Oct 9

RT Book Reviews on The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“Bear skillfully weaves a brand-new saga into the landscape of her famed worlds from previous novels, hinting at the histories but not relying on them. The new stories and characters are fresh and captivating, from the young monarch with the creepiest drug addiction, to the elderly poet-warrior with the subversive skillset. There is little to critique here, though the romances can seem extraneous and unnecessary. The near-apocalyptic cliffhanger leaves the reader anxious for more. A definite must-read, and one to highlight in anticipation for the sequel.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

Oct 6

Jim Butcher wins two Dragon Awards!

Jim Butcher has won Dragon Awards in two categories! Congratulations, Jim!

Best Comic Book:

The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo

Best Graphic Novel:

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez

Sep 27

Library Journal starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“Two masterless mercenaries lead a caravan across the mountains known as the Steles of the Sky in this latest novel set in Bear’s lushly constructed “Eternal Sky” universe. The Dead Man was previously a loyal guard from the toppled Uthman Caliphate, while his partner is a Gage, a mechanical automaton who was once human. They have an urgent message to deliver to Mrithuri, the queen of one of the small Lotus Kingdoms, remnants of a shattered empire. Little do they know that they are walking into a war zone as enemies are poised to attack Mrithuri from all sides. Bear’s outstanding worldbuilding includes an India-inspired land, where the night sky is lit by a wash of stars brighter by far than the dark sun that rises each day. The diverse cast includes plenty of strong women, and the Dead Man and Gage are a team readers will want to follow for many more adventures. VERDICT “The Eternal Sky” trilogy (Range of Ghosts; Shattered Pillars; Steles of the Sky) is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade, and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting, albeit a small corner that she has not previously explored.” — Library Journal, Starred Review

Aug 24

Library Journal starred review for Raven Stratagem

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

“Gen. Shuos Jedao, a 400-plus-year-old master strategist and mass murderer, was anchored to Capt. Kel Charis in the Hugo- and Nebula Award-nominated Ninefox Gambit. As this sequel opens, Jedao has survived an assassination attempt and taken over another military Swarm. While he is willing to fight off the Hanf who have invaded local space, his goal seems to be the destruction of the hexarchate, the rigid social and political structure that he feels has grown corrupt. Meanwhile, the hexarchate leaders are scrambling to control the man they use as their ultimate weapon. Lee has leveraged the adage that any seemingly advanced science can look like magic to create truly bizarre technologies, starting with a society based so rigidly on a special calendar that any who stray from its rules are executed as heretics. While the parasitic arrangement between Charis and Jedao created interesting character developments in book one, it shifts here to an even more unreliable narrator dynamic. VERDICT While there is plenty of gripping space opera action, the real pleasure of this series is the inventive worldbuilding.” — Library Journal, Starred Review

Aug 21

Publishers Weekly starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“With a glorious and dramatic story, Bear begins a stunning new series set in the same world as her Eternal Sky trilogy. South of towering mountains lie the Lotus Kingdoms, an analog of our own Indian subcontinent. The Dead Man, once guard to a caliph who’s now dead himself, and the Gage, a hulking brass automaton, protect a caravan that travels over the mountain passes and down into the Lotus Kingdoms during monsoon season. The pair bear a message from the Eyeless One, a powerful wizard, to Mrithuri, ruling rajni of Sarathai-tia, who seeks a way to put off her powerful male cousins and secure her country. Both Mrithuri and her cousin, Sayeh Rajni of Ansh-Sahal, receive dark omens of further threats to their rule. With sumptuous prose, Bear details the opulence of royal courts, a sodden journey, and intricate rituals. Colors, textures, and aromas enrich her descriptions of lands that stand on the brink of war. Bear’s worldbuilding stretches from the Cauled Sun in the heavens to the vast ecosystem of Mother River Sarathai, and her characters nod to fantasy archetypes while remaining individual.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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