Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart

In an empire ruled by bone shard magic, the new Emperor finally sits in her hard-earned throne, but dangers still lie ahead and enemies hide at every turn. Lin Sukai now rules the Phoenix Empire, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don't trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force. Yet a greater threat looms on the horizon, for the Alanga - the powerful magicians of legend - have returned. Lin may need their help to defeat the rebels and restore order. But can she trust them?

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: In A Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity using cunning and magic to help rule their small, unstable country. Rhea controls the seasons to show favor to their most loyal stewards with bountiful harvests and short winters, while Lexos keeps the tides strong and impassable to maintain the country’s borders. Reigning over them… Continue reading Review: In A Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Bloodsworn by Tej Turner

It has been twelve years since The War of Ashes, but animosity still lingers between the nations of Sharma and Gavendara, and only a few souls have dared to cross the border between them. The villagers of Jalard live a bucolic existence, nestled within the hills of western Sharma, and far away from the boundary which was once a warzone. To them, tales of bloodshed seem no more than distant fables. They have little contact with the outside world, apart from once a year when they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour… of which most of Jalard’s children dream. But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance…

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

A MYTHIC WORLD. A LOST CHILD. A 177-YEAR-OLD WITCH. A DEADLY REGAL CHANCELLOR. A MYSTERY WITH MANY ANSWERS. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman - the witch Sogolon - who bows to no man, this is an unforgettable exploration of power, personality, and the places where they overlap, set in a world… Continue reading Review: Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

Book Reviews, Fantasy, Teen

Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

For generations, deadly storms have ravaged Mina's homeland. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. To appease him, each year a maiden is thrown into the sea, in the hopes that one day the 'true bride' will be chosen and end the suffering. Many believe Shim Cheong - Mina's brother's beloved - to be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is sacrificed, Mina's brother follows her, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong's stead. Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina finds the Sea God, trapped in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man and a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits, Mina sets out to wake him and bring an end to the storms once and for all. But she doesn't have much time: a human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking...

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood

Csorwe, Shuthmili and Tal survey abandoned Echentyr worlds to make a living. The empire’s ruins seem harmless but fascinating. Yet disaster strikes when they stumble upon ancient magic during a routine expedition. This revives a warrior who’d slept for an age, reigniting a conflict thousands of years old. And the soldier binds Csorwe to her cause.  Shuthmili is desperate to protect the woman she loves. However, as events escalate, she’s torn. Can she help Csorwe by clinging to her own humanity or by embracing her eldritch powers? Tal heads home, but his peace is shattered when a magical catastrophe hits his city. The wizard Sethennai is missing and Tal can’t face seeking his former lover to ask for help. So, he flees – but there’s no escaping the future. For throughout the Echo Maze’s linked worlds, fragments of an undead goddess are waking. Soon all must choose a side. 

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

Kithamar is a centre of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold. This is Alys's. When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives. Swept up in an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the powerful Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when her magic flares and her existence is discovered, Xingyin is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind. Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to train in the Crown Prince’s service, learning to master archery and magic, despite the passion which flames between her and the emperor’s son. To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies, across the earth and skies.

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: World’s Edge by David Hair

Chasing a dream of wealth and freedom, Raythe Vyre's ragtag caravan of refugees from imperial oppression went off the map, into the frozen wastes of the north. What they found there was beyond all their expectations: Rath Argentium, the legendary city of the long-vanished Aldar, complete with its fabled floating citadel. Even more unexpectedly, they encountered the Tangato, the remnants of the people who served the Aldar, who are shocked to learn that they're not alone in the world - and hostile to Raythe's interlopers. What awaits Raythe's people in the haunted castle that floats above them, the lair of the last Aldar king? Everlasting wealth - or eternal damnation?

Book Reviews, Fantasy

Review: All of Us Villains by Christine Herman and Amanda Foody

After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into the spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters alike flock to its spellshops and historic ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city's high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world. In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family's reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet--a chance to rewrite their story. But this is a story that must be penned in blood.