Category Archives: Fantasy

The Water Dragon’s Bride by Rei Toma

Those who like Rei Toma’s other series, Dawn of the Arcana, will find many of the same themes here. Oppression, adults preying on children, helplessness, moments of kindness, ambivalence, pain, and callous torment/despair. Indeed, the overall theme here in this … Continue reading

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Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

It was around 60% that I just had to stop reading Garden of Thorns. What I had hoped would be a darker, edgier, and perhaps deeper YA fantasy ended up being a wooden, unbelievable sop-fest of a romance disguised as … Continue reading

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

It is rare that an author manages to exceed expectations in a sophomore novel; and yet, with A Crown of Wishes Chokshi has really honed her writing skills. With a focus more on the action and characters and a bit … Continue reading

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Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold

This short novella takes Penric on a manhunt, having been sent on this mission with a lawman chasing after a presumed murderer. The path leads to a remote mountain area and, as usual in these type of stories, things are … Continue reading

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Elves Volume 1 by Jean-Luc Istin, Kyko Duarte

Elves has some incredibly beautiful illustration and color work that somewhat offset a drearily earnest collection of two stories (each focusing on a type of elf: Blue (water) and Sylvan (forest). The Lord of the Rings reference is pronounced: from … Continue reading

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The Castoffs, V.1: Mage Against the Machine by M.K. Reed, Brian Smith, Molly Ostertag

The Castoffs should have been a book I really enjoyed and respected: it has female protagonists fighting a mix of technology vs magic. Unfortunately, what I found was a story with all the cliches about female characters: they are incredibly … Continue reading

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Another Castle Grimoire

I have to admit, I am very ambivalent about Another Castle. On the one hand, I really appreciate that this gives us a strong heroine who does all the saving herself. Similarly, the cast is diverse and there are some … Continue reading

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