Category: Fantasy

May 23 2018

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

You know there’s a problem with a book when you get to the end, find out it’s the first in a trilogy and groan out loud. I mean, the prologue essentially tells you the main plot of not only this book but the next (and who even knows, maybe the third given how dragged out …

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May 11 2018

A Hero Born by Jin Yong

“The Chinese Lord of the Rings.” Or, as translator Anna Holmwood puts it in her introduction, “one of the world’s best-loved stories and one of its grandest epics, a series that can count its fans in the hundreds of millions. And yet this is the first time it has been published in English, despite making …

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May 02 2018

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

The fairy tales that we’re familiar with have spent centuries being smoothed down by retelling after retelling, retaining their magic despite the years and multiple minor tweaks because, as stories, they make sense to us. Some might argue that those minor tweaks Disney-fy the process, but I believe that they whittle away the things that …

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May 01 2018

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Of the later Discworld books, I like the ones about Tiffany Aching best because their stories arise from the characters and the natural interactions that flow from their natures as Pratchett has described them. Naturally there is the overarching theme of Tiffany growing up — and in Wintersmith her precociousness is easier for me to accept …

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Apr 30 2018

Snow by Night Volume 2: Dissolution by Eric Menge & Brittany Michel

Devoured this in one sitting. I’m a huge fan (and personal friend) of Eric Menge’s and I strongly believe that Dissolution builds on the terrific first volume to really immerse us in the fantasy world of Corthis. This book contains chapters 5 to 8 of the excellent webcomic, as well as five vignettes that give …

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Apr 30 2018

Snow by Night Volume 1: Calcination by Eric Menge & Brittany Michel

Several things to admit: first, I’m friends with the creators of this excellent webcomic. Despite this friendship, and my knowledge that Eric Menge is a brilliant writer, I’m absolutely wretched at keeping up with webcomics as they publish, even his. I get sidetracked and forget to check in, and while I’m not one of those …

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Apr 25 2018

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton

This book has such amazing world-building that I absolutely went and put a hold on the next book in the series as soon as I was done with this one. I mean, Western gunslingers meets Arabian Nights? Sign me up! The land of Miraji is a stand-in for the Middle East in this terrific alternate …

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Apr 25 2018

A Sorcerer and a Gentleman by Elizabeth Willey

A Sorcerer and a Gentleman. One character who is both? Or two characters and one of each? Elizabeth Willey’s second novel, set in the same multiverse as The Well-Favored Man, offers numerous candidates for each appellation. She starts her story with an unknown person and the “proverb, often quoted but seldom applied, that all a …

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Apr 20 2018

Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Thud, like The Last Jedi, was much better than it had any right to be: deep into the series, with the previous outing in need of tightening up a bit (Star Wars: The Third Death Star needed much more than that, but nevermind). Thud also embodies a particular hazard of a long-running series: an item …

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Apr 04 2018

School for Psychics (School for Psychics #1) by K.C. Archer

Imagine, if you will, the absurdly unlikely but highly entertaining hijinks of the TV show Quantico starring a Jessica Jones type, where all the cast have mental superpowers. That is the fun romp that is K. C. Archer’s School For Psychics, in this case the Whitfield Institute to which our heroine, the wisecracking, damaged Teddy …

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