Review of The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. ★★★★1/2 The Raven Tower is bound to be one of the most phenomenal fantasy novels of 2019. If you’re not familiar with Ann Leckie’s work, her science fiction series (starting with Ancillary Justice) swept the award season when it debuted. WIth The Raven Tower, she turns her hand to fantasy, and the result…

Review of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao. ★★★1/2 Unfortunately, I just didn’t like this as much as the first book, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. What I really loved about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was the anti-heroic female lead, Xifeng. I love me a good anti-heroine, and Xifeng more than scratched that itch. But Kingdom of the…

Review of In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. ★★★1/2 In an Absent Dream is the fourth novella in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, portal fantasies about children who find doorways to other worlds. While it is the fourth in the series, In an Absent Dream works as a stand-alone and has a mostly-new cast. If you want, you can…

Review of Swordheart by T. Kingfisher

Swordheart by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★ I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much while reading a book. Swordheart is a romantic fantasy novel that’s brimming with humor. Everything Ursula Vernon writes is delightful, and I will continue to eagerly rush to read anything by her. However, my enjoyment of Swordheart is tampered by displeasure at some issues with…

Review of Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria. ★★★★ I knew anything by Destiny Soria would be amazing, and Beneath the Citadel did not disappoint. It’s kind of like a queer, young adult version of Lies of Locke Lamora. The city of Eldra is ruled by prophecies, and the high council’s control over the prophecies is what lets them maintain power….

Review of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.  ★★★★ I’ll read pretty much anything Brandon Sanderson writes, so it comes as no surprise that I rushed to pick up Skyward, his new young adult science fiction novel. Spensa has always longed to be a pilot like her father… even when he flees in the middle of battle and is shot down…

Review of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. ★★★1/2 TW: forced marriage, threat of sexual assault I have a complicated relationship with Empire of Sand. On one hand, it’s a very good book, maybe not quite on the level with N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, but it gives me similar vibes. On the other hand, Empire of Sand uses tropes that just…

Review of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault, violence Young adult fantasy meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this explosive new novel. Not only that, but did I mention that it’s queer? Lei is a human girl, the lowest caste in a kingdom ruled by demons. Years ago, her mother was stolen by the royal guards,…

Review of The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★ It is absolutely crucial that you read Clockwork Boys before you read The Wonder Engine. T. Kingfisher (AKA Ursula Vernon) wrote what is essentially one novel chopped into two. If you come straight into The Wonder Engine, you’ll have no idea what’s going on. While I don’t think this review will have too many…

Review of Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★ My brief, elevator pitch description of Clockwork Boys is “Dungeons and Dragons meets Suicide Squad, but written by the illustrious and talented Ursula Vernon.” Seriously, I had no idea what Clockwork Boys was about when I picked it up… all I knew was that it was by Ursula Vernon, and she’s literally never written a…