vendredi 26 décembre 2014

Wrat-Up 2014 - Top Ten Fantasy Books

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

An excellent continuation of Sanderson's extremely ambitious series, putting the spotlight on the main female character Shallan. The other characters also get a lot of screen time and the book - while huge in term of number of pages - sped by thanks to the impressive pace Sanderson manages to maintain.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

A touching, haunting and heart-breaking historical fantasy, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is part family history, part coming-of-age tale, part historical thriller. Dealing with faith, family and death, and told with the beauty and complexity of a fairy tale, Walton's novel is deserving of lots of praise.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The novel that proved stand alone fantasy can work and work extremely well, The Goblin Emperor is a wonderful change from the grimdark trend that a lot of modern fantasy has embraced. A classic fantasy novel of an underdog character finding the strength to overcome major obstacles, the wonderful story is accompanied by fantastic prose.
Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

From my review:

"Every so often, I read a fantasy novel that reminds me why I love this genre. Unwrapped Sky is one of those! Full of imaginative concepts, flawed and multidimensional characters and some fantastic prose, Rjurik Davidson’s debut is a fantastic opening to a new series, reminiscent of China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, while not quite reaching the heights of that masterpiece."

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb

From my review:

"A slow-moving, glorious exploration of a truly amazing character, Fool's Assassin is a triumphant return to the world of Fitz and the Fool, to the world of Buckkeep and the Mountain Kingdom, to the world of assassins, Skillmasters and dragons."

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

From my review:

"Once every so often, a book comes along so awesome, so perfectly tailored for your reading tastes of the time that it can leave a reader giddy. Sparrow Hill Road was that for me. A tale of ghost stories, hitch hikers, crossroads and Americana, Sparrow Hill Road is epic in the best sense of the word: a story that crosses time and space, descending down through multiple levels of reality and oozing with haunts and ghouls."
The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

The debut of the year for me, The Emperor's Blades combines great characters with fantastic world building, all of it tied up with crisp, fast-paced writing that keeps the pages turning.
The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks

A stand-alone adventure set in Brooks' Shannara universe, The High Druid's Blade follows a new character, descended from the Leah family, as he tries to save his sister from a dark magician. A breath of fresh air in the Shannara series, epic and intimate at the same time, all with Brooks' characteristic elaborate prose.
Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

A fantastic collection of short stories here from Atwood, ranging from a murder mystery to the exploration of the effect three people had on one another's lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the first three, connected stories, but all of them had something to bring to the table.
From my review:

"A fantasy murder mystery to start with, The Buried Life could be termed science fantasy - while not made obvious, there are clear indications that the underground world of the book is our future. While the murder mystery is tied up nicely, providing a pleasant sense of closure to that part of the book, there are larger events that take over towards the end and set up the stage nicely for the follow-up (due out in February)."

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