Reviews :: Book Genre :: Dark Fantasy

Review

Season of Storms

Season of Storms

Some series have a definite end while others linger on, bringing joy to their long-time readers and fans. For me, and those who enjoy the seminal series, THE WITCHER, SEASON OF STORMS is both a return to Andrzej Sapkowski’s original 1980s short stories, and at the same time, it is a eulogy for the series, in a certain sense.

SEASON OF STORMS is set, for hardcore fans, after the events of THE LAST WISH, with Geralt broken up with Yennefer (in a long series of makeups and breakups in their legendary relationship…) but before the contract that made him truly famous throughout the world of THE WITCHER.
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Review

The Grey Bastards

The Grey Bastards

There are times that I grow tired of all the profanity and sexual content in books these days. I might have added violence here as well, but there is a part of me that realizes I’ve become fairly inured to it over the years, and as Dave Matthews has said, “I’m still a boy,” and boys do love to see a fight. 🙂 Still, it makes me happy to find a great book that avoids all the potentially offensive content. Now, up front, you should probably understand that this is definitely NOT one of those books. Yeesh no. Not by a long shot. But it was a story that made me think about the concept, because there was just so dang much of it. Now, I know many of you will likely be crying foul right now amidst references to all my “Books We Loved” reviews by authors like Joe Abercrombie and Sam Sykes. What I need to emphasize though is that in those cases it is the author’s ability to tell great story with great characters that I love, and rest of everything only plays second fiddle in comparison. But sometimes, one or two of those second fiddles can become kinda loud.
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Review

The Immortal Throne

Posted: December 22, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Stella Gemmell, Dark Fantasy
The Immortal Throne

Stella Gemmell returns with the paraquel-sequel(?) to THE CITY with THE IMMORTAL THRONE. (I had to Google “paraquel” to find out that the term I wanted was paraquel.)

I quite loved THE CITY, even though it’s darker than my normal fare, and I admit I waxed poetic about it. Well, I’m here to wax poetic a second time. THE IMMORTAL THRONE is a worthy successor/precursor(?) to THE CITY even if the timeline of the plot is a little weird.
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Review

Sharp Ends

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Joe Abercrombie, Dark Fantasy
Sharp Ends

It is unsurprising and yet somewhat telling that when I received this book in the mail from Amazon, I was completely surprised not only by the fact that it was a small book but also that it was a collection of short stories. When I’d found out about “Abercrombie’s next book” I instantly pre-ordered the thing and eagerly anticipated the date of its arrival. Unphased in the slightest (though slightly disappointed, if I’m being honest, by the fact that it wasn’t a full novel) I dove into it’s pages and lost myself in the world of the First Law.
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Review

The Burning Isle

Posted: August 19, 2016 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Will Panzo, Dark Fantasy
The Burning Isle

Last week I travelled to Savannah on a business trip and while packing my bag the night before I left I made sure to include the latest ARC I’ve received, THE BURNING ISLE (Amazon) by Will Panzo. My flights were supposed to be short jaunts and I didn’t suspect I’d have much free time to spend reading, but if I’ve learned anything in my 24 years of life it’s this: take a book with you wherever you go because you never know when you’ll be stuck wishing you had one. This maxim came in handy when Delta Airline’s servers went down, sending the whole system into chaos and I spent the next 24 hours in airport limbo. The good news is that I had THE BURNING ISLE on hand and an unexpected surplus of free time to read so that’s what I did. I wound up finishing all 417 pages before I boarded the flight to my final destination.

As bored as a day at the airport has the potential to be any halfway decent book would have been better than nothing at all but fortunately THE BURNING ISLE isn’t just halfway decent — it’s quite good. Like, early contender for debut fantasy of the year good and likely to become a new favorite amongst the grimdark fantasy crowd. Expect to see THE BURNING ISLE on the short list for the Gemmell Morningstar Awards next year.
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Review

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

Posted: February 5, 2016 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: Den Patrick, Dark Fantasy
The Boy with the Porcelain Blade

I had THE BOY WITH THE PORCELAIN BLADE (Amazon) in my Amazon.com cart forever. Several months. So of course, I had it ordered and bought it from a local Barnes and Noble. I’m a pretty fast reader, and THE BOY is not a very long book at all. I knocked it out in about an hour and a half, including rereading a few chapters.
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Review

The City

Posted: August 28, 2014 by Alan in Books We Love Meta: David Gemmell, Stella Gemmell, Dark Fantasy
The City

Steve knows that my favorite author is David Gemmell, whom I consider the epitome of true heroic fantasy. So when a copy of THE CITY by Stella Gemmell (Amazon) crossed his desk, he knowingly tossed it my way.

First off, I confess that my perception going into this book was colored by my adoration of David Gemmell and I was excited to get back to that style of story. This is not that style of story. This is a dark fantasy story, more akin to a combination of Joe Abercrombie and Guy Gavriel Kay.
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Review

Blood and Iron

Posted: August 12, 2014 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Jon Sprunk, Dark Fantasy
Blood and Iron

I’ve been thinking about the concept that lies at the crux of this review for quite a while now. I’ve come across it a couple times in the recent past–the most recent while watching Disney’s Frozen–and each time my realization as to why I wasn’t enjoying the story as much as I should have been eluded me for quite a while. Hopefully I’ve learned something about this concept after having seen it in action for the third time.
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Review

Veil of the Deserters

Posted: June 17, 2014 by Nickolas in Books We Love Meta: Jeff Salyards, Dark Fantasy
Veil of the Deserters

VEIL OF THE DESERTERS (Amazon) is the sequel to SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER (EBR Review) by Jeff Salyards, a Sword & Sorcery novel that earned a spot in our Best of 2012 lineup. The first book in Bloodsounder’s Arc unexpectedly blew me away (so much so that I read it and reviewed it twice) and I’ve been waiting for the sequel ever since. In the time that has passed I’ve read a lot of books but SCOURGE has managed to remain vivid in my imagination.
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Review

Prince of Fools

Posted: June 13, 2014 by Steven in Books We Love Meta: Mark Lawrence, Dark Fantasy
Prince of Fools

When I read PRINCE OF THORNS (EBR Review), I was blown away. I know, I know. I’ve said this a time or two. Or twenty. It’s no secret that Mark Lawrence has become one of my favorite authors. His novels are a breath of fresh air, and are an absolute pleasure to read. And so now we come to the start of a new series set in the same world as Lawrence’s other novels. PRINCE OF FOOLS (Amazon).
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