Tag Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: “The Mage-Fire War”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author L. E. Modesitt Jr (https://www.lemodesittjr.com) published the novel “The Mage-Fire War” in 2019. Mr. Modesitt has published 80 novels. This is the 21st in his “Saga of Recluse” 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 Violence. The story is set on a fantasy world. The primary character is Black Mage Beltur. 

Beltur and his wife, along with another mage and his family have traveled to the country of Montgren. The Duchess of Montgren offers them the position of Town Councilors of Haven. Of course, they must bring it out of a state of decay. Beltur and the Council face opposition from some of the townspeople.  They all soon find themselves under threat of invasion as well. They must fight for their new home 

Beltur’s prior experience as a war mage and a scout is critical. His abilities are key in their struggle against the invaders. The struggle does not leave the town of Haven unscathed. 

I enjoyed the 16 hours I spent reading this 538-page fantasy novel. This is the fourth Modesitt novel I have read. I enjoy this author’s work. This is a continuation of the founding story of Freehaven. I have read both of the other books (The Mongrel Mage and Outcasts of Order) in this subseries of Recluse. I have enjoyed these three novels. Modesitt weaves a good tale with rich characters. I look forward to more of his work. I like the chosen cover art. 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: “The History Behind Game of Thrones”

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(See all of my Book Reviews and Game of Thrones related posts) – Author David C. Weinczok (http://castlehunter.scot/) published the book “The History Behind Game of Thrones” in 2019. This is his first book. 

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. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The book compares the ‘history’ from the Game of Thrones novels and TV series to the real history of Scotland. The book highlights the similarities between the fantasy world and Scottish history.

I have read all the novels published so far in the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series. I have enjoyed watching the TV production on HBO. I am of Scottish descent and have a rough idea of Scotland and its history. Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with Scotland to completely appreciate many of the comparisons drawn in this book. Those from Scotland, or at least very familiar with Scotland, will appreciate it more.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 248-page history. There are several comparisons made to Game of Thrones. This book is, more than anything else, a history of Scotland. There were a few photos included in the book. I would have gained more if there had been more photos and especially some detailed maps. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up 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: “The Soul of Power”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Soul of Power” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Callie Bates (https://calliebates.com). This is Ms. Bates’ third novel and the third book in her “The Waking Land” 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 universe and place, one that allows magic.

The primary character of this book is Sophy Dunbarron. Dunbarron is the illegitimate daughter of the king. Now, since she joined the rebellion led by Elanna Valtai’, she has assumed the throne of a once divided country at the age of 21. Her position is far from secure as there are many who oppose her and she must respond to an open rebellion.

She fears she has lost her close friend Valtai forever when Dunbarron learns that Valtai has been captured. She also discovers a secret about herself that could cost her the throne. Will she and her forces be able to qualm the unrest at home and hold off the forces that want to take her country.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13 hours I spent reading this 464-page fantasy. While the lead in this novel is 21, it still has a Young Adult feel to it. I have read and enjoyed both of the earlier books in this series (“The Waking Land” and “The Memory of Fire“). I think that Ms. Bates has created a very engaging fantasy universe. I liked that this book in the series took a different point of view than the earlier volumes. It is also written in the first-person view of Dunbarron. While this could be read on its own, it would be best to read the prior two books of the series first. I like the chosen cover art. 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: “Timebound”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – The “Timebound” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com). Ms. Albano has published three novels with this being the third book in her “Keeping Time” 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 across the last few centuries. This time the primary character is Maxwell Carrington.

Carrington has been separated from the other time travelers. Inadvertently one of the time travel watches is found by agents of Nazi Germany. This adds an additional layer of difficulty to Carrington and his colleagues. They struggle to set the timeline back to what it should be.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 200-page steampunk science fiction tale. I have enjoyed all three novels in this series, but I think that this is the best of the three. I think that the author did a good job of concluding the trilogy. Definitely, I would recommend reading the first two books of the trilogy before this one. The chosen cover art is OK, but something closer to the plot would have been better in my opinion. 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: “Timekeeper”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timekeeper” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (https://www.facebook.com/heatheralbanoauthorpage/). This is Ms. Albano’s second publication and the second in her “Keeping Time” 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 across time in Europe. The primary character is 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton. She, along with her love interest William Carrington and mysterious friend Maxwell, continue their fight to put the timeline back the way it should be.

They use their time travel pocketwatch to move to one critical moment in time after another. They are fighting a very dangerous battle to keep both the Frankenstein like monsters and the metal giants from ever being created. They must also find a way to keep Napolean from victory at Waterloo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page young adult steampunk thriller. This novel is just a continuation of “Timepiece” the first novel in the series. The characters are much the same as in that first novel. I have enjoyed the first two novels in the trilogy and look forward to the third. 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).

Trailer for “Jungle Cruise”

I will be looking forward to seeing Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” when it comes out on July 24, 2020. I rode the Jungle Cruise ride for the first time at Disneyland back in the late ’50s. The ride can now be enjoyed at four of the Disney parks: Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland. It was one of the top-level rides when Disneyland opened in 1955. The synopsis per IMDB:

Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles, but with a supernatural element.

This looks like it will be another fun movie with Dwayne Johnson.

Book Review: “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure ” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com/). This is Ms. Albano’s first publication and the first in her “Keeping Time” 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 scenes of Violence. The story is set in a variety of times and places in Europe. It begins in 1815 with the primary character 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton receiving a very special pocket watch.

In this alternate reality, the monsters of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are real. The British have created an enslaved army of them to counter Napolean. After that victory, they are employed as forced labor in mines, but soon they rebel. England is desperate to control them. A brilliant inventor steps in with mechanical men, not quite robots as they are controlled by a human crew.

That allows the monsters to be brought under control, but the mechanicals are then used by the government to control the populace. As more and more work is done by the mechanicals and other automation the displaced are kept in check by the mechanicals.

Into this steps Barton and her new acquaintance, 21-year-old Willaim Carrington. Carrington had been a soldier but a wound to his arm caused him to be discharged. The unlikely pair soon discover that the watch has the astounding ability to travel through time.

They discover the plight of future inhabitants of England and try to change history to prevent the mechanical men. They also attempt to stop the use or even the creation of the monsters used to beat Napolean. Their travels are not without risk but they do find allies in other timelines. They also discover that theirs is not the only special pocket watch.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 264-page steampunk fantasy. While this has a touch of Romance and appeals to the Young Adult, it was an enjoyable story. I liked this slightly new take on time travel with the travelers starting off in the past. 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: “Merlin’s Shakespeare”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Merlin’s Shakespeare” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com/). This is Ms. Douglas’ fifth publication and the first in her ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ 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 ‘G’. The story is set in both contemporary times and in Shakespeare’s England. The primary character is 15-year-old Beth Owens.

Owens is a theater student, particularly interested in the works of Shakespeare. Merlin appears to her and sends her back in time to Shakespeare’s England. She meets various characters from Shakespeare’s plays some of whom she likes and others which frighten her. Merlin has sent her back to search for a missing Shakespeare play about King Arthur. Along her way she begins to find that she has some magical powers of her own.

I thought that the 8.25 hours I spent reading this 358-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The plot is pretty simple and the characters are not the deepest, but it seems targeted at the very young adult sector. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.6 (rounded up 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: “The Dragon Sickness”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Dragon Sickness” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Ava Richardson (http://avarichardsonbooks.com). Ms. Richardson has published seven novels. This is the second of her “Alveria Dragon Akademy” 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 ‘G’. The story is set in a land with magic and dragons. The primary character is the young dragon tamer Kaelan Younger.

Younger has struggled to be accepted at the Akademy. She is trying to learn the extent of her abilities and to adjust to her partner Prince Lasaro. Her existence at the Akademy is complicated further by the sudden onset of a deadly illness among the dragons.

Younger must keep secrets from the Prince as she tries to discover the source of the illness. Their relationship struggles with the deception she must maintain. The kingdom itself comes under threat from Alveria’s enemies. Will she solve the illness before she is driven from the Akademy or branded as a traitor.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 367-page young adult fantasy. This was clearly targeted at a young adult audience. It is an adventure with a little romance thrown in. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up 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: “Endgames”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Endgames” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (https://www.lemodesittjr.com). Mr. Modesitt has published more than 70 novels. This is the 12th novel in his “The Imager Portfolio” 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 Charyn. I like the chosen cover art. He is the young ruler of the kingdom of Solidar.

Charyn is trying to save the kingdom from returning to rule by the High Holders which will leave the common folk with nothing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 18 hours I spent reading this 566-page fantasy. I have read other Modesitt novels and I have enjoyed them all. Modesitt is certainly an author I would recommend for any interested in fantasy. I wish I had read the prior 11 novels in this series, but this one reads pretty well on its own. 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).