100 recommended fantasy books / series: #91 - #100
The Fantasy Book Review list of 100 recommended fantasy books / series. Listing entries 91 - 100
- The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe. Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious. The guild's worst fear has been realised... There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.
"A wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of- the-seat plot, this book is a must for all lovers of good fantasy." Jennifer Fallon
"Without a doubt, Trudi Canavan, with her Black Magician’s Trilogy and its prequel, The Magician’s Apprentice, has managed to craft a series of books that are both easy to read and magnificently crafted. I would recommend these to anyone who likes reading, of any age." Joshua S Hill, Fantasy Book Review
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Reasonable rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. Harry Dresden is the best and technically the 'only' at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they come to him for answers. For the 'everyday' world is actually full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a - well, whatever. The first six Dresden files novels will be published over three months - a great introduction to Harry Dresden, a modern-day wizard who manages to get into some seriously tricky situations.
"Take your standard noir detective with a sarcastic frame of mind and a weakness for helping damsels in distress, add in wizardry, vampires, werewolves, talking skulls, pizza loving fairies and all things paranormal and this is what you get. A quirky, fast paced and thrilling ride through a Chicago you never thought possible. Trying only to pay the rent, when the police are stumped on a case Harry helps out, while also trying to find a missing husband. Things soon get complicated when it becomes obvious there's black magic afoot - and the council of wizards suspect Harry. Already under the Doom of Damocles, a form of wizardly probation for past transgressions, Harry has to risk execution to discover who the Shadowman is - and why he's killing people." Fantasy Book Review
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
In what is one of his most celebrated works, up there along with Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is one of the best books of its genre. The real dilemma presented us however is understanding just which genre Gaiman was writing. This is not a negative opinion of his writing ability, suggesting that he doesn’t seem to have any idea what he is doing. Just the contrary, American Gods manages to broach several genre barriers all the while making it look as if Gaiman was creating his own genre.
A storm is coming... Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.
- Green Rider series by Kristen Britain
Kristen Britain tells her story at a headlong pace and with considerable charm. Young heroine Karigan hardly has time to regret being expelled from school (for duelling) before finding herself committed to the desperate errand of a murdered Green Rider. The Riders are an elite messenger corps using both horses and magic; the message is a terrible warning. Bad things from bad places are invading this fantasyland, their presence being only part of a devious, sorcerously-aided human struggle for the throne. Karigan's wild ride is beset with a variety of enemies, but aided by her own developing talents plus certain strange allies. These include the tormented ghost of the dead Green Rider himself--still pierced by and trying to resist the chief villain's black arrows that ensnare the soul. Delivering the message to a suspicious court is only half Karigan's job: can it be interpreted in time? The pages turn fast, the heroine is likeable and the villains hissable, and all ends as it should.
- The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolf
Severian is a torturer, born to the guild and with an exceptionally promising career ahead of him... until he falls in love with one of his victims, a beautiful young noblewoman. Her excruciations are delayed for some months and, out of love, Severian helps her commit suicide and escape her fate. For a torturer, there is no more unforgivable act. In punishment he is exiled from the guild and his home city to the distant metropolis of Thrax with little more than Terminus Est, a fabled sword, to his name. Along the way he has to learn to survive in a wider world without the guild - a world in which he has already made both allies and enemies. And a strange gem is about to fall into his possession, which will only make his enemies pursue him with ever-more determination...
"Shadow of the Torturer and the subsequent series are not for beginners in the science fiction or fantasy genre. Wolfe’s prose is lyrical, dense, and filled with double and triple meanings. He is by no means an easy author to read. While he does not invent words for his world, he does use old, archaic language to fill in the gaps, which would force a reader to consult a dictionary (or in this day and age Google) in order to understand the deeper meanings in the prose. I would recommend this book only to seasoned fans of the genre and it will probably require multiple readings to fully grasp what is hiding beneath the surface." Nicholas King, Fantasy Book Review
- A Novel of the Malazan Empire by Ian C Esslemont
The empire is named for the tiny island and city of Malaz, now a sleepy, seedy backwater port. Tonight however, a once-in-a-generation Shadow Moon brings demon hounds and darker beings. Also, a prophecy promises the return of long missing Emperor Kellanved to the contended imperial throne. This night will determine the fate of the world.
"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."
- Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley
The emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life path on which their father set them, their destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods. Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late. An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test. At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing - and risk everything - to see that justice is meted out.
"For anyone who maybe read the first book and didn’t think much of it, or for those who simply haven’t gotten around to The Last Mortal Bond yet, I recommend you drop whatever you are doing and pick it up. Brian Staveley writes a story that is inescapable in its tragedy and beauty, covering peaks and valleys both literal and literary, and leaving you intriguingly haunted by what we have witnessed."
- The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers. As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life - and shake the entire world.
"The Shadow of What Was Lost is emotionally engaging and the characters are great to follow, support, fret over, and care about. Now that I've finished this review I can start reading An Echo of Things to Come... this series is that addictive that I just need to know what happens next."
- Marik's Way by Nick Brown
Stay out of trouble.
Though this is Marik’s mantra, he rarely seems able to follow it. Having escaped a brutal civil war in his native South, the former soldier now roams the distant North, trying to forget his past and forge some kind of future. Marik suspects he is paying the price for the moment of weakness that caused him to flee his comrades and family and everything he knew. Because however hard he tries, intrigue and danger are never far away …
After an unlikely series of events see him employed as a bodyguard, Marik survives a terrifying shipwreck and washes up on a distant shore. He finds himself in the Salka Delta, an isolated region of islands and marshes. Here, a mercenary named Reverrik has enslaved the local people and Marik is soon recruited by a tiny band of rebels. As well as traitors and outlandish creatures, he also faces Hammerhand, a giant enforcer feared by all.
Staying out of trouble is never easy.
- Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs
A full time auto mechanic and part time coyote the reader chases Mercy throughout the book at lightening speed. Never is there a dull moment as you learn about pack structure, why the fae came out publicly proclaiming their existence, or Mercy herself. Patricia Briggs is brilliant as she delves into a section of fantasy – the werewolf and its culture – that hasn’t been as widely explored. Kudos to Patricia Briggs for bringing werewolves into a new light, for offering up a believable and relatable female author, and for an over all quite interesting story that had me guessing till the very end. Bravo.
'I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil ...' Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She's a mechanic, and a damn good one, who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. Her next-door neighbour is an alpha werewolf - literally, the leader of the pack. And Mercy herself is a shapeshifter, sister to coyotes. As such, she's tolerated by the 'wolves but definitely down the pecking order. As long as she keeps her eyes down and remembers her place, the pack will leave her in peace. Hardly a normal situation, but then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.
"I love these books!" Charlaine Harris
"The best new fantasy series I've read in years" Kelley Armstrong