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Mini-Reviews for 6 of my Bingo Choices: Magical Inheritances, Suburbian Plant Horror, a Poetically Written Classic, Art Collecting Demons and more

I usually pride myself in reviewing almost everything I read on here. I've been on vacation in Japan for a few weeks and finished multiple books during that time though, so a summary will have to do. Please enjoy:

#Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

Recommended if you like: afrofuturism, himba people, alien creatures, sci fi horror, novellas, math is magic

Bingo Square(s): POC Author Hard Mode

I don't have much to say on this one, I enjoyed it and found the main character and her cultural background fresh and interesting. A lot happens in not so many words, which is nice, but it also went by too fast for me to really get into it.

#A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

Recommended if you like: mild horror, haunted houses, suburban fantasy, mother-daughter dynamics, family matters and generational mess, chubby main character representation, vultures, ladybugs and roses being creepy, childlike monster, scientist main character, witty and fun writing

Bingo Square(s): Mundane Jobs, Horror HM, Published in 2023

I really enjoyed the style and voice of this one, and found it quite a change from the other Kingfisher book I've read (Paladin's Grace), though the dry humor is a shared attribute.
I found the MC really likeable and her reactions to the increasing weirdness around her believable. It's also fun to have a bug expert MC.
It was perhaps 'less horror' than I necessarily expected, but still had some really quality creepy elements towards the end.

#The Art Collector by Katelyn Brehm

Recommended if you like: art history main character, paranormal romance, incubus main character, demon romance, old mansions, romance with mature heroines (late 30s iirc)

**Bingo Square(s):Novella HM, Mundane Jobs, Published in 2023 HM, Angels and Demons HM

I really enjoyed the lively descriptions of art and styles that made appearances in this book. As a result, the romance between the two characters who obviously shared this passion felt very natural. If I had any issue with it it's that I already often find Romance moving too fast for my taste, and that is of course exacerbated in form of a Novella. I can still definitely recommend it for a well written and fun romance with a demon MMC and an older FMC, which is somewhat rare.

#Daughter of No Worlds by Carissa Broadbent

Recommended if you like: *New Adult, Fantasy Romance, MCs with a traumatic past (escaped from slavery/abuse), very determined and disciplined main characters, mentor/student relationship, *

Bingo Square(s): Elemental Magic (sort of, if you squint, unsure if it really counts)

I picked this up because it's so often recommended in /r/fantasyromance and I was curious. Unsure if it really counts for Bingo to be honest. One MC is a fire mage, but magic isn't really limited to the classic elements otherwise. Thoughts?

All in all, the book felt fresh and well written, more so than I necessarily expected going in. I enjoyed the additional POV added halfway through the book, and despite what some reviews say was absolutely not bothered by the audiobook's narrator. This book has a few wonderful moments of ridiculous badassery that were well built to and satisfying to read.

I also have to appreciate this one for a really well executed balance of plot/action to romance, which I always seek and find super rare.

#The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

Recommended if you like: magical realism, latino main characters, US and Central American setting, mundane magic, mother and grandmother main character, messy family dynamics, understated magic, wonderful prose

Bingo Square(s): Magical Realism HM, POC Author

I really enjoyed this one, it's something completely different from what I usually read. This book has a tendency to make the mundane seem magical and the magical seem mundane, there's so much stuff that just happens without really being fully questioned... It's also very prettily and poetically written. I love Orquídea's names and monikers: "Orquídea Divina Montoya, Bastard Daugher of the Waves", come on that just slaps.
Marimar and Ray were also really likeable and entertaining 'present day' protagonists.

If I had any issue with it, it's that the book becomes a bit more conventional towards the end, when it's initially so fresh and completely unfamiliar. I wish a few things (like some of the explanations from >!the living star!<) had been a bit less literal. There were also some scenes (like when they >!resurrect their dead great grandma!<) that are hilarious, but toeing the line of being too goofy for the rest of the book.

The whole thing has a certain haunting (or haunted?) air that I really liked. I was also reminded of The Haunting of Hill House at a few points in a really cool way, though this book is far less horror-y than the show.

I haven't read a lot of magical realism, but this is everything I'd want it to be.

#The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Recommended if you like: fairytales, unicorns, poetic writing, bittersweet stories

Bingo Square(s): Bottom of the TBR (for me), Mythical Beasts HM

Thought this was a fun pick for bottom of the TBR because I had it recommended to me literally in my first ever post on this subreddit, over 7 years ago.

I had seen the animated movie as a kid and want to rewatch it now that I've read its basis. The writing is utterly gorgeous, the characterization evocative and believable. Definitely a classic that holds up for good reason.

There we go, that's a wrap!

Some of these would definitely have deserved some more discussion space than I gave them here, but writing detailed individual reviews for several books at once felt overwhelming, so this works instead. I am 100% happy to chat about each of these books some more though, so I hugely appreciate comments, your thoughts, things you liked about them, questions you have etc etc.

I see myself picking up the sequel of Daughter of No Worlds sometime, but want to complete my bingo card first - it's my first time participating, despite spending 7+ years on here as mentioned above.

Thank you very much for reading, find my other reviews here.

14:02 UTC


Looking for the author of 'Idrith: The Shield'

Hey everyone,

so a while ago a reddit user let me beta read their unreleased book "Idrith: The Shield".
It really was one of the better books I read in the last few years.

Sadly, the user seems to have deleted their account, but I wonder if anyone else might know them or maybe they just have a new account?

I can't find anything about the book online, but I'd love to find the author and follow their work, so if anyone knows them ...

Thanks :)!

13:04 UTC


/r/Fantasy Daily Recommendation Requests and Simple Questions Thread - June 10, 2023

This thread is to be used for recommendation requests or simple questions that are small/general enough that they won’t spark a full thread of discussion.

Check out r/Fantasy's 2023 Book Bingo Card here!

As usual, first have a look at the sidebar in case what you're after is there. The r/Fantasy wiki contains links to many community resources, including "best of" lists, flowcharts, the LGTBQ+ database, and more. If you need some help figuring out what you want, think about including some of the information below:

  • Books you’ve liked or disliked
  • Traits like prose, characters, or settings you most enjoy
  • Series vs. standalone preference
  • Tone preference (lighthearted, grimdark, etc)
  • Complexity/depth level

Be sure to check out responses to other users' requests in the thread, as you may find plenty of ideas there as well. Happy reading, and may your TBR grow ever higher!

As we are limited to only two stickied threads on r/Fantasy at any given point, we ask that you please upvote this thread to help increase visibility!

12:00 UTC


What kind of creatures you would like to see in a story?

For a fantasy setting, it's very important what kind of creatures inhabit it. So, what type of creatures do you like to see? Original creatures made by the author or well-known legendary creatures or maybe lesser-known mythological creatures?

I personally prefer original creatures but also like the lesser-known beings of legends and folklore. By the way, I don't say it's bad or uncreative if someone likes to read or write about orcs, elves, dwarfs, and other well-known creatures, it still can be a good story.

11:50 UTC


Books where the protagonist main thing is granting abilities/power/magic

I don't think I ever read something like this with the protagonist being the one granting/offerings magic to others. Voluntarily of course.

One clear example would be like Muzan from Demon Slayer (if he was the protagonist) who basically gives demon powers.

To a lesser extent Guilty Crown(anime) where the protagonist and main antagonist can basically unlock power for somebody and let them use it (as well as use it himself)

Please no examples like Stormlight Archives >!while Radiants for example can share their squad powers eventually or like honorblades grant surgebinding but it is not the main takeaway for the character aka it is a side thing and it is involuntary. !< so no examples where the giving/granting/offering of powers of powers is barely there or like happens once in like hundreds of pages.

I would love to read something like this. Thanks

11:04 UTC


Any recs with setting in Central Asia?

I am looking for a book to read, but movies and games are also welcome. Any time period.

Thank you :)

09:13 UTC


What are your favourite "moments of engagement"?

I've come to realise that one of my favourite types of scenes is the very start of a climatic fight scene. The moments of anticipation/tension, followed by the opening move. Often you know what the outcome is supposed to be, but this moment is the moment the creator has to make you doubt that.

Some of the ones that stick with me:

  • Vader's entrance - from the sirens until Vader deflects the first few bolts

  • Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings - from the start to "so it begins"

  • The Kraken fight in Pirates of the Caribbean - from hitting a "reef" to the first cannon fire

  • Leviathan's attack in Worm - from Legend's interrupted speech to Leviathan's charge

  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica spoilers >Homura vs Walpurgisnacht!< - from looking out over the city to "I'll end it all"

What are some of your favourites?

1 Comment
07:50 UTC


FIF Bookclub: Our August read is She Steals Justice by J. Clark

The votes are in! Our FIF bookclub read for Genderbent Robin Hood in August is: She Steals Justice by J. Clark won with 55% of the vote. Thanks to the one who voted for Jennifer Roberson! I really wanted to read that book.

I have to admit that my topic selection may have been a bit too niche. For the next month I'll take something far more broad and we'll have a bigger slate to draw from (and hopefully more interested voters). I hope all of you that voted will join me in reading! Otherwise it'll just be me and Dianthaa talking into a void.

She Steals Justice by J. Clark

A modern Robin Hood retelling set in the American South—Robyn Carter can't stand her sister's boyfriend, and for good reason. His mistreatment of her has Robyn’s patience wearing thin with each misstep. When her sister becomes impregnated, however, Robyn’s fight becomes more than just about her sister’s safety. She fights for her sister, other victims of domestic violence, and the less fortunate in her Black Southern community—vigilante style.

Her Robin Hood days take her down a spiraling rabbit hole filled with more questions than answers. She starts uncovering a supernatural side of herself she never knew existed. Blindly, she descends in the hopes of uncovering the truth behind her family’s mysterious past, the secrets being kept by the church, and her true identity unknown to even herself.

Bingo: Angels and Demons, Self-Published HM, POC Author, Bookclub (HM if you join us), Retelling

The midway discussion will be Wednesday, August 16, 2023. If anyone has read the book before and has a good pausing point by chapter or page number, let us know (but generally it will be around the midway point of the book)! The final discussion will be Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

As a reminder, we're reading:

JUNE (this month) FIF book: The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai - Midway discussion delayed until Friday June 16

JULY FIF pick: The Bone Doll's Twin

What is the FIF Bookclub? You can read about it in our Reboot thread here.

07:23 UTC


Enjoyed The Spellmonger series, What's next?

Just finished reading The Spellmonger series up to its latest book and i dont know what to read next. Any recommendations similar to this?

1 Comment
05:05 UTC


What fantasy character from what series would you consider to be the ‘John Wick’ of fantasy books?

I am in the mood to read something with a protagonist, or at least a side character like that, so I’m curious to know what series people here have read that contain characters like that.

05:05 UTC


Review: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Bingo Squares: Literary Fantasy HM, mundane jobs

Probably my favorite book I've read so far this Bingo season, thanks SO much to /u/hellodahly for mentioning it in a daily rec thread a couple days ago.

What's it about? NGL this is the book that When Women Were Dragons was trying to be. It attacks sexism in the postwar era, particularly in academia, but really in all facets of life, with a protagonist who refuses to conform to gender norms. It starts out showing protagonist Elizabeth Zott in the early 1960s as the star of a chemistry-based cooking show and mother of a precocious daughter and then rewinds about ten years to show how we got here.

What's it like? Part love story, part tragedy, part meditation on religion, part coming-of-age of a four-year-old, part hyper-intelligent dog who's learning English and has thoughts of his own (the dog is where the "fantasy" enters the "literary fantasy" story). You're gonna love the dog even if you're not a dog person. 100% a story about female empowerment - and also individual empowerment, as there's oppressed people of both genders discovering that they don't have to be oppressed.

CW >!Attempted SA, offscreen spousal abuse, death of a loved one, belittling language, microaggressions, workplace inequality, offscreen child abuse, offscreen suicide!< <-- There are some pretty major CW listed here so you may want to read them.

Also mood warning: >!I spent about half the novel crying, and I honestly can't tell you the last time a book has made me cry, I'm pretty immune to this given how much I read. The characters were just so compelling, and it's in many ways a tragic love story.!<

Who's it for? Anyone who wants to read a story with the above mood warning, or isn't worried about there being mood warnings, and wants a story with beautifully-written characters, righteous feminism, a wonderful animal companion, and chemistry

Who's it not for? Definitely stay away if the mood warning or CWs concern you. It's a very intense read.

My rating: 5/5

05:02 UTC


Social component

What do yall do to find people who like talking fantasy? Or fantasy related activities? There is absolutely nobody in my social group who enjoys fantasy at all.

04:03 UTC


Book recommendation for stories like the arrow.

I’m looking for books with an MC like Oliver Queen fromArrow. Specifically with a MC that disappeared for a while and was tortured and stuff and returns as a highly skilled killer/badass.

03:02 UTC


Charlotte Reads: The Thousand Eyes by A.K Larkwood

“They both deserved much more than they got. And we both got much more than we deserved.”

So What’s It About?

Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they're beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.

Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal's old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…

What I Thought

Back when I still gave book star ratings on Goodreads, I gave The Unspoken Name three stars, which I now find a little puzzling. My fondness for that book has definitely grown in hindsight, and this delightful conclusion to the duology definitely makes me feel even more affectionate towards what A.K. Larkwood has created here.

Simply put, these books are funny, creative, adventurous romps. Larkwood clearly has an incredible imagination and both books feature awesome elements of magic, fantastic settings and exciting “set pieces,” for lack of a better word. Here I loved the descriptions of the living forest and the Lignite Citadel just as much as I loved the vivid descriptions in the first book. Everything meant to be ancient and alien and esoteric truly feels that way, which I think is admirable.

Tal was also a standout part of reading The Unspoken Name - he’s a bitchy and hilarious mess of a person. Everything that I enjoyed about his character in the first book is expanded upon here, and he goes through some excellent development to >!overcome his relationship with Sethennai, find love and purpose, and bond with a child who is perhaps his only match in disastrousness and delightfulness. His burgeoning grudging care for Tsereg and eventual happy ending were probably my favorite parts of this book.!<

I was less fond of Csorwe in the first book, particularly in the context of her relationship with Shuthmili; I found her somewhat too passive and thought the build-up to the drastic choices that Cswore and Shuthmili made didn’t feel convincing enough. I’m wondering if I would feel the same way upon a reread or if some of these dynamics changed in The Thousand Eyes, because I enjoyed Csorwe’s part of the story and her love with Shuthmili much more this time around.

My only real critique is that it feels just a little ridiculous and repetitive that Shuthmili, Csorwe, Tsereg and Sethennai all end up being >!possessed by gods. That being said, I like that they all have different ways of dealing with this and interacting with their gods. In particular, the goddess Zinandour’s relationship with Shuthmili is fascinating because of the strange kind of affection present, how the goddess is changed by it and the ultimate resolution of their merging.!<

All in all, my appreciation for this duology has only grown with time. It’s a unique delight and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this author.

1 Comment
02:57 UTC


Coolest description of a sword ever?

I found mine. It's very brief, but I don't remember reading something as cool as this paragraph of M. John Harrison' Pastel City:

Cromis felt perspiration trickling under his armpits. He was no coward, but he had been long away from violence: and though the baan was in poor condition, the energies that formed its blade running low, it would still slice steel, make play of bone and butter of flesh.

02:40 UTC


What is the difference between Wizards, Mages, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Clerics?

I've looked online and either i've gotten answers that say some of these titles are interchangeable, some that say the opposite, or extremely vague answers that don't answer my question.

00:34 UTC


Where else do you guys discuss SF/Fantasy? If I leave Reddit, I'll miss this community the most.

This subreddit really improves my life in a way no other subreddit does. I've learned about countless speculative fiction titles, authors, and even genres that I'd never have known about in the absence of this forum.

I've been disappointed with Reddit in the past, but this latest API fiasco is close to the final straw for me. I'll certainly never use Reddit's mobile app, and frankly this community is the only thing keeping me from just logging out forever.

My question to you all is this: Where else do you or would you participate in discussion? I'm not about to join any Facebook/Meta platforms; that would be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I found that I tend to disagree with a huge proportion of GoodReads reviews, and they don't really lend themselves to discussion.

Where else has even a fraction of this engagement?

Someplace on Discord? Mastodon?

Is there something like letterboxd, but for books?

Thank you for any help you can provide, and also thank you to the moderators and to everyone who contributes to the fantasy bingo, the Stabbies, and everything else that makes this such a rich community on what can be a very toxic platform in other areas.

22:54 UTC


What do you think are the best depictions of grief/grieving in fantasy?

One of my personal favorites is The Lies of Locke Lamora. Specifically the last fourth of the first book.

22:35 UTC


Fantasy like The Fionavar tapestry

Hello, i m looking for book or book series in Greek like the Fionavar tapestry but with sex scenes. Can you help me?

22:28 UTC


books like artemis fowl?

books where the main character is morally grey and smart.like the first artemis fowl or lies of locke lamora, or kelsier from mistborn

22:25 UTC


Looking for the story of a rogue developing morals and becoming a hero.

You know Han Solo? A likable but pretty amoral character who gets involved in a conflict and over time realizes that he cares about the people he is with and that he has a sound moral compass? I want something like that but in book form.

I want a positive story about some rogue type who gets into situations where he has to make moral decisions which make him become more and more heroic over the course of the story until he is a genuine hero by the end of it.

Essentially I want a redemption arc but not with the overly ambitious starting point of a real piece of shit or straight up villain, but just kind of a petty amoral person.

The story should be fun to read and have a happy ending.

Thanks in advance.

22:19 UTC


Have you ever read a book so good you immediately go estimate the author’s writing speed to find out when the next book might come out?

Yeah.. that’s me with The Will of the Many. Islington is trying to make me a full on raving fan of his..

22:03 UTC


Just read night circus and really enjoyed it

Looking for something similarly paced. It's been a while since I've done a good page turner. Also really enjoyed the concept and would love something along those lines. Wouldn't mind it being a little more adult or dark either . Thanks in advance!

21:30 UTC


Something similar to Blacktongue Thief?

I finished this a few months ago and I'm still thinking about it because it was pretty much exactly what I wanted in a fantasy read. I liked the prose, the level of horror made me uncomfortable without sending me into "trauma" territory, and I enjoyed the characters and setting. I haven't visited anything else Christopher Buehlman has written, so recommendations of his other books are welcome too.

21:13 UTC


Started to read Assassins Aprentice

After finishing Mistborn, I found Hobbs writing style so much more advanced than Sandersons...and a complicated slog, especially when listening to it. When she explains the lore of the world, it just leaves my mind, cuz of her writing. Also characters are not very good especially Fitz

So yea this is kind of a hot take...Im just disappointed its not for me Im almost half in the first book, should i drop it?

20:12 UTC


Books with Trans/Non-binary Romances?

Like the question says, I’m looking for books which have aspects of queer romance where one or both character are non-binary or transmac. Had to move away from my partner for the foreseeable future and I would love to be able to pine for them via fictional characters… I’ll take basically anything that goes in this direction! Thank youuu

19:35 UTC


New suggestion?

Hey guys, just finished reading He Who Fights with monsters right after Dungeon Crawler Carl. Loved both series and looking for something thats similar to both. Doesnt have to be strong LitRPG or that genre at all, but love the progression of both, the humor and insanity of both. Currently on Cradles newest release and looking for something after.

Was looking at the Defiance of the Fall and The Primal Hunter but would like opinions first on those or another suggestion.

19:30 UTC


Small rant on multi-narrator audiobooks

I'm listening to a book right now with multiple narrators. That is in principle great, because it allows the characters to have even more distinct voices. The problem is that they don't. Instead each chapter is dedicated to a character and whoever 'voices' that character narrates the entire chapter including all the other characters. This means that each character has multiple voices depending on who the current chapter is dedicated to and it's the absolute worst when trying to immerse myself in a story.

I'm all for having multiple narrators, but for crying out loud at least utilize the strengths of such an approach. Let narratorA present all the dialog of characterA (and perhaps general narration as well), narratorB present all the dialog of characterB (and perhaps characterC) and so forth. The alternative, as described above, is so freaking chaotic, like having 7 people take turns reading you each chapter. In that case I'd much rather have just a single narrator.

19:03 UTC


Elemental Creatures and Monsters in Fantasy?

What are some fantasy works that ascribe elemental traits to pre-existing animals or mystical creatures in a good way, especially if the creature wasn't originally very elemental? What about fantasy with elemental beasts in general?

18:54 UTC

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