Marvelous March – Week 4

This post is part of a year long effort of monthly themes – a focus to point my attention at each month that revolves around either a culture I’d like to learn more about or a piece of popular culture that I’m in the mood for or simply love. This idea stemmed from the popular…

Final Flanuary – A Month of Final Fantasy

This post is part of a year long effort of monthly themes – a focus to point my attention at each month that revolves around either a culture I’d like to learn more about or a piece of popular culture that I’m in the mood for or simply love. This idea stemmed from the popular…

Bone Ships, RJ Barker

In an era where almost every new fantasy book is about a band of Dungeons and Dragons style adventurers bounding around a fully-built and populated world, along comes RJ Barker to completely buck this welcome trend and write a fantasy book that is also a high seas adventure in the vein of Patrick O’Brian and Dudley Pope but also…

Kingshold, D.P. Woolliscraft

Kingshold is a difficult book for me to review. On paper, this book has everything I might want from a political fantasy – it’s tinged with humor and features some common but welcome fantasy tropes. The cover is some of the most beautiful fantasy artwork I have ever seen, and were I to see this…

Faithless, Graham Austin-King

There is no shortage of blacksmithing in fantasy. From the very beginning, we had dwarves pounding mithril in the ancient Mines of Moria, and after Tolkien, it is almost rare to find a fantasy novel without some type of weapon-smithing or armor-forging. But something being common does not mean that it is well-told nor interesting….

Kings of Paradise, Richard Nell

Kings of Paradise begins unlike any book I have ever read. I young boy sits before a fire, roasting parts of a human child over a fire so that he might cannibalize the dead remains. This circumstantial cannibal is Ruka, and he is one of the most complicated and intriguing characters I have ever read…

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang

Upon finishing The Poppy War, I had two very pressing questions: Why was it called The Poppy War, and why does the cover show, presumably, its main character wielding a bow when she never even touches one within the book’s pages? I was not questioning the book’s plot, it’s quite solid, nor the characters, which are…

City of Kings, Rob J. Hayes

Originally posted over at Fantasy Hive One of the first fantasy books I ever read was David Gemmell’s Legend. Legend is the story of a siege and a retired hero who comes down from his mountain retreat to sacrifice his life to hold that siege. It’s a titanic book, even at a mere 345 pages,…

Nevernight, Jay Kristoff

It is rare for me to find a book, fantasy or otherwise, that I so immediately connect with and enjoy. It happened with my first Haruki Murakami novel, with Senlin Ascends of course, and to my surprise with Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. If I judged books solely on their cover, I might have guessed…

The Gutter Prayer, Gareth Hanrahan

The Gutter Prayer. It sounds dark, and messy, and brimming with meaning. It sounds like the last whisper of the dying before darkness shrouds the eye. As far as evocative titles go, this is one of the best, and the gorgeous cover, the kind that catches the eye and demands to be gazed upon, only…

Aching God, Mike Shel

The tendency to pigeonhole Aching God as a simple Dungeons and Dragons adventure is tempting (not that such efforts should be cast aside because many a good story has come from the table-top). Shel’s debut has all the trappings of a role-playing game: there is a band of adventurers, each with a different skill set; there are monsters to slay…

The Hod King, Josiah Bancroft

How does a fantasy book reviewer critique a work that he unabashedly loves? Do I try to make up bad things about Josiah Bancroft’s newest Book of Babel? Do I scour it for the tiniest typo and the smallest grammatical error simply so I don’t come off as an advertisement for Orbit Books? I mean, I guess…