Review of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. ★★★★ TW: physical abuse In short, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is the origin story of the evil Queen from “Snow White,” set in an East Asian inspired fantasy world. So if a YA fantasy with a complex anti-heroine at it’s center sounds like you’re sort of thing, then you…

Throwback Thursday: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. ★★★ Before anything else, I’ve got to talk about the context in which I read The Golden Compass. I’m course tutoring a first year seminar on gender and leadership in YA fantasy, and I completed all the assigned readings so I’d best be able to help the students with their papers….

Review of Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron. ★★★ Sea of Strangers is the sequel to Erica Cameron’s YA, survival oriented fantasy Island of Exiles. This is a series you definitely need to read in order, so head on over to my review of Island of Exiles if you’re not familiar with it. While  Sea of Strangers had a bit of middle-of-the-trilogy slump, this is…

Review of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. ★★★★ The Language of Thorns is a collection of six, gorgeously illustrated short stories. While all these stories are set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s novels, you absolutely don’t have to have read them to enjoy this collection. In fact, The Language of Thorns might be a good place to start…

Review of Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak. ★★★ Where the Stars Rise is a short story anthology that didn’t quite meet my high expectations. Where the Stars Rise collects twenty-three short stories from authors living in Asia or who are part of the Asian diaspora. I was already familiar…

Review of Extraction by BR Sanders

Extraction by B.R. Sanders.  ★★★ Extraction is a loose sequel to B.R. Sanders earlier fantasy novel, Resistance. When I say “loose,” I mean it. You don’t need to have read Resistance first, since Extraction mostly focuses on new characters. It’s also set in the same world as B.R. Sanders’ most popular work, Ariah. Rethnali is a young (and newly appointed) captain of a…

Review of The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. ★★★★ This debut fantasy novel is truly splendid, embedding the 18th century Middle East with the magic of the djinn. Nahri is a con artist making her living on the streets of Cairo. While she knows some of the things she can do are not ordinary (she can perceive illness…

Review of An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. ★★★1/2 An Unkindness of Magicians might not have been quite as good as I’d hoped, but then again, I had a lot of hopes for this new stand alone fantasy from Kat Howard. In New York City, houses of magicians rise and fall during the Turning, a series of duels that…

Throwback Thursday: The Gate of Gods by Martha Wells

The Gate of Gods by Martha Wells. ★★★★ This book is the third and final novel in Martha Well’s Fall of Ile-Rein trilogy, a fantasy series with portals to multiple worlds, airships, and invaders from another world. It’s also a series that you need to read in order. I’ll potentially be including spoilers for earlier books in…

Review of Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade City by Fonda Lee. ★★★★ I had a lot of fun with Jade City! The story starts off slow, but by the second half, I was having trouble putting it down. Over twenty years ago, the island nation of Kekon won their freedom through the feats of the Green Bone warriors and their loyal Lantern Men. Now, Kekon…

Review of The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang

The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang. ★★★★1/2 TW: suicide ideation I loved this little novella. It’s got awesome things like giant raptors and flying nagas, but the real reason I love this story is the deep emotional heart of the protagonist overcoming her grief and choosing to live after the death of her daughter. I…