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Ten Fantasy Books for Music Lovers

Top Ten Musical Fantasies

Music soothes the soul and draws us to dance. The beat works its magic; toes start tapping and heads bop along. With such an elemental effect, it’s no surprise that music has inspired many fantasy authors.

Here are ten books which capture the magic of music on the page. Be warned: lyrical prose and rhythms that leak off the page may have you humming along or seeking out songs online.

Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicles #1
Why: The son of traveling performers tells an epic tale of magic and adventure in the voice of a talented poet and natural musician. You’ll be spellbound.

Soul Magic by Terry PratchettSoul Music, Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #16
Why: If madcap comedy sounds to your tastes, try Soul Music. This zany tale of music with a mind of its own also works as a good entry point to the Discworld series.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffreyDragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
Series: Pern Series; Harper Hall #1
Why: For old school fantasy, try Dragonsong, where a young woman denied her music runs away to find her destiny, and ends up teaching wild dragons to sing.

Signal to Noise by Sylvia Moreno-GarciaSignal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Series: Standalone
Why: If urban fantasy is more your style, try this little-known gem. Signal to Noise tells a tale of musical magic in Mexico City. Read with the soundtrack, filled with classic jazz, rock and roll and 80’s pop, in both English and Spanish. Read my review.

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex BledsoeThe Hum and the Shiver, Alex Bledsoe
Series: Tufa #1
Story: In the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the truth of the Tufa people hides in the music they’ve passed down for generations. Bronwyn Hyatt will have to reconnect to those roots if she is to stop the restless darkness rising in the hills. (Read with bluegrass soundtrack.)

Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. MyerLast Song Before Night, Ilana C. Myer
Series: Standalone
Why: Travel to a high fantasy world of bards and poets. This song-infused fantasy is told in flowing, lyrical prose that creates the feel of music on the page. This tale of poets off to restore enchantments to the land is the perfect read to bring your musical journey to a close. Read the review.

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanSeraphina, Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #1
Why: Seraphina is a gifted musician who joins the court just as a royal is murdered. The investigation threatens to reveal the secret of her musical gift, which could endanger everything.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackThe Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black
Series: Standalone
Why: Ben has the gift of fae music and plays bard to his sister’s knight. But fae magic is hard to control, and he swears off music after a horrible accident. To save the day, he’ll have to face his fears and reclaim his magic. Read the review.

The Naming by Alison CroggonThe Naming, Alison Croggon
Series: The Books of Pellinor #1
Why: Maerad is trapped in a hopeless life of slavery and war, until a bard selects her as his next student. But the two musicians have a long road ahead, filled with danger and dark forces.

The City of Dark Magic by Magnus FlyteCity of Dark Magic, Magnus Flyte
Series: City of Dark Magic #1
Why: This bizarre, raunchy cross-genre read features Beethoven, espionage, time travel, sex and humor all rolled up into one weird story. Read the review.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Music & Books.

Last Song Before Night Review

Book Review: Last Song Before NightLast Song Before Night
by Ilana C. Meyer (2015)

Long ago, poets were Seers with powerful magic. Then the enchantments of Eivar were lost. Now a song is only words and music, and no more.

But when a dark power threatens, two poets must restore enchantment to the land. The road to the Otherworld, where the enchantments reside, will imperil their lives and test the deepest desires of their hearts.

Pin for laterAdd to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended

Book Review

If you enjoy music, bards, and lyrical descriptions of the arts, then you’ll love this song-infused fantasy world.

Last Song Before Night takes a while to start moving, but the world is rich and interesting. It’s a book to take your time with. Flowing prose complements the story, creating the feel of music on the page. It’s a pleasurable escape to savor as you read, and the story pacing picks up a lot by the end. Overall, Last Song Before Night is a solid fantasy with a lyrical feel.

Recommended for:
* Music lovers
* Fantasy fans
* Lyrical prose

If you like Last Song Before Night, check out these book recommendations!

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!

Goblin Emperor – Review

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Read The Goblin Emperor for:
* old-school fantasy world with goblins and elves
* a feel good story of doing the right thing against all odds
* a standalone fantasy without a stack of sequels
* just a touch of steampunk

The Goblin Emperor
Katherine Addison (2014)     Add to Goodreads or see more reviews
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. 4 Stars - Recommended
My result: Recommended

Read the full review!