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Previous SFF Author: Jim West

SFF Author: Michelle Sagara West

Michelle Sagara West(1963- )
Michelle Sagara West
is a Japanese-Canadian author. She publishes books under the names Michelle West and Michelle Sagara (her maiden name). She lives in Toronto. You can read excepts of her books and keep up with her blog at Michelle Sagara West’s website.



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The Broken Crown: A slow, sprawling fantasy epic

The Broken Crown by Michelle West

I listened to 19 hours (60%) of the new audio version of Michelle West’s The Broken Crown before giving up. The Broken Crown (1997) is the first novel in West’s SUN SWORD series which contains six books that add up to a whopping 4,803 pages. After getting through 458 of these pages and feeling absolutely nothing, I was dreading the remaining 4,345. I decided to quit.

Many readers love long,


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Cast in Shadow: Inadequate world-building and poor writing

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara is a book about outgrowing a victim mentality, finding your strength and embracing your purpose. It would be a nice book to give to a 12- or 13-year-old girl, especially one who may be struggling with identity or self-esteem issues. Two things would stop me from sharing it: inadequate world-building and poor writing.

Cast in Shadow’s Kaylin is a “Grounded Hawk,” a human in a law enforcement / espionage unit controlled by the winged race called the Ariens,


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The Hidden City: Lovingly written, but very depressing

The Hidden City by Michelle Sagara West

A lovingly written yet very depressing novel, The Hidden City is unlike any fantasy novel I have encountered. A tragedy with no pretensions to the contrary, this new novel by acclaimed author Michelle West visits pain upon its protagonists for over 600 pages.

The Hidden City is the beginning of a prequel to the events in West’s earlier books in The Sacred Hunt and The Sun Sword series. It relates the events leading up to the war for House Terafin.


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Silence: Distinguishes itself in a glutted field of YA paranormal fiction

Silence by Michelle Sagara

Michelle Sagara makes her young adult debut with Silence, a spooky and emotionally moving urban fantasy. The heroine, Emma, is mourning her boyfriend Nathan, who died in a car accident. She feels most at peace when she visits the cemetery in the evenings — until one night she has an uncanny encounter on the grounds. And the weirdness doesn’t end there. Now Emma can see and touch the dead, and may be able to affect these spirits in other ways as well…

Emma is a well-rounded character with both good qualities and flaws.


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Magazine Monday: Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2011

The September/October issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is always a feast: 258 pages packed with stories by some of the top talent in the field. It isn’t unusual for this issue each year to contain at least one story that will show up on the award ballots the following year, and that’s true this year as well. My nomination goes to Geoff Ryman’s “What We Found.” Ryman has been writing lately of third-world cultures, in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the culture, surrounded by sights, scents,


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Magazine Monday: Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2012

The novella is the ideal length for a science fiction story. It’s long enough to allow a reader to become immersed in a scene and involved with the characters; and it’s short enough to allow a reader to suspend disbelief as to the more unscientific or strange aspects of a story without questioning them too closely. Kate Wilhelm’s “The Fullness of Time,” which forms the backbone of the July/August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, is a fine illustration of the strengths of the novella form.


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Magazine Monday: Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January/February 2013

The latest issue of F&SF is stuffed with good reading. I can’t pick a favorite, as I often do; many of the stories hit that sweet spot. Robert Reed’s short story, “Among Us,” is a good example: it’s about the Neighbors, creatures who look exactly like humans but are not, though they may not know that themselves. The narrator studies the Neighbors in every way possible — almost. There comes a moment when he is not willing to let research take its course, and whether that proves something to him, to the researchers,


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Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths by Jennifer Roberson

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths is an anthology for everyone who loves re-takes on the Arthurian legends, and especially those readers who loved The Mists of Avalon and are seeking more of the same sort of retellings, laced with gender politics, religious issues, and romance.

As in all anthologies, some of the stories are to my taste, some aren’t, and there is probably something for everyone.


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Next SFF Author: Django Wexler
Previous SFF Author: Jim West

We have reviewed 8179 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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