Fantasy Book Reviews and Recommendations

in #writing5 years ago (edited)

I’ve been devouring books lately. Inhaling them. One book a day most days this week.

There are reasons for this. Good reasons. But what better reason do I need than to lose myself in worlds of fantasy and adventures that play out in my imagination as if I’m the characters living the stories?

I’m devouring the books with my eyes, obviously, not eating the actual pages like the ink lickers in Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. Speaking of, I’m addicted to this series.

Let's get on with the book reviews, shall we?

Yay for books! All hail the public library.

The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone is the first book in this series, and hooked me hard with the characters and their camaraderie.

I finished Ash and Quill, book three in the series, a few nights ago. The story is set in Rachel Caine’s world where “Knowledge is Power” and the Library reigns supreme by controlling the information made available to the populace and suppressing unwanted evolution by whatever means necessary.

Each book in this YA (young adult) fantasy series has been filled with action, witty banter, and twists I totally didn’t see coming.

I’m in love with the cast, all of whom are flawed, some more than others. They do bad things for the right reasons, and it’s a dark, sometimes shockingly-violent tale, but this motley group of friends becomes a family, and they go through hell for each other and for the good of the world under the Library’s oppression.

My only nitpicks for this series were a few noticeable typos in the second book, and several times in book two and three where the story moved too fast, omitting details I needed to wrap up some small thing. (Ex: The guard put restraints on the character in the scene before, and now he’s got his hands free, but there’s no mention of when the restraints came off, so…) Minor details. They don’t make the story any less awesome, but they did pull me out of it for a split second. As a writer, this is noticeable to me, and helpful because I learn to look harder for those things in my own writing.

If you’d like a gritty adventure where scholars, inventors, and warriors (one being a life-long thief) fight to save the world from a Big Bad Oppressor in the guise of the Great Library, I whole-heartedly recommend these books. There is a bit of romance, but it’s a minor sub plot. The story is action packed!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Oh, this book. I finished reading it around midnight last night, and it’s a doozy.

This is the first I’ve read from Holly Black, though her books have been recommended to me before. I kept seeing people talking about this one, and got it from the library. I’m glad I did, but I’m still not sure how I feel about certain elements of it.

The Cruel Prince is the first in a YA series set mainly in the world of Faerie. I’ve put a hold on the next book, because the characters have caught me in their web, but it’s a sharp, carnivorous web.

The deviousness of the characters in this story is really something. The scheming, the secrets, the defenses that never come down.

I love so many things about this book, like the fact that I had no idea what was going to happen next pretty much the whole way through. There was nothing predictable about it, other than it was true to the title. Cruel.

Being a romanticist, I wanted the characters to have a little more joy without it immediately blowing up in their faces, but I have a feeling the outcome I’m yearning for between two specific characters will evolve over the course of the series. Judging by this book, I’m pretty sure it will be a torturous unfolding, but with deadly beauty and a sliver of hope to keep me reading.

If you like dark tales with fae and mortals, this is definitely worth a read!

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

This is book two in the Wicked Lovely series, which is another YA fantasy involving the Faerie realm and the intrigues of multiple Faerie courts.

Though it's dark, and deals with serious subjects like abuse and addiction, there’s enough love in this book that it didn’t devastate me quite like The Cruel Prince.

The first book in this series, Wicked Lovely, surprised me with its ending and I absolutely loved it. There were a couple of cliché characters, but they fit a mold with enough uniqueness that it didn’t bother me, and the story itself was fresh.

In Ink Exchange, a tattoo connects a young woman to a Faerie king, and, though she loses herself for a while, she redefines who she is and comes out stronger than ever. The ending is bittersweet, but I expect the next book in the series continues the tale, and it was happy enough that I was satisfied with how the story wrapped up.

I’d recommend this series if you like dark fantasy with romantic subplots. And tattoos.

There we have it. This is what I’ve been doing with my time. I’m waiting for three books in the mail, hopefully coming today, including the last two in The Great Library series, as well as an indie fantasy written by a friend I know through social media. I’ll do a review of that when I get a chance to read it.

What have you been reading lately? Do you have any fantasy books you love? I’m always looking for recommendations.

Whatever happens, keep singing your song!

Peace. @katrina-ariel

Author bio: Katrina Ariel is an old-soul rebel, musician, tree-hugging yogini, and mama bear to twins. Author of Yoga for Dragon Riders (non-fiction) and Wild Horse Heart (romance), she's another free-spirit swimming in the ocean of life. Check out her music here:

Katrina’s writing website


You've been chosen to be featured in @creativecoin's 🔥DAILY BURN🔥 post!

Girl! I've been reading more too!
But mostly (okay... ALL) self-improvement type books.... but sciencey. I like to learn about WHY muh feels feel... on a scientific level. 😉
Imma write these down for next 'fun' reading. I love fantasy books!
Thanks for these reviews.

Thanks for the curation love! Reading is the best. I know a lot of people who love non-fiction, which I used to read, too, but I've always been a fiction girl. Give me something epic to get lost in and I'm a happy camper. Glad you enjoyed the reviews! I just got three more books in the mail, so more to come. ;)

Great book reviews, I used ot read a lot but havent for a few years, maybe thats something else I will get back into when I retire and have plenty of free time

I think that sounds like a fabulous plan! :)

You must kind of a speed reader eh? LOL

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You got some love from a member of @thealliance family!
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I get sucked into a story and I don't want to do anything until I know what happens! ;)

I've been reading like crazy myself. Some fluffy fiction, some history, some research grade stuff. Maybe it's just anything to keep from writing. That well seems empty right now.

Actually, the well isn't dry. I just can't figure out how to write what I want to write. If I live long enough it'll come back, I'm sure. For now, I'll just read and start again for the eleventeenth time.

Always good to see you...

Reading is the inspiration for writing. The best writers read lots, and I find that sometimes I have to step away from one to nurture the other. I'm sure it'll come back, when you're ready.

Always good to see you, too! Thank you for the thoughtful comment.

Hi katrina-ariel,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Wow! Thank you, Curie! How kind and wonderful. You made my day! :)


I think you are a person with good taste in writing, excellent opinions :)

Greetings from Venezuela

Thank you. Greetings from Canada. :)


I think you are a person with good taste in writing, excellent opinions :)

Greetings from Venezuela

Bless you - you convey enough to make me want to read a book, without taking pages of words to convince me. I tend to write long reviews, filled with excerpts, and sermonizing or pontificating or rambling about why I love the lines so much.

Talking about books is almost as essential to me as reading them.

And yet I live in a desert, with almost nobody reading the same books I love, nobody to joing a Ken Lizzi fan club, or Libby McGugan, or... well, here at Steemit, I should find plenty of like-minded souls who appreciate novels like @rhondak's High Kill, but where on goodreads and amazon can we find these fan clubs. For that matter, where on Steemit can I find discussions of High Kill....?

There are so many books, so many types of readership. Sometimes it can be hard to find people with the same tastes, for sure. At least we can connect with other book lovers, though, even if the books we read aren't the same. But it is nice to find those who read the same books so you can get all excited about them together. :)

Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

You're most welcome. I've been reading about Dragon Riders, yoga, power, potential, and - yes, I've been on a mission all my life to tap into the magic, see fairies in the morning dew, help good triumph over evil, and ride a dragon... your imagination and positive outlook are extraordinary! I married into Catholicsm, after spending my teenage years as an agnostic, and now I'm adrift again, and yes, I'm reading Dragon Riders. :)

YAY! That's wonderful! I hope you find some inspiration there. I'm convinced we all have different paths, but it's nice to find wisdom where we can and weave into your own tapestry the parts that call to you.

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