Fantasy Book Review

At Fantasy Book Review we are dedicated to reading and reviewing the very best fantasy books for both children and adults (both young and old).

Latest reviews

The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

The Witch of Salt and Storm book cover

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power. The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive. Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

"Ideal for readers wanting a coming-of-age story in a deeply involving setting with plenty of drama and emotion."

The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J Sullivan

The Rose and the Thorn book cover

A dear friend is brutally beaten. Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born. One year earlier, two thieves were saved from certain death by the compassion of a stranger. Unable to forget the woman who saved their lives, Royce and Hadrian now return to Gwen DeLancy and are shocked when she refuses to speak to them. Baffled, the two thieves discover Gwen has been brutally beaten by a powerful noble - beaten so badly she can't face them. But Gwen doesn't know about Royce's past, doesn't understand how much he cares for her, and doesn't realize what he is capable of - but she's about to find out.

"The Rose and the Thorn is another brilliant prequel, shedding lights on important events that really open up the wider world of these stories, and explain much of some of its most important characters. While maybe not as good as The Crown Tower on its own, together the two books make up an absolute killer-combination."

Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Shipstar book cover

When a landing party is sent to find out why, the Shipstar is on the same trajectory as a human party, half of the group is captured, the other half must go on the run from the bizarre inhabitants. The free group must find a way off of the object and back to their vessel. In the course of their attempt, however, they will uncover the secrets of the Shipstar - secrets that will forever upend their understanding of the universe, and mankind’s place in it.

"Shipstar is beautifully paced; this allows the authors to include a lot of scientific speculation without stinting on action sequences and character development. There are a lot of characters to follow in this continuing saga, but at the same time many of these characters are nothing more than extras in a much larger drama."

Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell

Knight’s Shadow book cover

Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption. The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats - legendary travelling magistrates who brought justice to the Kingdom - have been branded as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission. Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti, has completed his King's final task: he has found his Charoites - well, one at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who would see her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom. That would be simple enough, if it weren't for the Daishini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes who are determined to hold on to their fractured Kingdoms, or the fact that the heir to the throne is only thirteen years old. Oh, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio. That's not even mentioning the Greatcoat's Lament...

"Knight’s Shadow is a killer read that had me in my chair until 3 in the morning. And while I look forward to seeing Sebastien de Castell grow more as a writer, he’s already well on his way to being a favourite."

Ghosts of War by George Mann

Ghosts of War book cover

It is 1927, and New York City is under attack. Flying among the airships, strange winged creatures swoop from the sky and carry away its citizens, and only the Ghost can protect them. He is close to finding their origin: a deranged military scientist who is slowly rebuilding himself as a machine... The Cold War with the British Empire threatens to escalate into bloodshed, and there are murmurs of a terrible weapon that could fracture space itself. Only by making an uneasy alliance with a British spy will the hero, haunted by memories of his own war, stand a chance of preventing another...

"The story is familiar but it is the backdrop and setting that makes this worth a read. It can get macabre and gruesome at times, but for the most part this is an enjoyable romp over the rooftops of NYC with plenty of aerial battles and gadgets thrown in."

Books of the Month

A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read. See past winners.