Fantasy Book Reviews

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Shigidi by  by Wole Talabi
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Most people love a good heist if they are not the ones being robbed. Be it in the movies, a documentary, or even a novel, a heist is all about planning and then it falling apart instantly. You can tell the story of a heist in different ways; do you go deeply into the plan or find out more about...

Article by Sam Tyler on 8th February 2024
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Epic fantasy novels are filled with fellowships from the OG to the 700-page opuses of today. What differs across all these books is how close the fellows are. Multiple character perspectives do not a fellowship make if they never meet each other, you want a close group of people all setting out...

Article by Sam Tyler on 2nd February 2024
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There are authors that you love because you can pick up one of their books and know what you are going to get, like putting on your favourite pair of comfortable slippers again. There is also that rarer breed of author that you love, maybe even a little bit more. Those authors that will not be...

Article by Sam Tyler on 23rd January 2024
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Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.
- Aldous Huxley
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I love Fantasy and read enough to know that there are so many layers to the genre; from high to low, from Tolkien, through the Golden Age to modern darker fantasy. The genre twists and turns through the ages. A lot of modern Fantasy is shorter and darker, and I miss a stonking big slice of High...

Article by Sam Tyler on 12th January 2024
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After more than a decade of box office hits and TV shows even the more casual Marvel fan is starting to realise that there is a vast and rich world of lore that the comics have built up over the decades. The comics of Thor and Loki bring with them their own history, not only that written for the...

Article by Sam Tyler on 21st December 2023
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The locked room scenario is a classic of the crime genre and does not have to mean just a locked room but the idea of a contained place that holds all the victims, suspects, and clues within. A monastery perched atop a remote island only passable when the tide is low would be a perfect place for...

Article by Sam Tyler on 13th December 2023
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Him by  by Geoff Ryman
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People like to read for differing reasons. Some like to be entertained, whilst others like to be challenged, if you are lucky, you will get a book that will do both. Taking on an alternative history of the New Testament is challenging enough, but making the main protagonist a woman who says that...

Article by Sam Tyler on 7th December 2023
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I have read a lot of Fantasy fiction over the years and have picked up trends as time passes from the classic High Fantasy epics of the 80s to the gritty Low Fantasy of more recent times. A new trend is in town, and I see Travis Baldree at the vanguard of Cosy Fantasy. Legends & Lattes was a...

Article by Sam Tyler on 20th November 2023
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Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.
- Aldous Huxley
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There are two ways of writing fiction set in the Victorian era; set a fictional book in the real era or write within the Victorian multiverse. This is a playground that I have read many books in, a world where Sherlock Holmes can investigate new cases, but also one in which he can work...

Article by Sam Tyler on 10th November 2023
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They say that you should never meet your heroes, lest they disappoint, but I have met several of my favourite authors over the years and have always had a pleasant experience. I never had the chance to meet Sir Terry Pratchett which was a shame as he was, like for many readers of genre fiction,...

Article by Sam Tyler on 11th October 2023
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You are probably a fantasy fan if you are reading a review of this fantasy book. As fans we love the genre, but even we can admit that plenty of the tropes are well trodden and to standout a new fantasy series is going to have to be something different. Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare opens...

Article by Sam Tyler on 10th October 2023
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Advances in forensic science can feel like magic from the discovery that we all had unique fingerprints to the use of DNA to catch criminals, but what would you do in a world were magic exists? Can science be used to solve crimes committed by magic? The Undetectables believe so, they use their...

Article by Sam Tyler on 28th September 2023
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For a long time, the Fantasy genre felt very Western European. So many of the fantasy worlds seemed to be based on a version of Medieval Europe, but that has not been the case for some time now. It does not take much searching to find a book that very much still feels like fantasy but has a...

Article by Sam Tyler on 19th September 2023
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There are two ways to treat fairy folk in a fantasy novel. You can hide them, only the protagonist knowing that there is a secret world in the forest. Or you can embrace them. Make the likes of goblins and fairies' part of everyday life. In A Market of Dreams and Destiny by Trip Galey, an accord...

Article by Sam Tyler on 12th September 2023
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Find the latest Fantasy book reviews here. Fantasy as a genre can be very difficult to define but is usually said to encompass stories set in an alternative reality based on imagined fantastical elements like magic or the supernatural. This is the defining difference between science fiction and fantasy, science fiction deals with elements that are theoretically possible while fantasy deals with the improbable or impossible.

Fantasy can be most commonly associated with sword and sorcery stories however the genre can include contemporary (Harry Potter) and humorous (Tom Holt) tales. Fantasy, science fiction and horror can occasionally overlap and generally the term used to describe these novels is speculative fiction.

Fantasy fiction can trace it's roots all the way back to ancient mythology, especially Homer's Odyssey which was written in the 9th century BC. Homer's Odyssey chronicles the fictional adventures of a hero returning to Ithaca after the capture of Troy. The earliest surviving English text of fantasy origins is the poem Beowulf which dates back to 700 AD.

The most recognisable to modern audiences is perhaps the Legends of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. These stories have been told many times from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur (around 1485 AD) to T. H. White's The Once and Future King (1958), Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1982) and Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle (1987).

The series that could be said to bring fantasy into the mainstream has to be Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara series, written in 1977 it was one of the first modern fantasy books to become a new york times best seller. Since then this has been repeated by David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Terry Good Kind and Terry Pratchett.

Here you can find fantasy book reviews from the big name authors to the self published and independant, it's the story that's always the star here.