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Aug 17

Soulwoven by Jeff Seymour

Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 in Books, Fantasy, Reviews

I recently read the fantasy novel Soulwoven by Jeff Seymour on Wattpad. It’s also available for Kindle and as a paperback from Amazon.

It was a fascinating, well written story, with a magic that I found interesting and different. The main characters were likeable and that’s very important to me. I’d love to read more by the same author. My one complaint is that I felt that there wasn’t complete closure at the end. The story left me with more questions than answers, but I understand there’s a sequel coming, that will probably take care of that problem.

Jun 21

Bonds of Fire

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Books, Fantasy, Reviews

The novella Bonds of Fire by Sophie Duncan, is yet another of my recently read ebooks, that I really liked. First a warning: this is a slash story. If you don’t like m/m romance, don’t read it.

This is still a free download on Amazon and Smashwords so if it sounds like fun, go ahead and get it.

The main character, Drekken, is a dragon warrior. He’s bonded to his dragon, Miri. Unfortunately, after a battle, Drekken is separated from his squadron and Miri and is forced to babysit a group of baby dragons. He’s also faced with a growing attraction for one of the two young men who are in charge of the dragon babies. What complicates things is that the two young guys are already in love with each other.

As I said above, I really enjoyed this story. Especially the dragons. And the slash. 😉 I also liked the way Drekken felt torn between wanting to rejoin his squadron and Miri, and on the other hand, his responsibility to keep the babies safe. The baby dragons are unbelievably cute and the two young guys are unbelievably hot (and so, apparently, is Drekken).

What’s not to like?


Jun 15

The Glass Wall by Madison Adler/Carmen Caine

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2014 in Fantasy, Reviews, Teen books

For some reason, I neglected to review a number of ebooks that I downloaded for free from Amazon, right after I read them. I’m trying to remedy that now.

Superficially, this book, Beyond the Glass Wall (The Glass Wall), book one in a series of YA urban fantasy books, sounds like any recent YA fantasy book. If I’d read the blurb I probably wouldn’t have bothered reading it. But my list of Kindle freebies is so long and from my view on my Kindle I can’t see what the book is about, just the title. So I did start reading it and I quickly realized that I liked it.

The books starts with the main character, 17-year-old Sydney, moving in with a new foster family. She’s been through this a lot so she’s not all that bothered. However, the family she comes to is very nice and she slowly finds herself warming up to them. Almost right away, she spots a very good-looking guy moving into a house nearby. Sydney soon finds out that he’s far more than just a handsome stranger.

It appears Rafael, the new guy, has superhuman powers, which leads Sydney to suspect he might be some sort of alien, which isn’t quite the case. It takes Sydney a long time to find out exactly what he is. In the meantime, she also meets another extremely handsome guy, Jareth, who is a rock star. He has a mysterious connection to Rafael, though not really a friendly one.

I can’t seem to give this book justice. It still sounds like a cliche. Just take my word for it, this one is really good. I finished it in just a few days, because I wanted to know more about Rafael and Jareth.

I suppose partly it’s because it’s so easy to see everything through Sydney’s eyes. I liked the way she slowly realized that her foster family was different from earlier ones, who she liked, but never felt completely connected to. Right from the start the parents treat her as their own child. Their daughter takes a little longer to connect with Sydney, but she too, comes to view her as a close family member. This book is the first in a series of four. There’s also a prequel, Behind the Mirror, a short story, that is available for free download on Amazon.

May 6

Escape to fantasy…

Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 in Other

The only people who have a reason for objecting to escape are jailers.

~ Terry Pratchett

Feb 10

The Twistrose Key

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 in Children's books, Fantasy, Reviews

Recently, I read the Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhjell. That’s a Norwegian children’s books writer. According to a review by a Norwegian girl, the English original wasn’t very good. I can’t comment on that. I read the Swedish translation. It was good enough that I was taken in. I thought it was a book, originally written in Swedish (or possibly Finland-Swedish), because the setting of the book is clearly not only Nordic, but from the very far North.

To me it seems a bit odd that a Norwegian writer should decide to write a book in English. I have to admit that while I consider my own English quite good, I’d never dare to write a book to be published by a real publisher in any other language than my own. I do, however, write blog posts, shorter short stories and fan fiction in English and occasionally simple, brief comments in discussions in French. Once or twice I have also chatted (to some extent) in German, Italian and Spanish. Ok, back to the review. 🙂

Aside from the underlying sad theme (about death and losing a loved one) this was an exciting and well-written book. The story is based on a very interesting idea – a world where children’s pets go when they die. But that world is threatened by a very dangerous enemy and the main character Lin (or Lindelin) Rosenquist, who has been named for an old song, comes to the rescue. She belongs to a small group of children, who can travel to the animals’ world to save them from danger. In her struggle to save the animals and their world, she puts her old troll hunting talents from back on the farm, to good use.

In their new world, the animals grow to roughly human size and are able to speak like humans. It’s a fascinating, not to say irresistible idea. Imagine being able to see our beloved animals again some day, and to get to talk to them. Thinking about it almost makes me cry.

The book pretty much ends happily and that is, at least to me, very important, and perhaps also to the children the book is primarily written for. But I have to admit that I felt very sorry for one of the ‘enemies’ and I wish that he could have had a happier fate.

Besides, just a thought – this book seems to assume that only children love their pets and will miss them when they’re gone. Just for the record, there are grownups (in a manner of speaking – lol) who do too. Perhaps even more than many children. For the record.

Jan 2

Defying Fate – Two Tales of the Warden by D. L Morrese

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 in Books, Fantasy, Reviews, Science Fiction

I have just finished reading the free ebook Defying Fate – Two Tales of the Warden by D. L Morrese.

At the beginning this seemed to be a very simple, but slightly humorous fantasy story, but after a while, I realized that there was more to come. As I kept reading, the story became more complex, but still, to some extent, slightly humorous, which is ok with me. Briefly, it’s the story of a young prince, Donald, who’s travelling around his father’s kingdom (and a neighbouring country) as a learning experience. He is accompanied by a guide/bodyguard, who’s an old soldier with a very pessimistic outlook on life. Later on Donald makes more friends. It turns out there’s even more to this story than I originally thought. One of Donald’s new friends, is really a several thousand years old android. Another is an equally old robot dog. Basically, the plot centers around Donald’s quest to stop an unnecessary war between his country and the ‘stoutfolk’ (dwarf) country Gotrox. At first it seems his task is hopeless, but Donald just won’t give up and his friends do their best to back him up.

Mostly, this is a well-written and fascinating, but simple story. My only complaint is about the grammar – the author seems to have an inexplicable dislike of the perfect tense. It’s only ever seen in some of the dialogue. Without exception, the author seems to have chosen to replace the perfect tense with the past tense (imperfect). It was driving me crazy. I found myself rephrasing each sentence in the way I felt it should have been. Other than that, this was a fun, light read, with many sympathetic and funny characters.

Nov 26


Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 in Other

“Fantasy’s hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”

Lloyd Alexander

Sep 26

Guide: Naming Months in Your Fictional Calendar

Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013 in Writing links

Click here to read more.

Aug 11

Hespira by Matthew Hughes

Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 in Books, Reviews, Science Fiction

I have just finished Matthew Hughes’ novel Hespira. Like in the first two books in the series, the story is about future private investigator, Henghis Hapthorn. He’s a bit full of himself but rather funny. There are plenty of wonderfully weird and fascinating details, such as the fact that Hapthorn’s intuition has moved out and now lives in a separate body and the equivalent of a personal computer is turned into a cute little creature called a grinnet, who’s like a mix of cat and monkey.

The story is set in Earth’s ‘penultimate’ age – a bit like in Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, and is scientifically based but is changing into an era of sympathetic association, meaning magic. Hapthorn isn’t looking forward to that, without his intuition.

In this book, Hapthorn accepts a seemingly simple case, but it leads to unexpected complications that force Hapthorn to leave ‘Old Earth’ for a while. At the same time he meets a mysterious woman who’s lost her memory. He takes her along on his trip. While travelling, Hapthorn and Hespira run into more mystery.

The two earlier books didn’t work completely for me, though I loved some of the ideas. This book feels a lot better though I have a feeling there was nothing actually wrong with the other two, it’s just that I prefer the plot in this one. On the other hand I’m looking forward to re-reading the other books. Maybe I’ll feel differently about them now. There’s also a collection of stories about Hapthorn that I have bought and downloaded. Unfortunately, for me, just a week or so later, the book was available for free, in fact, it might be still.

The series about Henghis Hapthorn are science fiction books that are a little different to what I’m used to, but I can recommend them to anyone who likes science fiction, mystery and fantasy. I wish there were more books in the series about Hengis Hapthorn. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Hughes will write another one.

This book wasn’t available as a paperback which would have been my first choice. It wasn’t even available in hardcover, except at a ridiculous price (from about 90 dollars?). At first I had no idea why, but after a digital conversation with the author, I now know why and unfortunately, it’s inevitable. It’s a shame though, since I have both the other books in the series in paperback.

Apr 1

Which fantasy writer are you?

Posted on Sunday, April 1, 2012 in Fandom

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?…

Ursula K Le Guin (b. 1929)

23 High-Brow, -33 Violent, -15 Experimental and 7 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Peaceful, Traditional and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is definitely one of the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writers of all times. Her most famous fantasy work to date is the Earthsea suite of novels and short stories, in which Le Guin created not only one of the most believable societies in fantasy fiction, but also managed to describe a school for wizards almost three decades before Harry Potter. Although often categorized as written for young adults, these books have entertained and challenged readers of all ages since their publication.

Le Guin is no stranger to literary experiments (see for example Always Coming Home(1985)), but much of her story-telling is quite traditional. In fact, she makes a point of returning to older forms of story-telling, which, at her best, enables her to create something akin to myth. One shouldn’t confuse myth with faerytale, though. Nothing is ever simplified in Le Guin’s world, as she relentlessly explores ethical problems and the moral choices that her characters must make, as must we all. While being one of those writers who will allow you to escape to imaginary worlds, she is also one who will prompt you to return to your actual life, perhaps a little wiser than you used to be.


You are also a lot like Susan Cooper.


If you want some action, try Michael Moorcock.


If you’d like a challenge, try your exact opposite, C S Lewis.


Your score


This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you’re at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn’t mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.


High-Brow vs. Low-Brow


You received 23 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.


Violent vs. Peaceful


You received -33 points, making you more Peaceful than Violent. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you aren’t, and you don’t, then you are peaceful as defined here. At their best, peaceful people are the ones who encourage dialogue and understanding as a means of solving conflicts. At their worst, they are standing passively by as they or third parties are hurt by less scrupulous individuals.


Experimental vs. Traditional


You received -15 points, making you more Traditional than Experimental. Your position on this scale indicates if you’re more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, traditional people don’t change winning concepts, favouring storytelling over empty poses. At their worst, they are somewhat narrow-minded.


Cynical vs. Romantic


You received 7 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you’ll find the sentence “you are also a lot like x” above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

Author picture from


Take Which fantasy writer are you? at HelloQuizzy


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