Tag Archives: epic fantasy

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Book Review: A Touch of Light, by Thiago Abdalla

Earlier this year, Thiago Abdalla‘s A Touch of Light was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop over there for author information and a fun interview with him. I ended up with a copy of the book, as part of the promotional information, and decided to give it a read.

A Touch of Light Cover

How far would you go to resurrect someone you love? Would you change who you are to show you belong?

The world of Avarin is tearing itself apart. The Domain worships life, its rulers lead eternal lives and death is a shame that must not be mourned. For the clans to the south, however, death is all that keeps the Earth alive.

But old enemies are rising.

A madness spreads throughout the Domain, and Lynn, a rogue griffin rider in hiding, might be the only one who knows how to fight it, while Adrian, a Domain prince seeking to bring his dead loved ones to worthiness, leads the Domain armies against the madmen.

The clans suffer a madness of their own. As the land itself begins to wither away, Nasha, a cursed hunter and lifelong outcast, desperately fights for belonging in the Ronar, while her clan seeks to heal the land.

Old beliefs will be challenged as the people of Avarin fight to save it… before death comes for them all.

my reviewI think how much a reader likes or dislikes this book will come down to how comfortable they are with delayed gratification. Because it has three interesting main characters, a big complex world, subtle magics, political intrigues, and mystery. Plus, it lets the reader figure a lot out on their own, while providing enough clues to let them do so. But it’s also slow (despite quick changes of fate at times), doesn’t answer many of the questions it presents, feels a little bogged down in battle scenes at times, as well as vague on some details, and ends on a cliffhanger. (The author says he plans at least four books for the series, but book two isn’t out yet.)

All in all, I’d be willing to read the next one—Abdalla’s writing is lovely. But I didn’t absolutely love this either. I felt like it took me a really long time to get through it, as if it was, in fact, longer than it truly is. a touch of light photo

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clocktaur war series

Book Review: Clocktaur War Series, by T. Kingfisher

I borrowed Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine through Hoopla.
clocktaur war covers (clockwork boys & the wonder engine)

A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It’s not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher’s new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager’s city.

If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way! At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission. my review

Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine are really two halves of a single whole, neither stands alone. So, I’m going to review them as one.

I was supposed to read something else this week, but I have fallen into a T. Kingfisher hole and I can’t seem to get out. I’ve read four of their books in as many days. I am almost literally inhaling them because I’m having so much fun her Kingfisher’s writing style. I admit that I didn’t love this duology quite as much as Paladin’s Grace or Swordheart, but not quite as much is still quite a lot.

There is just a underlying kindness to Kingfisher’s characters, even the ostensibly criminally heartless ones like we have here. I laugh a lot and appreciate that the characters are diverse and allowed to be any number of unexpected things—older, unattractive, have allergies, non dominant demographics in a variety of ways, etc.

I did think the Clocktaur War series was a little slow at times, it takes quite a long time to get going in the beginning, for example. And I thought they defeated their un-defeatable foe a little too easily and then just breezed on to other problems. But all in all, I want more and more and more.

clocktaur wars photo

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Book Review: Swordheart, by T. Kingfisher

I borrowed an e-copy of T. Kingfisher‘s Swordheart through Hoopla.
swordheart t kingfisher

Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle’s estate… and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws… and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all. my review

This is the second T. Kingfisher book in a row that I’ve read and loved. I imagine I’ll be steamrolling my way through the whole rest of their back-list in short order. I absolutely loved the characters here; their personality and who Kingfisher opted to let them be—older than you’d expect, without perfect bodies, and not adhering to standard expectations of beauty, gender, or behavior.

I had so much fun and laughed often, all while appreciating the intricacies of the story being told. It’s isn’t a sweeping plot or full of action and adventure. It’s actually pretty small when you really stop and think of it. But it was enough to both contain and highlight the story and the characters.

While I realize, of course, that Halla weaponized the appearance of stupidity and was in no way actually stupid. She was somewhat flighty and I thought that did play into stereotypes of women a little. But I also enjoyed watching Sarkis come to terms with and then to admire her for that same quality. All in all, I’m hoping that open ending means there will be a second book. I can’t wait to meet the other two swords (fingers crossed).

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Review – Swordheart

Book Review – Swordheart by T. Kingfisher

REVIEW: Swordheart by T. Kingfisher