Reviews :: Book Genre :: Fantasy

This archive contains links to all of the Fantasy Book Reviews we've written over the years. There are literally oodles of them. We might like us some fantasy in this corner over there. If you've come here looking for something in that realm, you're in luck! We just happen to have more than a few suggestions lying around the place waiting for your perusal.

If you're looking for something else, say a book in another genre or maybe just any book that we happened to think was awesome-sauce, browse around the site for a bit and check out our reviews.

Just don't forget to let us know what you thought of a book you've read or if there's a suggestion you have for something we'd like to read! We're always looking for the next dragon, or swordfight, or killer magic system to wrastle.

Review

Legacy of the Brightwash

Posted: June 20, 2022 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Krystle Matar, Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ+
Legacy of the Brightwash

So I sat on this one for a long time. Saw a bunch of hype for it a while ago (thinking last year sometime?) and picked up a copy of the ebook for a steal of a deal. Never got around to reading it though, as something else shiny and pretty always caught my eye first. Recently, I noticed that it had been part of last year’s SPFBO, and it actually did quite well: 2nd place overall. Not too shabby. So, I figured I had better get to it and see what all the hubbub was about.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Servants of War

Posted: February 23, 2022 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Larry Correia, Steve Diamond, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Servants of War

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve sat down to write a review for EBR, and to be honest, it’s proving to be every bit as difficult as I thought it would be. No, that’s a lie. It’s worse. I’ve written and re-written this opening paragraph so many times now I’ve lost count, and every time my fingers stop moving, I want to get up and walk away.

Not because I don’t want to write this review. Yeesh, no. I’m so ridiculously excited for Steve and what this book portends for his career as an author. He’s been banging on the wall of publication for a long time now and has found some limited success thus far. To see him succeed like this now, absolutely means the world to me. The very fact that I’m here in my computer chair, banging on this keyboard, once more in search of the right words to use, instead of deciding again to put it all off, should identify to most of our readers just *how* important this is to me. I can’t begin to comprehend exactly how I’ve found my way to this place, where it’s dark and heavy and frustratingly hard to participate in an activity that is so near and dear to my heart. But I’m here and have yet to find my way out.

So, maybe this will be the hit that knocks me loose. Maybe this is the one that rattles me from my paralysis. Regardless, I’m here to get this done. Because Steve’s my friend, and he deserves the best I can give.

And this book is really good too. 🙂
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Rhythm of War

Posted: October 18, 2021 by Vanessa in Books We Like Meta: Brandon Sanderson, Epic Fantasy
Rhythm of War

The fourth book in Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, RHYTHM OF WAR’s installment has some big revelations–less to do with events themselves but more about how we view said events. And in usual Sanderson style he takes his time with those revelations, building on them one piece at a time.
This installment is told mainly from Kaladin, Shallan, Nivani, and the Singer Venli’s point-of-view, with a few others for counterpoint. Except for Kaladin, their contribution to this conflict’s resolution is not necessarily from the front lines. But it is these behind-the-scenes interventions that will have the biggest impact on events.
Navani has spent her life feeling like she hasn’t been able to realize her true calling as a scholar. Instead her responsibilities as wife, mother, and queen has required a more administrative role, which hasn’t allowed her the time to pursue scholarly desires. The result is that she feels like her lack of time as a scholar […]Read the rest of this review »

Review

A Deadly Education

Posted: July 19, 2021 by Vanessa in Books We Love Meta: Naomi Novik, Fantasy, Young Adult
A Deadly Education

Galadriel, or in A DEADLY EDUCATION she’s known as “El”, is a junior at The Scholomance, a school of magic. You can think Hogwarts if you want, but instead of summer holidays or weekend trips for butterbeer, the students must ward their bedroom or else be eaten by magical creatures who consider young students a tasty snack. When students graduate, they face a gauntlet of the worst magical and student-eating baddies the school has to offer, and if they don’t have an alliance or an arsenal of spells ready, they won’t make it. The school matriculation rate is pretty abysmal.

At least until Orion Lake came along, whose affinity for fighting magical baddies has kept the student population, if not at 100%, has at least given the kids inside a fighting chance. Even El has been saved from the occasional baddie by Orion a few times now, even when she didn’t need it, and it’s made her downright cranky. Who does he think he is, anyway? If only he knew about El’s affinity. Think “love me and despair.” Which, actually, isn’t too far off from Orion’s suspicion that she’s siphoning off the life force of her fellow students to power her own magic, so he sticks close to keep an eye on her. What he doesn’t expect (or El, either) is that her annoyed attitude toward him–compared to the fawning of the rest of the student population–is refreshing and honest. Will this lead to friendship? Or maybe something more?
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Goblin Emperor

Posted: June 22, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Katherine Addison, Fantasy
The Goblin Emperor

A while ago we published a new page on the site that listed out a few handfuls of books that we thought were the best examples of fantasy fiction to be had (EBR Page). One of the comments we received on that page suggested that our list was missing this exact book. I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly enthralled by the cover or the title though, and so I passed it by as I did so many others that just didn’t tickle my fancy.

Recently, however, the audiobook was released, and so I figured that I might as well give it a go. After all, I’m always up for another suggestion of a great read.

Turns out, I probably should have just passed it by.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Girl and the Mountain

Posted: June 18, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Meta: Mark Lawrence, Fantasy
The Girl and the Mountain

The other day I was admiring the long stretch of Mark Lawrence books on my bookshelves, and I realized just how many great stories this guy has pumped out for us in the last decade. He’s currently working on closing out his fifth trilogy–that’s pretty impressive, given the timeline–and so much of what he’s brought to the table has just been awesome. If you haven’t checked his books out yet (EBR Archive), you should.

However, I have to admit that I felt somewhat trepidatious (an adjective that Wordpress’s spellchecker apparently doesn’t recognize) in approaching this next book. The first book in the series, while entertaining, had a few aspects to it that made me worry about the evolution of the story to come. Where it might go. How it might tackle the perspectives it was trying to bring together.

And I’m afraid that my concerns ended up being quite justified.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Court of Broken Knives

The Court of Broken Knives

Back during one of my interminable years of college, I was able to take Sanderson’s Creative Writing course. This was before things took off for him with the Wheel of Time. Mostly I just took the class because I’d begun to dabble with writing my own stuff–instead of just reading–and the teacher happened to be a local author of some minimal renown. Deal. One of his lectures that semester was about how to use perspective and point of view in our stories, and we talked about all sorts of things, not the least of which was the several options we had to choose from.

I remember one question in particular from our discussion being about mixing first-person and third-person POVs within a single book. My recollection is that he said something along the lines of “being careful” but that you could do it, if you wanted to. That’s not something you come across very often though: first- and third-person POVs in the same book. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I read a book that did things that way.

Well, not before this one, anyhow.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Demons, Ink

Posted: June 2, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Like Meta: Clayton Snyder, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Demons, Ink

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and someone will listen.

That’s essentially what happened to me for this book. The author threw out a tweet about needing reviews for his books that made me laugh, and so I told him I’d oblige. Figured out later that the book of his that I bought was self-published and recently entered into the SPFBO that Mark Lawrence runs. Funny enough, he got lumped into the same initial group of books as ALONG THE RAZOR’S EDGE (EBR Review). So, while I’d suggest that Mr. Snyder not hold his breath at the possibility of moving on to Round 2… this was still a pretty good book, and something I’m glad I found my way to.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Posted: May 27, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Hate Meta: Marlon James, Fantasy
Black Leopard, Red Wolf

I find it interesting just how wide and varied the opinions given for a single book can be. This concept has been rattling around in my brain ever since I started reading this book. Prior to deciding to pick it up, I’d seen a decent amount of buzz about it making the rounds on social media. Nothing too excessive. Some people bandying it about as an “African Game of Thrones”. But then it showed up on a list of books. Well, not just any old list, but a list from Time Magazine of “The Best 100 Fantasy Books of All Time” put together by a selected panel of “well-esteemed” fantasy authors. I mean yeeeeesh. How could I not take them up on that opportunity? At the time though, I somehow completely missed the fact that the author of this book… was actually on the panel.

[side_eye]

Yeah. Okay, I’d say that’s a pretty good primer for one of the most tedious books I’ve finished reading in a long, long time.
Read the rest of this review »

Review

The Shadow Saint

Posted: May 19, 2021 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Meta: Gareth Hanrahan, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
The Shadow Saint

Potential. Potential. Potential.

This was my mantra after having read the first book in this series, THE GUTTER PRAYER. In what ended up being the most influential ways, that single repeated word kept me from picking up this second book in the series for quite some time. Then I came across a picture of Rob J. Hayes (EBR Archive) on Twitter where he was reading a copy of this book… and for some reason, I couldn’t get the freaking thing out of my head. Something about the way he was looking at its open pages almost haunted my reader brain. Thus, when I came across an announcement that the third in the series had an upcoming release date (yesterday, as it happens), I bit the bullet and bought all three. I just couldn’t help myself.

And, man, am I glad I did.
Read the rest of this review »