Category: Fantasy

Feb 20 2020

An Interview with Marian Womack, author of The Golden Key

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did The Golden¬†Key evolve? A. The story emerged, oddly enough, in California while I was attending the Clarion Workshop. It was the story I wrote to be workshopped the week when Catherynne Valente was teaching …

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Feb 17 2020

The Golden Key by Marian Womack

If you’re looking for a book with atmosphere, The Golden Key has it in peat-filled, gas-lit spadefuls. Set just after the end of Queen Victoria’s death, it travels from the fenlands of England to the spiritualist parlors of London, where seances are once more all the rage. Samuel Moncrieff is a young man adrift after …

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Feb 14 2020

Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch

I have a weird confession to make: I’ve loved every single one of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers Of London novels but I’ll be darned if I could, today, explain the plot of even just one of the first six books to anybody who asked. Okay, maybe Midnight Riot since that was the foundational text, and then …

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Jan 28 2020

Diamond City (Diamond City #1) by Francesca Flores

Man, I dig a morally ambiguous lead character as much as the next person (V. E. Schwab’s Villains series, the badass coven of Hannah Capin’s upcoming Foul Is Fair) but this was waaaaay not that. Aina Solis is an orphan whose parents were killed for practicing their pacifist religion in Kosin, the titular Diamond City. …

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Jan 14 2020

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

What’d I miss? The voters of the 2018 Worldcon awarded The Stone Sky the Hugo award for best novel, the first time in the award’s history that any author had won for best novel three years in a row, and also the first time that all three parts of a trilogy had won in that …

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Jan 07 2020

Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton

I guess you don’t have to come into this having already read Tessa Gratton’s The Queens Of Innis Lear, but I’m betting it would be super helpful. And I say that as someone who spent a lot of time looking up both that novel as well as the Shakespearean plays that inspired them (Henry IV …

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Nov 11 2019

A Blade So Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) by L.L. McKinney

A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

Wow, this was probably my most disappointing read this year so far. After reading L. L. McKinney’s really terrific short story in the Wonderland anthology, I felt compelled to look her up, and found the listing for this novel in my library’s e-collection. I nearly swooned at the awesome cover, and the description (Buffy meets …

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Nov 03 2019

The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman

The Fall of the Kings

I hate to damn The Fall of the Kings with faint praise because it’s fine, really it is. It’s just that this book follows the perfect Swordspoint and the extremely good The Privilege of the Sword, and while The Fall of the Kings is an interesting combination of a university novel in a fantastic setting …

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Nov 03 2019

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Ngl, I totally picked up this book based on its cover, after my library website algorithms decided it was a good recommendation. I mean, honestly, just look at that cover! So charming! So irresistible! The novel itself is slight and targeted towards middle-grade readers. It’s alright. The world-building is mild: essentially, a bunch of fairy …

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Oct 26 2019

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

The Woman Who Died a Lot

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series takes place mostly in an England that’s a republic a Wales that’s a socialist republic; of Scotland there is practically no mention, though I cannot say whether that is a comment or happenstance. The Crimean War was still being fought in 1985, and there are various other bits of history …

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