dark fantasy

book review | The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

kai ashante wilson the sorcerer of the wildeepsAuthor: Kai Ashante Wilson
Title: The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Series: The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps 1
Genre: LGBTQIAP+ Literature; Fantasy
Pages: 212
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Damn, I’m so happy right now. Friend recommended me “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps” by Kai Ashante Wilson, and it was just the right book for me. In a sense, it felt like one of those Earthsea books, but the story was much more interesting to read.

About the Book: Demane is a healer of the caravan, making their way towards a far away kingdom. But his brothers tend to call him sorcerer instead. Due to strange speech, stranger still abilities, and in general – due to his unusual self as a whole. But they have no idea just how much more and how much less than a sorcerer Demane is. He is a demi-god, one of those who once left the earth for heaven, but is now earthbound. And just how much does it take to keep them all alive. For out there in the wilds there’s a horror of a creature born of necromancy, who doesn’t seem to follow any rules all other predators keep to, such as: avoid the roads, feast on those who stray, don’t waste food… No, this beast does what it wills, and right now the caravan is heading towards it.

My Opinion: Interesting writing style, pleasantly different, stronger than the regular stuff we tend to get when it comes to deep philosophical fantasy, where the hero expresses the complexity of the world in monologues, thoughts, and senses. The story was amazing too, kept me on the edge of the chair no matter where the caravan was – outside the walls, in a city, on the road, events never stopped, they just changed pace. And characters are well written too, I kept hopes of survival up for each one of Demane’s brothers, something I rarely care about.

It’s beautiful, different, and I can’t wait for the next one. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Sci-Fi, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Where the Devil says Goodnight by K.A. Merikan | Folk Lore 1

where the devil says goodnight k.a. merikanAuthor: K.A. Merikan
Title: Where the Devil Says Goodnight
Series: Folk Lore 1
Genre: Dark Fantasy; M/M Romance
Pages: 362
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes even the best of annotations can trip you over. I thought “Where the Devil Says Goodnight” by K.A. Merikan will be just for me. Turns out it’s really not for me.

About the Book: As times move on, people abandon superstition and with it – old religions, old gods. Even to the most remote of places New Age eventually arrives. Such is this village looming in the middle of an ancient forest, where Father Adam was sent. Just barely touched by modern world, with wounds still raw, it’s full of little rituals meant to appease the pagan gods of nature. Strange lack of balanse among its people leaves Adam at unease. As if the land still remembers the dues and the debts.

My Opinion: Slavic lore, especially that coming from the Poland, is very similar to our own, Baltic lore. Interesting descriptions and curious magic was what got all three points in this book. Because the rest didn’t hold up. The story was very dragged, with the final day – far away, and the days in between – filled with nonsensical stuff that barely added to the plot. Romance was boring and even upsetting. And every side character presented this stereotypical good-guy / bad-guy portrait.

It’s okay. A 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Black Company by Glen Cook | The Chronicles of the Black Company 1

glen cook the black companyAuthor: Glen Cook
Title: The Black Company
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company 1
Genre: Dark Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 319
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read Glen Cook‘s “The Black Company” way back in high school. But since discovering it got a whole series to it, I’ve decided there’s a need to re-read it. That was the right choice.

About the Book: A band of mercenaries, The Black Company, are hired to fight the Lady’s war, and are led into it by no other than one of her Taken Ones. A powerful cast of mages, once enslaved by the Dominator, Lady’s husband, to serve him. Then, defeated but undying they were buried with their rulers, and only for the recklessness of another mage had they had a chance to rise again. And so they follow their Lady into battle again. Battle against her foes and myths alike. Like that comet in the sky, promising the return of her greatest foe…

My Opinion: The story is well written and very interesting. Maybe a tad too predictable, but I figured, seeing how this book consists out of war, battle scenes, and is told by a healer who has to patch everyone up afterwards, it was plenty. Conspiring, magic, illusions, darkness, and prophecies. A proper dark fantasy piece, with strong epic fantasy elements to draw you in, and keep you looking forwards for the next book.

It’s a good dark tale. A 5 out of 5, but more due to the fact I’ve nothing to take anything away for. It isn’t the best book you’ll ever read. But it’s definitely worth the time to read it.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Starless Night by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 8

starless night r.a. salvatore forgotten realms legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Starless Night
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 8
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Okay, I’m positively hooked on The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. Just finished 8th book in the series, which is second book in Legacy of the Drow trilogy, and the book itself is called “Starless Night“. It was amazing.

About the Book: Drizzt is deeply troubled by the evidence of his kin in the tunnels under and around the Mithril Hall. It seems he must thus go back into the deep Underdark and find his way home, to the cruel Menzoberranzan. Yet before he even reached the eerily beautiful city, he had to make peace with the fact he’ll likely never going to see the sun again. In fact, he’ll be lucky to not get brutally tortured before death… What he doesn’t know is that a friend is secretly coming to his aid, with an unlikely alley, no less.

My Opinion: Underdark is a very interesting place that is hard to even imagine. Out there, in a place where there are no shadows, for there is no light, one has to learn to live, behave differently. In need to hide one must find a way to hide their body heat, for blending in with the surroundings is futile among creatures who were born in the pitch black. To add to that, the schemes of the drow are interesting to read. They’re interlaced with other drow plotting against those drow, for a dark elf is no friend to a dark elf, most of the time, and so you can never be sure whom to trust. Daring sneak-outs, intense escapes, and epic battles, duels.

Truly, I keep saying this, but if you’re into classical fantasy, take these books. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Legacy by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 7

The Legacy Dark Elf The LEgend of Drizzt R A SalvatoreAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Legacy
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 7
Genre: Classic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 334
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It has been a while since I’ve read a book in one sitting the way I have read “The Legacy” by R.A. Salvatore, seventh book in The Legend of Drizzt, and first book in the third trilogy of the series, Legacy of the Drow.

About the Book: Company of friends are preparing for a wedding in newly reclaimed Mithril Halls. But strange things begin to cloud the otherwise good mood. First, halfling Regis returns to friends as if he’s running once again, and so soon after they left him to enjoy the new life. Then there’s newly brewing animosity, anger. So fierce at times that Drizzt and Wulfgar actually crossed weapons. And if that’s not enough, the tunnels below don’t seem to be safe yet. People coming to congratulate the future newlyweds disappear. Drizzt, venturing to find out more, can’t decide which is worse: the anger one of his best friends is feeling towards him, or the fact the dead dwarves he found are definitely killed by his kin…

My Opinion: Plot thickened and tension was kept well. While some things we got revealed to us via chapters from the perspectives of the antagonists, other things we were left to discover together with the heroes. The animosity thickening felt like Lord of the Ring scenes where groups of people were affected by it, getting more agitated, arguing. But, at the same time, it was different and very clever in its own way. It was nice returning to the deep underground.

I keep saying this, but this is some good classic fantasy. 5 out of 5, again.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir | The Locked Tomb 1

gideon the ninth tamsyn muir the locked tombAuthor: Tamsyn Muir
Title: Gideon the Ninth
Series: The Locked Tomb 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT Literature
Pages: 448
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

This might be the first time I call a book atmospheric. In the best sense of the word. “Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir is something entirely else, and everything I ever wanted from a book about necromancers.

About the Book: There lies a stone on a tomb, placed there by a God Emperor, and nine houses of necromancers pray daily it never rolls away. Nobody knows what or who lies within, but they all know Emperor could only save Universe this once. Yet… The houses are crumbling, power is getting diluted, weaker, if appears in the lineage at all. So when Emperor calls his necromancers and their cavaliers for a trial that could grant them power and immortality, not one hesitates. Among them stands the mysterious living reverent daughter Harrowhark of Ninth house, and her cavalier Gideon the Ninth. They might just need this resurrection of power the most. But the game requires the pair to work together. And these two loathed one another from the cradle…

My Opinion: Epic Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Necromancers who are afraid of travel in deep space for there is just no death there. A murder house with no one to trust. And desperate need to get this power, to wash away the sins, the stains of their name. Schemes, secrets, all kinds of buried nasties, and locked away constructs. It was like a good Agatha Christie book, but with planet-wide clans, and constant requirement of bones and blood to be present, accompanied with deep atmosphere weather. It sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t. Author successfully contained it all within one house, and well timed confessions.

I can’t wait to lay my hands on the next one. 5 out of 5 for this one, and I highly recommend it to those who want a different tale.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Sci-Fi, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French | The Lot Lands 1

the grey bastards jonathan french the lot landsAuthor: Jonathan French
Title: The Grey Bastards
Series: The Lot Lands 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 529
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Thick books are hard to review, for they tend to encompass a very long period of time, with too many events happening. Such is “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French, a great book that doesn’t really fit in a single paragraph to express what was it all about.

About the Book: Jackal and his other half-orc brothers and sisters, The True Bastards, lived a relatively easy life in the Lot Lands, all up until a series of events, starting with a single pebble, sent down this mountain of almost leisure down in an avalanche. An argument with knights, a stolen and sold elven girl in the hands of the nastiest possible monster, an appearance of half-orc wizard, a being unheard of… There’s a tension for war in the air, with almost every possible enemy. Jackal isn’t sure their old chief is capable of keeping them all alive, and the wind already smells of blood.

My Opinion: I do greatly enjoy books told from non-human perspectives; extra points for them not being elves too. Nothing against elves, I love them dearly, but I’m pretty sure we’re all a little too used to fantasy meaning elves and dwarves as the only possible adventurers. Characters are written well, with tales of their own, even if their characters sometimes blend together. The book is a pretty good example of what’s epic fantasy adventure like, but made better by overload of filthy jokes, down to earth heroes, and clever beasts. The only problem I had were the overly long discussions that led nowhere, or to conclusions that could’ve been reached in two sentences.

A good book, not the best, but definitely good, so a 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Streams of Silver by R.A. Salvatore | high fantasy

streams of silver r.a. salvatore high fantasy book cover forgotten realms dark elf legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Streams of Silver
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 5
Genre: High Fantasy; Adventure Lit.
Pages: 349
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

At times it’s good to rest with known characters in unknown lands. Such was “Streams of Silver” by R.A. Salvatore, fifth book in The Legend of Drizzt series, second book in the second trilogy of it. And it’s just getting better and better.

About the Book: Drizzt, our infamous kind-hearted dark elf, allows his dwarven friend to convince him to embark on yet another deadly dangerous expedition. This time it’s to find the legendary Mithril Halls, where the dwarf originates from. He, due to trauma of the battle that has left no survivors, and turned the legendary kingdom into a fairy tale, a myth, cannot recall much of it, just the general existence of it. But one thing is clear to everyone in the party off onto an adventure: neither the path there, nor the Halls themselves will be safe. For whatever destroyed the Mithril Halls might very well still lurk in the deep darkness underground.

My Opinion: Oh, this was good. This was Moria meets Deep Roads good. With foes in the dark, forgotten evil magic awaiting, darkness taking shape. And treasure filled halls, history of ancient dwarven kingdom wiped out.

These are really great so far. Could definitely recommend to anyone into classic adventure-filled high fantasy. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 3

ruin and rising leigh bardugo book coverAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: Grisha Trilogy 3
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 422
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s nice when books are so enthralling. Finished the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo with the book “Ruin and Rising” and it was great. Definitely among the best fantasy tales out there.

About the Book: To win against the Darkling Alina requires the third amplifier. It would change everything! Her power would be immense, she’d be the first Grisha to wield three, and… But to find it she needs to uncover long buried past, and untangle secrets that proved too much even for Darkling, hundreds of years old grisha, so unique in his power the title hardly fits. Besides, some secrets are buried for a reason. Alina has no idea how painful they can be.

My Opinion: Darkling is one of the best villains ever written. This book digs a lot into the past, so we get to know his too, of what he was, his childhood, and what could have nudged him onto the path he is on now. Yet my favorite remains Nikolay. I’ve read that the “King of Scars” is about him, so I assume I’ll need to read all of the books in Grisha world. As for the story itself, it was good, sometimes a bit slow, but otherwise – twisting, turning, and throwing surprises out and about.

A good book that finished the trilogy well, with my favorite kind of ending, one that covers a little bit of life after the war. I give it a 5 out of 5, and can greatly recommend it to those seeking not too complex a web in a fantasy, but one that’ll keep you captivated.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone | Dead Jack 1

dead jack and the pandemonium device james aquilone book coverAuthor: James Aquilone
Title: Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device
Series: Dead Jack 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Humor
Pages: 211
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I saw Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone book cover, I knew I’m going to like it. For the same reason I liked Skulduggery Pleasant books: noir vibe with a dead-man for a detective. Dark but simple humor with dirty streaks to it.

About the Book: Jack is a detective in Pandemonium, a realm between life, death, heaven, and hell. He’s pretty good at what he does, even though his partner, a homunculus who one day just moved into the empty cavern of Jack’s skull, would highly disagree: his plans are reckless, poorly thought out, and even deadly. Jack is also a zombie with a fairy dust addiction. According to him, that’s the only thing that keeps the flesh craving at bay. His partner doesn’t necessarily believe that either, but here Jack is. Out of dust, approaching a leprechaun for more. Except instead of dust he gets his ass roasted. And, let’s just say… Leprechaun meat is delicious.

My Opinion: The book consists out of small little mysteries, and one big one that drives the plot, gives back-story, world building, and background to people in Pandemonium, including Jack and his origins of being. There’s plenty of real fun and great things, like mermaids who want to eat you, and pixies who are a bit too big to be pixies, because their mothers were indeed pixies, but their father’s were human men, and nobody wants to ask HOW, nobody. And due to Jack not taking himself too seriously too, we get this great fast paced book full of dark and sometimes a bit vulgar humor, daring plans that somehow work, and heroes in the most unlikely places.

That was a great fun of a book, I can’t wait to put my hands on the second one. This one gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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