Standalone Novels: Small Books With Big Stories

I am a sucker for huge sweeping stories. Two of my all time favorite series are The Black Company and Malazan. At about 10 books each, they are masterpieces of world building, plot intricacies, and character development. But they are not good because they are long; they are good despite being overly long. One of…

Monsters of Elsewhere – Giving You Respect For The Monster Under Your Bed

I am on a bit of a self publishing kick for no particular reason. This choice has led me to read some really great unknown gems, and some books that have not made it into posts as they are not worth mentioning. Today I want to talk to you about a new self published book…

Knight’s Shadow – A Thick Second Chapter in a Heartfelt Story

I like to think of myself as a fairly harsh critic. I think I have an eye for good world building, character development, plot, etc. and I think I am very fair in how I assess different books perform at these various metrics. That being said, I have noticed an interesting effect when I read…

What Everyone Can Learn from Agatha Christie

Because I am secretly a 60 year old grandmother, I run a book club. We read mostly fantasy and sci-fi books, but in the spirit of variety we try to throw in books from other genres occasionally. When we were picking our line-up for this year, we decided to look into best selling books that…

The Autumn Republic – Putting the ‘Pow’ in Powder Mage

This Review will be both for The Autumn Republic, and The Powder Mage series as a whole. The Autumn Republic is the final installment of the Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan, a military fantasy that primarily follows the stories of three main protagonists; Tamas, Taniel, and Adamat. Tamas is the General of an army…

Forging Divinity – Like a Better Dragonlance

Once upon a time, a much younger me decided that it had been far too long since I read a book. I wandered into a Barnes and Noble and perused the shelves until I found a book that sounded cool. I picked up The Black Company with no prior knowledge, took it home and discovered…

Vicious – Setting New Bars for Awesome Super Powers and Terrible College Roommates

To begin, this is a good book. You should buy this book and subsequently read this book. But first, let’s talk about what it is and why this is a good book. Background - Vicious is the story of two brilliant college roommates, Eli and Victor, who go on a quest to discover if super powers…

Maps: A Discussion with Brian Staveley

Maps - They are one of the most basic elements of fantasy books and something almost everyone enjoys. I had the extremely good fortune to chat with the incredibly talented Brian Staveley, author of The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire, about what he thinks maps add to fantasy books. We discussed two questions:…

The First Post – Part 2: Hidden Gems of Fantasy

In contrast to part 1, below are a few unknown and under-read books that are phenomenal. I will likely do longer reviews of each of these to give them more justice in the future, but for now here is a blurb: Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine) - By Matthew Stover When people ask me…

The First Post – Part 1: What Makes the Great Great?

Many people often read popular fantasy books and question why they appeal to such a wide audience. While obviously no book will appeal to everyone, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what makes some of these series so impressive to many people. The First Law - by Joe Abercrombie: Joe Abercrombie has…