Posts Tagged With: high fantasy

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 | The Halfling’s Gem by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 6

r a salvatore the halflings gem the legend of drizzt dark elf forgotten realmsAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Halfling’s Gem
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 6
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 338
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s good to have long series to fall back onto when TBR becomes overwhelming. So I’ve read “The Halfling’s Gem” by R.A. Salvatore, sixth book in The Legend of Drizzt series of The Forgotten Realms, and third book in The Icewind Dales trilogy.

About the Book: Halfling known as Regis has been kidnapped by a vicious assassin who, via luck, skill, and chance, bested even Drizzt. Now, all companions separated in that battle, but united in their need to survive, and burning need to save their friend or at least avenge him, turn Southwards, and to the dangers that lurk among the sand dunes. Even here, it seems, drows (dark elves) have a reputation that Drizzt cannot escape, and must find a way to deal with if he hopes to help his friend.

My Opinion: Okay, this one might be my favorite book in the series so far. The group got separated, so each one had to get out of their own predicament first, and then logically reach the conclusion – they need to go save Regis, no matter what. I love how characters are written too, especially Drizzt, but not just him. He has journal entries throughout the book, that sum up the moral and emotional background of the situation they were in. On top of that, this book shows you can write about a long journey somewhere else, and not just have it all be a long walk with dialogue that picks at characters. It absolutely can be filled with adventures, misfortunes, fortunes, fights, battles, magic, and so on.

Truly, if you seek light but good fantasy, these are the books to take. A solid 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, General | 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 | Lord of the White Hell by Ginn Hale | 1

lord of the white hell ginn haleAuthor: Ginn Hale
Title: Lord of the White Hell
Series: Lord of the White Hell 1
Genre: High Fantasy; LGBT+ Literature
Pages: 353
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Ah, damn. Read “Lord of the White Hell” by Ginn Hale, the first in the series. Yet it seems I will not continue.

About the Book: Kiram is a genius whose understanding of mechanisms has won him a place in a prestigious Sagrada Academy. Where this barely religious haldiim experienced a serious cultural shock. Everyone’s afraid of duke Javier and the White Hell he’s wielding. Meaning, no one lives in his room, and so since there’s no other to be had, Kiram is put in with him, on basis of religious differences that might protect his haldiim soul, or at least not cost anyone else a soul. This is where Kiram’s troubles begin. Brought in by a handsome duke, rumors, superstitions, and nonsense that surrounds him.

My Opinion: Somewhere in this kaleidoscope of events that add absolutely nothing to the plot, there was indeed a plot. Heavily slathered with all-boys-school vibes, horses, sword fights, with this legend, this myth, that there’s a secret somewhere out there. On top of it, author finished the book almost mid-paragraph, which would otherwise be a brave bold move. But since there was absolutely no bone thrown to me in the first book, I have no reason to pick up the next one.

This was absolutely not for me. Basic, if okay characters, lack of plot, lack of logic. 2 out of 5 is the best I can give it.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin | Earthsea Cycle 1

a wizard of earthsea ursula k le guin fantasy bookAuthor: Ursula K. Le Guin
Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Series: Earthsea Cycle 1
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 183
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Needed to break the sci-fi cycle I fell into, and also wanted something short. So picked up “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

About the Book: Ged, now known as Sparrowhawk, showed talent and power since childhood. Due to which and added want for knowledge, no matter who taught the young boy, the arrogance remained rooted. To a point where he believed he could do more if only his tutors taught him more, greater things. Which led Sparrowhawk, in a moment of heated argument, to summon a being unnatural to this world, tipping the fragile Equilibrium. For this the wizard, powerful or not, will pay with his life, if not with the whole world. That is, if he cannot find the way to undo his stupid mistake. And so his journey begins, running there, chasing here. A journey that’ll hopefully teach him of fear, life, wisdom and humility.

My Opinion: The book has almost adventure-like quality to it, what with the constantly changing surroundings, a need to find something or outrun something. But it’s very linear, and doesn’t even try to be any less predictable. It’s a straight line up the hill, then down the hill, and up it again. To add to that, since the book was originally released in 1968, behind the veils of dragons and spells, there peeks the inequality that seemed normal to authors of the day, but which feels bothersome today.

It’s a well written poor idea. But then, I wonder, if I fully respect the basis of old fantasy, could it get better now that the first book and thus the foundation of the hero is built? I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5 due to sheer respect for what it is from a philosophical standpoint, and probably will give it another shot.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | 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 | 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

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