Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

I thought Fantasy & Sci-Fi could use a thread in which to post newer books that have been read and enjoyed, (perhaps including the reader's impressions or review of the book). (Note, this suggestion isn't original. Chomp thought of it in the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy section and it was a brilliant idea.)

Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

Since no one has used this thread so far, I decided to kick it off with

 

Flesh and Fire. It was released Oct. 2009 and I read it  in mid-January. This fantasy was very readable, dramatic and absorbing. It's also a Nebula nominee. Anyway, here's my review:

 

This engaging fantasy winningly mixes a coming of age tale with mystery. There's beautiful bucolic descriptions, an elegant, wine based system of magic and two appealing primary characters, Master Vineart Malech and his slave turned apprentice Jerzy. The pace is moderate but increases dramatically during mysterious attacks by a malignant magical force which creates vineyard blights, monsters and political upheaval. There's multiple plot threads, but the basic story-line follows the experiences of Jerzy who is recognized to have Vineart magic during the harvest crush and gradually learns how care for his master's vineyard and distill magic from grapes. The story of Jerzy's challenges, wonderment, disappointments and triumphs is absorbing and dramatic. Shortly past the novel's mid-point, the pace lags a bit when Jerzy is sent away to a market town to ostensibly learn another Vineart's techniques and wind/weather controlling grapes. His real purpose is to gather information about the mysterious, malevolent magic. He makes slow progress as a spy, (hence the slow-down in pace). Near the book's conclusion unanticipated events cause a frenzied escape into the uninhabited countryside. If you're a fantasy fan who enjoys wine or nature-based magic, then you'll probably like this book.

 

(Note, the book is primarily devoted to Jerzy, but Malech made a very strong impression on me. Also note that there's an emphasis on hidebound traditions which control and bind the actions of the Vinearts who are always chosen as apprentices from among the vineyard's slave population. The Vinearts are irrevocably tied to their land. Although they wield power and influence, they cannot interfere directly in secular politics (nor can they have a wife or family). The slavery is cruel and sometimes quite brutal.) 

 

 

 

Contributor
ghostthegreat
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: New and Recommended

Here's a Fantasy/Adventure (though meant for a middle-grade through YA audience its still a good read for adults)

 

 

Ruby of the Realms

  

 

 

 

On the northwest side of Chicago, Ruby has a perfect life. Her family feeds her everyday, they are home with her all the time, and they allow her to patrol the backyard. What more could a dog ask for? But when Ruby meets Ortis the blue bunny, all of this changes. In order to help Ortis return to his home in The Six Realms, Ruby must jump into the family's pool with the rabbit. Ruby never expected anything to happen. But when the water started swirling and pulled her under, there was nothing the little dog could do. Now Ruby is in Rocia, one of the Six Realms underneath the earth. This new land is fraught with dangers at every corner, from hideous Crites to the ball-like Ozzixites. But something else has been silently pulling strings from inside the Diamond Dust Desert. An evil, older than the world itself, has begun its plans. The fate of the Six Realms and Ruby's home in the world above is at stake. Now, Ruby must brave these strange new lands to save everything she holds dear.

Contributor
redfalcon518
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-03-2009
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

ok, so im looking for a certain kind of fantasy story...anyone remember the movie Legend, with Tom Cruise?  I want a story with this those types of characters.  Also, the Lord of the Rings is my favorite, something along those lines also...any suggestions please please? 

 

thanks!!

Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: New and Recommended

I have no idea how many of you SciFi/Fantasy junkies have read Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series but they are excellent books and the series fifth book The White Road is coming out on May 24, 2010.  For those interested here are the books in reading order.

Luck in the Shadows, Vol. 1 

 

Stalking Darkness  

Traitor's Moon, Vol. 3  

Shadows Return  

The White Road  I just got all of my copies out to reread so that I am ready for the new book

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

Was at the library yesterday and found two series by a new author to me J.A. Giunta (Joseph A. Giunta).  They are

Knights of Virtue 

 

The Last Incarnation  

The Mists Of Faeron  I started The Last Incarnation and so far am enjoying it very much.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Inspired Correspondent
drthmik
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎12-31-2007

Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

Coming out

NEXT MONTH!

 

 

Naamah's Curse  

 

US hardcover release, June 2010

I just looked at my book collection and realized that I'm a Bibliophile like in Read or Die!
Piles-of-books-EVERYWHERE!
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

If you fancy a unique and rich fantasy adventure read, then I highly recommend

 

The Bone Palace, released on or about November 29. (Note, one of the professional reviews stated that the storytelling and immediacy of the adventure would be enjoyed by fans of Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind.) 

 

I loved reading the sumptuous prose, vivid descriptions and engrossing narrative featured in this book. The story is composed of multiple plot threads but basically follows the experiences of two engaging and complex characters. One is a forensic necromancer oath bound to serve the crown named Isyllt Iskaldur. The second is the crown prince's aristocratic transgender mistress named Savedra Severos. Virtually every character in this book is subtle and complex with divided loyalties and conflicting desires. 

 

The narrative is immediate and gripping. The story is divided into three parts. The first section starts with a queen's dramatic death. A character named Kiril, (Isyllt's then lover, the crown's spymaster and the most powerful mage in the city), struggles to save the queen, as follows:

 

  The queen hitched and shuddered, twisting strained linen, Isyllt gasped--she felt it too, the icy presence filling the room. The black diamond rings they both wore began to spark and glow. Kiril's vision darkened. Mathiros screamed his wife's name.

  Kiril reached, scraping himself raw, and threw every bit of strength against the shadow. For an instant it balked mantling over the room. He couldn't breath, could feel nothing but the black chill.

  The ice inside his chest broke and stabbed him through the heart.

His legs folded. The shadow crested over him, crashed down. Mathiros screamed. Isyllt screamed. The floor came up to meet him. Old debts come due at last.

 

The narrative then skips three years into the future as Isyllt, (now separated from Kiril who put her aside after she saved him from sharing the queen's fate), approaches the Sepulcher to investigate the death of a young prostitute found with a royal signet ring sewn into her undergarments.

 

In the Sepulcher, death smelled like roses.

  Sachets of petals and brazers of incense lined the marble halls and scented oil lamps burned throughout the long vault, twining ribbons of rose and jasmine and myrrh through the chill air. Meant to drown the smell of blood and rot that crept from the corpse-rack in the walls, but death couldn't be undone so easily. The raw copper scent of recent violence teased past the sweetness, creeping into Isyllt Iskaldur's sinus as she studied the dead woman on the slab.

 

Isyllt's initial investigation involves identification of the ring, a trip to the royal crypt to confirm that the late queen's jewels have been stolen and the realization that the thieves were vampires. The prince then charges her with the responsibility of recovering the queen's jewels before the grieving king returns and launches a mutually destructive crusade against the vampires. Her search leads her into the city's labyrinthine underground of sewers, caverns and tombs. It's a mesmerizing quest punctuated by periodic attacks. Meanwhile, the prince's transgender mistress, Savedra, is involved in court intrigue and a friendship with the relatively new bride of her princely lover, an engaging warrior-princess. From Isyllt perspective, this first section ends unsatisfactorily with an unsolved and unavenged murder. From Savedra's perspective, it ends with her realization that her beloved uncle, a mage and notorious court dilettante, is involved in a plot against the crown.

 

The second and third sections build upon the first. The story is serpentine and absorbing involving fascinating relationships, a tragic back-history, betrayal, sorcerous magic and madness. Vivid descriptions of the city of Erisin, the countryside, the royal court and both necromancy and blood magic enhance the narrative. A wonderfully described climax within the ruined palace in the city's blighted heart is reached. The book ends in an eminently satisfying and unsentimental finish. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sensual and absorbing fantasy.   

Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

 


dalnewt wrote:

If you fancy a unique and rich fantasy adventure read, then I highly recommend

 

The Bone Palace, released on or about November 29. (Note, one of the professional reviews stated that the storytelling and immediacy of the adventure would be enjoyed by fans of Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind.) 


 

The review of this book by RT Book Reviews starts as follows:

 

THE BONE PALACE 
by Amanda Downum

Genre: General FantasyFantasy

2010 Fantasy Novel Nominee

 

RT Rating

 

The second book in Downum’s Necromancer’s Chronicles is absolutely outstanding. It’s full of fantastic and original characters and a tightly coiled plot that pulls the reader along. Highly recommended both to fans of gritty secondary world fantasy but also to those looking for something a little bit different, a little bit unusual and a whole lot of awesome. 

 

Also Orbits states that, "PW picked it as one of their best SFF books of the year…." 

 

Inspired Contributor
pam-livingimage
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

The Necromancer  You might try.....

 

 

Michelle was brutally attacked while on a business trip in Las Vegas. The police didn't believe her and thought she must have lured a man up to her locked hotel lroom for a little sexual adventure, which went dangerously out of control.  Michelle sustained visible scars from the terrifying and almost lethal attack, but pure fear motivated the move from her home in California to Hawaii. Now she has a successful career and she figures abstinence is an acceptable, if lonely, way to live
 
Omar Satinov, the Necromancer, has become a secret, whispered legend across several continents. His lure is a mystical religion based upon Witchcraft; his hook, the natural herbal products that addict his followers. But does he really have supernatural powers, as many of his disciples believe?
 
Michelle perceived a kind of magic when she met Omar, dazzled by the handsome, charismatic, wealthy older man. Older men seem safer, less likely to become ardently aggressive in a bout of excess testosterone  Michelle decides that an affair with Omar might cure her of the humiliating, embarrassing, and uncontrollable anxiety attacks which plague her whenever she finds herself alone with a man.

How could she know she picked exactly the wrong man?  A man who has been stalking her for years.  A man with a hidden agenda concerning her.

Bibliophile
Melhay
Posts: 2,062
Registered: ‎12-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

I've been keeping my eye out for the Bone Palace.  It does sound like a great read. But I think there is a previous book, which I will have to work into my stack some where. :smileywink:  I have so many books that I want to read I don't know if it will make it.

 

It does sound great though.

 

I read the book:

Geist 

 

And really enjoyed it.  But I'm thinking it might fall in the Paranormal classification, although I find there is some fantasy feel to it as well.  This was a fun great read for me.  I really liked the setup of the 'magic' system and the ruins used here.  Then there was the curse too... ;D

_______________________
"There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us." From Nyphron Rising, By Michael J. Sullivan

My Blog Spot: http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: New and Recommended

I recently read a very unique fantasy book entitled 

Never Knew Another. I wrote a review of this book because I liked/loved it so much. An argument could be made that the book isn't smooth because it transitions among first person experiences of a skin-walker narrator and third person past life experiences of demon-children secretly living in a semi-medieval city known only as Dogsland. Personally, I found the narrative flowing and easy to follow. Furthermore, I found it immersive and immediate. It sort of reminded me of Charles Dickens with an emphasis on the hardscrabble day-to-day lives of the demon-children in Dogsland. As noted by the PW review, this novel revels in the small details of life.

 

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique, immersive and thought-provoking story. (See PGA's blog review at The Ripple Effect: J.M. McDermott’s Newest Fantasy Packs One Helluva Thematic Wallop).

 

I've copied my reader review of Never Knew Another below. (Note, I want to correct a grammatical error and add/change some text w/in my review, but the B&N website does not currently allow any review edits. (It's just another website glitch.)

 

Entrancing and Thought-Provoking

 

I love the immediacy and flow of the prose in this book. It was an entrancing read for me. Plus, there's a metaphorical punch to this book that goes far beyond fantasy. After finishing this book, I found myself contemplating the wisdom of (a) rigid set of beliefs and the nature of evil.

IMO, all fiction readers will enjoy this book. For me, the story revealed, in an extremely palpable way, the experience of living as a sentient being in a hostile and unforgiving world. 

The book doesn't define the world it creates. Instead, it vividly paints that semi-medieval world through the characters. The book is narrated by a wolfskin wearing Walker who can shape-shift into a wolf. Accompanied by her 'Walker' husband, she hunts for half-demons.

The book starts with that unnamed Walker and her mated husband coming across the corpse of a half-demon dressed in the uniform of the King's Guard. Demon-children are toxic. Their blood, saliva, tears and sweat cause the immediate death of plants, and their taint may result in animal and human death. The corpse pollutes the ground upon which it rests. It is the duty of the Walkers to hunt demon-children and deliver them to the local authorities for burning at the stake. Plus, they are charged with the responsibility of purifying, often by burning, any place that has absorbed the demon taint.

Walkers also have the ability to incorporate the memories of the dead, and the narrator does so in order to determine if this dead demon-child knew any others like himself. It's a bit macabre but fascinating as she prepares the skull of the dead man, named Corporal Jona, for transport. As the book proceeds, she accesses Jona's life memories which causes the narrative to change to a third person account of his life in a city identified by the Walkers as Dogsland. Jona's life memories are visceral and moving. Initially his isolation, frustration and brutish violence come through, but gradually a flicker of hope and, perhaps, love emerges.

As the Walker follows the trail of Jona's memories in Dogsland, she becomes aware of two other demon-children, a woman named Rachel Nolander who has lived in squalid circumstances with her fully human brother and a short-memoried thief named Salvatore. When she catches the scent of Rachel and Salvatore, she is able to glimpse their memories as well. The narrative transitions from the short first person accounts of the Walker's hunt through Dogsland and the third-person narratives of the lives of Jona, Rachel and, to a lesser extent, Salvatore.

The bottom line is that this book does what good fiction is suppose to. It initially mesmerizes you, then it makes you think. This is the first book in a trilogy. I'll be reading the second book 'When We Were Executioners'.