The Library Fantastic

Kushiel’s Chosen

In the second book of Kushiel’s Legacy, the story of Phèdre is given a worthy continuation, though in many ways it is a very different book from the first one. This was to some extent unavoidable, however, given that Kushiel’s Dart was focused around Phèdre’s coming-of-age. Here, however, we meet a more mature heroine. Following the events of the first book, Phèdre is living a relatively quiet life in the countryside, something that probably would have started to wear thin sooner or later, save perhaps for the distraction offered by her continued attempts to search for a way to free her…

Queen of the Darkness

In the third and final book of the Black Jewels, the struggling factions of the previous two books will finally clash for the final time. Though Jaenelle knows that she is too powerful to unleash her full strength, as it would destroy most of the Blood, she can no longer avoid a confrontation with the two women who have made Terrielle into the twisted perversion of Blood society that it now is: Hekatha, the demon-dead Dark Priestess who once was the wife of Saetan SaDiablo, and Dorothea SaDiablo, the woman who has taken control over all of Terrielle. The pair now seeks to extend their…

Heir to the Shadows

In the second book of the Black Jewels, the focus shifts from Terrielle, the twisted, corrupted realm of Light, to Kaeleer, the realm of Shadow. Here the Blood still live—for the most part—according to the protocol that was meant to govern their actions towards each other. Their Queens rule their courts without inspiring fear and without Rings of Obedience, and the males serve and protect. This is the realm in which where Jaenelle now finds herself, to learn to be a Queen and to come into her full power as Witch. But she has a long road ahead over her, as she arrives in Kaeleer gravely…

Old Man’s War

John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War,  which has made the 2006 Hugos shortlist for Best Novel and garnered Scalzi a place on the Campbell Award shortlist for best new writer, been hailed by readers as reviewers as following in the footsteps of Robert A. Heinlein. This is, as Scalzi admits, entirely the intention. Does he succeed? Perhaps too well.

My copy of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is very nearly the most-ragged, most-reread book in my collection (only A Game of Thrones and The Lions of Al-Rassan top it). It’s the first half—“the good half” as some call it—that mostly gets me (the second half…

Review forthcoming.