Article written by Devin Madson-
The fantasy of my reading youth all fell into the category we would now call ‘soft magic’. It had no rules and no structure beyond the occasional dusty tome or wizarding school. If someone had asked me to explain the magic systems of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings or The Belgariad by David Eddings, I couldn’t have done more than point to the places in the narrative where magic existed. I could see it, I knew it was there, I just couldn’t explain it. (more…)
I received an advanced reader copy of The Deathless in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Peter Newman and Harper Voyager for the opportunity.
Newman’s first entry into a new fantasy series presents a world with floating castles which are connected by roads of crystal alongside which human settlements are erected. These Godsroads are safe passages between the floating fortresses of the great houses. Covering most of the created environment is The Wilds – a macabre and terrifying forested area full of unspeakable horrors, extreme darkness, shifting trees, and creatures such as the infamous Scurrying Corpseman and Whispercages. Certain segments of the narrative that were set in The Wilds were truly intense and felt like a nightmare right out of a Brother’s Grimm fairy tale. (more…)
I’m a smartass, I can’t help it. It’s a quality that bleeds into my writing and I love how my characters can say the things I’d love to say without consequence. Well, usually, they are attacked at the end of the conversations, but my characters have an ability to kick ass I wholly do not possess. However, how much snark is too much snark?
One of my all-time favorite creations and easily the first or second-best thing I ever wrote was I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER. The first volume of the Bright Falls Mysteries was the story of a young woman named Jane Doe, her very name telling you what kind of story we were in, who had to solve the murder of the local homecoming queen after her brother is made the prime suspect by the police. (more…)
I received an advanced reader copy of The Grey Bastards in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Orbit Books and Jonathan French.
In French’s debut release, readers follow Jackal, an attractive half-orc who is a key member of his gang which is known here as a hoof. The hoof is called The Grey Bastards and they operate in similar fashion to how a biker gang might, offering protection to local businesses, riding around their turf, and getting into skirmishes with rival factions but instead of motorcycles, they travel on giant and vicious war hogs. The war hogs are more than just vehicles, they are closer to pets and are incredibly loyal and a huge asset in any conflicts with fully fledged Orcs. One of the hogs is lovingly called Ugfuck! (more…)
8/10 – To be added to Fantasy Book Review soon.
I received an advanced reader copy of Death March in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Phil Tucker for the opportunity.
Death March, the first entry in the LitRPG Euphoria Online trilogy was my first time reading Tucker’s work although I am familiar with him from the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. I am also pretty new to this blossoming and booming subgenre of computer game RPG inspired fantasy. Having recently enjoyed Andrew Rowe’s Sufficiently Advanced Magic and the fact that I’m currently replaying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim it seemed only right that I leapt at the chance to review this story early and carry on with those vibes. (more…)
The Magical Fallout
Almost every fantasy world you will read about has some kind of magical system, a list of rules the magic in that world is built on. Sometimes these rules are made plain. Others, they are purposely left vague or unexplained. In my world, I like to embed nuggets of explanation in one place and leave it for the reader to find the story where that part of the world is brought to light. I was asked to talk about my wizards and their magic system for You and I Books, and I jumped at the chance. (more…)
DNF @ 47%. This is a quick casual review as I didn’t complete The War of Undoing.
This was a difficult one for me as it gave me very mixed feelings.
The writing is tight, neat and the book has no errors that I noticed. The editing seemed pretty top quality too apart from certain chapters that dragged on a bit too much. It’s original and interesting. The prologue was really enticing and sets up the narrative well. The magic system seems pretty well worked mixed into two sorts. Magical capabilities wielded by vumas, and the brotherhood of lightning, and enchanted powerful weapons that are used by humans in this war of the ages. The history seems pretty deep and well worked. Descriptions and the world-building weren’t bad either and Perry created a heightened imagery in the well-crafted environments such as the forest of Hob. (more…)