Fantasy Book Reviews

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Once a noble lord, after a failure on the field of battle, Silas Bershad "The Flawless" was stripped of all titles and forced into the life of a dragonslayer, moving from one perilous hunt to the next. Stalking dragons and collecting their valuable oil, his only escape seems to be death. But...

Article by Ant on 8th October 2019
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There are books that ruin it for anyone else. Harry Potter has basically made it impossible to make a book set in a magical school without someone saying, “rip off”. Just don’t mention to those people that The Worst Witch has been around a lot longer. Still, it takes a brave...

Article by Sam Tyler on 4th October 2019
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Where do dreams go when we forget them? Do they dissipate into the ether, or do they settle somewhere? This is the intriguing premise of Tyler Hayes’ The Imaginary Corpse, an alternative detective noir novel. How alternative? It stars a stuffed toy triceratops private investigator called...

Article by Sam Tyler on 10th September 2019
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Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
- Kurt Vonnegut
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The Fantasy genre has the unwarranted reputation of being staid. If you do not read it, you may think that it is all still elves and dwarves hanging out in some sort of fellowship. Fantasy fanatics know different. There are distinct fashions within the genre that has evolved between high and...

Article by Sam Tyler on 25th August 2019
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Crowfall by  by Ed McDonald
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Crowfall is the third novel in Ed McDonald's Raven's Mark series, following on from Blackwing and Ravencry. If you haven't read the previous two books I recommend you do so before reading this book, or indeed this review.

 

Some time has passed since the events of Ravencry,...

Article by Ant on 2nd August 2019
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Lent by  by Jo Walton
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Jo Walton is a multi-award winning, talented and often under-appreciated author. A number of her novels examine philosophy, religion, divinity and humanity. Lent continues some of these themes along with her knack for creating irresistible, thoughtful and engaging fiction.

Girolamo...

Article by Ant on 26th July 2019
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Religion is a tricky thing, a lot of people think they have picked the right one. Some believe in one God, but many people have several. The Mayans had some deities you would not want to meet in a dark alley as they prey on humans from the underworld. Meeting one of these Gods would be scary,...

Article by Sam Tyler on 4th July 2019
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Heroic Fantasy doesn't always get the credit it deserves, but when done well can be powerful, energetic and immersive fiction. Sky in the Deep is one of the best examples of recent times and an equal to Gemmell's past stories.

The story follows Eelyn, a member of the Aska...

Article by Ant on 24th June 2019
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Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.
- Kurt Vonnegut
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An exciting collection of short stories, for many different tastes. I enjoyed them all. They vary from what looks like a traditional sword and sorcery tale (but is a lot else besides), to modern myths exploring identity and the impact of childhood neglect on the adult. The characters of these...

Article by Irene Rosenfeld on 21st June 2019
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Illustration ©2019 Tim McDonagh from The Folio Society edition of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes

The bright yellow cover of this Folio Society edition of Bradbury’s classic fantasy novel is inset with a cartoon-like carnival poster, clearly...

Article by Allen Stroud on 18th May 2019
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Following the events of A Time of Dread, this book raises the stakes even further. Drem and friends flee the horrors at Starstone Lake. They must warn the Order of the Bright Star that a Demon has risen, but Fritha, the Demon's high Priestess has other ideas and is hot on their heels....

Article by Ant on 29th April 2019
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Post-Katrina New Orleans is haunted by history and destruction. Similar burdens are shouldered by the Street Magician Jude Dubuisson. He's got a gift of finding things people have lost - inherited from an unknown father. His gift has become an almost overwhelming curse following the storm, with...

Article by Ant on 24th April 2019
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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.