Tag: Books: Fantasy


Review: Tiny Deaths

Posted 27 January, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Tiny Deaths
By: Robert Shearman
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

Analyzing the complexity, absurdity, and blessedness of seemingly ordinary people, this debut collection examines the metaphysical assumptions surrounding death. From the end of a relationship to the meaning behind its title, this anthology continually surprises and subverts, utilizing topics such as alien intelligence, reincarnation, imaginary children, and even conversations with Hitler’s childhood pet. Engaging and diverse, this compendium offers a fascinating perspective on mortality.

So fun fact: this was actually the first Robert Shearman book I came across and that I added to my wishlist. It was a wee bit difficult then to get my hands on a copy of it but lo and behold, I finally did indeed get a copy of it so hurrah! 😀 Tiny side note, but how awesome is that book cover? One of my favourites that, coupled with the title of this book, definitely drew my attention in the first place 😛

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Review: The Hammer of Thor

Posted 26 January, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)
By: Rick Riordan
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

And here we are, the second book in the Magnus Chase trilogy. I bought books 1 and 2 roughly around the same time, figured best not wait between books 🙂 Plus, there’s something about the colour of this book that was appealing…as well as the title of the book 😛

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Review: The Sword of Summer

Posted 25 January, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)
By: Rick Riordan
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Okay I’ve been eyeing this series for some time now, ever since it was announced that Rick Riordan’s newest series was going to feature Norse mythology. Because I love Norse mythology and I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series (the Heroes of Olympus series too, but not as much as Percy Jackson; sadly never got around to posting my thoughts here though). So I eventually caved and picked up the first two books in the trilogy last year (and ended up reading them during NaNoWriMo because I needed something light to read) 😛

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Review: Promise of Blood

Posted 20 January, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Promise of Blood (Powder Mage #1)
By: Brian McClellan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…

Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved…

Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

I had heard of the Powder Mage trilogy in passing but it wasn’t until I read the short story The Girl of Hrusch Avenue (review) that I was keen to pick up the first book and read it. It sat on my TBR pile for quite a while but I finally got around to reading it (hurray!).

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Review: Dreams of Distant Shores

Posted 28 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Dreams of Distant Shores
By: Patricia A. McKillip
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.

Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.

Yay, another new book from Patricia A. McKillip! As many of you may know, I’m a big fan of her books, so I was delighted to learn that she was releasing another collection of short stories this 2016 and just couldn’t resist pre-ordering it xD

I have to say, this latest batch of short stories is very much in keeping with her latest trend of storytelling a la Kingfisher (review) whereby most of these tales are set in our world but with magical and fantastical elements or happenings. I admit, I much prefer her earlier stories that are set wholly in a fantastical world of its own rather than in our world, but that’s a personal preference, and it doesn’t stop the stories contained within this volume from being rather interesting. I reckon I may have to re-read a few of them again to truly grasp some of the nuances of the story, but the stories that stuck out for me the most were “The Gorgon in the Cupboard” and “Something Rich and Strange”, probably because they were the longer pieces included in this book and thus had more time to develop (both the stories and the characters).

What is nice about this collection is that a short essay was included at the end of the book in which she talks about her writing process a bit and how she approaches writing fantasy novels. For readers big on fantasy novels or writers of the genre, it’s an essay definitely worth checking out and reflecting on.

If you’re a new reader to Patricia A. McKillip’s books and you want to read her short stories, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book, I’d probably recommend her early collection Harrowing the Dragon (review). Nonetheless it’s another excellent volume from Patricia A. McKillip and a volume I’ll likely revisit as I anticipate her next book!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Learn more about the author on Wikipedia || Purchase a copy from the Book Depository