Book Review: Hot Lead, Cold Iron

Written by Ari Marmell Published by Titan Books This is the first story in a new series of urban fantasy about Mick Oberon; we first meet him getting beaten up by the hired muscle of a crooked committeeman of Chicago’s 34th Ward. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter too much because he heals fast and he has a wand: a Luchitaine & Goodfellow Model 1592, polished whitewood that the seller swore had a sliver of the raft that carried King Arthur to Avalon. Using magic (temporarily blinding the hired muscle, forcing luck to help him out, exerting his willpower on other people, […]

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Book Review: India Black

The first Madam of Espionage mystery, written by Carol K Carr Published by Titan Books Carol Carr is a former lawyer who decided to indulge her passion for history into writing, which led to this book. You know where you are from the preface: ‘My name is India Black. I am a whore.’ It is 1876. India Black runs a brothel on St Alban’s Street in London called the Lotus House (a deliberate reference to The Lotus-Eaters poem by Tennyson, because she caters for gentlemen – it’s more like a gentlemen’s club than a house of ill repute). She used […]

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Book Review: The Wild Ways

Written by Tanya Huff Published by Titan Books The Wild Ways is the follow-up to The Enchantment Emporium (which I reviewed here), focussing on Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Gale – she is a cousin of Alysha ‘Allie’ Gale, the lead in the first book, and was also a major character in the story. Unlike the other women in the Gale family (the aunties, who have certain magical abilities), Charlie is a rare Wild Power – she is not tied to any particular location, she has the ability to travel between places through the Woods, and can do her magic with music, which […]

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Book Review: The Fell Sword

Written by Miles Cameron Published by Gollancz This book is the second part of The Traitor Son cycle, and it’s another huge chunk of medieval fantasy after the wonderful initially entry, The Red Knight (which I reviewed here). Cameron has written another epic story about the Red Knight aka the Captain aka Gabriel Muriens, as he expands the scope of the world he has created to include the machinations of other nations across the sea, civil war within Morea, and the higher powers that wish to destroy men and the world. The prologue introduces things, including the Fell Sword of […]

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Book Review: Further Encounters Of Sherlock Holmes

Edited by George Mann Published by Titan Books BBC’s Sherlock, CBS’s Elementary, the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films – the enduring appeal of one of the most famous fictional characters has never been more evident. You simply cannot have too many Sherlock Holmes stories. This anthology continues this tradition in fine form: all twelve stories are written in the style and idiom of Conan Doyle at the time of the original stories (for example there is a use of a ‘Chinaman’ in one of the tales that is a little out of place to the modern reader), so you feel […]

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Book Review: A Natural History Of Dragons

A Memoir By Lady Trent written by Marie Brennan Published by Titan Books Marie Brennan, the pseudonym of Bryn Neuenschwander, is an American fantasy author who graduated from Harvard University and did graduate studies in folklore and anthropology. This means she is smart and has an affinity with science and mythology, and she brings a naturalness and clarity to her writing in this utterly charming book, about a young lady following her scientific passion for dragons despite the social etiquette of the time, reflecting on her first adventure on the road to becoming the preeminent dragon naturalist. Isabella is the […]

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Book Review: The Enchantment Emporium

By Tanya Huff Published by Titan Books I’ve never read anything by Canadian fantasy author Tanya Huff before but, based on The Enchantment Emporium, I need to rectify that state of affairs. She is prolific, having written several contemporary fantasy series (including the Blood Books series, about a human detective and a vampire writer who stop supernatural threats, which was made into a television series called Blood Ties) and a science fiction series, the Valor Confederation series. The Enchantment Emporium is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series – this was originally published in 2009, but Titan Books […]

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Book Review: Vicious

By V.E. Schwab Published by Titan Books When two friends find a way to acquire superpowers, events will never turn out smooth. When these friends are intelligent, competitive, driven individuals, the top pre-med students at their college, whose friendship is shattered by acquiring their superpowers, their lives and the lives of many other people will be adversely affected. Victoria Schwab has written a gripping, thrilling adventure that you can easily see as a film (and so could other people, because it has already been optioned). The story starts in the present day, with Victor Vale digging up a coffin, before […]

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Book Review: Red Country

By Joe Abercrombie Published by Gollancz Take a Western but with swords instead of guns. Set it in an epic fantasy world. Throw in a stagecoach chase, an attack by ‘natives’ around the wagons, a prospector town full of vice and criminals, and tough characters living in a harsh world. And make it good. You now have Red Country, the new novel from Abercrombie, set in the same world as his First Law trilogy (and featuring some of the characters from those stories, although without needing to know anything about them), and which is a compelling, violent, gritty, well-written tale […]

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Book Review: The Red Knight

Written by Miles Cameron Published by Gollancz The Red Knight paperback is a huge, thick book – it could be used as a handy shield in a fight – and it is only the first part of The Traitor Son cycle. However, you won’t notice the size of the book when reading (well, apart from the weight) because you will be so absorbed in the story. This is Cameron’s first fantasy novel and it is an impressive achievement, rich with characters and detail (the author has a degree in medieval history and is a passionate re-enactor who participates in tournaments […]

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