Sections Menu

Fantasy Book Reviews

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...

read the article
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 ...

read the review
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...

read the article
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...

read the review
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 ...

read the review
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...

read the review
review written by Michael Feeney on Monday 3rd December 2018
Book Review

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

It's difficult to write a review of Ghost Story without giving spoilers away about the previous book, Changes. Having said that, I'd recommend reading Changes before attempting Ghost Story, while any of the Dresden Files novels can be read individually, read this one without knowing the history will spoil it for you a little if you want to read the previous books.

As the title implies, in Ghost Story Harry Dresden has become a spook, without his powers and unable to affec...

read the review
review written by Ant on Monday 26th November 2018
Book Review

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher

There is a surprising amount of Fantasy that is essentially an epic game of magical rock, paper, scissors. Various mages, witches and Gods all fighting each other with differing powers. They are strong against one power, but weak against another. The balance of the world rests on all these powers cancelling one another out. But what happens when a hero enters with no powers at all? Their lack of strength means they will be required to use intelligence and guile to get by. Perhaps this is actu...

read the review
review written by Sam Tyler on Friday 23rd November 2018
Book Review

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

Popstars of the 60s dread their back catalogue going into the public domain. Their retirement fund has now been opened to everyone to listen to for free. If you think that is sad, please spare a moment for the poor authors who have long died and whose work is open to all. The likes of Shakespeare, Doyle and Carroll have had their work rewritten and reinterpreted hundreds of times. Sometimes this is done well and lets you explore the originals in a new light. Other times it just feels like a m...

read the review
review written by Sam Tyler on Thursday 15th November 2018
Article

New Publisher Launches - Flame Tree Press

A new imprint has recently launched with a an impressive line-up of authors and books. Flame Tree Press is a brand new publisher dedicated to finding the best award-winning and original voices. While it might be new, Flame Tree Press consists of experienced industry professionals, led by Nick Wells, the Founder of Flame Tree Publishing and a former MD of HarperCollins Enterprises.

Nick Wells commented:

After 24 years at Flame Tree Publishing, this imprint’s story ...

read the article
review written by Ant on Monday 5th November 2018
Book Review

Hallowdene by George Mann

Hallowdene by George Mann

Hallowdene is the second book in the Wychwood series, a crime thriller that weaves into the story supernatural elements. Elspeth Reeves is making a new life for herself in a quiet, sleepy village near Oxford, having escaped the hectic life of London. As a journalist for the local paper, she is often involved in events around the area. One such annual event known as Hollowdene is fast approaching when she is called to report on an excavation of the body of three hundred year old witch Agn...

read the review
review written by Ant on Friday 26th October 2018
Book Review

131 Days by Keith Blackmore

131 Days by Keith Blackmore

Blackmore is a vastly under-appreciated author. His Mountain Man novels are a superb example of a post-apocalyptic / zombie series.

131 days does for heroic, gladiatorial fantasy what Mountain Man did for Zombies, a charged, fast-paced story that has confidence, style and plenty of GrimDark. Every year in the city of Sunja, gladitorial games are held in the Pit. Often fighting to the death, some fighters enter for fame, others for the money - a few for the chance of carrying out ...

read the review
review written by Ant on Tuesday 16th October 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.

It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it?s called life
- Terry Pratchett

A Message from SFBook

SFBook is entirely funded by Ant including hosting, development and any other costs.

If you enjoy the site please consider a small donation towards the cost of the upkeep and development of SFBook.

paypal
The Man who never was