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The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners

Publisher’s Description Welcome to The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories. Slatter’s work has been described by the legendary Ramsey Campbell as “enviably original, and told in prose as stylish as it’s precise. Not just disturbing but often touching, her work enriches and revives the tale of terror.” From the fierce changeling… Continue reading The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners

Dark Nature

*** I received an ARC/Review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *** Publisher’s Description Generation after generation, humans have ripped apart the world, leaving garbage and desolation in our wake.Burning, destroying, and stealing from the earth. We see it happening day by day and do nothing about it. Our air is… Continue reading Dark Nature

A Song of Flight

Publisher’s Description After a violent encounter with masked men and the sinister Crow Folk, Prince Aolu of Dalriada disappears without a trace, and his companion Galen is seriously injured. Liobhan and the Swan Island warriors seek answers to the prince’s abduction. For Liobhan this mission is personal, as Galen is her beloved brother. While she… Continue reading A Song of Flight

Certain Dark Things

Publisher’s Description Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized. Atl… Continue reading Certain Dark Things

Dreaming of Djinn

Publisher’s Description: To open Dreaming Of Djinn is to open a jewel encrusted box full of exquisite and mouthwatering delicacies. This sensuous and truly mouthwatering collection melding the modern and the ancient with the strangeness of speculative fiction, is a treasure trove of originality and exotic magic. It will ravish your senses as it transports… Continue reading Dreaming of Djinn

No Good Deed

Publisher’s Description : Isobel assumed her wedding would be the grandest day of her life, but when she wakes in a ghost-filled tomb still wearing her bridal veil, it’s clear events have taken an unexpected turn. With the assistance of a vengeful spirit Isobel escapes her imprisonment, but her new husband Adolphus will not be… Continue reading No Good Deed

A Local Habitation

Publisher’s Description: October “Toby” Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns… Continue reading A Local Habitation

The Once and Future Witches

Publisher’s Description: In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the three… Continue reading The Once and Future Witches

King of Assassins

Publisher’s Description Many years of peace have passed in Maniyadoc, years of relative calm for the assassin Girton Club-Foot. Even the Forgetting Plague, which ravaged the rest of the kingdoms, seemed to pass them by. But now Rufra ap Vthyr eyes the vacant High-King’s throne and will take his court to the capital, a rat’s… Continue reading King of Assassins

My Heart is a Chainsaw

*** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley *** Publisher’s Description: “Some girls just don’t know how to die…” Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in… Continue reading My Heart is a Chainsaw

Starve Acre

Publisher’s Description The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place. Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the… Continue reading Starve Acre

Stark Naked

Publisher’s Description Stark Naked is Silvia Cantón Rondoni’s intense personal journey. These reflections reveal her transition from childhood through grief and trauma, to the woman of resilience she is today. Illustrated by Silvia Nieto in close collaboration with the poet, her artwork adds visual soul and compliments a collection filled with raw emotion and brutal… Continue reading Stark Naked

A Dance with Fate

Publisher’s Description Liobhan, the young warrior and bard, has lost her brother to the Otherworld. Even more determined to gain a place as an elite fighter, she returns to Swan Island to continue her training. But Liobhan is devastated when her comrade Dau is injured and loses his sight in their final display bout. Blamed… Continue reading A Dance with Fate

Blood Kissed

Publisher’s Description In a world where magic and science sit side by side, and powerful witches are considered necessary aides for all governments, Lizzie Grace is something of an outlier. Though born into one the most powerful blue blood witch families, she wants nothing to do with either her past or her magic. But when… Continue reading Blood Kissed

The Ghost Tree

Publisher’s Description When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her… Continue reading The Ghost Tree

The Dark Chorus

Publisher’s Description The Boy can see lost souls. He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he… Continue reading The Dark Chorus

Bleak Precision

Publisher’s Description Eight stories, an essay and artwork by two-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated author, Greg Chapman.Table of contents:KakophonyHorror Fiction: A Bleak and Depressing Look at TruthThe Pest Controller’s WifeFascinationScar TissueUnrequitedMongrelHard BargainFeast of Feasts Review Bleak Precision, a collection of horror and dark fiction tales by Australian-based author and artist Greg Chapman. There are many good… Continue reading Bleak Precision

Cursed: An Anthology

Publisher’s Description: “It’s a prick of blood, the bite of an apple, the evil eye, a wedding ring or a pair of red shoes. Curses come in all shapes and sizes, and they can happen to anyone, not just those of us with unpopular stepparents… Here you’ll find unique twists on curses, from fairy tale… Continue reading Cursed: An Anthology

Shadow and Bone

Publisher’s Description: “Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. Now Alina will enter a lavish… Continue reading Shadow and Bone

Mongrels

Publisher’s Description: “He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy… Continue reading Mongrels

Blood of Assassins

From the Publisher: “In a desperate bid to escape the bounty on his head, assassin Girton Club-Foot has returned to Maniyadoc, but the kingdom he knew no longer exists. Three kings battle for supremacy in a land ravaged by war-and one of them is his old friend Rufra. With threats inside and outside the war… Continue reading Blood of Assassins

In Solitude’s Shadow

Publisher’s Description “An army is at the gates of Haltveldt, a nation built on war, and nothing is as it seems. Calene Alpenwood, a powerful warrior-mage gifted with the Spark, makes a shocking discovery that sets into motion events that put her at odds with the very masters she serves. Reuniting with her mother Zanna,… Continue reading In Solitude’s Shadow

Wait for Night

Publisher’s Description A day laborer hired to clean up a flooded creek outside of Boulder, Colorado uncovers what could be a valuable find—if it doesn’t kill him first. Review Wait for Night is a novelette by US author Stephen Graham Jones. The story follows a day-labourer Chessup and a work crew cleaning up a flooded… Continue reading Wait for Night

Whispers in the Dark

Publisher’s Description “Two decades into an eternal sentence in the impenetrable Void for daring to rebel against the might of the Empire, and Agent Ivory is ready to give up on life entirely, even if the unseen Warden of the prison won’t ever let him die. But when a mysterious voice in the darkness visits… Continue reading Whispers in the Dark

All the Murmuring Bones

Publisher’s Description “Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore… Continue reading All the Murmuring Bones

The Witch’s Heart

Publisher’s Description: Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself… Continue reading The Witch’s Heart

Son of a Trickster

Publisher’s Description: Meet Jared Martin: sixteen-year-old pot cookie dealer, smoker, drinker and son with the scariest mom ever. But Jared’s the pot dealer with a heart of gold–really. Compassionate, caring, and nurturing by nature, Jared’s determined to help hold his family together–whether that means supporting his dad’s new family with the proceeds from his baking… Continue reading Son of a Trickster

Rosemary and Rue

Publisher’s Description: The world of Faerie never disappeared; it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie’s survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Outsiders from birth, these half-human, half-fae children spend their lives fighting… Continue reading Rosemary and Rue

Age of Assassins

Publisher’s Description: TO CATCH AN ASSASSIN, USE AN ASSASSIN… Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks Girton and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill… Continue reading Age of Assassins

Borderlanders

Publisher Description: “Some keys open doors to strange worlds… Melissa has a happy marriage but her everyday life is a constant battle against pain. She discovers that her artwork can produce magic, prompting her to apply for an artist’s retreat to a mysterious country house. Her old schoolfriends Bettina and Zelda are also at the… Continue reading Borderlanders

Silver in the Wood

Publishers Description: “There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads. When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely… Continue reading Silver in the Wood

The Crossing Places

From the Blurb: “Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a prehistoric henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or are the bones much older? DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up… Continue reading The Crossing Places

Ivory’s Story

From the Blurb: “Long ago, a good man transgressed and was brutally punished, his physical form killed and his soul split asunder. Now, one half of his ancient soul seeks to reunite with its lost twin, a search that leaves murder in its wake…In the streets of modern day Sydney a killer stalks the night,… Continue reading Ivory’s Story

Time of Contempt

From the Blurb: “To protect his ward, Ciri, Geralt of Rivia sends her away from the home of the Witchers to train with the sorceress Yennefer. But all is not well within the Wizard’s Guild. Geralt is a Witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some… Continue reading Time of Contempt

Blood of Elves

From the Blurb: “For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf. Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as the Witcher,… Continue reading Blood of Elves

Black Sun

From the Blurb: “A god will returnWhen the earth and sky convergeUnder the black sun. In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the… Continue reading Black Sun

Mexican Gothic

From the Blurb: “After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about… Continue reading Mexican Gothic

Storm of Locusts

From the Blurb: “It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange… Continue reading Storm of Locusts

Flyaway

From the Blurb: “Strange what chooses to flourish here. Which plants. Which stories. Bettina Scott lives a tidy, quiet life in Runagate, tending to her delicate mother and their well-kept garden after her father and brothers disappear – until a note arrives that sends Bettina into the scrublands beyond, searching for answers about what really… Continue reading Flyaway

Corpselight

From the Blurb: Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds. Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when… Continue reading Corpselight

The Only Good Indians

From the Blurb: “Ten years ago, four young men shot some elk then went on with their lives. It happens every year; it’s been happening forever; it’s the way it’s always been. But this time it’s different. Ten years after that fateful hunt, these men are being stalked themselves. Soaked with a powerful gothic atmosphere,… Continue reading The Only Good Indians

Harrow the Ninth

From the Blurb: “She answered the Emperor’s call. She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend. In victory, her world has turned to ash. After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery,… Continue reading Harrow the Ninth

The Harp of Kings

From the Blurb: “BARD. WARRIOR. REBEL.Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and is a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to… Continue reading The Harp of Kings

Gods of Jade and Shadow

From the blurb: “The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. Yet this new… Continue reading Gods of Jade and Shadow

Uprooted

Uprooted by US author Naomi Novik explores the author’s polish heritage through vibrant folklore in this Fantasy novel. Although Uprooted began like many fairytale retellings with a naive village girl from a rural village, who is taken by the Dragon and trapped in a tower. This is the basic synopsis of Uprooted but the story… Continue reading Uprooted

Metamorphosis: Short Stories

I recently read Metamorphosis: A Collection of Short Stories by Australian author Claire Fitzpatrick. I do not commonly read Horror fiction, so I am probably a bit unfamiliar with the development of themes in “body horror” fiction. However, I was really intrigued by the different stories in this collection, appreciating the originality and scope. I… Continue reading Metamorphosis: Short Stories

Dark Currents

Dark Currents is the first instalment in a new urban fantasy series Agent of Hel by American author Jacqueline Carey. Set in the picturesque Midwestern tourist town of Pemkowet, protagonist Daisy Johanssen is a hell-spawn, daughter of a demon and mortal mother and the chosen representative and enforcer for the Norse goddess Hel, ruler of… Continue reading Dark Currents

Darkdawn

I recently read Darkdawn, the third and final instalment in the Nevernight Chronicle by Australian author Jay Kristoff. Darkdawn follows from the preceding volume Godsgrave where protagonist, the assassin Mia Corvere has succeeded in her plans on the arena sands of the grand gladiatorial games in Godsgrave. But Mia’s plans were not as unforeseen as… Continue reading Darkdawn

The Way of Kings

The Way of Kings by US author Brandon Sanderson was a recent recommendation. This first instalment in The Stormlight Archive series is definitely an epic fantasy not just in the scope of the novel itself but the incredible detail paid to the world-building and the unique characters. The Way of Kings follows a handful of… Continue reading The Way of Kings

Vigil

One of my recent reads was the paranormal urban fantasy, Vigil by Australian author Angela Slatter. The first book in the Verity Fassbinder Series follows the paranormal private detective Verity Fassbinder set in an alternate version of Brisbane city, Australia where Verity acts as a mediator between the mortals (Normals) and the paranormal community (Weyrd).… Continue reading Vigil

Orphan Warriors

I recently read Orphan Warriors, the first installment in the Children of the Otori duology by British-born Australian author Lian Hearn. In the events following the aftermath of  the Tales of the Otori series, Orphan Warriors follows a young protagonist, one of the orphan sons of Arai Zenko, former friend and betrayer to Lord Takeo Otori.… Continue reading Orphan Warriors

Gideon the Ninth

I read Gideon the Ninth by New Zealand author Tamsyn Muir after hearing many great reviews for this magic-induced, science-fiction adventure. Gideon the Ninth focuses on the central character of Gideon from the Ninth House, an orphan raised alongside the ruling heir, the extraordinary necromancer, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House. Harrowhark is… Continue reading Gideon the Ninth

City of Lies

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me . . .” – City of Lies, Sam Hawke One of my belated book reviews is the debut Fantasy novel City of Lies by Australian author Sam Hawke. The opening line is the best hook for a novel of political intrigue, murder, mystery… Continue reading City of Lies

Circe

I recently read Circe, a historical fantasy by Madeline Miller, a retelling and exploration of the maligned figure in Ancient Greek mythology, the witch Circe. Circe follows the unusual female figure of Ancient Greek literature, the witch daughter of the Titan god Helios, exiled to Aiaia by Olyimpium Zeus. The details of Circe’s strangely mortal-like… Continue reading Circe

The Institute

I read The Institute by US author Stephen King after many reviews discussed the social issues within the novel and the similarities with the psychologically challenging novels Firestarter and Carrie, both sharing with The Institute, children with powers of telekinesis and telepathy. The Institute focuses on twelve year old Luke Ellis, a boy of exceptional… Continue reading The Institute

The Bee and the Orange Tree

I read The Bee and the Orange Tree by Australian author Melissa Ashley. A wonderful historical fiction set during the early stages of the French Revolution but focused on the female literary circles surrounding Baroness Marie Catherine D’Aulnoy established as an author in her own right after successful publication career of several novels and fairytale… Continue reading The Bee and the Orange Tree

A Darker Shade of Magic

I had read many reviews of A Darker Shade of Magic by US author Victoria Schwab and in October 2019, I decided to delve into this popular series. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and unique characters of the first book in this trilogy. A Darker Shade of Magic follows Kell, one of two last magicians… Continue reading A Darker Shade of Magic

Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

I’m currently reading the second volume in a 12 part series, a Zodiac themed anthology produced by Aussie Speculative Fiction. Each month, a new anthology featuring that month’s zodiac sign will be released. This January-February, I’m reading Aquarius and because it’s also my own star sign. The Aquarius anthology features many unique interpretations of the… Continue reading Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

Muse of Nightmares

One of the best recent reads was the Muse of Nightmares by US author Laini Taylor. Following the events that brought the prequel Strange the Dreamer (read review here) to a dramatic conclusion, Lazlo Strange has transformed into one of the godspawn, awakening his dormant power to mould the magical blue metal Mesarthim. In a… Continue reading Muse of Nightmares

The Blue Rose

Recently, I read The Blue Rose by Australian author Kate Forsyth, a historical fiction novel that spans the French Revolution and the court of Imperial China. The heroine of The Blue Rose is Viviane de Faitaud, the intelligent daughter of the Marquis de Ravoisier. Raised knowing only her father’s displeasure and cruelty, Viviane leads a… Continue reading The Blue Rose

A Wizard of EarthSea

I have read many reviews about the late US author Ursula K. Le Guin but I had never read her works. After listening to fellow authors and the reading community discuss the impact of her work, I decided I must read A Wizard of Earthsea for myself. Despite my high expectations, I was not disappointed.… Continue reading A Wizard of EarthSea

The Copper Promise

I recently read The Copper Promise, the first novel in The Copper Cat Trilogy by UK author Jen Williams. The Copper Promise follows the unlikely group of adventurers, the female mercenary Wydrin of Crosshaven (the infamous Copper Cat), Sir Sebastian Carverson (an exiled knight) and Lord Frith (a crippled nobleman, dispossessed of his lands). Lord… Continue reading The Copper Promise

The City of Brass

The City of Brass is the first installment in the debut fantasy series The Daevabad Trilogy by American author S. A. Chakraborty based on early Islamic folklore and legends. The City of Brass follows female protagonist Nahri, a con-woman and thief who grew up an orphan on the Cairo streets during Ottoman-French occupation. Nahri has… Continue reading The City of Brass

Dead Beat

I recently read Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, the seventh novel in the Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is Chicago private detective and professional wizard, struggling to make a living and control the powerful magic he wields. Dead Beat is set three days before Halloween when Märvra, vampire Queen of the Black Court and Harry’s enemy,… Continue reading Dead Beat

Godsgrave

Godsgrave is the second volume in the adult dark fantasy The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. Continuing from the dramatic conclusion of Nevernight, Mia Corvere is now a Blade in the Red Church and with Mr Kindly and Eclipse, she becomes suspicious of a single patron repeatedly requesting her services. After the attacks against the… Continue reading Godsgrave

Beautiful

I recently had the pleasure to read Beautiful by Juliet Marillier in audiobook format. I thoroughly enjoy all of Marillier’s re-imaginings and re-telling of classic folktales and mythologies. Beautiful was certainly as detailed and well-written as previous novels I have read by Juliet Marillier. The inspiration for Beautiful was the Nordic fairy-tale East of the… Continue reading Beautiful

Catching Teller Crow

The YA supernatural mystery, Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, explores Australian history, indigenous legends and cultural understanding through the characters of three young Aboriginal women.Catching Teller Crow follows Beth Teller, a recently deceased Aboriginal girl who has remained as a ghost, trying to stop the grief consuming her father by urging him… Continue reading Catching Teller Crow

Trail of Lightning

From the Blurb: “Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine. Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an… Continue reading Trail of Lightning

Beauty in Thorns

I just finished reading historical fiction novel, Beauty in Thorns by Australian author Kate Forsyth. Beauty in Thorns was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite movement during the mid-to-late 1800s. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was initially founded by the painters William Holman-Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the late 1840s. The movement expanded to later… Continue reading Beauty in Thorns

Assassin’s Fate

Assassin’s Fate is the final volume in the Fitz & the Fool trilogy by American author Robin Hobb. Assassin’s Fate also marks thefinal instalment in the acclaimed series of novels following the Farseer dynasty. Assassin’s Fate sees the conclusion of the story surrounding Fitz, the illegitimate prince and assassin introduced in The Farseer Trilogy and… Continue reading Assassin’s Fate

Nevernight

Nevernight is the first instalment in an adult Fantasy series The Nevernight Chronicle by best-selling author Jay Kristoff. Nevernight is a complex book with many wonderful aspects and qualities revealed amid the violence inherent to the story. It is told on a grand scale and never pretends to be anything else. Mia Corvere is the… Continue reading Nevernight

The Winter of the Witch

From the Blurb: “Vasilisa Petrovna is an unforgettable heroine determined to forge her own path. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse. Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are… Continue reading The Winter of the Witch

Wolfskin

I recently read Wolfskin, the first volume in the duology, The Saga of the Light Isles by Australian author Juliet Marillier.Wolfskin begins in Rogaland among the Norseman of the Viking Age, following a young protagonist Eyvind on his journey to become a wolfskin warrior, one of the most esteemed warrior class in Rogaland. Eyvind befriends… Continue reading Wolfskin

A Court of Thorns & Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first novel in an adult Fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas. Although listed as young adult Fantasy like previous novels by Maas, A Court of Thorns & Roses is unsuitable for younger readers and contains appropriate warnings despite the booksellers listing and conflicting publisher imprint from Bloomsbury… Continue reading A Court of Thorns & Roses

The Girl in the Tower

I recently finished reading The Girl in the Tower, the second novel in the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. After the conclusion of The Bear and the Nightingale, Vasilisa’s life has changed forever. Unable to return to the simple life in her father’s holding, Vasilisa decides to travel. Although Medvedev, the Bear is bound again,… Continue reading The Girl in the Tower

Heart’s Blood

Heart’s Blood is a Historical Fantasy by Australian-New Zealand author Juliet Marillier, following the young female scribe Caitrin, who after fleeing her own dark past, takes a commission at the derelict ruins of Whistling Tor in the household of the mysterious Chieftain, Anluan.Caitrin soon earns Anluan’s trust and that of his odd household retainers, a… Continue reading Heart’s Blood

Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer is the first novel in the new series, of the same title by American author Laini Taylor. The previous bestselling trilogy Daughter of Smoke and Bone enchanted younger and older adult readers alike. ​Strange the Dreamer follows a new protagonist in a mythic world sharing some elements with the Daughter of Smoke and… Continue reading Strange the Dreamer

Lord of the Darkwood

The Lord of the Darkwood is the final installment in the  Fantasy series The Tale of Shikanoko by Lian Hearn. The Tale of Shikanoko is inspired by medieval Japan and although the series takes place in a fictional setting, the beautiful descriptions of the Snow Country and the wilderness of Japan are clearly taken from the… Continue reading Lord of the Darkwood

Spinning Silver

The best-selling US author Naomi Novik returns to her Polish heritage in a retelling of Slavic folktales. In Spinning Silver, Miryem is the granddaughter of a prominent Jewish moneylender in the city of Vysnia. In a small village outside Vysnia, Miryem’s father is poorly suited to his position as a moneylender, with his own family… Continue reading Spinning Silver

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is the first book in the Winternight Trilogy, beautiful retellings of Russian folktales. The Bear and the Nightingale recounts the childhood and adolescence of Vasilisa, the youngest daughter of Pytor, a minor lord from northern Rus. Vasilisa, last child born to Marina, the daughter of the former… Continue reading The Bear and the Nightingale

Den of Wolves

Den of Wolves is the final volume in the Fantasy series Blackthorn & Grim by Juliet Marillier. After the events in Tower of Thorns, Blackthorn and Grim return to Winterfalls hoping the familiar routine will help regain trust with each other and reconcile some of the emotional upheavals. Despite this, they find themselves bound more… Continue reading Den of Wolves

The Darkest Road

The Darkest Road is the final volume in The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. This beautifully crafted trilogy began with The Summer Tree and continued with The Wandering Fire, following five University students from Toronto as they cross into Fionavar, another world, where fate awaits them. The Darkest Road is the epic battle between… Continue reading The Darkest Road

The Norse Myths

A clear and easily understood collection of retellings, The Penguin Book of Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland provides good foundations for later exploration into texts exploring the translations and topics from the Norse Poetic Eddas. The Introduction discusses some of the important elements of Norse cosmology and culture before detailing the different roles gods and… Continue reading The Norse Myths

Amerindian Folktales

The anthology Coming to Light was originally published in 1996 and edited by respected academic Brian Swann. The collected literature comprise translated oral tales, songs and poems sourced from numerous Amerindian cultural traditions throughout Canada and the United States. The anthology provides an introductory note by at least one academic or respected source detailing and… Continue reading Amerindian Folktales

Emperor of the Eight Islands

The Tale of Shikanoko, a new Fantasy series by Australian author Lian Hearn who thrilled Fantasy readers worldwide with the series Tales of the Otori, a mythic historical fantasy inspired by feudal Japan. This new series explores the intrigues of the Emperors’ courts and secretive dark magic of the forested mountains with the first installment,… Continue reading Emperor of the Eight Islands

Goddess

Goddess by Australian author Kelly Gardiner is a witty, complex and beautiful novel re-telling the life of French historical figure Julie d’Aubigny in the seventeenth century. Julie’s character is fiercely portrayed and utterly fascinating, the famous (and infamous) woman who boldly defied social convention instead honouring the truth of herself. Julie d’Aubigny was a remarkable woman… Continue reading Goddess

The Wandering Fire

The Wandering Fire is the second volume in the Fantasy trilogy The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay.  After the defining and devastating events at the conclusion of The Summer Tree, the main characters are irrecoverably changed. While some characters like Kim and Dave have found a sense of belonging and self-discovery, others like Paul… Continue reading The Wandering Fire

The Summer Tree

The Summer Tree is the first volume in the epic Fantasy trilogy The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. Five university students from Toronto are transported by a mage into another world, to Fionavar, under the pretence of witnessing a celebration, the enduring peace of a thousand years and the continued binding of Rakoth, a… Continue reading The Summer Tree

The Wild Girl

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth proved greater than expectations for a recounting of the romance behind the classic collection of fairy tales for which the Grimm brothers’ found fame.While The Wild Girl recounts the friendship and romance of Dortchen Wild and Wilhelm Grimm, the enduring romance provides a space apart from the bleak reality… Continue reading The Wild Girl

The Crow Garden

From the Blurb: “When Nathaniel Kerner takes up his new position as a mad-doctor at Crakethorne Manor, the proprietor, more interested in phrenology and his growing collection of skulls than his patients’ minds, hands over the care of his most interesting case. Mrs Victoria Harleston’s husband accuses her of hysteria and says he will pay… Continue reading The Crow Garden

Tower of Thorns

Tower of Thorns is the second volume in the Blackthorn & Grim series by Juliet Marillier. Continuing directly from Dreamer’s Pool, Blackthorn and Grim face new challenges and old memories as Blackthorn struggles to endure the rules imposed upon her by the Fey lord Conmael. While visiting the Dalriadan court with Prince Oran, Blackthorn and… Continue reading Tower of Thorns

The Beast’s Garden

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth is a meticulously researched historical fiction set in Germany during the rise and to the final days of the Third Reich. The protagonist for the novel is Ava, a German singer of gypsy heritage and daughter of a prominent Berlin academic and psychiatrist. Ava’s life-long and closest friends are… Continue reading The Beast’s Garden

Dreamer’s Pool

In the most recent trilogy by Juliet Marillier, Blackthorn & Grim begins with Dreamer’s Pool, the first volume following two emotionally scarred protagonists, healer and wise-woman, Blackthorn and the mysterious Grim, escapees from a prison and injustices of Mathuin of Laois. The unlikely rescuing of Blackthorn, and incidentally Grim, is orchestrated by Conmael, a member… Continue reading Dreamer’s Pool