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

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Fools book cover
9.8

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other. Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axe man, and dragged against his will to the icy north. In a journey across half the Broken Empire, Jalan flees minions of the Dead King, agrees to duel an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath, and meets the ice witch, Skilfar, all the time seeking a way to part company with Snorri before the Norseman’s quest leads them to face his enemies in the black fort on the edge of the Bitter Ice.

"Just go ahead and read Prince of Fools. It is a fantastic book that does so many things right, and that I have really struggled to find fault with. The Liar's Key cannot come fast enough." Ryan Lawler

J by Howard Jacobson

J book cover
7.0

Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn't know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. It wasn't then, and isn't now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn't ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren't sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they've been pushed into each other's arms. But who would have pushed them, and why? Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe - a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.

"I was compelled to read J and although it is not fast paced I enjoyed how facts were slowly revealed, so like Ailinn and Kevern you are slowly enlightened with new information. J is a clever book that could be set anywhere in the world, due to the lack of distinguishing characteristics of a particular country, although it could be an alternative reality to our current times. There are familiarities amongst the strangeness but again it is the story with its idiosyncratic characters that matters more than the place the events happen to be." Michelle Herbert

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game book cover
9.0

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day. As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it's something awful. This time, it's worse than that. Mab's involved Harry in a smash-and-grab heist run by one of his most despised enemies, to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure horde in the world - which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Dresden's always been tricky, but he's going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess - assuming his own allies don't end up killing him before his enemies get the chance...

"Skin Game is a celebration of the originals of Dresden novels, that time in his past when he only had to juggle a couple of near impossible challenges and survive. We now have a seasoned thinker and fighter able to handle whatever is thrown at him, and yes he still gets the proverbial handed to him most of the time. Stacking up the last three books, this has definitely been my favourite, this is Dresden through and through." Fergus McCartan

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Broken Monsters book cover
9.0

Detective Gabi Versado has hunted down many monsters during her eight years in Homicide. She’s seen stupidity, corruption and just plain badness. But she’s never seen anything like this. Clayton Broom is a failed artist, and a broken man. Life destroyed his plans, so he’s found new dreams – of flesh and bone made disturbingly, beautifully real. Detroit is the decaying corpse of the American Dream. Motor-city. Murder-city. And home to a killer opening doors into the dark heart of humanity. A killer who wants to make you whole again…

"If you’re a stickler for a novel to only be written in one genre, then this isn’t the book for you, for everyone else welcome to a truly intelligent story. Lauren Beukes goes from strength to strength with each book she writes." Michelle Herbert

 

The City by Stella Gemmell

The City book cover
7.0

The City is ancient and vast and has been waging almost constant war for centuries. At its heart resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime - and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a few have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to halt the emperor's unslakebale thirst for war is to end his unnaturally long life. From the crumbling catacombs beneath the City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels emerge. Their hopes rest on one man. A man who was once the emperor's foremost general - a revered soldier who could lead an uprising and liberate a city, a man who was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is now believed to be dead...

"I will be the first to admit that I picked up this story with my own reservations and preconception, but was very happy to have them changed. This is a great addition to the epic fantasy genre." Fergus McCartan

 

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