there's always room for one more…


urban fantasy

The House of Binding Thorns: darkly delicious

Book cover: The House of Binding Thorns - Aliette de Bodard (silver thorns on a blue background)As one House falls, another rises. Notre Dame stands in ruins, while House Hawthorn seeks unlikely alliance with the dragon kingdom to reign supreme in Paris. But there are many who would like to see Asmodeus fall in well-earned ruin. Whose loyalties can be counted on in a House built on bloody rebellion?

Continue reading “The House of Binding Thorns: darkly delicious”

A Gathering of Shadows: an excess of squee

Book cover: A Gathering of Shadows - V E Schwab (a woman with thigh boots and two knives silhouetted above a street map against a red background)Kell Maresh and Lila Bard saved the worlds and went their separate ways. Kell has been confined to keep his royal brother safe; Lila has finally gone to sea to find herself (and scare sensible men witless). But the triennial Essen Tasch lures the world’s best sorcerers back to London – and a girl from Grey London has a few tricks up her sleeve she’d like to try…  Continue reading “A Gathering of Shadows: an excess of squee”

A Darker Shade of Magic: welcome to London

Book cover: A Darker Shade of Magic - V E Schwab (silhouette of someone in a fabulously billowy cloak in black and red)London: one name, three cities in three very different worlds, each with more magic than the last. Only two men hold the power to cross between worlds, and one is about to unwittingly put them all at risk. Because there was once a fourth London – and its magic tires of being sealed away…

Continue reading “A Darker Shade of Magic: welcome to London”

Bite-size Books: Witches of Lychford

Book cover: Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell (3 silhouettes walking down a misty avenue, in sepia tones)A sleepy Cotswold town faces an existential threat: a major supermarket wishes to open on the outskirts. But this is more than just a vexing question of planning permission that will set neighbour against neighbour. This is a threat to the very fabric of reality. At least, that’s what Judith says.

I must not read this as a Brexit metaphor

A Little Knowledge: long is the way and hard

Book cover: A Little Knowledge - Emma NewmanCathy and Sam have more influence than they would ever have dreamed of (or asked for), but they face violent opposition with unreliable allies. Can they reshape the Split Worlds, or are their self-imposed missions doomed to fail?

Be careful what you wish for

All Is Fair (in the battle for hearts and minds)

Book cover: All Is Fair - Emma Newman (text treatment)As the new Duchess of Londinium recovers from the Rosa attack, she is faced with a fresh threat from the Agency. Working with Max the Arbiter, she realises just how dangerous an enemy she has made. But Max has bigger fish to fry – the Sorcerers of Albion are going to war…

Be careful what you wish for

Be careful what you wish for (All is Fair 4)

And I thought last week was tricky to summarise without spoilers. Much is resolved in this action-packed finale. But are we on the edge of exciting new developments or will the powers behind the status quo crush all hope of a freer future?

All the things are happening now…

In which I repeatedly shout whaaaaaaat (All is Fair 3)

It’s all go this week – all the simmering plots boil over at once as Cathy persuades Max to hunt down the missing members of the book club; Margritte realises she may not have the stomach to take revenge; and Sam gets the biggest surprise of anyone. Over half way through the third book it seems a little redundant to say this, but: expect spoilers.

All the things are happening now…

Curses, coups and completely inappropriate shipping (All is Fair 2)

Just when you think you’ve got the hang of the game, the curtains are flung open and you realise the players aren’t even sat at the same board. This week is full of surprises as Oxenford takes centre stage, the Sorcerers go to war, and Sam finally finds out Leanne’s secrets…

All the things are happening now…

Just when you think it can’t get creepier (All is Fair 1)

The Duchy of Londinium is back in the hands of an Iris. The Tulipas fan the flames of an ancient enmity. Cathy finds herself at a new disadvantage with a Curse, her own emotions and the outrageous suggestions of a gung-ho Gargoyle to contend with. And the Agency get creepier and creepier by the moment…

All the things are happening now…

Any Other Name: never trust a Rosa

Book cover: Any Other Name - Emma NewmanCathy has been outmanoeuvred by her family and pushed into a marriage with Will Reticulata-Iris. He’s hardly enthusiastic about the idea, but his healthy fear of Lord Iris means he must win her over – in spite the allure of the seductive Amelia Alba-Rosa White – and make a play for the Dukedom of London…

Continue reading “Any Other Name: never trust a Rosa”

Half-off Ragnarok (but look on the bright side)

Book cover: Half-off RagnarokThe third instalment of Seanan McGuire’s Incryptid series moves the action to a new location and introduces Alex, Verity Price’s older brother. Smart, quiet and Devoted To Science, he’s as well trained as his little sisters – which is just as well given what’s about to go down in Columbus, Ohio…

Shockingly spoiler-free

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