Category: Fantasy

Aug 02 2020

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

By Force Alone

What if Arthur, like Uther, was an ambitious thug and the knights of the Round Table were a collection of weirdos and ruffians who say “fuck” a lot? That’s more or less the premise of Lavie Tidhar’s By Force Alone, and although I finished the book relatively quickly during my recent vacation in the Eifel, …

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Jul 28 2020

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

I need P Djeli Clark to write me some meaty 300+ page books! He’s definitely doing great things with shorter works: 2019’s The Haunting Of Tram Car 015 felt fully realized despite its brevity, and I can only imagine that this year’s Ring Shout will only showcase his increasing command of the novella form. Unfortunately, …

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Jul 22 2020

Middlegame (Middlegame #1) by Seanan McGuire

Finished reading this last Hugo nominee for Best Novel right before the buzzer, and wow is my brain tired! So many interesting concepts and some really great, fun writing throughout the many books and stories I’ve covered for/off this slate. My right eye is still twitching even as I type these words, tho some of …

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Jul 15 2020

Minor Mage by T Kingfisher

This book reads far differently for me as a mom now than if I’d read it before my kids were born, but I’d like to think that my younger self would still have appreciated how terrific, how finely crafted this tale of a young wizard on a quest to save his village is. Oliver is …

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Jul 14 2020

An Interview with Tiffani Angus, author of Threading The Labyrinth

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did Threading The Labyrinth evolve? A. Way back in 2009, it started as a research proposal for a PhD in Creative Writing. I wanted to study the history of English gardens and write a novel …

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Jul 13 2020

Riverland by Fran Wilde

Oh how my heart hurt for the Prine sisters, 7th grader Eleanor and her younger sister Mike! Growing up with an abusive father, Simon, and a mother, Moira, who would prefer to blame them rather than defend them, the girls resort to telling each other stories about magic in order to explain the horrifying circumstances …

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Jul 10 2020

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

This may be the most original fantasy novel I’ve read so far this year! I genuinely can’t believe this is billed as a children’s book when it’s so rich and layered and honestly deeply interrogative of personal and political relationships and choices. It’s so much more thoughtful and nuanced than at least 75% of the …

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Jul 06 2020

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Look at that gorgeous cover. I want to do up a room of my house with that sort of wallpaper. And yes, I’m digressing because I want to say something nice about this book before I say something(s) that will likely sound churlish. This is not, by any means, a bad book, but it is …

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Jun 30 2020

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 9: Okay by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson & Clayton Cowles

Semi-tangent before I get into my review: my 9 year-old and I have taken to saying “okay” to each other in the voice of Princess Daisy from Super Mario Party. It’s a weird in-joke. My kid is the best. Anyhoo, I had to sit and think about this volume for a while before I could …

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Jun 29 2020

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 5-8 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson & Clayton Cowles

Post the stunning story arc of Vols 1-4, our Pantheon has now entered their Imperial Phase, at the height of their powers and looking down at a slow decline towards death. With Ananke out of the picture, the surviving gods are free to do as they please… or is there more afoot than our troubled …

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