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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Longshadow by Olivia Atwater - Review

Order Longshadow HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. When she told her second-grade history teacher that she wanted to work with history someday, she is fairly certain this isn't what either party had in mind. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.

FORMAT/INFO: Longshadow was published by Orbit Books on August 16th, 2022. It is 254 pages long, split over 22 chapters, a prologue, and an epilogue. It is told in third person from Abigail's point of view. It is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: A proper lady wouldn’t get herself involved in a murder investigation, but then again, Abigail Wilder is hardly a proper lady. It seems that ladies of a marriage age have been dying under mysterious circumstances, leading her adoptive father, the Lord Sorcier of England, to investigate. Abigail, who has magics of her own, begins pursuing her own leads, when she runs into Mercy, a street rat whose magical affinity for ghosts makes her a valuable ally. And Abigail will need all the help she can get, because all signs point to dangerous faeries being involved in the recent deaths. 

Longshadow is an enchanting murder mystery that, while more somber than its predecessor, nevertheless fills with delight. The somber aspects of this story come from its premise: not only are young women being murdered, but the plot is tied up in the dealings of the slaugh, faerie creatures responsible for escorting souls to the Other Side. This is a story about grief and acceptance of death, applying not just to the victims, but to Abigail herself, who lost so many people before she was rescued from terrible circumstances and adopted.

I should take this moment to point out that, once again, Longshadow is a standalone novel in the Regency Faerie Tale series. While you do not strictly need to read the other books, however, this is much more directly tied to its predecessors, as all the characters from previous books come together in various ways to aid Abigail (and indeed, Abigail’s origins are told in Half a Soul).

Despite the darker aspects of the story, Longshadow still manages to have a warm glow about it. This has always been a series about the importance of the family you choose, and that theme especially resonates here with Abigail, a young woman who has been claimed as family by multiple people in recent years, all of whom help her without hesitation.

And then of course, there’s the romance itself. Abigail is a woman who has been confused why her heart never flutters over the male suitors like its supposed to, and part of her journey is about learning that there are other romantic options available to her. While Regency Faerie Tales exists in the social morays of heteronormativity, it never once says a discouraging word about LGBTQ relationships. Instead, the story is about helping its protagonist see how alternative relationships hide in plain sight, even if they’re not openly discussed. It’s a beautiful queer awakening story as a lightbulb clicks on and Abigail realizes that she’s been looking for romance in all the wrong places.

CONCLUSION: Longshadow is a satisfying endcap to the Regency Faerie Tales series. It’s fitting that the final book is about learning to say goodbye, and it goes about that lesson with aplomb. While it doesn’t reach the whimsical heights of Ten Thousand Stitches, Longshadow succeeds in its own way (and indeed, a sequence at Kensington Gardens might be the most enchanting of the whole series). Regency Faerie Tales is a wonderful addition to the regency fantasy genre, and we could use more books in this space of manners and magic.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson - Review

Buy House of Hunger HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in the sun-soaked marshland of Charleston, South Carolina. 
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig (reviewed by Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order One Dark Window here (U.S. | U.K.) 
Monday, September 19, 2022

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson (reviewed by Caitlin G. & Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order A Dowry of Blood over HERE - USUK
Friday, September 16, 2022

Book review: The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans (reviewed by Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order Notorious Sorcerer over here - U.S. | U.K.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Book Of Zog by Alec Hutson (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

COVER REVEAL: Adjacent Monsters Hardcover edition by Luke Tarzian


Today we at FBC are thrilled to be revealing the exclusive hardcover edition of Luke Tarzian’s Adjacent Monsters duology (released EXCLUSIVELY through Silverstones Books) by along with Out Of This World SFF Reviews Blog & FanFiAddict. 

Book review: Our Lady of The Artilects by Andrew Gillsmith


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

Friday, September 9, 2022

Book review: Ithaca by Claire North


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose first book was written when she was just fourteen years old. She went on to write several other novels in various genres, before publishing her first major work as Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, in 2014. It was a critically acclaimed success, receiving rave reviews and an Audie nomination, and was included in the Washington Post's Best Books of the Year list. Her most recent novel, Touch, was also in the Washington Post's Best Books of the Year, in 2015.

Publisher: Orbit (September 06, 2022) Page count: 464 Cover design: Lisa Marie Pompilio

Thursday, September 8, 2022

BABEL by R.F. Kuang - Review

Official Author Website
Read Daniel and Shazzie's Reviews of Babel HERE

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

COVER REVEAL Q&A: Eleventh Cycle by Kian N. Ardalan (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book review: Eversion by Alastair Reynolds

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

Publisher: Orbit (August 2, 2022) Page count: 353 p (ebook) Formats: ebook, paperback, audiobook
Monday, September 5, 2022

Book review: The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang (reviewed by Shazzie)

Official Author Website

Order The Genesis of Misery over HERE 
Friday, September 2, 2022

Book review: Babel by Rebecca F. Kuang (reviews by Daniel & Shazzie)


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Book review: Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: A.G. Riddle spent ten years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction. He is the author of ten novels that have sold nearly five million copies worldwide in twenty languages. He lives in North Carolina. For more, visit

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Video Interview & Discussion with Aparna Verma & Gourav Mohanty (by Mihir Wanchoo)


Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Sons Of Darkness
Read Fantasy Hive's review of The Boy With Fire

Today I'm thrilled to present a discussion with two upcoming authors who have written fantasy that's based on Indian mythology. As an Indian/Subcontinental/desi fantasy reader, this was exactly what I've been searching for (since I started reading fantasy over 20 years ago).

 So many thanks to Gourav & Aparna for indulging my questions and talking about:
- their desi  backgrounds, 
- their love for dark/GD fantasy,
- why their debut books focus on dark fantasy,
- Booktok, Instagram and book publicity,
- Bollywood influences & more...


Cover reveal: The Red Scholar's Wake by Aliette de Bodard


'So romantic I may simply perish' Tasha Suri, award-winning author of THE JASMINE THRONE

'LESBIAN SPACE PIRATES. Enough said.' Katee Robert, NYT bestselling author of NEON GODS


Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates' enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself. 

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si's help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si's technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it. 

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together...

An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.

COVER ARTIST: Alyssa Winans

MORE INFO: The book comes out via Gollancz on November 24th in hardcover and ebook format 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen - Review


Official Author Website
Order The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy HERE
Read Shazzie's review of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Megan Bannen is a former public librarian whose YA debut The Bird and the Blade was an Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2018 pick, a Summer 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick, and a Kirkus Best YA Historical Fiction of 2018 pick. While most of her professional career has been spent behind the reference desk, she has also sold luggage, written grants, collected a few graduate degrees from various Kansas universities, and taught English at home and abroad. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and their two sons.

FORMAT/INFO: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy was published on August 23rd, 2022 by Orbit Books. It is 416 pages long, split over 41 chapters and an epilogue. It is told in third person from Hart and Mercy's POVs. It is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook format.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Hart Ralston is a marshal, an individual who travels the wilds of Tanria putting down the undead and ensuring the bodies are taken to a local undertaker for proper burial. Unfortunately for Hart, the undertaker he has to deal with most frequently is Mercy Birdsall. Hart and Mercy have hated each other since the day they met, and loathe the times they have to work together. But both Hart & Mercy are each lonely in their own way and desperately need a person to share their emotions with. So when Hart sends an anonymous unaddressed letter to “a friend” and gets back a response, he finds himself drawn into a relationship with an equally anonymous pen pal. But what he doesn’t know is that the pen pal is Mercy, and she is equally oblivious to her friend’s identity. As undead attacks rise and secrets pile up, what will Mercy and Hart do when they finally realize the truth?

It’s strange to call The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy a comfort read when it is my first time reading it, but that’s exactly how reading this standalone felt. That is largely due to the fact that a part of the narrative was inspired by the anonymous pen pals trope from You've Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner, two movies I adore with all of my heart. If you have a fondness for those movies, you’ll find many of your favorite story beats here, including a certain scene at a cafe. It doesn’t adapt the entire storyline, but large enough sections are the same that it felt like slipping on a favorite cozy sweater.

But while parts of the story are very familiar, they are woven together with a wholly original story. The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy takes place in a fantasy world that feels like a mashup of American Wild West, 1950s aesthetic, and weird fantasy. There’s demigods, water horses, and cars designed to be equally at home in land and water alongside marshals riding on horseback with rapiers and crossbows. One of my few complaints about the story is that I wish some of the world-building had been painted in a little more; there’s enough explanation that you can get through the story without too much issue, but occasionally I found myself wondering about the geography of the world or clarification about what an autoduck (the cars in this world) looked like. These are minor nitpicks though, and didn’t majorly hamper my enjoyment.

Now if you saw the word undead and had any fears this was going to be a zombie gorefest book, let me rest your fears now. The zombies (called drudges) are mostly described as simply a shambling body, with very little detail about any state of decay. Your own imagination can supply as much or as little details as you would like. There are a couple instances of attacks, but again, the action is described like any other monster attack. I think I can honestly say that if stories of zombies make you at all squeamish, you won’t have any problems reading this story.

Lastly, the romance in this book is pitch perfect. Although I didn’t fully buy into why the two initially clashed, watching Hart & Mercy each discover someone who actually listened to their hopes and dreams and fears and who made them feel a little less lonely was a delight. Both Hart & Mercy grow into better people as a result of getting to know each other, and I really loved that aspect of the relationship. There was a little objectification from both parties in the initial chapters (descriptions of staring at ample bosoms etc.) that isn’t my cup of tea, but it was brief enough that it didn’t become grating. And if you were wondering, yes there is some spice, largely contained to one scene.

CONCLUSION: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a lovely whimsical romance that takes a familiar trope and gives it an original fantasy spin. I simply couldn’t put the book down and really enjoyed my time with the story. Best of all, it's a standalone, so no series commitments here! If you need a break from more serious fantasy reads and want to find a book that’s going to give you a Happily Ever After, pick up The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy today.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (reviewed by Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches over HERE
Friday, August 26, 2022

The First Binding by R.R. Virdi (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order The First Binding over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's first review of The First Binding
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Book review: January Fifteen by Rachel Swirsky

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Curse Of The Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (reviewed by Matthew Higgins)


Order Curse Of The Mistwraith over HERE
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim - Review

Official Author's Website
Read Caitlin's Review of SIX CRIMSON CRANES

Monday, August 22, 2022

Book Review: Silver Queendom by Dan Koboldt


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Dan Koboldt is a geneticist. His popular blog series "Science in Sci Fi, Fact in Fantasy", has led to two writing how-to guides from Writer's Digest books: Putting the Science in Fiction and Putting the Fact in Fantasy. He is also the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy , and creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle.

Publisher: Angry Robot (August 23, 2022) Page count: 400 pp Formats: ebook, paperback Cover art: 

Interview with Dan Koboldt, the author of upcoming Heist Fantasy Silver Queendom

AUTHOR INFO: Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager) and the Build-A-Dragon Sequence (Baen), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction and Putting the Fact in Fantasy (Writer’s Digest), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Realm). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 100 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. Dan is also an avid deer hunter and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and children in Ohio, where the deer take their revenge by eating the flowers in his backyard.
Sunday, August 21, 2022

All The Seas Of The World by Guy Gavriel Kay (reviewed by V)


Official Author Website
Order All The Seas Of The World over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Ysabel
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of Under Heaven
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Interview with Sunyi Dean (Interviewed by Shazzie)

Official Author Website
Order The Book Eaters over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of The Book Eaters
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Book review: Cobalt Blue by Matthew Reilly


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Matthew Reilly is the internationally bestselling author of the scarecrow series, the jack west series, and numerous standalone novels. his books are published in over 20 languages with worldwide sales of over 8 million copies. he directed the Netflix film interceptor, which he co-wrote with Stuart Beattie.

Publisher: Macmillan Australia (August 2, 2022) Pages:216 Formats: paperback, ebook, hardback, audiobook
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The First Binding by R.R. Virdi (reviewed by Caitlin G. & Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order The First Binding over HERE
Monday, August 15, 2022

The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings (Reviewed by Daniel P. Haeusser)


Official Author Website

Official Author Twitter

Order The Women Could Fly HERE


Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen (reviewed by Shazzie)


Pre-order The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy over HERE
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Excerpt: House of Cards—Spells, Salt and Steel series# 8 by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin


Mark Wojcik and his friends are back—and in more trouble than ever!
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Book review: A Short Stay in Hell by Simon Peck

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Steven L. Peck is an evolutionary biologist, poet, and novelist. His literary work is influential in Mormon literature circles. He is a professor of biology at Brigham Young University. He grew up in Moab, Utah and lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Publisher: Strange Violin Editions (March 20, 2012) Page Count: 108 Formats: ebook, paperback, audiobook

Sunday, August 7, 2022

SPFBO 8: The Fifth Winnowing (Mihir's Batch)


 This year is the 8th edition of this wonderful competition and also our 8th time participating in it. It’s my pleasure to be able to review our last mini-lot. The books in my lot have been a wide variety across the fantasy spectrum.  I also had the unique distinction of having the biggest book (in terms of page count for this SPFBO edition) in my lot of six titles.
Thursday, August 4, 2022

Book review: Priest of Crowns by Peter McLean


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Ten Thousand Stitches by Olivia Atwater - Review

Official Author Website
Buy Ten Thousand Stitches HERE
Read Caitlin's Review of Half a Soul

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

New Release Q&A with Phil Williams, the author of the Dyer Street Punk Witches

About Phil WIlliams: Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle. As a long-term teacher and tutor of advanced English, he runs the popular website “English Lessons Brighton”.
Monday, August 1, 2022

The Book of Gothel by Mary McMyne (Reviewed by Shazzie & Caitlin G.)

Order The Book Of Gothel over HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Mary McMyne's debut novel, THE BOOK OF GOTHEL, is forthcoming from Orbit/Redhook and Orbit UK in July 2022. She is also the author of the Elgin Award-winning fairytale poetry chapbook, WOLF SKIN. Originally from south Louisiana, she has a MFA in fiction from NYU. She lives with her family in the foothills of the Appalachian part of Georgia.


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Blog Tour: Oath Bound & Shield Breaker by Richard Cullen (review by Matthew Higgins)


Today Fantasy Book Critic via Matthew Higgins is excited to be a part of Richard Cullen's blog tour for The Wolf Of Kings series. Matthew will be reviewing the first book Oath Bound which can been read below.
Friday, July 29, 2022

Hugh Howey's SPSFC's submissions are Open Three More Days. Self-published Sci-fi Writers - Hurry up!

As huge fans of literary contests promoting indie books, we want to remind you that Hugh Howey's SPSFC is still open for submissions. 
Thursday, July 28, 2022

A Strange And Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows (reviewed by Shazzie)


Official Author Website
Order A Strange And Stubborn Endurance over HERE
Read an excerpt from the book here
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys (Reviewed by Daniel P. Haeusser)


Official Author Website
Official Author Twitter
Order A Half-Built Garden HERE
OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Ruthanna Emrys lives in a mysterious manor house on the outskirts of Washington, DC with her wife and their large, strange family. Her stories have appeared in a number of venues, including Strange Horizons, Analog, and She is the author of the Innsmouth Legacy series, which began with Winter Tide. She makes home-made vanilla, obsesses about game design, gives unsolicited advice, and occasionally attempts to save the world.

SPFBO Semi-finalist interview: Holly Karlsson, the author of Kingdom of Essence

About Holly Karlsson: Holly Karlsson writes epic and adventure fantasy filled with magic, dangerous quests, compelling characters, and mythical creatures. Holly is the author of the Daughters of Fire & Sea Trilogy, and Kingdom of Essence.

She enjoys connecting to her readers and regularly releases flash fiction stories on her website Follow her on Instagram @byhollykarlsson, Facebook or Goodreads.

Kingdom of Essence links: AmazonGoodreads
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Fantasy Book Critic Video Interview with Gourav Mohanty (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: Gourav Mohanty was born in Bhubaneswar, the City of Temples. A gold medallist from SLS, Pune, he currently practices law in Mumbai. He moonlights as a stand-up comic, a painter, and a blogger. As evident, his life always has many tabs open. A connoisseur of mythologies and momos, he has won numerous scholarships, one of which took him to the castles of Europe. Ever since, he has wanted to play medieval matchmaker by conjuring a world where Vedic India meets Italian Renaissance. Sons Of Darkness is his SFF debut. 


I hope you enjoy this interview with Gourav Mohanty. We talk about his debut, and how the story developed. Plus how he finally was able to land a publisher. We chat about the Mahabharata, his knowledge of obscure Indian mythology & wanting to write a uniquely fantastic story. I hope you enjoy this interview.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Book review: The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon (Matthew Corbett #4)

Book links: AmazonGoodreads

Series links: 


AUTHOR INFO: Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. Among his many popular novels were the classics Boy's Life and Swan Song. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

McCammon resides in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently working on the eighth Matthew Corbett novel, The King of Shadows.

Publisher: Subterranean Press (February 2, 2010) Length: 416 pages Formats: ebook, paperback. hardback, audiobook

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Coraidic Sagas (Omnibus Edition) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Friday, July 22, 2022

Book Acquisition Interview With Aparna Verma (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


 Yesterday Orbit Books dropped a stunning announcement. They have signed on Aparna Verma and her indie debut The Boy With Fire. I was previously introduced to Aparna's writing when I got my hands on a copy of her debut. It was a complex epic fantasy with socio-political issues as well an intriguing magic system & world history.  Today Aparna joins me to chat a bit about her writing journey & how she got inspired to write her fantasy book. Read ahead to know about Aparna and her official trad published debut The Phoenix King.

A Drowned Kingdom by P. L. Stuart (reviewed by Matthew Higgins)


Official Author Website
Order A Drowned Kingdom over HERE


Click Here To Order “Cardinal Black” by Robert McCammon!!!

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Click Here To Order “Cyber Mage” by Saad Z. Hossain

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Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
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Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
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Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
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Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
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