Some of the Top Fantasy Books of Spring 2019
Every day, subscribers to Hidden Gems get to pick and choose FREE books from over 15 different genres, including the ever-popular Fantasy category. We’ve checked back on some of the top Fantasy books we’ve shared with subscribers this spring, and here are some of the ‘Hidden Gems’ that our readers loved.
The City of Veils by S. Usher Evans
S. Usher Evans’ fantasy series Princess Vigilante has been described as “YA Fantasy meets Batman” and that’s a pretty apt description. Instead of a playboy millionaire, we have a dashing princess who ran away from her royal duties to roam the streets of her capital instead – as masked vigilante The Veil. But where does crime-fighting fit in, when Princess Brynna is suddenly expected to take the throne?
Top 50 Reviewer H. Bala describes the book as “Batgirl in fantasyland” and writes: “I relished the scenes of a disguised Brynna patrolling the streets, shaking down her informants, beating up on the occasional ne’er-do-wells. I appreciate how calculated she is, that she keeps replenished her stash of weapons and gadgets, that she maintains a string of underworld contacts, that she keeps a finger on the pulse of the city. As she mentions: ‘This may come as a surprise to you, but as good as I am at hand-to-hand, I can’t exactly fight off a group of people. So I employ little cheats. Use the element of surprise. Anything I can do to keep myself one step ahead of them and still save the day.’ Very Batman-y.”
In her 5-star review, Energy Rae praises our plucky princess heroine, writing: “Fantastic! As Brynna’s character evolved, I grew to really like her. She’s strong, assertive, and funny and makes for a perfect leading lady. Her desire to protect the city is commendable, and it speaks of her strength. Evans is a fantastic writer, and she’s created a superb storyline in The City of Veils. Forcadel and the surrounding areas are creatively imagined, even down to the layout and shops, you get a vivid picture of the world that Brynna lives in. Her attitude shines through in her dealings, and I think it will help her in the long run. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of the Princess Vigilante series.”
Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon
The first book in Janell Rhiannon’s Homeric Chronicles takes us back thousands of years into the past, and the epic dawn of history that the great storyteller Homer wrote about in The Illiad and Odyssey. Different to many historical fantasy tales, however, this is very much a viewpoint with a feminine perspective – with the author writing: “The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women. Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes all whisper to us across time… praying they be remembered alongside the mighty men of myth.”
Reviewer Stephanie headlined her appraisal “Beautiful writing!” and wrote: “One of my favorite things about this book was the beautiful writing. I absolutely loved it. I’ve always been a sucker for beautiful writing but in Song of Sacrifice is really stands out. So if you, just like me, love this in a book then I’d highly recommend you to pick this one up! Another thing what makes this an excellent read is the fact that the story of the Trojan War is one of the most epic myths to ever be told. I can imagine it’s hard for any author to write and retell this legendary story but Janell Rhiannon more than pulls it off. Song of Sacrifice will always be one of my favorite books and I can’t wait to buy and read the next one.”
“Not your daddy’s Greek Mythology!” warns reviewer DavyD, in his 5-star review. He writes: “This book made me fall in love with Greek mythology all over again. Gods, goddesses, nymphs, kings, queens, seers, betrayal, love, tragedy, longing, this book has it all. Janell Rhiannon skillfully blends the historical chronicles of: Paris, Achilles, Hector and Odysseus in one stunning re-imagined very adult chronological tale. The reimagined telling of The Fall of Troy along with a detailed tour of what might have been going on in the minds of the women of these Greek mythological giants. The motivation, heart ache & revenge are a small part of what pulls you even deeper than the standard re-tellings. This author is a great storyteller and I immediately connected with the characters while immersing myself in the gorgeous world she has created rich with Greek folklore and mythology. I’m looking forward to the second installment. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Greek Gods. By Zeus’ Balls, read this!”
Astray by J F Rogers
The Ariboslia series by J F Rogers is a Christian fantasy series set in a distant, mythical land – replete with high adventure, supernatural creatures and a overall message of faith and hope.
Reviewer Guy L. Pace admits that he wasn’t the book’s intended audience, but it resonated with him regardless. In his review, he wrote: “J F Rogers wrote this book for young teen females, but I still dove in. It’s well written and well edited – good, well designed fantasy. Rogers does a creditable job of world building and character development. The story and character arcs are strong. The main character, Fallon, struggles with life and faith, due to being raised by a paternal grandmother who blames her for the loss of her son and husband. She is presented, throughout her journey and experiences in Ariboslia with opportunities to learn about God and understand faith. I enjoyed the read, and I’m interested in continuing the series as it comes out. Yeah, it’s written for young teen females and the clues are evident – but, I think it resonates beyond that.”
In her 5-star review, Joann Carter writes: “What I loved most about this book is that the main character was flawed, but she grew into an understanding that she is loved — by the one who created her, the one that knew her weaknesses and troubles. Second to that, it was a fun plot that brought in characters you don’t usually see in mainstream christian fiction, yet so tastefully done that I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to a younger reader who may not typically pick up a christian YA story. Thirdly, this story reminded me the importance of choosing your friends wisely. The main character’s best friend always believed in her, encouraged her, and wanted the best for her. That’s a huge gift, especially when you’re going through those rough teenage years!”
Trifles and Folly by Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin has earned quite the following with her Deadly Curiosities series, centered around the Charleston antique and curios shop of Cassidy Kincaide. Along with Sorren, a 500-year-old vampire, Cassidy is reluctantly tasked with destroying cursed objects that cross her path, and keeping Charleston safe from supernatural threats. Trifles and Folly brings together nine short story and novella-length adventures set in this shared universe, and each one is a page-turner.
Reviewer Diane Lych called this book: “an entertaining addition to the Deadly Curiosities series” and wrote: “I enjoy how the stories combine past and current history. The stories are clever and entertaining. They are well-written and exciting. Gail Z. Martin does a noteworthy job with her character development. Her characters have lots of depth and emotion. I recommend Trifles and Folly to people that enjoy urban fantasy mysteries.
Review DabOfDarkness calls the book “a fun collection of urban fantasy stories” and writes: “Cheating husbands, prematurely dead kids, and dark magic all play a part in these stories. One of my favorites dealt with the difference between Houdon and Voodoo. There’s also a mother-daughter team that sell hand woven baskets at the local market and there’s power in those baskets. Out of the Sorren stories, the first was my favorite because we get to know about Sorren’s origins and how things can still go horribly wrong even if you’re a powerful vampire.”
Trifles and Folly 2 by Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin’s second story collection featuring Cassidy Kincaide also makes our list of the top fantasy books. Returning us to the Trifles & Folly curios shop, this collection of novellas and short stories continues the lore of the Deadly Curiosities series.
Reviewer Susan S. is a fan of the author’s beautifully-imagined world, and in her 5-star review, writes: “I truly love reading about the people involved with Trifles & Folly – Cassidy, Teag, Sorren, and the rest. I also adore a well written ghost story. This collection also had some insight into the beginnings of the little antique store in Charleston. Truly excellent!”
“More adventures with Cassidy and Teag!” Andrea Laws writes. “Wow! An awesome collection of stories about the gang from Trifles and Follies. The bonus stories at the end was the icing on the cake. Always a great read, highly recommended.”
“Gail Z.Martin truly excels at supernatural fiction,” writes reviewer Salty Lady in her not-so-salty 5-star review. “This is a wonderful collection of stories which I truly enjoyed. They were full of spirits and evil things that go bump in the night. I wish that there were more of them because I finished way too soon!”