Tag Archives: magic

Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff

Recently, I recorded some book reviews of Huff’s work (the Blood series) and was reminded how much I enjoyed her writing. When I looked her name up in the library catalog, this was the first book in a series that I would be able to read.

Published: 1994

Genre: fantasy

Length: 410 pages

Setting: a medieval-technology world

Summary: Short version: Annice clears Pjerin of a charge of treason, while pregnant Continue reading


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The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

This is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy. I loved the first one so much I had to get the next one right away.

Published: 2016

Genre: science fiction, although this one is more fantastical than the first. I’m considering this a future Earth achieved through science, hence scifi.

Length: 391 pages of text, 407 pages with appendices

Setting: mostly around Castrima and Found Moon, immediately after events in The Fifth Season

Summary: Short version: How to develop a community in catastrophe Continue reading

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The Smoke Job by Aaron Canton

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: May, 2016 in Mothership Zeta

Genre: urban fantasy

Setting: Manhattan, present day

Summary: Short version: Dragons are best at exploiting greed

Long version: Charisma is a dragon posing as a young woman so she can slip through life in Manhattan, but still steal all the gold and jewels that she deserves. She’s caught by Abby, who blackmails Charisma into giving her an interview. Charisma figures she can work on Abby’s greed to get what she wants, so she goes along with it. Turns out, Abby was just bait for Brooke, a vampire who wants Char’s hoard and to turn her into a thrall. There’s a big fight in the vault that Brooke ultimately loses. Abby is able to convince Char to work with her stealing from magical creatures doing bad things.

Final thoughts: This was a really fun story. I loved the tone of the whole story. In fact, I had to read a couple of quotes to my kids. For example, Char says, “I knew I was good, and with my entire hoard at stake, there was no way I was going to lose to a witch paparazzi and a vampire boxer.” Or the fact that she baits Brooke into biting her, but dragon blood is hot so Brooke burns her mouth.

I will admit I’m a sucker for a dragon story. In this case, Charisma has a few skills I’m not used to seeing in dragons. She can use a smoke cloud to focus the greed of those around her and distract them from her stealing. Too bad a vampire doesn’t have to breathe. She can also track all of her hoard, and uses that skill to disarm Brooke’s thralls when the lights go out in her vault. The fighting is clever and Abby is able to win over Charisma by appealing to her greedy side. Overall, very high quality.

Title comes from: Charisma uses a puff of smoke as a weapon. It makes anyone who breathes focus solely on the acquisition of shiny things.


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A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham

This was a free Tor ebook I put on my Kindle and read on vacation. I needed something other than Discworld book. This had a high potential for quality, unlike the Baen books that make up so much of my Kindle library. It’s the first book in the Long Price Quartet.

Published: 2006

Genre: fantasy

Length: 331 pages

Setting: mostly the city-state of Saraykeht in a medieval technology world

Summary: Short version: Seedless’s plot to free himself involves the death of innocents Continue reading

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Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

It’s the eighth Discworld book. I’m on vacation, so it was time to read another Discworld book and work my way a little deeper into the series.

Published: 1989

Genre: fantasy

Length: 376 pages

Setting: Ankh-Morpork on Discworld

Summary: Short version: The Night’s Watch isn’t as useless as people think Continue reading

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Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

This is the sixth book in the Discworld series. I was on vacation and it’s an easy choice. There’s so many books in the series and they’re all on my Kindle.

Published: 1988

Genre: fantasy

Length: 265 pages

Setting: Ramtop Mountains within Discworld, whenever

Summary: Short version: The witches in Ramtop get involved in politics Continue reading

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Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings

This is the fifth and final book in The Belgariad. I’m excited to finally finish the series, not only for my reading challenge but because I borrowed the series from a friend over a year ago. I’ll be able to return the books and remove the guilt of having taken so long to finish the series.

Published: 1984

Genre: sword and sorcery fantasy

Length: 372 pages

Setting: Gar of Nadrak, Mishrak ac Thull, Mallorea, and the Isle of the Winds, soon after the events of Castle of Wizardry

Summary: Short version: Belgarion finally meets Torak and vanquishes him Continue reading

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