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Brenda said: Lisa Smedman's new book, Sacrifice of the Widow, is the first of three in the new F Gods plot against one another using their drow followers as pawns. Whether they are the priestesses of the dancing moon goddess Eilistraee, the assassin-clerics of the shadow god Vhaerun, or the wicked followers of the.
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- Priest as a main character
- Best Strong Female Heroine Fantasy Books
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- City of Shards (Spellgiver #1) by Steve Rodgers
Inside, unlikely hero Arthur must unravel the secrets of the Seven Keys, battling monsters and treacherous Denizens in a bid to save his world…. Purchase the first book in the series, Mister Monday, on Amazon now. Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way.
Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message — one than can either redeem or doom him. Purchase the first book in the series, Broken Blade, on Amazon now. A battle is coming… And in that battle shall be decided the fate of the world. Myths tell of the ancient wars of Gods and men, and a powerful object — the Orb — that ended the bloodshed. As long as it was held by the line of Riva, it would assure the peace. But a dark force has stolen the Orb, and the prophecies tell of war. Young farm boy Garion knows nothing of myth or fate.
But then the mysterious Old Storyteller visits his aunt, and they embark on a sudden journey. Pursued by evil forces, with only a small band of companions they can trust, Garion begins to doubt all he thought he knew…. Purchase the first book in the series, Pawn of Prophecy, on Amazon now. It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England — a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire.
It is the lost core of a flawless Sphere made by the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon CraeftLords in memory of the one he loved. Her name was Spring and contained in the very heart of this work is a spark from the Fires of Creation. But while humans have lost their belief in such things, the Hydden — little people existing on the borders of our world — have not.
Breaking the silence of centuries they send one of their own, a young boy, Jack, to live among humans in the hope that he may one day find what has been lost for so long.
It is only through their voyage into the dangerous Hyddenworld that they will realize their destiny, find love and complete the great quest that will save both their worlds from destruction. Purchase the first book in the series, Spring, on Amazon now. The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C. For here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where battles are fought by Centaurs, Giants and Fauns.
As the sun sets, people have no choice but to take shelter behind magical wards and pray that their protection holds until the creatures dissolve with the first signs of dawn. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he must risk leaving the safety of his wards to discover a different path. Publicly shamed, she is reduced to gathering herbs and tending an old woman more fearsome than the corelings. Yet in her disgrace, she becomes the guardian of dangerous ancient knowledge.
Orphaned and crippled in a demon attack, young Rojer takes solace in mastering the musical arts of a Jongleur, only to learn that his unique talent gives him unexpected power over the night. Together, these three young people will offer humanity a last, fleeting chance of survival.
Purchase the first book in the series, The Painted Man, from Amazon now. Purchase the first book in the series, The Mists of Avalon, from Amazon now. In the desert colony of Khandar, a dark and mysterious magic, hidden for centuries, is about to emerge from darkness. Winter Ihernglass, fleeing her past and masquerading as a man, just wants to go unnoticed. Finding herself promoted to a command, she must rise to the challenge and fight impossible odds to survive. Their fates rest in the hands of an enigmatic new Colonel, sent to restore order while following his own mysterious agenda into the realm of the supernatural.
A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. Now if Arcadius can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions. Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood.
Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive. Purchase the first book, The Screaming Staircase, from Amazon now. Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars. High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need.
Prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. Every generation can point to a fantasy book or series that defines their teenage years. Currently, that would likely be Harry Potter; for those now edging towards or into their 40s it would be Dragonlance. Read our review of The Dragonlance Chronicles. For a full list of Dragonlance novels, visit Wikipedia. If you do, do not, or if you have any further recommendations then please let us know by leaving a comment below.
Thank you, we hope you enjoyed reading our list. You have some excellent selections listed. But seriously, these should have been the first four on your list. Just a joy to read. Brilliant comments Squiggler, completely agree with everything you said. I just finished my second tour of the 10 book series and it was twice as good the second time around. Reading through this list brought back some great memories and sparked some new ideas as inspiration for my reading list — many thanks for that. I believe you skipped straight from Tawny Man to Fitz and the Fool.
Cheers though for the rest of the included series. This books are amazing. I recommend everyone to read them. I was able to read some of them last week. I have added your website in my toolbar so i can return with just one click when i feel the need to read your great posts. I really loved your list.
I appreciate the comments and have added a couple of series from the recommendations. The books listed in the comments have nicely rounded out your list. I like this ideas for reading. They bring fantasy and reality together in way that is compelling. At least I thought so. I do love Jack Forsithe. It is fantasy, but well blended with today. Has all the important elements, love, lust, karma, and offbeat humour.
I enjoyed the sword of truth series until I read Faith of the Fallen. It tried to paint charity, compassion and mercy as evil. Not Goodkind by nature! Your disappointment is misplaced as I would assume are the examples of other missing series you could easily have included. But to be fair, there are others missing I could easily include. I thought they were real page turners. Are they considered too light — or are they young adult? Needs to be on the list! This is clearly stated as a list of favourites that includes more than three books.
The Lord of the Rings you will find, hopefully to your pleasure at number one on the trilogy top list. Have you taken Joe Abercrombie off this list?? I can understand including authors because there is a lot of people enjoying their books. Great authors all of them but wrong criteria for this list. Thank you so much for this list. I get tired of falling in love with a world or character only to have the adventure end all too abruptly for me. I will have tour start looking at some of these. I might add that the Belgariad is a wonderful series by David Eddings and his wife.
Easy reading but very enjoyable. Wheres Terry Brooks ermagerd! Where is The Lord of the Rings? Any real fantasy-lover should read LOTR. I agree with the mckillop recommendation. As an older teenager this series fired my now 45 year old love for fantasy fiction that and Tolkien. It is a great tale of self discovery. Goodkind is definitely in the top five of all time. This is something that needs to be rectified so you should see reviews appear over the coming weeks and then hopefully we can add the Dragonlance series to this page.
Thanks for your comment. Sword of Truth does have its fans although it is not for everyone. But it has I believe given thousands of readers a lot of enjoyment, and that is why it is listed on this page. Sword of Truth has got to go. Predictable and truly not in league with the other series noted here. These are recommendations after-all, and here is mine, Whispers by Aram Keledjian.
My new favorite of the year by faaaaaaar. A quarter of those series are nothing more than Dragonlance knock offs anyway. Goodkind is the worst author ever. The fact that this series is on your best list makes me question your judgement about all the other books on this list. Thanks for the list. I am going to check out Duncton Wood. The series that got me into fantasy writing to begin with was Brian Jacques Redwall series. Granted they did get a little repetitive and predictable, but the first 5 books were great.
I feel like Michael Moorcock should be on this list somewhere. Elric of Melnibone series is one of my all-time favorites. Yes dragon spindle is pretty good for a self published book I recon it will be picked up by a publisher soon then probably get ruined by big business! I absolutely loved that list… Quick question though: Should the novels by Anne Rice not be included as well? I liked a new book and fantasy series which is Dragon Spindle book 1 in the Ningazia Balance series.
Definatly worth a look if you like fast paced dragon fantasy with dragons, elfs , orcs and loads of magic. The first book is indeed awesome, but after that, the entire thing goes down the drain. Zero innovation, bullshit character development He might has well had an alien parasite take over Leesha , inconsistent pacing….
Dresden files up but got to say Codex Alera has me coming back for more. Mazan Book of the Fallen is so epic, intelligent and unpredictable, near all other fantasy seems childlike in comparison. Good call for having it in the list. I actually have the Rangers Apprentice books on my to-be-read pile and — following your recommendation — will move them up the list and read them soon.
A book series that I highly recommend is Rangers Apprentice. It is not your average fantasy novel, it takes place in a world much like middle age England and does not include magic surprisingly. You follow the adventures of Will Treaty becoming a Ranger, a legendary warrior using the tools of stealth and archery to guard the crown. This list cannot be considered complete without the Chronicles of Pern! I would also mention The Saga of Recluce by L. Modesitt Jr as being worthy of inclusion, certainly well above the risible Sword of Truth series.
The Dredsen Files is the best fantasy book written by the best author — Jim Bucher. You would definitely agree that The Dredsen Files is the Best Fantasy Series around I have read each book 3 times over just to fully understand the characters and the plot of the series. Hi Lynette, great recommendations! Some we have yet to read and review on the site but I have added them to our to-read list and hope to remedy that very soon. I know this post is a few years old… I have a few new ones to add: I think Inheritance Cycle should be on the list. It is an awesome read and its characters are very deep too.
Glen Cook wrote an earlier book that has been one of my favorites since my teenage years. The Dragon Never Sleeps. I had to re-purchase the Duncton Chronicles about 5 years ago due to my originals being lost somewhere in the midst of time. But I treasure them as much as any other books, they have character and history. The first Duncton book is a real gem, a worthy companion to Watership Down.
Interesting what you say about inconsistencies in the Hyddenworld series. I have to admit a few elements of the story did not piece together perfectly, especially the legend of the Peace Weaver and Beormund, but I am very, very forgiving of the authors I hold dearest! Thanks for the nice answer Lee! I found it quite enjoyable — few fresh ideas there!
Only thing that bugged me was that there was rather a lot of inconsistencies throughout. Guess the author must be even more forgetful than I am! Now, The Name of the Wind and Mr. Read it when it first came out. By the second book it gets a whole lot better though, in my opinion. I want to see Gregor the Overlander on this list. Thanks Milotius, this is exactly the type of comment that provides real value.
We have reviewed Lukyanenko, Pehov and Sapkowski on the site, but not enough of a series to get them onto this page. I think the advancement in the standard of translation will open up these books to a wider audience. I have read several translated books recently and they have lost nothing in the translation.
Now this might be a new series to add. So far, wonderful story, wonderfully told. There are some amazing books out there once you start exploring! Kind of an urban fantasy, modern day, Russian version of Narnia if you will. But with so much dark humour, strangeness and sometimes creepiness it should definitely not be recommended for kids.
Yet again an urban fantasy and I suppose hope well known. Yet again for its mix of lightheartedness and angst! My only negative note on this list: Wheels of Time… Why, oh why are people so in to it? Could not stomach more after book 6. He seems to have had only two categories for females — evil or annoying or possibly both.
If not, do it now! Mistborn is on our recommended fantasy trilogies pages. I know it is 4 books now but it just seemed a better fit on there. I understand having Tolkien on the list but I have never been able to read his books. They just bore me and seem to spend too much energy in building the world and races that it is nearly a biography of a fantasy world and less a good fantasy story.
Though I would have to say that without LoTR fantasy would still be decades behind where it is now. Really, not a single Brandon Sanderson, I just wanna see one of them although I think they all deserve a spot , Mistborn was an amazing series. I am listening to The Dragonbone Chair at this very moment — I first read it decades ago and hope to enjoy it every bit as much second time around!
The Dwarves 2. The War of the Dwarves 3. The Revenge of the Dwarves 4. The Fate of the Dwarves 5. And then my absolute favorite: Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: The Dragonbone Chair 2. Stone of Farewell 3. City of Golden Shadow 2. River of Blue Fire 3. Mountain of Black Glass 4. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss!!
It is simply amazing. Self published at first, and has become a best-seller on word of mouth alone. I think that most people who like these other series would enjoy these. The first three books were fantastic, interesting world, characters with room to grow and a story to tell. Somewhere though it got off track. It seemed to require story lines that were way to separate and did not seem to come together much. Great series but after starting out to be the best ever, it never quite lived up to that. Interesting story and characters.
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Interesting form of magic. My ESL teacher recommended it to me when I was in high school and I have been in love with it ever since. Now it is sold as 1 thick book, but it is actually composed of 4 books: A good call for Mists of Avalon Luiz and I have been delighted to add it. I should just note that Diana L. Paxson co-wrote and independently wrote the later novels. One author completely missing from this list and the comments is Peter V Brett — His Demon Cycle series it is now over 3 books so can be included is a fantastic new take on the fantasy genre.
Some wonderful characters in a gripping story line. Four have been published and I can hardly wait for the fifth and concluding novel. The Twilight Reign by Tom Lloyd. Otherwise, all the comments and remarks are very acurate, and although I am a fan of Terry Goodkind, some of the books did stink… Wheel of Time is epic!
In fact, he just finished reading the first novel by Jim West called Libellus de Numeros The Book of Math that makes math and science relevant and fun in a story of magic and danger. The story is about Alex, a young precocious girl, who mysteriously gets transported to a strange world where Latin and Math combine in formulas and equations with magical effects. With a cruel council leading the only safe city of its kind in this world, she will have to prove her worth to stay as well as help this city as it is the target for two evil wizards who seek to destroy the city and its ruling council.
To help the city and also get back home, she will need the help of the greatest mathematician of all time, Archimedes. In a world where math is magic, Alex wishes she paid more attention in math class. Search for the book on Goodreads for reviews. Nice list, glad NOT to see junk like Twilight on it. Hey LuvD, the trilogy list which is a work in progress can be found here: Is it out as yet?
If so, can you post a link? This thread has been opened since Gonna finally give WoT a try way too many of you have suggested it. Was probably looking for something new to try out and voila. The story managed to completely draw me in after a couple of chapters. That is one great list of beloved series you got there, so I felt compelled to express a concern and immediately suggest an entry.
I am not Polish myself so I had to wait for translation but his work is truely masterful and entertaining, for lack of a better word. The subtle references to classic pieces are simply genius while the series follows its own engaging story. Believe me, I would never look at Cinderella or the Beauty and the Beast the same way as I did before!
Definitely a recommended read! Thanks for that David, it made me smile, a lot. Very close to my own personal opinions on many points. Would love to know what you think about Wheel of Time though — if you could reply with an answer that would be great. Good call on Saga of the Recluce — we have very positive reviews for it already on the site, so added to this list it shall be!
After Days of Air and Darkness, it sinks to somewhere between pretty good and so-so. No I take it back. The Belgariad is okay. The Malloreon is so-so. The Elenium is blah. The Tamuli is just plain bad. I really wish that Guy Gavriel Kay would write a series with each book being as good as Tigana was. Farseer by Robin Hobb is great. You have to like a book authored by a liberal where the hero is a guy who murders people for a living. Way to go, Margaret.
Mistborn was great-minus, with flashes of great here and there. The Saga of Recluce is another great-minus series, with some of the books being marginally great and others being just pretty good. The repetitive use of the boy-from-the-sticks-grows-up-and-does-well theme holds it down half a notch. The real atrocity is that neither Mistborn nor the Stormlight Archives are listed. Hi James, great books but a trilogy. But if enough people think they should be on the list I would be happy to add them. Thanks for the good list.
I agreed with most of the picks and got ideas for future reads from the rest. I do feel the need to award kudos not only for the Gemmell nods but specifically for the Rigante series. Rarely does a list acknowledge Gemmel and this is the first one to do that and go farther. The Drenai series may be simplistic but the tale of the Rigante is a whole different level of story telling in my opinion, and well worthy of mention.
Wheel of Time series has to be in 2nd place after the story of the Middle Earth by J. I have read many of the authors in the list and are all great in different ways. One of my favourites however is Robin Hobb, I would urge anyone whose is looking for a great read to consider these. I think when you look at all from a distance, J. Tolkien is the author of all these books and they are all set in the same world. So I now think they should be included. Hi Unojoe, thank you for your comment. The Kingkiller Chronicles is — as you say — fantastic. But at the moment the criteria for inclusion on this page is a series consisting of at least 4 books.
Thank you for the original list. I used to read lots of fantasy but what with my career and children etc have only recently got back into it. Just finished WoT after a 7 year break- agree it lost its way in the middle at times and I despaired of it ever finishing; great finale though, a really good fight! I probably ought to re-read them now! I know he writes more stand alone novels, but would like to recommend Guy Gavriel Kay. Interesting comments Batto and Lawler, I tend to agree. Cheers everyone, have a good Christmas!
I read fantasy fiction to escape and I enjoy it for that purpose, but I have to admit that very little of it is high-quality literature, and I find that the longer series are little more than endless plot, with little substance. Good literature makes you reflect on and better understand something, whether it be history, current events, human nature, love, friendship, pyschology, politics, etc. The book opens with the story of Larin, a young orphan boy taken in by his uncle Akul, who resides in the temple of Emja, the supreme human god.
She creates a charm for him that stops the fits, and with his newfound freedom, Larin sets about taking revenge on those who hurt him. The campaign is short lived when the six-legged god of chaos and pain Morphat begins tricking the Wormpile residents into training at his temple of pain and misery, and Larin discovers his true purpose: Later on in the book we get some scenes from the point of view of an indigen six legged monsters banished in a prior war to the icy part of the continent general, and the creature genuinely felt both inhuman and relatable.
The writing style was gorgeous without being over the top, and despite how many unique concepts I was introduced to over the span of the novel, I never found myself lost. The magical system was well explained and I never found Rodgers breaking any of his own rules, which is a major plus.
All his characters were well developed, and the villain, once revealed, is bone-chillingly creepy without being overly generic. Apr 02, JKS Communications rated it it was amazing. Apr 02, Marissa DeCuir rated it it was amazing. I just couldn't put down this dark epic fantasy! Perfect for anyone who enjoys the classic elements of high fantasy but also enjoys the grittier sociopolitical complexity of low fantasy. Mar 30, Sara rated it it was amazing. A fascinating debut fantasy book. Fans of Lord of the Rings and of Greek mythology will find something to love.
Mar 19, Julie rated it it was amazing.
Priest as a main character
An enthralling read by turns suspenseful, moving, and thought provoking. I would liken this book to China Mieville meets Gene Wolfe. A richly imagined secondary world fantasy where different sorts who worship different gods are not getting along well at all, a world imbued with magic through the orb that rules the night sky, Spellgiver. Among this menagerie, differently-abled street urchin Lari An enthralling read by turns suspenseful, moving, and thought provoking.
Among this menagerie, differently-abled street urchin Larin discovers he has a key role to play in the scheme of things. Def looking forward to more in this series and more from this author in general. Mar 01, Bob added it Shelves: A battle looms between the Gods and their human and indigen proxies. At the same time competing currents within both camps threaten their internal unity. Larin, a young man full of undisciplined, unmediated magic may be the only hope for either side.
It's all very dramatic stuff, the characterisation and plotting is excellent, and the world-building blends familiar fantasy tropes with aspects recalling elements as disparate as Rice Burroughs' Barsoom and the Aztec Empire. It's great stuff, and it A battle looms between the Gods and their human and indigen proxies.
It's great stuff, and it's very well written. In fact, my only quibble is that the cover illustration is a bit too reminiscent of the pulp era for such a seriously-conceived book. I can't wait for the next in the series. Feb 14, Carlisa Cramer rated it it was amazing Shelves: A really well-written and -developed fantasy novel! Jul 24, Chukwudi O. Welcome to the City of Shards. Three tools you need to embark on a journey into this book: An intensely curious mind, well-honed attention to detail, and an actively functioning imagination.
However, what you experience is much more than that. So if you think you are only going to experience magic within the pages of the book, then you are in for a howler. Much like the popular meme - do not take alcohol if Welcome to the City of Shards. Much like the popular meme - do not take alcohol if you are going to be operating heavy machinery - do not begin reading this book if you have important commitments coming up or you have deadlines to meet.
Regardless of who you are or how much self-control you possess; you are going to turn the page.
Best Strong Female Heroine Fantasy Books
Just, simply, an excellent read! May 04, Payal Sinha rated it it was amazing. City of Shards is a spellbinding novel centered around an orphan boy Larin. Larin lives with his uncle Akul inside a temple premises a lonely and cursed life. Since early childhood he had these intense outbursts that left him tired and bewildered. Hence, the only hope according to his uncle is to keep him hidden. To combat the loneliness Larin takes to reading forbidden books from the temple's library.
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There he comes across words that fuel his anger and his outbursts. Larin further comes to know City of Shards is a spellbinding novel centered around an orphan boy Larin. Larin further comes to know that he is useless with magic. Now destiny has something important stored for him. The book takes us on a journey of Larin's adventure where everyone close to him has to make important sacrifices. The book is very interesting and could be easily shared with a teenager or a young adult.
The world of fantasy has been intricately created and the characters well developed. I loved the story and look forward to it's sequel. Jun 13, Perry Morris rated it it was amazing. This is an amazing fantasy epic. I fully endorse it. Steve Rodgers has created a complex and intriguing world with original creatures that are unique and really fire the imagination. I love the way the indigen race have eight pods on the front and back and they can Apr 04, Lindsey Roberts rated it it was amazing.
It was exactly my kind of book; fantasy; magic; gods waging war and the main character being the underdog in over his head. Larin is cursed with shouting a phrase — one he ultimately understands makes him a servant of a Demon. His life is lonely and isolated, ruled by fear — his uncle offers protection, but a crime-lord rules his district and no one Original Review Here I was delighted to be approved for an ARC for City of Shards: His life is lonely and isolated, ruled by fear — his uncle offers protection, but a crime-lord rules his district and no one will be seen with Larin.
Just as he feels like he can move on, the city falls prey to a cult and a powerful mage. Swept up in the chaos, Larin realises he has a bigger part to play in it. Larin is a great main character. He is vulnerable and lonely, but also brave — to the point of bordering on stupidity. He stands up for himself, regardless of the consequence, and refuses to endanger those closes to him. When he finds out he is more than he seems, he accepts the burden, knowing his power could save those he loves.
While Larin is the main narrator, there are a number of strong characters. Laniette is powerful and beautiful and has the measure of Larin from the start. The few friends Larin have are loyal to him, no matter what. Apart from the gods, there was something comforting and familiar about this book. I was reading echoes of some of the other fantasy books in it. Never enough that it was similar to one or another, but just in the way the character was isolated from his friends Robin Hobb and the way the rules of magic worked reminded me slightly of Eragon.
But I enjoyed it more because of these familiarities — I could focus my attention on figuring out the gods, because the other fantastical elements were clear to me from the beginning. The tension and pacing worked perfectly for the story. Larin never has it easy, but the level of the threat increases as the plot unfolds and draws the reader deeper and deeper into this world of trouble Larin has landed in.
Mar 29, Jack Keener rated it liked it. I read the first three chapters as part of a teaser. It was very well done fantasy even if a never really understood what the Wormpile even was. It intrigued me to know the boy's curse and to know more about the world he lived in.
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Jul 31, Seregil of Rhiminee rated it really liked it. Originally published at Risingshadow. Steve Rodgers' City of Shards is the first novel in the Spellgiver series of independently published high fantasy novels. It's a refreshingly different kind of a fantasy novel that has plenty of magic and intriguing gods to satisfy the needs of readers who are looking for a captivating and magical story. I was positively surprised by this novel, because it's entertaining and has been written out of love for storytelling.
City of Shards (Spellgiver #1) by Steve Rodgers
When I began to read it, I had no idea Originally published at Risingshadow. When I began to read it, I had no idea what to expect from the story, but I soon found myself enjoying it. This novel is a compelling high fantasy novel with elements of young adult fantasy, dark fantasy, adventure fantasy and sword and sorcery. It has several familiar elements and common fantasy tropes a lonely orphan boy, good vs. One of the most noticeable things about this novel is that the author has created a world that is incredibly detailed and well-developed.
The author has clearly invested a lot of time into creating something new and has succeeded in it. The time he has put into the background work can be seen throughout the story, because his fantasy world is a vibrant place with its own history and unique magic system. Because the synopsis of this novel tells quite a lot about the happenings, I won't mention anything about them the less you know about the story in advance the more you'll enjoy it.
I'll only mention that City of Shards is a complex story, the events of which take place in the Empire of Tanbar where an orphan boy Larin finds himself in the middle of an ancient war involving the Lord of Demons and the Six-Legged Gods to whom humans are mere playthings that can easily be discarded. Larin is an intriguing protagonist, because he suffers from a condition that has caused him lots of grief and problems. He shouts out nonsensical words that others consider to be meaningless and strange. He finds out that the words actually have a meaning, because they mark him as a servant of Haraf, the Lord of Demons, and his purpose is to bring Haraf back to the world.
Larin's life is different from other boys' lives. Most of the time Larin is confined to the Wormpile District where he lives with his uncle Akul, because it's the only place where he is safe from Oarl's gang members who have a habit of beating and bullying him. He's a lonely boy who doesn't have many friends, because he lives an isolated life. Despite being lonely, he's brave and stands up for himself against the gang members, even though he knows that his actions may be stupid and reckless because of their consequences.
Kemharak is an enemy character who's unlike humans, because he's a Lidath. He is the High Commander of the Lidath army. His great assembled army has only one purpose: He is studying humans and human motivations, because he doesn't fully understand certain things. Although he's a formidable creature, he's unlike others of his race and dares to question things. The other characters are also well-created and add depth to the story.
Laniette is quite an interesting character, because she is a wizardress who senses something in Larin. The worldbuilding is impressive, because the author has come up with a sufficiently different kind of a secondary fantasy world. The Empire of Tanbar is well-visualised and the author takes his time to introduce the locales to the reader. The cultural and political aspects of the world are handled well. When I read this novel, I noticed that the author's worldbuilding lacks the vast scope of many big epic fantasy series, but he makes up for it by writing about a detailed and well-created world that feels entirely realistic.
What's great about the world is the lack of elves, goblins, dwarfs and other similar kind of races that most fantasy novels are filled with. I respect the author for consciously steering away from these Tolkienesque races and concentrating on creating something new, because it makes a difference. In this novel, Tolkienesque races have been replaced by the Lidathi who are a native species with claws and pods. There's something wonderfully alien yet familiar and Lovecraftian about them that fascinates me. Because the magic system is original, I think it's good to say a few words about it.
Lyrashi is the language of the ancient creatures known as Carvers and it's the foundation of the world's magic. Carvers were godlike beings, but they've disappeared and their glyphs have given humanity keys to their power. What's especially fascinating about magic in this novel is that everybody can use a bit of magic and the moon Spelligiver amplifies the use of magic when it's near. There are, however, limitations to how much power one can wield, because some have more power while others have less power.
There are also rules that one must be aware of before using certain kind of magic or something may go terribly wrong. The depiction of religion and religious elements is interesting. The author portrays religion in a thought-provoking and surprisingly unflattering way, because the priests are anything but perfect. Both the Emja priests and the Morphat priests are not ideal, but flawed and imperfect priests.
The Emja priests often drink too much and the Morphat priests are treacherous and extremely violent priests who know how to manipulate people into submission. I think it's great that the author has included a timeline of historical happenings, because it introduces readers to the history of the world. This timeline is intriguingly complex and detailed. The epigraphs also reveal quite a lot of information about the world. I can hardly wait to start reading the next novel, In the Claws of the Indigen, because I enjoyed this novel and found it captivating.
I have a feeling that the sequel will be an even more satisfying reading experience and will feature quite a lot of happenings. Steve Rodgers' City of Shards is refreshingly different kind of high fantasy for readers who want to read something compelling. It's a well written independently published fantasy novel with depth and good characterisation. It's a perfect example of how compelling and fresh independent fantasy fiction can be at its best and most original.
Mar 16, J. An entire world is constructed in this book for the reader, complete with maps of this fictional place. What is more, the book is accessible and full of adventure. A recommended fantasy journey. May 31, Sunny rated it really liked it. ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
City of Shards is basically a coming-of-age novel about a strange boy named Larin, who has been having weird outbursts followed by the chanting of three foreign words ever since he was He was adopted by his uncle, Akul, who did everything to keep this strange habit of Larin out of other people's sight, confining her nephew in a four-blocks part of a garbage city called Wormpile.
Soon it turns out that he is the servant of a demon God ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Soon it turns out that he is the servant of a demon God, named Haraf, and will serve as the one who will free the demon from the cages of of the world he was forever confined to. You know, I had a weird experience with this book. Usually, I'm the type of person who doesn't enjoy slow-paced books because they bore me to death and hinder me from getting engaged with the story or the characters.
With this book, however, I had no such problem, depite it being rather slow-paced and definitely beyond my liking. I'm almost fully positive that has been the case because of the amazing world-building and the vast amount of possibilities hiding in all the layers of this story. The world is completely anew and unlike what we've ever known of — and while lot of bits of information is thrown at us right from the beginning, which was rather overwhelming as I understood nearly nothing, one by one they're explained in a way that doesn't disrupt the flow of the story and is immersed right within.
I found the system of magic very interesting, but my favorite part was how the Gods and religion was portrayed. I loved how this story put the demons and the human gods in a completely new light and didn't follow tradition. The book is beautifully written, albeit sometimes the fantastic writing turned into useless purple prose to me, but it was bothering only a few times. I loved the characters, although couldn't quite get into Larin until the last portion of the book, but the others were compelling enough not to let that bother me. If you don't mind slow-paceness of a book but do enjoy new, creative worlds with a story that has lot to offer, pick up this book.
I myself can't wait for the adventure to continue and to learn more about the world and especially the demons. Aug 19, Paige Green rated it liked it. I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions are my own. March 30, Genre: Protected from the worst beatings by his drug-addicted warrior Disclaimer: But when he learns his words have marked him as servant to Lord of Demons, things go from bad to worse.
For that phrase has shoved him into the middle of an ancient war between his Master and the Six-Legged gods, both of whom regard humanity as mere playthings. With his home facing threats from every direction, Larin will have to tread the narrow path between two evils, his only allies his drug-addicted uncle, a permanently drunk priestess, and a high-born wizardress who must hold her nose and work with the street rabble she despises.
I felt that this book had some really good writing and the characters are really really really well developed. I felt like it could be an awesome epic fantasy for a lot of people like LOTR is. The backstory is so daunting. The pacing, in my opinion, is too slow. An epic high fantasy novel that would be perfect for LOTR fans!
Aug 17, Newpath rated it it was ok Shelves: At first I was really impressed at the technical quality of the writing and how deep and compelling the worldbuilding appeared to be. I was sucked almost immediately into the story and into the life of Larin, a street urchin living in a ghetto, but with an obvious sense of destiny about him. I was at the edge of my seat, expecting shit to go down at any moment. But the more of the story I tl;dr: But the more of the story I read and the closer I came to the end of the novel, the more confused I got.
Nothing seemed to be happening to the protagonist Time after time a chapter started by declaring a time skip had happened, "months passed" and "weeks passed" and I just wondered "when is the story going to start? It was only when I reached the end of the novel that I realized what was going on, why the pacing felt so off and the creeping percentage marker on my ereader was inspiring confusion rather than the customary dread in the case of a good book or relief in the case of a bad one: You know that part in the story where the protagonist stops demurring and finally "answers the call" and leaves his home in pursuit of adventure?
That's literally where City of Shards ends. Most of all, though: This story had everything to be a real contender. No wonder the sequel was published only a month after this book. Jul 25, Kelly Davies rated it really liked it. A really exciting adventure into an incredibly complex and exciting world.
We meet Larin, and quickly learn he is no ordinary hero. Seemingly cursed with a tourette's like affliction he frequently shouts bizarre and unknown phrases into the ether. However these phrases are not just nonsense - they have awakened an ancient curse - one that Larin must fight.
Rodger's throws the reader in head first and does not relent. The universe he has created for Larin's adventures is extensive and delightful. He A really exciting adventure into an incredibly complex and exciting world. He strings together plot lines from every corner to create a rich tapestry of adventure that it's impossible not to be swept away on. Every character is well fleshed out with their own histories and motivations, and although Larin is our hero it's hard not to fall in love with each one of them.
Without being cliche we meet a whole host of "degenerates" who are far more than they seem. Good triumphs over evil and the underdog has the last laugh in this thrilling new novel that is guaranteed to entertain, it's a refreshing and delightful way to deal with difficult and complex real life issues, and I can imagine we will all find someone to identify with in the story. Rodger's manages to bring you into what could be an incredibly convoluted hierarchical society amongst the God's and bring it to life with clarity and depth that I was very worried about at the start, but completely involved in by the end.
Jun 24, KarynH rated it it was amazing. As a teenager in my youthful days, magic has always been a topic of interest. Spell castings, necromancy, and astrology kept me closely tied to a book. Steve Rodgers is one author I respect for his mastery of medieval myths and folklore. The City of Shards is a very lovely story to read. The Adventure follows Larin as he continues to develop himself in the art of magic and spell casting. This wonderful work by Steve Rod As a teenager in my youthful days, magic has always been a topic of interest.
This wonderful work by Steve Rodger also has a religious tone to it. It explored the effect of religion on the people. In the strongest sense, separating religion from magic is a bit difficult if not impossible. Larin's meeting with Tewin had some awe attached to it. Somehow I knew something was boiling. Myth and magic play major roles throughout the book. I love the energy and zeal with which Larin demonstrated the willingness to study. Beyond the magic and myth, this book also gives an insight into the lives of the medieval people. It is one book suitable for bedtimes.
May 07, Shanell Meek rated it really liked it. I was sometimes confused and trying to keep characters and their powers straight and stay with the story. But the story was unique and the heroes powers are unique. Both of which made it an interesting and new fantasy experience. Rodgers does a great job building up his characters and explaining is story, once I started reading I had a hard time putting the book down and getting anything done until I had finished it.