fantasy

B
The Luminaries

Susan Dennard brings young readers a smashing good time with The Luminaries, the first in her new fantasy series about things that go bump in the woods and a heroine determined to change her station in life. The book sports characters worth caring for and excellent worldbuilding, but the story is pr ...

C-
The Golden Enclaves

The Golden Enclaves is the third in a duology (yes, you read that right) about a deadly, dangerous version of Hogwarts which exists in a universe where magic is more curse than blessing. Novik dumps readers straight into the action from where the last book left off and the story will not be coher ...

B+
Foul Lady Fortune

Chloe Gong never fails to take her readers on a journey. Foul Lady Fortune opens a fresh series for her, but also serves as a continuation of the adventures of the Shakesperian characters in her These Violent Delights duology. This novel provides Rosalind’s story. I liked it only slightly less tha ...

A-
The Impossible Us

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book so adept at inspiring, sustaining, and rewarding my curiosity as a reader as The Impossible Us. It’s the story of Nicholas – Nick - a Leeds-based (ghost)writer and Rebecca – Bee - a London-based small business owner (of For Frock’s Sake, a ...

C-
Once Upon a Broken Heart

Is there anything more heartbreaking than discovering a book you hoped to love isn’t all that? Stephanie Garber is capable of writing a genuinely satisfying fantasy with sweet romance and a sense of magic. Once Upon a Broken Heart (OUABH for short, which I realize sounds like a shady agency from S ...

B
The Orphan Witch

The Orphan Witch is a lovely but spare novel filled with rich worldbuilding.  The central heroine is worth caring about, and the book has a sweeping sense of romance to it, even if the central love story is very instalove-y. Author Persephone May is a lonely timewalker. Possessed of magical and ...

C
Graceling: The Graphic Novel

I loved Graceling and its sequels, Fire, Bitterblue, and Winterkeep, and I also love graphic novels, so I was so excited to see that Graceling had scored a graphic adaptation. Well, at least I was excited until I read it. A graphic novel should be more than a literal illustration of a text. Not only ...

B
Within These Wicked Walls

Within These Wicked Walls is a fascinating transposition of Jane Eyre to Ethiopia with good world-building and lovely prose.  But a sour male lead took this one down a notch or two for me. Andromeda, called Andi, is a debtera – which, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, is an itinerant ...

B-
The Last Graduate

Sci-fi/fantasy novels are often written to be read in sequential order and The Last Graduate is no exception. Because the books tell one long story, this review contains spoilers for the previous novel – A Deadly Education - pretty much from the first sentence on. El Higgins has successfully re ...

B
The Bronzed Beasts

The Bronzed Beasts is the third and final book in The Gilded Wolves series and it picks up immediately after the events of the last volume. This review will necessarily contain spoilers for those works. Laila is mourning Enrique and Zofia, the friends she had seen murdered by Séverin, when somet ...