Tag Archives: Fantasy

Mistborn:The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Mistborn Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book One of Mistborn
Publisher: Tor Fantasy (July 31, 2007), 672 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 9780765350381, ISBN-13: 978-0765350381

 


Mistborn: The Final Empire is an unusual premise for a fantasy novel. The magic system is unique and comes from the consumption of alloys which gives the user various abilities depending on the alloy. The social structure is also unusual. The majority of the world is comprised of slaves who are known as Skaa. They have no rights and the nobility has ensured that none have Allomanic abilities. The balance of the world is the Nobility of which some have Allomanic abilities and they are referred to as mistborn. Ultimately the series plotline concerns a battle of good versus evil.

I really enjoyed this book and I liked all the characters. We meet Vin, the main protagonist, and watch her grow from an insecure thief to a very successful mistborn.  Kelsier and his crew are also introduced and the story unfolds with the joining of these people. Together they are planning a big job (theft) from the Lord Ruler. In the process, as part of the job, Vin plays the part of nobility, even though she is a Skaa. I really enjoyed watching Vin’s transformation to a lady.

Mistborn: The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn series. Currently there are three books with the fourth book to be released November 2011. This is a high fantasy book that takes place on the world of Scadrial. A land that is plagued by constant ash falls and overwhelming mists which prevent the growth of vegetation. The book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters.

The book is interesting with the main plot line surrounding the plan to steal from the Lord Ruler. But it also introduces all the characters showing good development and growth for most of the players. The story is told in an exciting manner, exploring an interesting social structure and a new twist on an unusual magic system. I found the ending to be extremely exciting as well as interesting.

The book can stand on its own since it comes to a good conclusion. Yet it still left plenty of room for the story to continue in the next book, which I quickly picked up and read.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading high fantasy revolving around the struggle between good and evil utilizing interesting characters.

To Purchase: “Mistborn : Final Empire” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax; 1st edition (March 21, 2007), Paperback: 453 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1401360203, ISBN-13: 978-1401360207


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner. The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community, although he does not really appear in the first story. This book looks deeply at the relationship between the Night Watch and the Day Watch and shows what happens when there is not a balance in the level of power between the two groups.

This is the second book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series. Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others. These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story. These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book.

The first story is concerning a dark witch and a light mage who have both lost their powers, they meet at a children’s camp where they are both recuperating and while neither has any powers they fall in love, with some interesting consequences. The next story introduces a mysterious new character who seems to be growing in power in an unusual manner. Anton is also involved with the individual and the Day Watch’s top boss is trying to manipulate Anton, through all of this there are some interesting scenes and discoveries. The final story is an investigation by the inquistors (the Day Watch and the Night Watch police*) into the first two stories and ultimately shows the relationship between them  and shows some interesting conclusions.

This is the best book in the series. An enjoyable book with the introduction of a number of new interesting concepts.This story again shows the power struggle between both the Night Watch and the Day Watch with both sides trying to manipulate people and events to swing power their way as much as possible.  It also shows that the Others are trying to ensure that the power between both sides stays about equal to ensure that balance is maintained in the world.

The world that Mr. Lukyanenko has created is intriguing and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying, if somewhat sad conclusion. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

*See my blog on the Night Watch series

 

To Purchase: “Day Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 2 Treasure Box
The Third Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax (June 13, 2007), Paperback: 416 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1401360211, ISBN-13: 978-1401360214


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner. The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community. This book deal primarily with the concept of a book which will turn all humans into others, it looks at what would happen if this happens and the story is Anton’s search for this book.

This is the third book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series. Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others. These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story. These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book

The first story is where Anton is sent in disguise to solve a mystery around an Other who can supposedly make humans into Others.  This is a huge problem because if used it would cause a disasterous shift in the balance between light and dark. In the second story Anton is on vacation, but while there he discovers something amiss, which he decides to investigate.  When he is looking into this he meets an un-registered witch and then finds more clues pointing to the ability to change humans into others. Both stories once again show the manipulations of both Watches to try to swing the balance. The third story once again brings up the ability to turn humans into others with Anton as the catalyst of solving the problem.  Which he does solve, but in a very interesting and thought provoking manner.

This book reveals some interesting facts about the Day Watch and the Night Watch, it takes a good hard look at good and evil as well as intent. This story also explains that Others are actually people that have no magic in them, but can siphon magic from humans who all have varying degrees of magic but to such a small degree that they can not really do much with it. Therefore an Other who has zero magic in them has the ability to be an extremely strong mage because they can siphon unlimited amounts from the humans around them. The book also brings up the issues surrounding the light and the dark, previously the light was shown as good, even though it was just as manipulative as the dark, but the light’s methods were always without malice. But now it is realized that the light is really no different that the dark, with the power coming from siphoning off of humans, how is that any different than a vampire sucking blood? Anton is now at a crossroads, feeling disillusioned with his work in the Night Watch, but once he talks with his boss he is at peace. He sees where the members of the Inquisition come from, they are either Light or Dark Watch members who no longer differentiate between the two, but who see the need for balance.

There were a couple very interesting developments in this book, it was a good read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying, if somewhat sad conclusion. The book also brings forth many interesting philosophical questions.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

To Purchase: “The Twilight Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
First Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax; Tra edition (July 26, 2006), Language: English, Paperback: 464 pages, ISBN-10: 1401359795, ISBN-13: 978-1401359799


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner.    This book introduces Anton and shows his induction into the Night Watch.  It also explains the world he lives as well as the premise of the Others and the Twilight.  The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community.

This is the first book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series.  Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others.  These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc.   The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story.  These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book.

The Night Watch centers around the Others who are on the side of the light (good) and whose supposedly main purpose is the keep watch over the Others who are on the side of the dark (evil.) But in actuality in this book the head of the Night Watch is doing everything in his power to swing the balance more towards the light.

The first story in the book introduces our protagonist Anton Gorodetsky, who is a mage working for the Night Watch.* While he is out on a mission tracking down vampires he meets a seemingly human with a curse on her head. The second story has lots going on and is very interesting, it ends showing that both the Day Watch and the Night Watch manipulate people and events as much as possible to change the power to their side. The third story centers around the same individuals and seems to be unrelated to the first two, but it actually pulls together all the events from all three stories in a very interesting and unusual manner.

It was a good read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying conclusion where Mr. Lukyanenko skillfully pulls all the threads of each story together into a well weaved story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

*See my blog on the The Night Series which explains more about the people and world this book takes place in.
To Purchase: “The Night Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 2 treasure boxes
Book Six in the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 30, 2010), Paperback: 784 pages, ISBN-10: 0441019625, ISBN-13: 978-0441019625

Everyone is back on Aleran, fighting the Vord. The main characters are spread out, each with their own tale full of adventures.  The story continues immediately following Princeps’ Fury

This is the final book in the Codex Alera Series. Which is a high fantasy and it takes place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

First Lord’s Fury is the exciting, nail-biting conclusion to the series, although there were a few problems with the story.  There was lots of action with plenty of battle scenes, although some of these were quite gory.  One character redeemed himself, but other than that there wasn’t any character development or transformations. There was the introduction of one new character, who is quite pivotal to the plot, but the new character was not fully developed.

The story was good, although a bit predictable. Also, I thought there was a fairly big plot hole* see below.  But if you overlook that, it was a satisfying ending. And the story did come to a final conclusion.

Overall I enjoyed this series.  I liked how the world was developed and I thought that all the various different peoples and creatures was interesting.  If you enjoy reading high fantasy, then you should definitely give The Codex Alera Series a read.

 

This could be considered a spoiler, so if you haven’t read the book, then do not read any further:
*Why would the Queen vord leave her Horde to fight Tavi alone in the final battle scene

To Purchase: “First Lord’s Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

Princep’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 2 treasure boxes
Book five of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 24, 2009), Paperback: 640 pages, ISBN-10: 0441017967, ISBN-13: 978-0441017966

Princeps‘ Fury is an action filled story, told in great Jim Butcher style. The story continues with the threat of the Canin greatly reduced, but Tavi is once again sent away, this time overseas with the Canin. The High Lord is hoping to protect Tavi but once they arrive, they are met with a huge surprise. In the meanwhile back in Alera the Vord have reappeared. This story takes place in both Alera and Canin.

This is the fifth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. It is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There was plenty of action, some of it pretty gory, and all coming from various different characters and different events.  I liked how they escaped the Canin homeland, I liked how more information was revealed about the Great Fury, and I liked the details provided about Tavi’s father.  There were minor developments in the characters and a bit more information about the Vord was revealed.

The story ebbed at the end with some minor conclusions, but it did not come to any real closure, so the story ended in the middle of the conflict.  I always find it annoying when a book is not a complete story with a beginning, middle and end but it did motivate me to read First Lord’s Fury.
To Purchase: “Princeps’ Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review:2 treasure boxes
Book four of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 25, 2008), Paperback: 656 pages, ISBN-10: 0441016553, ISBN-13: 978-0441016556

Tavi, as Captain has now successfully held the Canin back for 2 years.  Due to his youth, there is an annoying political ploy to remove him and then change his successful battle strategy. Tavi also finally learns his proper heritage.  This story continues both the Canin incursion as well as the civil war conflict with Kalare and takes place about 2 years after Cursor’s Fury.

Captain’s Fury is the fourth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There are some startling developments in the story.  There are a number of exciting scenes, one where Tavi breaks out of prison, one where he breaks the leader the Canin out of prison and another is where his uncle sneaks into Kalare lands. I liked this book better than Cursor’s Fury, I thought the story was well told.

This books comes to a complete conclusion of the story, yet leaves room for the story to continue, which is the best kind of ending. I recommend this series, but you need to read the books in order since the story builds. I am looking forward to reading Princeps’ Fury.
To Purchase: “Captain’s Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 1 treasure box
Book Three of Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (November 27, 2007), Paperback: 704 pages, ISBN-10: 0441015476, ISBN-13: 978-0441015474

The Vord are nowhere to be found and most people do not believe in their existence or in their proposed threat. The story-line takes place about 2 years after The Academ’s Fury. Tavi is just finishing school, continuing to fight against prejudice, working as an assistant to the First Lord and developing a relationship with the head of the Canin, who is being held prisoner. Due to the political struggles a civil war is breaking out. Tavi is sent away to start his spying career as a junior officer, but he is really sent away to isolate him from harm.

This is a new and interesting concept in Fantasy. The series is about a country called Alera on the world of Carna, where there are elemental beings that can control metal, air, water, earth or fire, they are called Furies. Some of these beings are wild and can do harm, but when they are wild they do not seem to have a lot of intelligence. There are also several peoples who live there. They all have different physical looks and abilities.

The Cursor’s Fury is the third of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

I enjoyed this book, though not as much as the first two, as it was not as compelling.  I found it to have too many unbelievable battle scenes.  Tavi still does not have any fury-craft abilities, yet he continues to develop in other ways.  Although he was sent to a post that was to have little action, Tavi ends up being in charge of the only Aleran post between the Canin host and the rest of Alera. While facing several challenges he must lead his men to fight an almost impossible task.

The story did not have a proper conclusion; it left off in mid-story to be continued in the next book, Captain’s Fury.  I prefer a story that is a standalone, rather than half a story; however, it highly motivated me to pick up the next book in the series to find out what happened.

to buy Cursor’s Fury (Codex Alera, Book 3), click here or on picture above

Academ’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 3 treasure boxes
Book two of Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (November 28, 2006), Paperback: 720 pages, ISBN-10: 0441013406, ISBN-13: 978-0441013401

Academ’s Fury takes place about 2 years after The Furies of Calderon. Tavi is away from home, studying.  He still has no ability to use Furies and needs to deal with the prejudice and overall lack of strength that this causes. Regardless he is very talented in many ways and is training as a spy for the crown. We are introduced to the evil Vord with Tavi and the empire facing this vile enemy.

Academ’s Fury is the second of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a High Fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous Contemporary Fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There is a definite development in Tavi’s character as well as the introduction of some new characters. There is also the development of a love story, but that is quite minor. The Vord and Canim are introduced in this book. There is a great fight scene where Tavi is defending against an attack from the Vord (in the guise of Canin, the Vord have “taken” some of the Canin.) We learn more about the Vord and how to fight them.

The book comes to a good conclusion and is very satisfying. This is another exciting book from Jim Butcher with lots of action. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this series.
To purchase from Amazon, click this link or the picture above
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Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 3 treasure boxes
Book one of  Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (June 28, 2005), Paperback: 672 pages, ISBN-10: 044101268X, ISBN-13: 978-0441012688

An unexpected attack from the Marat, shows the depth of Tavi’s character right from the start. This leads to Tavi and his uncle uncovering a planned invasion which threatens the empire. Before long Tavi becomes integral in the battle as he gets pulled into the political and military intrigue.

This is a new and interesting concept in Fantasy. The series is about a country called Alera on the world of Carna, where there are elemental beings that can control metal, air, water, earth or fire, they are called Furies. Some of these beings are wild and can do harm, but when they are wild they do not seem to have a lot of intelligence. There are also several peoples who live there. They all have different physical looks and abilities.

Furies of Calderon is the first of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a High Fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous Contemporary Fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

The story starts with plenty of intrigue, showing how the current social & political structure is not working. We are introduced to Tavi, the main protagonist, who is very resourceful especially since he has a disadvantage in that he is unable to utilize any furies, which is the main source of magic.

The first book was very exciting almost from the first page. It does a great job of introducing and developing the characters, all who are well rounded. There was plenty of action and some innovative ways to resolve conflict. The story also subtlety deals with prejudice.

There is a good satisfying conclusion, with a good stepping stone to the next installment. I really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to Academ’s Fury. I recommend this book, it is original and fun to read.
To purchase from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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