• 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 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 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…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    She Is The Darkness – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews She Is The Darkness, the eighth book of the best selling epic fantasy book series, The Black Company by Glen Cook. This epic military fantasy series was started in 1984 and currently consists of 10 books published over a period of 16 years. There are continuing rumors of an additional two books and the current book gossip suggests that these will come out in late 2014 or 2015. This entry into the series continues in the mixed format of some chapters written through the POV of a first person narrator mixed with chapters with a third person POV. Cook also continues with Murgen as the first person…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    Bleak Seasons – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews Bleak Seasons, the seventh book of The Black Company epic military fantasy book series by Glen Cook. Bleak Seasons is set during the same time period as Dreams of Steel. While The Lady was the first person POV narrator for Dreams of Steel, while Bleak Seasons is divided between telling the story from the point of view of Murgen, who is trapped within the siege of Dejagore and the events in Taglios, including the problems of the Deceivers and those pesky, never really quite dead enough to be really dead, Taken. Synopsis of Bleak Seasons “Let me tell you who I am, on the chance that these…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    Dreams Of Steel – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews Dreams of Steel, the sixth book in the epic military fantasy series, The Black Company, by author Glen Cook. Synopsis of Dreams of Steel Croaker has fallen and, following the Company’s disastrous defeat at Dejagore, Lady is one of the few survivors—determined to avenge the Company and herself against the Shadowmasters, no matter what the cost. But in assembling a new fighting force from the dregs and rabble of Taglios, she finds herself offered help by a mysterious, ancient cult of murder—competent, reliable, and apparently committed to her goals. Meanwhile, far away, Shadowmasters conspire against one another and the world, weaving dark spells that reach into the…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    Shadow Games – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews Shadow Games by author Glen Cook. Since I read all of The Black Company Books currently published in succession, I’m continuing with Shadow Games, the fifth book in the series following the out-rider novel, The Silver Spike. The story picks up with The Black Company following the The White Rose. Synopsis of Shadow Games After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, Croaker leads the greatly diminished Black Company south, in search of the lost Annals. The Annals will be returned to Khatovar, eight thousand miles away, a city that may exist only in legend…the origin of the first Free Companies. Every step of the way,…

  • Fantasy Book Reviews

    The Viscount’s Son – Fantasy Book Review

    Alchemical Words reviews the paranormal fantasy book: The Viscount’s Son by author Aderyn Wood I just finished a reread of The Wheel of Time series (Yep. The whole thing. All 4+ million words of it. It’ll take me a while to do those fantasy books reviews) and was looking for a literary palate cleanser. I was looking for a read that was in a different genre, something that I could finish in a sitting or two. Maybe something a little dark, tart or spicy. I came across a novella, The Viscount’s Son by Aderyn Wood. I borrowed the Amazon Book description: ‘The Viscount’s Son’ is a fictional blog that tells…

  • Fantasy Tropes and Stereotypes

    Falling in Love With Fantasy

    When did you first fall in love fantasy books? I was about eight when I discovered fantasy books. As an even younger child, I had a whole stack of those Little Golden Books that I hoarded like a dragon with his gold. You know the ones, right? Small, 15-20 page children’s books of fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and The Little Mermaid all beautifully illustrated and bound in a hard cardboard cover with golden binding on the spine. I tell you what, I flat wore those books out. I think I still have a few well-loved, dog-eared remnants stored in a…