Review: After the King

After the King edited by Martin H. Greenberg


No figure looms larger in fantasy than J. R. R. Tolkien. One hundred and twenty-one (or eleventy-eleven) years after his birth and fifty-nine years after the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings still functions as the baseline for the entire genre of high fantasy. (There’s a very valid argument to be made that we need to move forward from that baseline, but that’s another post for another time.) But a lot of Tolkien-inspired fantasy only mimics the most obvious trappings of the good Professor’s legendarium. That’s not necessarily a judgment on the quality of those works—Blizzard Entertainment used those trappings as a stepping stone to create their own interesting, engaging world for the Warcraft franchise, and Eragon… well, Eragon exists. It can go either way. Continue reading

Review: Briar Rose

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen’s Sister Light, Sister Dark was one of the very first books from my reading list I highlighted on The Literary Horizon here at the blog, and I think it says a lot about my bookish turnaround that it’s taken me three years to get to one of her novels. Along with being praised by readers whose taste I trust, Briar Rose has been haunting my footsteps at school; it was very nearly a selection for that children’s and young adult literature class I never shut up about. I’m not sure what motivated me to pick it up, after three years of not being motivated to, but I found myself starting it at lunch and ending it a few hours later.

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The Literary Horizon: Sister Light, Sister Dark, Spellwright

With my last Literary Horizon of 2009, I’m going to take a look at the first books in a pair of fantasy series. What a change of pace! Never fear, gentle reader, I’m going to try and diversify the Literary Horizon in 2010. If any of you have suggestions for themes beyond genres, like “queer protagonists” or “non-Western fantasy”, please send them my way. I’m sure I can wrangle something up!

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