Book Reviews · Middle Grade

Review: The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis

Cordelia, Rosalind and Giles. They have lived in the tower all their lives, protected by their mother's enchantments. Only Cordelia's magic lets her steal moments of freedom - over the wall in the shape of a bird or beneath them as a scurrying mouse. The eldest of the three is heir to the Raven Throne of Corvenne - a land no one can rule for long and hope to live. Only their mother knows which is the true heir, and she will do anything to keep them hidden. But one day, thanks to Cordelia, destiny finds them...

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Women in SFF Readalong: Week 4

It's the end! This has been a really fun read along, with some great conversations over on the Discord that Nils and Beth over at The Fantasy Hive created for it. My overall thoughts on The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty are a bit of a muddle - it was quite a slow-going first half, and the intrigue was enough to keep me going but not quite the right amount to have me stay up late reading. But once all the characters came together geographically, things became a lot more interesting for me, and this culmination was satisfying (if somewhat confusing) to read! You can see what my thoughts were for Week One, for Week Two, and for Week Three. Needless to say, my thoughts on this last section will include spoilers for the entire book, so please don't read on if you don't want to know!

Book Reviews · Fantasy

Review: The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse

All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother's family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance. I can choose between them - between protecting my family, or protecting my people - or I can search out a better path . . . a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation. But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves . . .

Book Reviews · Fiction · Science Fiction

Review: Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North

a holy man, a keeper of ancient archives. It was his duty to interpret archaic texts, sorting useful knowledge from the heretical ideas of the Burning Age - a time of excess and climate disaster. For in Ven's world, such material must be closely guarded, so that the ills that led to that cataclysmic era can never be repeated. But when the revolutionary Brotherhood approaches Ven, pressuring him to translate stolen writings that threaten everything he once held dear, his life will be turned upside down. Torn between friendship and faith, Ven must decide how far he's willing to go to save this new world, and how much he is willing to lose.

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Women in SFF Readalong: Week 3

I have been quiet on the blog... I'm back to being full time at work and my reading and writing have takes a backseat until I figure out how to balance my time properly, but I am still loving the Fantasy Hive‘s readalong of The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty! We're on week three now, which means only one more section left to tackle, and this week left me with a lot of questions... Dara and Nahri are in Daevabad at last, and things are definitely complicated... If you haven't already, you can read my posts for Week One and Week Two, but now let’s look at this week’s questions – please be advised there will be spoilers up until chapter 22.

Book Reviews · Fantasy · Fiction

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. For a family’s eighth-born son, there’s greatness. For the second daughter, nothing. In 1345, China lies restless under harsh Mongol rule. And when a bandit raid wipes out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Zhu Chongba despairs and gives in. But the girl resolves to overcome her destiny. So she takes her dead brother's identity and begins her journey. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars, as rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream?

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Women in SFF Readalong: Week 2

Here we are folks, the second week of the Fantasy Hive's readalong of The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty, and the action is definitely starting! At the end of the first section, Nahri and Dara were in the middle of the desert, running from the ifrit and heading towards Daevabad in a tenuous alliance, while Ali, in the city itself, has found himself back in the palace, and in charge of the city guard. All three are hurtling towards situations they are not looking forward to being in, which makes this next part very interesting. You can see what my thoughts on week one were over here, but now let's look at this week's questions - please be advised there will be spoilers up until chapter 15.

Book Reviews · Fantasy

Review: Map’s Edge by David Hair

Soldier, sorcerer and exiled nobleman Raythe Vyre has run out of places to hide. When the all-conquering Bolgravian Empire invaded, Raythe grabbed his daughter Zar and after taking part in a disastrous rebellion, they washed up on the edge of the continent. Now he's found a chance of redemption for himself and the precociously talented Zar: a map showing a hitherto unknown place that's rich in istariol, the rare mineral that fuels sorcery. Mining it will need people, but luckily there are plenty of outcasts, ne'er-do-wells and loners desperate enough to brave haunted roads through the ruins of an ancient, long-dead civilisation, to seek wealth and freedom.