Stay Mediocre, Scrub

One of the main theories for why we like fiction, especially speculative fiction, is we enjoy experiencing lives we don't—or even can't—lead; a theory that resonates with me, and resonates doubly for roleplaying games as they allow some choice of how one experiences that other life. Over the last few days, I've been reminded that … Continue reading Stay Mediocre, Scrub

The Burdens by William Meikle

Meikle blends the metaphor and shifting rules of dream and memory with solid action, creating a short story that is both spiritual quest and dark fantasy adventure. When John heard his wife tell the doctor to turn off his life support, he thought he’d slipped into the darkness forever; instead, he awakens at the top … Continue reading The Burdens by William Meikle

The Glass Gargoyle by Marie Andreas

Combining archaeology and world-threatening mystical artefacts without either copying the well-known character or deliberately avoiding echoes, Andreas creates a fantasy novel that balances intelligent interaction with fast-paced high-stakes plot. All Taryn wants to do is delve into the ruins left when the elves vanished a thousand years ago. Unfortunately, her noble patrons seem to either … Continue reading The Glass Gargoyle by Marie Andreas

Breaker by Amy Campbell

Combining a solid wild west setting and interesting magic with a nuanced portrayal of how lifelong distrust can affect people’s characters, Campbell creates a character-driven fantasy where you can taste the dust. Blaise was born with the power to literally destroy whatever he touches, a power he can’t control, a power that makes him at … Continue reading Breaker by Amy Campbell

Tabitha’s Death by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends the intimacy of despair with the universal resonance of fairy tales, creating a bleak yet engaging young adult fantasy novel. While Elizabeth handles the topic sympathetically rather than seeking to titillate or shock, readers should be aware this book contains overt mentions of self-harm and suicide. The death of her best friend unravels … Continue reading Tabitha’s Death by Jordan Elizabeth

Of Myth and Shadow by Matthew S. Cox

Cox combines accessible characters and sweeping plots to create epic fantasy that has breadth and depth without feeling dense. The Kingdom of Aegaan has been at peace for decades. However, a growing number of towns and villages along one border report attacks by small bands of elves. For Anrael, a half-elf, this is just one … Continue reading Of Myth and Shadow by Matthew S. Cox

Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood

Silverwood mixes events and characters from ancient legends and fairy tales with a modern viewpoint to create romantic fantasy that both is and isn’t set in this world. Ten years ago, Amie Wentworth’s parents died. In the time since, she has managed to put aside her grief and establish herself as a fantasy novelist. So, … Continue reading Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood

Whispers in the Code by Stephanie Flint & Isaac Flint

Inverting the trope of an exceptional teenager defying an evil government, the authors craft a tale of a young man struggling to find his place in a tyrannical but potentially necessary regime. This book is set after the events of Distant Horizon. Risk of spoilers ahead. Nineteen-year-old Tim Zaytsev fled his home to join the … Continue reading Whispers in the Code by Stephanie Flint & Isaac Flint