Newest Fantasy Reviews

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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...

The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

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The people of Porlock Weir have heard the rumours. King Edward III has fled with his family to the New Forest to escape the Plague in London. Will it remain confined to the city? The last time no one was safe and, according to Janveer, the strange woman fishermen rescued from the sea, it'll be the same again. Janveer has a proposition though. She can save Porlock and all it will cost them is one life. Full review...

The Wraiths of War (Obsidian Heart book 3) by Mark Morris

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Although not dead as he thought he was, Alex Locke feels no closer to finding his missing daughter across time or, indeed, unmasking the dark man. However, he knows what he has to do. Alex must use the obsidian heart to travel back and fight in World War I beside the ghostly soldier who visited him a century or so later. It's not as simple as it seems, as Alex keeps telling himself… or rather as Alexes (plural) keep telling himself. Full review...

Otherworld Chills by Kelley Armstrong

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I came to Armstrong's Otherworld quite late in its development and it seems that she's now wrapping it up to move on to other things. Billed as the 'final collection' of stories Chills allegedly completes several storylines of her best loved characters. I'd disagree. If Sherlock can survive Reichenbach then I'm sure Werewolves, Vampires and demi-demotic Angels can survive whatever state they may have been left in. Full review...

Floored by Mark Lingane

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1.Nemo has been brought back from death by Doctineer Viktor. The fact that she was once dead combined with her new form as a pleasure bot makes her worthless – a human/robot hybrid zero. But even zeros have ambitions, even if they're dangerous. Full review...

The Watcher of Dead Time (Relic Guild 3) by Edward Cox

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The Genii are winning and the Relic Guild is gradually being eradicated. Clara the changeling survives to fight but for how long? The trauma of what she's been through is taking its toll. However she's still Relic Guild so the fight goes on. Meanwhile elsewhere Samuel leads the search for the Nephilim who may be the key to good triumphing, but that's not straightforward either. Full review...

Time: The Immortal Divide (The Chronicles of Fate and Choice) by K S Turner

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As we open this, the third book of the trilogy, Tachra is on the threshold of either victory or death. As Arrun runs amok, Tachra's kutu allies disappear on paths that are separated from hers so she's forced to rely on her own wit and power. As Tachra and her people teeter on the edge of destruction, will that be enough? Full review...

Hope and Red by Jon Skovron

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Bleak Hope is a young girl orphaned at the tender age of eight when the emperor's biomancers – mystics of biology with the power to make living things grow, decay or change into something else entirely – massacre her whole village. The lone survivor, Hope sneaks on board a travelling merchant ship and by chance becomes a servant at the old Vinchen monastery, home to the empire's best warriors. There she is secretly trained by the greatest Vinchen warrior in history, and is driven by her dream of vengeance against those responsible for her parent's death. Full review...

Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd

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Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Riven Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent's principalities, he walks the land in search of purpose. Bodyguard work keeps his belly full and his mage-gun loaded, and whilst it'll never bring a man fame or wealth, he's not forced to rely on others or kill without cause. When a kidnapped girl forces Lynx to join a mercenary company, the job seems simple enough, and the mercanaries less stupid and vicious than most he's met over the years. So long as there are no surprises or hidden agendas along the way, it should work out fine... Full review...

The Waking Fire: Book One of Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan

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Mercenary Clayden Torcreek is blood-blessed, i.e. one of the few able to translate a few drops of drake's blood into an extraordinary attribute. It gets even better than that: Clayden is unregistered, making him unexpected and eminently hireable when the department of Exceptional Initiatives need someone to track the fabled white drake. His recruiter and contact is covert agent Lizanne Lethbridge who is currently gathering intelligence while posing as a maid to the spoilt young Tekela. It's worth it though – Tekela's father has something of interest. The problem is that Lizanne isn't the only one interested and so staying alive becomes increasingly difficult. Out at sea naval officer Hilemore is about to put his training to good use. Meanwhile in the inhospitable interior, Clayden's expedition only has to worry about savages and drakes of the gigantic, man-eating, fire breathing variety. That's alright then! Full review...

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

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When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, she found Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rule and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But how did Victorian Oxford react to Alice's departure? When Alice's friend Ada, mentioned briefly in Alice in Wonderland sets out to visit Alice, she arrives a minute too late. Tumbling down the rabbit hole herself, she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and bring her safely home from this surreal world below the world. Full review...

The King's Justice by Stephen Donaldson

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Through the forests and the driving rain rides Black, a man never more aptly named. He's approaching Settle's Crossways, although that is of no concern to him, for he is merely following the scent of evil. All purpose and little pause or scruple, he is on the trail of a killer, and Settle's Crossways, as luck would have it, is in need of the King's Justice. Black seems able to control people's thoughts and deeds (and go without paying his way) just by rubbing an arm under his permanently-worn black cape, but when he sounds out the parity in the town between the churches of light and dark, he knows what exists there may take him to a darker place than even the last wars regarding the balance between those elemental forces – and to a place where he really cannot take the control he's used to… Full review...

The Augur's Gambit by Stephen Donaldson

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In a King Learesque procedure, the Queen Inimica Phlegathon DeVry IV has met with each of her five barons in turn, and seduced them all into accepting her proposal of marriage. What does she mean by this bizarre procedure, which only seems to set them all against the other, especially when the fourth to meet with her blabs to the fifth before his turn? And why does the final baron's efforts for his Queen before then rest on sending ships to the East, the likes of which have never ever returned? And what is in store for the island Queendom, when the royal family's own magical oracle can only see the end of their civilisation? Full review...

New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey

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Classicist Nick Houghton is employed by Novus Particles to assist them with a reconstruction of Pompeii – a reconstruction that includes the original, living first century inhabitants. NovusPart have discovered a way to pull historical artefacts (and indeed people) through time; an amazing innovation. The conspiracy theorists mumble about there being sinister reasons and the disappearance of key personnel helps to feed these rumours, but Nick needs a job and this is too good an opportunity to turn down. Anyway, that's what he tells himself to combat the repercussions of saying no. Full review...

Chaos Queen - Duskfall (The Chaos Queen Quintet) by Christopher B Husberg

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Winter and Knot's wedding is a brave move and not just because Winter is a Tiellan. Knot was brought back to life after nearly drowning the year before, a fate that removed his memory. All he knows is that there are people chasing him and when Knot's angry… you just don't want Knot to get angry. Meanwhile Cinzia is a devout priestess with a problem: her beloved sister is leading a religious revolt. Neither woman will come out of this the same. Cinzia will need to think about her life afresh while Winter… Let's just say big changes lie ahead. Full review...

The Secrets of Time and Fate by Rebecca Alexander

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Having killed Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the revenant from the 16th century, 21st century Jackdaw Hammond did something she's regretting. By depriving it of its host, the spirit Saraquel has moved from the Countess to Jack. Can she get some help to banish it before someone else does it a little more terminally both for Jack and Saraquel? Meanwhile back in the 16th century of Edward Kelley and Sir John Dee, Elizabeth Bathory still lives and Saraquel proves he can wreak havoc across time. Full review...

The Fallen (The Darkest Hand) by Tarn Richardson

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1915 and the war continues, not just as the conflict that will come to be known as World War I but a more supernatural fight between good and evil. The dark forces continue to move across a darkened Europe, evidenced by the increase in demon possession and hideously misshapen babies. When the Vatican fountain produces blood rather than water, the world knows that the events spoken of in Revelation may be underway. Inquisitor Poldek Tacit still has the will to fight but he's just one man. Will one man be enough? Full review...

The Fallen (The Darkest Hand) by Tarn Richardson

4.5star.jpg Horror

1915 and the war continues, not just as the conflict that will come to be known as World War I but a more supernatural fight between good and evil. The dark forces continue to move across a darkened Europe, evidenced by the increase in demon possession and hideously misshapen babies. When the Vatican fountain produces blood rather than water, the world knows that the events spoken of in Revelation may be underway. Inquisitor Poldek Tacit still has the will to fight but he's just one man. Will one man be enough? Full review...

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell

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The Great Detecitve's ghost has walked London's streets for an age, given shape by people's memories. Now someone's put a ceremonial dagger throug his chest. But what's the motive? And who - or what - could kill a ghost? When policing London's supernatural underworld, eliminating the impossible is not an option. DI James Quill and his detectives have learnt this the hard way. Gifted with the Sight, they'll pursue a criminial genius - who'll lure them into a Sherlockian maze of clues and evidence. The team also have thier own demons to fight. They've been to Hell and back (literally) but now the unit is falling apart... Full review...

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

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Two spies employed by the Republic of Seresta are sent to the court of Jad's Holy Emperor Rudolfo, 'The Destroyer'. The first, Leonora, knows what she's doing right down to hiding behind the cover of a sham marriage assigned for that purpose. The second, Pero, is a young artist kidnapped for the task. He has no previous experience but he's expendable so that's not completely necessary. Events transpire to ensure that both spies will need to rely on mariner and merchant Marin and Serjani fighter Danica more than they think. Yet even they can't stop the conflict that's on the horizon. Rudolfo has his eye on extending his empire globally and Jad help anything that gets in the way. Full review...

The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

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In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as unchanging as the seasons. The scarred veteran Mr Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. As Shirley's village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future reborn, she must choose between change and renewal – will the missives Mr Tiller brings prevent her mastering her identity? Full review...