it rolls right back from her grip into the very Underground carriage they had just left. Mind the gap. Back in the train with it she finds she is alone – and the train promptly hares off to leave her abandoned in pitch darkness at a stop no other train has ever taken her to… It's the outskirts, Cecilia will find, of a strange society of English-speaking humanised animals, and her first acquaintance, a fox-man, will tell her that all talk of a world above, with suns and fields and fresh air, is pooh-poohed as the nonsense gibberish of people who have wandered in darkness too much and forgotten their origins. Can she survive all this wondrous civilisation can throw at her and find her way back to the family she left behind – or will the dark leaders from the resident crow family subject her to their evil reign? Full Review

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Nocturna by Maya Motayne

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Teens

A thief without a face, a prince who was never meant to be king, Finn and Alfie collide, as if thrown together by fate, to bring about a series of catastrophes and set in motion the release of a darkness that seeks to consume all the goodness and magic in the world. These two unlikely allies must try to put their own personal battles behind them and join forces to stop the evil from destroying everything they hold dear. Full Review

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Fish Seeking Bicycle by Kate Cooch

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

This novel is set about a hundred years into the future. The world has been decimated by nuclear conflict and what's left of the old United States is run from Center City. Women run this world and it is very proud of having defeated the old patriarchy. Men must behave appropriately and deferentially at all times and, if they don't, are medicalised to keep their baser instincts under control. And if that doesn't work, they're sent to work camps, away from open society, or even worse: expelled to the wilderness beyond the Central Authority's borders. Full Review

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Horror

Two days after I was born … the dead rose up and started to walk on a battlefield in a small town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg

Dread Nation narrates the unconventional life of Jane McKeene who was born days before the dead began to walk the streets. An event which in interrupting the civil war between the states altered American history forever. In the changed world, minorities are forced into conscription and under the new Native and Negro Re-education Act children are placed in combat schools where they are trained extensively to destroy the dead once and for all. For Jane and other girls like her, there is however the opportunity for a better life by being employed as an attendant. With deadly capabilities and perfect etiquette, attendants protect those higher in society and are valued above all else. Full Review

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Martha's world has changed. Blind in one eye after falling from a tree, she wakes with a disturbing gift. She can read people through their clothes, secrets tumble from the weave, revealing insights she doesn't really want, and knowledge she doesn't understand. She flees to her grandmother, Mormor's cabin, seeking answers no one is prepared to give, and stumbles into world of menace. Full Review

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The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Enter a world where Gods are real and violent, the Godswar rages far away, Gods lead huge armies of men and Saints, mortals given the power of the Gods, and thousands die as their capricious Gods battle for supremacy. Guerdon lies across the sea, and has kept the Godswar at bay so far. Geurdon's Gods are the Kept Gods, kept weakened and under the thumb of democracy but something is happening, something is stirring, how will the City defend against the coming evil? Full Review

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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

The Winter of the Witch is the conclusion of the story following Vasya, Vasilisa Petronova, as she negotiates her way towards her destiny through the world of medieval males and the Catholic Church's perception of witchcraft. The story picks up directly from the action in the second novel, The Girl in the Tower, and as a reader too much is lost if you haven't read this at the very least. My advice would be to read all three. The first two novels are beautiful and lyrical with extraordinary characters and a wonderful balance of magic and action. This final novel, however, is an absolute triumph. Full Review

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Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Fantasy

You cannot put on a costume and become something else. You are a queen of Fennbirn island.

Following on from Three Dark Crowns and its sequel One Dark Throne, in Two Dark Reigns each of the Goddess' daughters have their own battles to fight. All her life, Katharine has dreamed of being the great Queen the island of Fennbirn deserves. Having won the crown though, she is facing trial after difficult trial and murmurs of dissent and revolution grow louder on the streets each and every day. And without evidence of her sisters' death does anyone but herself and the old queens buried under her skin, believe she is the one true Queen? Full Review

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Nothing Lasting by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Horror, Fantasy

We never know the man's name but let's call him Boyo. It's what his mother used to call him, not least because he found it annoying. When we first meet Boyo his mother is alive, if not living as most people would understand it. She spends her days watching daytime television and drinking. Housework is a foreign country. When she dies she's not missed, firstly because she'd spent a couple of years in a mental hospital, but mainly because her ghost continues to haunt Boyo. She wants him to achieve something in his life: what she has in mind is that he could be a famous arsonist. Full Review

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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Mehr is a girl trapped between two cultures. Her father comes from the ruling classes of the empire but her mother's people were outcasts, Amrithi nomads who worshipped the spirits of the sands. Caught one night performing these forbidden rites, Mehr is brought to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, who force her into their service by way of an arranged marriage. Full Review

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Teens

Raised in a small village surrounded by woodland on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have lived a sheltered life - although there are whispers of troubling times ahead for Jews. When their grandfather takes ill, their parents must leave the sisters behind while they travel to his sickbed, but life for Liba and Laya is about to drastically change. Before their parents leave, Liba discovers that the fairy tales she heard as a child are in fact true as she learns that her Tati can turn in to a bear and her Mami in to a swan. Liba must carry this secret in order to help protect her sister, but the arrival of a mysterious group of men in the village carries more danger as Laya is dragged under their spell. Both sisters must stick together if they are to survive what is happening around them and they soon realise that their new-found magical heritage may be what saves them. Full Review

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Hell's Unveiling by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories, General Fiction, Fantasy

A little while ago I really enjoyed Marsha's Deal and I was delighted by the opportunity to read the sequel, Hell's Unveiling. It's probably not much of a spoiler to say that Marsha bested the devil in Marsha's Deal, but the devil is not one to take defeat lying down. He's out to wage war on Planet Earth and particularly on Marsha (who's thought of as a 'goody two shoes' in Hell). Although a strong person, she's vulnerable where her foster children are concerned. Daniel is framed for a crime he didn't commit and sent to juvenile detention and refused permission to return to live with Marsha. Then, of course there are all the other children who are not only targeted, but - worst of all - subverted to the devil's evil ends. He's out to prey on their fears and weaknesses and as with many foster children, their self esteem is very fragile. This is no small-scale operation, either - the devil has set up a training complex on earth, complete with an elevator to Hell. Full Review

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The War in the Dark by Nick Setchfield

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy, Science Fiction

Europe – 1963. The world is used to the constant tensions between the West and Russia, with the Cold War a seemingly never ending threat in the lives of everyday people. What they don't know however, is that the real cold war is fought on the borders of this world, far from prying eyes at the edges of the light. British Intelligence agent Christopher Winter is forced to flee London when an assassination attempt goes horribly wrong, and is forced into a tense, unwelcome alliance with the lethal Karina Lazarova. As the threats rise, Christopher finds himself caught in a quest for centuries old hidden knowledge – an occult secret that will give instant supremacy to whichever nation possesses it. Racing against the enemy, Christopher is taken from ruins in Bavaria through to the haunted Hungarian border, all in search of something unholy – born of the power of white fire and black glass. It's a world of treachery, blood and magic. A world at war in the dark. Full Review


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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Sancia Grado is just about to pull off the biggest heist of her fugitive life for more money than she has ever seen before in all her gruelling years on Tevanne's streets. The job: steal a small wooden box from a safe deep inside the Waterwatch-patrolled harbour and deliver it untouched to the client. Fearless and quick, she is the best thief Foundryside has to offer and has never interfered with jobs before. Yet once she has the box in her possession, she can't shake the uneasy apprehensive feeling of what lies within. For Sancia is no ordinary thief, with the magical ability to scrive and understand everything she touches she's about to discover a secret that will sent her fleeing for her life, unearthing myths that are it transpires more truth than fairy-tale. Working against the clock, Sancia will work to save her world and prevent a descent into destruction. Full Review

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Marsha's Deal by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories, General Fiction, Fantasy

Marsha didn't have an easy ride in life the first time around. She'd been afflicted with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare disease which turned parts of her body to bone when they were damaged. Finally she was unable to stand her life any longer and went to Dignitas, the Swiss euthanasia clinic. She'd thought that would be the end, but after cremation her body went straight to hell and she found herself face-to-face with the devil. And that was when she made the pact. In exchange for details about some of those who had been close to her - their strengths and weaknesses - she would be reborn on the same day to the same parents, but would live her life free of disease. Full Review