Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Luck of the Irish to you all on this fine St. Patrick's Day.  As a special treat, I have many reviews that have stacked up since the holidays.  

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

23844254This is an alternative fiction that has a purpose for being alternative.  I can back that kind of fiction.  Irene works for the Library collecting specific writings from all the worlds and timelines.  They are a coalition that exists outside of time and space yet inside all time and space.

The story was a lot of fun and had a decent pace.  Some parts dragged a little but I have a feeling that will get ironed out as the series progresses.  The characters didn't aggravate me, which is a huge plus from me since most do. 

I think I enjoyed most the smattering of all my favorite genres into one excellent fiction stew.  There is fantasy with dragons and sprites.  There is a light touch of steampunk with automatons of crocodile proportion.  There is sci-fi with travel to alternate universes.

As much as I enjoyed this novel, it is not even remotely close to the list of $11.99 (for a DIGITAL copy no less.  Please refer back to every rant I have ever made about publishers overcharging for digital books.), let's just ignore the ridiculous $36.99 for hardcover.  Wait for it to hit Amazon's 99 cent sale or see if your local library has it.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

28862387I have really been intrigued by fairy tales from the Russian/Slavic area lately.  It all started with Mistress of Solstice in 2013.  Every time I get a recommendation from Netgalley that even hints at Russian/Slavic folk stories, I rush to request it.

Every one that I have read, I have loved.  This one is no exception.  This is a story of East meets West and they, of course, collide.  Vasilisa is the daughter of a prominent lord in the north of Russia.  She is a very special girl with some very special friends.

An upstart bishop from the city gets sent out to the tundra to curtail the wildness.  His Orthodox doctrine is not welcome by all who live in the cold grip of the Frost King.

This is such a great story, and you really should go read it.

The Devil You Know by Erin M. Evans

28503767The absolutely stunning conclusion to the "Brimstone Angels" series.  I would have never guessed that I would get so drawn into the world of D&D before Netgalley offered me "The Sundering" series.

I am truly grateful that Netgalley was able to turn me towards an author I would have completely missed out on.

Farideh and Havilar are great characters with some very real problems.  I'm enthralled by their story.  The final novel in the six book series is an absolute roller coaster of deception and intrigue and what actually makes someone evil.  Is it wise to take down the king of the Hells, the God of Chaos?

This whole series has been about legends and gods.  Is there really one belief that is better than all the rest?  Is one faction entirely good or evil? It is a fantasy that entertains and makes you think.

The Speaker by Andi O'Connor

PictureYou may recall that I absolutely adored Silevethiel.  It was an epic fantasy revival for me.  I was pumped last fall when The Speaker was announced, so I took a chance to reread Silevethiel and catch up with the story.

Now that I had the world back in mind I was ready to take off with The Speaker.  By the end of the novel, I had some very mixed feelings.

Things I enjoyed:  the plot, interesting magic concept, world development, new characters.

This novel did justice to the epic fantasy genre again.  There was nothing lacking in the development of the lands and how the magic and characters interact within Vaelinel.  I really enjoyed the new characters added to the cast and can't wait to see how the fight for Vaelinel turns out.

Things I didn't enjoy:  character development.

I was disappointed in the treatment of the characters.  I just really felt that there was an overall agenda to the writing style that just seemed to rub me the wrong way.  

Most people will probably not fit into this category, so I would still recommend this novel to all lovers of epic fantasy.  There is a freshness to Vaelinel that keeps drawing me in, and that is difficult in a literary world where there are hundreds of fantasy authors to choose from.