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 Barrow by Mark Smylie

The Barrow book cover
8.5

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map. When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place. Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, united by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books... or get them all killed.

"So yeah, despite the very slow pace and the sheer volume of exposition provided, I really enjoyed this book. The Barrow is not for everyone, it deals with a wide range of explicit material and taboo topics, but if that type of stuff doesn't bother you then I recommend you dive right in and join the expedition. The sequel is not due out until later in 2015, but if you are looking for more material set in this world, the Artesia comics (written and illustrated by Smylie) are what you're looking for."

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic book cover
6.0

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers - magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London...

"I was slightly disappointed with the story; once I had finished the book the ending almost seemed too simple. As mentioned before, A Darker Shade of Magic really felt like the ending of Sarah’s story in The Labyrinth, with everything revealed and some lessons learnt for both Kell and Lila. The plot moved along at a nice pace, but for all its menace and the mystery surrounding Black London, the threat never felt truly convincing. Most of the characters were moved like pieces on a chess board rather than fully formed characters. If there is a sequel I hope that it focuses on Lila Bard, who really does make for an interesting character."

Old Venus by George RR Martin

Old Venus book cover
8.0

Sixteen all-new stories by science fiction’s top talents collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award-winning editor Gardner Dozois. It turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination.

"It isn’t all gold by any means, with an occasional tendency towards drippy romance, which could well just be highlighting the pulpy style of old sci fi but in one case just comes across as Flash Gordon on Venus, but all in all an excellent and enjoyable collection of what Venus was envisioned to be."

Collateral Damage by Tim Marquitz

Collateral Damage book cover
9.6

Escaped from prison and back in his own body, life has taken a turn toward the domestic for Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg. His days are filled with diapers, formula, and baby farts, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course it couldn’t last. A raid on Frank’s home threatens his family and throws his life into chaos. He scrambles to survive, his enemies growing more numerous at every turn. Pushed into a corner, Frank must find a way to fight back before his world is razed to the ground, taking everyone he knows with it. And it’s only Monday.

"Collateral Damage is a big step forward, one that addresses the criticism of recent books while also paving a clear path forward. The story had a tight plot from start to finish, cool enemies for Frank to fight, it made me laugh, it made me emotional, it was still a lot of fun, and it left me wanting more Demon Squad right now."

Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 3 - Mad by Gregg Hurwitz

Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 3 - Mad book cover
9.0

Batman discovers a trail of bodies, but no leads. His detective skills are put to the test as the Mad Hatter begins kidnapping Gotham citizens for an unknown purpose. But as the Dark Knight delves deeper into this mystery, he soon realizes that this is unlike any Mad Hatter case before. The Hatter's gory past will be revealed and Batman's resolve will be put to the test. Collects issues #16-21 of Batman: The Dark Knight and Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1.

"With Greg Hurwitz, Ethan Van Sciver and Szymon Keidranski at the helm, there is no wonder it is a New York Times bestselling series."

Latest author interviews

We often interview authors, sometimes to discuss a new publication, sometimes to talk about their career. We also interview authors as part of our "How Stories Connect Series", where they talk about the books and authors that have inspired and influenced them.

An image of Gahan HanmerGahan Hanmer
2015-03-27

An image of Genevieve CogmanGenevieve Cogman
2015-03-24

An image of Brian McClellanBrian McClellan
2015-02-14

An image of Damien LoveDamien Love
2015-01-10

An image of Paul ProffetPaul Proffet
2015-01-08

An image of Patrick RothfussPatrick Rothfuss
2014-12-14

An image of Trent JamiesonTrent Jamieson
2014-12-02

An image of Renee ScattergoodRenee Scattergood
2014-11-15

An image of Avril SabineAvril Sabine
2014-11-06

View entire interview archive

Books of the Month

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

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