The Living Waters is the first in a new duology from Dan Fitzgerald, the author of The Maer Cycle trilogy of books. I haven’t read his other series, but they are now definitely being shuffled closer to the top of my TBR, as The Living Waters grabbed ahold of my heart from the first page and didn’t let go. It’s a story bursting at the seams with adventure, wonder, and heart, and it’s one that has catapulted itself to the top of my favorite reads this year.
I had been putting off reading Brian Naslund’s Dragons of Terra series until it was finished because I was afraid once I started reading it I would not want to stop. I had heard it was absolutely addictive, plus adventure fantasy is my favorite, and also, well, you know, dragons, so I was not interested in waiting a year for book 2, and another year for book 3. And I could not have been more right in that decision. Had I had time between books it would have driven me absolutely bonkers. This is the kind of series that makes me want to shout from the rooftops… *ahem*… let me clear my throat:
READ IT NOW!
Now that the yelling is out of the way, let’s get to the details of what makes this series so good.
The Pariah by Anthony Ryan is the first novel in The Covenant of Steel, an all new epic fantasy trilogy introducing a perilous, yet compelling journey through the eyes of an outlaw.
Synopsis Some say titans are descended from giants. Others say they are risen from men. But there’s never any debate about where to find them. They will be in the center of a roaring crowd, beating the hell out of each other. From contenders like the Savage and Scott Flawless to pretenders like Richard the […]
Synopsis The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler—the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years—has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, […]
The Darkest Dusk is the second installment in D.W. Ross’ Onyxborn Chronicles series and the follow up to Cold from the North (which I reviewed earlier this year: review link). In the first book, I noted liking the plot, characters, and setting, but wanting more climactic events along the way to the end. In book 2, I think Ross did a nice of job sticking with what worked in the first book and expanding on those things while doing a better job with the narrative ups and downs.
The Justice in Revenge is the second installment in Ryan Van Loan’s The Fall of the Gods series, and if you want to know more about book 1 (The Sin in the Steel) you can find my review at this link. Suffice to say, I thought it quite a jaunt and found myself really looking forward to book 2. Now that it is here I can say with confidence: The Justice in Revenge does not disappoint.
Sidewinders by Robert V.S. Redick, is the awaited sequel to Master Assassins and continuation of the Fire Sacraments series. I’d heard nothing but great things about this book, and I can confirm, its exceptional.
The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox is a standalone fantasy reminiscent of old folktales sprinkled with classic fantasy tropes and some Ancient Greek/Roman mythology homages (or Easter eggs if you like). It is also a portal fantasy, which I haven’t read in quite some time, and that definitely catered to some of the nostalgia from my early teens. Through it, Cox tackles timeless themes of good vs evil, blind religious faith, petty/whimsical gods, and the importance of stories, as well as making one’s own decisions without letting others sway you for their gain.
Overall this series has been rife with full tilt action, character and magic badassery, camaraderie moments to die for, and plenty of soft, humorous, and quiet snippets between duos or trios that warm your chest. Cameron’s world has been one that is truly so rich and evocative, borrowing from a cultural setting that isn’t used often enough in fiction.
This book is absolutely *hilarious*, mostly in a darkly comedic sort of way mind you. Truly, I found myself chuckling right from the first pages at Kinch’s snark and commentary. Sometimes I caught myself laughing really loud too and that was definitely what I wanted as a low effort read these days.
Split Paths is the second installment in Thomas Devens’ Fall of Emros series. It follows members of the Emrosian Empire, as they navigate their way through war-ridden lands and dangerous territory. The story is written in the style of Epic Fantasy, but I do not think the scope is quite enough to be considered Epic. I would categorize it more as Classic Fantasy, bordering on Epic.