Every Friday throughout this Wyrd and Wonder month, I’ll be doing a “Follow Friday” blog post featuring fantasy book reviews from five bloggers I follow and one from a collaborative site. What better way to celebrate fantasy than to shout out fantasy book reviewers!
Mike @ Michael. W. Everest.
Godblind by Anna Stephens
Mike’s blog also features interviews with Anna and a guest post written by her.
THE GOOD: Gods meddling in mortal affairs, royal court-conspiracies, brimming with betrayals, battles and bloodlust, told via a distinct and diverse range of PoV characters.
THE BAD: The 2017 debuts are making me think this year – it’s tricky to pick anything ‘bad’ about them. If I had to say one thing, it’d be that if you prefer an ‘easy, light and bright read’ this isn’t for you. The multiple PoV approach can be a bit jarring at first, the plot at times complex, is grim, dark… to coin a phrase, grimdark? (I kid).
THE UGLY TRUTH: Godblind doesn’t pull its punches – it comes out swinging with a gut-buster of an opener, keeps on swinging, and after that KO of an ending, I feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds with a grimdark heavyweight, not a debut tyro. I hurt, I’m tired, I’m scared, I want a hug – but I want more!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
The story itself was enchanting. It had a fairy tale feel, yet at the same time it felt raw and real. Juxtaposed with the original, it made for a rich retelling, which will feel even more unique to us non-Russians who aren’t familiar with the tale. The best part of this, however, was how it clung to its fairy tale roots, whilst reaching out into a historical landscape, making us ponder whether magic played a part, or not.
Have It: Pork Ribs and Sweet Parsnips
Recreated from A Time of Dread by John Gwynne
[Not strictly a review site but rather recipes inspired by fantasy books. Seriously, have it.]
John Gwynne’s feast-halls play host to some hearty fantasy staples. ‘A Time of Dread’ features steaming tea, warming porridge, tender meats, melting onions, sweet vegetables and thick gravies. There’s even a dog’s dinner – a well-earned restorative for the brave hound – that sounds fit for the table of any fantasy food fan. You’ll find it listed here along with the rest of the book’s victuals.
Zezee @ Zezee With Books.
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
I looked forward to reading this story for its characters, who are all older men. I guess I can call them veterans since they are experienced warriors who have been in several battles and have all retired from that life. It was interesting and refreshing to read from such a perspective since I’m used to heroes in stories being young, eager, and inexperienced.
The story is entertaining and funny and filled with loads of fantastical creatures. I enjoyed reading it and will probably pick up the next book in the series. If you enjoy reading fantasy novels, I’d say give this one a try.
Stuart @ Always Trust In Books.
Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft.
I saw plenty of great reviews for Senlin Ascends within the book community and I decided to buy it and give it a go. I have been fascinated by the story and concept of The Tower Of Babel for a while now but I haven’t found and approachable and enjoyable book to sit down and immerse myself in. Luckily Josiah Bancroft has finally done it! Senlin Ascends is a cracking read that explores an unforgettable setting. I was glad that The Tower Of Babel, despite being a fundamentally religious tale, was explored in a purely unbiased format that didn’t force any unwanted theological narratives upon myself. Josiah Bancroft has created a setting that has so much potential for exploration, eventful interactions and plenty of mayhem. Every inch of this novel is covered in danger, misadventure and chaos as well as passion, heroics and dedication. Senlin Ascends is a mesmerising tale of an ordinary man facing the chaos of humanity and coming out the other side a hero.
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
(Reviewed by Katerina)
I LOVED IT. I swallowed this book. Plain and simple. The quick pace was captivating, the descriptions and landscapes breathtaking and the heroine really badass!! I can’t say I’ve read many steampunk books but The Falconer is a great example of how fascinating this genre is! Add some sass and romance, world-changing events and a variety of emotions and voila! you read it in one sitting without regrets!