More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on the digital edition of Paul Kearney's excellent A Different Kingdom for only 2.99$ here. You can download it for 3.14$ in Canada and £2.48 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

Michael Fay is a normal boy, living with his grandparents on their family farm in rural Ireland. In the woods—once thought safe and well-explored—there are wolves; and other, stranger things. He keeps them from his family, even his Aunt Rose, his closest friend, until the day he finds himself in the Other Place. There are wild people, and terrible monsters, and a girl called Cat.

When the wolves follow him from the Other Place to his family’s doorstep, Michael must choose between locking the doors and looking away—or following Cat on an adventure that may take an entire lifetime in the Other Place. He will become a man, and a warrior, and confront the Devil himself: the terrible Dark Horseman...


You can now download Clive Barker's Weaveworld for only 0.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada and it's £0.99 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

Here is storytelling on a grand scale — the stuff of which a classic is made. Weaveworld begins with a rug — a wondrous, magnificent rug — into which a world has been woven. It is the world of the Seerkind, a people more ancient than man, who possesses raptures — the power to make magic. In the last century they were hunted down by an unspeakable horror known as the Scourge, and, threatened with annihilation, they worked their strongest raptures to weave themselves and their culture into a rug for safekeeping. Since then, the rug has been guarded by human caretakers.

The last of the caretakers has just died.

Vying for possession of the rug is a spectrum of unforgettable characters: Suzanna, granddaughter of the last caretaker, who feels the pull of the Weaveworld long before she knows the extent of her own powers; Calhoun Mooney, a pigeon-raising clerk who finds the world he's always dreamed of in a fleeting glimpse of the rug; Immacolata, an exiled Seerkind witch intent on destroying her race even if it means calling back the Scourge; and her sidekick, Shadwell, the Salesman, who will sell the Weaveworld to the highest bidder.

In the course of the novel the rug is unwoven, and we travel deep into the glorious raptures of the Weaveworld before we witness the final, cataclysmic struggle for its possession.

Barker takes us to places where we have seldom been in fiction--places terrifying and miraculous, humorous, and profound. With keen psychological insight and prodigious invention, his trademark graphic vision balanced by a spirit of transcendent promise, Barker explores the darkness and the light, the magical and the monstrous, and celebrates the triumph of the imagination.

The She-Wolf


Like many other speculative fiction readers, it's thanks to George R. R. Martin that I discovered the excellent The Accursed Kings by French author Maurice Druon a few years back. As the main inspiration for A Song of Ice and Fire, I was eager to give this series a shot. The first two installments turned out to be very good reads, but the third volume failed to live up to the expectations generated by its predecessors. The Royal Succession was a return to form for the author and I was looking forward to see if the fifth book would offer the same satisfying reading experience.

The last installment ended with Philippe V's coronation, but The She-Wolf totally skips over his reign and focuses on the tale of his sister Isabella, wife of Edward II and Queen of England. Which is a bit odd, as previous volumes followed one another more closely. I figure that Philippe V's reign was relatively uneventful, at least compared to that of his recent predecessors, so perhaps there was no point in having a full novel dedicated to the years he spent as the French sovereign.

Here's the blurb:

‘This was the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin

Charles IV is now king of France and his sister is Edward II of England’s Queen. Having been imprisoned by Edward as leader of the rebellious English barons, Roger Mortimer escapes to France, where he joins the war against the English Aquitaine. But it is his love affair with Isabella, the ‘She-Wolf of France’, who has come seemingly to negotiate a treaty of peace that seals his fate…

When Philippe the Long died without any male heirs, the crown went to his younger brother Charles de la Marche, known as the Fair. A handsome but simple-minded monarch, he is hardly fit to rule. Most of the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom are thus left to the powerful Count of Valois and once more there are talks of a new crusade in the Middle East. Across the Channel, England is ruled by an unstable and incompetent king who neglects his rightful wife in favor of a passionate affair with another man. Humiliated both as wife and queen, it appears that Isabella, daughter of the Iron King, has indeed carried the dreadful curse of the Templars on the other side of the English Channel. No one ever escaped from the Tower of London, or so it is said. But when Roger Mortimer of Wigmore is rescued from prison and flees to France, it will set in motion a chain of events that will have grave repercussions in both kingdoms.

I found the translation to be quite good. As was the case with the other installments, it is at times too literal, creating occasional odd turns of phrase. But other than that, there's absolutely nothing to complain about. As is habitually his wont, instead of relying on info-dumps, Druon once again opted for footnotes sending you to the back of the novel for more historical background and clarification. This maintains a fluid pace throughout the novel, which is good. As I said before, in this day and age when speculative fiction and historical books are veritable doorstopper works of fiction, these novels are quite short. Too short, I've always felt. Weighing in at 428 pages, The She-Wolf is the longest volume to date. And yet, the more important page count did not translate into a more convoluted and enjoyable story. Having more to do with England, this latest installment somehow felt a bit incongruous compared to those that came before.

The structure of these books continues to revolve around a number of disparate POVs which allow readers to witness events through the eyes of a variety of protagonists. This helps generate more emotional impact, as you see the web of scandal and intrigue which weaves itself around Queen Isabella's desertion of her husband, her falling in love with Roger Mortimer, and her desire to raise an army and travel back to England to put her son on the throne. As a matter of course, Roger Mortimer and Isabella have their points of view. As the daughter of the Iron King, I was expecting her to be a strong woman. Alas, she was portrayed as needy and desperate, often a puppet eager to please her jealous and manipulative lover. So much for the she-wolf of France. . . Spinello Tolomei returns as a POV character, and it's always interesting to discover just how involved in everything the Lombards were at the time. The Count de Bouville travels to Avignon to meet with the Pope and revelations made to the Holy Father may change the course of history. Guccio Baglioni and Marie de Cressay also have POVs, though their storylines remain in the background for the most part. Always in the thick of things, Robert of Artois' perspective is also part of this novel.

The She-Wolf didn't stand as well on its own as I thought it would. Which is too bad, for The Royal Succession had set the bar as high as the first two volumes following a somewhat disappointing third installment. Maurice Druon continues to weave a vast number of threads in what is a great tapestry of men, women, and events that will shake the foundations of the kingdom of France and the rest of Europe. That hasn't changed. And yet, focusing more on the demise of King Edward II instead of the intrigues of the King of France's court, The She-Wolf felt like some sort of interlude and was a bit discordant in the greater scheme of things.

I keep saying it: With family rivalries, politicking, betrayals and back-stabbings, ASOIAF fans will find a lot to love about Maurice Druon's The Accursed Kings. And given the fact that these books were first published back in the 50s, they have definitely aged well and are as easy to read as any contemporary novels on the market today. I'm eager to find out what will happen next!

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on the digital edition of Anthony Ryan's The Waking Fire for only 1.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate's last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.


You can now download Bradley P. Beaulieu's Twelve Kings of Sharakhai for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada, but not in the UK. . .

Here's the blurb:

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings -- cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings' laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha'ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings' mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings' power...if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don't find her first.

Quote of the Day

Might be that's so, but if we start cutting off the heads of all the fools and liars, half the towns in the Seven Kingdoms will be empty.

- GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (Canada, USA, Europe)

Like most people, I discovered Dunk and Egg while reading the original Legends anthology back in 1998. Never did read Legends II, so the last time I read about the unlikely duo was in 2010, in the Warriors anthology.

It sure feels good to have the chance to read or reread all three novellas in his beautifully illustrated edition. =)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Not sure if this is a mistake or not, but right now you can download Robert McCammon's Swan Song for only 0.23$ here. It's 1.99$ in Canada and £1.80 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

McCammon’s epic bestselling novel about a girl psychic struggling to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.

Something flashes in nine-year-old Swan’s brain, telling her that trouble is coming. Maybe it’s her mother, fed up with her current boyfriend and ready to abandon their dismal trailer park and seek a new home. But something far worse is on the horizon. Death falls from the sky—nuclear bombs which annihilate American civilization. Though Swan survives the blast, this young psychic’s war is just beginning.

As the survivors try to make new lives in the wasteland, an evil army forms, intent on murdering all those tainted with the diseases brought by fallout. When Swan finds a mysterious amulet that could hold the key to humankind’s salvation, she draws the attention of a man more dangerous than any nuclear bomb. To rescue mankind, this little girl will have to grow up fast.


You can also download Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark. But prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will arise to spark a cataclysmic war.

Anton Gorodetsky, an untested mid-level Light magician with the Night Watch, discovers a cursed young woman—an Other of tremendous potential unallied with either side—who can shift the balance of power. With the battle lines between Light and Dark drawn, the magician must move carefully, for one wrong step could mean the beginning of annihilation.


You can also get your hands on the digital edition of William Gibson's Virtual Light for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


I don't know for how long, but right now you can download Guy Gavriel Kay's excellent Sailing to Sarantium for only 3.99$ here! Don't miss out on this amazing two-volume series!

Here's the blurb:

Sarantium is the golden city: holy to the faithful, exalted by the poets, jewel of the world and heart of an empire. Artisan Caius Crispus receives a summons from the emperor and sets off on a journey toward the Imperial city. But before Crispin can reach Sarantium, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, he must pass through a land of pagan ritual and mysterious danger.

In Sailing to Sarantium, the first volume of the brilliant Sarantine Mosaic, Guy Gavriel Kay weaves an utterly compelling story of the allure and intrigue of a magnificent city and the people drawn into its spell.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of Bradley P. Beaulieu's WITH BLOOD UPON THE SAND


I'm giving away my ARC of Bradley P. Beaulieu's With Blood Upon the Sand to one lucky winner! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

With Blood Upon the Sand is the second book in the Song of Shattered Sands epic fantasy trilogy.

Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim—that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will—but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find their chains unbreakable.

Çeda could become the champion they’ve been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After their recent defeat at the hands of the rebel Moonless Host, the kings are hungry for blood, scouring the city in their ruthless quest for revenge. Çeda’s friend Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to take advantage of the unrest in Sharakhai, despite the danger of opposing the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades.

When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage Hamzakiir, they learn a devastating secret that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. But it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her…

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "SAND." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

White Night


You may recall that I read and reviewed Blood Rites, Dead Beat, and Proven Guilty back-to-back over the course of two weeks last year, unable to stop myself from doing so. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed Jim Butcher, so I couldn't help but pick up the next book as soon as I finished the one I was reading! And it took a lot of self-control to forgo continuing reading subsequent installments. Understandably, it was with excitement that I sat down to read White Night.

If Dead Beat turned out to be the point where the Dresden Files shifted into high gear, for its part Proven Guilty did build on the storylines introduced in basically every other volume and pushed the envelope even further. Far from losing steam, the Dresden Files continued to grow in size, scope, and inventiveness. Having grown as an author, Jim Butcher has definitely hit his stride and he seemed to be more confident, more ambitious. And with so many plot threads coming together to form an impressive tapestry, the potential for what came next was enormous. Hence, White Night had lofty expectations to live up to. And though it is a fun and entertaining read in its own right, it's not as good as its last few predecessors.

Here's the blurb:

Someone is targeting the city’s magic practitioners, the members of the supernatural underclass who don’t possess enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Many have vanished. Others appear to be victims of suicide. But the murderer has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes–a message for Harry Dresden, referencing the book of Exodus and the killing of witches.

Harry sets out to find the killer before he can strike again, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half brother, Thomas. Determined to bring the real murderer to justice and clear his brother’s name, Harry attracts the attention of the White Court of vampires, becoming embroiled in a power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation.

Harry knows that if he screws this one up, a lot of people will die–and one of them will be his brother.

One of the hallmarks of the series remains the first-person hardboiled narrative of the engaging, if frequently inept, wizard Harry Dresden. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Harry's heart is always in the right place, and his flawed nature definitely makes him one of the most likeable SFF characters out there. Witnessing events occurring through Harry Dresden's eyes is never dull. Although he's gaining experience with all these misadventures, wisdom doesn't always come easy to the only wizard in Chicago's phone book. Which is why following his point of view remains such a pleasure.

As always, as the only POV protagonist, Harry takes centre stage. And yet, as has been the case with the majority of the last few Dresden Files installments, it's the supporting cast which helps make this ninth volume another memorable read. The relationship between Dresden and Murphy continues to evolve, but I thought there would be more between them now that they have finally faced the fact that they have feelings for one another. Thomas moved out of Harry's apartment in Proven Guilty and his secretive activities are at the heart of White Night. Molly Carpenter played a big role in the last book and she's now Harry's apprentice. The girl is one mistake away from a death sentence at the hands of the White Council, and as her mentor the wizard will share her faith if anything bad happens. So he has no choice but to be hard yet fair as far as her training is concerned. Trouble is, Molly is a hard-headed teenage girl that may be the death of Harry.

Proven Guilty was the most convoluted installment yet. Alas, though White Night does raise the stakes even higher, as a self-contained story it's not as elaborate and interesting as the last two volumes. To a certain extent, it often felt as though this was some sort of interlude. One that allowed the greater story arc to progress, true, but one which seemed to focus more on the storylines dedicated to Molly and Thomas. New revelations are made about Warden Ramirez, Lara Raith, and "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone that allow readers to see them all in a new light. Add to that revelations regarding the Black Council, Lasciel, the reappearance of one of Harry's old flames, as well as the proverbial shit hitting the fan during the White Court vampire conclave, and you have all the ingredients required for another compelling novel.

White Night raises the stakes yet again and the odds are stacked even higher against Harry Dresden and his allies. The book may not be as intricately plotted and satisfying as Dead Beat and Proven Guilty turned out to be, yet it nonetheless sets the stage for another chapter in the Dresden Files. One that should raise the series to another, deeper and more complex, level.

With lots of new and startling developments, further complications, and even more heart, White Night is hard to put down! Roll on Small Favor!

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can download Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire for only 2.99$ here! There is a price match in Canada here.

Here's the blurb:

A stunning new epic fantasy from two-time Hugo Award winner Kameron Hurley.

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past... while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy.

Stretching from desolate tundra to steamy, semi-tropical climes seething with sentient plant life, this is an epic tale of blood mages and mercenaries, emperors and priestly assassins who must unite to save a world on the brink of ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war; a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family to save his skin; and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father's people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.

In the end, one world will rise - and many will perish.

Its sequel, Empire Ascendant, is available for only 3.99$ here.

Win a copy of Paul S. Kemp's A CONVERSATION IN BLOOD


I have three copies of Paul S. Kemp's A Conversation in Blood up for grabs, compliments of the folks at Del Rey. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

The hard-fighting, harder-drinking fortune hunters of The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel are back to test their mettle and tempt fickle fate.

Fantasy fiction has long welcomed adventurous rogues: Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, George R. R. Martin’s Dunk and Egg, and Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen have all made their mark. In his Egil & Nix series, New York Times bestselling author Paul S. Kemp introduces a daring new duo to the ranks of fantasy fame—or is it infamy?

Nix is a nimble thief with just enough knowledge of magic to get into serious trouble. Egil is the only priest of a discredited god. Together, they seek riches and renown, but somehow it is always misadventure and mayhem that find them—even in the dive bar they call home. And their luck has yet to change.

All Nix wants to do is cheer Egil up after a bout of heartbreak. And, of course, strike it so rich that they need never worry about their combined bar bill. But when the light-fingered scoundrel plunders a tomb and snatches mysterious golden plates covered in runes, the treasure brings terrifying trouble. Pursued by an abomination full of ravenous hunger and unquenchable wrath, Egil and Nix find all they hold dear—including their beloved tavern—in dire peril. To say nothing of the world itself.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "CONVERSATION." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

The Stars Are Legion


Kameron Hurley first came to my attention when God's War was nominated for the 2012 Nebula Award for best novel. I instantly fell in love with that book, and the same goes for the two sequels, Infidel and Rapture. Dark, violent, complex, touching, compelling, populated with flawed but endearing and unforgettable characters, I felt that the Bel Dame Apocrypha could well be the very best science fiction series of the new millennium. And a few years down the line, I still believe this. At the top of her game, I claimed that Kameron Hurley ranked among the best SFF writers out there. I couldn't wait to see what the future had in store for her. I went so far as to say that Hurley had now joined my short list of speculative fiction "must read" authors.

In the subsequent months, something unexpected happened. Kameron Hurley gradually became known more for her blog posts, genre-related articles, or essays, and not necessarily for her novels. Nothing wrong with that, of course. She also became somewhat of a poster girl for the online SJW SFF clique. Which is why, in the end, I was so reticent to read The Mirror Empire, the first installment in The Worldbreaker Saga. Yes, I am aware that I've just said that Hurley was now part of my "must read" authors and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into whatever she would publish next. Problem is, I didn't get an ARC for that one and the advance praise scared me. You see, all those reviews went on and on about what Kameron Hurley was trying to do. Not much was being said about the story itself. It was nice to learn that she's not just subverting all those fantasy tropes and clichés. She kicked them in the balls, kicked them while they were down, set fire to them, and then pissed all over them. Good for her. But I'm a plot kind of guy. Always have been and always will be. I wanted to know just how good the story was. But all I was reading about had to do with gender role reversal and gender non-conformity, yada yada yada. Kameron Hurley was being applauded for coming up with something totally different. But not, as far as I could tell, for writing an awesome and compelling story. Understandably, The Mirror Empire was an extremely divisive work among readers when it was released. Still is to this day. And although I've bought both the first volume and Empire Ascendant, I'm still quite reticent to read these books. I'll get to them at some point, no doubt about it, but I'm in no hurry to do so.

Then the announcement came that Hurley's The Stars Are Legion, a space opera stand-alone novel featuring a female-only cast, would be published in 2017. Again, this was acclaimed by the SJW clique and the book, more than a year prior to its release, received a lot of coverage from those sources. I had the same reservations about this forthcoming work, yet I resolved to give it a shot. This was a single, self-contained science fiction tale, and I wanted to review it. Thanks to the folks at Saga Press, I was able to get my hands on a review copy, which would allow me to read and review it before being "contaminated" by advance praise.

When all is said and done, I'm pleased to report that The Stars Are Legion is a good read. However, it suffers from too many shortcomings to even come close to the greatness that made the Bel Dame Apocrypha such an amazing series. The violence, the anger, the general badass vibe; it's all there. Unfortunately, the depth, the originality, and the superior characterization are absent, and The Stars Are Legion is a much weaker work for that.

Here's the blurb:

Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution. As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation - the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan's new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion's gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion's destruction - and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and Dune, The Stars are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about tragic love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre's most celebrated new writers.

The worldbuilding was my favorite facet of all three Bel Dame Apocrypha titles. Hurley's vision remained unique and the universe she created came alive as the story progressed over the course of the entire trilogy. Her narrative created a vivid imagery that made the ravaged world of Umayma and its characters leap off the pages. But that was then and this is now. True, a stand-alone book of relatively small size precludes the sort of depth that made Hurley's first series such a memorable read. And yet, by taking so many shortcuts, it appears that the author did not even attempt to imbue this one with as much depth as the story required to make total sense. Personally, I had no problem with an all female cast of characters. The Stars Are Legion doesn't suffer from the absence of men. Not at all. But why are there no men? Whatever happened to them, even if it took place generations ago? No explanation is offered. What are those world-ships and where does the Legion come from? Why do they orbit around the Core and what are they doing on the Outer Rim of the universe? How is it that each woman possesses a womb that can give birth to something in particular the ship/world needs to function? Why are the world-ships decaying? Why is it that each level is completely unaware of what transpires on the other levels? It's not that the backdrop and the premise for this tale are a bucket that doesn't hold any water. It's more a question that there is no bucket whatsoever. One of the best feelings one gets when reading a science fiction novel/series is when the author provides answers to the what, how, why, when questions that are at the heart of the plot. Kameron Hurley, who is not known to take the path of least resistance, doesn't even try to come up with answers, and that's major disappointment.

This being a blend of space opera and New Weird, with The Stars Are Legion Hurley is competing against authors such as Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Ian McDonald, Iain M. Banks, Richard K. Morgan, and James S. A. Corey. And I have a feeling that they would be crucified by critics and readers alike if they ever elected to take such shortcuts. To a certain extent, it's almost as though this book was written for the members of the aforementioned online SJW clique, those men and women who hold Hurley in such high esteem, and perhaps the more hardcore feminist genre aficionados out there, who would gladly overlook its inherent flaws because it furthers their own political and social agenda. I am at a loss as to why the worldbuilding aspect can be so poor an inadequate. It's not that the answers to those questions are half-assed, lame, or some kind of cop-out. There are simply no answers to speak of. The only people who could have provided them are the witches and seers found on the different world-ships, but they have all conveniently gone mad. In addition, Zan's journey through the various levels of the Katazyrna world-ship raises yet more questions to which absolutely no answers are forthcoming. Hence, to enjoy this one as much as possible, one needs to buckle up and try to enjoy the ride without questioning anything that takes place. It's odd. Very odd, to say the least.

I don't know if that's the case in the Worldbreaker Saga, but like in her first trilogy Hurley has a fixation on bugs and such in The Stars Are Legion. Once again, this one features strange insectile and organic technology. The evocative imagery that made the Bel Dame Apocrypha books such a great read is present in every chapter, and it's safe to say that Hurley will continue to wow us with her creativity or inventiveness for years to come. Visually, each level of the Katazyrna world-ship comes alive, and the same can be said of the other ships and the space in between. In that regard at least, in this novel Hurley is as impressive as ever.

The protagonists are the product of a war-torn, unforgiving, and decaying environment. Hurley's characterization is usually similar to that of gritty SFF authors such as Abercrombie, Morgan, and GRRM. Not for the faint-hearted, true, but oh so satisfying once more. One of the shortcomings of The Stars Are Legion may be the fact that Kameron Hurley was a bit too ambitious with her choice of POV protagonists and what links them together. Zan, suffering from amnesia, doesn't remember anything regarding who she used to be and why she keeps being sent on suicide missions to try to take control of the Mokshi world-ship. With basically no recollections whatsoever as to her identity and why she keeps being sent out there to fail every time, Zan's perspective reveals very little for the better part of the novel. To all intents and purposes, she is often as clueless as the reader. Jayd, the second point of view character, is the polar opposite. She knows everything, but shame and regrets prevent her from revealing too much. As a result, the reader remains in the dark for more than half of this book, and for more than two hundred pages you keep going forward without any idea as to what this story is supposed to be about. I say that perhaps it was a bit too ambitious to limit the narrative to only these two perspectives because one has to take a lot on faith and hope that everything will make sense later on. And that doesn't always work as well as Hurley intended. Thankfully, at some point the author has no choice but to have Jayd disclose what she and Zan, who still remembers nothing, have been planning for years. That's when the story picks up and things get interesting. The politics and betrayals up the game a few notches and Jayd's storyline is elevated to a new level. Sadly, during that time Zan is on a journey to get back from the belly of the world and that quest, though visually stunning, is nowhere near as captivating as what goes on elsewhere. The endgame ultimately brings the two plotlines together and offers an rousing finale. The only problem is that you can easily puzzle out Zan's true identity way before the revelation is made, which kills whatever punch that secret was supposed to have on the tale. Also, it would have been nice if the supporting cast had played a more important role in the greater scheme of things, and if they had had an occasional POV of their own. Sabita, Das Muni, Casamir, and Arankadash all had potential, but it was seldom exploited.

In terms of pace, my past experiences with Kameron Hurley have often been balls-to-the-wall and fast-moving sequences with never a dull moment. The Stars Are Legion is much more slow-moving as far as the rhythm is concerned, especially the chapters focusing on Zan's journey. The fact that the reader spends more than half of the book not really understanding what this story is supposed to be about doesn't help matters. Still, other than a few rough sections here and there, for the most part, even though the pace is not fast-moving, things remain intriguing enough to keep the reader turning those pages to discover what happens next.

What it comes down to is, if you can stop yourself from asking questions and try to enjoy the story as it moves forward, then chances are that you'll enjoy The Stars Are Legion. But forget what the blurb says. It is not a work in the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and Dune. Far from that. Hurley's latest doesn't have enough substance to ever be compared to Frank Herbert and Dan Simmons' classics.

Can this novel be a good opportunity to discover Kameron Hurley for readers who are not yet familiar with the author, what with it being a self-contained stand-alone book? Maybe. For some, sure. And yet, since it is the weakest work I've read from Hurley, I feel that readers eager to find out what all the noise is all about should start by giving God's War a shot. Brutal, uncompromising, brilliant, enthralling: That's the Bel Dame Apocrypha in a nutshell. If The Stars Are Legion is someone's first exposure to Kameron Hurley, I feel that they would miss out on just how awesome an author she can be.

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 16th)

In hardcover:

Alexander Freed's Rogue One maintains its position at number 11.

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is down five positions, ending the week at number 20.

In paperback:

Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others returns at number 15 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Kristen Britain's Green Rider, first volume in the NYT bestselling Green Rider series, for only 1.99$ here. You can download it for the same price in Canada here.

Here's the blurb:

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by a galloping horse bursting from the woods, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows.

As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of King Zachary. Before he dies, he makes Karigan swear to deliver the "life and death" message he’s carrying and to complete his mission "for love of her country." The man gives her his green coat, with the symbolic brooch of his office, bestowing upon Karigan the title of Green Rider and changing her life forever. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.

Green Rider is the first installment of the acclaimed Green Rider series.

Kushiel's Scion


As I mentioned in my reviews of Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, and Kushiel's Avatar, I felt incredibly dumb to have waited for over a decade to finally give the first Kushiel series a shot. The first two installments were great. And yet, regardless of their high quality, Kushiel's Avatar blew them out of the water. Doubtless, it's one of the very best fantasy novels I have ever read.

Dumb as I am, I don't intend to make the same mistake with Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy, the second trilogy set in the same universe. I was a bit concerned because this new series would feature Imriel's point of view instead of Phèdre's perspective. But overall, the boy's POV nearly worked as well as that of his foster mother at a younger age. And although Kushiel's Dart had more going for it than Kushiel's Scion as the opening chapter in a larger, more complex tale, it's obvious that the author has a lot more in store for young Imriel and his entourage. And I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next!

This first volume had big shoes to fill. After all, Carey's first Kushiel trilogy is, in my humble opinion, one of the most awesome speculative fiction series of all time. Kushiel's Avatar, which garnered a perfect score from me, was the culmination of a panoply of convoluted plotlines that had been built over the course of three books. With that novel being such a grand slam, perhaps it raised the bar too high and created lofty expectations that could not possibly be met by whatever would follow. To all ends and purposes, Kushiel's Scion turned out to be a transition novel bridging the gap between the two Kushiel trilogies and an introduction setting the stage for what will take place in the two subsequent installments. And though it may not be as satisfying as its predecessor, Kushiel's Scion is nevertheless head and shoulders above pretty much everything else on the market today.

Here's the blurb:

Imriel de la Courcel's birth parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions.

Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies---and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his mother, Melisande, who nearly destroyed the entire realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother's irresistible allure---and her dangerous gifts.

As he comes of age, plagued by unwanted desires, Imriel shares their fears. When a simple act of friendship traps Imriel in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess and where a dead man leads an army, the Prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.

In the past, Jacqueline Carey's worldbuilding has been absolutely astonishing. The backdrop for this fantasy universe isn't the habitual European medieval environment. It is more akin to the Renaissance era and it is set in an alternate version of Western Europe. With each new book, the author took us on fabulous journeys that enabled readers to discover more about her universe and she never disappointed in doing so. Richly detailed and imagined in terms of cultures, religions, and politics, like its predecessors Kushiel's Scion is another textured and sophisticated novel that hits all the right buttons. However, the novel is not as dense and sprawling as the first trilogy and the action is limited to Terre d'Ange (France) and Tiberium (Rome) and its surrounding. And as has been the case with all the Kushiel installments thus far, the web of murder and political intrigue that Carey wove through this one is as incredible and unexpected as the politicking of such masters as George R. R. Martin and Katherine Kurtz. Moreover, revelations about the Unseen Guild turned things up a notch.

As I've been saying since the beginning, Jacqueline Carey writes with an elegance that reminds me of Guy Gavriel Kay at his best. I've always been a plot kind of guy, and thus I rarely praise a writer's prose. Be that as it may, Carey's prose is something really special and I have a feeling that it could well be the very best in the genre today. Even the darkest and more shocking scenes are written with a distinctive literary grace that makes them even more powerful than they would be in the hands of a less gifted author. Once again in Kushiel's Scion, her gripping prose creates an imagery filled with wonder and beauty that never fails to enthrall. And like Robin Hobb, Carey also possesses a subtle human touch which imbues some scenes with even more emotional impact. Finally, again à la Hobb, Carey makes her characters suffer like few other genre authors. Given the dark and disturbing events that Imriel was forced to live through in Kushiel's Avatar, you would have thought that the poor guy deserves a break. Alas, like FitzChivalry, it appears that fate is not done with Imriel. Not by a long shot.

Some readers have complained about the novel's structure. Yes, about one third of it focuses on Imriel's teenage years and people have criticized the fact that not much actually takes place. That may be true, but I believe that these chapters were necessary to bridge the gap between the two trilogies. Not only that, but it was also important to give Imriel a voice and establish what sort of person he is. Living under the woke of the Mahrkagir of Drujan has left the boy scarred physically, psychologically, and emotionally. And in order to find his true self, Imriel needs to learn how to deal with the pain associated with those disturbing memories. That won't be easy and that first portion of Kushiel's Scion was required in order to establish Imriel as a three-dimensional protagonist and to provide the character growth needed for him to become a young adult eager to find and prove himself. In addition, from a purely selfish standpoint, for me it was a pleasure to get reaquainted with Phèdre, Joscelin, Ti-Philippe, and the rest of the household. Some scenes are uplifting and bring a smile to your face, while others will break your heart.

In all of my reviews so far, I mentioned that a woman who embraces her sexuality can be quite intimidating to men. Even more so, I opined, to male SFF geeks. I felt that Phèdre's disconcerting (according to many, even in today's Western society) sexuality, what with it being tinged with sadomasochism, undoubtedly had something to do with the fact that the Kushiel novels were not held in such high esteem as some of the boys' club favorites like Sanderson, Rothfuss, Lynch, and Abercrombie. I also believe that Phèdre's sexuality and the way sex is portrayed and used throughout these books certainly have something to do with the fact that Carey's novels seldom make the cut when feminist SFF bloggers/reviewers suggest books and series written by female SFF authors to read. And, once more, I must admit that the world is a much poorer place for that oversight. It is too easy to simply focus on the sexuality which permeates every aspect of these novels. Alas, too many people do just that. True, sexuality lies at the heart of these books. But there is so much more than that. These storylines are filled with a myriad of nuances and nothing is ever black or white. Those who found that there was too much sex in the first trilogy will be happy to know that things are a bit toned down in Kushiel's Scion. Probably not because the author felt that this was needed, but because Imriel has a hard time coming to terms with his own sexuality. As I mentioned, the abuse the boy suffered at the hands of the Mahrkagir of Drujan and his court left Imriel unwilling to embrace that part of himself and this shapes the narrative in various ways as he grows toward adulthood.

I knew from the start that I would miss the first person narrative of Phèdre nó Delaunay. As a deeply flawed character, her strengths and weaknesses made her genuine and her perspective, that of an older woman relating the tale of her past, misled readers on several occasions by playing with their expectations. I liked how Phèdre's strenghts often became her weaknesses and vice versa. Structurally speaking, Imriel de la Courcel's point of view follows the same path. It's unclear exactly how old the narrator is, but the Imriel relating the story of his life in this new series definitely isn't a young man anymore. Female authors/readers often complain that male authors have a hard time writing authentic girls/women. That may be true, yet the same goes for a lot of female authors, especially when they try to portray younger boys, teenagers, or young adults. I've been reading SFF novels for over thirty years and the only one who has managed to do it right was Robin Hobb in Assassin's Apprentice. I recognized myself in so many scenes as I watched young Fitz grow up that it blew my mind. Jacqueline Carey managed to do the same with Imriel in this book. Sexuality aside, once again reading about the prince's teenage years brought me back to my own adolescence, time and time again. As has become the author's wont, the supporting cast is comprised of a variety of three-dimensional and genuine men and women. Most of them, in their own way, through their interactions with Imriel, add even more layers to an already complicated plot. Beyond Phèdre, Joscelin and Imriel, Kushiel's Scion would never have been such an amazing read without the presence of such characters as Queen Ysandre, Drustan mab Necthana, Ti-Philippe, Master Piero, Lucius Tadius, Claudia Fulvia, Canis, and many more. As a confused and lonely teenager, Imriel's relationships with Sidonie and Alais de la Courcel, especially the particular bond he shares with the younger princess, the one with his traveling companion Gilot, as well as his deep and unexpected friendship with Eamonn mac Grainne, evelate the characterization to yet another level. As was the case with the first trilogy, à la Mark Lawrence, Robin Hobb, and L. E. Modessit, jr., Jacqueline Carey refuses to follow the path of least resistance and her characters remain true to themselves till the very end. For good or ill, it goes without saying.

Weighing in at more than 900 pages, Kushiel's Scion is another doorstopper of a book. The first third focusing on Imriel's growing pains does slow down the rhythm and the pace is not as fluid as what the previous Kushiel installments accustomed us to. And yet, Carey always had a knack for coming up with plot twists that suck you in and won't let go and she has quite a few surprises up her sleeve. Hence, even though certain portions are more slow-moving, this one is another sophisticated and multilayered read full of wonder and sensuality. Written on an scale that is not as epic as that of its predecessors, the author nonetheless did it again with an elegance rarely seen in the genre. Edgy and sexy, like the Kushiel novels that came before, this new one is complex, intriguing, and ultimately rewarding.

Kushiel's Avatar was a memorable conclusion to a phenomenal fantasy series. With such a perfect finale, Jacqueline Carey set the bar incredibly high for what came next. As the first volume in a brand new trilogy, Kushiel's Scion couldn't live up to such high expectations. And yet, with all the groundwork laid out within its pages, the novel sets the stage for what should be another amazing and convoluted series.

Highly recommended!

The final verdict: 8.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens for only 3.99$ here. You can also get it for 4.99$ in Canada here, or £3.99 in the UK here.

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.

Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon -- each of whom has lived among Earth's mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle -- are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they've got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he's a really nice kid). There's just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . .

First published in 1990, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's brilliantly dark and screamingly funny take on humankind's final judgment is back -- and just in time -- in a new hardcover edition (which includes an introduction by the authors, comments by each about the other, and answers to some still-burning questions about their wildly popular collaborative effort) that the devout and the damned alike will surely cherish until the end of all things.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Joe Abercrombie's Half a King for only 2.99$ here. It's available for the same price in Canada here, and for £1.99 in UK here.

Here's the blurb:

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 9th)

In hardcover:

Alexander Freed's Rogue One is up five spots, finishing the week at number 11.

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is down four positions, ending the week at number 15.

In paperback:

Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is down two spots, finishing the week at number 12 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on Lynn Flewelling's Luck in the Shadow for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

When young Alec of Kerry is taken prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, he is certain that his life is at an end. But one thing he never expected was his cellmate. Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things–none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine, and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec’s new mentor, and this time there just might be… Luck in the Shadows.

New Index

Man, 2017 already. Just a few days ago, the Hotlist turned twelve years old. And with 524 book reviews thus far, I don't know how many interviews, and countless genre-related post as well as a lot of unrelated crap, I thought it was about time to update the index.

After all, even though I kept updating it every time I reviewed a new novel, the original post dated from 2010. It was high time to come up with a new one! And since this has been a popular request for years, each entry now comes with the score I gave as my final verdict. It was odd to realize that I wasn't always as demanding. . .

Here's what happened so far in case you missed it. . .;-)
---------------------------------

2005

JANUARY

- The Book of Words (J. V. Jones) 7/10
- Children of Amarid (David B. Coe) 8.5/10
- The Outlanders (David B. Coe) 9/10
- Eagle-Sage (David B. Coe) 9/10

FEBRUARY

- Shadowmarch (Tad Williams) 7/10
- Ship of Magic (Robin Hobb) 9/10
- Mad Ship (Robin Hobb) 9/10
- Ship of Destiny (Robin Hobb) 9/10

MARCH

- The Runes of the Earth (Stephen R. Donaldson) 9/10
- David B. Coe interview
- Tad Williams interview
- The Silences of Home (Caitlin Sweet)
- Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson) 8.5/10

APRIL

- L. E. Modesitt, jr. interview
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Matthew Stover)
- The Confusion (Neal Stephenson) 9/10
- The System of the World (Neal Stephenson) 9/10

MAY

- The Darkness that Comes Before (R. Scott Bakker) 8/10
- The Warrior-Prophet (R. Scott Bakker) 8/10
- Fool's Errand (Robin Hobb) 9/10
- Golden Fool (Robin Hobb) 9/10
- The Contiki Experience

JUNE

- Fool's Fate (Robin Hobb) 10/10
- It's Only Temporary (Eric Shapiro)
- In the King's Service (Katherine Kurtz) 8/10
- The Curse of Chalion (Lois McMaster Bujold) 6.5/10
- Paladin of Souls (Lois McMaster Bujold) 6.5/10

JULY

- Robin Hobb interview
- The Years of Rice and Salt (Kim Stanley Robinson) 9/10
- Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) 8/10

AUGUST

- The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman) 7/10
- The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman) 7.5/10
- The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman) 7/10
- Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson) 9/10

SEPTEMBER

- Dune: The Machine Crusade (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson) 7/10
- Dune: The Battle of Corrin (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson) 6.5/10
- Shaman's Crossing (Robin Hobb) 8/10

OCTOBER

- One Palestine, Complete (Tom Segev)
- Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman) 9/10
- Knife of Dreams (Robert Jordan) 10/10
- Legacies (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.5/10
- Bloodline of the Holy Grail (Laurence Gardner)

NOVEMBER

- Darknesses (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 8/10
- Scepters (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 8/10
- Thud! (Terry Pratchett) 9/10
- Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Carrie Vaughn) 8/10

DECEMBER

- The Thousandfold Thought (R. Scott Bakker) 9.5/10
- The Radioactive Redhead (John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem) 7/10
- Giants of the Frost (Kim Wilkins) 7.5/10
- Elantris (Brandon Sanderson) 7.5/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- Lord of Snow and Shadows (Sarah Ash) 7/10

2006

JANUARY

- Steven Erikson interview
- Prisoner of the Ironsea Tower (Sarah Ash) 7/10
- Children of the Serpent Gate (Sarah Ash) 6.5/10
- The Amber Wizard (David Forbes) 7.5/10

FEBRUARY

- Steven Erikson interview
- Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erikson) 9/10
- Naomi Novik interview
- The Rule of Four (Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason) 7.5/10
- Brandon Sanderson interview
- Talon of the Silver Hawk (Raymond E. Feist) 6.5/10
- David Eddings interview
- Deadhouse Gates (Steven Erikson) 9.5/10
- King of Foxes (Raymond E. Feist) 6/10

MARCH

- Paul Kearney interview
- His Majesty's Dragon / Temeraire (Naomi Novik) 8/10
- Memories of Ice (Steven Erikson) 10/10
- In the Eye of Heaven (David Keck) 7/10
- David Keck interview

APRIL

- Exile's Return (Raymond E. Feist) 6.5/10
- House of Chains (Steven Erikson) 9/10
- Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik) 8.5/10
- Caitlin Sweet interview

MAY

- George R. R. Martin interview
- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- City of Saints and Madmen (Jeff Vandermeer) 7/10
- Tracy and Laura Hickman interview
- Jacqueline Carey interview
- Midnight Tides (Steven Erikson) 9/10
- Black Powder War (Naomi Novik) 8/10
- The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch) 8/10
- Robin Hobb interview

JUNE

- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- Vellum (Hal Duncan) 9/10
- Scott Lynch interview
- Zodiac (Neal Stephenson) 8/10
- Kitty goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn) 8/10

JULY

- Carrie Vaughn interview
- Twilight Falling (Paul S. Kemp) 7/10
- The Bonehunters (Steven Erikson) 9.5/10
- Dawn of Night (Paul S. Kemp) 6.5/10
- Forest Mage (Robin Hobb) 8/10

AUGUST

- Midnight's Mask (Paul S. Kemp) 7/10
- Mistborn: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) 7.5/10
- The Mark of Ran (Paul Kearney) 8/10
- This Forsaken Earth (Paul Kearney) 7.5/10
- Night of Knives (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 8/10
- Lonely Planet Bluelist

SEPTEMBER

- Flight of the Nighthawks (Raymond E. Feist) 8/10
- A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin) 9/10
- Melanie Rawn interview
- Into a Dark Realm (Raymond E. Feist) 7/10
- Joel Shepherd interview
- Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) 8/10

OCTOBER

- Fragile Things (Neil Gaiman) 8/10
- Crossover (Joel Shepherd) 8/10
- River of Gods (Ian McDonald) 9/10

NOVEMBER

- Spellbinder (Melanie Rawn) 7.5/10
- Ian McDonald interview
- A Clash of Kings (George R. R. Martin) 9/10
- The Blade Itself (Joe Abercrombie) 7.5/10

DECEMBER

- Winterbirth (Brian Ruckley) 8/10
- Joe Abercrombie interview
- The Crooked Letter (Sean Williams) 8/10
- Orson Scott Card interview
- Brian Ruckley interview
- Peter Watts interview
- Blindsight (Peter Watts) 8/10

2007

JANUARY

- Guy Gavriel Kay interview
- The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss) 7.5/10
- Ysabel (Guy Gavriel Kay) 8.5/10
- Dan Simmons interview
- Ink (Hal Duncan) 9.25/10
- China Miéville interview

FEBRUARY

- Unclean (Richard Lee Byars) 6/10
- Tad Williams interview
- The Terror (Dan Simmons) 8/10
- Keeping it Real (Justina Robson) 7/10

MARCH

- C. S. Friedman interview
- Before They Are Hanged (Joe Abercrombie) 7.5/10
- Hal Duncan interview
- Joe Abercrombie interview
- Reaper's Gale (Steven Erikson) 9.5/10
- Patrick Rothfuss interview
- Kitty Takes a Holiday (Carrie Vaughn) 7.5/10

APRIL

- Shadowplay (Tad Williams) 7/10
- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- Jacqueline Carey interview
- Breakaway (Joel Shepherd) 7.5/10
- Richard Morgan interview

MAY

- Brasyl (Ian McDonald) 9/10
- Red Seas under Red Skies (Scott Lynch) 8/10
- Black Man/Thirteen (Richard Morgan) 9.5/10
- Ian McDonald interview
- The Lees of Laughter's End (Steven Erikson) 7.5/10

JUNE

- Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) 6.75/10
- David Bilsborough interview
- The Night Watch (Sergei Lukyanenko) 8/10
- After Dark (Haruki Murakami) 7.5/10
- Gail Z. Martin interview
- David Anthony Durham interview
- Renegade's Magic (Robin Hobb) 8/10
- The Wanderer's Tale (David Bilsborough) 5/10
- Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) 6.75/10

JULY

- Robin Hobb interview
- Cry of the Newborn (James Barclay) 7.5/10
- Peter F. Hamilton interview
- The Electric Church (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10
- Tobias S. Buckell interview
- The Traveler (John Twelve Hawks) 8.5/10

AUGUST

- Daniel Abraham interview
- Feast of Souls (C. S. Friedman) 8/10
- The Dark River (John Twelve Hawks) 8/10
- Scott Lynch interview
- Steven Erikson interview
- Hunter's Run (George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham) 7.5/10
- George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham interview

SEPTEMBER

- Wizard of the Crow (Ngugi Wa Thiong'o) 7/10
- Making Money (Terry Pratchett) 7.5/10
- Jeff Somers interview
- Empire of Ivory (Naomi Novik) 8/10
- Fatal Revenant (Stephen R. Donaldson) 8/10

OCTOBER

- Stephen R. Donaldson interview
- The Well of Ascension (Brandon Sanderson) 6/10
- Spook Country (William Gibson) 7/10
- The Privilege of the Sword (Ellen Kushner) 6/10
- Katherine Kurtz interview
- Killswitch (Joel Shepherd) 7.75/10

NOVEMBER

- Devices and Desires (K. J. Parker) 7/10
- Dreamsongs, Volume 1 (George R. R. Martin) 8/10
- J. V. Jones interview
- Knights of the Black and White (Jack Whyte) 7.25/10
- Wild Cards interview with George R. R. Martin and co.

DECEMBER

- Acacia: The War with the Mein (David Anthony Durham) 6.75/10
- Inside Straight (George R. R. Martin and co.) 8/10
- Paragaea: A Planetary Romance (Chris Roberson) 6.75/10
- The Devil You Know (Mike Carey) 7.5/10

2008

JANUARY

- Last Dragon (J. M. McDermott) 6.75/10
- A Storm of Swords (George R. R. Martin) 10/10
- American Gods (Neil Gaiman) 9/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Carrie Vaughn) 7.5/10
- James Barclay interview

FEBRUARY

- Bright of the Sky (Kay Kenyon) 7.5/10
- MAD about Star Wars (Jonathan Bresman) 7/10
- Last Argument of Kings (Joe Abercrombie) 8/10
- Wrath of a Mad God (Raymond E. Feist) 7/10

MARCH

- A Magic of Twilight (S. L. Farrell) 7.5/10
- Alastair Reynolds interview
- Neuropath (R. Scott Bakker) 9/10
- The Secret History of Moscow (Ekaterina Sedia) 8.5/10
- S. L. Farrell interview
- The Shadow Year (Jeffrey Ford) 8/10
- The Last Wish (Andrzej Sapkowski) 6.75/10

APRIL

- The Day Watch (Sergei Lukyanenko) 8/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- The Gunslinger (Stephen King) 7.5/10
- Kay Kenyon interview
- Bloodheir (Brian Ruckley) 8/10
- The Edge of Reason (Melinda Snodgrass) 7.75/10
- The Digital Plague (Jeff Somers) 7.75/10

MAY

- Infoquake (David Louis Edelman) 8/10
- Victory of Eagles (Naomi Novik) 7.75/10
- Return of the Crimson Guard (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 8.5/10
- The Man Who Turned Into Himself (David Ambrose) 7.5/10

JUNE

- The Steel Remains (Richard Morgan) 7.5/10
- Toll the Hounds (Steven Erikson) 9/10
- Backup (Jim Butcher) 7.5/10
- Stonefather (Orson Scott Card) 5/10

JULY

- The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) 10/10
- Adrian Tchaikovsky interview
- Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson) 8/10

AUGUST

- Chris Evans interview
- MultiReal (David Louis Edelman) 8/10
- Melinda Snodgrass interview
- Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 7.25/10
- Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim (Tom Corwin and Craig Frazier)
- The Alchemy of Stone (Ekaterina Sedia) 7/10
- David Louis Edelman interview

SEPTEMBER

- Chronicles of the Black Company (Glen Cook) 8/10
- The Mirrored Heavens (David J. Williams) 7.5/10
- Ad Lib Column: Tobias S. Buckell
- The Way of Shadows (Brent Weeks) 7/10
- Ad Lib Column: Adrian Tchaikovsky
- David J. Williams interview
- The Ten Thousand (Paul Kearney) 8/10

OCTOBER

- Brent Weeks interview
- Peter V. Brett interview
- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- The Company (K. J. Parker) 7.75/10
- Paul Kearney interview
- Tales of the Dying Earth (Jack Vance) 5/10

NOVEMBER

- Tom Lloyd interview
- The Judging Eye (R. Scott Bakker) 9/10
- Busted Flush (edited by George R. R. Martin) 7.5/10
- Empire in Black and Gold (Adrian Tchaikovsky) 6.5/10
- The Engine's Child (Holly Phillips) 6.25/10

DECEMBER

- The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson) 7/10
- Graceling (Kristin Cashore) 6.75/10
- Wild Cards interview with George R. R. Martin and the Busted Flush contributors
- The Travel Book (Lonely Planet) 10/10
- Ad Lib Column: Lilith Saintcrow
- A World Too Near (Kay Kenyon) 7.75/10
- The Six Directions of Space (Alastair Reynolds) 7.75/10
- Storm Front (Jim Butcher) 7.75/10
- Bones of the Dragon (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) 6/10

2009

JANUARY

- Wings of Wrath (C. S. Friedman) 9/10
- Muse of Fire (Dan Simmons) 7.5/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Carrie Vaughn) 7.5/10
- Ken Scholes interview
- Glen Cook interview
- The Books of the South (Glen Cook) 7.25/10

FEBRUARY

- Cyberabad Days (Ian McDonald) 8.5/10
- C. S. Friedman interview
- A Fantasy Medley (edited by Yanni Kuznia) 7.5/10
- The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death (Charlie Huston) 7.5/10
- A Fine and Private Place (Peter S. Beagle) 7.75/10

MARCH

- City Without End (Kay Kenyon) 8/10
- Imager (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.75/10
- How the Dead Dream (Lydia Millet) 7.5/10

APRIL

- Twelve (Jasper Kent) 8.5/10
- The City & the City (China Miéville) 8/10
- The Burning Skies (David J. Williams) 8/10
- Purple and Black (K. J. Parker) 7.5/10

MAY

- Nights of Villjamur (Mark Charan Newton) 7.25/10
- Best Served Cold (Joe Abercrombie) 8.5/10

JUNE

- Patient Zero (Jonathan Maberry) 7.75/10
- Fire Raiser (Melanie Rawn) 7.5/10
- Fall of Thanes (Brian Ruckley) 8.75/10

JULY

- The Angel's Game (Carlos Ruiz Zafón) 9/10
- Dust of Dreams (Steven Erikson) 9.5/10
- Fool Moon (Jim Butcher) 7.75/10
- Retribution Falls (Chris Wooding) 7.5/10

AUGUST

- Lamentation (Ken Scholes) 7.5/10
- Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2009

SEPTEMBER

- Consider Phlebas (Iain M. Banks) 7.5/10
- The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes (Neil Gaiman)
- Child of Fire (Harry Connolly) 7.5/10
- Princess Mononoke (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Spirited Away (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Peter & Max (Bill Willingham) 7.25/10
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- 5 cm per Second (film directed by Makoto Shinkai)
- The Sandman: The Doll's House (Neil Gaiman)

OCTOBER

-The Place Promised in our Early Days (film directed by Makoto Shinkai)
- A Magic of Nightfall (S. L. Farrell) 8.25/10
- Sword of the Stranger (film directed by Masahiro Ando)
- The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown) 7.5/10
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (film directed by Shinichiro Watanabe)
- The Great Bazaar and Other Stories (Peter V. Brett) 7.5/10
- The Sandman: Dream Country (Neil Gaiman)
- My Neighbor Totoro (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (film directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Takeshi Nozue)
- The Gathering Storm (Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson) 7.75/10

NOVEMBER

- The Sandman: Season of Mists (Neil Gaiman)
- The Eternal Prison (Jeff Somers) 8/10
- Ghost in the Shell (film directed by Mamoru Oshii)
- The Sandman: A Game of You (Neil Gaiman)
- Tokyo Godfathers (film directed by Satoshi Kon)
- The Dragon Keeper (Robin Hobb) 7.5/10
- The Golden City (John Twelve Hawks) 7.25/10
- Howl's Moving Castle (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Mark Charan Newton interview
- The Sandman: Fables & Reflections (Neil Gaiman)
- Thousandth Night & Minla's Flowers (Alastair Reynolds) 8.25/10

DECEMBER

- Voices of a Distant Star (film directed by Makoto Shinkai)
- Suicide Kings (edited by George R. R. Martin) 7.75/10
- Robin Hobb interview
- The Magicians (Lev Grossman) 6.75/10
- The Windup Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi) 8.25/10
- The Sandman: Brief Lives (Neil Gaiman)
- Unseen Academicals (Terry Pratchett) 6/10
- Steven Erikson interview

2010

JANUARY

- Horus Rising (Dan Abnett) 7.5/10
- Ponyo (film directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Joe Abercrombie interview
- The Sandman: World's End (Neil Gaiman)
- Prince of Storms (Kay Kenyon) 8.25/10

FEBRUARY

- Arms-Commander (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.5/10
- The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed (Patrick Rothfuss)
- Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Seth Grahame-Smith) 7.25/10
- The Wit & the Wisdom of Discworld (Stephen Briggs and Terry Pratchett) 7.5/10
- Kitty Raises Hell (Carrie Vaughn) 7.75/10
- Kitty's House of Horrors (Carrie Vaughn) 7.5/10
- Altered Carbon (Richard Morgan) 10/10

MARCH

- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson) 10/10
- The Girl Who Played With Fire (Stieg Larsson) 9/10
- Warriors (Edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) 8/10
- Under Heaven (Guy Gavriel Kay) 10/10

APRIL

- Boys Will Be Boys (Jeff Pearlman)
- Geosynchron (David Louis Edelman) 8.5/10
- Guy Gavriel Kay interview
- Spellwright (Blake Charlton) 7.5/10
- Grave of the Fireflies (film directed by Isao Takahata)
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Stieg Larsson) 10/10

MAY

- Blood Follows (Steven Erikson) 7.5/10
- The Healthy Dead (Steven Erikson) 7.5/10
- Tongues of Serpents (Naomi Novik) 6.75/10
- Brandon Sanderson interview

JUNE

- The Drawing of the Three (Stephen King) 8/10
- Swords & Dark Magic (edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan) 7/10
- The Dervish House (Ian McDonald) 10/10
- Crack'd Pot Trail (Steven Erikson) 6/10

JULY

- Grave Peril (Jim Butcher) 7.5/10
- Bitter Seeds (Ian Tregillis) 8/10
- Leviathan Wept and Other Stories (Daniel Abraham) 8/10
- Shadow's Son (Jon Sprunk) 7.25/10
- Thirteen Years Later (Jasper Kent) 8/10
- The Machinery of Light (David J. Williams) 8.25/10

AUGUST

- Ian Tregillis interview
- Hyperion (Dan Simmons) 9.5/10
- Who Fears Death (Nnedi Okorafor) 7.75/10
- Peter F. Hamilton interview
- Blue and Gold (K. J. Parker) 7.75/10

SEPTEMBER

- The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction (Phil Athans)
- Brandon Sanderson interview
- The Terminal State (Jeff Somers) 7.75/10
- The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson) 7.5/10
- The Painted Man/The Warded Man (Peter V. Brett) 7.75/10

OCTOBER

- Against All Things Ending (Stephen R. Donaldson) 7/10
- Game of Cages (Harry Connolly) 7.5/10
- Stonewielder (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 9/10
- Disciple of the Dog (R. Scott Bakker) 7.75/10

NOVEMBER

- Towers of Midnight (Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson) 8/10
- City of Ruin (Mark Charan Newton) 7.5/10
- The Executioness (Tobias S. Buckell) 7.5/10
- Shadowrise (Tad Williams) 8/10

DECEMBER

- Songs of Love & Death (edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) 8/10
- Dragon Haven (Robin Hobb) 7.5/10
- The White-Luck Warrior (R. Scott Bakker) 8.5/10
- Shadowheart (Tad Williams) 7.75/10

2011

JANUARY

- The Alchemist (Paolo Bacigalupi) 7.5/10
- The Wise Man's Fear (Patrick Rothfuss) 8/10
- The Crippled God (Steven Erikson) 9.5/10
- The Lifecycle of Software Objects (Ted Chiang) 8.5/10

FEBRUARY

- Wild Cards I (edited by George R. R. Martin) 7.75/10
- The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Mark Hodder) 7.75/10
- Brayan's Gold (Peter V. Brett) 7.5/10
- Ares Express (Ian McDonald) 7.75/10

MARCH

- Imager's Challenge (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.75/10
- The Heroes (Joe Abercrombie) 8/10
- Peter Orullian interview
- Corvus (Paul Kearney) 8/10
- Mark Lawrence interview
- The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Mark Hodder) 7.5/10

APRIL

- Childe Morgan (Katherine Kurtz) 7.75/10
- Steven Erikson interview
- The Dragon's Path (Daniel Abraham) 7.25/10
- Summer Knight (Jim Butcher) 8/10
- Legacy of Kings (C. S. Friedman) 9/10
- Paul Kearney interview
- Joe Abercrombie interview

MAY

- A Feast for Crows (George R. R. Martin) 7.75/10
- Chasm City (Alastair Reynolds) 9.75/10
- Star Wars: Choices of One (Timothy Zahn) 7.75/10

JUNE

- R. Scott Bakker interview
- The Unremembered (Peter Orullian) 6.5/10
- Leviathan Wakes (James S. A. Corey) 8.5/10
- Troika (Alastair Reynolds) 8/10
- The Five (Robert McCammon) 8.25/10

JULY

- Prince of Thorns (Mark Lawrence) 7.75/10
- A Dance With Dragons (George R. R. Martin) 9/10
- Embassytown (China Miéville) 6.75/10
- The Quantum Thief (Hannu Rajaniemi) 7.25/10
- The Prince of Mist (Carlos Ruiz Zafón) 7.5/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview (part 2)

AUGUST

- Hawkwood and the Kings (Paul Kearney) 7.75/10
- The Inheritance and Other Stories (Robin Hobb / Megan Lindholm) 8/10
- The Edinburgh Dead (Brian Ruckley) 7.5/10

SEPTEMBER

- The Third Section (Jasper Kent) 8/10
- Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami) 7.5/10
- The Whisperer (Donato Carrisi) 10/10

OCTOBER

- The Midnight Palace (Carlos Ruiz Zafón) 6/10
- The Diviner (Melanie Rawn) 8/10
- Kitty's Greatest Hits (Carrie Vaughn) 8/10
- Manhattan in Reverse (Peter F. Hamilton) 8/10
- The Alloy of Law (Brandon Sanderson) 7.5/10

NOVEMBER

- The Hypnotist (Lars Kepler) 7.75/10
- Shadows West (Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale) 7.5/10
- The Final Evolution (Jeff Somers) 7.75/10
- Elric: The Stealer of Souls (Michael Moorcock) 7.5/10

DECEMBER

- The Winds of Khalakovo (Bradley P. Beaulieu) 8/10
- House of Leaves (Mark Z. Danielewski) 6/10

2012

JANUARY


- The Waste Lands (Stephen King) 8.5/10
- Dominion (C. S. Friedman) 8/10
- Throne of the Crescent Moon (Saladin Ahmed) 7.5/10
- Death Masks (Jim Butcher) 8.25/10
- Fort Freak (edited by George R. R. Martin) 7.5/10
- Planesrunner (Ian McDonald) 7.75/10

FEBRUARY

- Crucible of Gold (Naomi Novik) 6.75/10
- Kitty Goes to War (Carrie Vaughn) 7.75/10
- Orb Sceptre Throne (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 7.5/10
- A Stark and Wormy Knight (Tad Williams) 7.5/10

MARCH

- The Whitefire Crossing (Courtney Schafer) 7.5/10
- Saladin Ahmed interview
- Bradley P. Beaulieu interview
- The Book of Transformations (Mark Charan Newton) 7/10
- City of Dragons (Robin Hobb) 7.5/10
- Shadow Ops: Control Point (Myke Cole) 8/10

APRIL

- The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band (Mötley Crüe and Neil Strauss) 10/10
- Kings of the Morning (Paul Kearney) 9/10
- The Straits of Galahesh (Bradley P. Beaulieu) 8.5/10

MAY

- God's War (Kameron Hurley) 9.5/10
- The Night Sessions (Ken MacLeod) 8.25/10
- Spellbound (Blake Charlton) 7/10

JUNE

- Legion (Brandon Sanderson) 7.75/10
- The Coldest War (Ian Tregillis) 9/10
- Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson) 8/10
- Fevre Dream (George R. R. Martin) 7.75/10

JULY

- The Wurms of Blearmouth (Steven Erikson) 7.75/10
- The Pillars of Hercules (David Constantine) 7/10
- Forge of Darkness (Steven Erikson) 8/10
- Tuesdays With Morrie (Mitch Albom) 10/10

AUGUST

- Scourge of the Betrayer (Jeff Salyards) 7.25/10
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Márquez) 5/10
- My Name is Red (Orhan Pamuk) 8.5/10

SEPTEMBER

- The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Tad Williams) 7.75/10
- The Prisoner of Heaven (Carlos Ruiz Zafón) 8.5/10
- King of Thorns (Mark Lawrence) 7.75/10

OCTOBER

- Caliban's War (James S. A. Corey) 9/10
- Infidel (Kameron Hurley) 8/10
- A Fantasy Medley 2 (edited by Yanni Kuznia) 7.5/10

NOVEMBER

- The Cold Commands (Richard Morgan) 7.5/10
- Red Country (Joe Abercrombie) 8/10
- Engraved on the Eye (Saladin Ahmed) 7.75/10
- Dreamsongs, Volume 2 (George R. R. Martin) 9.5/10

DECEMBER

- The Passage (Justin Cronin) 8/10
- Rapture (Kameron Hurley) 9/10

2013

JANUARY

- Blood and Bone (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 6/10
- Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier (Myke Cole) 8/10
- The Willful Princess and the Pieball Prince (Robin Hobb) 7.25/10
- Be My Enemy (Ian McDonald) 7.75/10

FEBRUARY

- A Memory of Light (Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson) 5/10
- Wolfhound Century (Peter Higgins) 7.5/10
- Trickster (Jeff Somers) 7.75/10

MARCH

- Shogun (James Clavell) 10/10
- Ex-Heroes (Peter Clines) 7.5/10
- River of Stars (Guy Gavriel Kay) 9.5/10

APRIL

- London Falling (Paul Cornell) 7.5/10
- Necessary Evil (Ian Tregillis) 9/10
- Promise of Blood (Brian McClellan) 6.5/10

MAY

- The Flames of Shadam Khoreh (Bradley P. Beaulieu) 8/10
- Ex-Patriots (Peter Clines) 8/10

JUNE

- The Long Earth (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter) 7.5/10
- The Darwin Elevator (Jason M. Hough) 7.5/10

JULY

- Great North Road (Peter F. Hamilton) 8/10
- Blood of Dragons (Robin Hobb) 7.5/10
- Emperor of Thorns (Mark Lawrence) 8/10

AUGUST

- Happy Hour in Hell (Tad Williams) 7.5/10
- The People's Will (Jasper Kent) 8/10

SEPTEMBER

- Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs (Daniel Abraham) 7.5/10
- The Republic of Thieves (Scott Lynch) 5/10

OCTOBER

- 23 Years on Fire (Joel Shepherd) 8.5/10
- Blood of Tyrants (Naomi Novik) 7.25/10
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) 8/10
- Abaddon's Gate (James S. A. Corey) 9/10

NOVEMBER

- The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below (Patrick Rothfuss) 7.5/10
- The Devil Delivered and Other Tales (Steven Erikson) 7.5/10
- The Last Dark (Stephen R. Donaldson) 7.5/10

DECEMBER

- A Thousand Perfect Things (Kay Kenyon) 7/10
- Something More Than Night (Ian Tregillis) 7.5/10
- The One-Eyed Man (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 8/10

2014

JANUARY

- Dreamwalker (C. S. Friedman) 7.5/10
- Shadow Ops: Breach Zone (Myke Cole) 8/10
- The Twelve (Justin Cronin) 8/10
- Empress of the Sun (Ian McDonald) 7.5/10

FEBRUARY

- The Golem and the Jinni (Helene Wecker) 8/10
- Reamde (Neal Stephenson) 8.5/10

MARCH

- Europe in Autumn (Dave Hutchinson) 7.5/10
- Honor Among Thieves (James S. A. Corey) 7/10

APRIL

- A Different Kingdom (Paul Kearney) 8/10
- Tai-Pan (James Clavell) 7.5/10
- Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten (Bradley P. Beaulieu) 7.5/10

MAY

- Operation Shield (Joel Shepherd) 8/10
- Prince of Fools (Mark Lawrence) 8/10
- Half a King (Joe Abercrombie) 7.75/10
- Cyador's Heirs (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.75/10
- Fiend (Peter Stenson) 7.5/10

JUNE

- The Bone Season (Samantha Shannon) 7/10
- The Iron King (Maurice Druon) 8/10
- Fool's Assassin (Robin Hobb) 8/10

JULY

- American Craftsmen (Tom Doyle) 7/10
- Shattering the Ley (Joshua Palmatier) 5/10

AUGUST

- The Strangled Queen (Maurice Druon) 7.75/10
- Assail (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 6/10
- Rogues (edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) 6.5/10
- Kushiel's Dart (Jacqueline Carey) 9.5/10

SEPTEMBER

- Neuromancer (William Gibson) 8/10
- Legion: Skin Deep (Brandon Sanderson) 7.75/10
- The Dark Defiles (Richard Morgan) 7.5/10

OCTOBER

- Sleeping Late on Judgement Day (Tad Williams) 7.75/10
- The Lost Girls of Rome (Donato Carrisi) 9/10
- Willful Child (Steven Erikson) 7.75/10

NOVEMBER

- Cibola Burn (James S. A. Corey) 7.75/10
- The King's Deryni (Katherine Kurtz) 7.5/10
- The Last Rite (Jasper Kent) 8/10

DECEMBER

- The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (Elio M. García, Jr., Linda Antonsson, and George R. R. Martin) 10/10
- Messenger's Legacy (Peter V. Brett) 7/10

2015

JANUARY

- Gemini Cell (Myke Cole) 8/10
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Patrick Rothfuss) 7.75/10
- The Poisoned Crown (Maurice Druon) 7.25/10
- Half the World (Joe Abercrombie) 7.5/10

FEBRUARY

- Echopraxia (Peter Watts) 7/10
- 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami) 7.5/10
- The Mechanical (Ian Tregillis) 6.5/10
- Originator (Joel Shepherd) 8/10

MARCH

- The Talisman (Stephen King and Peter Straub) 8/10
- The Free (Brian Ruckley) 7.5/10
- Clash of Eagles (Alan Smale) 7.5/10

APRIL

- Heritage of Cyador (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 7.5/10
- The Immortality Game (Ted Cross) 4/10
- Veil of the Deserters (Jeff Salyards) 7.5/10

MAY

- Slow Bullets (Alastair Reynolds) 7.5/10
- The Border (Robert McCammon) 7.75/10
- The Liar's Key (Mark Lawrence) 8.5/10

JUNE

- Working for Bigfoot (Jim Butcher) 7.75/10
- Seveneves (Neal Stephenson) 7/10
- Avery Cates: The Shattered Gears (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10
- Armada (Ernest Cline) 7.5/10

JULY

- Uprooted (Naomi Novik) 4/10
- The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May (Mark Z. Danielewski) 4/10

AUGUST

- Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro) 8/10
- Kitty's Big Trouble (Carrie Vaughn) 7.75/10
- Kitty Steals the Show (Carrie Vaughn) 7.75/10
- March Violets (Philip Kerr) 7.5/10

SEPTEMBER

- The Pale Criminal (Philip Kerr) 8/10
- Fool's Quest (Robin Hobb) 8.5/10
- Kushiel's Chosen (Jacqueline Carey) 9/10

OCTOBER

- Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Bradley P. Beaulieu) 6/10
- Child of Vengeance (David Kirk) 8/10

NOVEMBER

- The City Stained Red (Sam Sykes) 7.25/10
- Half a War (Joe Abercrombie) 8/10
- Wizard and Glass (Stephen King) 9/10
- Luna: New Moon (Ian McDonald) 7.75/10

DECEMBER

- Dreamseeker (C. S. Friedman) 7.25/10
- The Call of the Sword (Roger Taylor) 7.5/10
- The Royal Succession (Maurice Druon) 7.75/10
- Nemesis Games (James S. A. Corey) 9/10

2016

JANUARY

- Blood Rites (Jim Butcher) 8.5/10
- Traitor's Blade (Sebastien de Castell) 7.5/10
- Dead Beat (Jim Butcher) 8.75/10
- Proven Guilty (Jim Butcher) 8.75/10
- Avery Cates: The Walled City (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10

FEBRUARY

- Avery Cates: The Pale (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10
- The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) 7/10
- Black Wolves (Kate Elliott) 7/10
- Javelin Rain (Myke Cole) 8/10

MARCH

- The Everything Box (Richard Kadrey) 7.5/10
- Kushiel's Avatar (Jacqueline Carey) 10/10
- Avery Cates: The Iron Island (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10
- Downbelow Station (C. J. Cherryh) 8/10

APRIL

- Children of Earth and Sky (Guy Gavriel Kay) 9/10
- Road Brothers: Tales of the Broken Empire (Mark Lawrence) 7.75/10
- Dancer's Lament (Ian Cameron Esslemont) 5.5/10

MAY

- The Book of Phoenix (Nnedi Okorafor) 8.25/10
- The Great Ordeal (R. Scott Bakker) 8/10
- Eagle in Exile (Alan Smale) 8/10
- The Wheel of Osheim (Mark Lawrence) 8/10

JUNE

- The Return of the Black Company (Glen Cook) 7.25/10
- Fall of Light (Steven Erikson) 6.5/10
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- Wolves of the Calla (Stephen King) 8.75/10
- The Wolf in the Attic (Paul Kearney) 8/10

JULY

- Get in Trouble (Kelly Link) 7.5/10
- League of Dragons (Naomi Novik) 7.25/10
- Dead Until Dark (Charlaine Harris) 7.25/10
- City of Mirrors (Justin Cronin) 7/10

AUGUST

- Song of Susannah (Stephen King) 8/10
- The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) 7.5/10
- The Language of Dying (Sarah Pinborough) 8.5/10
- Willful Child: Wrath of Betty (Steven Erikson) 7.75/10

SEPTEMBER

- The Dark Tower (Stephen King) 8/10
- This Gulf of Time and Stars (Julie E. Czerneda) 7.5/10
- Chains of the Heretic (Jeff Salyards) 6/10

OCTOBER

- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (N.K. Jemisin) 7.5/10
- The Gate to Future Pasts (Julie E. Czerneda) 7/10
- Sharp Ends (Joe Abercrombie) 7.25/10
- The Waking Fire (Anthony Ryan) 7/10

NOVEMBER

- The Burning Isle (Will Panzo) 6/10
- Binti (Nnedi Okorafor) 7/10
- The Heart of What Was Lost (Tad Williams) 7.5/10

DECEMBER

- Dreamweaver (C. S. Friedman) 7.5/10
- Recluce Tales (L. E. Modesitt, jr.) 8.5/10
- The Ruins of Ambrai (Melanie Rawn) 6/10
- The Forgetting Moon (Brian Lee Durfee) 6.75/10

2017

JANUARY

- Babylon's Ashes (James S. A. Corey) 8/10
- Kushiel's Scion (Jacqueline Carey) 8.5/10
- The Stars Are Legion (Kameron Hurley) 7.5/10
- White Night (Jim Butcher) 8/10
- The She-Wolf (Maurice Druon) 7.5/10

FEBRUARY

- Sleeping Giants (Sylvain Neuvel) 8/10
- Kitty Rocks the House (Carrie Vaughn) 7.25/10
- Mark Lawrence interview
- A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (George R. R. Martin) 8.25/10
- Jacqueline Carey interview
- Kushiel's Justice (Jacqueline Carey) 9/10
- Myke Cole interview
- Avery Cates: The Bey (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10

MARCH

- Sylvain Neuvel interview
- Red Sister (Mark Lawrence) 7.75/10
- Cyteen (C. J. Cherryh) 9/10
- Kristen Britain interview
- The Wind Through the Keyhole (Stephen King) 7.75/10
- The Player of Games (Iain M. Banks) 7.5/10

APRIL

- Waking Gods 8/10(Sylvain Neuvel)
- Assassin's Fate (Robin Hobb) 10/10
- Tad Williams interview, part 1
- Eagle and Empire (Alan Smale) 8/10
- King Rat (James Clavell) 7.25/10

MAY

- Luna: Wolf Moon (Ian McDonald) 7.5/10
- Tad Williams interview, part 2
- The Unholy Consult (R. Scott Bakker) 9/10
- The Witchwood Crown (Tad Williams) 5.5/10
- Avery Cates: The City Lord (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10

JUNE

- Brimstone (Cherie Priest) 7.25/10
- Regenesis (C. J. Cherryh) 7.75/10
- Peter V. Brett interview
- Evil is a Matter of Perspective (edited by Adrian Collins) 7.25/10

JULY

- Spoonbenders (Daryl Gregory) 8.5/10
- The Kendish Hit (Jeff Somers) 7.5/10
- Tuf Voyaging (George R. R. Martin) 7/10
- Siege Line (Myke Cole)

AUGUST

- The Hunter of the Dark (Donato Carrisi)
-