High fantasy or epic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, defined either by the epic nature of its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, or plot. The term “high fantasy” was coined by Lloyd Alexander in a 1971 essay, “High Fantasy and Heroic Romance” (originally given at the New England Round Table of Children’s Librarians in October 1969).
High fantasy is set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than the “real” or “primary” world. This secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world. By contrast, low fantasy is characterised by being set in the primary or real world, or a rational and familiar fictional world with the inclusion of magical elements.
The romances of William Morris, such as The Well at the World’s End, set in an imaginary medieval world, are sometimes regarded as the first examples of high fantasy. The works of J. R. R. Tolkien—especially The Lord of the Rings—are regarded as archetypal works of high fantasy. Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is another example of a high fantasy series.
Many high fantasy stories are told from the viewpoint of one main hero. Often, much of the plot revolves around their heritage or mysterious nature. In many novels the hero is an orphan or unusual sibling, often with an extraordinary talent for magic or combat. They begin the story young, if not as an actual child. In other works the hero is a completely developed individual with a unique character and spirit.
The hero often begins as a childlike figure, but matures rapidly, experiencing a considerable gain in fighting/problem-solving abilities along the way. The plot of the story often depicts the hero’s fight against the evil forces as a bildungsroman.
The progress of the story leads to the character’s learning the nature of the unknown forces against them, that they constitute a force with great power and malevolence.
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
About the book
A Torch Against the Night is the second volume in the series entitled An Ember in the Ashes. It begins where the first book ended with the escape of Laia and Elias from Blackcliff. The two will find themselves hunted by enemies as they try to reach Kauf’s prison to free Laia’s brother. On the way they will meet friends and enemies who will help them in their adventure.
The story is developed through different points of view and the most interesting in my opinion is Elias’. But Helene’s is also not bad.
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
About the book
A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book in the Sarah J. Maas’ series, A Court of Roses and Thorns. It is the final chapter, although there will be other books after this. We returned to the Spring Court after the events of the previous book and Feyre is weaving her plot to bring down Tamlin and the King of Hybern.
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
About the book
An Ember in the Ashes is the first book in Sabaa Tahir’s quadrilogy with the same title. We are in a fantasy world where the Empire conquered and subdued the Scholars, people who were once very educated, but who are now forbidden from learning to read. Among these is our protagonist Laia (whom I called Laila until the middle of the book…) who lives with her grandparents and her older brother. One night she discovers her brother coming home late and asks for explanations. In fact, she discovered one of his drawings on which weapons of a place forbidden to him are represented. Shortly after, a Mask, soldiers of the empire with their faces covered, enters the house and kills the grandparents and arrest the brother. Laia manages to escape also thanks to the mask that tells her to run away.
Laia knows about the Resistance, a group of rebels who oppose the regime and search for them to help her free her brother because it is their fault if her brother has been found. And from here begins her adventure in the academy of Blackcliff where masks are trained. In fact, the leader of the rebels, after discovering that she is the daughter of their old leaders, decides to help her, but first she has to go on a mission to spy on the Commandant.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
About the book
Primodia is a world divided in eight kingdoms, four are Rhythms Kingdoms and four Season Kingdoms. The two types differ by the seasons, cyclic in the rhythms kingdoms and perpetual in the season kingdoms. The first are Yakim, Ventralli, Cordell e Paisly (hope they have these names in English, too) and it is easy to understand the season kingdoms names: Spring, Summer, Fall (or Autumn? Don’t know the English version, we have only one name for fall, not two!) and Winter. The last one, 16 years ago was conquered by Spring, enslaving its population and destroying the locket, power of the Winter’s magic. A group of refugees escaped and made the Raina Plains their home, plains that no one wants, and they are searching for the two pieces of the magical locket to restore magic and free the other Winterians, enslaved in Spring and forced to work for the King.
Primodia is a magical reign, but the access to that magic disappeared and what is left are magical “objects” that each king or queen owns. Moreover, four kingdoms are actually “queendoms” because only women can use magic and four are “kingdoms” because only men can use magic. Winter is a matriarchal reign but the Queen gave birth to a boy, prince, now king, Mather so only his daughter will be able, in the future, to use magic.
Centuries ago the Elemental Dragons shaped the land of Sabrié. The mortal races that now live in this world have however forgotten the creatures that allowed their birth and the Dragons now live only in legends. The Alastrine gang operates in Roas, one of the largest human cities that populate Sabrié: a handful of mercenaries commanded by a woman, who tries to give help to those who need it most. Trebor, a boy who has just arrived in that city, finds himself in the gang and, among fabric merchants, slave sellers and traitors, he will discover the many facets of the world that until then had ignored and the many secrets hidden inside Alastrine. But above all, he will discover that legends are no longer such.
About the book
First of all there is no English translation for this book. Them, if you read the synopsis of the book you may think that the book is about dragons right from the start, but it isn’t. Dragons and their legends attracted me to the book and I wanted to read it for this reason. But dragons appear only after the middle of the book (or rather at the end).
The book is about a gang of teenagers who steal from the rich to give to the poor (more or less) however it is a gang of mercenaries but that does good for humanity. We follow some missions of the gang, such as being bodyguards of a cloth merchant, or the liberation of girls kidnapped by a slaver, but nothing of dragons and I find it really upsetting.
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.