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Search tags: Recommended-Fantasy
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review 2018-02-08 14:38
A series that actually gets better in the second book!
A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows starts out following Lila who was a secondary, but significant, character in the first book of the series. Happy with accomplishing a transference to a London she likes better than the one she grew up in, she looks for a pirate ship to commandeer.

 

Lila is a little too efficient as a thief and fighter to be entirely believable, but it is Fantasy after all. In the second part of the book we get reacquainted with Kell, from the first book of the series. His brother, the prince, drags him into irresponsible situations for which Kell has to shoulder the blame all too often.

 

A tournament of elemental magic is to take place in the kingdom where Kell and the prince live and Lila draws near, in the company of a ship captain who has a reputation as a rogue, but a certain appeal to Lila.

 

This is one of those stories that starts slowly but becomes more and more interesting as it goes along. That both Lila and Kell have limitations and weaknesses came out more as the story went along and by the time they got to the competition, I was completely hooked into the story.

 

My one complaint is that it ended on not exactly a cliffhanger, but in a way that forces you to buy the third book to find out what happens. Luckily I've already got it and can continue.

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review 2017-07-15 10:45
Perfect finish to the series
Power of the Dance - Jaq D. Hawkins

All the books in this trilogy are supposed to be stand alone, but I think this one needs to be read with background information from at least one of the other two. It occurs a generation after Demoniac Dance and the children in that story have grown up, some even having children of their own.

 

It's hard to say much about this story without giving spoilers for the previous one, so if you haven't read Demoniac Dance, you might want to read that one first before finishing this review.

 

Khemael, the main character, is mostly human looking in appearance, except for his large, dragon-like wings. If he allows a human to see him, there's an equal chance of being mistaken for an angel or a demon. He enjoys flying freely and this causes problems, because of course goblins are supposed to stay out of sight and one of the characters from the previous novel who is a dragon also breaks a few rules by going out to fly.

 

The ability comes in handy when a tribe of wild men move towards the old city and present a danger to the human settlements there. Old enemies have to cooperate once again against a common foe.

 

This had some very dramatic scenes in it and wrapped the series as a whole up very neatly. It's definitely one of my favourite series and I highly recommend it to any Fantasy readers. If you read on Kindle, the complete series in one volume periodically goes on sale very cheaply and it's just called The Goblin Trilogy so keep an eye out for it.

 

I'm partly sad that the ending worked so well because that means no more books in this world, unless the author does a parallel timeline series like Anne McCaffrey and others have done.

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review 2017-05-12 09:48
Interesting new concept in Fantasy
Ephraim's Curious Device (Clockpunk Wizard, #2) - Lita Burke

Imagine Fantasy wizards selling magical services from an airship that can allow them to travel. It's one of those concepts that a Fantasy writer naturally wishes they had thought of first!

 

This story is a new adventure for characters that we met in The Forever Boy, but stands well on its own for those who have not read the other story. Still I would recommend reading Forever Boy as it is a wonderful introduction to these characters and gives the reader the background of Furgo.

 

The story is rather fun and has an interesting and unique approach to magical curses. Despite some trepidation of one rather long name - Hissalumieon - the story flows well and keeps the reader interested. The rules of magic are well explained within the context of the story and used to good effect in the plot as it unfolds.

 

This was one of the best Fantasy novels I've read in a while.

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review 2017-03-24 10:50
Sweet Child of Time
Sweet Child of Time: Episode Seven of The Chronicles of the Harekaiian - Shanna Lauffey

by Shanna Lauffey

 

Wow, I wasn't expecting that!

 

Usually when I read a long series, I start to lose interest around the fourth book. Things get samey and the later books feel like a lot of rehash. Not with this one.

 

Akalya had some different challenges to deal with in this 7th book, yet part of the plot tied in neatly with what has gone before. One interesting new character was introduced, but it's hard to tell if he'll make an appearance in the remaining books. I just never know quite what to expect from the next episode.

 

I got to see some of Akalya's past that I hope will be visited again in future books because it involves a setting that appeals to me a lot and as always, some bits of nostalgia that would appeal even to people who weren't actually there. There wasn't as much about time travel Physics as there sometimes is, but it wasn't entirely missing. Just enough questions about how things work to stimulate the thinking processes.

 

What strikes me about every book in this series is how I feel when I've finished. It's like I've been there myself and experienced these things, and I'm still dealing with the emotions raised from whatever situation happened. This is what makes this my favorite series, apart from just the fact that time travel is cool and the methods explained in this are close enough to plausible to suspend disbelief.

 

I feel like I'm still assimilating this experience, though I finished reading last night. It's going to be far too long before the next book comes out! I can't wait to see where it goes. The reappearance of one character who I thought was done has me speculating about the extent of his significance. I do love it when a book makes me think!

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review 2017-03-18 10:12
The Goblin Emperor
The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

by Katherine Addison

 

The first chapter was enough to tell me this one is for world building Fantasy fans, the kind who loved Lord of the Rings. We've got elves, political intrigue and an airship crash that results in a new emperor. I can see why reviews on this one are polarized, as it has some hard to pronounce names and other earmarks of old school Fantasy. Personally, I was hooked by the end of that first chapter. Bring on more!

 

Maia is half-elf half-goblin, a disregarded fourth son relegated to exile after his mother's death. He might have been forgotten forever, but an airship crash that kills his father and brothers leaves him as next in line to the throne. With his mixed blood and lack of training for court life, there is bound to be adjustment issues at the least.

 

The story is heavy on political intrigue, but very well done. Maia is a very likable character and I enjoyed watching him rise to the situation and find his strengths, overcoming an abusive childhood. I thought he struck a good balance, seeking advice on protocol from those he could trust and recognizing when courtiers were trying to bully or trick him into doing what they wanted.

 

The aspect of mystery was good too. Several characters are introduced who might have the sort of ambitions that might have resulted in sabotage of the royal entourage's airship. The story kept my attention and had me wondering which of the more slimy characters might have been behind it, or whether there could have been a conspiracy.

 

Some other likeable characters arise as well, though I found myself wondering who might have hidden motives, even among the apparent 'good guys'.

 

One thing that surprised me was the spiritual aspect of Maia's goblin heritage. I find it fascinating that stories about goblins that look into their society are increasingly Shamanic or spiritual in some way. It's an interesting trend.

 

I did find the book hard to put down in the later chapters, falling asleep late at night but determined to finish one more chapter. In the end the mystery was solved and the book came to a tidy end, but I'm hoping there will be more books in this world. Despite stumbling a little over convoluted names, I really enjoyed the read and may even look into some of the author's other books under her other pen name.

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