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Fantasy Book Reviews

Book Review

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory hasn't even been released at the time of writing and it's already been picked up by Paramount TV. It's the authors first foray into literary speculative fiction and follows the Amazing Telemachus Family.

Back in the 1970's they acheived widespread fame for their magic and mind reading talents. Their fame however ended one night on live television as magic seemed to fail them. The story begins twenty years later as teenager Matty, grandso...

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review written by Ant on Monday 19th June 2017
Book Review

Blackwing by Ed McDonald

Blackwing by Ed McDonald

Blackwing is a book that suprised me more than any other has so far this year. It's the debut of Ed McDonald and boy what a way to make an entrance.

The book follows Galharrow, leader of the mercenary squad known as Blackwing. Galharrow and his band take on jobs most would consider too dangerous, especially when tasked with going into the wastelands of the Misery.

Some eighty years past the Republic was at war with the powerful, immortal Deep Kings. It ended not in any...

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review written by Ant on Monday 5th June 2017
Book Review

Changes by Jim Butcher

Changes by Jim Butcher

After the tremendous Turn Coat, I was expecting big things from Changes and boy does this book live up to the promises.

It's impossible to write about Changes without giving away a few spoilers - however I'm not going to mention anything you can't read on the back of the book itself.

So the big news right at the start is that Harry has a daughter - Maggie, a child that ex-girlfriend and half-vampire Susan Rodriguez has been hiding from him for years. Susan has...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 30th May 2017
Book Review

The White City by Simon Morden

The White City by Simon Morden

Simon Morden, Philip K. Dick award-winning author, satisfies fans of his debut novel Down Station with his long-anticipated sequel The White City. Resurrecting some of his most-loved characters, Morden’s latest offering marks a continuation of Dalip and Mary’s journey through ‘Down’ - a quasi-apocalyptic Garden of Eden - as they attempt to navigate the web of lies and betrayals spun by the series’ antagonist Crows.

The quest marks a broader search...

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review written by Abbie on Monday 22nd May 2017
Book Review

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Turn Coat is the eleventh book in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and as ever, events have a habit of turning against Harry Dresden. This time his help is being sought from the most unlikely of people - Morgan, the warden who has persecuted Harry mercilessly in the past.

Morgan is on the run after being accused of murdering fellow White Council member Aleron LaFortier - and the evidence seems stacked against him. Harry however is convinced that Morgan is innocent (not least as he...

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review written by Ant on Monday 8th May 2017
Book Review

The Seven by Peter Newman

The Seven by Peter Newman

The Seven is Peter Newman's stunning conclusion to the post-apocalyptic Vagrant Trilogy, following on from the events of The Vagrant and The Malice.

A number of years have passed since the Vagrant journeyed to the Shining City with a baby Vesper and Gamma's sword. Following in her fathers footsteps some time later, Vesper closed the tear between worlds, protecting humanity but also trapping the Infernal Horde.

Vesper now works towards unity and with it peace and fo...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 25th April 2017
Book Review

A Time for Grief by Adrian Tchaikovsky

A Time for Grief by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the second in the series of books of short stories in the shadows of the apt world from Newcon Press written by Adrian Tchaikovsky. 

You don't need to have read Tales of the Apt book 1, Spoils of War, to appreciate this one, but it would probably help if you were familiar with the world as a whole. 

These books of short stories, as I likely said when I reviewed book one, are a must have companion piece for anyone loving the novels or Tchaikovsky's writing...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Saturday 22nd April 2017
Book Review

Dreaming in the Dark by Jack Dann

Dreaming in the Dark by Jack Dann

Readers and reviewers of dark fiction have certainly noticed, during the last years, that the number of Australian authors appearing in books published in the UK and in USA is constantly on the rise, and that the quality of their contributions is usually top notch. This Australian renaissance, reaching out from the secluded world of their national market, is a reason for rejoyce. Many Aussie writers are by now renowned authors perfectly at home in genre anthologies and collections from both s...

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review written by Mario Guslandi on Monday 20th March 2017
Book Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove

I've always had a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes. The books are wonderful pieces of classic fiction (my favourite being the Hounds of the Baskervilles) and modern interpretations such as those penned by Moffat and Gattiss help to keep this Centenarian alive in the minds of millions.

I've never considered combining the world of Holmes with that of Cthulhu (another favourite of mine) but on refection it does make some sense. Both writers are said to have been influenced by Edg...

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review written by Ant on Monday 20th February 2017
Book Review

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Angela thinks she knows her boyfriend Vince pretty well, that is until he goes missing. She quickly learns he has a hidden employment, his boss the infamous London crime lord Frederick Meloy (known as Fat Frederick, but nerver, ever as Fat Freddy).

His secret job? tracking down arcane relics succh as gryphon claws, satyr horns and other mythical creature body parts.

As Angela tries to piece together where Vince might be she begins to uncover bizzare, hidden, deadly underbe...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 8th February 2017
Book Review

Dead Man's Steel by Luke Scull

Dead Man's Steel by Luke Scull

Dead Man's Steel is the third and final volume in the Grim Company Series by Luke Scull. We reviewed the first book in the series - The Grim Company - back in 2013 and remarked that it was one of the best fantasy books of the year.

Last year the Sword in the North, the second in the series managed to build on the first book and was a worthy follow-up. This time around we've even managed to get one of our quotes on the front of this book - not something that happens very ofte...

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review written by Ant on Friday 23rd December 2016
Book Review

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree is the sixth novel in the Rivers of London series. For those who have yet to experience these wonderful books imagine an Urban Fantasy with police procedural elements, warmly written with a disarming humour and celebrating the many hidden rivers that wonder through London (with exception to the last book Foxglove Summer which ventured into the countryside).

The police procedural elements are superb, feeling as close to real police work as you can possibly imagine. I...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 21st December 2016

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.

Don't count the days, make the days count
- Muhammad Ali

Book of the month

The Seven by Peter Newman
The Seven by Peter Newman

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