Alice Wybrew profile
Place of birth: Hertfordshire
Now living: London
3 favourite authors
- Terry Pratchett
- David Gemmell
- Terry Brooks
3 favourite books
- Lord of the Rings
- The Redemption of Althalus
3 favourite films
- Lord of the Rings
- Star Wars
Overall however Stormdancer is a fun and entertaining debut that presents an imaginative, dystopian setting and which promises many more exciting adventures for Yukiko and Buruu.
However, despite some uneven pacing and sporadic character disappearances and reappearances, the story never grows tiresome or releases you from its hold even if its grip varies. Every character plays a significant part in this complex tale of power, freedom and love that Manieri has unflinchingly committed to paper. Its a truly exciting debut that suggests this is just the tip of a potential fantasy classic iceberg.
With an intriguing storyline and a narrative rhythm that sweeps you along, youll be hard pushed not to enjoy this first instalment in The Dagger and the Coin series. The brilliant opening chapter will haul you in from the second you start and by the time the final pages turn anticipation for the sequel The Kings Blood will be firmly secured. Despite some shaky characterisations, The Dragons Path is a great, solid fantasy that promises much more excitement to come.
In the first of her Dreamblood duology, N K Jemisin presents a vivid world of dreams and reality, sanity and insanity, and the stories of the people caught up within it. Its a compelling tale of corruption and justice and the lengths people will go to in pursuit of both.
Not what you might expect and far from flawless, The Armageddon Rag still manages to provide another example of George RR Martins endless talent and imagination.
A lack of description (particularly in the supernatural department) and some questionable character relationships may bother some readers, but for most Unclean Spirits will prove an extremely fun and accessible read that may also help redefine urban fantasy into a more universally appealing sub-genre.
Comparisons to Jim Butchers Dresden files are inevitable, and though Fated is very clearly in the same vein, its a book with some great ideas of its own that deserves to be read as such. An exciting, involving and enjoyable read, Fated presents a great new voice in fantasy fiction.
Although its no doubt likely to satiate the thirst of hungry vampire fans somewhere, without characters you can root for, sex thats too frequent and crass, and a serial killer story that holds little intrigue, The Vampire Shrink fails to stand out in the busy vampire fiction crowd.
With a fast paced narrative that deftly balances description, characterisation, action and history to generate impressive forward momentum, Pevel delivers another sure-fire winner to the fantasy genre.
Though perhaps not quite on par with the previous books, The Order of Scales remains a great read that will satisfy any dragon devotee. The final battle had a lot to live up to and Deas does not disappoint. A riveting, relentless and violent war of wings, Deas dragons are the scariest thing in fantasy today and something to be savoured again and again.
Imaginative, innovative and bursting with creativity, this is a wonderfully confident debut that will have even the most critical fantasy fans clamouring for more.
While the symbolism of his scenarios can at times feel ambiguous, and the individual tales occasionally feel a little too much like independent stories, the overall effect is truly masterful. The very definition of weird and wonderful, The Door to Lost Pages is an enticing, enigmatic read thats more than worth a few hours of your time.
By the end of The Emperors Knife it is not the characters, their struggles, or the fate of the Cerani or the Felts that will stay with you, but a much broader feeling of having experienced Williams story. The Emperors Knife is a tale of fear and fluidity, of evolution and ego, and is one that is dictated in a style so visual and penetrating that it will have the Pattern invading your dreams long after the final pages have turned.
Although its presented as the end of the series, the final chapters leave a lot open to interpretation, and Heitzs acknowledgements clearly point at a return to Girdlegard in the future. Although Revenge might not be the finale hoped for, another adventure to the true land of the Dwarves would be welcome anytime.
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.
"A dark debut with a lot of clout, Prince of Thorns is fantastic tale of one boys fight for control in a world threatening to engulf him." Fantasy Book Review
Terry Brooks follow up to his first in the Legends of Shannara duology possesses a somewhat different feel from its predecessor. With the final bearer of the black staff Sider Ament out of the picture, the responsibility of protecting the people of the valley falls to young tracker Panterra Qu. But with the demonic ragpicker hunting him down, unstable Elven politics rapidly escalating and the people of Glensk Wood in more peril than they realise, theres little room left to examine the story of a young man burdened by new responsibility.
After his friend Kit Marlow is killed in a pub brawl, Will Swyfte makes it his mission to track down the killer and uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding the playwrights death. With the plague ravaging London and the Unseelie Court poised to strike their most vital blow yet, Swyfte becomes an enemy of the state and must work in a race against time to protect the Queen and deliver justice for his friends death.
MD Lachlans Wolfsangel is a story about a lot of things. Its a story about mythology, love, the power of belief and the path to maturity. Above all these however, it is a story of transformation, of humanitys link to nature and our inability to separate ourselves from it no matter how hard we try.
The Key to Creation sees an end to Kevin J Andersons terrific Terra Incognita trilogy. It had a tough act to follow thanks to the superb The Map of All Things which set up an impressive array of plot threads in need of resolution. Suffice to say that Anderson resolves everything succinctly here.
The Necklace of the Gods is well-written, well-structured and steadily paced, with Goodman deftly balancing the intimate character scenes with the heavier, action-laden ones. The final battle is brilliantly depicted and well worth the (admittedly short) wait. A superbly gripping, emotional tale of love and loss, The Necklace of the Gods is the type of book that will make you seriously anti-social and not give a damn. Vivid, brutal, terrifying and absolutely fantastic, this is a few hours reading youll not quickly forget.
Anthony Wedgeworths self-published Thorik Dain series is a collection of books that will take a lot people by surprise. As self-published novels, they come with a certain stigma attached that they might not be any good. This proves beneficial in this instance however as the pre-conceived idea the reader may have is proved to be wrong and results in a pleasantly surprising read. Sadly its also a hindrance, as it means that these books are not available on the scale that they really should be, reaching a market audience who would revel in them.
The authors descriptive prose works as both a gift and a curse, enhancing the private ponderings of the protagonists while hindering the action-led scenes by prolonging them unduly.
Love (and lust), faith, and death play are huge part in Black Halo, commanding much of the narratives stage. Sykes dissection of death is truly marvellous; proving as thorough an examination of it as Jesse Bullingtons The Enterprise of Death. Though the characters deal it out so deftly, it also consumes them to the core, enabling some insightful and occasionally quite profound prose.
It all boils down to what new ideas authors can inject into a vastly oversaturated market. Julie Kagawa used Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream as the foundation for her Iron Fey series while Rachel Vincent attempted a twist on Twilight by introducing banshees and grim reapers to her Soul Screamers novels. It makes sense here then that Kelly Keaton uses Greek mythology.
The second instalment in Russian author Alexy Pehovs Chronicles of Siala trilogy includes all the facets of a true high fantasy novel. Proffering a heroic quest with a smattering of grisly battle scenes to break up the various politicking and intrigue along with the requisite hostility between certain races, Shadow Chaser slots comfortably in its genres sub-category.
Ultimately The Deviant falls down where holding fast is most needed. It contributes little to a well-worn genre and despite confidently constructed characters and an absorbing writing style, Mertons narrative fails to satisfy, leaving you with the impression that he was trying to tell you something, you just dont know what.
Particular highlights include Xenium by Michael Takeda, Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Josie Brown, The Mischief Makers by Joe Mogel and both David Vernaglia’s contributions, which all tackle the theme of elf ‘love’ from varying angles and viewpoints. It’s a fabulous collection that will touch any fantasy lover, and, although it’s unlikely any reader will enjoy every one of the twenty offerings (one or two stories feel slightly misplaced or repetitive), if you want to see elves in a whole new light, then this anthology is an absolute must have.
What stands out here however is the imbalance between Oyeyemis dramatic narrative and the supernatural events that take place. On the whole, the haunted house and ghostly presences that disturb Miranda take a backseat to the protagonists personal struggles. One almost wishes that this wasnt a fantasy book at all, as Mirandas own story and the characters that surround her make for involving enough prose as it is.