Newest Fantasy Reviews

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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

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Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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

My name is Theodosia Eirene Houzzara, Queen of Astrea, and I will endure this. For the last decade, Theodosia has lived at the fragile mercy of her vicious enemies. From the day her beloved country, Astrea, was invaded by the Kalovaxians and her mother, Queen of Flame and Fury, was brutally murdered directly in front of her, she has been forced into a life of submission and desperate survival. Full Review

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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

Miryem comes from a long line of moneylenders – but her Father isn't very good at it at all. Lending freely and rarely collecting, he leaves the family on the edge of poverty, until Miryem must step in. Hardening her heart and collecting what is owed from local villagers, she becomes a person of great interest when she borrows a pouch of silver pennies from her Grandfather and returns it full of gold, soon becoming entangled with an array of strange creatures, from the dark beings that haunt the wood through to a King who's eager to exploit Miryem's talents – she soon becomes aware that her skills may be more trouble than they're worth… Full Review

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A Demon In Silver by R S Ford

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

Take a fantasy world where gods once walked the land and magic influenced everything for millennia, where magic was power and the entire world was shaped around its influence. Then, overnight, that power was ripped away, sorcerers' died instantly and magic is never heard of again. Until now. A farm girl from the middle of nowhere has unleashed raw magic and the tribal leaders will stop at nothing to control her, using whatever means necessary. Can anyone save her, or will they need saving from her? Full Review


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The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

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

The Grey Bastards is an absolute triumph! Fantasy, action and adventure cleverly wrapped around a super plot and well written characters, this book is so much fun. A word of caution though, this is not suitable for all readers. As the tittle suggests there is a lot of bad language, a LOT of bad language, thrown around all the time in general speech. In addition to this there is also some sex and sexual language too, there is some violence but this is not actually very explicit and not as constant as the language and bawdy jokes. If this bothers you then this is not the book for you. For anyone who doesn't mind then this is an absolute must read. Full Review

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The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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

Tension exists among the kingdoms surrounding the Pitorian Sea, and peace is definitely not on everyone's agenda. Instead power is sought by force, and political manoeuvring of the worst kind sees families torn apart and innocent victims swept up in the fallout. This story of warring nations is fast moving from page one, and the main characters, who move between kingdoms, face challenge after challenge. There are five separate story lines, each led by a colourful and interesting character, and Sally Green weaves them together beautifully like a tapestry as their paths cross and their lives intertwine. Full Review

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Falling Leaves by Stefan Mohamed

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

When your best friend vanishes, how can you begin to move on? How can you live your life not knowing whether they're okay? And what would you do if they reappeared in your life? – all questions that Vanessa faces every day, even seven years after her best friend Mark vanished. When he reappears, she's shocked not only by his presence back in her life, but also by the fact that he hasn't aged a day – for him, no time has passed since his disappearance. Shocked, confused and emotionally reeling, Vanessa must return to her home town in order to help Mark find the answers he so desperately craves. But what's waiting for them is far more surprising than either of them could ever have dreamt… Full Review

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The Wolf by Leo Carew

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

Travel to a world that is familiar and yet utterly different. We are in a version of ancient Britain with enough landmarks to make us feel at home yet it is a smoked glass. North of the river Abus we have the Anakim, a race that isn't quite human; they are something more. The Anakim are virtual giants and their ribs are not cages but bone breastplates instead. Below the Abus are the Sutheners, humans. Theirs is an ancient grudge and one where blood is spilled frequently in pitched battle. Unfortunately it is rare when humans are involved for things to be straightforward and the same is true here. On both sides politics and machinations complicate the quests for glory. With the Anakim we have a boy coming to power and vying with the greatest warrior in the land for the throne. Amongst the Sutheners we see a commoner having the temerity to lead an army alongside his betters. Both battles are as interesting as the war itself. Full Review

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The Parentations by Kate Mayfield

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

In eighteenth century London, sisters Fitzgerald, Constance and Verity are changed forever when they become entwined with the Fowler family - and charged with protecting a mysterious child. Fast forward to the London of 2015, and the sisters are still waiting - with no way of knowing if the boy is alive or dead. Far away, a hidden pool grants those who sup from it eternal life, but also forces them to keep a secret for two hundred years. As those years pass by, those who were granted immortality find that it's far from a blessing - with true darkness emerging in the absence of death. Full Review

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The Seer's Curse by J J Faulks

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Although The Seer's Curse is billed as a pre-teen novel, I would say that it would appeal to a wide audience interested in fantasy and mythology, as well as just a good tale. Full Review

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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

One minute here is richer than a thousand moments there

In the resplendent world of Orléans, beauty runs through the blood of a select few: the Belles. Only they have the power to transform the appearance of a population cursed with grey skin and red eyes, who covet beauty above all else. Camellia Beauregard is a new generation Belle, ready to fulfil her duty and help the people to love themselves. Like her sisters, she's in the running to be the favourite – the most accomplished Belle in the land, personally chosen by the royal family to live in the palace and tend to members of court, with the power to make a difference. It's what she's been wanting and training for her whole life… but so too have her sisters. And only the best will be selected. Full Review

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The Beasts of Electra Drive by Rohan Quine

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

Meet Jaymi. He's a world-class video games designer, and fresh to a new mansion in the Hollywood Hills on the basis of some recent success. But he's seen the future and he doesn't like it. His current employers, able to bring any amount of class, skill and culture to the world of gameplay, are beset on appealing to the most lunkheaded and lowest common denominators instead. Indeed, their next big thing will change the world for the worse – it will be a massively disturbing environment, where people progress through the world of the entity by spreading fake news about anyone and everyone else on the planet, whether they're playing along or not, and by getting kind of prestige points on spoiling and shaming anything beyond a user-accepted, algorithm-designed, status quo. With a much more Reithian approach, Jaymi goes freelance, and sets up a way of restoring the balance with a launch of his own, where aspects of his more humanitarian mind are played out by avatars of him in the game. He sees this as a way to improve society and get his own back – but the chance of getting revenge more quickly comes about when those avatars leave their encoded background, and become fully playable characters in reality… Full Review

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The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

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

In the second book of the trilogy Katherine Arden builds on her original story to create something even better. This book is utterly wonderful and it is at the same time complex and gentle. The first book set up the characters in the Petronova family but sometimes left the characters feeling a little thin; this book builds on the first to give depth to the family members and their ties to each other. It's a great story but I would strongly advise reading the two books in order to get the full effect of the plot. Full Review

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Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

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

Thomas Senlin embarks on his honeymoon with high hopes. He and his young wife Marya are travelling on a sleeper train across Ur to that engineering marvel, that fabled centre of culture, the Tower of Babel. It's a place he's read books about, taught his pupils about, and longed to visit, but the bustling and chaotic surroundings of the Tower in the desert are a long way from the quiet fishing village in which Senlin teaches. When he loses sight of Marya shortly after their arrival, he has no option but to look for her in this strange and overwhelming place. For all his background reading before the trip, he is ill-prepared for what he finds in the Tower, both its marvels and its horrors, and thus begins Thomas Senlin's arduous quest to recover his wife. Full Review