Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Serpent’s Shadow

13 Feb

Maya Witherspoon was born and raised in India, the child of a British doctor and an Indian Brahmin mother. Magic runs in her veins. When both her parents die within a short time of each other, Maya flees to London. But an enemy is following her…

“The Serpent’s Shadow” is the first in the Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey.

Mercedes Lackey can always be relied on for a ripping yarn, and this one is no exception. It’s a rich tapestry of vibrant colour set in an alternate Edwardian London where magic exists and is wielded by masters of the four elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.

The Elemental Masters series weaves stories around old fairy tales and fables. “The Serpent’s Shadow” is twisted around the all tale of Snow White. Not the squeaky clean Disney version, but the much older, darker, tale that is soaked in pain and blood.

A fun book that is a delicious read from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Dwarves in Space

26 Feb

First off I will say that I was gifted a copy of the book “Dwarves in Space” by the author, Sabrina Zbasnik, to read and review.

The book was described to me as “Tolkien, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Firefly merged in a transporter accident”.  I honestly couldn’t come up with a better description myself.

This is about the third or fourth book by Sabrina Zbasnik I have read, and I have to say that her writing style improves with each book.

“Dwarves in Space” is brilliant.  The characters are well rounded, interesting, and individualistic enough that it is easy to develop favourites.  I am really hoping for more books using these characters as I really want to see more of the Elven assassin, Talesin.

The book follows the adventures of Captain Variel of the Elation-Cru and her merry band of misfits: elves, a dwarf, an orc, a djinn, and an accidental human passenger.  Not to mention the slightly insane onboard computer.

“Dwarves in Space” does have the feel of being the introductory novel for a series, but that does not detract from the enjoyment of it.  The first sequence sets the tone for the back story, which is not fully explored… I expect that will be in later books.  Then it’s on to a rollercoaster ride of spills, thrills, chills and the occasional outbreak of lunacy.

Read.  Enjoy.

The King’s Blood

21 Apr

Firstly, I will say that I was given a copy of “The King’s Blood” by the author, Sabrina Zbasnik, to read and review.

I really enjoyed “The King’s Blood”. The premise is a fantasy trope of unlikely survivor of a royal massacre attempting to win his throne with the assistance of the usual unlikely allies.

And that is about as usual as the book gets.

“The King’s Blood” happily smashes its way through all the fairytale ideals and fantasy stereotypes like an ogre with a sledgehammer.

Sabrina Zbasnik’s sense of humour is evil in the extreme. Imagine “Lord of the Rings” written by a combination of Douglas Adams and George Carlin and you’ve almost got a handle on “The King’s Blood”.

The main characters of Aldrin and Ciara are well written and well rounded. Even though they are 15 when the book begins, this is not a young adult novel by any stretch of the imagination.

Strong, quirky characterisation sits “The King’s Blood” well above the average range of the current crop of fantasy novels.

Sabrina Zbasnik provides a wonderfully fun read, and in my opinion, her female characters can hold their own with any seen in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Sword and Sorceress” series or Esther Friesner’s “Chicks in Chainmail” series.

I recommend “The King’s Blood” to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy, strong female characters, and has a sense of humour.

The Gospel of Loki

1 Apr

“The Gospel of Loki” by Joanne M. Harris is one of the best books I have read so far this year.

It is basically a retelling of the Norse myths featuring Loki, told from the point of view of Loki himself.

What raises this above the level of the ordinary is the character of Loki.  He is by turns curious, mischievous, dark, dangerous, and at some levels, quite innocent and gullible.

Joanne Harris’ Loki is, in my opinion, one of the best interpretations of a mythological figure I have ever come across.

Anyone who is familiar with Norse mythology knows how the book is going to end from the opening page, however, don’t let that stop you from reading. This retelling is brilliant and inspired.

The entire story is told by Loki, whom Joanne Harris has imbued with a gloriously wicked sense of humour. Joanne Harris has managed to give an age old story a feel of familiarity, and relevance for today.

I heartily recommend “The Gospel of Loki” to anyone who enjoys Norse mythology, fantasy, or just a damn good read.

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