Review of A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis

A Ruin of Shadows by L.D. Lewis. ★★★★ I loved this story! A Ruin of Shadows is a very quick novella; I read it in an hour, but wow does it make an impression. General Daynja Édo has spent decades building the Boorhian Empire. With her “army” of seven shadows (assassins), she has spent her life in brutal violence. Now,…

Review of Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley

Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley. ★★★1/2 One of my all-time favorite anti-heroines is Kameron Hurley’s Nyx: a hard-hearted, brutal mercenary and former assassin living in the perpetually war-torn matriarchy of Nasheen. Nyx steals the show in Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy (start with God’s War), and I was thrilled that Hurley was returning to her with this short…

Review of Born to the Blade Season One

Born to the Blade by Michael R. Underwood, Marie Brennan, Malka Older, Cassandra Khaw. ★★★★ Born to the Blade is a political fantasy way up high in the sky, where humanity lives on floating islands and casts magic by inscribing signals with swords. Born to the Blade is also a serial story produced by Serial Box, which specializes…

Review of City of Lies by Sam Hawke

City of Lies by Sam Hawke. ★★★★ City of Lies will likely be one of my top debut novels of 2018. It’s an incredibly well written fantasy novel that has everything I love about fantasy and also feels like a breath of fresh air. The comparisons to Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik are not off base… but I…

Throwback Thursday: Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff

Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff. ★★★1/2 Sing the Four Quarters is one of those books that I enjoyed reading but probably wouldn’t read again. If you’re looking for a warm, character driven fantasy story with a queer lead, you may very well want to read this one. Annice is a bard, able to work magic by…

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo. ★★1/2 I should have quit Lost Gods. I’ll admit that to myself. When you’re not enjoying a book, sometimes you just need to pony up and quit. But since I did end up making it all the way through Lost Gods, at least you’ll get this review. Neythan has been trained since childhood to…

Review of Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Witchmark by C.L. Polk. ★★★★ If you’re a fan of Martha Wells’ work, you may enjoy this debut fantasy novel with a gay lead. Miles Singer is in hiding. He ran away from his family, escaping a dehumanizing future as a walking magical battery. But if witches like him aren’t bonded to the elite weather mages, then…

Review of Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason

Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens by Eleanor Arnason. ★★★1/2 Hwarhath Stories is a truly unique collection. The framing for this short story collection is that humans have made contact with only one other sentient species: the hwarhath. The hwarhath are an alien species with very strict views on gender and sexuality. Their society is divided between men and…

Review of The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst. ★★★1/2 The Queen of Sorrow is the final book in Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy, which you should really read in order. If you’re not familiar with the books, they’re fantasy where humans struggle to survive in a world dominated by cruel and capricious nature spirits. The characters are adults…

Wyrd and Wonder: Review of Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly

Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly. ★★★★ In this stunning sequel, Lara Elena Donnelly returns to the shadowy world of her debut novel Amberlough. Be forewarned, I can’t entirely avoid spoilers for Amberlough. Armistice takes place three years after Amberlough, when the Ospies (a fascist regime) have succeeded in taking over Gedda. Armistice follows three expats from Gedda in a nearby country, Porachis: Aristide, Cordelia,…