seashells?

The Tamuli

David Eddings

The Tamuli is the second of the Sparhawk trilogies. This time he solves a world-ending problem at the other end of the world. Like The Elenium books I’ve read these books a bunch of times before. Frankly it was a bit of a struggle this time. I think probably because I tried to read it straight after the first trilogy. It took a bit of a palate cleanser in the form of romance to get me through this thing.

Rating: C+

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twisted?

Traveller in Black

John Brunner

This collection of novellas is a fantasy work by an author better known for his science fiction.
In each story a powerful and anomalous being (the eponymous traveller in black) makes a journey around the cities in his domain and attempts to tip the universe ever further away from chaos and towards order.
These are densely written tales that seem incredibly apt given out current insane political climate.
Not the easiest read but it is short and repays the bit of effort required handsomely. I loved that it’ll give you a different take on the phrase “As you wish”.

Rating: B+

questing?

The Ruby Knight

David Eddings

Cover of The Ruby Knight by David EddingsI’ve reviewed this before and I have no new thoughts. It’s just mindless comfort reading for me. I only started reading this because I picked up the first book of the series (The Diamond Throne) for cheap on audiobook and once started it feels wrong to leave it unfinished.

Rating: C+

errand?

The Belgariad

David Eddings

pawn of prophecyThis five volume series is an expertly and cynically constructed slice of epic fantasy.
Nearly every clichéd trope of the genre is trotted at one point or another but the sheer pace of storytelling stops it from becoming boring.
I’ve read this series many times but even after now I find myself enjoying some of the characters and rooting for the (inevitable) happy ending.
It’s outdated, generic as all hell but it’s one of my comfort reads.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-read fantasy fix then this is an acceptable option.

Rating: C+

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emily?

How To Be Dead

Dave Turner

Dave is an ordinary guy working in a typically grinding office job.
After a near death experience he meets Death and discovers he’s now able to help ghosts pass on to the other side.
This introductory novella is an entirely competent comic fantasy. There’s a series of novellas following on from this one about the further adventures of Dave but it’s hard to tell from this one how good they’d be.
For a free ebook it’s certainly worth trying.

Rating: B-

family?

The Brightest Fell

Seanan McGuire

Family affairs come to a head with Toby’s mother Amandine binding her to find and return her missing half-sister.
The search takes her through the realms of Faerie and causes serious collateral damage along the way.
My favourite Urban Fantasy series continues in stellar fashion. I’d recommend that you read this series but maybe start with an earlier book.

Rating: A-

politics?

Once Broken Faith

Seanan McGuire

Following the events of the previous book the royalty of North American Faerie gather to discuss the future of the Elf Shot cure.
Politics soon turns dirty and Toby has to identify the culprit before everything goes to hell.
It’s just another highly enjoyable book in the series – maybe’s about time you gave it a shot?

Rating: A-

eyes?

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs

Jake is a misfit teen in Florida. He grew up loving his Grandfather Abe’s fantastic tales from his childhood, stories filled with invisible boys, girls that can float or generate fire. When he finds his grandfather murdered, seemingly by a monster, it causes him so much trauma that he ends up going to a psychologist. In order to deal with his grandad’s death he’s advised to travel the Welsh island where Abe grew up to try and come to terms with things. Once there he discovers that the fantastic tales are all true and that he’s found himself not in an impossible new world of peculiar children and time travel but he is also in terrible danger from the monsters that killed Abe.
I’ve been meaning to read this for ages and when I caught the film on TV recently all it’s annoying flaws drove me to pick up the book to see if made more sense than the film. It certainly explains certain things better and there’s a lot of things that the film makers changed for no real reason that fit better tonally. I’m still not sure it actually completely makes sense. I liked it enough that I’ve picked up the second book in the series and I’ll give that go too.

Rating: B+

cigars?

The Magicians of Caprona

Diana Wynne Jones

Caprona is a small Italian city state famous for the warring magical Montana and Petrocchi families. The story follows the youngest boys of the Montana household, Paolo and Tonino, as the feud between the families escalate. When the families fail to come together to find the spell that will save Caprona from an enemy Enchanter and the forces of other city states the younger family members band together to save the day.
I’ve read this book many times before and reviewed it here once. One of the first few Chrestomanci novels this is a highly entertaining piece of YA fantasy. It doesn’t quite hit the highs of Witch Week or Charmed Life but that may just be down to personal preference. I highly recommend Diana Wynne Jones to anyone and this is as good a starting point as any.

Rating: A-