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Robert Batten

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author

Tag: fantasy

Recommendation: The Phantom Forest
Cover of The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin

Note: I received an advance copy of The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin to review. However, I had already pre-ordered it and have attempted to be unbiased in my review.

The Phantom Forest is a supernatural story set in a complex world of blended cultures. It takes place in Khronasa: a small spiritual nation without modern technology conquered by a post-industrial empire. The narrative follows Seicha, a young woman who lost her parents during the invasion and has since raised her younger brother. She’s resolute and resourceful, but also naïve. Seicha’s story is epic, though to describe much of her experiences here would be spoileriffic. What I will say is that events pit her not just against the invading empire, but the very underworld itself.

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Recommendation: Children of Blood and Bone

My audiobook this month has been Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi and narrated by Bahni Turpin. The novel is a fantasy that draws on African culture to give us a beautiful new world to explore, full of beautifully realized people and places. It tells us the story of Zélie Adebola, a young Diviner whose birthright was to become a powerful magi — until magic inexplicably left the world. Read the official synopsis:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Everything about this novel is captivating. The characters are deep and complex, the world is detailed, and the plot sings. This is further enhanced in the audiobook by Bahni Turpin’s narration, which is flawless. Children of Blood and Bone has already earned a lot of hype and been optioned for a motion picture, so you’ve likely heard the title before. If you haven’t read it, I recommend picking up a copy.

You can add it on Goodreads here or order it from Amazon here.

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