To start (and to state my conclusion), this is a fantastic book with brilliant worldbuilding that confounds traditional characterizations of nature, government, allegiances and magic. Nature is out to get you, vindictive and vengeful. The system uses gifted individuals like animals, their enslavement preordained and accepted by all as a part of the natural order of things. Selfishness and brutality are enshrined in a hybrid of law and religion known as stonelore, which also provides guidelines for… Continue reading The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
A strong handling of what could have been an amalgam of tropes and clichés. Cogman takes hold of concepts such as alternate realities, the fae, adventurous librarians and a detective story that thinks it’s a treasure hunt, and weaves them into an enjoyable adventure. We are introduced us to Irene, a character we will without doubt be seeing more of, who inhabits a world that I hope can continue to offer us the same level of depth and originality it has demonstrated so far.
A grand novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, brought to my attention through its nomination for a World Fantasy Award, City of Stairs is many things. It is a spy thriller. It is the concluding tome in an Epic never written. It is a fantasy novel that plays with the genre the way a cat plays with the loose thread on your favourite sweater. The Epic landscaping involves two cities, Bulikov and Ghaladesh. The former used to be… Continue reading City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett
The 2015 World Fantasy Award nominees have been announced, the better to weigh down your required reading list. They are reproduced here for your reading and viewing pleasure.
A dangerous and malevolent wood casts a deep shadow over the towns that border it, and by extension over the kingdom those towns belong to. Agniezska will soon be chosen, against all odds, by the Dragon, a reclusive wizard who protects the villages from the wood, at the cost of one girl every ten years. Her unexpected gift with magic will make her more of an actor in her kingdom’s fortunes than she could have imagined, or wanted.