Fantasy Books

book review | Fairest by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 3.5

fairest marissa meyer book coverAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 3.5
Genre: Sci-Fi; Fantasy
Pages: 222
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Fairest by Marissa Meyer is a half book from The Lunar Chronicles series, and tells the story of Queen Levana. How a delusional girl who believed in her own lies finally became the Queen.

About the Book: Levana has learned to use glamour due to necessity. Tricked and hurt by her older sister as a child, she barely survived the fire, and was left deformed. Lonely, mocked by her older sister, secondary daughter and not the crown princess, she grew up in a world where illusion was everything, and faked emotion was as good as true. Thus, if illusion face, clear skin, is her reality, why isn’t it reality, period? Who is going to deny her that right? And if they did dare, well… She had glamour powerful enough to force their hearts to love her, and their hands to cut their own throats if she had to.

And so, stepping over broken dreams, dead bodies, and wrecked minds, she made her way up.

My Opinion: Oof, the last time I was so disgusted by a character was when I was reading fifth Harry Potter book, you guessed it, with Umbridge. Yes, there are many reasons why she grew ever crueler, but in all honesty, I think nothing broke her harder than her own lies she spun for herself. Anyway, the book serves not only to steel our hearts against the Lunar Queen Levana, but also introduces us to her stepdaughter, Winter, who is apparently going to be the hero of our next book in The Lunar Chronicles.

Marissa Meyer is unbelievably good. Truly. So this book, as many before, get a 5 out of 5 from me. Damn it was good.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 3

sojourn r.a. salvatore dark elf drow fantasy epic highAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Sojourn
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 3
Genre: High Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 309
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I’ve just finished the final book, Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore in the first trilogy, The Legend of Drizzt, of this wonderful series of trilogies, The Forgotten Realms. And it was beautiful, amazing, and oh so damn classic in the very best of way.

About the Book: Drizzt, now a surface dweller, has to learn to survive in these absolutely different conditions. There’s a cycle of light and dark, growing shorter or longer. There’s cycles of weather too, with cold sometimes so bitter it threatened his life a time or two, until he learned to light a fire, and keep it lit. It would be difficult to live as a vagabond, roaming from forest to forest, from cave to cave, even if the loneliness wasn’t driving him mad. For, after all, no matter what lies in his heart, Drizzt is still a Drow, a Dark Elf, and both good races and the evil ones too, see him as a threat, danger, and tend to be hostile. But Drizzt lives on, with hope. For who can know what tomorrow will bring. And there’s still much to learn and see in this strange surface world.

My Opinion: These books will sit proudly with the likes of Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Andre Norton, Peter S. Beagle, and so on, for it is that classic adventurous high-epic fantasy, full of strange lands to explore, stranger races, people to meet, magic, dragons even! It’s classic in the best of ways, as I said.

I’m not sure how will other trilogies approach it all, for some, judging by the titles, eventually return to the Spider Queen, and Drizzt’s homeland. But I guess I’ll read it and see. This one gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me. It definitely re-stocked the little faery fire back into my elven heart.

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

book review | Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko | Metamorphozi 1

vita nostra marina dyachenko book coverAuthor: Marina Dyachenko
Title: Vita Nostra
Series: Metamorphozi 1
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

How does one describe a thing, a story as colossal as Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko? I said this before, and I will say this again, Slavs write very different fantasy, very big, very wast, very… It’s a lot, and it’s amazing.

About the Book: Sasha’s normal life ended that faithful summer when a strange man scared her near to death. Then sort of gave her a quest, a mission. Series of motions to perform every morning at the risk of great tragedies where she to refuse. So the girl obeyed, and every day performing – punctuated the strangeness by vomiting up a few gold coins. By the end of this ordeal she was accepted into an institute for Special Technologies, as they put it, as the strange man has put it, where professors as strange as he, as inhuman as he, teach them the oddest damn things, all the while repeating them: no one’s asking for impossible here. But is it not impossible to absorb and understand silence, differentiate between it? Is it not impossible to perceive meaning in language you never even seen, symbols you couldn’t even imagine? Is it not impossible to shed the limitations of your body, the limits of two legs, two arms? They’re all trying, of course, doing their best. For this world here, this middle-of-nowhere is ruled by fear, the same one Sasha felt that summer. To disobey, to do what you weren’t told to do, to do something you were forbidden to do, to fail, to be unprepared, all that meant bad news coming: illness, injury, misfortune, death even, among those you held dearest, you loved most. And children learned to blame themselves for it, and thus try harder very, very soon. So, it seems like Sasha’s normal life never even existed. For, what is normal in the Universe that was born out of a spark, a word, a thought, a meaning?

My Opinion: I have no clue how to describe, how to review this book. It was big, it was amazing, it was unbelievable and like nothing I ever read before. Written so well, so right, with a story so rich it becomes impossible to put it to words, these simple human words.

It’s a great book, definitely not for everyone, but a great book nonetheless. If you liked stuff by Pelevin or Max Fray, you might enjoy this one too, it’s a similar kind of mind boggling out-of-your-mind experience. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

book news | Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat – be still my feeble heart, something’s coming

laurent captive prince c.s. pacat newsAre you subscribed to C.S. Pacat‘s newsletter? Trust me, you very much should, and you should have the emails incoming marked, so you’d not accidentally delete them with other junk you kinda want, but kinda never read anyway. For today is the day C.S. Pacat teases our feeble little hearts that couldn’t let go of Captive Prince with some news:

There is some HUGE Captive Prince news coming soon.

I can’t tell you what it is.

I can’t even tell you the reveal date.

All I can tell you is that it is AMAZING, and something that readers have been asking for since the book was first published.

Stay tuned for more details as soon as I can release them.

I absolutely cannot wait. I don’t know how one’s supposed to wait. Is life all about waiting for the next thing? Next news, next release? It feels like it. I feel lost without it, but then, when I have to wait for something, I just CAN’T bloody WAIT.

Have you read the Captive Prince trilogy? The first book is a bit problematic, but in my opinion it improves further on, greatly. If you have read them, what do you think it could be? A comic? A movie? A sequel? A prequel?

Categories: book facts, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

book review | Exile by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 2

exile the legend of drizzt forgotten realms r.a. salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Exile
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 2
Genre: High Fantasy; Dark Fantasy
Pages: 343
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Back in the days of MySpace, while I still had a VampireFreaks account too, if you asked anyone for book recommendations: high chances were you got R.A. Salvatore mentioned, with his Legend of Drizzt. Now that I’ve read the second one, Exile, I definitely see why.

About the Book: Drizzt roams the oppressing darkness of the Underdark, fighting for his survival and sanity. Both against monstrous beasts, and his own mind. All the while trying his best to stay a step ahead of the hunting parties his mother, now in great disfavor with her vile Spider Queen due to survival of Drizzt, keeps sending. She intends to right the wrongs and regain the favor of her goddess, else all might be lost. For such are the rules in the vicious homeland of the dark elves: Menzoberranzan.

My Opinion: This is a very unique, and yet very classic story. There’s so many new, never seen before things happening, the personalities spun, the hierarchy, the rule, the whole game, schemes, politics. But at the same time, pages are filled with battles, sword fights, and friendship that pushes characters out of their comfort zones, and against their own nature.

It’s a truly beautiful piece. I loved the emphasis on what predicaments like Drizzt’s, the utter loneliness, can do to the mind and the humanity side of a being. A strong 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Stable Boy by Megan Derr

the stable boy megan derrAuthor: Megan Derr
Title: The Stable Boy
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy; LGBTQIA+
Pages: 37
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes I can’t fall asleep. And, sometimes, I’m too lazy to turn the tablet back on. So I searched for something short to spend the dark dawn hours with and not do too much damage upon the phone battery. The Stable Boy by Megan Derr served very well!

About the Book: Prince Diggory wakes up with a stab wound, a nasty curse, and even nastier memories of a fight. His own bodyguard has stabbed him with a cursed blade, and then thrown him into the river. He intends to take Diggory’s place, marry his prince, his fiance, and rule this new foreign kingdom in Diggory’s stead. But since prince is alive, he doesn’t intend to give up just yet. So, unable to tell anyone about the curse in fear it might still kill him if he did, he starts working as a stable boy in the royal stables, keeping an eye on his gorgeous fiance, and setting a plan in motion of taking his life back.

My Opinion: This is a very cute, sweet little tale of fairy tale curses that have rules of breaking unknown to even those suffering it. If you seek something adorable and fast paced, this is the book. Other than the people killed, who didn’t get so much of a fairy tale ending.

I’m living through a better version of my childhood, with books on princes marrying princes in happily ever after settings, with magical curses and, sometimes, dragons (not in this book). This one gets a 4 out of 5, very firm, a minus only on the definitely-too-short basis.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia | 1

we set the dark on fire tehlor kay mejia book coverAuthor: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Title: We Set the Dark on Fire
Series: We Set the Dark on Fire 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT literature
Pages: 384
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

For once it was not IG that lured me into reading a book blindly, that I didn’t like all that much. I saw “We Set the Dark on Fire” by Tehlor Kay Mejia on Twitter. It was sadly too light, too simple for my liking, so it’s not my cup of tea.

About the Book: Medio School for Girls prepares the most prestigious brides for those in power who can afford such luxurious set. For it isn’t easy to get into this school either. Such girls as Dani shouldn’t even be here. Born on the wrong side of The Wall, she’s an illegal. But her parents have found a way, and so here she is, about to marry one of the most powerful politicians, together with her worst rival, a girl who made her life here – hell. And taught her to never trust anyone.

But not even out of school yet, there’s signs of Resistance. Poor people, pushed to the very edge, are desperate to draw attention to their cause with protests and even riots. They’re starving. They die of simple illnesses for which there’s easy medicine they can’t afford. But all they get is disdain and bullets. And Dani’s heart bleeds for them.

My Opinion: The plot, at times, barely, just very barely with the best of wishes made it through a spin and turn without being completely lacking. Some events hang by the thread of hopes and dreams, so to speak. And the plot is a bit thin, simple: poor people are criminalized, rich people are overloaded. Resistance is recruiting brides from schools to be spies. And that’s all.

I’m sure this book will be loved by many, and I hope author will never see my review or any other negative one for that matter. For I do wish her all the best, there’s definitely potential there. This book, from me, by my personal opinion meant only for other readers, gets 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by British Library, Author Collective

history of magic harry potter jk rowling book coverAuthor: British Library, Author Collective
Title: Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 256
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve no clue where I even got the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by authors collective. But I’ve read it, and it was quite nice.

About the Book: Any author, especially any aspiring one, should read this book, just to see how books earning millions to billions are constructed. And how books, in general, the good ones, get written. What it takes, what an overwhelming web it can be. But how it absolutely can be done.

This book describes the basics of how the whole Harry Potter world was created. From the symbolics surrounding the characters, characters that were in our history, to places, buildings, potions, magic beasts…

My Opinion: As an aspiring author I have found a lot of good in this book. Many authors, of course, if not each one, have their own strategies. The key is to find one fitting you. R.R. Martin somewhere wrote he’s the kind who plants a seed and watches it grow, meaning he starts writing and sees where it goes. While Rowling had this whole month-by-month sheet of data, scribbles and scrabbles, several ideas for a single scene, and so on. But as a reader… As a reader who grew up with Harry Potter, loving that world of hope and magic, I found this book full of repeated information. “And this relates to that, and this is equivalent of that in real life, and that means this…

Either way, the book is fun. I’d say it’s unnecessary for a reader, but might be good for an author, but definitely a fun read either way. So I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Fever King by Victoria Lee | Feverwake 1

the fever king victoria lee book cover lgbt fantasy young adultAuthor: Victoria Lee
Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake 1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT literature
Pages: 375
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

This is a very strange and interesting tale I’ve just read. “The Fever King” by Victoria Lee is the first book in duology. And I am eagerly awaiting the second one.

About the Book: In this broken world magic comes as contagious virus. To most it’s a death sentence, for there is no cure, just experiments little to none can afford. And those who survive often wish they’d be dead anyway. For in the wake of magical virus taking over blocks before government contains it, it destroys communities, families. If you survive, you’re all alone, a thing called Witching, a weapon in the hands of an oppressive government in a brutal war, with no real power to help anyone in honest need.

Noam wakes up in the hospital, left among the dead, for he was supposed to be dead soon enough too. What are the chances someone from the slums would survive the magical fever anyway…

My Opinion: Let’s start with the bad things. First, the style. It’s a bit tough, at times even demanding. There were moments where I had to re-read entire pages, because something essential slipped by among minor details or got burdened with other things, or wasn’t described well enough to understand right away. Second bad thing, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I needed more world building here, some origin stories or whatever. Yes, I understand most these things can be answered in the second book, but that only means I’ll pick up second one feeling as confused as I was picking this one up. There’s way more good things though. For one, this is a very standard love story, but with very non-basic characters. Jewish, colored, gay or bi, they’re both amazing guys, and their tale is familiar from your regular white-and-straight YA fantasy romances, so this was funny and great, and I loved it. The whole magic thing was amazing too, nothing I’ve ever read before, and the book is worth being read for that alone. Truly, a unique piece of literature.

At times the lack of background, and the boldness of a brand new story reminded me of tales like Guns of Dawn. It’s just that that one was so thick it eventually told us everything, while this one has a second book coming up. I’ll still give it a strong 4 out of 5, and, as I said, will grab myself the second one as soon as it’s out.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Homeland by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 1

r.a. salvatore homeland dark elf trilogy drow book cover legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Homeland
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 1
Genre: High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Pages: 343
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I wanted to read the whole tale of Dark Elf trilogy, the Forgotten Realmsthe Legend of Drizzt of which I’ve read the first, Homeland by R.A. Salvatore since I was a teenager. But back then getting books in English was so much harder than it is now. 

About the Book: Drows, the Dark Elves, live deep underground, scorning both the light and the surface dwellers. Their way is that of darkness, solid stone walls, battle and power. And for that they worship a Deity, Queen Spider, who grants them power and favors. Under her laws you can cross any boundaries or rules, as long as you execute it successfully.

Thus, House Do’Urden has decided to take a step up on the social power ladder and completely destroy another house. They’ve done such thorough job slaying anyone alive, that in the eyes of Queen Spider such a house ceased to exist, never been for all it matters. And House Do’Urden deserves only praise, no punishment. But during this battle a third boy was born, meant a sacrifice to the Queen Spider. Fate has deemed him survive that day, and many more. Drizzt grew up to be a strange Drow, making many of his family members wish they proceeded with the sacrifice…

My Opinion: This is the most unique, way ahead of it’s time piece of very dark high fantasy. I’m quite happy I’ve read it now, not earlier. This is a brutal realm of so very familiar elves who are so very different from everything we got to know from such places as Elder Scrolls or Lord of the Rings.

Their society is ruled by vicious people, priestesses, mages, high matrons and alike. Men are war pawns, soldiers, fodder, and means to get more daughters. A neighbor here can kill another, and if he succeeded, he’d get away with it, for such is law. A sister would attack a brother, and if he raised an arm to defend himself, he’d get killed or at least punished, for how dare he raise an arm against a drow female. There’s monsters, there’s darkness, and there’s blindness. And in this hell of a homeland, there’s the purple-eyed Drizzt, and I hope to read the rest of his tale, for it can only get better from here.

Truly, if you seek dark high fantasy, take these books, The Witcher saga has not prepared you for the bloodshed you’ll find here. I give it a 5 out of 5, solid, and am taking up a quest to get the next book asap.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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