Category Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: “The Eye of the World”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Robert Jordan published the novel “The Eye of the World” in 2009. This is the first novel in his ‘Wheel of Time’ series. He published more than 20 novels during his writing career.

I read this book for the first time about 15 years ago. My wife and I saw that a TV series based on the novels was to start on Amazon Prime in November of 2021. We decided then to reread the books again before the series began. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because of scenes of violence. The fantasy series spans 15 novels.

The Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred arrives in the remote village of Emond’s Field with her warder. She has been on a quest for many years to find the one prophesied to stand against The Dark One. She finds three young men that are ta’veren: Rand al’Thor, Matrim Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara. Their presence affects the weave of time. She feels that one is who she has been searching for.

Moiraine starts back to Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai’s headquarters. She takes the three young men with her. A young woman Egwene al’Vere who is the boy’s close friend tags along. Then the “Wisdom” from Emond’s Field Nynaeve al’Meara catches up with them. She wants to take the boys and Egwene back home.

That begins their long adventure. They face forces of The Dark One time and time again. Moraine tells both Egwene and Nynaeve they have the ability to become Aes Sedai.

I enjoyed the 30 hours I spent listening to this 753-page fantasy audiobook. I enjoyed this as much this second time as I did the first. My wife and I listened to it while driving across the country. It made the 20-hour drive go by much more quickly. If you are a fan of fantasy you should try this series! I like the cover art used on the hardback edition. I rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

Related:

  1. Wheel of Time series come to Amazon Prime in November
  2. Book 0 – New Spring

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “New Spring”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Robert Jordan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jordan published the novel New Spring in 2011. He published more than 20 novels during his writing career. This is the prequel to his 14 volume Wheel of Time series.

I first purchased and read this book back in 2004. The TV series premiers soon on Amazon Prime. We wanted to refresh our memories of the long Wheel of Time saga. We chose to listen to the audiobook this time while we were driving. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence.

There are two primary characters in this book. One is Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred. The other is soldier Lan Mandragoran. When the story opens, Moiraine is only an Accepted. The Aes Sedai are women who are able to tap into the One Power. Depending on their training and inherent skill they can wield quite powerful magic. Mandragoran should have been a king. The lands he would have inherited fell many years earlier to the Trollocs. They are part of the forces of the Dark One. Moiraine and Mandragoran race against the Servants of the Dark One to find the Dragon Reborn.

After three days of battle raged outside the city of Tar Valon the opposing forces disengage. One of the Aes Sedai in Tar Valon has a vision of the future. She blurts out the vision and then passes. Present when the sister utters her foretelling is the young Moiraine. Soon after she is raised to be a full Aes Sedai.

Moiraine sets out to find the subject of the vision. The Dragon Reborn. While on her quest she meets Lan Mandragoran. He had fought in the battle outside of Tar Valon. Together they meet several challenges and their futures are drawn together. They learn that the Black Aja, Dark Friends within the Aes Sedai are real.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13 hours I spent listening to this 417-page fantasy. Reading this book first is not essential. It does help set the groundwork for the remainder of the series so I would recommend it. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

Related:

  1. TV Series on Amazon Prime

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Wheel of Time Comes to TV

(See my other trailer posts) – I have been a fantasy fan for many years. As many have, I read and enjoyed J. R. R Tolkien’s Hobbit books.

One of the other fantasy authors I have enjoyed is Robert Jordan. Jordan is a pen name for James Oliver Rigney Jr. While he wrote other works, he is best known for his Wheel of Time series. The series comprises 14 novels, plus a prequel.

Jordan completed the first 11 books. Fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Sanderson wrote the remainder. Jordan discovered that he was terminally ill in 2006. Jordan and his wife arranged for Sanderson to complete the series to their outline. Sanderson did a wonderful job completing the series. He is another author I have read and enjoyed.

I finished the series a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I was pleased when I heard that a TV series was being developed around the novels. The first episode is scheduled to appear on Amazon Prime on Friday, 19 November 2021.

Further reading:

  1. Amazon releases first ‘Wheel of Time’ trailer ahead of its November 19th debut

Book Review: “A Conventicle of Magpies: A victorian fantasy adventure”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author LMR Clarke (https://lmrclarke.wordpress.com) published the novel “A Conventicle of Magpies: A victorian fantasy adventure” in 2021. This is the first book in the author’s ‘Bloodskill Duology’. The author has published four novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story is set in a ‘universe’ where those with ’skills’ can ‘burn’ their own blood to enhance those skills. 

The novel has been categorized as a ‘dark Victorian thriller’. In our timeline, it would be set in the late 19th century. The primary character is 21-year old Rébh Artur, commonly known as simply Rook. She is a member of the Conventicle of Magpies and is an accomplished thief. That is in part because she can enhance many of her skills. She steals what she needs to keep herself, her mother, and her sisters alive. The Conventicle also takes on commissions. These are mostly to right wrongs against the Saosuíasei people. Her people.

The Avanish run the city of Stamchester. They are wealthy and middle-class who have virtually enslaved the Saosuíasei. The Saosuíasei live on the squalid and dangerous side of the river in the area known as the Shambles. That is where Rook and her family live.

The situation is beginning to change and not for the better. A serial killer is haunting Stamchester and one of his victims was a friend. The killer drains all the valuable blood from his victims. The Avanish controlled police are doing little to protect the Saosuíasei. The governor of Stamchester, Kel Dreidchain, would like to clear the Shambles. Replacing the Saosuíasei with more living space for the Avanish. The death of any Saosuíasei is of little consequence to him. 

This all leaves Rook with the challenge of keeping her family safe. She is often out at night when the serial killer is about and must stay clear of his clutches. She must also avoid the raids upon the Shambles by the Governor’s men. When one of the Magpies is imprisoned Rook must take action. She joins with the resistance group Shadow of the Jaguar to free her.

I enjoyed the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 231-page fantasy novel. The plot of this novel is like many fantasies. What is different is blood being the fuel for those with magical abilities. I am looking forward to the next book I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Fairhaven Rising”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (https://www.lemodesittjr.com) published the novel “Fairhaven Rising” in 2021. This is the 22 volume in his ‘Saga of Recluce’ series. Mr. Modesitt has published more than 80 novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The story continues the saga of Recluse. The primary character in this volume is White mage Taelya. 

Taelya is now 23 and is the adopted niece of Baltur. He was the main character in the previous three novels (The Mongrel MageOutcasts of Order, & The Mage-Fire War). Taelya has matured in the 16 years that elapsed since the story in the last volume. She is now an Undercaptain with the Fairhaven city guard. Under Baltur’s tutelage, she has also become a skilled mage. While not yet as strong as Baltur, she is powerful and is growing stronger. She is also developing as a leader. 

The Duchess of Montgren has agreed to ally with Certan. Fairhaven is part of Montgren. The agreement means that troops and mages must travel from Fairhaven. Taelya is one of the mages chosen to travel with the troops as a war mage. 

The trip takes several weeks on horseback through rugged country. They join with troops supplied by Montgren, then with those of Certan. Taelya practices her magic on the long journey. She also encourages the other three Fairhaven war mages to practice as well. Baltur has given the mages a specific mission. They are to support the Montgren troops but not put themselves in danger. As is so often the case the plans for battle do not survive first contact. The Fairhaven forces must survive a military confrontation. They must also deal with deceit and treachery. Will they be able to survive to return home? If they get home will it still be standing?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 19.5+ hours I spent reading this 455-page fantasy novel. This is the fifth novel by Modesitt that I have read. I found all to be very enjoyable. I like that he has moved the focus in this novel to a new generation of mages. You have the familiarity of continuing characters but also a fresh set of characters. The story includes excitement, conflict, and battle. It also includes political intrigue and a touch of romance. I like the chosen cover art. The scene is important to the plot. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Shorefall”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Robert Jackson Bennett (https://www.robertjacksonbennett.com) published the novel “Shorefall” in 2020. This is the second book in the author’s ‘Founders Trilogy’. Mr. Bennett has published nine novels. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The story is set in a world with magic. 

Magic is not manifested through incantations in this world. The magic comes through scrivers writing out complex commands. Much like programming reality. Sancia Grado has led an unusual life. Once a slave now she is a powerful scriver. Grado has a close group of allies. With their help, she is planning to take the power to run the city of Tevanne. No longer will the powerful families hold control.  

They are on the way to success when the legendary Crasedes Magnus appears. He is one of the first hierophants. Thousands of years before he discovered how to write powerful scriving. He gave limited sentience to inanimate objects. This has become the basis for the magic that runs Tevanne. With his power, he now wants to remake humanity. 

Grado and her comrades must overcome scriven magic and survive many dangerous encounters. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 16+ hours I spent reading this 493-page fantasy. You could read this as a stand-alone novel. It would be best though to read the first novel in the series (Foundryside) beforehand. The cover art is dark and simple, but I like it. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Infinity Courts”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Akemi Dawn Bowman (https://www.akemidawnbowman.com) will publish the novel “The Infinity Courts” in 2021 (April). This is Ms. Bowman’s fifth publication. This novel is the first in her “Infinity Courts” series.


I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains mild violence and mature language. The primary character for this young adult novel is 18 -year-old Nami Miyamoto.

Miyamoto is just graduating from High School when she dies. She awakens in a place referred to as Infinity. She finds that others who have passed before her are in conflict with Ophelia an AI. Ophelia has somehow traveled to Infinity and is attempting to take over. Ophelia was popular as a personal assistant (think Siri or Alexa) when Miyamoto was alive on Earth. Miyamoto had spent hours talking to Ophelia before she died.


Now Ophelia is trying to rule Infinity with a population of androids. The people there are becoming their unwilling servants. Miyamoto becomes part of a resistance group. She has taken on an Android-like appearance enabling her to move among Ophelia’s minions.


I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 480-page young adult novel. The book follows the typical teen thrown into an apocalyptic environment of many young adult novels. There are a few good plot twists and of course some romance. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Nameless Queen”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Rebecca McLaughlin published the novel “Nameless Queen” in 2020. This is her first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of mild violence. The story is set in another universe in the city of Seridan where magic is real. The primary character is a teenage girl known only as Coin.

Coin is one of the ‘Nameless’. Only those who have a name have status in this world. She has been living on the streets as far back as she can remember. Shortly after King Fallow dies she discovers the tattoo of a crown on her arm. That is the magical symbol of the heir to the throne. The only way King Fallow could have passed on his throne to her is by uttering her name.

How can King Fallow have named her when she doesn’t have a name? She wants to keep it hidden but when a close friend is in danger she reveals herself. No-one wants a Nameless in charge. She is constantly at odds with those in power, particularly General Demure. With no real education other than what she has learned on the streets, Coin has a difficult time fitting in.

Nameless have been disappearing in Seriden. Coin tries to investigate but does not receive much help from the authorities. She discovers a plot to take over Seriden but finds herself at risk.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 344-page young adult fantasy novel. The ‘commoner-thrust-onto-the-throne’ theme is not uncommon. This version does have some things to set it apart. While the novel came to a conclusion, there is plenty of room for a sequel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Heir of Lies”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Mallory McCartney (https://www.authormallorymccartney.com) published the novel “Heir of Lies” in 2020. Ms. McCartney has published three novels and this is the first of her “Black Dawn” series.


I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a fantasy world. The main characters are late teens Emory Fae, Adair Stratton, Brokk Foster, and Memphis Carter.


All four have been students at The Academy, a school for those with special abilities. Stratton has always been a loaner and a little feared for what he could do. He was tolerated mostly because his parents were close to the Fae’s and founders of The Academy.


King and Prince Maher arrive from the Shattered Isles demanding a new treaty with Kiero. Soon afterward, there is a revolt. The Academy is destroyed. The four main characters find themselves on opposing sides.


The 14+ hours I spent reading this 456-page fantasy novel were interesting. I liked the plot concept, but it seemed to head in too many different directions. It needed more of a focus. The cover art does not connect with the story. I think that a better choice could have been made. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Before the Broken Star”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Emily R. King (http://emilyrking.com/) published the novel “Before the Broken Star” in 2019. Ms. King has published 5 novels. This is the first in her “Evermore Chronicles” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in another world. The primary character is 17-year-old girl Everley Donovan.

Donovan saw her family killed. She was attacked too but somehow survived. She lives because of a miraculous mechanical heart. She has always assumed that her uncle, a skilled clockmaker, had created the heart. She has been living for years with her uncle and hiding as his adopted apprentice.

Donovan’s father had been an explorer and that is somehow tied to the family’s death. Her father’s former partner Killian Markham comes into the clock shop. It was he who had killed her family and attacked her. She knows she must avenge her family. Now Governor Killian Markham is leading the colony on Dagger Island.

Donovan gets charged with a crime to be sent as a potential wife to the Dagger Island colony. Dagger Island was the last place her father and Markham explored. Donovan wants to revenge the death of her family and find out why her father had to die.

First Lieutenant Jamison Callahan had first seen Donovan in the clock shop. He is the Governor’s aid and is in charge of the women convicts being transported to Dagger Island. Much to Donovan’s annoyance, Callahan seems to have feelings for her.

Donovan must survive the journey by ship and fit into the colony until she can take her revenge. Dagger Island has many myths and there are dangers there to avoid. She must also find a way of being consigned to an unwanted husband.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 294-page young adult fantasy novel. I liked the characters and the plot. This has the makings for a good series. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).