Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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Abhorsen: Explosive ending

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Abhorsen is the final book of Garth Nix‘s Old Kingdom trilogy, which could basically translate into the second half of Lirael (the first installment Sabriel stands on its own, but its follow-up Lirael needs Abhorsen in order for the story to be completed). In the final chapter of Lirael, our four travelers Lirael, Sameth, Mogget and the Disreputable Dog have found sanctuary (albeit temporarily) at the Abhorsen’s House where further revelations concerning Lirael and Sam’s connection are discovered.


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The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Highly recommended

THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT by Stephen R. Donaldson

Stephen R. Donaldson’s Land (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever) series is one of the earliest reactions against the carbon-copy Tolkien-like works that proliferated soon after the success of The Lord of the Rings and stands in start contrast to another book published the same year — Sword of Shannara —which simply rewrites Tolkien rather than responds to it.

The first series is known as the Chronicles of Thomas the Unbeliever (more on that later),


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Inkspell: Funke’s best work to date

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

I have to admit that I’ve found Cornelia Funke’s works for the most part to be wonderful concepts whose execution never quite matched their potential. Dragonrider I thought was her most successful work so far, mostly because it didn’t reach quite so high. With Inkspell, however, Funke has finally meshed concept and execution together perfectly, creating her best piece of work so far.

Inkspell picks up about a year after the events of Inkheart,


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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: Classic

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

How does one review this book? Everyone knows about it, everyone has an opinion on it and not everybody likes it. Any discussion on the matter seems somewhat redundant. Deemed controversial because of its religious connotations, adored by millions of readers young and old, the subject of hundreds of different interpretations and now the focus of a blockbuster movie (with sequels still to come), it doesn’t seem the “Lion, Witch and Wardrobe” debate will end any time soon.

The four Pevensie siblings are evacuated to the country estate of Professor Kirke during World War II: responsible Peter,


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A Cavern of Black Ice: Original, long and… bitterly cold

A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones

While I await my copy of the third book of Sword of Shadows, A Sword from Red Ice, I’m re-reading the first two books of what may be my all time favorite epic series. For A Cavern of Black Ice, which I first read back in 2000, it’s my third reading and it’s still just as much fun and exciting as the first time.

I’ve read all of J.V.


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The King’s Own: Better than Covenants

The King’s Own by Lorna Freeman

In the first book of Borderlands (Covenant), Lorna Freeman made some serious mistakes with the main character, Rabbit, by trying to describe him as one thing and have him behave in a manner that didn’t make sense.
In the second book, The King’s Own, there is much better consistency with Rabbit — he acts like he should. I especially loved the way the Freeman played off of his youth and apparent inexperience when it came to dealing with the opposite sex.


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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: We love it

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

I’m giving Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell a 5 for the simply reason that I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through, but I’d warn all readers to be more wary than usual of reviews (including this one). More than many books, this one I think will be a matter of true personal taste and experience will be your only truly accurate guide.

To begin with, Strange is often referred to as a “fantasy”


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Treasure of Green Knowe: Superior to its predecessor

Treasure of Green Knowe by Lucy Boston

Tolly has returned to Green Knowe and his Grandmother full of excitement at being there once more, but an unhappy surprise lies in wait for him: the portrait of the children Toby, Alexander and Linnet is missing from the wall. It would seem a small loss but for the fact that its absence means that the children’s spirits are also not present in the house.

Grandmother Oldknow explains the painting’s loss due to poor finances, though soon sparks hope in Tolly for its return due to the tale of the missing treasure of Green Knowe (which he vows to find),


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The Emperor Mage: Couldn’t put it down

The Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

The Emperor Mage is the third book in Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals Quartet, and by this stage if you haven’t read the previous installments (Wild Magic and Wolf Speaker) I heartily recommend that you don’t start here — you’ll be completely baffled. A peace delegation including Alanna the Lioness, the Gareths and other nobles from Tortall have been sent to the hot, swampy Charthak Empire in order to negotiate peace with the war-mongering Emperor Ozorne.


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Lirael: A rich, mysterious fantasy world

Lirael by Garth Nix

Lirael is the sequel to Garth Nix‘s best selling book Sabriel, and the second of his Old Kingdom trilogy. Set fourteen years after the events of Sabriel, this book surrounds the actions of two main characters. Prince Sameth is the capable, but rather inexperienced son of Touchstone and Sabriel, overshadowed by his elder sister and disheartened by the fact that he is the next Abhorsen — the necromancer chosen to put to rest undead legions with the help of seven magical bells.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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