Fantasy Book Review
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What is sparkling about Carter is that here is clearly an author well versed in English and Celtic myth as he transcribes many names, places and myths into his own versions that are immediately recognisable to the knowledgeable reader. His finest effort is Gwydion's reference to Iuliu the Seer (or Julius Caesar to the historian) but the novel is littered with altered names and Celtic mythology that seeks to demonstrate how easy it is to twist the facts by word of mouth. The lengthy author's note at the end goes into some detail about the parallels he draws with British geography and the times that preclude the Wars of the Roses. Carter is a fine author and the sequel to this opener is one novel I'll definitely be shelling out the extra for the hardback version.
The artwork is striking and beautiful with the usual look of big eyes and kind smiles on almost every character. I found it highly appealing and would be surprised if others didn't take to it as it is a different way to take in Harlequin romance normally reserved for those who read text based stories from Mills and Boon. Adding a Japanese manga edge to the story was a great idea. It is interesting to note the sparkling eyes and doe eyed looks on the main characters face - it brings a whole new meaning to romantic art and fiction at its best. The way the hair flows and the general detail that has been put into this manga is amazing to look at and will thrill readers who like their manga exotic and intricate. This is an enthralling story that has rich artwork and bold characters.
Carter spent much of the first novel creating this superb alternative Britain, aptly showing how word of mouth tellings can subtly warp stories as they are handed down. In this second he delivers an improved story telling performance. The plots are entirely crisp, the characterisation effortless and fifteenth century England lingers in the senses throughout the entire novel as it delivers punch after punch, maturing as his main character does. A simply stunning series is in the making here and you would be well advised to read it.
My review of the opening novel in this quartet found it lacking and fantastical. That view remains. However, from the second novel through to the end Scott delivers a series that packs an massive emotional punch, crisp subplots, vibrant language and a colourful sense of humanity that ensures the pages keep turning faster and faster. It will appeal to readers wanting to gain a sense of the violence and raw battles that define the period, it will appeal to readers trying to gain a sense of the Celtic druids and the otherworlds they walked. But, above all, it will appeal to the reader who wants to pick up a series and wish it never stopped.
It is probably a much needed delve into the world of the Mockers and no doubt Feist's hand brings a game formula onto some parity with a standard fantasy novel offering. It’s just you expect so much more from a master of the genre. So, if you are a fan of Feist read it. But be aware that it is no Magician.
In the end, I wouldn’t steer someone away from reading The Queen of the Tearling if the blurb catches your fancy (or, if you’re like me, you have an unresolved crush on Emma Watson), but I’m not going to go out of my way to secure copies for you either. In the end, it was a mediocre book that I’m glad to have read, and glad to have put behind me.
Shop till you drop... dead. This book is creepy, spooky and should never be read with the lights off.
Assail by Ian C Esslemont probably ranks as one of my favourite books of the year – albeit also one of the most anticipated. With characters we have come to love, and new ones to love, returning to the Malazan world is as joyous as I could ever have hoped.
Levack's prose is crisp, his characters brightly painted and always exasperated, his action clean and well drawn. Yaotl is a good addition to the ancient murder sleuth set and hopefully Levack will continue his stories about his wayward but always enterprising hero.
The final volume in the fourth age of Krynn, the final volume before the Age of Mortals can begin, is a rich tapestry of love and war, heroes and villains set against a wonderful struggling backdrop of life and death, of magic and mortality woven in a truly breathless manner by the undisputed current masters of fantasy, Weis and Hickman. This book, this trilogy, the entire world of Krynn and its heroes that has been created deserves six stars and beyond and any fan of the fantasy genre must have this on their bookshelves.
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read. See past winners.
The Language of Stones
Ian C Esslemont
In the Ruins
Devourer of Souls
The Naked God
Peter F Hamilton
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