Watching Shannara Chronicles

What I’m Watching: The Shannara Chronicles
When: Season one, 7 episodes so far
Where: Television; MTV
Why I watched: Terry Brooks is a classic fantasy author I’ve never read.

My verdict for the show: Loving it

The Shannara Chronicles is an addictive, enjoyable trip into a classic fantasy world. With pretty young actors and lightning fast world-building, MTV’s presentation marries surprisingly well with fantasy. The story feels very YA, with young characters trying to find their place in the world and save it from destruction in the process. Sometimes the dialogue is too full of info-dumping, but it’s a tradeoff to keep the story moving at lightning speed. Strong acting and fast pacing make MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles an addictive experience.

The world of Shannara is a high fantasy world set in a dystopian future. Artifacts of the modern world linger on in gorgeous fantasy landscapes. Gnomes, trolls and dwarves are human offshoots, after the fall. It’s a fascinating genre mix that leaves me searching the screen for details and eager to read the series. Not everyone will appreciate the YA MTV treatment, but for me it’s making a missed classic feel fresh and exciting.

Sound off!

Are you watching? Interested?

What do you think? Whether you’re new to the world or a book fan, sound off in the comments! Please clearly mark any spoilers, including whether they’re show, book, or whole series spoilers!

Based On:

Elfstones of Shannara - Book Two of the Shannara Chronicles by Terry BrooksThe Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Series: #2 of The Original Shannara Trilogy
The Summary: A magical tree is dying, and its protection against demons dies with it. An Elven princess and a half-elf boy set out to save the tree and stop the demon army.
My progress: Never read the series, but I want to now.

For comparison, check out a book fan’s reaction to the show.


Top 5 Fantasy Releases – September 2015

Top Five Fantasy Releases for September 2015

September promises to be a good month for fantasy. With new series from Jim Butcher and N.K. Jemisin, plus several promising debuts, there’s plenty here to keep fantasy fans busy reading. Here are the top five most intriguing fantasy novels for adults this September. Don’t miss these great new releases!

Add The Fifth Season to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Fifth Season by N.K. JemisinThe Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun’s husband murders their son and kidnaps their daughter. The mighty empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years collapses. Worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent, a great red rift opens, spewing enough ash to darken the sky for centuries. Now Essun must pursue her family through a deadly, dying land. The world is falling apart, but Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
The Fifth Season comes out August 4 from Orbit.
By the author of the Dreamblood series!

Add The Aeronaut's Windlass to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim ButcherThe Aeronaut’s Windlass – Jim Butcher
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. He’s taken the side of Spire Albion in the cold war with Spire Aurora by attacking their cargo vessels. But when Predator is damaged, Grimm is offered a deal: join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for restoring Predator. But the conflict between Spires is merely the beginning. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for ten thousand years, has begun to stir.
The Aeronaut’s Windlass comes out September 29 from Roc.
By the author of The Dresden Files and The Codex Alera!

Add Sorcerer to the Crown to Goodreads or see more reviewsSorcerer to the Crown by Zen ChoSorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift sets him on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain and the world at large.
Debut author!

Add The Traitor Baru Cormorant to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonThe Traitor Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson
The Empire of Masks is coming. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate and join the Masquerade to learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up to set her people free.
Debut author!

Add Updraft to Goodreads or see more reviewsUpdraft by Fran WildeUpdraft – Fran Wilde
In a city high above the clouds, danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend. Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and trade at her mother’s side. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body demand she become one of them. To save her family from censure, Kirit must give up her dreams and train at the Spire. But the Spire hides secrets that could change her city forever.
Debut author!

Ember in the Ashes Review

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirAn Ember in the Ashes Add An Ember in the Ashes to Goodreads or see more reviews
by Sabaa Tahir (April 2015)

Recommended for fans of:
* Fantasy worlds that are dark but not graphic
* Female friendship in difficult circumstances
* Casual Roman history mixed into a fantasy world
* Complex relationships to read as friends OR romance

When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for the rebels’ promise to rescue her brother, she will become their spy, as a slave at Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, she meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier, and secretly, its most unwilling. Their destinies are intertwined. In a brutal world inspired by ancient Rome, their choices will change the fate of the Empire.
4 Stars - Recommended
My result: Recommended

Read the full review!

Top Five Fantasy Releases – May 2015

Top Five Science Fiction Upcoming Book Releases for May 2015

May promises more great fantasy books. Here are the top five science fiction novels coming out in May. The list includes adult and YA. All books are first in a series or standalone. Don’t miss these great fantasy new releases!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik - Fantasy new releaseUprooted – Naomi Novik
Add Uprooted to Goodreads or see more reviewsGenre: Fantasy, folklore, magic, female friendship
Release Date: May 19, 2015 from Del Rey
Tease: Every decade, a dark wizard chooses a girl as servant, payment for magical protection. The choosing is near.
Previous Works: Temeraire series

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - YA fairy tale retelling new releaseA Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
Add A Court of Thorns and Roses to Goodreads or see more reviewsGenre: YA, fantasy, Fairy tales, paranormal romance, faeries
Release Date: May 5, 2015 from Bloomsbury
Tease: A retelling of Beauty and the Beast with faeries, full of action and seductive romance.
Previous Works: Throne of Glass series

When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner - Epic fantasy new releaseWhen the Heavens Fall – Marc Turner
Add When the Heavens Fall to Goodreads or see more reviewsGenre: Epic fantasy, sword and sorcery
Release Date: May 19, 2015 from Tor
Tease: A book that controls the dead has been stolen from Shroud, the Lord of the Dead. But Shroud isn’t the only one after the powerful artifact.
Previous Works: Debut novel

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - YA fairy tale retelling new releaseCrimson Bound – Rosamund Hodge
Add Crimson Bound to Goodreads or see more reviewsGenre: YA, fantasy, Fairy tales, faeries
Release Date: May 5, 2015 from Balzer + Bray
Tease: A dark retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, where it’s not as simple as good vs. evil.
Previous Works: Cruel Beauty

The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray - epic fantasy new releaseThe Waterborne Blade – Susan Murray
Add The Waterborne Blade to Goodreads or see more reviewsGenre: Epic fantasy
Release Date: May 5, 2015 from Angry Robot
Tease: As the traitor advances, Queen Alwenna flees. She’ll have to toughen up quick if she is to save the kingdom, and the captured king.
Previous Works: Debut novel

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my May Science Fiction release list.

What books are you looking forward to this month?

Top 5 Fantasy Book Releases for April 2015

Top 5 Fantasy Upcoming Releases for April 2015

So many great fantasy books coming out in April! Here are my top five picks for fantasy new releases this April. The list includes adult and YA, including epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and a touch of military fiction.

Grace of Kings by Ken LiuGrace of Kings – Ken Liu
Kuni is charming and slippery; Mata is stern and fearless. They seem like opposites, but their adventures in wartime make them the best of friends. But when war ends, they lead opposing factions to determine the course of the new government. Epic fantasy.
Grace of Kings comes out APRIL 7 from Simon & Schuster.

Book Cover for An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirAn Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
An epic fantasy standalone based on Ancient Rome, with a smattering of other mythologies thrown in for good measure. It boasts strong leads, who don’t end up in a romance, and there’s nary a love triangle in sight! This one’s been getting great buzz and I hope it lives up to the hype. YA epic fantasy.
An Ember in the Ashes comes out April 28 from Razorbill.

A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex MarshallA Crown for Cold Silver – Alex Marshall
Twenty five years ago, General Zosia led her armies to victory, until there was nothing left to conquer. Now her peaceful retirement is at an end. With her village slaughtered, she marches back to war to find justice for her people. Epic fantasy with a military feel.
A Crown for Cold Silver comes out APRIL 14 from Orbit.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana HeadleyMagonia – Maria Dahvana Headley
Since childhood, Aza has had an unexplained illness. When she sees a ship in the sky, her family dismisses it as a hallucination. Only her best friend Jason believes her. But when she is swept into a new world of trading ships above the clouds, she can breathe for the first time. War is coming, and she will have to choose a side. YA fantasy.
Magonia comes out APRIL 28 from HarperCollins.

Loose Changeling by A.G. StewartLoose Changeling – Andrea Stewart
Nicole turns her husband’s mistress into a mouse on accident, and learns that she’s a changeling. The doors between worlds are unstable, and mortals are dying. But she can only do magic when she’s angry. To help, she’ll have to bring along her cheating husband and his mousified mistress. Urban fantasy mixed with modern life.
Loose Changeling comes out APRIL 1 from Igneous Books.

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear – Book Review

Book Cover for Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

Range of Ghosts
Elizabeth Bear

Range of Ghosts is epic fantasy that’s refreshingly different from just about everything out there.

It delivers vast scale, fascinating cultures, and rich mythologies that will keep any epic fantasy junkie happy. The characters are fantastic, with complex emotions and subtle interactions. The story is strong, and as the first book in a trilogy, there’s still much more to come.

But what makes Range of Ghosts special is what it does differently.

My result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended
Read the full review!