Return of the Thief: Political intrigue and unforgettable characters

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Megan Whalen Turner’s QUEEN’S THIEF young adult fantasy series, a masterwork of twisting plots, deceptive plans, and occasional divine interventions from the first book to the last, winds to a close with Return of the Thief (2020), twenty-four years after the publication of The Thief. Return of the Thief introduces us to a new narrator, Pheris, oldest grandson and nominally the heir of Baron Erondites, Eugenides’s powerful enemy from The King of Attolia. (Alert readers, however, will recognize Pheris from a few brief scenes in Read More

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

Reposting to include Rebecca's review.

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García, and Linda Antonsson

George R.R. Martin’s The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones is a companion to his A SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels. It provides modest spoilers for the series and is probably best if not read until readers have finished the third novel, A Storm of Swords, or finished watching the third season in the television series. (And the same is true of this review.)

Given that the title of this book — The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the G... Read More

The Dragon of Avalon: A return visit to the island of Avalon

The Dragon of Avalon by T.A. Barron

Recent republications of The Dragon of Avalon number it as the sixth instalment in T.A. Barron's MERLIN series. To be more accurate, it was published *after* the five-part LOST YEARS OF MERLIN and THE GREAT TREE OF AVALON trilogy, but is placed between them in the chronology of events. Confusing, right?

Although reading this in the newly designated order certainly doesn't give away any spoilers, there's a definite sense that Barron expects you to have some awareness of the Great Tree of Avalon (it's kind of like reading The Magician's Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the NARNIA books -- tho... Read More

Casket of Souls: The book is too long for the plot

Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling

Lynn Flewelling is the author of the NIGHTRUNNER series. The two main characters are Seregil, an aurenfaie, a race with powerful magical abilities; and Alec, an orphan from the north who, it turns out, has aurenfaie blood. Seregil and Alec live in Rhiminee, the capital city of Skala. Skala is always ruled by a queen, and for centuries they have been at war, off and on, with the Plenimarans. Casket of Souls is the sixth book in the series, which started with Luck in the Shadows. A separate trilogy set in a much earlier time period, the TAMIR TRIAD, explains some of the geo-politics and magic of this land.

I really liked Luck in the Shadows. I thought the characters were fresh, and I loved the society, religion and magics that Flewelling had created. Subsequent books cont... Read More