When inexperienced Jonah Oblong is hired to teach history at Rotherweird School, the rules are clearly laid down: nothing before 1800 and nothing local. Rotherweird doesn’t welcome outsiders and is perfectly happy in its ignorance: history is something that happened to other people. Yet the Regulations stipulate the School must not go without a history teacher for more than a term – and there can hardly be a home-grown one, all things consider...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

The White Road will creep under your skin, fill your mind with all the ghastly things and make you leery of participating in activities like, oh, let’s say caving or mountain climbing. I was totally going to go climb Everest next year, really!  Never mind that I have a bum knee, a bum ankle, and maybe I’m scared of heights and also am a wimp, maybe I could have considered it anyway. But nope. Not now. None of my more rational reaso...

No Comments Lisa Taylor Read More

Adam and Meryam are a newly engaged couple from very different backgrounds, but they have always bonded over their love of adventure. In recent years, they have even achieved moderate fame for their series of videos taken from their travels around the world. Now they are eyeing their next great challenge, an expedition to climb Turkey’s Mount Ararat after an avalanche has reportedly revealed a massive cave up high in the side of the mountain. ...

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Kellen is 15, the astonishingly untalented son of the Jan’Tep’s greatest mage. Struggling to cast even the simplest spells, he’s the butt of jokes and school yard bullying. Worse, if he can’t pass his mage trials before he turns 16, he’ll be relegated to the Sha’Tep servant class – reliant on his obnoxious little sister’s charity if he’s lucky, sent down the mines if he’s not. Kellen is bri...

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I’m definitely partial to reading fantasy in all it’s glory and I particularly enjoy finding a new urban fantasy to sink my teeth into so obviously I was only too happy to grab a copy of Borrowed Souls.  I would say from the outset that this didn’t work as well for me as I’d hoped.  I’d like to think that’s just ‘first book in series’ syndrome but as this currently stands I had a few issues that ...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

The Valiant is a book that I thought sounded intriguing but I let it slip off my radar due to other review commitments. But then after I saw a couple of glowing reviews for it, I realized I had to find time to read it. Turns out I absolutely LOVED this book, yes, it is worth of the all-caps. Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic King, and has been training her entire life to be a fighter worthy of joining the war band. We quickly learn that part ...

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It is with a heavy heart that I bid adieu to another one of my favorite series, but I am also glad that at long last I got to see all the ideas come to fruition in this fifth and final novel of Marie Brennan’s wholly unique Memoirs of Lady Trent. After all, Within the Sanctuary of Wings is everything a fan could want in a finale—a book that ends on a high note of hope and happiness while also deftly tying all the overall series themes and plot...

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Assassin’s Fate is an emotional roller-coaster of a book that is heartbreaking, bittersweet and absolutely perfect. This book is not just a perfect ending to The Fitz and Fool trilogy, but also to The Realm of the Elderlings series so far. So much so, that my only negative reaction is fear that there may not be another series in this world that Hobb has made me love so much. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely huge potential fo...

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When Allah created man out of clay, he created djinn out of fire. Ephemeral spirits that tempt us, trick us, and sometimes grant our wishes, these creatures of folklore take centre stage in excellent Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin’s anthology, The Djinn Falls in Love. With contributors from all around the world, this collection of short stories is as remarkable for its variety as it is for its quality. Murad & Shurin have given their con...

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Game of Shadows is a tale of adventure, a coming of age story that focuses on a teenage boy called Ethan Makkai.  The abridged version of this review is that whilst I don’t think this book worked for me personally, I can certainly see the appeal for the target audience.  This is undoubtedly a fun and fast paced read, maybe a little too young for my tastes but still very easy to read and with plenty of imagination. As the story begins we ...

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0
8/10
Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish
Reviews / October 5, 2015

Last year’s Owl and the Japanese Circus was a solid 3-star read for me, an entertaining urban fantasy that managed to reignite my excitement for a genre that I felt had become tiresome and repetitive. Granted, the whole “Indiana Jane” aspect was a big part of that – I’m a sucker for any sort of archaeological, tomb-raiding adventure – but Kristi Charish really impressed me. I went into Owl and the City of Ange...

0
8/10
Review: The Bloodforged by Erin Lindsey
Reviews / October 4, 2015

  The Bloodforged carries The Bloodhound series further into conflict and gives the reader another fun and exciting adventure as this series continues to be a captivating and fun page turner that flies by. There are challenges that are physical, political and strategic. There are moments of romance and heartbreak. The whole book almost seems to be an emotional rollercoaster as the characters are desperate and driven to extremes ...

Upcoming Releases: October 4 – 10, 2015
Upcoming Releases / October 3, 2015

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION     FANTASY                ...

0
9/10
Review: The Flux by Ferret Steinmetz
Reviews / October 2, 2015

The Flux is a great second book I really enjoyed it and so was even more pleased to find that a third book is planned. Just a quick warning. This review may contain spoilers for Flex so if you’re intending to read that, which I wholeheartedly feel you should, then you should stop reading about now. The Flux starts a short while after the conclusion of book No.2. Aliyah is now 8 years old and her mancy powers make her something ...

6
8/10
Review: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
Reviews / October 1, 2015

A lot of the books that I’m excited for in 2015 are actually releasing quite late this year, so as we sauntered into fall and said good bye to summer, I was getting ready to say hello to a couple of my most anticipated titles. Shadows of Self was most definitely near the top of that list. I’m a big fan of Brandon Sanderson, and I absolutely loved The Alloy of Law – probably more than all three books of the original Mistborn trilogy p...

0
8/10
Review: Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley
Reviews / September 30, 2015

Last year’s The Mirror Empire was one of the most exciting (and sometimes divisive) entries in an already stellar year of fantasy fiction. Kameron Hurley crafted a book that was daring, original, and even challenging. While putting her own spin on the idea of parallel worlds in a post-apocalyptic sort of portal fantasy, she turned gender roles and relationships on their head. It was the most brutally violent female-led fantasy ...

3
9/10
Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
Reviews / September 29, 2015

The Heart Goes Last is a dark and yet humorous vision of a dystopian future where the world has lost social order. Life is hard, money and resources are incredibly scarce and people fear for their safety as there is no longer police or social justice to keep people in line. Charmaine and Stan, a young married couple, are lucky, for while they have lost their home and have little to their name, they have managed to hold on to their ca...

5
8/10
Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Reviews / September 28, 2015

The nitty-gritty: A sprawling adventure story filled with airships, magic crystals, military maneuvers and talking cats. Yes, I said talking cats! Despite the fact that it took me two weeks to read The Aeronaut’s Windlass, I had so much fun. This was my first Jim Butcher book, and I can see why he’s so popular. His storytelling is exciting and his characters practically jump off the page. No doubt my rating would be higher had the bo...

Introduction: Our Most Anticipated Books for Fall 2015
Book List , News / September 27, 2015

Welcome to The Speculative Herald’s inaugural post! As a very quick introduction, The Speculative Herald is a new collaborative blog made of up established bloggers. You can see who we are over on the About Us page. We have come together to create a common site to really highlight the newest and upcoming books in speculative fiction. This will be a great week with reviews for the latest/upcoming releases from Jim Butcher, Marga...

News: The Dragon is Waking
News / August 19, 2015

What is this? A dragon is waking. But don’t be scared. While this dragon is fierce in its own way, it is likely not in the manner you are accustomed. Also, it does not hoard it’s treasure, so when it wakes it’s bounty will be shared with all. Everyone knows all dragons like shiny things, but this one does not go for gold or silver or gems. This dragon obsesses over procuring and learning about the newest, shiniest b...