Fantasy newsletter

Here is a selection of covers from our Fantasy newsletter for January 2014.

Cover of Harbinger by Philippa Ballantyne Cover of Dangerous Women Cover of Tarnished by Rhiannon Heed Cover of The Winter Warrior by James Wilde Cover of The Land Across by Gene Wolfe Cover of Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

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A new year spent reading

Cover of Dust by Hugh HoweyCover for Wildfire at Midnight by Mary StewartCover of Ace, King, Knave by Maria McCann

I am a happy reader. The main reason for this unexpected happiness is that I have been making satisfying reading choices over the holiday period. At this time of year I endeavour to have a variety of books so I can read to my heart’s content. My heart is contented and my reading mojo is a happenin’ thing.

I started my holiday reading Dust by Hugh Howey, the last book in the Silo series. This story pulls the threads of the previous books together in an unforgettable and memorable way. As I was reading this last book I was continually thinking about the politics, ethics, and values and of those living in the silos. At the end it was difficult to leave the characters behind with Juliette and Solo remaining firm favourites for their strength and determination to remain true to themselves. A thought provoking read and I highly recommend this series.

Wildfire at Midnight was my next choice and very different read. This book was first published in 1956 and is a detective story with a difference. Set on the Isle of Skye, it involves murders, mountaineering, druids, pagan rituals and is full of drama. I couldn’t put this book down as the main character kept going off by herself and getting into dangerous situations adding further tension to the story. Mary Stewart is a skilled writer who keeps the reader guessing.

Ace, King, Knave by Maria McCann was the perfect complement to my previous reads. This book is full of deception, scheming, and charm. It has an array of colourful characters and immediately transports the reader to eighteenth century England. This is a textured read. I was drawn in by the drama, card games, different social levels, street slang, and the authenticity of the times. A glossary adds further interest and connection for the reader. A satisfying read.

My next choice After Her by Joyce Maynard was a slow start but interesting enough to keep me reading. This is a murder mystery told from an unusual viewpoint. Patty, the storyteller, is the daughter of a detective who is put in charge of finding a serial murderer. The story describes the pressures on family life, the destruction of a career and the consequences of these murders later in life. It is a fascinating and poignant read.

My last holiday read was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. This book is based on a true story about the last executions in Iceland. The landscape and characters dominate this well written and touching story. It is a moving and unsettling read. Highly recommended.

How did your holiday reading go?

Cover of After Her by Joyce Maynardcover for Burial Rites