Fantasy Book Review

Here at Fantasy Book Review we are dedicated to reading and reviewing the very best fantasy books for children and adults (both young and old). Featuring interviews, the latest fantasy news, audio-book reviews and competitions we aim to provide fantasy fans around the world with a useful, interesting and informative guide to the genre. If you would like to help us to read and review these fantastic books then do please get in touch.

Latest reviews

The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

8.5

Shop till you drop... dead. This book is creepy, spooky and should never be read with the lights off.

Assail by Ian C Esslemont

9.0

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.

The Shadow of the Lords by Simon Levack

8.5

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.

Dragons of a Vanished Moon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

9.5

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.

The Family Trade by Charles Stross

7.5

Charles Stross has created an opening novel that offers a new take on the fantasy and alternative history genres. The action is measured, the plot crisp. The characterization needs work and this will improve as the series develops but this opener offers sufficient interest to ensure that the second novel will be read.

Lord Calthorpe’s Promise Volume 1 by Sylvia Andrew and Rin Ogata

8.5

Rin Ogata is the manga artist for this first in the series of novels and creates the look of the lord in the portrait on the cover of the book itself. He is full of self-importance, and oozes sensuality, some might call him a cad. She has a way of perfectly showing the various expressions on the faces of the characters that can create some of the most amazingly realized scenes in this manga recreation of a Harlequin novel of romance and sensuality.

Rides a Dread Legion by Raymond E Feist

8.7

Rides a Dread Legion actually reads like a prologue to a new chapter in Midkemia's history. The narrative is as taut as ever, the plot extremely tightly focused on a few places, a few people. There is no sense of a wider world or universe in here but you get the feeling that as this series is published we are about to be subjected to a power well beyond those that we ever dreamed Pug and Tomas (all those years ago in Crydee) would ever know about, let alone be instrumental in.

In the Ruins by Kate Elliott

9.3

Elliott's barely disguised early-medieval world draws heavily on that social, geographical and religious structure and is delightful drawn, excellently characterized and possessing of a heavily built plot in a Jordan-esque fashion. Effortlessly building suspense and engendering real empathy in her characters with Hugh, Alain and Liath the stand-out people, the author has created a fantasy world that resides in the top echelons of the genre.

Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia

9.0

Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It's nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone... Sophan. An ancient game of chance and Fate. One boy's smoldering hate, another boy's need to make things right, and a father's ghosts of Vietnam past. The Man in Yellow. Tahawus is a small, isolated Adirondack town just north of Clifton Heights. A quiet place filled with simple people of an ardent faith, nothing much ever happens there... until the man in yellow comes calling. He knows your worst nightmares, and he can offer your fondest wish. All you need is faith... and a mouth from which to scream.

"Devourer of Souls by Kevin Lucia is supernatural horror very much in the vein of Stephen King. It is made up of two novella length stories set in the same town, with a frame story that loosely connects the two novellas. While I don't think the horror in this book will make you wet your pants, it does establish an atmosphere that I think will make you feel uncomfortable and, for a horror story, that is a very good thing." Ryan Lawler, Fantasy Book Review

Boudica: Dreaming the Hound by MC Scott

9.0

I criticized Manda Scott's opener of this series as a somewhat directionless fantasy. However, the massive improvement that commenced with her sequel is surpassed in this stunning third. Here, for the first time, Scott was going to be measured against historical fact and has not been found wanting. Emotive characterisation, a solid merging of ancient Celtic culture and mythology with Roman modernization, gripping plots, effusively described battle scenes and rending portraits of personal and familial pain make this everything Conn Iggulden is not.

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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