Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett, Fake Out & Trick Play by Eden Finley, Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie, and The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

In the spirit of being kind to myself…. I’ve accepted that trying to do my full, lengthy reviews of every books I’ve read but not reviewed so far is just too much to ask right now. Maybe one of these days I’ll revisit these books and do them justice, but right now I need to get them done and stop worrying about them.  … More Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett, Fake Out & Trick Play by Eden Finley, Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie, and The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Once and Future Witches is possibly the angriest book I have ever read in my life, which is very much something I can relate to. I, too, am angry – I’m angry that womanhood is a threat dangling over my head, I’m angry that it’s the source of trauma for me. I’m angry that I’ve been denied power, agency, and even basic respect. Often, I’m diminished for even implying that I’ve been denied these things. I’m told I’m imagining things, that sexism doesn’t exist even though I see its effects in my day to day life. It’s a man opening a training session with “Good morning, gentlemen!” and the abuse I went through when I was a mere child. Although Harrow’s prose is poetic and gorgeous as always, sheer fury seethes from the pages. This is a book about righteous, feminine anger. It is a book about tearing down the establishment that controls you and burning the fences they’ve built to cage you in. I don’t know if I am a woman, really, but perhaps I have the anger of one. I don’t know if I want my gender to be wrapped up in anger, but I can’t deny that it’s at the core of what womanhood has meant for me. It’s been fear, trauma, and, yes, a great deal of anger. … More The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

The Unspoken Name was fundamentally an incredibly comforting book. Although it was consistently difficult to sit down and focus due to the current situation, when I was able to do so, I really, really enjoyed it. Larkwood hearkens back to the early eras of epic fantasy, bringing the best of what I loved as a child forward into a modern, fresh new book.  … More The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

To Balance the Weight of Khalem by R.B. Lemberg

Every culture has their folklore and in it their culture is reflected. It makes me so unhappy that so many people never get to see themselves in the fiction we read back when we were all in school – especially when I read a story that would have been just perfect. I think of those years of uncertainty and unhappiness. It could have been avoided. In isolation these past four weeks, these feelings are amplified. The missed opportunities for human connection and understanding feel all the more bittersweet. Why couldn’t we have had this story earlier? Why couldn’t we share it amongst ourselves and understand ourselves early? It seems a tragedy. … More To Balance the Weight of Khalem by R.B. Lemberg

The Ultimate Guide to Malazan, Books of the Fallen by Erik Stevenson and Ian Castlemont

Anyway, I am here to talk about the greatest book series ever written, Malazan, Books of the Fallen by Erik Stevenson. Now, I have never read these books, but as a long-time member of the r/fantasy subreddit, I have read many, many threads where these books were talked about and recommended. Therefore, I feel more than qualified to review these novels. You can trust me on this. For those new to the series, I’ve included a quick audio clip to assist you with the correct way to pronounce Malazan – many people struggle a bit with this, as well as with other pronunciations within the books. Please see below.  … More The Ultimate Guide to Malazan, Books of the Fallen by Erik Stevenson and Ian Castlemont

Little Free Library by Naomi Kritzer

In The Little Free Library, Kritzer creates an imaginative fantasy around the idea of Little Free Libraries. If you’re unfamiliar with Little Free Libraries, they are, in essence, a “take one leave one” book box. The goal is to create a sense of community and giving focused on books. I’ve always been enamored of the idea, and it’s especially comforting in dark times like these. When we have to be physically separated, these little points of connection can keep us together. … More Little Free Library by Naomi Kritzer

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

It’s fairly rare that I read any middle grade books, but I saw Niki’s art for The Deep & Dark Blue and immediately fell in love. I knew at once that I had to check this book out. The bold colours and character designs work for me. When I heard it described as “Tamora Pierce, except if Alanna/Alan got to actually be trans,” that was all I needed to know. I headed off and snagged it from Bookshop. And honestly? It completely lived up to all my hopes and dreams. … More The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

Review of Daughter from the Dark by Marina and Sergey Dyanchenko, translated by Julia Hersey, and contemplations on connections to Vita Nostra

Similar to Vita Nostra, Daughter from the Dark defies simple attempts at explanation. While it is straightforward on the surface, it’s clear to a reader that there are many depths and dangers lying beneath that topmost narrative layer. It’s almost absurdist, in some respects. Humorous at times. It’s a power struggle between two opposite characters – one who is driven and focused in the extreme, and one who is cowardly, fearful, and selfish. Both are dysfunctional in their own unique ways, struggling to navigate a world filled with death, pain, and hunger. They hurt one another, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, joined by translator Julia Hersey, take us on a dark dive into the human psyche once again, forcing the brightness of the unknown to cast stark shadows that define the edges of our own reality. … More Review of Daughter from the Dark by Marina and Sergey Dyanchenko, translated by Julia Hersey, and contemplations on connections to Vita Nostra

Virtual r/Fantasy Con, COVID-19 News, and a Few Cozy Book Recommendations!

Hi there, everyone! I’m taking a partial deviation from my normal content to discuss out current major issue: the fact that a pandemic is occurring right outside our very doors. While we’ve all learned about the basic measures we can take as individuals to help prevent the spread, I’m hoping to highlight a few key points that have been less publicized here. Also included are resources to share with your friends and family who may not understand why COVID-19 is such a problem and may need a bit of convincing to begin social distancing.  … More Virtual r/Fantasy Con, COVID-19 News, and a Few Cozy Book Recommendations!

The Four Profound Weaves by R. B. Lemberg

R. B. Lemberg’s first foray into long-form fiction has left me breathless. The Four Profound Weaves is a love ballad sung straight into the hearts of those who most need to hear it. I was instantly captivated by the poetic, lyrical prose and drawn in with dreams of sandbirds. It’s the queer, Middle-Eastern fairy tale we’ve been waiting for. … More The Four Profound Weaves by R. B. Lemberg