Best Fantasy Books of 2010

Below you will find a list of the fantasy books published in 2010 that we enjoyed most. Click on a book title to read the full review.

The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell (The Edge Chronicles: Book 10)

Five hundred years into the third age of flight and mighty phraxships steam across the immensity of the Deepwoods, plying their lucrative trade between the three great cities. Nate Quarter, a young Lamplighter from the mines of the eastern woods is propelled on an epic journey of self-discovery that encompasses tournaments, battles, revolutions and a final encounter with the Immortals themselves.

"This is an innovative and vibrant book featuring an astonishing imagination and outstanding illustrations. This is one of the most original fantasy series available today. So don your crushed funnel hat, comb your neck beard, lick your eyes and prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime."

Published: 2010

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 1)

N.K. Jemisin has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Nebula Award for Best Novel, Audie Award for Science Fiction and the Crawford Award. Enough said. You want more? Okay, every now and again books comes out that deserves all the hype they get. N.K. Jemisin writes books that are at times smart, at times funny, and at times downright heartbreaking, all wrapped up in the the most original stories. This is a must for your bookshelf. This book is flat out 10 out of 10.

Published: 2010

Shadowheart by Tad Williams (Shadowmarch Quartet: Book 4)

Southmarch Castle is about to be caught between two implacable enemies, the ancient, immortal Qar and the insane god-king, the Autarch of Xis. Meanwhile, its two young defenders, Princess Briony and Prince Barrick, are both trapped far away from home and fighting for their lives. And now, something is awakening underneath Southmarch Castle, something powerful and terrible that the world has not seen for thousands of years. Can Barrick and Briony, along with a tiny handful of allies, ordinary and extraordinary, find a way to save their world and prevent the rise of a terrible new age-an age of unending darkness? 

"The Shadowmarch Quartet, from Shadowmarch through to Shadowheart, is a must read fantasy series and although I would love to mention more about what happens in it I would only ruin your own enjoyment of it… I cannot recommend these books highly enough."

Published: 2010

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells (John Cleaver series: Book 2)

Wells is such a visual writer, and some of the things he comes up makes you seriously wonder about his of mind. From embalming's gone wrong to graphic torture scenes and even the effortless way in which John stalks everyone his neighbourhood, the whole book oozes psychological terror. This is a book that makes disturbing scenes fascinating because they are told from the point of view of a character who actually finds these disturbing scenes fascinating. I flipping loved this book and the more I reflect on it the more I love it. I could not put it down, I could not find a fault with it, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Even if you don't like horror. My wife is not big fan of horror or urban fantasy, but she could not put this book down and could not stop raving to me about how much she loved every part of this book. I never thought I would give a book 10/10, but looking back I don't see how I could give this book any less. It is immensely entertaining, immensely challenging, and immensely satisfying.

Published: 2010

Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootleg by Tite Kubo

It is lots of fun, and ideal for those who have an interest in all the characters including Ganju Shiba and his pet boar, Bonny.

Published: 2010

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive: Book 1)

With The Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson clearly stamps his authority as the master of the "Hollywood" style of epic fantasy. It is hard to comprehend just how much stuff is going on and how this book impacts the wider Cosmere (the universe that ties all of Sanderson's books together). Big action set pieces of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things is exactly what many want from their epic fantasy.

Published: 2010

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Under Heaven, inspired by the Tang Dynasty of Ancient China, is as beautiful and enriching a novel as you could possibly wish for. Kay is an expert storyteller, his writing style strong and fluid, his exposition always necessary and worked seamlessly into the narrative. He has successfully re-imagined Ancient China in the same accessible and absorbing way that he previously achieved with medieval France, Ottoman Spain and Renaissance Italy.


Published: 2010

Once Walked With Gods by James Barclay (Elves Trilogy: Book 1)

The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of 100,000 elves lost to the Garonin. The elf who led that fight, Takaar, is blamed for the losses and has gone into hiding. Now the weakened elf race is tearing itself apart in civil war, human mercenaries have arrived in Calius and are ripping the continent apart. Only one elf can unite the elves. And only one elf believes in him. A young warrior named Auum sets out to bring back the shamed hero and save the elven race.

"I loved this book. I loved the characters and the journeys that they took and are to take, and I love the hints of what will come; things that we'll know of in passing and get to see in full and other things which are totally new. Barclay has managed to return to the world of Calaius and not leave us disappointed. Barclay is back and he might very well be better than ever." Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time: Book 13)

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unravelling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to spill out of the Blight. Perrin Aybara is haunted by spectres from his past. To prevail, he must find a way to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it for ever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost. The end draws near. It's time to roll the dice.

"Sanderson has done a wonderful job in stepping up to plate and filling the big man’s shoes. The writing flows wonderfully but I still feel, however, that Jordan’s female characters are sometimes lacking. Many seem to me to be copies of each another and too shallow in their ideals. Elayne’s personality has certainly changed for me in this boo. I don’t know if it was due to her pregnancy or the need for her character to develop to drive her storyline along but thankfully, throughout the book, Elayne becomes less annoying (she’s one of my least favourite characters in the story)."

Published: 2010

The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy: Book 2)

In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homeless man on an impulse. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. And Oree's guest is at the heart of it...

"Jemisin has created a well-paced, thoughtful, intriguing book that has unexpected twists. The characters are fleshed out and memorable. If you like solidly built worlds where gods and people mix and enjoy looking at a culture in transition, you will find this book a great read."

Published: 2010

Corvus by Paul Kearney (The Macht: Book 2)

It is twenty-three years since a Macht army fought its way home from the heart of the Asurian Empire. The man who came to lead that army, Rictus, is now a hard-bitten mercenary captain, middle-aged and tired. He wants nothing more than to lay down his spear and become the farmer that his father was. But fate has different ideas. A young warleader has risen to challenge the order of things in the very heartlands of the Macht. A soldier of genius, he takes city after city, and reigns over them as king. What is more, he had heard of the legendary leader of the Ten Thousand. His name is Corvus, and the rumours say that he is not even fully human. He means to make himself absolute ruler of all the Macht. And he wants Rictus to help him.

"I can’t recommend a book like Corvus highly enough. Kearney writes with knowledge, not only of the craft of writing, but of the craft of war, and history, and military might. He brings a realism to the story that doesn’t bore, but rather grips you and reminds you of the bloody mess of war. There are characters who are the pinnacle of honour and those who are the scum of the earth. You’ll love and hate, cheer and cry, and be shocked by what happens. And you’ll love it."

Published: 2010

The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffin (Matthew Swift: Book 2)

When you review books for a site called “Fantasy Book Review” you’re going to get a lot of stuff that harkens back to Tolkien, or Brooks, or Lewis, or whoever. So it’s wonderful when you get something that doesn’t seem to harken back to anything, or if it does, it’s Neil Gaiman. Kate Griffin is one of those authors who I’m going to be in love with for the rest of my life. Her writing captures London – I imagine – so well that it feels like I’m there, with her and her characters, walking through those same streets.

Published: 2010

City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton (Legends of the Red Sun: Book 2)

So, how do you classify this book? Weird fantasy? New weird fantasy? Slightly scary horror fantasy?… I’m not really sure; I just know that it’s a really great addictive read. Some of the characters you will love, others you will hate. But either way you will not want to put down the book until you find out what happen to them all. You might even find yourself wanting some of them to die, and creating emotions like that makes it such a good read; it’s not just yet another fantasy book: it’s one that makes you think and you may even shed a tear for the most evil person when you get to know them a bit more. It’s fantasy at its best, it’s like watching a very good movie, as soon as you finish you want to watch it again.

Published: 2010

Tymon's Flight by Mary Victoria (Chronicles of the Tree: Book 1)

Sometimes in fantasy you will come across a hidden gem, a book that you cross paths with having heard absolutely nothing about it, a book that you were unprepared for that completely blows you away. I have been very lucky having found quite a number of these hidden gems in the past twelve months, but of these hidden gems few can compare to Tymon's Flight by Mary Victoria, a book that has taken a remarkable idea and complemented it with one of the most engaging stories I have read.

Published: 2010

Haven by Joel Shepherd (A Trial of Blood and Steel: Book 4)

This book is the final book of four, so no, I don’t recommend reading it without reading the other three. But all the books have done their utmost to entertain me without resorting to mindless fantasy tropes, and succeeded each and every time to the point that I look forward to the day – not too far from now, I imagine – that I get to go back and reread them.

Published: 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games: Book 3)

Mockingjay is one of the most entertaining, emotionally gripping, and wonderful books I have ever had the pleasure of reading; please, do yourself a favour and read it soon.

Published: 2010

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Prequel)

The year is 950 BC and the self-proclaimed master djinni Bartimaeus is to be found causing chaos whilst serving at the court of King Solomon in Jerusalem. But with the arrival of Asmira, an assassin girl sent by the Queen of Sheba, things begin to get even more interesting and Bartimaeus must use all his skill and cunning to not only survive, but also aid Asmira in the theft of the all-powerful Ring of Solomon.

"The Ring of Solomon is an excellent fantasy adventure, full of magic, intrigue, excitement and humour. A real must-buy and a perfect Christmas present for readers of all ages."

Published: 2010

The Spirit Eater by Rachel Aaron (The Legend of Eli Monpress: Book 3)

Again there were scenes that made me grin from ear to ear and the humour that Aaron puts into Eli’s actions and dialogue is spot on and fits perfectly with the story. Eli is now one of my favourite characters in the fantasy genre. There are many questions being answered but even more being raised and I’m very curious to see how the author will maintain the suspense in the last two books and what the climax will be. Rachel Aaron has created an excellent and solid foundation in the first three books and I hope that she keeps up this high standard - using her excellent writing style and witty dialogue - to create that one big final job for Eli. The Legend of Eli Monpress is a top series, one of the very best I have ever read and The Spirit Eater is a must read.

Published: 2010

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

An intriguing “what if?” urban fantasy story that gives a twist to the contemporary world we live in. This story involves animals and magic, that fits into the world of Zoo City. As well as inviting questions as to why people who are different from the norm are treated in different circumstances.

Published: 2010

After America by John Birmingham

All in all After America delivers a similar punch as Without Warning, be it a bit more reigned in. Without Warning showed the global extent of the Wave hitting North America in the first book. In this book there is zoom and focus on some of the consequences and the problems associated with re-establishing America. Having the real narrow focus on the urban warfare that rages around New York and where Kip is trying reassert everything but again John Birmingham broadens the story with Caitlin and the Echelon special ops in different counties. After America shows what John Birmingham does best, delivering a powerful and often times explosive story and it does make you think “what if this would happened to us” question!

Published: 2010

Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks (Legends of Shannara: Book 1)

Five hundred years have passed since the devastating demon-led war that almost exterminated humankind. Those who escaped the carnage were led to sanctuary by the boy saviour known as Hawk: the gypsy morph. But now, the unimaginable has come to pass: the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, last surviving Knight of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, and Trackers from the human village of Glensk Wood find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: the once safe haven of generations has been laid bare. Together, the young Trackers, the aging Knight and a daring Elf princess race to spread word of the encroaching danger. But suspicion and hostility among their countrymen threaten to doom their efforts from within, while beyond the breached borders, a ruthless Troll army masses for invasion. Standing firm between the two, the last wielder of the black staff and its awesome magic must find a successor to carry on the fight against the cresting new wave of evil.

"This is a well written novel designed to be easy to read and hard to put down. Being easy to read means that there is not a lot of complexity in the writing and this did have a slightly detrimental affect when exploring the complex nature of the religous and political scenarios mentioned above. There are some pacing issues early on and you do get the feeling that you are reading a lot of pages and learning a lot about the world without much actually happening to progress the story. These are relatively small issues and they do not take anything away from what is the strongest piece of work produced by Terry Brooks in some time."

Published: 2010

The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton (The Void Trilogy #3)

Exposed as the Second Dreamer, Araminta has become the target of a galaxywide search by government agent Paula Myo and the psychopath known as the Cat, along with others equally determined to prevent-- or facilitate --the pilgrimage of the Living Dream cult into the heart of the Void. An indestructible microuniverse, the Void may contain paradise, as the cultists believe, but it is also a deadly threat. For the miraculous reality that exists inside its boundaries demands energy--energy drawn from everything outside those boundaries: from planets, stars, galaxies... from everything that lives. Meanwhile, the parallel story of Edeard, the Waterwalker -- as told through a series of addictive dreams communicated to the gaiasphere via Inigo, the First Dreamer -- continues to unfold. But now the inspirational tale of this idealistic young man takes a darker and more troubling turn as he finds himself faced with powerful new enemies -- and temptations more powerful still. With time running out, a repentant Inigo must decide whether to release Edeard's final dream: a dream whose message is scarcely less dangerous than the pilgrimage promises to be. And Araminta must choose whether to run from her unwanted responsibilities or face them down, with no guarantee of success or survival. But all these choices may be for naught if the monomaniacal Ilanthe, leader of the breakaway Accelerator Faction, is able to enter the Void. For it is not paradise she seeks there, but dominion.

"In summary, what do I think? Well, as you can tell I think it’s a fantastic conclusion to a trilogy and I would easily put it in my top 3 sci-fi series of all time. I recommend you buy the Void Trilogy and find out for yourself. It’s space opera at its best. Iain M Banks and others I challenge you to try to come up with books as good as this."

Published: 2010

The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron (The Legend of Eli Monpress: Book 2)

The Spirit Rebellion is a worthy sequel to The Spirit Thief. Aaron’s writing style matures well while maintaining her light-hearted touch. There is plenty of action complemented by witty dialogue and I am very curious to see how the events unfold in the following books. Aaron definitely has talent.

Published: 2010

The King's Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells (King Rolen's Kin Series: Book 1)

Only seven minutes younger than Rolencia’s heir, Byren has never hungered for the throne. He laughs when a seer predicts that he will kill his twin. But the royal heir resents Byren’s growing popularity. Across the land the untamed magic of the gods wells up out of the earth’s heart. It sends exotic creatures to stalk the wintry nights and it twists men’s minds, granting them terrible visions. Those so touched are sent to the Abbey to control their gift, or die. At King Rolen’s court enemies plot to take his throne, even as secrets within his own household threaten to tear his family apart.

"There is so much more The King’s Bastard, that if I would continue I would reveal too much of the story. So in short. The King’s Bastard is in my opinion a must read for fantasy fans. It shows a great world, a country in struggle, magical creatures, great characters and brawling action."

Published: 2010

The Cost of Betrayal by David Dalglish (Half-Orcs #2)

Published: 2010

Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth by Chris Priestley (Tales of Terror)

A boy is put on a train by his stepmother to make his first journey on his own. But soon that journey turns out to be more of a challenge than anyone could have imagined as the train stalls at the mouth of a tunnel and a mysterious woman in white helps the boy while away the hours by telling him stories - stories with a difference.

"Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth will chill and thrill in equal measure and is the perfect kind of scary for children in that it will make the hairs on the back of their necks rise and send shivers down their spine but will not give them nightmares. Delectably dark, and with a beautiful gothic style (perfectly captured by David Robert’s illustrations), this is a book that will appeal to all ages." Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick

Winterfold, a place of crumbling cliff paths, deserted churches and ruined graveyards, forms the backdrop for Marcus Sedgwick's latest work, White Crow, a contemporary gothic thriller for young-adults. Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold during a long, hot, claustrophobic summer and, against her better judgement, befriends local resident Ferelith. The two girls discover more about each other (and about Winterfold) than either really want to, uncovering frightening secrets that would be best left long forgotten.

"White Crow is an intelligent and thoughtful book whose themes of afterlife, faith and death - both human mortality and the demise of a town itself – are explored delicately. Two strong female leads drive a story that is both chilling and memorable in equal measure. Highly recommended." Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

Spring by William Horwood (Hyddenworld: Book 1)

If there is one author I like to recommed as often as possible, it is William Horwood. He is a wonderful writer who, in Hyddenworld: Spring, has written a wonderful book, it was a delight to read and I was not alone in welcoming him back to the genre that has been poorer for his absence.

Published: 2010

Returner's Wealth by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell (Wyrmeweald: Book 1)

May 2010 will see Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, creators of the multi-million-selling Edge Chronicles, return with a brand-new frontier-fantasy trilogy. The Wyrmeweald series will have Stewart and Riddell’s existing fan-base hoping for much that is new and fresh while also crossing their fingers and praying that it contains the same elements that made the Edge Chronicles so enjoyable and involving.

Published: 2010

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can't sleep, can't eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can't go outside unless they're smothered in Factor 50. With a visit from their lethally louche uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.

"Pointed, clever and witty." Independent

"The Radleys is a refreshing and original take on a vampire genre that has arguably become rather overworked of late, and the book’s main theme of abstinence is perfect for these debt-ridden times. Using short, sharp paragraphs and sprinkled with delightful asides from the fictional Abstainer’s Handbook, The Radleys is a coming of age story that will appeal to adults, both young and old." Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl Series: Book 7)

This is the seventh outing for Eoin Colfer’s anti-hero Artemis Fowl and avid followers of this collection will attest that this is one character whose strong storylines and even stronger one line put-downs have in no way diminished from the fresh and innovative original.

Published: 2010

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (The Discworld Series: Book 38)

One of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett. There’s no secret to that if you’ve spent even a little bit of time browsing FBR; he notches ten-out-of-ten books regularly, in my opinion, and has one of the keenest minds and greatest storytelling abilities I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Not surprisingly then, Sir Pratchett has done it once again with his latest Discworld novel, ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’, the fourth in his Tiffany Aching series, following the trials and tribulations of a girl becoming a witch in a land that doesn’t want a witch.

Published: 2010

The Necromancer by Michael Scott (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Book 4)

I was really pleased to get a chance to read this fourth book in Michael Scott's Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series as I had the pleasure of reading the first three last year. All in all this is an excellent addition to the series and moves the story on to a completely different level. By the end of the book everything has changed again and the cliffhanger ending hooks you again and keeps you hanging on desperately for the next book.

Published: 2010

White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers: Book 1)

When I first opened the book I was disappointed to find out that it was written in the first person present tense. This is my least favourite point of view in a book and one that appears more and more in YA fiction. As I read of the book, however, I realised that this book could not have been written any other way. It is such a personal story - a story of one young man's view of his world and his place in it- that to tell it any other way would have been completely wrong. I don't want to give any spoilers to the plot twists etc., but you really need to see the world through Cassel's eyes to appreciate the full impact of the revelations when they come. And they do come...

Published: 2010

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan series: Book 2)

This book has a sound appeal to all genders and ages, Westerfield is very engaging writer, his characters are easy to warm to and I really couldn’t wait to see what would happen to them next. The plot moves along at a good pace and is complicated enough for older readers to enjoy, whilst being explained clearly enough for younger readers to follow. You could read this book without having read Leviathan, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that as you’ll be missing out on a great read that introduces you to the main characters and their various secrets and motivations.

Published: 2010

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks (Lightbringer: Book 1)

I had never read the previous trilogy and had committed the cardinal sin of buying a book simply because I liked the cover, but that momentary whim has repaid me with interest! This is a beautifully-crafted fantasy that held me from beginning to end, for all 600 plus of its pages. The narrative is enthralling and the twists are so stunning that I had to go back and re-read the first because I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen it coming, that Weeks had so skillfully misled me.

Published: 2010

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn (Rome Trilogy #1)

As the tale unravels of their pasts and their futures, Mistress of Rome will leave you puzzled and sitting on the edge of your seat. For historical lovers, this novel is necessary read as Kate Quinn is a wonderful writer who concentrates on the history of a tale, but also the inner workings of an Empire and its greatest fear, its Emperor.

Published: 2010

Flight to Dragon Isle by Lucinda Hare (The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Book 2)

If you’ve read the first book, The Dragon Whisperer, then the return of Quenelda and Root will be like revisiting old friends (if you haven’t read it, then go and read!) You might think nothing’s changed. Quenelda is still the headstrong girl we met in book one and Root is still the nervous gnome, but this pair are slowly finding their feet. Root is growing in confidence (but still manages the odd mishap, which makes him as funny as ever) and Quenelda, the girl who can talk to dragons, is slowly realising that she has more power and magic within her, than anyone ever imagined.

Published: 2010

Mortals & Deities by Maxwell Alexander Drake (Genesis of Oblivion: Book 2)

I enjoyed Drake’s almost ‘Rashomon’ like shifts in character perspective where the same events are seen from different eyes. Everyone is taken out of their comfort zone and everything they think they know gets challenged. ‘Mortals & Deities’ is mysterious, atmospheric and foreboding and will have readers on the edge of their seats!

Published: 2010

Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden: Book 2)

If ‘Crown of Vengeance’ was about the exiles then this entry is very much about the inhabitants of Ave, particularly their struggle for freedom. Hefty at over 700 pages long, but ultimately rewarding, this epic and ambitious Fantasy adventure will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading of bravery and heroism in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. I am certain that this entry will continue to enthral its fans. Bring on book three!

Published: 2010

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron (The Legend of Eli Monpress: Book 1)

I have read many books recently that focus more on the darker aspect in fantasy, so The Spirit Thief was a nice change of scenery. The Spirit Thief does has its “dark” moments, where there are battles between swordsman and magicians, but there was none of the gruesome/gore scenes. Instead, the use of spirit magic makes for a lighter tale that I found extremely enjoyable. The Spirit Thief's storyline feels natural and not at all forced, the dialogue and action scenes move along nicely, and Aaron throws in the unexpected that makes things that little bit more exciting. The Spirit Thief is a great opening to a new series, the character are well thought through and their backgrounds interesting. If Aaron keeps this standard up in the books that follow then the series will be sure-fire winner!

Published: 2010

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb (The Rain Wild Chronicles: Book 2)

Dragon Haven is an excellent novel that benefits from prior hard work in the previous instalment. A tale rich in plot and characterisation it forms a worthy and exciting addition to Hobb’s delightful world of the Elderlings.

Published: 2010

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (Spiritwalker: Book 1)

This book had me hooked from the first page, and the fact that this is a world where the ice-sheets never receded as much as they had in ours really played to the science-nerd in me. Add in the warped history and languages, characters I wish I knew personally, and a way with words I haven’t had the pleasure of reading since Steven Erikson, and Kate Elliott is now a contender for one of my favourite authors.

Published: 2010

Virals by Kathy Reichs (Tory Brennan series #1)

All in all I found that this specific combination of supernatural and forensic science worked to it fullest in Virals producing a very engaging, unique and interesting story. This unique blend did greatly appeal to me and I know that it will appeal for a broad younger audience. Now that the Virals have truly grown into their powers... anything can happen.

Published: 2010

Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

I’m sure you’re familiar with this typical family dinner scenario: everyone is seated around the table and Grampa- like Grampa always does- turns a perfectly pleasant conversation into a tirade about how under-appreciated unicorns are in modern society because of these gosh-darn kids and their obsession with brain-eating schmucks. Then your mother, a staunch zombie supporter since Night of the Living Dead, slams the meatloaf down on the table and storms out of the room, while everyone else wearily returns to their peas and carrots. Oh wait, your family never does that? And you’ve never heard of the Zombies vs. Unicorns debate? Well, here’s your chance…

"Despite the light-hearted tone of the debate, Zombie vs. Unicorns is a great anthology that contains both humorous and powerful stories. While you may love all the stories, remember: this is war. Which side are you on?" Alison Mirabella, Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

The Uncrowned King by Rowena Cory Daniells (King Rolen's Kin Series: Book 2)

Thirteen year old Pro watches powerless as her father’s enemies march on his castle. A traitor whispers poison in the King’s ear, undermining his trust in her brother, Byren. Determined to prove his loyalty, Byren races across the path of the advancing army, towards the Abbey. Somehow, he must get there in time to convince the Abbot to send his warriors to defend the castle. Meanwhile, the youngest of King Rolen’s sons, Fyn, has barely begun his training as an Abbey mystic, but he wakes in cold sweat hunted by dreams of betrayal...

"The Uncrowned King is a valuable addition to the series and shows a great broadening of the initial storyline, where Byren, Piro and Fyn all think that they are left alone and that the rest of their family is dead. The setting up the three remaining family members with their own adventures and perils is very interesting and will allow, I hope, for a climactic standoff. Just as with The King’s Bastard, this book is definitely recommended."

Published: 2010

The Never Pages by Graham Thomas

The Never Pages is a very odd book to behold – there's no blurb on the back, no author announced on the front and it actually looks like an old journal. It tells us the story of Mr G____, a Dream Investigator who is travelling through the Never Realm in order to find his lover Lucy and answers from a mysterious man called Brekker. When you begin reading, that is all you know. Mr G____ is an Investigator, and as such approaches everything in a very methodical and detailed way, taking note of every single thing in his journal. This can, at first, be quite distancing – everything is presented in a very clinical way. Slowly details about Mr G____'s journey emerge, and as he grows as a character you begin to like him more and more, until his journey becomes your own.

"As you can probably tell from my gushing words, I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading, and the first few chapters can take a little while to settle into if you question the what/why/how too much, but once you let go of these conventional storytelling techniques, The Never Pages can take you on a most fantastic journey."

Published: 2010

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson: Book 5)

I think this is a fantastic series, and would recommend to anybody who enjoys Jim Butcher, Kelly Armstrong and Laurell K Hamilton to name just a few as it definitely stands up better than a lot of similar series in this genre.

Published: 2010

The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss (The Adventure of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle)

This is not a book for children. It looks like a children's book. It has pictures. It has a saccharine-sweet title. The main characters are a little girl and her teddy bear. But all of that is just protective coloration. The truth is, this is a book for adults with a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of old-school faerie tales. There are three separate endings to the book. Depending on where you stop, you are left with an entirely different story. One ending is sweet, another is horrible. The last one is the true ending, the one with teeth in it. The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle is a dark twist on the classic children's picture-book. I think of it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline, with some Edward Gorey mixed in. Simply said: This is not a book for children.

"Though possibly not strictly a fantasy book, Patrick Rothfuss’s The Adventures of the Princess and Mr Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed is definitely worthy of comment here. Not only because Patrick Rothfuss is author of one of the better fantasy novels, but also because the book has … a … castle." Joshua S Hill, Fantasy Book Review

Published: 2010

Diamond Eyes by AA Bell

Diamond Eyes is a fantastic read, one that I think will appeal to a lot of sci-fi and fantasy readers. It is a book that has a bit of everything, and at times it tries a little too hard, but I have to applaud it for taking a risk and trying to push boundaries. This is a great start, and I have high expectations for the rest of the trilogy.

Published: 2010

The Truth of Valour by Tanya Huff (A Confederation Novel #5)

Former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is attempting to build a new life with salvage operator Craig Ryder on his ship, the Promise. Turns out civilian life is a lot rougher than she'd imagined-salvage operators are losing both cargo and lives to pirates. And when they attack the Promise, Craig is taken prisoner and Torin is left for dead. When Torin finds out why the pirates needed Craig, she calls in the Marines to get him back-and to stop the pirates from changing the balance of power in known space.

"I found The Truth of Valour to be an interesting novel as without the military structure that we are used to from the previous novels there was a danger than Torin would lose the parts of her character that made her so unique, like her total belief that she will succeed, as failing isn’t an option. I can’t wait to see if Torin will ever have a normal life, but I can’t wait for every adventure between then and now."

Published: 2010

Lightborn by Alison Sinclair (Darkborn Trilogy: Book 2)

The Darkborn aristocracy has rejected magic in favour of science, leaving Lady Telmaine Hearne torn. She must hide her own powers - while calling upon them to protect the Archduke against a magical enemy. On the other side of sunrise, the Lightborn depend on magic for survival. In the courts of the Lightborn, the assassin Floria White Hand is one of the prince's most trusted guards. When the prince dies in darkness, Floria falls under suspicion and she must flee to the Darkborn for protection.

"I think this is the first time in my book reviewing career when the second volume of a trilogy has received precisely the same mark as the first, but in terms of quality this makes sense. Just as the first book would’ve received a much higher rating were it not for Sinclair’s skating over the issue of a sightless society, so would Lightborn but for the sheer density of material and lack of quieter moments. That being said, for a series to maintain this sort of standard over two volumes is an incredible achievement (I freely admit I am hard to please), and as before, when I finish writing this I’ll be diving straight onto volume three, looking forward to a rich and epic conclusion."

Published: 2010