This is one of those deeply worthy books where you can see exactly what the author was hoping to achieve, and it almost works, but in the end there’s just too much unlikely contrivance and too little characterisation to be effective. Lilly is an Irish girl betrothed to Tadg when the troubles intervene. Both are put under a death sentence, and escape to America to try to make a new life away from the troubles. Of course, things don’t work out smoothly and Lilly’s life becomes a catalogue of difficulties punctuated or inflicted by major events of the twentieth century: the issue of colour, Vietnam, Martin Luther King, the Gulf War and so on. And very depressing it all is. A lot of people die or disappear. The story is told by Lilly herself, in a long-winded rambling style that is wonderfully evocative and poetic, but becomes wearing when stretched […]
Month: April 2015
I first read and reviewed this in 2012, and it was one of the first I’d come across that successfully married epic fantasy with a credible romance, that wasn’t just bolted on as an afterthought, or where the female was more than the Arwen-reward for the Aragorn-hero. I enjoyed this so much that I waited impatiently for book 2 to arrive. And waited… Seemingly, real life got in the way, and the book was unpublished for a while. But the author is now working on the sequel again, so one day I shall find out how it all ends. Even without the rest of the series, it’s a great read. I’ve been enjoying the author’s articles for Fantasy Faction for some time now [Edit: they’re probably still in the archives there], but never thought to check her own website. Lo and behold, here’s the first part of a traditional-style epic […]
I’m out visiting today: guest posting over at Anela’s blog, Amid The Imaginary, on the subject of what makes for a compelling read. It’s an interesting question, which will have a different answer for everyone. You can read my answer here. Have a wander round the blog while you’re there. Anela is a great reviewer, and she focuses solely on self-published fantasy and sci-fi.
This is one of those books that I would never, ever have read if I hadn’t bumped into the author online in an author’s forum and got to know him. YA? Horror? Eek! No way… and blow me down, if it wasn’t a whole heap of fun. Who’d a thunk it? Here’s the premise: Amy is fourteen when her parents uproot her from LA and move to dull, small-town Narrowdale. She thinks her worst problem is going to be boredom. Ha! Not a chance. Because first there are the strange dreams, where she’s being followed and there’s this odd whistling. And then… well, let’s just say that it gets a whole lot weirder after that. Amy herself is a big part of the fun, because she’s your actual spunky heroine. Strange noises at night? Should I sneak out of the house and wander around deserted streets on my own to […]
Hi everyone! I’m looking for people to read and review my latest epic fantasy, ‘The Mages of Bennamore’, due out May 15th. It features a woman with secrets, two very different men and a fragile political alliance that rapidly unravels. And plenty of magic, naturally! One beta reader said: “There was a good balance of action, adventure, drama, and comedy, and of course romance. Fen is a refreshing character. Her sass and her no-nonsense attitude make her appealing and funny.” It’s 443 pages long. If you’re interested, email me with your preferred format: mobi, epub or pdf. Here’s the blurb: A fragile peace. A clash of magic. A woman with secrets. The war between Bennamore and the coastal region was over almost before it began. But the uniquely powerful mage who forged the alliance is dead, and the coastal folk are restless. Now the victors are bringing their spellcraft to […]
This is the second book in the ‘Daughter of the Wildings’ series, and I loved the first, ‘Beneath The Canyons’, when I read it last year. What do you know, this one is even better. Part of the fun is the genre mash-up – if you’ve ever wondered what a western would look like if you threw wizards and magic into the mix, wonder no longer. This has all the traditional elements of a western – desert badlands, saloons with swinging doors, gun-slinging bad guys, dust storms, horses and big hats. But it also has two or three different kinds of magic, some strange blue-skinned creatures who are probably not human and a whole heap of conflict between the different magic users. The world-building is a strength of the series, and although each story seems to be no more than a simple adventure, each book pulls back the curtain a […]