Most Recent Fantasy Reviews

These are the most recent Fantasy reviews, sorted by date. You might also want to look at the index of all Fantasy reviews.

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Generally, I’m skeptical of books written by teen authors. In my experience, they usually fall into one of three categories: A) extremely derivative; B) laughably wish-fulfilling; or C) all of the above. So I approached The Peculiar fully prepared to be disappointed. Delightfully, however, this book proves an exception to the pattern, and an impressively […]


The Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn

Sharon Shinn’s novels are a mixed bag for me. I’ve really enjoyed her YA stuff, and a couple of her adult novels, too, while others of her adult novels I’ve found underwhelming or even dull. This one, though, just irritated me. It’s a paranormal romance featuring an incredibly dysfunctional relationship, and the characters aren’t likable […]


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Okay. I will be honest. This is a paranormal/fantasy romance. It has pounding hearts, love-at-first-sight, and you-are-my-soul passion. It is ridiculously melodramatic. And I loved it. Now, this may have been partly because certain elements in the story and the characters seem pretty much tailored to my personal tastes and designed to win me over. […]


Fated by Benedict Jacka

Readers who enjoy the urban fantasy vibe but are put off by the darkness and moral ambiguity common in the genre may find just the ticket in this beginning to a new series. Alex Verus is a mage with the ability to see the future, but he keeps a low profile due to a past […]


The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead

At first glance, this book looks like it’s going to be fairly clichéd. On their 13th birthdays, a boy and a girl find themselves crossing over into a hidden subterranean kingdom under the surface of Great Britain, where they are caught up in an epic conflict between good and evil, asked to do a task […]


The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss

I really wanted to like this book: it’s a Regency-era fantasy (Corsets! Advantageous matches! Industrialization! Magic!) with Romantic poets in it. Not only does it have Lord Byron (who seems to be especially beloved of SF authors everywhere for some reason), but it also has William Blake, who really is an even better SF fit […]


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Elisa is a princess, but she has always been plagued by a sense of insecurity and inadequacy, leaving the complexities of state affairs to her father the king and her confident and beautiful older sister. Instead of officiating at court functions, Elisa is more likely to be found in the kitchens eating pastries. However, she […]


Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Every now and then, it’s satisfying to pick up a good ol’ doorstopper. This saga of an underground rebellion against an evil overlord certainly qualifies, and it has a number of things going for it. For one thing, it has a well-developed and plausible system of magic, with specific powers tied to the use of […]


Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

In a very-alternate history World War II, a German mad scientist has produced an elite squad of supermen. Rigged with batteries and wires, these young adults have various preternatural abilities: the ability to turn incorporeal, a prescient knowledge of the future, the power of telekinesis, and more. When a British spy uncovers evidence of the […]


Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson

In its concept, this book earns major nerd points. It’s a vampire-hunter action novel with a modern setting, but the concept is inspired by the Villa Diodati summer (during which Mary Shelley conceived the concept behind Frankenstein), and the book features Lord Byron as an evil vampire wreaking havoc on the environs of Lake Geneva. […]