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Book Review

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

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 so many things becoming lost his powers grow out of control. Then the New Orleans god of fortune is murdered and Jude is drawn back into a world he's been so desperate to leave. This is a hidden w...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 24th April 2019
Book Review

The Sign of Nine by G. S. Denning

The Sign of Nine by G. S. Denning

Warlock Holmes is back. No, not Sherlock, Warlock. If you think about it, what makes more sense; a man who can somehow divine everything from a few clues, or a Warlock who just uses magic to do the same? The Sign of Nine continues the premise that Sir Conan Doyle’s original stories were actually edited to remove all the magic bits. Here are Dr Watson’s real notes; were we see Warlock melting locks and Watson himself smoking bits of an ancient Mummy to harvest its hallucinogenic po...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Saturday 13th April 2019
Book Review

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Lies Sleeping is the seventh book (eighth if you count The Furthest Station) in the impressive River of London urban fantasy series, following Peter Grant - detective constable for the metropolitan police and apprentice wizard.

It looks like time may finally be up for the Faceless Man (Martin Chorley) as a joint police operation looks to ensnare the criminal mastermind. But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that Chor...

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review written by Ant on Monday 11th March 2019
Book Review

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Illustration ©2019 Francis Vallejo from The Folio Society edition of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.

The asymmetrical sequel to Gaiman’s American Gods, Anansi Boys makes use of the same dramatic conceit, that Gods exist and walk amongst us. However, this story from Gaiman is more of an urban folk tale, utilising a variety of authentic sources to bring us the myth of Anansi and his sons. This Folio Society edition is the ultimate treatment of Gaiman&rsqu...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 6th March 2019
Book Review

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

There is a huge difference between a battle and a war. You can lose one, but still be victorious in the other. Or indeed win a battle, but overall be on the losing side. Brian McClellan’s latest trilogy set in the Powder Mage universe shows that even in a fantasy setting, war is hell. Whilst in Sins of Empire our heroes successful fought off the enemy forces, by Wrath of Empire a far superior enemy force has arrived and driven the battle wearer Mad Lancers from the capital. Can Lady Fli...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Thursday 28th February 2019
Book Review

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings is the debut of Jenn Lyons, it's an impressive way to make an entrance. The beginning of epic fantasy series A Chorus of Dragons, the book has just been optioned to be turned into a TV series.

Growing up in the slums of the city Suur, Kihrin learns to entertain with music while also leading a secret life as a thief. Then he robs from the wrong house and he finds himself the attention of some powerful people. Despite some serious attempts to end his life which cumulat...

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review written by Ant on Monday 18th February 2019
Article

Books to look out for in 2019

No matter what else happens, 2019 sounds like it's going to be a good year for books. While we haven't heard whether George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss will actually release their eagerly, long awaited novels, there are plenty of other books to get our teeth into. Some from established legends of the genre such as Alastair Reynolds, Tim Powers, Gregory Benford, Tad Williams, Guy Gavriel Kay, Pat Cadigan, Margaret Atwood (with her long awaited sequel to a Handmaids Tale) Ian McDonald and eve...

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review written by Ant on Friday 25th January 2019
Book Review

Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

Arm of the Sphinx is the second in the Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft and follows on from the events of Senlin Ascends.

Tom - who is now going by the name of Captain Mudd, continues his search for Marya. He has help, with the airship The Stone Cloud and it's motley crew. Since the events of the previous book, the crew of The Stone Cloud have become adept and moderately successful pirates, using guile and intelligence to overcome more powerful airships. His success as a ...

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review written by Ant on Monday 14th January 2019
Article

Happy New Year 2019

SFBook would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

2019 looks to be an important year for science fiction. There are some promising stories on the horizon while we are hoping that the science fiction genre should continue to be accepted more broadly. We may even see some work from George R.R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss, although I wouldn't count on it. There are a few big films coming out - not least with Star Wars Episode 9, Avengers End Game and Alita Battle Angel.

Blade R...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 1st January 2019
Book Review

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends is the ground-breaking debut of Josiah Bancroft and the beginning of the Books of Babel series. Originally self published in 2013, the book was picked up by Tor / Orbit when it became clear just how special the novel really is. Since then the series has continued with Arm of the Sphinx and The Hod King, which is released this month.

The story begins when Headmaster Thomas Senlin and his new wife Mayra take the train to the fabled tower of Babel. It is the greatest marve...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 1st January 2019
Book Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils by James Lovegrove

Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils by James Lovegrove

Sherlock Holmes and his creator may be long dead, but this has not stopped the master detective living on in the works of others. James Lovegrove has written several stories that have expanded on Arthur Conan Doyle’s legacy, but The Cthulhu Casebooks offer something very different by blending in the works of another classic author, H. P. Lovecraft. This mash up of Doyle and Lovecraft comes to a conclusion in Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils as Holmes finally gets his chance to ...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Tuesday 11th December 2018
Book Review

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

A Question. If something hurts, does that make it true? With this intriguing opener of a question begins Seth Dickinson’s The Monster Baru Cormorant, the first of three planned sequels to 2015’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Dickinson burst onto the fantasy scene with Traitor, a geopolitical epic which introduces Baru Cormorant of the island of Taranoke. After the ruling Empire of Masks, or Masquerade, ransacks her homeland, Baru is chosen by the devious Cairdine F...

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review written by Michael Feeney on Monday 3rd December 2018

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.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there?s injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold.
- Seventh Doctor Who

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