The Ghosts of Sherwood was a really surprising read for me, but delightfully so. Published by Tor.com, I expected a fantasy-esque story with magic or something otherwise fantastical. However, The Ghosts of Sherwood is a quiet story, albeit a quiet story with its moments of action. It’s quiet in its setting, in its character building, and in its plot. There is no magic – at least no magic more than some characters being able to shoot a bow and arrow really, really well – but I didn’t miss it here.
This wonderful little novella, clocking in at only 112 pages, feels like childhood all grown up. It’s about Robin Hood and his family; it’s about duty and love and the surprising places that strength can hide. But mostly, it’s about family and found family, and the lengths we go to for those we love.
First of all, I must say, I unabashedly love Robert Jackson Bennett’s writing. I have only read two other books by him (Vigilance and Foundryside), but those books were both five stars for me and they solidly placed him on my favorite authors list. Though Vigilance was definitely my favorite of the two previous books of his that I read, I also really, really loved Foundryside – the first book in the Founders trilogy. Foundryside reminded me how much I actually do like fantasy novels – a feat that no other adult fantasy novel I’ve attempted to read has been able to do since Lord of the Rings.
Every so often I go through Goodreads and make lists of books I want to read or authors I want to try. For a really long time, Mark Lawrence has been at the very top of that list. I have heard such good things about his Book of the Ancestor trilogy from pretty much everyone in the SFF community, and I even picked up physical copies of both Red Sister and Grey Sister a while back (but of course never got around to reading them).
When I heard Lawrence had a new series coming out, I absolutely knew it was the right time to finally pick up a book of his. His new series, The Book of the Ice, starts with the recently released The Girl and the Stars, and is connected to his Book of the Ancestor trilogy. However, you don’t have to have read or be be familiar with his previous series to enjoy this new book. Honestly, after picking this one up, I don’t know why I ever waited so long to start one of Lawrence’s books! The Girl and the Stars is totally living up to the hype, and it’s been a super fun fantasy read.
I’m back again, guys! It’s been a crazy few weeks in my neck of the woods, and productivity has been difficult for me. But I’m finally back at this with a review of my newest and current read, The Heron Kings by Eric Lewis. This is actually Day 1 of the Blog Tour for The Heron Kings, and I am so thrilled to be a part of the journey! The Heron Kings is a fantasy story set in a world ravaged by the violence of war, and it’s told from an unlikely protagonist – a former nun who was previously devoted to caring for the battle-wounded soldiers from both sides of the war. If you like war-time fiction and epic fantasies, then I think you’ll love this book.
Dust is the first installment in a new YA post-apocalyptic fairy-tale series by J.R. Devoe. I really love genre-bending stories, and this is one of the better YA versions that I’ve read. It’s fantasy and dystopian and science fiction all wrapped up with a lovely fairy-tale bow.
To say I was excited for A Gift for a Ghost would be an understatement. This graphic novel is pitched as a story with time travel, ghosts, black holes, and an all-girl punk band, and I am completely here for all those things. I was so excited to read it that it actually made my Spring 2020 top-ten TBR, and after finishing the book I can say that I was 100000% not disappointed. Not only is the artwork absolutely stunning, but A Gift for a Ghost has such a lovely story told with equal parts strength and whimsy.
This has been a tough week for everyone. So much of the world is in quarantine, self-isolation, or participating in intense social distancing. Like a lot of people, I’m choosing to isolate myself while COVID-19 is so active. Lucky for us, there are some awesome authors in the science fiction/fantasy book community who are making some of their works free for all of us to enjoy. This list includes these free works from a lot of prolific writers, and also some other free SFF reads to enjoy right now.
Camp Spirit is a YA graphic novel set in the 1990s in Ontario, where high-schooler Elodie has been appointed as a camp counselor for the summer. Elodie is very 90s grunge, is not at all interested in camping or the outdoors, and is the opposite of excited for her summer job. What starts as a frothy, pulpy sort of story takes a sharp turn about mid-way through, and turns this summer romance into a a graphic novel full of intrigue, mystical nightmares, demonic presences, and urban legends. Even through this shift, though, the book never loses its center- the growing friendship (and maybe more) between Elodie and camp counselor extraordinaire, Catherine.
I usually gravitate towards Tor.com titles because, let’s be honest, it’s where you can find some of the best science fiction out there today. While I enjoy fantasy, my genre sweet spot is almost always “speculative” and light science fiction. Well, The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, changed my mind about fantasy novellas for good. This little novella packs such a punch, and is simultaneously heart-wrenching and heart-warming; it’s feminist as heck, and doesn’t hold back or apologize for it’s presence.
My first foray with Robert Jackson Bennett came with my reading of Vigilance, a recent speculative fiction novella of his, which might well pan out to be one of my favorite books of the year. I knew as soon as I finished it that I wanted to read more by him as soon as possible.
While I had heard of Foundryside, I was put off by some misconceptions I had heard from other people’s reviews of the book. Foundryside is usually described by other reviewers as an epic fantasy about a thieving crew. And it is that. And it also isn’t.Foundryside is fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk all wrapped up with a lovely dystopian bow. It’s epic fantasy in that the world is completely new and not at all our world, but that’s about it. There is no “magic” or “magic system” per se; rather, the magic comes from technology and science.