Tag Archives: world-building

Book Review: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris

I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson before, and I’m generally leery of thick fantasy novels that have the look of “Book One of a Punishingly Long Series.” Three things convinced me to give this book a try. First is the fact that, although it was his first published novel back in 2005, Sanderson hasn’t written any sequels to it… yet. I’m told he plans to, but so far all he has rolled out is ... Read More »

Book Review: The Thief Queen’s Daughter by Elizabeth Haydon

ThiefQueen

In The Floating Island, we first met Ven Polypheme, an unusual specimen of the ancient Nain race. Unlike the typical Nain, whose idea of a good time is to dig ore out of a mountain’s roots, Ven’s family lives in a human city and specializes in building ships. Unlike other members of his large, practical family, Ven has the itchy feet of an explorer. And unlike practically anyone else in known history, Ven has survived ... Read More »

Book Review: Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Wildwood

When I saw this book at the public library, I thought it had a striking design. This, including loads of quirky but beautiful illustrations, is the work of Carson Ellis, who has also decorated books by Lemony Snicket and Trenton Lee Stewart. As for the author, I thought his name sounded familiar. Only later, after I had brought the book home, did I connect it with the alternative-rock band The Decembrists, of which Colin Meloy ... Read More »

Book Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger

Timeless

The fifth and final book of “The Parasol Protectorate” confronts Lady Alexia Maccon, née Tarabotti, and her team of supernatural sleuths, with a mystery that reaches back into ancient Egypt. Intertwined with this mystery are a present-day murder case, a dark secret that threatens to break up the pack of werewolves led by Alexia’s Alpha husband, and the lingering puzzle of the father she never knew. And so a racy, funny series of romantic whodunits, ... Read More »

Book Review: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull

Beyonders2

After reading the first book in the Beyonders trilogy, I decided to drop everything and go to the library to fetch Book 2. This turned into a whirlwind tour of five (5) library branches, after which I came home with two armloads of books to read. Happily, I was able to get my hands on this, the middle book of the trilogy, and read it with an exquisitely tuned balance between relish and haste. And ... Read More »

Review: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

Beyonders1

Thirteen-year-old Jason is an ordinary, baseball-playing, zoo-volunteering kid from Colorado, until the day he hears music coming out of a hippopotamus. Leaning closer, he falls into the hippo’s mouth, slides down a long chute, and comes out at the bottom of a hollow tree in a completely different world. It’s not how most visitors from our reality find their way to the magical land of Lyrian. Later, Jason meets a girl his age named Rachel, ... Read More »

Book Review: Darksolstice by Sam Llewellyn

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The second book of Lyonesse concludes this most unusual variant of the Arthurian legend, based on the folklore of the author’s native Isles of Scilly, off the southwest tip of Britain. It follows up on The Well Between the Worlds, which seemed such an engaging and original work of fantasy that I had read half of it before I realized that the resemblance between its characters’ names and figures associated with King Arthur was more ... Read More »

Book Review: Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell

RiseHero

Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell Recommended Ages: 13+ The legend says that the great hero Sorahb will return when his country has need of him. If ever Farsala needed a hero, it is now. The Hrum Empire has destroyed its army and taken possession of most of its major cities. They still have most of a year to meet their deadline, when they must either subdue all resistance or abandon their plan to ... Read More »

Review: Railsea by China Miéville

Railsea

Railsea by China Miéville Recommended Ages: 12+ I’m just going to come out and say this. It’s Moby-Dick, only without the boring bits. Well, no. What I just described would be an 80-page novelette. This is a full-size book, filled wall-to-wall with thrilling action, squirm-worthy tension, weird discoveries, and warm, appealing characters. Also, instead of water, the ocean in this version of Moby-Dick is a seemingly endless landmass filled with merging, splitting, tangling, and criss-crossing ... Read More »

Book Review: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

froioftheexiles

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta Recommended Ages: 14+ An “Adult Content Advisory” remains in effect for the second book of the Lumatere Chronicles, in which the fate of kingdoms depend on the actions of highly sexed Young Adults. Even more so than in Finnikin of the Rock, in which the figurative and literal rape of a kingdom is involved in the tale of a nation divided 50/50 between captives and refugees. But now ... Read More »