So you’ve read all the current instalments of Game of Thrones and now you’re looking for a new fantasy novel (or even a whole series) to get your blood pumping. Here are some top indie suggestions…
The Imago Chronicles by Lorna T. Suzuki
Our view: Hated by Elves and mortals alike, Nayla Treeborn finds herself drawn into the turmoil that will decide whether there will be a Third Age of Peace. While the idea of a female protagonist in a fantasy series isn’t entirely new, Nayla Treeborn is far more convincing than most. There’s a real sense of Nayla changing and growing as the series develops, and it’s ultimately her story that helps the narrative push ahead with such compelling force. Movie rights to the series have already been snapped up, so now’s a perfect time to get up to speed with the Imago series.
Where to get it: Book one, A Warrior’s Tale, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Another view: Review by Connie J. Jasperson at Best in Fantasy Blog.
Our rating: 4½ stars (JW).
King’s Blood: Vampire Revealed by P.J. Day
Our view: Atmospheric and extremely memorable, this is the story of Jack, a vampire who is finally starting to feel that he can tell his story. Steeped in an epic tradition that is hinted at throughout, King’s Blood: Vampire Revealed is part of a serial that unfolds over multiple books. Jack’s date with Holly is perhaps the highlight of this first volume, showing that in the midst of the epic fantasy stuff, Day can still deliver some good humour. Perhaps I would have liked a little more in the way of twists, and more of a cliffhanger to lead me into the next book, but this is still well worth a read.
Where to get it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Our rating: 4 stars (JW).
Blood of Requiem (Song of Dragons book 1) by Daniel Arenson
Our view: The last survivors of Requiem are hunted by griffins. Their kingdom destroyed by Dies Irae, the people of Requiem face a stark choice and must see if they have the strength to turn and fight, or whether they will simply be picked off and destroyed. Arenson creates a real sense of epic drama here, and the world of Requiem is conjured up with some great writing and imagination. Perhaps the more detailed passages slow the narrative down a little, but this is still a great fantasy saga that shows real ambition. Even if I wasn’t sure about every plot point, I still found myself wanting to read on once this first volume ended.
Where to get it: Amazon.
Another view: Review at Universe in Words.
Our rating: 3½ stars (CA).
The Long Night by Sean Van Damme
Our view: Alen Tar is driven from his home by the return of a dark force that hasn’t been seen for thousands of years. As he sets out to fight this force, he finds himself joining up with an unlikely group of comrades. The Long Night has a plot that is both complex and well-paced, and the characters rise above the usual cliches of the fantasy genre. What really impressed me was that none of the characters felt like ciphers, i.e. they didn’t feel like they were there just to advance the plot. This is a novel with an impressive cast of individuals who contribute to a dramatic and detailed narrative. It also feels whole and complete, with a strong and well-structured arc. Original, interesting and memorable.
Where to get it: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Another view: Review at Cyber Library Reviews.
Our rating: 4 stars (CA).
The Aduramis Chronicles: Destiny of the Wulf by Harrison Davies
Our view: Coinin and Marrok are brothers who are thrust unwittingly into a world of magic. Since before they were born, they were destined to play a great role in the world, and now the time is approaching for them to take up that role. The Swords of Cerathil must be reunited, but the journey is dangerous. Destiny of the Wulf focuses on two very well-drawn characters who help keep the narrative moving along. There are some extremely atmospheric scenes, especially those involving the rituals. The pace is strong, particularly as the story develops.
Where to get it: Amazon.
Our rating: 4½ stars (CA).
All reviews by John Warner (JW) and Chris Algernon (CA).