Posts Tagged With: high fantasy

book review | The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 4

crystal shard the legend of drizzt dark elf salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Crystal Shard
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 4
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 344
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep craving classical fantasy, something like J.R.R. Tolkien, or Peter S. Beagle, or Frizt Leiber. I’d even happily read George R.R. Martin’s next book in the Song of Fire and Ice if it was out, but since it isn’t… I picked up another book by R.A. Salvatore, a fourth book in the Legend of Drizzt series in The Forgotten Realms. The Crystal Shard is the first book in the second trilogy in the Legend of Drizzt series, The Icewind Dales, and it was good, with a promise for better.

About the Book: An enthralled mage, ruled over by a demon he foolishly tried to summon now influences the minds of warring folk, and leads great armies towards the Icewind Dales, a place our dark elf Drizzt calls home. So, the moment he spots a sign of it in the horizon, he hurries to warn people. It’ll take a force of the whole united peoples to withstand this, but rulers are having hard time believing a word of a dark elf, especially since there’s no proof. They don’t wish to abandon their fishing boats and homes for an alliance that might not even be needed. And when they’ll have their proof, Drizzt fears it’ll be gravely too late.

My Opinion: The one point I took away is for the slightly forced sense of honor. While it’s a trait very common in classical fantasy, I find it bitterly annoying when people do what’s right, and not what’s logical. Still, the book was amazing! Full of great battles against barbarians, giants, orcs, mages, demons! And it ended with a note of a great adventure in the next one, so I’m really looking forwards to it.

A great book to satisfy that classic High Fantasy craving, a firm 4 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn 3

the hero of ages brandon sanderson mistbornAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: The Hero of Ages
Series: Mistborn 3
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 572
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve finished the last book in the first trilogy of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (I say “first trilogy”, because there’s sequels that are far in the future), The Hero of Ages. And I am speechless to say the least.

About the Book: The very world is ending. Ash falls from the sky, blackening, burying fields. Mists remain during the days, and go as far as kill people, or make them sick. Scared, hungry, and under constant threat, they huddle together and seek hope. In religions sprouting, in rulers rising. It serves as one of the sharpest tools in Ruin’s hands, for he can find access to emotional, irrational, hopeful mind, and steer them. This is something Vin and Elend learn the hard way, and despair. For how can you fight an enemy that can change the written letters, and twist your very spoken words? When only your thoughts are safe, how do you communicate with anyone, let alone those you must fight beside?

My Opinion: If you like epic fantasy in a scale of world and gods creation, shaping, reshaping; full of great heroes who did not matter, and yet were absolutely essential, well then do yourself a favor and pick these books up. So much happens in them that I’ve no just way to review it.

You must follow the events to notice the events happen (yes) for a prophecy is so clear in the end. It’s amazing, simple, brilliant, and yet so incredibly complex, that I had to sit there and just hold the book after I was done with it. It plucks you away, out of now and here, and sets you knee deep in ash, with nothing visible over mists, war all around you, death, blood, and metal. Metal spikes, coins flying. Like a violently shaken dirty, ashy snow globe.

Yes, this book is greatly lacking. But it has so much happening in one, seemingly small little world, that I think it was more than enough. I give it the 5 out of 5, fully, strongly. And I will absolutely see into those sequels. This was… This was beyond words. Even though it was written in those same damn words.

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

book review | Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky | After the War 1

redemptions blade adrian tchaikovsky after the warAuthor: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Title: Redemption’s Blade
Series: After the War 1
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 367
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Alright, Adrian Tchaikovsky definitely goes onto my list of favorite authors. I’ve just read his “Redemption’s Blade“, first book in After the War duology, and it was amazing. Summon up the memories of what high fantasy you’ve ever read where there was a battle against great evil. And now imagine the heroes who slain the evil go back to tending fields and farms.

About the Book: Kinslayer, the innovative tyrant, set out to shape the world more to his liking, equalizing as he thought fit. Monsters made from people, monsters made by magic, monsters made in laboratories, trinkets, artifacts, curses, all set out onto the land, together with races forgotten, nations from deep underground. But when evil rises, so do heroes who can’t stand for it. They united nations and fought back. And when Kinslayer fell… Well, old disagreements between nations were not forgotten. Monsters still roamed the land. Curses didn’t just go away. And creatures from deep down had no wish going back into the darkness now that they saw the beauty of the sky. Celestine was one of the heroes during the war. And upon its end she couldn’t find peace at her farm. Seeing world still act like they’re at war wasn’t helping either. So she gathered her most trusted friends, and went back into the world to right the wrong.

My Opinion: This was a magically amazing book, so well written, so very interesting, full of witty moments, breathtaking fights, and a world brand new. We got to know an equivalent of orcs here, those ugly brothers with more strength than brain usually. Usually. We got to know their reasoning. It’s almost like in movie Bright, where orcs were on the Dark Lord’s side, but then sided with humans, right? Here they are not called orcs, and they chose to fight sooner, but… It still has that very amazing familiarity and newness combo to it. Not to mention all the creatures that were made by magic, entirely new unimaginable places, beings, and the reoccurring thought our heroes had: why did Kinslayer make them this way? Imagine being a creature who got dragged from another world into a war that wasn’t yours. Now you have no way home, and nothing to eat here too. All you can do is starve for the rest of the eternity, because you cannot die either, or until someone finds you, and finds how to send you back home. This is what this book is about.

A marvelous, fantastic damn amazing book. I highly recommend it, and give a 5 out of 5

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 | 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 | 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

book review | The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

the priory of the organce tree samantha shannon book coverAuthor: Samantha Shannon
Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 848
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I do really like dragons. And I’m a curious person in general. So, often, when I see hype start over a book, I feel a great need to find out why. Even though I have rarely ever liked the super hyped books. There’s even a pattern to it, if you see hype, but everyone’s talking about the cover, pages, beauty of it, and how they’ll read it: the hype is a hot air balloon. Yet here I am.

About the Book: Religion built on lies. Empires, Queendoms built on religions. House Berethnet queens have held the throne for a thousand years. It is their sacred duty. For with the end of this dynasty of queens, the Nameless One, a fire breathing dragon, will rise again, and Draconian rule will start once more.

But lies aren’t safe even in the graves. No end is ever fully hidden. Curious, innovative minds dug up the truth, and are in fevered frenzy to let the people know the truth. The truth of this dynasty, of the dragons, worms, cults, religions, and the cycle, the balance of the world.

My Opinion: The book is so overloaded with useless information that doesn’t add to the story, that it gets unbearable at times. I understand that hearing a detailed homely description of this random event is meant to introduce you to one of the main characters better, but the book is 800 pages long. It gets on your nerves eventually. To add to that, it felt like some things didn’t connect well, not only were they useless. It’s like, you’re given this information, it feels vital in the moment, but then through next 700 pages – nothing. The book has left me with more questions, than answers because of it. Meaning, I think that there was no more room to tell the truly interesting stuff, like where did those immortality granting trees come from, why there’s this many, why are they different, what would happen if one was to mix it up a little, and so on.

But saying all that, the book wasn’t bad. It had some fine stories, great legends, and interesting characters. Diverse characters too, LGBT friendly. Only in a fantasy realm, it seems, can some things be so very normalized, things like pure Matriarch, or a pious woman accepting that her husband is gay, and requires a different kind of a mate, but also needs to maintain a reputation. So, I say, let’s read more fantasy, and see how we can change our world for the better.

All in all, if you don’t like dragons all that much, you might not enjoy this book all that much either. The battles were weak, villains had a great need to tell their origin stories in the middle of it, and the names were a nightmare. So I give this book a weak 4 out of 5, for it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have to be so colossal either.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor | Strange the Dreamer 2

muse of nightmares laini taylor book coverAuthor: Laini Taylor
Title: Muse of Nightmares
Series: Strange the Dreamer 2
Genre: High Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 522
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I loved the first book in Laini Taylor‘s duology Strange the Dreamer, by the same title. And I am very happy to say that this book, second book, Muse of Nightmares, is just as good if not even better.

About: After Lazlo has taken control of the fortress that has once belonged the to blue skinned gods, people of Weep were forced to remember that nightmare of a life they led under the rule of the Empire, the blue skinned Gods. For they have not expected survivors. But there they were, those young children, teenagers, young adults, with their blue skin and horror in their eyes. For why wouldn’t they be scared, met by a horde of armed people they only knew as godslayers, killers. And so it was time to reopen old scars, tell old secrets, find the truth, and see where it leads.

Mine: This book tells an origin tale of who were those blue skinned gods, where their power came from, why they required children born by humans. Why they took them, where they took them, and what happened to them. This is woven absolutely perfectly with current events. And it all is then gilded by a turn of events I couldn’t even dream of, but here it was. Truly, this is the most brilliant tale I’ve read in a very long time. The only other tale I can lightly compare it to would be “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin, due to unimaginable story, world, magic within it, and that mixture of high fantasy and sci-fi. But this one’s lighter to absorb, consume, so I’d very much recommend starting with Strange the Dreamer duology, to have a taste of what it could be like, these colossal tales of worlds, dreams, and unimaginable things imagined.

It’s an amazing book, and an amazing duology. Laini Taylor ends it with a hint for a spin-off, which I’m excited for beyond words. It could be great. It could be just as great. And it absolutely could be even greater. Laini Taylor has a mind unlike any other. 5 out of 5, and it barely gives it justice.

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

book reviewn | The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn 2

the well of ascension brandon sanderson book cover mistborn 2Author: Brandon Sanderson
Title: The Well of Ascension
Series: Mistborn 2
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 590
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m always a little worried I won’t be able to recall people, their names, after I abandon series for too long. But so far that has never happened. If slow, you recall everyone eventually. And the second book of Misborn by Brandon Sanderson, the Well of Ascension, was so well written, that you’re practically reminded of everything. It’s a very well woven story.

About: Their God is dead. Killed by Vin who became part of Kelser’s, the Survivor’s religion. She became his heir, the one he trained and led against the Lord Ruler. Yet ash still falls from the sky, and the Mist once again became dangerous, killing, unlike the teachings Survivor preached. And if that wasn’t enough, a good, kindhearted and honest man now sits on the throne, Elend Venture. He tries his best to make everyone equal. But a honest man can’t be a good ruler, it seems, for very soon the Final Empire finds itself surrounded by armies. One of them – not even human. The only hope Vin now has is finding the legendary Well of Ascension that has supposedly given Lord Ruler his power. She could take it, she could set it free, she could fix this broken world…

Mine: This was… This was huge beyond any words. It was beyond any epics or myths I’ve ever read, no matter how layered and interwoven they were. What you were told at the start of the book might change from truth to lie by the end of it. Progress happens before our very eyes, characters grow, evolve, develop, and so do their stories. Truths get unearthed, lies get found, new foundations are built, all in the face of utter horror, destruction. Some were proud as gods, believing themselves too much. Others believed so little, and yet came this far. And then some preached lies, believing them truth. It was amazing.

The best thing I can compare this book too, for there’s nothing similar I have ever read, and I have read a lot by now, is Frank Herbert’s “Dune” but without the dragging flaws. It was very well paced, full of action, puzzles, mysteries, secrets to solve, and the reader is fully allowed to make their own assumptions, deductions, we’re allowed to solve it on our own. I happily give this book a 5 out of 5. It is hard for me to explain a book as huge as this one is, and for that I apologize. It was amazing, that’s all I can say. Definitely among my very top favorites now.

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

high fantasy | “The Last Namsara” by Kristen Ciccarelli | Iskari 1

1Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Title: The Last Namsara
Series: Iskari 1
Genre: High Fantasy, Dragons
Pages.: 432
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t even remember when was the last time I’ve read a book so very greedily. I’d get upset every time I had to put it away to eat or even go to sleep. And the dragons! If you enjoyed Skyrim – you will like these. If you liked How To Train Your Dragon movies – you will like these. If you’re a fan of the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen – you will, absolutely, like this book.

About: Dragons are the most dangerous creatures to roam the land. They’re fierce, fast, and strong. They’re hard to kill and even their blood and bones are deadly poisonous. Just like the flames they breathe which not only burn, but poison the blood, so even the lightest of a lick might be deadly. But the most dangerous thing dragons wield are their stories. For behind those stories resides their power, their life, their very fire. Thus it is forbidden to tell the stories. It is a crime punishable, and the best example of their danger is the daughter of Firgaard king, Asha. Her mother died telling her the tales to sooth the child. They ate her life away and made her daughter susceptible to dragons, their lure. Thus the child told the stories too, unable to resist the craving, the urge. Until the power within her voice finally woke the most dangerous one, the very oldest of the dragons. The very one she must now kill.

Mine: I loved this book so much I am almost speechless. The story is long, but not complicated. There’s plenty of turns and twists, but they’re real easy to follow. It’s also one of those tales where some guy might seem the very best, kindest of soul, who’ll defend the poor and the weak, and then it turns out the bastard caused it all to begin with! The dragon stories, the way their power works was my very favorite thing. I felt so nostalgic to Skyrim game, that I can’t recommend this book enough to the fans of it. I loved it. The characters are well written, each one had their own story, and yet they all added to the main plot, making them memorable. The writing itself was very nice too, for, as I said, the story was real easy to follow. The only minus I got for this is the romance. But I won’t deduct points for it, because I’ve learned this kind of romance, exactly this kind, is something to be expected in YA books. Instead I’d like to add more points for the vivid, life-like dragon descriptions and chapters told by them. It was magical.

I am certain that Hiccup, Daenerys, and even your own dovahkiin would nod in approval to this book. All your favorite, best dragon tales? They’re rewritten here, made better. 5 out of 5 from me, with hopes that the next book will be as good.

giphy

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

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