Newest Fantasy Reviews

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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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