Review: Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft (The Books of Babel #2)


I grabbed a paperback of this book as soon as I heard that the series got picked up by a publisher, just for the sake of having a matching pair. Suffice to say, it’s been sitting on my shelf unread for a while, for no real reason. Well, two days ago I finally picked it up. And read it. Partially in a tree.

“Books are traps.“ But how are they so, and whom do they trap: the author or the reader? Perhaps they are just the boasts of vainglorious minds, and what we hold up as literature is in fact a cult of unlikable characters. I hate to think they are like a fishing weir to the swimming mind, a trap easily swum into but rarely escaped: a neurosis, a dogma, a dream.

No, no, I must no be so cynical!  If books are traps, then let them be like terrariums: sealed up and still living miniatures of the world.

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Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive #1)


I went into this book quite wary because of the combination of the incredible amount of hype and my disappointment with most of the other Sanderson books I read. I’m far from new to the genre. In fact, I did not plan to start the series until at least book 4 came out at all. But my friends insisted and I did not regret it.

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.

It is, at its core, fairly classic epic fantasy. The protagonists are mostly noble, the antagonists are mostly bad, and the world needs saving. It’s also pretty damn good at what it does.

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Review: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot and An Ill-Fated Sky by Darrell Drake (A Star-Reckoner’s Legacy #1 and #2)



Well, this was a mixed bag.

Positives first: I loved the setting. Sasanian Iran is something I haven’t seen used before and it seems well-researched – and interesting enough that I want to do some research of my own. Really, if you want me to get interested in a place or topic, just include it in a fantasy book. As far as the characters go, Waray the half-div stole the show completely. She’s blood-thirsty and a bit crazy and a prankster and šo-fun to read about. The highlight of the book for sure. Oh, and I almost forgot: the creative insults and the stupid puns. A nice addition if you’re into that.

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Review: Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Image result for heart of stone book


He wondered whether this Lundish war was any different from the three dozen or so he’d seen before, whether these Truehard veins ran hotter and truer; whether he might finally find a cause he could rally behind, to blunt his chore of wreaking carnage. To do some good.

Technically speaking, this is an excellent book. The characters are likable and complex, the relationships between the main cast are great (and often adorable). The writing style is polished and quotable, with none of the clunkiness you sometimes see in indie books. The exploration of golem psychology, learning to care about centuries of not caring, also interesting.

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Review: Devices and Desires by K.J. Parker (Engineer Trilogy #1)


All in all, it’s a book that focuses on its themes and prose so much that it loses focus of almost anything else. Perhaps it comes from his background in short stories (I am very familiar with them, but I never read anything he wrote as Holt, so I can’t say exactly),

Conceptually and stylistically, it’s easily one of the best fantasy books I have ever read, but it’s not without some serious flaws. While I enjoyed it very much, this makes it very hard to rate and recommend.

He had to have it; and if it meant the end of the world, that wasn’t his problem.

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