Wind and Words by Stephanie Flint

Flint blends an interesting magic system with a very personal challenge to create a quest that has a feel of real consequence without the scale (or the weight) of epic fantasy. This book is the second in the Stone and String series. Possible spoilers ahead. Edyli rescued her from the land of the dead. As … Continue reading Wind and Words by Stephanie Flint

Why West?

The cover of the Wild Frontiers anthology, showing a woman in a sheriff's hat riding a horse through a cloud of dust

Wild Frontiers is out in the world. With all of the niggles that seem to surge forth just prior to release out of the way, I can focus on the fun bit of my job again: great stories. Over the next several days, I'll be sharing a little more about the tales, not all weird … Continue reading Why West?

Strange Secrets by Mike Russell

Russell adds a dash of the strange to reality, creating worlds like our own that are fantastical yet plausible. This collection contains seven stories of everyday life with a weird or surreal edge. ‘The Constantly Empty Pool’ Rumours of the purest water in the world draw Mary Lou to a remote town in the United … Continue reading Strange Secrets by Mike Russell

Magebane by Stephanie Flint

Flint provides an accessible perspective on the morals of magical compulsion while maintaining the fast-paced fantasy of previous volumes. This novel is the third in The Wishing Blade series. Spoilers ahead. Following their reunion with Daernan’s father, a champion of the gods, Daernan and Siklana continue their quest to rescue Toranih and defeat the shadow … Continue reading Magebane by Stephanie Flint

Castle of Blue Stones by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth creates a claustrophobic variation on the young adult trope of plucky teen vs. dystopian regime that feels realistic yet fantastical. Since she can remember, Jaisy has lived in the remote castle in the mountains, a castle the inhabitants can see only in shades of blue. The Guardians, leaders of the bureaucracy that sustains the … Continue reading Castle of Blue Stones by Jordan Elizabeth

Fanya in the Underworld by Jordan Elizabeth

Mixing magic, steampunk, and colonialism, Elizabeth creates a fantasy tale that is fast-paced and personal without sacrificing depth and wider consequence. Fanya’s father was her father’s rightful heir; Instead the Council granted her inheritance to her stepmother; an inheritance that is being sold to unscrupulous men and the profits frittered away. Hoping to protect her … Continue reading Fanya in the Underworld by Jordan Elizabeth

Emma and the Elixir of Madness by Matthew S. Cox

Cox continues to blend the excitement and strangeness of fantasy with the lightness and smaller-scale of middle-grade fiction, producing a tale that grips the reader without instilling terror. This book is the fourth in the Tales of Widowswood series. Spoilers may leap from the undergrowth. Strange transformations and embarrassing events are disturbing the peace of … Continue reading Emma and the Elixir of Madness by Matthew S. Cox

Duel Visions by Misha Burnett & Louise Sorensen

This anthology gathers a mix of published and unpublished stories by Burnett and Sorensen, spanning the genres from overt horror to the almost meditative. ‘Black Dog’, Misha Burnett: The new custodian of a cemetery notices several different people taking the same dog for a walk: does the owner merely have lots of friends or is … Continue reading Duel Visions by Misha Burnett & Louise Sorensen

The Cursed Crown by Matthew S. Cox

Cox smoothly blends questions of metaphysics with grimy fantasy and diverse characters to create a young adult tale that is both deep and fast-paced, uplifting and realistic. This novel is the sequel to The Eldritch Heart. As Cox himself says at the start, sharp pointy spoilers ahead. With the twenty-five-year war against Evermoor over, King … Continue reading The Cursed Crown by Matthew S. Cox