Review: Temeraire By Naomi Novik


THE NAPOLEONIC WARS WITH 100% MORE DRAGONS

A STOIC NAVAL OFFICER EMBARKS UPON A SWASHBUCKLING JOURNEY OF DUTY, HONOUR, LOYALTY, AND ABOVE ALL ELSE FRIENDSHIP

 

Book CoverTemeraire
(Temeraire, Book 1)

Naomi Novik

Genre: Alternate History, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
Date: 16th June 2011 (First Published 2006)

ISBN-10: 0007451423
ISBN-13: 978-0007451425

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Imagine, if you will, that you are a writer with an interest in a particular period of European history; the Napoleonic Wars, for example. You know that you would like to write a story about, and set during this period. But you have no interest in writing historical fiction. Instead you want to create an alternate history take of this time but want to avoid producing a conventional “what if?” story which simply changes the outcome of one or more specific events. You decide that you will write something much more to your liking by incorporating elements from a genre you do have an interest in writing; High Fantasy. What are the chances that your idea to make this alternate history tale a little more fantastical, amounts to: just add dragons? Not very likely. Yet this is essentially what author, Naomi Novik, has done with her début novel, Temeraire. (Also known as His Majesty’s Dragon.)

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Review: Tigana By Guy Gavriel Kay


BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

A LONG GESTATING REBELLION CROSSES MORAL LINES TO LIBERATE A LAND, AND PRESERVE THE HISTORY AND IDENTITY OF ITS PEOPLE

 

Book CoverTigana

Guy Gavriel Kay
 

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 816 Pages
Date: 3rd February 2011

ISBN-10: 0007342047
ISBN-13: 978-0007342044

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

It would be easy for me to tell you that Guy Gavriel Kay’s most famous work, Tigana, is about a disparate group of people coming together to bring an end to twenty years of occupation of their homeland. But that would be a very shallow description of this tale. Scratch beneath the surface, you will find that Tigana is fundamentally a story about identity and history. An examination of the extremes that victors in war can go to in their efforts to re-write or completely destroy the identity and history of a conquered people. A book that will undoubtedly cause you to ask yourself to what lengths can you justifiably go to in order to preserve your identity and history from aggressors who seek to eliminate it.

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Review: The Good, The Bad And The Undead By Kim Harrison


IN THE HOLLOWS VAMPIRES ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING…

KIM HARRISON UPS THE ANTE FOR THE BOUNTY HUNTING WITCH, RACHEL MORGAN, AS SHE GOES UNDERCOVER AND IN OVER HER HEAD

 

Book CoverThe Good, The Bad And The Undead
(The Hollows, Book 2)

Kim Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 453 Pages
Date: 5th January 2012 (First Published 2005)

ISBN-10: 0007459769
ISBN-13: 978-0007459766

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

With Dead Witch Walking, the first book of The Hollows series, Kim Harrison established a very solid foundation upon which to build the rest of her urban fantasy series. With this second instalment, Harrison, raises the stakes for her plucky but incompetent, bounty hunting heroine, Rachel Morgan; revealing more about the history and character of both Rachel and the people in her life (friend and foe alike). All the while further expanding and expounding on the alternate history, supernatural world that is the playground of these characters.

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Review: The Lions Of Al-Rassan By Guy Gavriel Kay


A TALE OF POLITICAL INTRIGUE AND RELIGIOUS STRIFE

IN A LAND RIVEN BY BITTER INTERNAL DIVISIONS, THE END OF AN ERA AS CLOSE AT HAND FOR A ONCE GREAT EMPIRE IN TERMINAL DECLINE

 

Book CoverThe Lions Of Al-Rassan

Guy Gavriel Kay
 

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 656 Pages
Date: 15th March 2012 (First Published 1995)

ISBN-10: 0007342063
ISBN-13: 978-0007342068

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Originally published in 1995, The Lions Of Al-Rassan, by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay, is a tale of political intrigue, alliances of convenience, shifting allegiances, and unlikely friendships in a land, fractured by bitter religious divisions, on the brink of a seismic historical change. Though set in a fictional world, the novel is essentially a fantasy re-telling of real world historical events.

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Review: Dead Witch Walking By Kim Harrison


ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY JUST GIVE UP THE DAY JOB!!!

A HOPELESSLY INCOMPETENT BOUNTY HUNTING WITCH DISCOVERS THE PITFALLS OF RECKLESSLY QUITTING HER DAY JOB, THE HARD WAY

 

Book CoverDead Witch Walking
(The Hollows, Book 1)

Kim Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
Date: 5th January 2012 (First Published 2004)

ISBN-10: 0007459750
ISBN-13: 978-0007459759

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

This book was given to me as a gift in the spring of 2005, introducing me to the Urban Fantasy genre for the first time, and making me a staunch admirer and fan of author, Kim Harrison, in the process. I’ve read it several times since then, and it’s still as good now as it was then. Dead Witch Walking, is the first book of the acclaimed Hollows series, throwing its readers into the city of Cincinnati in an alternate history Earth where humans coexist uneasily with the world’s supernatural population of vampires, witches, werewolves and more; collectively known as Inderlanders.

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Review: Talon Of The Silver Hawk By Raymond E. Feist


A DISTANT VOICE ECHOES IN HIS MIND: RISE UP AND BE A TALON FOR YOUR PEOPLE…

This start of a new trilogy is a promising, but ponderous revenge tale, with plenty of room for improvement in the sequels.

 

Book CoverTalon Of The Silver Hawk
(Conclave Of Shadows Trilogy, Book 1)

Raymond E. Feist

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
Date: 4th August 2003 (First Published 2002)

ISBN-10: 0007161859
ISBN-13: 978-0007161850

 
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It is a daunting proposition coming to a book set in a fictional universe that has been established in several previous novels that you’ve not yet read. That was the situation I found myself in when I began reading Talon Of The Silver Hawk, book one of the Conclave Of Shadows trilogy. Although Raymond E. Feist is an author I have been aware of for many years, and even have a number of his novels on my bookshelf, I had never actually read any of his work, until now.

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The Spotlight: The Lions Of Al-Rassan By Guy Gavriel Kay


AN ACCLAIMED HISTORICAL FANTASY

Published almost twenty years ago, it’s long past time for me to check this book out; maybe for you, too.

 

Book CoverThe Lions Of Al-Rassan by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay is a book that has been recommended to me on a number of occasions, by several different people, so it has been on my to read list for a while now. I recently got hold of a copy, though it’s likely to be a few weeks before I actually get around to reading it.

For the benefit of those readers who, like me, have not read this book yet, here is a brief summary of the appeal of the book, and hopefully why it may also be a title that will be of interest to you.

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Review: Quicksilver Twilight By Stan Nicholls


OH WELL! TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T SO BAD.

Regrettably, the Quicksilver Trilogy falls at the final hurdle, with this disappointingly anti-climactic third book.

 

Book CoverQuicksilver Twilight
(Quicksilver Trilogy, Book 3)

Stan Nicholls

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 448 Pages
Date: 4th June 2007 (First Published 2006)

ISBN-10: 0007141548
ISBN-13: 978-0007141548

 
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Quicksilver Twilight is the concluding part of Stan Nicholls’ Quicksilver Trilogy, and I must confess that I approached it with a certain amount of trepidation. For one thing, there are numerous examples of trilogies which had very good first and second books, only to be tarnished by a poor third. But what really concerned me was that, to my mind at least, the way book two ended severely limited what could unfold in this one. I wish that I could say that my concerns were unwarranted, but sadly Quicksilver Twilight is not the ending that this trilogy so richly deserved.

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Review: Quicksilver Zenith By Stan Nicholls


IMBUED WITH THE MORE MAGIC AND EVEN MORE MYSTERY.

Stan Nicholls keeps the weak second instalment syndrome at bay with this engaging follow up to Quicksilver Rising.

 

Book CoverQuicksilver Zenith
(Quicksilver Trilogy, Book 2)

Stan Nicholls

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
Date: 7th March 2005 (First Published 2004)

ISBN-10: 0007141521
ISBN-13: 978-0007141524

 
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Quicksilver Zenith is the second part of Stan Nicholls’ underrated Quicksilver Trilogy, and readers who enjoyed the first book should be pleased to discover that book two delivers more of the same, in terms of great characterisation and action-packed narrative. It even sheds just a little more light on some of the mysteries first touched upon in Quicksilver Rising.

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Review: Quicksilver Rising By Stan Nicholls


A TRULY UNEXPECTED AND PLEASANT SURPRISE AWAITS.

Discover the hidden gem that is, Quicksilver Rising, the underrated first book of an unappreciated trilogy.

 

Book CoverQuicksilver Rising
(Quicksilver Trilogy, Book 1)

Stan Nicholls

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback, 410 Pages
Date: 5th April 2004 (First Published 2003)

ISBN-10: 0007141505
ISBN-13: 978-0007141500

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

After reading a book as good as Quicksilver Rising, one cannot help but wonder why it has failed to garner much in terms of popularity and acclaim over the years. It could be argued that High Fantasy is such a saturated genre that it is difficult for any novel to stand out. A better explanation in this instance, is the fact that the plot of Quicksilver Rising cannot be sufficiently summed up by a brief tag-line or back cover blurb.

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