Coming-of-age books are quite common these days, so are the books containing assassins as protagonists in fantasy, so how does a book combing these two themes actually fare? RJ Barker proved that it can work out rather brilliantly. It just needs what every great novels need: strong and interesting characters, unique magic system and worldbuilding, […]
The second in the new series published by Penguin called DC Icons, these YA novels take a look back on the teen lives of popular DC heroes. The ground was safely and greatly broken by Wonder Woman: Warbringer, which I reviewed in January. Nightwalker, handled with care by the author of the bestselling The Young […]
With Jagannath, I return to two genres I have visited in earlier reviews: short stories and Scandinavian fiction. One of my very first reviews for this site was a collection of speculative fiction set during the Age of Discovery, dealing with subjects as varied as the invention of a new sort of clock to Darwin’s […]
How far would you go to protect your child? Would you destroy a community? Commit genocide? Kill another’s child? On the Swedish urban fantasy crime drama Jordskott, the answer to these questions is often yes. Jordskott could be described as The Killing meets Trollhunter. It begins when Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel), a troubled police detective, […]
As a fan of epic fantasy with diverse casts, I always saw Ryan Kirk’s Nightblade atop the Asian Myths and Legends charts on Amazon, reminding me I needed to finish it. Though it had been sitting on my Kindle for years, and I had tried several times to make it through the first chapter, it […]
Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire—a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the […]
Nina Allan is one of the finest writers operating in the field of speculative fiction. Her debut novel The Race (2014) was released to critical acclaim, and was nominated for the British Fantasy Award, the Kitschies, and the John W. Campbell award. Her second novel The Rift (2017), one of Fantasy-Faction’s top novels of last […]
Today is May 4, coincidentally the 99th anniversary of the first popular protest in China’s history. Due to the somber tone of The Poppy War, I am eschewing my usual levity in this review. In my review of Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon, I proclaimed to be an avid student of Napoleonic History. If there’s […]
Rebecca F. Kuang (writing as R. F. Kuang) immigrated to the US from Guangzhou, China in 2000. When she isn’t writing books she is a student of Chinese history focusing on military strategy, collective trauma, and war memorials. Her debut novel, The Poppy War, based on the Second Sino-Japanese War, released in the US yesterday […]
Under Heaven is the first book in the Under Heaven duology. It is set in a fictionalized version of the Tang Dynasty of 8th Century China and contains a masterful story of family, intrigue and power. “The world is not something to be understood. It is vanity, illusion to even try.” This was my first […]
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