This week, Michael Popple reviews three excellent new fantasy novels. You can find more of Michael’s book reviews on his blog: unseenlibrary.com
The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold
Fletch Phillips is a man for hire in a world recently bereft of magic. For a fee, he will do anything requested of him, including trying to find a missing vampire. His one condition, he only works for former magical creatures, because it is his fault that magic no longer exists. However, as he searches through Sunder City, he learns that even without magic, monsters still exist.
This fantasy mystery is an outstanding debut from Australian actor/author Luke Arnold. Featuring an awesome story, a unique and clever setting and a complex protagonist, this first-rate novel is highly recommended.
Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian
Pan Macmillan, $18.99
For years, the brutal Kalovaxians held Princess Theodosia of Astrea captive in her own country; now she leads an army against them. Wielding potent magic, and with loyal friends at her back, Theo has a chance to free her people. However, the Kalovaxians have a new ruler, Cress, Theo’s former friend whom she betrayed. Cress is seeking vengeance, and all of Astrea will feel her wrath.
Thisis the final book in the Ash Queen trilogy of young adult fantasy novels. Sebastian serves up an amazing and emotional conclusion to this great series with an exciting and gripping read.
Highfire by Eoin Colfer
Jo Fletcher, $32.99
Vern is the last of the dragons. Hiding out in the Louisiana swamps, all he wants is peace, vodka and a good cable connection. But his quiet life is ruined when local swamp teen, Squib, comes into his life. Squib becomes Vern’s link to the outside world and a grudging friendship forms. However, Squib is being hunted by the corrupt Constable Regence Hooke, whose capacity for violence knows no bounds.
This is a hilarious and compelling adult fantasy novel from the author of the Artemis Fowl books. It is extremely entertaining and has an original premise that is so much fun to read.
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