high fantasy

diversity | “Reign of the Fallen” by Sarah Glenn Marsh | 1

3Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Title: Reign of the Fallen
Series: Reign of the Fallen 1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT Literature
Pages: 374
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

This book has been on my TBR for a very long time now. Back in the day, due to it being Young Adult fantasy, and not Adult fantasy, it got a little bit hyped as an LGBT literature piece. So I figured, between Hawk and KJC, I might as well pick it up sooner than later.

About: In the secluded kingdom of Karthia the dead reign. People, upon the law of their eternal king, refuse any change. So their king and everyone else who can afford the services of the blue-eyed necromancers, get killed periodically, and then brought back from the Deadlands with the help of their close relatives. The dead then must wear shrouds and layers of clothing, for even the slightest piece of them seen by mortal eyes will turn them into all-devouring monsters called Shades.

But even with the change forbidden and the king – honestly caring and loving, not all are happy. Not all are content to be forever second by the table. Not are are okay with being unable to compete with someone who has hundreds of years of experience over them. And, apparently, judging from the greatest Shade Odessa has ever seen, who just tossed mangled body of the greatest, oldest necromancer among them, just as she opened the gates to bring back the king yet again, someone’s ready for some change right now. No matter the price.

Mine: I like a story that doesn’t remind me of any other. I like a hero who is not much of a hero. And I like romance where love is not an obstacle towards something greater. The fantasy in this book could easily be considered high-fantasy. Magic is split into casts according to your eye-color, but apparently isn’t limited to it. And the way it ended leaves the future clear: adventures are on the way. LGBT itself is served similar to the video games such as Elder Scrolls (Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO), meaning: nobody cares whom you love. And is not limited to side characters either. If you like books driven by adventure and revolution, if you liked what Shades of Magic was, and maybe even the Fifth Season, you will surely like this one too. For it is like them, but absolutely not anything like them.

This was a very good book. And while I use this word often these days: it was unique. At times it was a little bit slow, so I can only give it a 4 out of 5, but as pace picked up – I’d forget all about it time and again.

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

C.S. Pacat “Pet”

7Title: Pet
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 4
Genre: LGBT, Romance
Pages: 40p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah well. Here I am, with the last of Captive Prince short stories. I’ll start the Fence comic by this author now, and will summary it once a whole volume, not just chapters is out.

About: Ancel, the red-headed pet is as ambitious as they come. From a boy for hire in a brothel, to a lord’s bed, and then into the palace. It was his very last master, who bought him just because he was there, and was the most expensive, turned out to be his biggest break through. The man who didn’t want him, but brought him into palace. The man who didn’t care to show off his great wealth, but inspired loyalty even in the heart of someone like Ancel. Still. Once the opportunity arises to sit in the Regent’s lap, Ancel can’t help but remember how cold and boring his master seems to be. Especially once Regent promises any contract he might ever dream of…

Mine: I had forgotten about Ancel. But once story rolled out, and I recalled reading about this pet, I’ve gotten an urge to re-read the first book. It’s interesting to see the same scenes there and here, but from a different perspective. This was definitely one of the more intricate and political stories.

It was a very good read. And I’m still amazed how very different every short story was. I love each one of them for whole different reasons thus. In this one, it was nice seeing, so to speak, old friends. 5 out of 5 from me.

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

C.S. Pacat “The Adventures of Charls, The Veretian Cloth Merchant”

6Title: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 3
Genre: LGBT, Romance, Humor
Pages: 26p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Somedays I just really miss Captive Prince stories. Lucky me, though, not only can I re-read them in multiple forms, I still have (had) two short stories to get through too! So here’s on third.

About: Charls, as Vere and Akielos are slowly but surely growing into the idea of peace, is traveling his regular routes in the former enemy territory, making rounds with his clients and hoping to make new deals too. The prince of Vere himself gave him the gift of a beautiful caravan, with only one request: to be allowed to travel with Charls this one time, and Charls, being very kind hearted, takes it as a honor. But as they make their way into Akielos, it becomes clear that Charls’s rival is making better time, and on top of that, is spreading terrible rumors about Charls! More and more doors close right before the old Charls, and were it not for the young Charls, Laurent in disguise, this all might have went far worse.

Mine: This was the very funniest story of them all, and definitely became my very favorite. Charls is just such a dear and kind person! On top of that, let me remind you that Laurent’s own men called him a cast-iron btch, and would at times comment that he has a mouth on him, due to profanities spilled when prince got angered. So now I invite you to imagine this same young man as a merchant trying to beat a rival in business he knows little about. My face was in pain from laughing.

I loved this one. Gosh I love the people in it. 5 out of 5, for sure.

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

Laini Taylor “Dreams of Gods & Monsters | Daughter of Smoke & Bone 3

2Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone 3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 613
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah well, it’s not like I could’ve quit a trilogy with only one book left. So as much as I didn’t enjoy the trilogy, I finished the last of Laini Taylor, “Dreams of Gods & Monsters”. It was better than the second book, but definitely not for me.

About: Ancient prophecies are coming true. Of things that will be, of things that’ll be gone. A human, child of an angel, born upon Earth with visions. A corrupt emperor of those very same, with a trice fallen creature hanging behind him, come down upon our lands: too long have you, humans, been shielded from demons and the war angels wage with them. Time you carry your weight. Time you repent your evil deeds. Time you arm the angels with mass destruction weapons. In the meantime Karou and Akiva are uniting the most unlikely allies in hopes to stop what will surely be the end of the universe as they know it. But in a larger scheme, this whole shebang is still just a puny grain in a wind.

Mine: In compare to the second book this one was pretty good. The story picked up, and there was plenty of action, turns, and twists in it. Author, in general, is very good at building worlds. I think that was the biggest barrier for me here – I just couldn’t get through the mundane. For I truly loved Strange the Dreamer, and every little bit about the different worlds here too. It just feels like choosing one or another would’ve worked better for me, personally. But I am sure that YA fantasy lovers will like this trilogy, and so I cannot stress enough – the author is great, and it was merely not my cup of tea.

I’m glad I’ve read this trilogy. I can now calmly wait for the second book of Strange the Dreamer to get into my hands. This one gets 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neven Iliev “Fizzlesprocket” | Everybody Loves Large Chests 2

1Finally! Finally I got my hands on second book in Neven Iliev series Everybody Loves Large Chests, “Fizzlesprocket” (Everybody Loves Large Chests 2; ASIN B07B42T4YD; 306p.; Goodreads). First one was great. Second one – less so. Never thought I’ll say this, but there were too many dirty jokes, they got to a point where it was just vulgarity for the sake of it, it wasn’t funny, and it flopped half of a book as a result. The other half was great tho.

When Boxxy noticed that some adventurers surpass him in abilities and skills, even if their levels are lacking. This has gotten him curious, for a boost is always welcome for our little mimic who is just trying to survive. And get tasties. And get shinies. So he watched and inspected, and came to a sensible conclusion that it was the gear they wore that gave them this said tasty boost. Yet putting this knowledge to practice turned out to be mighty time consuming and complicated. For there are no shops, apparently, that sell box-shaped armor.

For one, people feel strange dread, fear, uneasiness around monsters, no matter how human they look. So even if Boxxy overcame the first obstacle, and found a way to look more human, if a little grotesque as men come, he still had to navigate through people who shunned him without knowing why. Fear can easily turn into anger, and that would just not be tasty. For two, learning a crafting skill turned out to be both time consuming, and shiny-costing, forcing Boxxy to take up some quests now again, which wasn’t all that bad, for he got to consume corpses afterwards, and get more gold for it. It’s the third thing that turned out to be a real pain. After the whole Calamity happened, humans got on edge. Security got tighter, adventurers in disguise started investigating who did it. For while official story claimed it was elves, since that allowed an open war against that nuisance of a race, secretly authorities worked towards finding and punishing the real culprit. After all, no one wants that to happen again. And you have to admit, tall dark strangers, especially the strong-silent types, are mighty suspicious to begin with, even if they didn’t make you feel all strange and uneasy.

So as I said, dirty jokes got far out of line. Vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity is never funny, and it really got old really fast. Luckily, it broke off quite suddenly too, and pace picked up as plot intensified. So the whole second part of the book was far better. I loved the ending too, so I will definitely read the third book too. This one gets 4 out of 5 for the time being.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Witcher | Sword of Destiny

+3

I am so happy they’re doing new releases of The Witcher for us. I will, of course, forever be grateful to Dagon, for that very first publishing, and Eridanas, for the whole Witcher series that we got before the first game ever came out, and many other great books they published while they still lived. But I am thankful to Alma Littera too, for the covers are wonderful, and the shape of the book is great (it’s narrow and tall, with beautiful separations between chapters)

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

Neven Iliev – Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests | Vol. 1

36469357If a funny book gets noticed, the funny book gets taken and read without waiting in the TBR line. I do like me a good comedy. And I am a gamer, so “Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests” by Neven Iliev (ASIN B076NSQ6JT; 252p; Goodreads) was just a must-have and must-read-now book. I regret nothing!

It all began rather simply. A hero was raiding a low level dungeon on his own, expecting some not too dangerous monsters to help him level up. Then he could at last move on to bigger places, where loot and treasures were automatically better. His wish almost came true when, finally truly lost, he noticed a low level treasure chest at the end of the corridor. Hey, it may not be a monster he wished for, but treasure chest is a treasure chest, and he wasn’t big enough level yet to pass one when found. The chest waited patiently as hero came closer. And as the man finally bent over to open the lid – chest ate him whole. For the treasure chest wasn’t really a treasure chest. It was a mimic in whose nature it was to look like one, that’s all.

After mimic has sated the immediate hunter, it was ready to slump back down and await another traveler. Yet, an undefined thought spread in it’s brainless little head: his surroundings were suspicious, what with all the blood and discarded gear, and might scare off potential food. This logical decision to tidy up has sent the snowball rolling, levels gained, abilities unlocked, decisions more complex than going after food getting made, and even a very beautiful summoned companion mimic could, at the very least, eat up while bored.

The book was very amusing. At first one can’t even expect this is not a story of a hero on a stupid quest, but rather of a little low level mob. It is also very well written and funny, even with all the random gore there and here. Definitely a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

C.S. Pacat – The Summer Palace | Captive Prince 3.5

33230173The beauty of C.S. Pacat‘s books is something to savor. Yet I swallowed “The Summer Palace” (Captive Prince 3.5; ISBN13 9780987622303; 30p.; Goodreads) in one night, not something my exhausted mind allows often these days.

The story is set after the third book, so make sure you’ve read them before heading into this one. After the gruesome battle with the regent and those loyal to him, or yet, opposing Damianos as rightful heir of Akielos, both him and Laurent took to their own kingdoms. To mend, secure their positions, and maybe set some order. Yet before doing so they agreed: when all of this is over, they will meet in an Akielon summer palace for a breath. And today is the day for that.

Laurent stood there, waiting, in Akielon garbs, his yellow hair now longer, watching the road for any signs of King Damianos and his entourage. But Damian took a shortcut, in a hurry to see his friend, his lover, and surprised both Laurent, and the scarce skeleton staff in the palace. He was in too much hurry to see him again, to talk, to rest. And discuss things, for there’s certainly still plenty of water under the bridge to sort out. Not the least or last question being what customs they’ll follow in their new palace on the border of their countries.

This was a beautiful recap of what happened, and an even more beautiful ending to it all. Also, I was right, the more Laurent trusted being safe in his surroundings, in people around, the less clothes happened. Theory confirmed, 5 out of 5.

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

Diversity: C.S. Pacat – Green but for a Season | Captive Prince Short Stories 2.5

31814812Most of you don’t even know that I recently re-read the Captive Prince trilogy. Well, I did, and then I remembered there’s short stories I didn’t yet get to! “Green but for a Season” by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince Short Stories 2.5; ISBN B01LB1H41E; 24p.; Goodreads) is the first one, held between the second and third books, and concentrates on Laurent’s captain, Jord.

Jord is a lowborn nobody with a well honed fighting skill. It was because of this skill that prince Auguste has noticed him back in the day, and took him into the ranks. Later, as Auguste fell in the battlefield, and red regent flags covered up the blue ones of the prince, soldiers and guards either took up the red, or were put away. Lowborns were the least wanted. So here he was, trying to make due for years. Up until prince Laurent grew a little, and realized what game his uncle was playing. Seeing the dangers, he decided to form his own Prince’s Guard, with gold starburst on blue, not red, and for that he wanted only the best of the best. And his brother surely knew who the best were. So, again, here he was, Jord, trying to make due, as Laurent called upon him, promised him this will be even harder than it was with Auguste, and asking if he’ll take up arms for him, the way he did for his brother. Jord didn’t need to be asked twice.

Today Jord is a captain, proud to serve prince Laurent, who proved true to his word. The boy protected them, and in return, they were ready to kill and die protecting him. Still, a captain’s rank to a nobody seemed a dream beyond wildest of hopes. Especially in a situation where an actual high-born nobleman was present. A nobleman who was forced to serve the prince, as the youngest son, with least prospects, other than a good betting chip, in case Regent gets fooled. And maybe, just maybe Laurent knew it before Jord did.

This was a very fine read, shining light on many things at last. 5 out of 5, not even a half point less.

Categories: 5-5, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Lynn Flewelling – Shards of Time | Nightrunner 7

+shardsoftimeDammit! “Shards of Time” by Lynn Flewelling (Nightrunner 7; ISBN 0345522311; 409p.; Goodreads) is the last book in Nightrunner series, so it ended, I’m done, dammit. And this one was so interesting too, with all the prophesies coming to a close. I just kinda already missed Beka, due to her being indisposed in a good way. But all the rest was great!

Due to all they’ve done, Alec and Seregil get a thanks in lands and titles. They gladly accept the land with the manor, fully intending to make it a perfect little dignified clanhouse for the former fae slaves, who can then make a living on their own, using what these two can provide. But that isn’t the only perk of the land. Sadly, the other one is far less pleasant. Back in the day something terrible has happened here, leaving the place haunted by ghosts, disturbed, and unhappy with the new excavations happening in sight.

Long ago this land was ravaged by a powerful dyrmagnos, a worshiper of one god, Seriamaius, the Dead God. It fed on human lives, and was so powerful, that it took insane magic, and death of two greatest wizards to seal the being away. Now in death they guard that what they could not kill. But greedy humans are taking things from excavation sites. They break, they chip away, they ruin the seals… And so the darkness slowly seeps into their time, into their world. Deaths begin.

This was a wonderful, strong, and yet simple, homely, very natural end of an adventure. I truly loved how imperfect and human everyone was. How life went on, and changed. How there were actions, and consequences. I can give it a 5 out of 5, and a 4 out of 5 for whole series, due to a couple of weaker books. This was a beautiful story.

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

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