Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Review – All Souls Trilogy

All Souls Trilogy book coversAll Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy centers around witch Diana Bishop and her vampire love Matthew Clairmont. Diana and Matthew meet when a mysterious manuscript finds Diana in the Bodleian Library. Together they must uncover its secrets while fighting forces from all sides trying to keep them apart and get to the powerful manuscript first. Deborah Harkness does a very good job of weaving her story together. I read all three of these 550+ page books back to back to back. Her protagonists are thoroughly engaging and continue to grow and change throughout the story. It also has a satisfying end with enough drama ebbs and flows to hold the reader’s attention till the conclusion. It is easy for me to see why these books have been so popular in recent years.

Book Review – Forestium

Forestium book coverForestium by Christopher D. Morgan

Joshua, a young Woodsman, from the village of Morelle, goes in search of his missing father and discovers a much deeper destiny. He and his companions must find three magical orbs to open the Portallas, the gateway between worlds before the evil creature, the Goat, finds them. This self-published fantasy novel was professionally edited which is always a huge plus for me, however, the writing still seems underdeveloped. The characters and the story are lacking complexity and final polish. Also, while I appreciate a quickly moving plot, the character development felt rushed and unbelievable. The protagonist and his love interest fell deeply in love very quickly without any substantial descriptions of how their feelings evolved. I would have liked more depth in this novel given the story’s potential.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

Book Review – The Divine

The Divine book coverThe Divine by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, and Boaz Lavie

The Divine is a dark fantasy graphic novel about an American explosives expert sent to the fictional country of Quanlom, where he gets in the middle of an army of children led by two magical brothers. The story, inspired by a photograph of the real Burmese twins who led the guerrilla group God’s Army, twists myth and truth into magical realism at its best. Asaf and Tomer Hanuka’s art is starkly riveting. Their use of color brings emotion and tension to the beautiful drawings. This kind of story is not something I would normally pick up, but I’m glad that I did because I was drawn into the tale of dragons and ancient spirits.

Book Review – The Sound of the Stones #StonesTour

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The Sound of the Stones Book CoverThe Sound of the Stones by Beth Hammond

The ancient book about the past holds the future. Frankie is the key and as she reads the story begins to feel real. In another time, humans are oppressed by a strange half-human breed. But Ashra, holds the salvation of the human race. As other allies seek her out, Ashra and her companions must unravel the mysteries of the past in order to save their future. Beth Hammond’s fantasy novel has some very interesting aspects. I very much enjoyed the character of Ashra and how she begins to reluctantly realize her destiny. I hope that Ashra and several other intriguing characters are more fleshed out in subsequent books. The story does a good job of introducing all the necessary back story along with exposition, however, the ending feels incomplete. And, while I understand that this is most likely setting up further entries in a series, I wish this particular story came to a proper conclusion. That and Ms. Hammond’s writing style, which I feel is slightly underdeveloped, were my main complaints with an otherwise engaging fantasy novel.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

The Sound of the Stones giveawayEnter to win one of ten $5 Amazon gift cards.

Book Review – The Gift of the Quoxxel

The Gift of the Quoxxel book coverThe Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus

King Norr of Nibb wants to see the world beyond his small island kingdom. He watches ships that pass his island wondering why they never stop. Little does he know that adventure is about to find him when a strange girl appears out of nowhere.

The good: It is nice to see the passion and attention that Mr. Titus obviously put into his novel. It has interactive links to a glossary, audio files, even sheet music, and I very much enjoyed the amusing illustrations that appear between chapters.

The bad: The story never quite captured my fancy. The world of Nibb is just a little bit too outlandish and although some people might find that charming and Seussical, to me, it was slightly tedious. I’m also not exactly sure what the story is about.

The ugly: The book has glossary hyperlinks that you can tap and jump to the definition in the back. It also has a link back to the table of contents at the end of every chapter. While I applaud the use of technology, I found these annoying and unnecessary. Many of the linked words appear in the onboard Kindle dictionary and I don’t know why I would go back to the beginning of the novel at the end of a chapter. The blue of the hyperlink just pulled me out of the story because it drew my eye away from the rest of the text.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

Book Review – An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the AshesAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a fantasy world based on ancient Roman culture, An Ember in the Ashes follows the story of two young people caught up in a violent, oppressive world. The novel is narrated through the alternating viewpoints of Elias, trained from a young age to be an elite soldier for the Empire at the exclusive Blackcliff Academy, and Laia, coerced into spying on Blackcliff for the Resistance by becoming a slave. Their stories become intertwined as both get caught up in a much larger political quagmire. Ms. Tahir has a gift for world-building. The world is both rich and dangerous. This well-written tale of conflict and hope was hard to put down. I hope there is a follow-up to this very promising debut from Sabaa Tahir.

Book Review – The Dreamweaver’s Journey #FeyronTour

The Dreamweaver's JourneyThe Dreamweaver’s Journey: The Age of Awakenings by Diana L. Wicker

The first book in the Tales from Feyron, “The Dreamweaver’s Journey” centers on the Realm of Feyron — the origin of all things magical and point where all worlds meet. For the first time in over three hundred years, a Dreamweaver has come of age and must awaken the long-lost Guardians of the Realm. However, when one of the Dreamweaver’s friends goes missing, the Guardians summon the Dreamweaver on a quest that will take her and her companions in search of answers. Diana L. Wicker’s novel is jammed packed with charming fantasy lore from her Realm of Feyron. The intricacy and depth of her world can be overwhelming at times but that is a testament to her imagination and the magic she’s spun into her pages. The story is a good mix of magic, adventure and history. I would recommend this light YA fantasy novel for readers ranging from young to old.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

You can get “The Dreamweaver’s Journey” and the other two books in the Tales from Feyron series for just $0.99. Use the codes below at Smashwords:

The Dreamweaver’s Journey: LQ98S
The Guardian Child’s Return: PV32X
Legacy of Mist and Shadow: AL72T

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Win a $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard or credit at the Book Depository –OR– a Magic Bottle necklace. Ends 2/13.