Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ category

The Inheritance: And Other Stories

How could the person closest to her be the only person who doesn’t read her work? I completely understand not wanting anyone to read your writing—the words a writer creates are her flesh; rearrange them and she’ll bruise; cut them out and she’ll bleed—but to bare yourself to the rest of the world and not share yourself with your husband?

The Tale of Telsharu

I flip to the back cover of the book to read the author descriptions, and I discover that both Mechling and Stubbs have been studying martial arts for years. They would have experienced what it means to be changed by that kind of discipline, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. The Tale of Telsharu is a book that could not be written by anyone else, and I think that’s a mark of a good writer (or writer team, in this case). They’ve found their unique voice.


Culainn is a reluctant hero at best. He seems to act more out of compulsion than desire. He is warrior born and therefore he must save this village woman, beat up this bandit, and slay this demon wolf-thing that is trying to gnaw on his intestines. It’s like he can’t help it…

Prince of Thorns

I prefer novels that don’t create their worlds from scratch because creating an entire world from nothing is difficult to do well. I have read plenty of failed attempts. By far my favorite method is to generate a world based on existing cultures, which is the case in Prince of Thorns.

The Silver House

Even within the first chapters of The Silver House, there is some very rich world-building. I’ve already been introduced to two different races with two different magic systems, city-states on opposite sides of continents, a besieged Cardanon, a class system rife with politics, and a long list of characters including a spunky story-telling street urchin…


Sanderson is one of the few fantasy authors who has mastered the art of concluding a story. I think fantasy authors’ peculiar attachment to writing sequels into perpetuity partly stems from how much effort these authors put into building their worlds. To let the narrative come to an end is almost to…


Matt’s heart and home were with his father, who died while working on the Aurora, making that the last bond to him. So the Aurora is more than a ship; it has become his home by becoming something of an avatar for his father. And if home is an extension of self, the way my…

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

I’ve reached about the middle of the book and I’m once again amazed at what ends up on young readers’ bookshelves; LaFevers’ writing could easily sit on the same shelves that house classic literature. This is a story with multiple levels. At its core, it caters to…

The Hobbit

I’m amazed that many of the events in this book slipped so easily from my memory, as this read-through has scored them there indelibly. The forest, the mountains, the lake – it is the first book I have read for some time that captures such a sense of location, as if I’d been walked through the land by a professional cinematographer. That it achieves this using such uncomplicated, plain words is a…


Reading Constantine’s work is a strange experience. There’s a level of momentum involved. I don’t know whether it’s the flow of her sentences, the way she puts words together, or the fact that I don’t know what’s happening half the time, but it takes me a while to read at a steady pace.