‘Marvellous Light’ A Magical Mystery

Regency era gets so much love, pun intended, when it comes to romance and reimagined history. The Victorians get all the credit for every beautiful—and weirdly oppressive—thing from the turn of the century. But in A Marvellous Light, author Freya Marske pours glamor, manners, magic, and more than a little longing into the Edwardian era.Continue reading “‘Marvellous Light’ A Magical Mystery”

‘Tiger’ Brings High Stakes to Growing Up

The “coming of age” story usually refers to a teen growing up, but real life doesn’t have just one of those moments. And in my experience in young adulthood, finding out who I was happened much farther into my twenties than I’d like to admit—if it truly happened at all. In that way, the mainContinue reading “‘Tiger’ Brings High Stakes to Growing Up”

‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes

There’s been no shortage of fairy tale retellings or mythology reinterpreted lately. Alix E. Harrow‘s A Spindle Splintered is proof positive that another addition to a well-populated genre can still be done uniquely and oh-so-effectively. Zinnia Gray is doomed to die. She’s one of the last surviving members of an unfortunate club of kids whoContinue reading “‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes”

‘Elder Race’ is the Best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Little-known fact: Arthur C. Clarke came up with his third law after reading Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Elder Race. Okay, maybe Clarke predated Elder Race by a few decades, but the idea that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic has never been truer than it is in this slim little story that is at once aContinue reading “‘Elder Race’ is the Best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy”

‘Light’ has a ‘Touch’ of Magic

Picking up an epic fantasy can be daunting, because they tend to be, well, epic. Lots of people, places and things. A lot of new names to try to pronounce and magic systems to learn. How an epic fantasy chooses to introduce all of these new things can make the difference between something being dazzlingContinue reading “‘Light’ has a ‘Touch’ of Magic”

‘Djinn’ a Magical Steampunk Tale

A while ago, I wrote about my love for P. Djeli Clark’s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and how much I was looking forward to A Master of Djinn, the novel set in the same steampunk Egypt as the haunted tram car. There’s always danger in liking something, in looking forward to something. ThingsContinue reading “‘Djinn’ a Magical Steampunk Tale”

Let ‘Riverland’ Take You Away

One thing every lonely kid has is some imaginary escape to another, more magical, usually safer world. (Maybe not-lonely kids have this, too, but I can’t speak to that.) Mine was a copse of trees choking the side of a road far away enough from anyone who cared that they were allowed to grow thickContinue reading “Let ‘Riverland’ Take You Away”

A Quest Fulfilled, with a Disappointing End

For the last several years, I have been on a Quest. Something like twenty summers ago, my precocious, scrawny little-kid self would go to the bookmobile library at every opportunity and come home with a stack of books practically as tall as I was (which wasn’t that tall then, but still). The picture books, earlyContinue reading “A Quest Fulfilled, with a Disappointing End”

Lots of Magic in ‘Sea’ But It’s Hard to Reach

About forty percent or so through The Starless Sea is a sort of parenthetical tale about a sculptor who tells stories through her work. She first works with clouds and with snow—things that disappear almost immediately. As people demand more permanence in her work, she transitions to different mediums to tell her stories to theContinue reading “Lots of Magic in ‘Sea’ But It’s Hard to Reach”

‘Spin’ Flies but Doesn’t Make the Cut

YA Fantasy has given us more teenage female warrior characters since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I am not complaining. Hunger Games deserves (much of) its hype. I tore through the Throne of Glass series like I was in the middle of a desert and it was a cool glass of water. But it’s alsoContinue reading “‘Spin’ Flies but Doesn’t Make the Cut”