All posts tagged: Fantasy

Book Review: The Privilege of the Sword

DETAILS Title: THE PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD Author: Ellen Kushner Publisher: Bantam Spectra ISBN: 9780553382683 Genre: Fantasy BACKCOVER BLURB Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city’s ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword. WHAT I THOUGHT The Privilege of the Sword has earned high praise from the likes of Joan D. Vinge (whose early work I really enjoyed), Suzy McKee Charnas, Patricia McKillip and a …

SF TBR Pile

Today sees the start of both NaNoWriMo and SciFiMonth in which I have set myself the task of not only writing 50k words between November 1 – 30, but also reading as many speculative fiction titles as I can while writing a number of SF-related posts. Part of SciFiMonth are a set of prompts to aid in writing speculative-related posts, and today’s is what will be in our SF TBR pile. I narrowed mine down to five books, given everything else I’ll be doing and even then, I’m not sure I’ll finish reading all five novels. First up from the reading pile is Beth Cato’s fantasy novel, ROAR OF SKY, which I’m also reviewing for the Science Fiction Foundation (as you can see, I have committed myself to an insane month!) DETAILS Title: ROAR OF SKY Author: Beth Cato Publisher: Harper Voyager ISBN: 9780062692252 Genre: Fantasy Release date: 23 October, 2018 Thanks to her geomantic magic, Ingrid has successfully eluded Ambassador Blum, the power-hungry kitsune who seeks to achieve world domination for the United Pacific. But using her …

November is SF Month

Having signed up to participate in SciFi Month (the perfect month to do a speculative fiction readathon!) I then had to think about what books I was going to read—and yes, of course, review. One book was going to be obvious. I’m reading and reviewing Beth Cato’s ROAR OF SKY for the Science Fiction Foundation website, and their magazine, Foundation. The other obvious choices of books are in my over-flowing TBR pile—I need to separate them from one pile, and make a new one exclusively for this November Challenge. My reading list now looks like this: ROAR OF SKY — Beth Cato (Fantasy) EMBERS OF WAR — Gareth L. Powell (Space Opera) LEGION OF PROPHECY — Mark A. Latham (Fantasy) MARCH OF WAR — Bennett R. Cole (Science Fiction) ORPHAN BRIGADE — Henry V. O’Neil (Military Science Fiction) If I manage to read all five books in one month, it will be something of an achievement. Not that I’ve not read more than 5 books in a month, but that lately, I just choose not …

Five Authors I Have Met

Either through work, or via conventions I’ve attended over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of authors. It’s one thing to love an author’s work, and to rave on about this or that book. But getting to meet them, in person, and even have that extended moment with them long enough to say more than: ‘I love your work,’ is a huge privilege and yes, priceless. MICHAEL MOORCOCK — Fantasy Way back when I lived and worked in London, I met one of the biggest fantasy authors of his generation, Michael Moorcock, whose work (at the time) I was a huge fan of. If you haven’t read any of his work, you should try: Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories The Jewel in the Skull (Hawkmoon series) The Cornelius Quartet (Jerry Cornelius Series) All books I grew up reading back in the 70s. Moorcock once wrote of himself, “I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas.” …

The City of Brass

I did it … I went and bought myself a copy of The City Of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty. Why? Because so many of you have already read it, and reviewed it and … love it! After reading one to many duds this last couple of months that resulted in my either putting aside and or outright DNFing a number of novels, I wanted something completely different. A change from reading crime fiction, and or suspense novels. Even though I’ve read some excellent books this last month, FORCES OF NATURE by Jane Harper and THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley (review coming on Monday), I decided I wanted to read a sprawling fantasy, something filled with magic for October and Halloween. Not that I’m a big fan of Halloween, but that aside. Chakraborty has created a mammoth 500+ pages of a world filled with magic, and Djinns … a world akin to Arabian Nights, Excuse me while I take flight on my Persian carpet!