Posts Categorized: fantasy

The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood is the sort of quiet, more subdued fantasy that mostly feels dreamy and innocent. And then Sarah Beth Durst will turn right back around and remind you at various points that this story has quite the emotional barb. The story of young Daleina, training to be a potential successor to the queen of Aratay, is one in which you will find many of the more common fantasy tropes, but also many subverted. And it’s such an endearing story, and well done in the telling, that I found I didn’t much mind how much of the book follows well worn fantasy paths. Daleina’s world is one full of bloodthirsty spirits. There are spirits for each of the four elements, as well as tree spirits. These pernicious inhabitants barely tolerate the existence of humans; their blood thirst is only ever barely sated. The one force keeping the spirits from… Read more »

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Carve the Mark: review

Carve the Mark: review

This post is sponsored by HarperCollins. This does not affect the content of the review. Are you ready for this? It’s Veronica Roth’s new book! After bursting on the scene with Divergent, the author experienced meteoric success with her trilogy, which also resulted into some pretty enjoyable films. It’s been 3 years since Allegiant caused an avalanche of tears, so everyone is curious: does Carve the Mark live up to its predecessor? The short answer is: yes, if you enjoyed Divergent, you will enjoy this. For myself, I liked Carve the Mark overall, though I’m also left with some questions. Which is not unlike the experience I had with Divergent, for what it’s worth. Things I liked: — The powers are cool. To name a few: Cyra has Rogue-like powers (without that pesky “you can’t touch me” business), Akos can take pain from others, and another guy named Vas feels… Read more »

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Dreaming Death: Review

Dreaming Death: Review

Dreaming Death is the first in a new adult fantasy series full of murder, mystery, and magic. The story is told through several POV characters, but the narrative mostly revolves around Mikael, a broadcaster, and Shironne, a touch-sensitive. The story-world is rich, and this is definitely the sort of fantasy novel in which a large portion of the novel (especially at the beginning) is spent on explaining the world, its rules, its magic, and how it all works together. I was immediately hooked by the creepy and heartbreaking first chapter in which we witness a murder through the terrified victim’s eyes. This is what Mikael sees when he dreams a death. These dreams come unbidden to him, and are obviously deeply unsettling as he perceives everything as though he himself is the victim. As a broadcaster, the dreams are then sent out to all nearby sensitives. When Mikael dreams, many suffer. Shironne is the… Read more »

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Three Dark Crowns: Review

Three Dark Crowns: Review

This is the dark, twisted tale of three sisters fair destined to destroy each other. Or rather, only two need die. One will emerge victorious. On the island of Fennbirn, when the queen gives birth it is always to triplet girls. Each new queen is either a poisoner, a naturalist, or an elementalist. The queen identifies which queen is which and then abdicates. The new queens are raised together until the age of 6, when they are claimed by their different factions and trained in their powers. In the year of their 16th birthday, the Ascension year, the queens will each put their powers on public display and then proceed to attempt to murder each other. They have one year to accomplish their tasks. The last queen standing wins. Of the three sisters, we spend the most time with Arsinoe, the naturalist. The naturalists live in a seaside town that evokes a humble,… Read more »

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A Promise of Fire: Review

A Promise of Fire: Review

This is such a frustrating review to write. The story doesn’t have bad bones. The writing and plot are fine, and might well have been very enjoyable. There’s considerable action and adventure. But there were two major obstacles that prevented me from enjoying this (and they’re big ones). I couldn’t stand the main character, and I I did not at all care for the romance. Not liking the romance is going to be an instant downer in a book that is explicitly a fantasy romance. Cat is a young circus performer on the run from her abusive past. Cat makes her way in the world as a soothsayer, but her real “gift” is the ability to tell truth from lies. Anytime someone tells a lie in her presence Cat feels a searing pain. Considering the prevalence of lies in daily human interactions she spends the book in much less pain… Read more »

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Mini Reviews: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Round Up

Mini Reviews: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Round Up

Here we have three entries that show just how varied fantasy novels can be. There’s a historical, paranormal fantasy, a fantasy romantic comedy, and a graphic novel that is part steampunk, part epic fantasy. Let’s take a look!              Title: These Vicious Masks Author: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Release Date: February 9, 2016 Publisher: Swoon Reads Age Group: YA Source: Borrowed I’m so glad I read this absorbing paranormal historical story set in Victorian London. If you typically enjoy books placed in this setting, These Vicious Masks will not disappoint. There are all the usual trappings: young heroine who defies Society and its restrictive gender roles, a dashing gentleman (or two), and a paranormal mystery/quest driving its heart. Evelyn is our sassy, independent MC on a quest to save her gentle, kind-hearted sister from the hands of a devious mad scientist bent… Read more »

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The Invisible Library: Review

The Invisible Library: Review

Once again I find myself in the position with a book that is practically perfect in its premise, yet I ultimately fail to forge much of a connection with it. This is not a bad book, and I think it has its readers! I mean, it is a book about a great Library that has access to infinite alternate dimensions and universes. It also has werewolves, vampires, Fae, and dragons all romping around and creating magic, mystery, and mayhem in a sort of alternate steampunk “Victorian” London. Sign me way up for that. However, I get this sense of “fuzziness” for lack of better word to describe it with fantasies and other genre works where the world building is not at all clear to me. The Library is a very advanced institution that seems to exist out of time. It has its own Language that allows Librarians to alter their… Read more »

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