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

Cyador’s Heirs by LE Modesitt Jr

Cyador’s Heirs book cover

Decades after the fall of Cyador, its survivors have reestablished themselves in Cigoerne, a fertile country coveted by hostile neighbors in less hospitable lands. Young Lerial, the second son of Duke Kiedron, lives in the shadow of his older brother Lephi, the heir to their father's realm. Lerial's future seems preordained: He will one day command his brother's forces in defense of Cigoerne, serving at his older sibling's pleasure, and no more. But when Lerial is sent abroad to be fostered by Major Altyrn to learn the skills and wisdom he will need to fulfill his future duties, he begins a journey into a much larger world that brings out his true potential. Lerial has talents that few, as yet, suspect: He is one of those rare beings who can harness both Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape the world and define the magic that exists within it. And as war finally engulfs the fringes of Cigoerne, Lerial's growing mastery of Order and Chaos is tested to its limits, and his own.

"Recluce… long may it continue. Read it... even if this review makes you think I'm crazy for recommending so. Modesitt's written dozens of books... and there's a good reason for it."

Wind by KJ Taylor

Wind book cover

Wendland is a land of dragons, and of magic. The mysterious Drachengott grants magic to his worshippers - but is he truly a god? Rutger von Gothendorf is only a simple furrier, but he has become his village's local eccentric, thanks to his obsession with the murder of his brother by the Drachengott's servants. He holds onto the vague hope that he will one day have the chance to fight back against them - until one day a mysterious and beautiful woman named Swanhild comes into his life. Rutger is instantly smitten - but Swanhild knows more than she says, and a web of lies and deceit threatens to sour the love beginning to grow between them. And all the while, the Drachengott waits...

"For an author as talented as K. J. Taylor, Wind is a disappointment. Technically there are no real issues: the book has a beginning, middle and end, there aren't any plot holes, it was easy to read and never confusing, and there are some diverse characters who do stuff to move the plot forward. But this book is missing a spark, it's missing a compelling reason to keep reading, it is far too predictable, and it is missing the types of elements that make fantasy interesting."

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son book cover

Darrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind's last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations. Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It's a journey that will take him further than he's ever been before - but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

"Golden Son is an improvement on Red Rising in every single facet, which is quite a feat considering how much I enjoyed Red Rising. Brown has managed to take all of the cool things we love about action oriented sci-fi, and combine them with wonderful characters and a compelling story that seems to get deeper each time I look back on it. Also, the way Golden Son ended has convinced me that Pierce Brown is some sort of sadistic monster who enjoys seeing our reactions as our favourite characters are taken away."

Eagles at War by Ben Kane

Eagles at War book cover

AD 9, German frontier: Close to the Rhine, a Roman centurion, Lucius Tullus, prepares to take his soldiers on patrol. On the opposite side of the river, German tribes are resentful of the harsh taxes about to be imposed upon them. Suspicious that there might be unrest, Tullus knows that his men's survival will be determined not just by their training and discipline, but by his leadership. What neither Tullus nor his commander, Governor Varus, realise is that ranged against them is the charismatic chieftain and trusted ally of Rome, Arminius, who has long been plotting to drive the Romans from the tribal lands east of the Rhine. As Varus’ legions prepare to leave their summer encampment, thousands of warriors – directed by Arminius – are massing nearby. Eager to throw off the Roman yoke, the tribesmen prepare a deadly ambush. Only the gods can save the Romans now...

"For this reviewer, part one of the novel is not bad, though it struggles as though the author is chafing to get into the action. The conversational interaction between non-legionaries is laboured at times, punctured by small vignettes of ever-growing action as we move from bar brawls to minor skirmishes. It’s clear that part one is a taster for the greater part of the novel – part two… which excels and leaves the reader well pleased and satiated. To that end, Ben Kane has produced a novel that will while away a good three or four hours of your time and will pique any reader to learn more about this infamous battle. I look forward to seeing how Centurion Tullus gets his revenge in the coming novels."

Broken Worlds: Dystopian Stories by Anthology

Broken Worlds: Dystopian Stories book cover

In a future of bleakness and roboticism, a totalitarian government enforces upon the people a lifestyle that lulls them into a state of obedience. Your career and social status are predestined and you cannot alter it - this is a reality that walks a fine line between evoking sensations of fear and inducing a sense of futility. A dystopian reality can sometimes turn out to be as powerful and strong as it can be fragile, collapsing in on itself from one second to the next. As a race, we are fascinated with what comes next, what's over the hill and, inevitably, what happens if we're left all alone. How can things go on? What lessons can we learn?

"A selection box well worth dipping your fingers into. Careful – some of those flavours bite!"

Books of the Month

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