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

Shield and Crocus by Michael R Underwood

Shield and Crocus book cover
8.5

In a city built among the bones of a fallen giant, a small group of heroes looks to reclaim their home from the five criminal tyrants who control it. The city of Audec-Hal sits among the bones of a Titan. For decades it has suffered under the dominance of five tyrants, all with their own agendas. Their infighting is nothing, though, compared to the mysterious “Spark-storms” that alternate between razing the land and bestowing the citizens with wild, unpredictable abilities. It was one of these storms that gave First Sentinel, leader of the revolutionaries known as the Shields of Audec-Hal, power to control the emotional connections between people—a power that cost him the love of his life. Now, with nothing left to lose, First Sentinel and the Shields are the only resistance against the city’s overlords as they strive to free themselves from the clutches of evil. The only thing they have going for them is that the crime lords are fighting each other as well—that is, until the tyrants agree to a summit that will permanently divide the city and cement their rule of Audec-Hal. It’s one thing to take a stand against oppression, but with the odds stacked against the Shields, it’s another thing to actually triumph.

"A few authors in recent times have attempted to tell a superhero story with prose rather than graphics, with mixed levels of success. In my opinion, the story Underwood has crafted is by far the best and most balanced superhero novel I have read, but I couldn’t help but feel that this story would have so much more impact as a graphic novel or with a few graphic illustrations to punctuate key moments of chapters. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading comics, enjoys watching comic book movies, or enjoys the new weird type of fantasy written by the likes of Moorcock and Mieville." Ryan Lawler

The Crystal World by JG Ballard

The Crystal World book cover
9.5

Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering skins lurch down the river. Pythons with huge blind gemstone eyes rear in heraldic poses. Most flee the area in terror, afraid to face a catastrophe they cannot understand. But some, dazzled and strangely entranced, remain to drift through this dreamworld forest: a doctor in pursuit of his ex-mistress, an enigmatic Jesuit wielding a crystal cross and a tribe of lepers searching for Paradise.

"As readers we experience this transition through Ballard's coruscating language of prose, his fine attention to using a full prism of tropes that assail us with a sense of colour and light, time and time again. It is Louise Perot who idly notes that "when you first arrive here everything seems dark, but then you look at the forest and see the stars burning in the leaves". It is the reader who, at the final page, realizes the stars are Ballard's words, the leaves the pages of his novel, the forest the entirety of his masterpiece." travelswithadiplomat

The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle

The Mysteries book cover
7.5

Ever since his father disappeared when he was nine years old, Ian Kennedy has had a penchant for stories about missing people - and a knack for finding them. Now he's a private investigator with an impressive track record. But when a woman enters his office and asks him to find her lost daughter, Ian faces a case he fears he cannot solve. Laura Lensky's stunning twenty-one-year-old daughter, Peri, has been missing for over two years - a lifetime, under the circumstances. But when Ian learns the details of her disappearance, he discovers eerie parallels to an obscure Celtic myth - and to the haunting case that launched his career, an early success he's never fully been able to explain...

"I feel as though this was more of an easy read, as opposed to a novel with so many different terms and people that you basically have to take notes to understand the story. While this wasn’t my favorite novel I’ve read, it certainly is one of the more unique fairy-centric novels I’ve read." Kat Berwick

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin

The Lathe of Heaven book cover
9.1

George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less than pleasant place to live: seven billion people jostle for living space and food. But George dreams dreams which do in fact change reality - and he has no means of controlling this extraordinary power. Psychiatrist Dr William Haber offers to help. At first sceptical of George's powers, he comes to astonished belief. When he allows ambition to get the better of ethics, George finds himself caught up in a situation of alarming peril.

"This is a fantastic example of classic science fiction – a fascinating moral conundrum focusing on the question: Just because you can do something, does it mean you should?" Cat Fitzpatrick

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

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