dragons

The King is Dead in “Theft of Swords”

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Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Orbit: November 23, 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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Theft of Swords is a pretty traditional fantasy read. There’s adventures and sword fights and a dash of magic thrown in for good measure. If you enjoy more descriptive works in the fantasy genre Theft of Swords is likely to appeal. For those who appreciate a greater depth of characterization, you may want to approach with caution.

Royce Melborn, a mysterious master thief, and his equally enigmatic mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, have been contracted to steal a sword. Unfortunately the theft does not go as planned and the duo are implicated in the murder of the king. So, naturally, they kidnap the new king, with the help of the new king’s sister. Politics, they just got more exciting. (more…)

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The Gods Wake in “The Copper Promise”

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The Copper Promise by Jen Williams
Angry Robot: July 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting going into The Copper Promise, but whatever it was my expectations were far exceeded! The Copper Promise is a fun, fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure and I can’t wait to read more about the adventures of our (mostly) heroic trio.

Wydrin of Crosshaven and Sir Sebastian are mercenaries for hire. Wydrin and Sebastian are recruited for a job by Lord Aaron Frith, a seemingly simple job: infiltrate the Citadel and snag the treasure. Of course, no job is so easy and the unforeseen consequence is that a terrible goddess has been awoken and unleashed her army. You would assume that Wydrin, Sebastian and Frith would naturally want to help defeat this terror, but you would assume wrong. Each of these characters have their own private motivations, and not all mean dealing with the scourge that they have just helped to unleashed. Yet, it’s a problem that just wont go away, and the trio must reunite and figure out how they could possibly kill a seemingly unbeatable dragon and her brood army. Smooth sailing is not in the cards for our heroes. (more…)

“Flamecaster”: A Revenge Read

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Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
HarperCollin: April 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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Flamecaster is the first book by the much-hyped Chima that I’ve read. I’ve wanted to read Chima’s Seven Realms series for a long time, but alas, time, there is never enough. Instead, I decided to jump right into Chima’s new series, which I understand is connected to the Seven Realms series. Having not read the other series, I think I can safely say that Flamecaster can be read as a standalone series.

Flamecaster follows the adventures and revenge plots of four people. There’s Ash, a young prince who’s family has been targeted by a rival king. Like Ash, Jenna’s friends have been murdered by the same king, and now she is being hunted down by the king because of the mage mark on the back of her neck. Lila is playing multiple sides, but it’s anyone’s guess who’s side she’s really on. And perhaps the most mysterious of all, Destin Karn, son of the powerful general that serves the dastardly king seems to have his own operation running that is contrary to his king. Each of these characters have their own motivations, but what ties them all together is their hatred for the current king of Arden. (more…)

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 26

Dinosaurs are obviously not as cool as dragons, because reputedly they actually existed (whereas dragons are supposedly all imagined), but with all the interesting dinosaur happenings in movies and books, a consideration about the best dinosaurs to fight in a war (with amazing illustrations) is apropos.

Going the other way in time (that is, forward), a study at the University of Cambridge investigated the “evolution” of robots. A la Battlestar Gallactica? #sciencefictionnotfiction

In Eye Candy: BookRiot collects bookish art from Tumblr.

I don’t even. Books that filter water. Is a book the best form for it, though? More #sciencefictionnotfiction

Finally. Science says mind-wandering has benefits.

New York Public Library recommends spy novels to finish out your summer, as they remember Ian Fleming.

Itinerary for the Last Days of Summer

The strange and wonderful worlds I’m looking forward to traveling as the summer winds to a close and my favorite season begins. (All synopses modified from Goodreads blurbs, which you can get to by clicking on the images).

 

1. Two families, named after birds, compete in traveling shows. The Palomas believe that the Corbeaus practice only the darkest magic, but when tragedy strikes it is a Corbeau boy that saves young Lace Paloma. I love the bird inspiration, and the families remind me of Romeo and Juliet. Plus, who could ignore a cover like that? Gorgeous.

Expected publication September 2015

2. In a standalone (yes!) companion to her first novel Salvage, Alexandra Duncan shares the story of Miyole, who is finally living her dream of being a research assistant on her first space voyage. When her ship saves another that has been attacked, she and Cassia, a girl from the rover, begin a quest to rescue Cassia’s adopted brother.

Expected publication September 2015

3. Having just finished The Dragons of HeavenI find myself more interested in Chinese mythology and folklore than I have been for a while. Serpentine, by Cindy Pon, fits that bill: Skybright is different from everyone around her, and as the changes begin to manifest even more strongly, and her dark destiny becomes clear, she struggles to keep her sense of self – and falls in love.

Expected publication September 2015

4. Dragon Heart is a story about a queen who kills her suitors because she loathes being forced to marry one of the Emperor’s brothers, her son, who journeys to find his sister, and the queen’s mute daughter, who learns after being attacked by one that she can speak with dragons. Need I say more?

Expected publication September 2015

5. With this synopsis (thanks, Goodreads), how could you pass Wake of Vultures by?

 She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand. And just like that, Nettie can see.

Expected publication October 2015

Turn the page for five (more…)

Chinese Dragons and Romance in “Dragons of Heaven”

dragons of heavenThe Dragons of Heaven, by Alyc Helms Angry Robot: June 2nd, 2015 (Fantasy)*

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The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh)**

In The Dragons of Heaven, Missy Masters is trying to live up to her grandfather’s legacy as Mr. Masters, one of the original superheroes of the mid-twentieth century. We are introduced to her present-day struggles to be taken seriously and to defeat a Chinatown crime boss in San Francisco. The narrative is split between the present-day and some time in Missy’s past. It’s also split between San Francisco and China. In one plot line, Missy is a superheroine fighting crime when mysterious magical walls spring up around all Chinatowns in the world, and around China itself. This launches Missy into the world-saving business, as she is the only person who can dissolve the walls. In the other, she travels to China to learn from a Dragon and become a better superheroine. (more…)

Dragons in Canada: “The Story of Owen”

16068956The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston
Carolrhoda Books: March 1, 2014 (Young Adult; Fantasy)

My rating: Outstanding Adventure vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

Before the Thorskards came to Trondheim, we didn’t have a permanent dragon slayer. When a dragon attacked, you had to petition town hall (assuming it wasn’t on fire), and they would send to Toronto (assuming the phone lines weren’t on fire), and Queen’s Park would send out one of the government dragon slayers (assuming nothing in Toronto was on fire). By the time the dragon slayer arrived, anything not already lit on fire in the original attack would be, and whether the dragon was eventually slayed or not, we’d be struck with reconstruction. Again.

Needless to say, when it was announced that Lottie Thorskard was moving to town permanently, it was like freaking Mardi Gras (p. 1).

The Story of Owen is an absolutely brilliant YA fantasy. It was smart, original, and entertaining and leaves you looking for more from bard-in-training, Siobhan, and her dragon slayer, Owen Thorskard.

Siobhan is your average high school student. She gets good grades and is intent in her focus on music composition, determined to get into a good musical school. However, all of Siobhan’s career aspirations change when her rural town of Trondheim gets it’s very own dragon slayer.

Owen Thorskard’s very famous family has moved to Trondhiem following his aunt’s retirement. Officially, it’s Owen’s father that is the town’s dragon slayer, but really it’s a family affair. Of course, the arrival of the Thorskards in Trondheim has the small rural community in an uproar. Siobhan doesn’t expect to be involved in any of it, but all that changes when she happens to meet Owen on his first day at her high school. Suddenly Siobhan finds herself right in the middle of dragon slaying with her very own job to do. Siobhan is called to be Owen’s bard, the teller of his heroic feats. But there’s much more to it that simply telling a good yarn, Siobhan has also been recruited because of Owen’s aunt’s determination to change the world of dragon slaying. They want to return to the ways of old, move away from the commercialized and privatized career that dragon slaying has become.  (more…)

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 7

Here it is, the last issue of 2014. Read on, fellow adventurers, for noteworthy news, book sales, and more! Do you enjoy owning and reading ebooks without DRM? Do you like buying books on sale? Book View Cafe is having a half-off Boxing Week Sale! Featured authors include Sherwood Smith, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine Robins, Jeffrey A. Carver, and Katherine Eliska Kimbriel.

How to make sure your library contains booklice-devouring book scorpions, from Book Riot.

Jo Walton on how her ebook reader changed (and didn’t change) her reading habits, from Tor.com.

A review of 2014 in comics, from Pornokitsch. The ones I want to read? Saga, Ms. Marvel, and Sex Criminals.

Musings on the importance of reading local, again, from Book Riot.

The New York Times reviews How to be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guideby Ruth Goodman. Apparently, it strips all the romanticism from our rose-colored view of the Victorian era.

Book Riot’s list of dragon books. See also: The Book Adventures’ own Map of the Dragon Territories in SF/F.

Happy New Year, all!

Dragon Territories in the Realms of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Our latest Reader’s Map is all about dragons. And there are plenty! Click on the image below to see a map full of dragon books, categorized by genre or dragon characteristic, e.g. Where the War Dragons Fight, The Kingdom of Magic Dragons, and The Empire of Epic Fantasy.

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Fall Adventures Itinerary

It’s hard to believe that it’s already September! Where did the summer go? But with the fall comes lots of great books that we’re looking forward to. Here’s what we’re hoping to read this fall (September to November publication dates):

Jaclyn’s Itinerary

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) House Immortal (House Immortal, #1) The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga, #1) The Unsuitable Secretary (Ladies Unlaced, #4) Sway

The Bloodbound A Matter of Grave Concern Whisper the Dead (The Lovegrove Legacy, #2) Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4) Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1)

Stacey’s Itinerary

I share Jaclyn’s enthusiasm for Juliet Marillier’s latest (let’s face it, I avidly await ALL of her latest novels), and Lindsey’s The Bloodbound.

Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1) The Bloodbound

Also on my list are some historical fiction/romance novels:

And assorted science fiction and fantasy (my staple):

The last two are two very different novels that I can’t choose between. It’s a good thing there’s no limit to how many books I can read in a year!

That’s it from us! What are you looking forward to reading this fall?