REVIEW: The Throne of the Five Winds by S. C. Emmett

Disclaimer: The reviewer is not East Asian and thus lacks the relevant knowledge and lived experience to critique certain parts of this work. The blurb for this book will make you think you’re about to walk in to a bloody, royal warfare but it never quite unfolds.  And ultimately, the story is mostly better for Read more

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REVIEW: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Trigger warnings: Violence, Violence Against Women, Rape As a fan of war-related history content, The Shadow King was quite the ride into the Second Italo-Ethiopian War that I was barely knowledgeable about. Maaza Mengiste has taken a tumultuous period in Ethiopia’s history and has created a lucid, and vivid tapestry, her lyrical words and three-dimensional Read more

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REVIEW: The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons is the first installment in a new dark fantasy series by Evan Winter. Brace, because this is an action-packed journey marked by friendship, loss, love, betrayal, and a driving need for revenge that sets a young warrior on a path that will change not only his life, but the fate of Read more

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REVIEW: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

Alice is the kind of character that Black SFF readers have been begging for.  One that lives in our realities, but whose narrative isn’t solely focused on our pain. The Black experience is a myriad, beautiful thing and we have joy in our existences despite whatever publishing might tell you. Alice in Wonderland and Buffy Read more

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REVIEW: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

[Potential Spoilers Below] Gods of Jade and Shadow is a breath of fresh air for fantasy—even its whiffs of the familiar smell fresh. It’s not another Tolkien epigone with diminishing returns. It understands that we come from a vast, variegated world with plentiful cultures and mythology. Why flog a dead horse when you can nurture Read more

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REVIEW: Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

From now on when I think of young, courageous, selfless heroines in YA, I’ll think of Arrah. When I think of fantasy YA for young black teens, I’ll think of Kingdom of Souls.  The first thing that crossed my mind (after “When is Rena Barron’s next book coming out?”) was that I’m glad this book Read more

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REVIEW: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

(Disclaimer: This book is full of Indigenous worldbuilding. The reviewer in question is not Indigenous and is thus nowhere near the best source for thoughts/critique in those areas of the novel.  Our suggestions would be to take what you will from this, but to look to Indigenous reviewers as your primary source.) I finished TRAIL Read more

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We Can Talk about Books Too: A Statement of Intent

Thinking critically about stories probably came along only seconds after the first one was told. People have no shortage of thoughts and feelings about the endless stories humanity has to offer. But in publishing, we noticed a group of voices not getting much room to talk. A short time ago, Dhonielle Clayton pointed out the Read more

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REVIEW: Lost Gods by Micah Yongo

The first and most immediate thing that I can say I loved about this novel was its sense of identity.  There’s an issue with constructing secondary worlds in which the world can feel like a non-cohesive hodgepodge of elements seemingly thrown together for a cool factor.  Not here.  This work knows what meal it wants Read more

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Five Reasons that TWELVE DAYS is a boss novel.

Blackness that doesn’t have to apologize or explain itself – So often in media (yes, even still in 2017), black characters are expected to justify their existence in a narrative. We have to be black for a “reason” or its pandering. Or it’s unnecessary. Or it takes away from the story. The list goes on Read more

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