They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

Showing the world part through direct character experience and part through dreams and tales within tales, Patrick powerfully evokes the fearful uncertainty that presses against the edges of pre-industrial civilisation. For generations, villagers have hidden from the monsters that come in the night. Each believes the Magpie King roams the night protecting them, but noone … Continue reading They Mostly Come Out at Night by Benedict Patrick

The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins

Robins combines a fleshed-out fantasy society with engaging characters to create a “slumbering evil awakens” novel that embraces the tropes without seeming derivative. Twelve godlike beings drove the forces of darkness back into the depths of the earth, set walls to guard against their return, and founded twelve orders of knights to protect and advise … Continue reading The Broken Heart of Arelium by Alex Robins

Hiraeth by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends steampunk, zombies, youthful inexperience, and colonialism, creating a fantasy tale that provides both action and tricky choices without covering the reader in teen angst or gore. When Felicity Grant’s mostly absent father writes to say he is moving the family to the colonies, tearing her from both a life of comfort and from … Continue reading Hiraeth by Jordan Elizabeth

The Trial of Bells and Blood by Stephanie Flint

Flint blends inhuman perspectives on what is just with solid fantasy action, creating an engaging portrayal of divine interest. The novella features characters from Flint’s previous novellas The Cursed Halls of Kalecen and The Scars of Her Past. As such, possible spoilers ahead. Alia couldn’t simply let extremists devastate the city, but with their plan … Continue reading The Trial of Bells and Blood by Stephanie Flint

Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense, Volume 2 #7, ed. P. Alexander

Alexander shows that stories which a focus on action over introspection needn’t be shallow or simplistic, continuing the legacy of classic science-fiction and fantasy pulps. This magazine contains four short stories, the second part of two serialised works, and an extract from a novel. The Aromique Paradigm (Part 2 of 3) by Michael Tierney: Achilles … Continue reading Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense, Volume 2 #7, ed. P. Alexander

Athalie by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends the deeply personal with the apocalyptic to create a fantasy tale about a chosen one who doesn’t have the usual doubts or allies. Each year, the Sapphire Empire sacrifices a young woman to the gods to bring prosperity. Chosen against expectation a short while before her wedding, Athalie’s doubts grow as her time … Continue reading Athalie by Jordan Elizabeth

Lisha of Kachine by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends the issues of uncertainty and social pressure common to most young people with broader questions of the legitimacy of regime change, creating fantasy that focuses strongly on character without losing the feeling of heroic significance that many fans crave. This is the second book in Elizabeth’s Serpent Riders series. Possible spoilers ahead. Princess … Continue reading Lisha of Kachine by Jordan Elizabeth

Evil’s Whisper by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth mixes enduring fantasy tropes with engaging details, creating a tale that displays the intimacy of personal struggle and the scope of an epic quest. Like all women in Juniper City, Sabiya is a second-class citizen. Hoping for a better life—or at least some excitement to balance the servitude—she slips into the wilderness, only to … Continue reading Evil’s Whisper by Jordan Elizabeth

The Wind Mage and the Wolf by Stephanie Flint

Flint blends aspects of spy thriller with an interesting fantasy society to create a novella that asks questions about what freedom actually is without ceasing to be an engaging tale of magical action. Livena, an illegal mage suffering a truth curse, fled her homeland for the city of Ashan in the company of an ex-mage … Continue reading The Wind Mage and the Wolf by Stephanie Flint

Seventh Wife of the Demon King by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth blends romance with politics to create a fantasy novella that does not equate personal happiness with happily ever after. Generations ago, demons conquered the kingdom. Lord Robin, one of the current demon king’s nobles, has lived a privileged by tedious life until Katherine literally crashes into him. His body reacts as if she is … Continue reading Seventh Wife of the Demon King by Jordan Elizabeth