Category: Fae

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

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This stunning second novel is even more powerful than the first, with reveals about the first book that make me want to read it again. Our heroine, Feyre, is deeply changed after the events of the first book, and her post-traumatic stress sends the first ripples of stress through her relationship with the High Fae lord she loves. Simply a scorcher of a story, but for 18 and up, due to very explicit sex scenes (much more so than the first book.) Heck, I’ve read adult romance novels that weren’t this graphic. NOT a YA book.

 

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Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas

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Maas had become more and more comfortable with a narrative of interlocking characters, and in this one, our characters are scattered across the continent as Aelin and her growing court head toward her home country for the first time.

There are echoes of several series in here (Game of Thrones and Graceling among them), but Maas has carved out her own world and her plot hurtles toward its endgame. One quibble – what started as a series that my younger daughter found in a middle-school library has morphed and taken a flying leap into graphic sex. For 18 and up.

Queen of Blood, by Sarah Beth Durst

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I love this author, but this book just didn’t connect for me. The font and reading level felt like middle-school, but the darkness and violence throughout make it older, over 16. The first two chapters were so bleak that it took me another week to pick it back up again.

All that said, this is a mish-mash of plots – an unexpected student in a magical school, a disenchanted knight, a conspiracy to combat the evil in the world, and it just didn’t hang together for me. I won’t read the next one.

 

Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas

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Still rereading my way up to the newly released fifth book:

This third book of the series takes a very different tack, as Celaena leaves the castle for the first time to discover her heritage and, perhaps, claim her birthright. Challenged to fight in new ways by the Fae Rowan, she will re-learn all she knew. Terrific writing continues here – can’t wait for book four! For 16 and up due to violence and terror.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas

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Another excellent Maas novel, this one targeted older than her Throne of Glass series. Our 19-year-old heroine, the sole hunter for her impoverished family, is taken abruptly from them to the world of Faerie. There is romance, adventure, and a nightmarish evil in this world, and our Fayre fights to handle all of it. While this one is self-contained, there is clearly more to come. Recommended for 18 and up due to graphic sex and violence.

The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss

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This extraordinary novel, of 900+ pages, is a sequel, but really it is a direct continuation of the first novel, Rothfuss’ debut. And the sophomore effort is even more exceptional. Told almost entirely in flashback, Kvothe (rhymes with “quoth”) continues his university days, but his perspective expands, as he discovers the Fae for the first time, and as he spends immersive time in other parts of the world. This is the kind of book you don’t just read, but fall into, as if in a dream, because the characters are so very real and returning to this book feels like a homecoming among old friends. There are glimmers of darkness from the road ahead for Kvothe, and for us as his readers, but I can’t wait to follow this story to its conclusion.

To Weave a Web of Magic, by Claire Delacroix, Lynn Kurland, Patricia A. McKillip, Sharon Shinn

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Another great set of stories from female fantasy authors. McKillip’s is my least favorite – a story of a painter and his muse. But the other three were wonderful: Kurland’s story of a princess fleeing her betrothal and the man she finds in an abandoned castle is beautifully written with a wonderful twist you won’t see coming; Shinn’s story of a well-off young woman and the rogue angel she hears so much about is lovely; and Delacroix’s haunting story of a half-fae/half-mortal woman trying desperately to throw off a curse brings grief as well as joy. For adults and older teens.

Feverborn, by Karen Marie Moning

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Another smoking hot edition of the Fever series. In war-torn Dublin, Mac, Jada, Barrons, and Ryoden work together to solve the problem of growing black holes that threaten to destroy the planet, but they are juggling multiple problems, as ever. Mac is fighting a major internal battle with dark magic; Jada is struggling to maintain her cool exterior, and Ryoden is the chessmaster behind the chaos. A gripping read for fans of the series, 18 and up.

Burned, by Karen Marie Moning

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Burned picks up where Iced left off, but returns us to the point of view of our original heroine, Mac (short for MacKayla). In post-invasion Dublin, Mac is plotting about how to rescue a friend from the Crimson Hag, how to shake off the Zombie Eating Wraiths (ZEWs) that are following her everywhere, and, oh, yeah, how to deal with the evil book inside of her that drives her to murder. A great urban fantasy read – for 18 and up.

Iced, by Karen Marie Moning

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Terrific next step in the Fever series: a whole book focused on Dani, a 14-year-old superspeedy superhero (as she sees herself) and her adventures in Dublin after the invasion of the Unseelie Fae. Dani has friends, but no one keeps her in a cage of responsibility, except maybe Ryoden, who is even more superstrong and superfast than Dani is. A great read. Despite the heroine’s age, this one is still for 18 and up due to sex and gore.