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.

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?

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. 

Book Reviews · Fantasy · Teen

Review: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Shiori'anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs in her veins. And on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother. A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Book Reviews · Science Fiction

Review: Artifact Space by Miles Cameron

Out in the darkness of space, something is targeting the Greatships. With their vast cargo holds and a crew that could fill a city, the Greatships are the lifeblood of human occupied space, transporting an unimaginable volume - and value - of goods from City, the greatest human orbital, all the way to Tradepoint at the other, to trade for xenoglas with an unknowable alien species. It has always been Marca Nbaro's dream to achieve the near-impossible: escape her upbringing and venture into space. All it took, to make her way onto the crew of the Greatship Athens was thousands of hours in simulators, dedication, and pawning or selling every scrap of her old life in order to forge a new one. But though she's made her way onboard with faked papers, leaving her old life - and scandals - behind isn't so easy. She may have just combined all the dangers of her former life, with all the perils of the new . . .

Book Reviews · Crime

Review: Death And Croissants by Ian Moore

Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it. One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the enigmatic Valerie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance. Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case until things become really serious and someone murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens … and you don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!

Book Reviews · Crime

Review: A Numbers Game by RJ Dark

Meet Malachite Jones – the foremost (and only) psychic medium on the gritty Blades Edge estate. All he wants are two things: a name that isn’t ‘Malachite’, and a quiet life. And maybe some real psychic powers, but he’s making a living without them. Janine Stanbeck wants to find her dead husband Larry’s winning ticket and escape Blades Edge with her son. And she thinks Mal can help her. But Larry’s dad is the crime lord of the estate, and he wants that ticket for himself, and worse for Mal, he's not the only criminal with his eyes on it. Add in two coppers desperate to nick Mal's best, only, and admittedly quite dangerous, friend, Jackie Singh Kattar, and Blades Edge is getting pretty crowded. Malachite Jones might not really be able to talk to the dead, but if he and his friend Jackie Singh Kattar can’t find that money and a solution that pleases everyone they’re likely to be in need of a psychic medium themselves.

Book Reviews · Fantasy

Review: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of powerful magic - but is now little more than a decaying ruin. Priya is a maidservant, one of several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to attend Malini's chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, as long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides. But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya's true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled...

Book Reviews · Fantasy

Review: The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox

Somewhere in England, in a small town called Strange Ground by the Skea, Ebbie Wren is the last librarian and he's about to lose his job. Estranged from his parents, unable to make connections with anyone except the old homeless lady who lives near the library, Ebbie isn't quite sure what he's supposed to do next. His only escape from reality is his deep interest in local folklore, but reality is far stranger than Ebbie can dream. On the other side of the sky and the sea, the Queen of House Wood Bee has been murdered. Her sister has made the first move in a long game, one which will lead her to greatness, yet risk destruction for the entire Realm.