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Category / Fantasy


QBD Reviews: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

From Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the internationally bestselling Mistborn series, comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity's future.

What Our Readers Thought:

Typically a fantasy author, Sanderson's first sci-fi novel proves his credentials in this genre. Using a combination of mystery, intrigue, action and adversity, Sanderson weaves an exciting and engaging story that will leave you eager for more.

Cameron, Chatswood QBD

Branderson's most ambitious foray into YA yet! This breathtaking sci-fi novel tells the story of the human race clinging desperately to life, featuring a smart-talking sentient spaceship and a whole lot of action, this will leave you desperate for the next intsallment!

Jenna, Plenty Valley QBD

Having already proved his worth as a fantasy author both for his own creations and finishing the Wheel of Time series, Sanderson now proves he can write scifi too. Skyward is a story of following your dreams, overcoming your biases, and stepping out from the shadow of what people expect of you. Combined with masterfully crafted dogfights and his trademark twists, this is a book you cannot miss.

Matthew, Carousel QBD

QBD Reviews: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Step into a magical adventure.

Over the past few years, I’ve fallen in love with Kiersten White’s historical fiction and retellings. So when I heard that she would be doing an Arthurian retelling, I knew that I needed to read it. And I’m so glad that I did because The Guinevere Deception was fantastic.

The Guinevere Deception follows Guinevere as she arrives in Camelot to start her life as Arthur’s wife and Queen. But everything isn’t always what it seems. Guinevere isn’t just Arthur’s wife, but now also his protector. Her real identity is a secret, and she has to navigate court intrigue and all the attempts to save the city that many want to see fall. And it isn’t just humans that want Camelot, but magic as well. But what started as a job, might turn into something much more and Guinevere might end up doing just about everything to save Arthur and Camelot.

Guinevere was a really interesting protagonist and I loved her. For most of The Guinevere Deception, the reader is in the dark on a lot of things, including who Guinevere really is. And that is what made her character so intriguing. She was an unreliable narrator and I love seeing that. Because it gets the reader really think. We don’t know if the person that she is showing is anything like her true self. But as the novel goes on, the reader is slowly able to see who Guinevere truly is. I loved her feistiness and her willingness to protect Arthur and those she grew to love in Camelot.

I loved falling into the world of Kings and Queens. Of Knights and Magic. Of Camelot and King Arthur. It’s a magical journey that leaves the reader hanging with so many questions but also wants them begging for more. The Guinevere Deception is a series to watch out for, because you never know what is going to happen next.

Angelique, Broadmeadows QBD

QBD Reviews: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The magical new novel from the bestselling author of The Night Circus.

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds until he reaches a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.

What we thought:

This book is a sumptuous feast of a novel which you will want to take your time with.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is just a normal kind of boy who enjoys reading, computer games and well crafted cocktails, but when he finds a mysterious book in the university library his life is forever changed. Meeting a mysterious woman at a ball and finding a door into a hidden world, Zachary delves into a land of story under the earth, where bees and keys and cats and mysteries abound. Can he follow the story to the end, find the heart and be the hero? Or is that not what this story actually needs?

A book even better than The Night Circus, Morgenstern has outdone herself with The Starless Sea. You'll love it for it's prose and the sheer number of vignettes she has managed to weave in, which seem inconsequential at the time, but are deftly threaded into the central narrative as the story grows and grows. Anyone who loves the idea of an endless library (with endless glasses of champagne) will love diving into the Starless Sea. Take your time with it, you'll be bereft when it ends.

Shannon, Rockingham QBD

Explore the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree with Samantha Shannon!

The first book in a new series by Samantha Shannon has hit our shelves and we're in love! With a vibrant world full of dragons, empires and action, it is unputdownable!

We are excited to have Samantha available to take us on a private tour around the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree.

"The Priory of the Orange Tree is set in a world that is both like and unlike ours. One of the books I used to research it was The Time Travellers’ Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. In a similar vein, I’d like to help the unwary traveller orient themselves in the fractured world I’ve spent the last three years building.

In CE 1005, the Kingdom of Hróth is the only country in the region known as the North. Ruled by the House of Hraustr, which triumphed in the War of the Twelve Shields, it is a land of deep forests, magnificent glaciers, and snowbound plains. Among its exports are forest glass and sunstone. If luck is with you, you might catch a glimpse of its famous rainbow lights in the sky.

Sail across the frigid Ashen Sea and you will find the Queendom of Inys, which has been ruled by the House of Berethnet for over a thousand years. Sabran the Ninth sits on its throne. Inys is where the faith of the Virtues of Knighthood was founded, and all other countries in Virtudom owe religious fealty to it. It is said that while the Berethnet bloodline endures, the Nameless One – the enemy of humankind – can never return. Express even a hint of doubt in this belief, and you may be charged with heresy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon OUT NOW

Inys is the northernmost nation in the West. The other two countries in this region are the Free State of Mentendon and the Kingdom of Yscalin, both situated on the continent of Edin. Mentendon is sworn to Virtudom, but Yscalin has renounced the faith and pledged allegiance to the Nameless One. King Sigoso has not been seen in public for some time, but his daughter, the Donmata Marosa, continues to hold court in the forbidding Palace of Salvation.

Mentendon is ruled by the House of Lievelyn, a relatively young dynasty that took power from the Vatten family. Aubrecht the Second is its High Prince, and its heir apparent is the eldest of his sisters, Princess Ermuna.

Travel further into Edin and you will find yourself in the warm climes of the South. The Domain of Lasia – a land of lush forests and broad, crashing rivers – and is ruled by the House of Onjenyu, the oldest of the royal dynasties. Lasia is well-known for its exquisite sculptures and copper jewellery. Somewhere in the Lasian Basin lies the Priory of the Orange Tree . . . but you will find it on no map. 

East of Lasia is the Ersyr, a desert nation, rich in skystone. Except for the occasional oasis and the Wareda Valley, which abounds with roses, the country is dry. The Tablet of Rumelabar, which contains a riddle that alchemists have endeavoured to solve for centuries, was discovered in the Sarras Mountains. A small river, the Bratar, runs from these mountains and pours into the Sea of Carmentum. Glittering on the seabed are thousands of treasures from the former Republic of Carmentum, which collapsed during the Grief of Ages.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is available in store & online now.

To see the rest of the world, you’ll need to board a sturdy ship in Ostendeur or Drayasta and cross the dark sea called the Abyss, which teems with all manner of strange creatures. Greatsquid and baleens may bump against your ship in the dead of night. Sometimes, if you listen hard, you may hear a syren calling.

The Sepul Peninsula has been virtually lawless for centuries, with its former capital, Kawontay, overrun by pirates. However, it’s also the only place you’ll be able to disembark in the East without the authorities detaining you. To keep out the Draconic plague, the Empire of the Twelve Lakes and its closest neighbour, Seiiki, have closed their ports to all outsiders. Should you make it into Seiiki, be careful not to go astray in the Forest of the Wounded Bird, or to climb too high into the foothills of the merciless Mount Tego. Instead, consider waiting on the black sands of Cape Hisan until dusk, when thousands of tiny sea creatures light up the shore. 

In the Empire of the Twelve Lakes, prepare to be dazzled by snow-capped mountain ranges, flower-peppered meadows, and of course, the lakes themselves. Stand by one for long enough, and you may see a pair of horns break the surface – a water dragon, unfurling from the depths. "

Immerse yourself in The Priory of the Orange Tree today! Available in stores and online now.

QBD Reviews: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte 

Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Astrid Scholte's debut novel is an enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences. 

Keralie Corrington is a talented pickpocket. She steals for the black market in her quadrant. Her nation is divided into four regions, each strictly separated from the other. Four queens, one from each quadrant, rule as one.

When Keralie steals a particularly valuable item from a messenger, she discovers she's intercepted instructions to murder the queens. Hoping to find the culprit, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt. But with Keralie and Varin each keeping secrets, everything is at stake. And no one can be trusted in a world full of ruthless thieves, black markets, a golden palace, daring heists, royal intrigue, noble messengers, forbidden love, four queens - each with a secret, and, of course, murder.

Four Dead Queens is released on March 4th 2019. To pre-order Four Dead Queens click here.

 

What an impressive debut! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reading copy and upon seeing the cover and synopsis was instantly excited; devouring this wondrous story as fast as my eyes could take me. My imagination worked overtime attempting to create accurate images in my mind of the vastly different quadrants, all the while failing to truly grasp how these sectors are so geographically close together yet feel like they are from completely different worlds. I was taken from period costume with corsets and bonnets and a quadrant with no electricity to dermasuits and comm chips and technology so advanced it blew my mind! I was introduced to characters I immediately wanted to know more about and as the story progressed, was constantly surprised to discover new things about them I wouldn't have guessed.

This was a pretty cruise-y novel to begin with, an easy read that wrapped me up in the stunningly creative world Astrid has created until just past half way when the rugs started ripping out from under me with twists I never saw coming- much praise for an author who can still do that so successfully! I truly loved this book, a standing ovation from me as I (not so) patiently wait for Astrid's next masterpiece (please!)

~ Taegen , QBD Loganholme