Tag: Books: Fantasy


Review: The Black Tides of Heaven

Posted 8 April, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate #1)
By: J.Y. Yang
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Tor.com reading club

The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of standalone introductions to JY Yang’s Tensorate Series. For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune

Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.

A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?

Hmm, I never posted a review of this book…Anyway I’ve long been seeing this book around the fantasy lists and whatnot so it was really cool that it was featured for the Tor.com reading club last year so I was able to read it sooner than anticipated.

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Review: The Fifth Season

Posted 11 March, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)
By: N.K. Jemisin
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

I finally read this book!!! The Fifth Season has long been on my TBR queue–up there with her Inheritance trilogy–but it was always pushed off by other books on the queue. I finally picked up the other two books in the trilogy last year which I figured was a signal that it’s time to read it lol. And here we finally are…May contain some mild spoilers ahead!

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Review: The Queen of Sorrow

Posted 22 February, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Queen of Sorrow (The Queens of Renthia #3)
By: Sarah Beth Durst
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the stunning The Reluctant Queen comes to a gripping conclusion in the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy . . .

Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home-a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.

But then Naelin’s children are kidnapped by spirits.

Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed-and she is ready to start a war with the north to secure their return.

But defeated Queen Merecot of Semo has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or by plunging the world into chaos.

Alrighty, here we are at the concluding volume of the Queens of Renthia trilogy. Obviously there were some loose threads that needed addressing after the end of the second book, like everyone wasn’t exactly in the clear just yet, so I was obviously curious how everything was going to wrap up.

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Review: Time’s Convert

Posted 6 February, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Time’s Convert
By: Deborah Harkness
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy. So you can imagine my delight with the announcement that there was going to be another book: Time’s Convert. I usually wait until the paperback is out but I could not in this case and my friend gifted it for Christmas last year.

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Review: The Fall of Gondolin

Posted 21 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fall of Gondolin
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.

It’s always exciting to learn a new Tolkien book is to be released, even if it is just early drafts to a well-known tale (and even with the debate of whether these drafts should be published since these were clearly not the final polished edition that the author preferred). The Tale of Gondolin is one of the more memorable stories in the Silmarillion so I did come to it (even if it took a while) with great curiosity.

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