Posts Tagged: fantasy

The Iron Trial: Review

The Iron Trial: Review

This book. This book! I don’t even know what to say. That I loved it? That I can’t believe I have to wait a year to read the next one? All of the above. The Iron Trial is a perfect blend of fantasy, humor, and a great cast of characters. You’ll think you know the twist at the end, but you will be wrong. Oh, so wrong. This is a collaboration between Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, longtime friends and authors that I love. Holly Black has a penchant for the darker side of fantasy and writes the most interesting flawed characters. Cassandra Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices is set in an immersive, original fantasy world and is filled with snarky humor. The Iron Trial is the product of the best parts of both their writing styles, that when put together creates something wholly original and… Read more »

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Heir of Fire: Review

Heir of Fire: Review

Send help. Once again, the inimitable Sarah J. Maas has destroyed me. Darker, more animalistic and complex, with a spate of awesome new characters, greater sense of magic, and ever expanding locations, this series has started to fully realize its potential as truly epic fantasy. At last, the world of Throne of Glass feels as though it’s living up to the promise of The Assassin’s Blade when it comes to the scale of the story. This volume has a very different feel from its predecessors. The majority of the novel takes place outside of Rifthold, has Celaena separated from Dorian and Chaol, and features plots and locations that make the story fresh, new, and unpredictable. In many ways I can’t help but admire Maas for having the guts to to be true to her story when it’s so different from what readers have come to expect from previous books. But… Read more »

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The Kiss of Deception: review

The Kiss of Deception: review

I first read Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox and was blown away by the beautiful language. The Kiss of Deception did not disappoint. This is a fantasy story filled with lush writing, a good mystery, and a strong female lead. Lia, like many young princesses in fantasy stories, is betrothed to be married, but instead of going through with the marriage, she runs away to live a life of anonymity as a bar maid. From this first act to the last page Lia goes through a massive transformation, from the girl who runs away from her problems and responsibilities, to a woman who takes control of who she is. I really loved seeing how she grew over the course of the story. The fantasy world was also very immersive. Although there was a bit of clunky exposition in the beginning, as the story went on the details… Read more »

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Child of a Hidden Sea: Review

Child of a Hidden Sea: Review

This is the story of a lost girl. Both literally and figuratively. Sophie is adrift in the course of her life, stuck in that sort of early 20s purgatory, and living in the shadow of her adopted family’s academic genius. On a mission to track down her birth mother Sophie gets more than she bargained for when accidentally stumbles upon on an assassination attempt with people from another world. When Sophie accidentally travels back with them she discovers there’s more to her history than she ever thought possible. I enjoyed the plot. The political machinations and the mysteries at the heart of the story are twisty-turny and thoroughly absorbing.   This is fun political fantasy. And even though this is actually an adult book it has such a spirited MG feel. It’s a high seas adventure! There are pirates! And magic! There are even moments of grotesque horror akin to the… Read more »

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Half a King: Review

Half a King: Review

So here is your standard “disgraced underdog hero goes on an epic journey of self discovery to reclaim what is his by rights” coming of age story. What elevates Half a King above the standard? This is not the black and white world of high fantasy. The whole book has an overwhelming gray feeling. Gray in atmosphere and gray in morality. It takes place in a Viking-like world with little magic. A politically minded fantasy, there are plots upon plots and layers of conspiracy to uncover. Betrayal after betrayal happen and the twists keep coming until the very last page. This is gritty and grim low fantasy, but it never feels hopeless. The characterization is superb. As the younger son of the king, considered “half a man” for having a half formed hand (thus unable to fight in the strong warrior culture), Yarvi is easily relatable. A strong gift for… Read more »

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Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song: Review

Cuckoo Song is one of those books that I really struggled to find the words for. You know those books that have such an intense amount of complexity, beauty, and feeling? The kind of book that leaves you asking yourself, “How can I do this book justice?” Yes, this is one of those. I was expecting this story to be a creepy, horror-tinged, fantastical mystery. And it is those things. But I was not expecting it to also be a story about the devastating effects of war on both societal and personal levels and of how a family torn apart by grief can come back together again. It’s also somehow lovely. So, so lovely in the midst of such horror.. Imagine you woke up one morning with all memories fractured, able only to grasp at mere pieces of who you are. You went missing from your home last night, found… Read more »

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The Falconer: Review Discussion

The Falconer: Review Discussion

  Being the fantasy loving gals that we are, Kate and I both devoured this one last month. And now here we are to bring our thoughts to you! I’m not normally a huge fan of steampunk or faery stories, but Kate likes both. We ended up enjoying this one just the same, though. Intriguing! Do join us as we discuss the reasons why.     Kim: I rather enjoyed this one. I don’t often go for steampunk, and I really don’t care for faery stories so the fact that I liked this as much as I did should go to show for something. I mean, there are mechanical spiders that will stitch you up. That’s fucking awesome. Kate: I tend to like steampunk as a general rule–not, like, the cosplay or whatever, because it seems exhausting, but I love being able to read historically-set novels that can contain modern… Read more »

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