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If you would like to read and review books for Fantasy Book Review then we would be delighted to have you join us. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are.
If you would like to read and review books for Fantasy Book Review then we would be delighted to have you join us. It doesn't matter where in the world you
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Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
8.4/10
Review by James Tivendale

Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer--she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial. The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one you love / who will not come again." Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love...and ending it on the edge of her sword.

"I am happy to admit that this is a highly engrossing fantasy world even in this slightly streamlined presentation limited to few, albeit, amazing characters. This is a great entry point for this gentleman's' work and truly I wish to check out the rest of his stories."

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A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #2)
6.5/10
Review by Dark

October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills. Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning — otherwise known as Fremont, CA — to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment—but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can't find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.

"The book was definitely entertaining and the characters, world and setting were as colourful and vibrant as ever. Where Rosemary and Rue broke new ground, A Local Habitation was definitely a stroll through familiar territory, albeit a pleasant stroll, and I hope McGuire will be a bit more ready to leave the path and strike out into the unknown in the third book."

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Wrath by John Gwynne (The Faithful and The Fallen #4)
9.8/10

Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasures are in his possession. And together with Calidus and his ally Queen Rhin, Nathair will do anything to obtain the remaining Treasures. With all seven under his command, he can open a portal to the Otherworld. Then Asroth and his demon-horde will finally break into the Banished Lands and become flesh. Meanwhile Corban has been taken prisoner by the Jotun, warrior giants who ride their enormous bears into battle. His warband scattered, Corban must make new allies if he hopes to survive. But can he bond with competing factions of warlike giants? Somehow he must, if he's to counter the threat Nathair represents. His life hangs in the balance - and with it, the fate of the Banished Lands.

"If you follow the frequency of my reviews then you will be able to analyse that I have devoured the stories from John Gwynne's fantasy epic saga, The Faithful and the Fallen, at an inhuman pace, and the reason for this is that they are spectacularly envisaged works of art."

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#bookreview by @youandibooks

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Most beautiful libraries (and bookstores) in the world #7
The Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore in Zhejiang, China
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Recommended Book of the Month: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
9.4/10
Review by Dark

For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin - barely of age herself - finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.

"One of the major reasons I read speculative fiction; possibly the major reason, is to see beauty in darkness. To see flawed, real and decent human beings up against vast, incomprehensible and alien situations and see them triumph. Doomsday Book is a book with no gigantic battles, no sweeping events, and very little by way of actual villains, a small, intimate story of a tiny medieval village, one traveller a long way from home, and her mentor's efforts to help her. Yet, it is one of the most truly compelling books I've read for a considerable time and one I wouldn't hesitate in recommending."

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New original fiction on @tordotcom
A Human Stain by Kelly Robson
http://www.tor.com/2017/01/04/a-human-stain/ #fiction 
“A Human Stain” by Kelly Robson is a disturbing horror novelette about a British expatriate at loose ends who is hired by her friend to temporarily care for his young, orphaned nephew i…
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Most beautiful libraries in the world #10
Wiblingen Monastery Library in Wiblingen, Germany
#beautiful #library
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Most beautiful libraries in the world #9
Central Library in Vancouver, Canada
#beautiful #library
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Most beautiful libraries in the world #8
The George Peabody Library in Baltimore, USA
#beautiful #library
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Of Sand and Malice by Bradley Beaulieu (Song of the Shattered Sands Novella)
7/10
Review by Michelle Herbert

Ceda is the youngest pit fighter in the history of Sharakhai. She’s made her name in the arena as the fearsome White Wolf. None but her closest friends and allies know her true identity. But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rumayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged aeons ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are desert dwellers, but for centuries Rumayesh has lurked in the dark corners of Sharakhai, combing the populace for human jewels that might interest her. Some she chooses to stand by her side, until she tires of them and discards them. Others she abducts to examine more closely, leaving them ruined, worn-out husks. Ceda flees the ehrekh’s attentions, but that only makes Rumayesh covet her more. Rumayesh grows violent, threatening to unmask Ceda as the White Wolf but the danger grows infinitely worse when she turns her attention to Ceda s friends. As Ceda fights to protect the people dearest to her, Rumayesh comes closer to attaining her prize, and the struggle becomes a battle for Ceda’s very soul.

"I found Bradley Beaulieu writing to be really engaging, and although, as mentioned I did feel burdened with the knowledge of where the story goes after this event in Çeda’s life, I was able to become fully absorbed in the novella."

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Most beautiful libraries in the world #6
The Abbey Library of Saint Gall in Saint Gallen, Switzerland
#beautiful #library
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Fantasy Book Review is a site which simply reviews the best fantasy books it can find, be they from the major publishers or self- or independently-published. Reviews are grouped thanks to a top 100 and sub-genres so finding a great book to read should be easy!
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