Posts that have been tagged with: "Alternate Historical Fantasy"

The Liberation

Posted: January 28, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Alternate Historical Fantasy, Ian Tregillis

tl_ebrEndings are always tough when it comes to book series. For readers, for authors, and quite usually for the characters as well. They’re the showdown, the climax of everything written thus far, the point where we as readers have to say goodbye. For many, the ending is the part of the book, or series, that will determine whether you like or hate it, despite everything that has led you as a reader to the point. I’m more in the camp of “joy in the journey” than “how-does-it-end”. So, a great read that has a decent ending gets higher marks than a ho-hum read with a brilliant ending. It’s really nice though when I don’t have to make that distinction; when I get to read something that was a great series, had a great last book, and a great ending.
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revisionary2Isaac Vainio, once-librarian and now major player on the world stage, helped reveal magic to the world along with certain Porters and allies. The Porters are an organization of magic-users founded by none other than Johannes Gutenburg himself. Libriomancy, discovered by Gutenburg, is magic using books and “libriomancers” are able to pull things out of books, things that real authors have imagined and in which a certain amount of belief exists from readers, which fuels the magic. These items–weapons and magic cloaks and healing elixirs–and even characters, have a profound effect on the real world, with mixed results and sometimes dire consequences. Jim C. Hines has taken this idea and developed it in a most satisfying way. He often references favorite sci-fi and fantasy classics, even some obscure geek favorites, and also simply makes books up when he needs them. These are some of the best, especially when they parody bad speculative fiction.Read the rest of this review »

The Shards of Heaven

shardsCleopatra and Antony rule Egypt via Alexandria. Octavian rules Rome. THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN  follows the real people and events that lead to the Roman conquest of Alexandria and the end of the Ptolemic line.  But according to Michael Livingston, there’s more to the story.

And it involves magic.

Enter Juba, the orphaned prince of Numidia and adopted son of Julius Ceasar. Desperate to find vengeance for the death of his father, he seeks magical objects so he can have enough power to bring down Rome. At the start of SHARDS he finds what he believes to be the trident of Poseidon and discovers it’s as powerful as he hoped. But Juba is a mere teenager to Octavian’s experienced ambition and soon discovers he’s in over his head.

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The Rising

Posted: December 24, 2015 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Alternate Historical Fantasy, Ian Tregillis

rising2At the time I had no idea how it might be possible, but when I got the email saying that this book was headed my way I was totally taken by surprise. As soon as I got it, I barreled through its pages, loving every minute and was completely impressed when I got to the end. Then, as I sat down to write this review, I casually glanced at the publication date of the first book in this series, THE MECHANICAL, and realized why the follow-up hadn’t even been on my radar: the first book was published in March of this year. Whoa. Then I got to be super impressed because not only had this book really entertained me, but it had been released a paltry nine months after its predecessor.
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Rise of the Automated Aristocrats

autoartisto2It was with a high level of excitement and healthy dose of trepidation that I dove into this book. Another Burton and Swinburne novel for me! But alas, it was the last of its kind. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read that this would be the end of this amazing series. I’ve had so much fun reading this one, with each story building upon the previous one, and taking me further into the brilliantly detailed chaos of Hodder’s genius. The back of the book promised an explosive conclusion to the Spring-Heeled Jack series, and although I only wanted more! more! more! I still found myself curious how the tale I began a scant five years ago would resolve itself in the end.
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The Mechanical

mechanicalIan Tregillis is a name that has been on the watch-list of EBR for quite some time now. The Milkweed Triptych was an amazing and impressive ride, especially for having been his first published works. Pretty much solidified his place in our hearts. And so when I saw the arc for this book in my most recent box of goodness, I pretty much wanted to sit down and ignore everyone and everything else for the next several days. Didn’t quite work out that way, but I did end up putting in a couple extra hours each day toward reading it because, honestly, I just couldn’t put the dang thing down. Seriously good stuff.
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The Doctor and the Dinosaurs

drdinoMike Resnick has had a pretty good deal going here with these Weird West tales. Short books released once a year and bought like clockwork by Pyr. From what I understand, he’s moved on from this series to another Science Fiction-based one now, but still has the team from Pyr standing at the front of the queue for the next story he pumps out. In a way, I’m glad to see Resnick move on from this series; it hasn’t been my favorite, to say the least. And yet there’s a part of me that wishes that since this was possibly the last tale torn from the might-have-been lifebook of the man Doc Holliday, that it had gone out with more of a bang.

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The Return of the Discontinued Man

Posted: December 30, 2014 by Writer Dan in Books We Love Tags: Alternate Historical Fantasy, Mark Hodder

Burton and Swinburne, huzzah! Can I tell you how excited I was to read this novel? Ridiculously. These novels have been part of my staple, my core, my life-blood’s source for brilliant storytelling. Each time I return to them, they never fail to impress and entertain me. Hilarity, imagination, and excitement all wrapped up with a neat little bow.Read the rest of this review »

The Mongoliad

Posted: January 14, 2014 by Writer Dan in Books that are Mediocre Tags: Alternate Historical Fantasy

Some reviews are difficult to write. Others fly off of my fingertips near light-speed. Some are simple. Others complex. But every once in a while, I come across one that seems to just be begging for discussion of a larger issue. This book sparked one of those latter types in me. The issue: writing character versus story.Read the rest of this review »

Crucible of Gold

Posted: December 18, 2013 by Vanessa in Books We Like Tags: Alternate Historical Fantasy, Naomi Novik

After the disappointment of the so-so TONGUES OF SERPENTS (EBR review), it was a relief to see Naomi Novik back in form with CRUCIBLE OF GOLD. I’m beginning to see the longer-range purpose of Novik’s series, and with several exciting scenes and more serious characterization, I have hope for the future.Read the rest of this review »