• The Awakening - Before True Light
    Fantasy Book Reviews,  YA Fantasy Book Reviews

    Book Review: The Awakening – Before True Light

    Book Review for: The Awakening – Before True Light is a Young Adult Fantasy novel by Sarah Buchynski Amazon Synopsis: The fate of the world is uncertain…A secret society, historical protectors of mankind and thought to have been lost for centuries, re-emerges in dire times. A young girl named Izanami, living as an orphan among the inhabitants of this society, questions the meaning of her life there. When a sinister madman emerges and threatens the balance of harmony, Izanami realizes her quest for purpose, but in ways she never imagined… Book Review: Coming of age is difficult under the best of circumstances. But what if you were a teenage orphan…

  • Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes,  Women in Fantasy

    Kill The Girl! Women In Science Fiction And Fantasy

    Women In Science Fiction And Fantasy – Why are women treated so differently than men? Over the last couple of weeks, I read several articles about gender disparity in SF/F. It all started with the article “I Hate Strong Female Characters” by Sophia McDougall published in The Statesmen. Pretty soon, I had also come across articles like “Sleeps With Monsters: Reading, Writing, Radicalisation” a two part article from blogger Liz Burke over at Tor.com and then “Gender Bias in SF/F Round Table” a two part article from blogger Matt Gilliard at 52Reviews.com All three of these bloggers had a lot to say about gender disparity in science fiction and fantasy.…

  • Writing Tips

    My Adventures With Google Plus Authorship

    Google Plus Authorship, better known as Google+ Authorship is the next “Big New Shiny Thing.” But I’m here to tell you it isn’t always easy and I honestly wondering how long I’m going to try to get it done before I give up. Here’s the deal. I have two blogs, www.TLCoffeyWrites.com and www.AlchemicalWords.com where I discuss the Fantasy genre and review Fantasy books. Google had no problem assigning authorship to www.TLCoffeyWrites.com but the other blog? I can’t think of enough expletives to describe this never ending misadventure. Now, Google says I need to have a link to my G+ page from this blog. Okay… like there’s not about a bazillion…

  • Gandalf Balrog high fantasy
    Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    Defining High Fantasy

    In a previous post, I talked about the definition of Low Fantasy. Today, I’m tackling defining High Fantasy. High Fantasy takes place in a purely fictional world which has its own unique physical properties and laws of nature. The time period is flexible and the story can be in the present, the distant past or some time in the future. In High Fantasy, the fantastic takes front row. Often, the extraordinary is commonplace. Elves in Shannara wield swords of power and magical stones while children go to Wizardry schools, carry magic wands and learn to make potions and charms. Horns call dead heroes, animals talk and dragons rule the skies.…

  • Low fantasy - game of thrones
    Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    Defining Low Fantasy

    A few weeks ago, I broke my first blog. I mean really broke it. Rolling server error messages, dead end re-directs, page not found messages… you name it, it was happening. The blog had become possessed by what seemed like every malcontent server imp ever documented. My hosting Yoda finally proclaimed the blog beyond resuscitation so I took it down, renamed it and rebuilt it better than ever. Since then, I’ve been working a little magic, getting all the old posts back up, taking the opportunity to improve upon what was there before. One of my first posts on the now deceased blog was an attempt to talk about High…

  • Fantasy is more than just wizards
    Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    Defining Fantasy ~ It’s More Than Just Wizards

    I was sitting in my glorious animal print wing back chair, fighting my way through a particularly nasty plot snag in my own work in progress when my attention began to wander. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, my attention is like a disobedient child, roaming about wherever my imagination happens to lead it. Frustrated because I needed its full cooperation on those plot knots, I pulled out my magic lasso and threw a rope around my fleeing attention, snagging it just before it made it out the door. Hand over hand, I reeled in the uncooperative beast while it fought me like some moss-covered behemoth from the deep.…

  • fantasy genre mural
    Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    What Is Missing In Fantasy?

    I recently finished reading The Black Company series of epic military fantasy novels by Glen Cook. There’s cast of thousands, sorcery, battles, betrayals and death. I’m now reading the Malazan series of epic military fantasy novels by Steve Erickson which also contains a lot of sorcery, betrayals, battles, death and a cast of thousands. On the surface, both of these fantasy book series are considered to be epic military fantasy and both appear to have a lot of similar elements, but beyond that, the two series are nothing alike. The results of playing around with permutation gadget I showed you in my previous post, “Unique Fantasy Combinations – Oh, The…

  • Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    Unique Fantasy Combinations – Oh, The Possibilities

    I spent some time this weekend wondering about unique fantasy combinations. I was reading some of those blogs and web sites that create lists like: “25 Best Fantasy Novels” or “Ten Best Fantasy Novels You’ve Never Read.” That search turned up the usual suspects, but it also took me down a few new bunny trails and into the darker underbelly of our virtual world where I found lists of the very worst, most dreadful fantasy books – and not just those lists where a blogger calls a book stupid or an author ignorant, either. One site in particular wasn’t shy about voicing their detailed negative opinions about books and calling…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    Soldiers Live – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews Soldiers Live, the last published book in The Black Company series of epic military fantasy novels by author Glen Cook. There are rumors of two more volumes in the works but the estimated publication date is sometime in 2015 at the earliest so we’ve got a while to wait to see what else Glen cooks up…sorry, I couldn’t resist. It was just too easy (cheesy grin). Okay, then… Synopsis of Soldiers Live: When sorcerers and demigods go to war, those wars are fought by mercenaries, “dog soldiers, ” grunts in the trenches. And the stories of those soldiers are the stories of Glen Cook’s hugely popular Black…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    Water Sleeps – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews Water Sleeps; the ninth book in the epic military fantasy series, The Black Company, by author Glen Cook. I know a lot of reading orders for this fantasy book series do not count The Silver Spike as part of the reading order, listing Water Sleeps as eighth in the series, but I disagree. I think The Silver Spike ties up a lot of loose ends and serves a necessary purpose in the overall progression of the series. I’m going to try to do this synopsis with as few spoilers as possible. In Water Sleeps, we have a new narrator, Sleepy. I was surprised by her fast rise…