Archive for best fantasy books
This third book in the Black Swan series centers on Baka’s tale. For those who have been following the series since the release of My Familiar Stranger, all the threads of the lover’s tale come together in this book. The series, in particular the book A Summoner’s Tale all have wonderful romance, of course plenty of adventure and most of all great characters. It is probably the characters of the Black Swan that make the series so enjoyable.
For anyone who has yet to read this series, Black Swan is a group dedicated to protecting humanity from the scourge of vampires. There is plenty of action and adventure in the series, but it truly shines in its stories of the relationships that are formed. Love is always in the driver’s seat and the journey is what the story is all about.
If you love a fantasy series with great characters, funny elements and serious drama, then I would suggest downloading your free copy of the first book in the series My Familiar Stranger. Once introduced you will jump at the chance to read more about Baka, Elora, Ram, Storm, Lithie and with A Summoner’s Tale the delicious Heaven.
Title: Angels’ Blood
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Angel’s Blood is the first installment in a new series called the ‘Guild Hunter series’ from paranormal romance guru Nalini Singh. Singh is widely known for her Psy/Changeling series that took the fantasy world to a whole different level. Also known as one of New York Times’ and USA Today’s bestselling author, Singh has now created a world of angels, vampires and vampire hunters that is bound to make a fan out of you.
The protagonist Elena Deveraux is an unusual twenty eight year-old. She has the innate ability to kick butt. With her kind of talents, she belongs at the Guild – an organization that contracts people like her to track down wayward vampires and return them to their masters.
The world that Singh has created is quite unique too. In this complex world angels are not the upright messengers of a holy God but just supernatural and immortal. Their origins are unknown to man, they are very secretive and they are the beings that rule over earth with the help of their minions/servants – vampires. It is quite interesting to read about powerful angels who are not just and good but just as corrupt and callous as us humans.
The oldest of these fallible angels become archangels – those that have absolute control and dominance over every being (angels, vampires, humans and everything else) in their geographic territory. Raphael is one such archangel who rules over New York where Elena lives. Elena is one of the best vampire hunters in town and she is contracted by her organization to do a job for Raphael.
Being a powerful archangel who has lived for millennia, Raphael is not used to anyone challenging his authority. And Elena is one such woman that cannot go against her will even if that means death for sure. So when the two of them actually meet, sparks fly! She is taken aback by Raphael’s unearthly beauty and power that is apparent with every move. And he is intrigued by this tiny human who seems so defiant to even such a fearsome being such as him.
This book is more than just a heart winning love story. The characters are quite unique and I loved the way Singh developed each of them. Raphael is so terrifying and cold that it’s hard to believe he is the hero of this book! And it seemed just natural that he is the way he is… jaded with extreme age and isolated by superior power, he rules with compassion for mankind but not for any one single life. Being responsible for millions of lives, taking out one little human who stood in his way is not a big deal for him.
With gruesome murders, a fast paced action, suspense and mystery, and an unusual love story – this book just about has everything fans would expect from a good paranormal romance or urban fantasy book. Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh is a fantastic start of a series and will keep you anxiously waiting for the next installment.
Title: Baker’s Dozen: a Fantasy Novel
Author: David J Thompson
Release Date: January 20, 2011
Genre: Urban Vampire
12 strangers from different realities are kidnapped and left stranded on am Earth were magic has supplanted technology and ancient empires have prospered for many centuries. Among some are a deadly assassin from the Canadian Armed Forces, a brilliant Irish trauma surgeon, a “nuclear winter” survivor, and a medical marvel whose augmented strength does little to compensate for his irreversible brain damage. Receiving the aid of an ancient wizard of the Ethermen, the group of 12 finds themselves battling fierce creatures and witnessing marvels beyond their imaginations. But their journey becomes more perilous when a necromancer plans to use them in his overthrow of Earth…by plunging their new home into eternal night. Their survival depends on trust…but will their past lives keep them from the one chance they have to find their way home? Find out in Baker’s Dozen.
Title: Heart of the Exiled
Author: Pati Nagle
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Genre: Urban Vampire
The Bitter Wars left a world divided. Now the ælven governors convene a Council at Glenhallow, while the savage kobalen gather in numbers not seen in five centuries. Vastly outnumbered, the ælven clans will send barely trained guardians to confront the kobalen, and a young female warrior, Eliani, will be entrusted with the most crucial mission of all: to reach distant Fireshore and learn why their governor has not responded to the call to war. Bound to her lover Turisan by the power of mindspeech, Eliani will feed vital information to the Ælven Council across vast distances. But Eliani cannot see the dark force watching from the Ebon Mountains. There, Shalár, the ruler of exiled Clan Darkshore, has given the mindless kobalen both power and a plan to cut off the ælven from their brave and gifted mindspeaker—and to reclaim for Shalár’s nearly extinct vampiric clan their ancestral land: Fireshore. But Shalár guards her secrets carefully, and even Eliani cannot know what terrible purpose lurks in the heart of the exiled in Heart of the Exiled.
Title: The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini (The Vampire Assassin Trilogy)
Author: Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Release Date: January 27, 2011
Genre: Urban Vampire
Venice in the early fifteenth century is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. Within the Serene Republic, their word is law, but for all their influence, Venice’s fate still lies in other hands . . .
Lady Giulietta is the Duke’s cousin. She enjoys greater privilege than many can even dream of, but her status will demand a terrible price.
Atilo Il Mauros is head of the Assassini, the shadow army that enforces Venice’s will – both at home and abroad.
Prince Leopold zum Bas Friedland is the bastard son of the German emperor and leader of the krieghund – the only force in Venice more feared than Atilo’s assassins.
And then there is Atilo’s angel-faced apprentice. Only a boy, Tycho is already stronger and faster than any man has a right to be. He can see in the dark, but sunlight burns him. It is said that he drinks blood.
Award-winning author Jon Courtenay Grimwood seamlessly blends history, politics and dark fantasy in a compelling vision of a Venice that might have been in The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini.
Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Karen Whiddon
Karen Whiddon spins a brilliant romance weaved with vampires, shape shifters and very human feelings of betrayal, broken spirits and hope in her tale of the Lone Wolf. The novel Lone Wolf is a part of the Harlequin Nocturne series of books and is sure to keep you glued to the plot.
Anton Beck, a wolf shape shifter serves as a Protector under his pack’s Council. He soon becomes weary and worn out serving under a corrupt Council and resolves to have nothing more to do with his pack. He goes to the Big Bend Mountains of Texas, the place where his beloved sister died, in search of respite from his life and to grieve his colossal loss. At the exact location where his sister died Anton is unexpectedly attacked; he is badly beaten and kidnapped by a bunch of ruffians.
There at the cave he’s taken to Anton meets his lover of the past and Juliet’s best friend Marika Tarus, a vampire huntress. He had been busy making love to Marika when his dear sibling was killed. Now all of those memories he had been running away from come gushing back. In addition, Marika reveals to him that they have a daughter called Dani and that she has been abducted while Marika herself was held prisoner for a few weeks now.
Biologically it is impossible for a shapeshifter and a vampire to reproduce at all! Dani was certainly a miracle child, a child he never knew he had. And even before he knew he had a daughter she was taken. Now its up to Anton and Marika to join forces, put aside their differences and hurt, and work together to bring back their daughter from whatever evil had taken her.
It turns out that an unconquerable and ancient vampire priestess had taken their little daughter in an effort to use her rare and miraculous powers to accomplish her wicked intents. The romance together with the action will have you rooting for Anton and Marika as they struggle to save their daughter and maybe even the world from whatever evil the vampire priestess has conjured in the Lone Wolf.
Title: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
This book is more than just your usual vampire romance. Avid vampire fans will appreciate the mixture of science gone mad with a little guts and glory. In The Passage, vampires don’t lurk in the night or appear from their ancestral castles to victimize the young unwary hottie living in town. No, these vampires are genetic mutants.
Created from a virus found in an Eastern European bat, the government decides to inject the worst of humanity with a new vaccine. The vaccine is intended to make invincible soldiers out of normal human beings. Of course, the government being what it is, the higher ups decide it’s best to inject and study the effects on a group of murderous death row inmates. As you can guess, the whole shebang goes awry and the rest of humanity pays the price. These “virals” as they’re called, can reproduce and from then on, it’s a battle between them and humanity.
If things aren’t bad enough the future is even grimmer. The reader is taken 90 years into the future and shown a world that’s in complete chaos. Nuclear power plants have suffered meltdowns and only sparsely scattered small groups of humans have survived. It’s now up to a handful of survivors called The Last Colony to save what’s left of the world.
The Last Colony is comprised of a few individuals who want to venture outside their narrow surroundings but have a problem: if the wind generated electricity fails, the lights will go out and they’ll be at the mercy of the virals. They’ll have to utilize their natural talents in order to survive the journey. But The Passage focuses on more than their attempts to travel to different environments; it also illustrates in sometimes horrific detail the devastating transformations subjected upon a world in flux.
The Passage is the first in a trilogy that will likely prove to be a great epic fantasy book series. Justin Cronin effortlessly blends science fiction and paranormal fantasy into a compelling and absorbing story.
These are not your daughter’s vampires.
Title: Ecstasy In Darkness
Author: Gena Showalter
Ecstasy in Darkness is the fifth book in the Alien Huntress series from the Newyork Times Bestselling author Gena Showalter. Her exceptional skill at creating characters that are not only funny and affable but also real immediately won me over. Her stories are not only entertaining but also memorable.
The book narrates the story of Ava Sans. Ava had learned to defend herself from a very young age. Well, she had to having spent a lot of time in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago. All is not in vain though, her tough manner and impressive fighting skills got her on the path to becoming an Alien Investigation and Removal agent.
Now all she has to do to become an agent is bring in a vampire with superior fighting skills, power and a face and body she cant keep her hands off of.
Victor McKell is our typical alpha male character. He comes from among the vampire royalty and is arrogant as much as he is sexy. Once a leader of the vampire armies, Victor is now rejected by his own kind. He sees humans merely as food and as that which is beneath him and his sort till the pretty little Ava with a big fat attitude barges in. The two much unprepared for each other are not only surprised but also infuriated and enamored by the other.
Victor and Ava resolve to help each other out. Ava is to help Victor catch vampires living on earth and he in return will answer questions and allow blood testing. As the two of them spend time working together, they find themselves drawn powerless into the other’s charm.
Gena adds more excitement and intriguing twists to the book with several other interesting characters, especially our villain – an alien Queen determined on infecting everyone with her deadly disease. Enjoy this short excerpt from Ecstasy in Darkness.
“And I thought you were rough. Those girls are…” Dallas Gutierrez shuddered. “What’s way worse than rough? ‘Cause that’s what they are.”
“What, exactly, are you trying to say?” … “And by the way, I’m not rough.”
“Perfect” ice blue eyes rolled. “You once kneed me in the balls and asked me how they tasted. Just to say hi. You’re rough.”
She had, hadn’t she? Memories were fun.