Low fantasy or intrusion fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction where magical events intrude on an otherwise normal world. It thus contrasts with high fantasy stories, which take place in fictional worlds with their own sets of rules and physical laws.
Intrusion fantasy places relatively less emphasis on typical elements associated with fantasy, setting a narrative in realistic environments with elements of the fantastical. Sometimes there are just enough fantastical elements to make ambiguous the boundary between what is real and what is purely psychological or supernatural. The word “low” refers to the level of prominence of traditional fantasy elements within the work, and is not any sort of remark on the work’s quality.
An alternative definition, common in role-playing games, rests on the story and characters being more realistic and less mythic in scope. This can mean that some works, for example Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series, can be high fantasy according to the first definition but low fantasy according to the second, while with other works, such as the TV series Supernatural, the opposite is true.
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
About the book
The Girl in the Tower is the second book in the Winternight Trilogy series and follows the first book. As the first, the book is divided in parts, four this time. The first part is dedicates to Vasja’s sister, Ol’ga and brother, Saša who are in Moscow. Here we come to know about Ol’ga’s life since she left her father’s household to become the princess of Sepurchov.
We learn that villages are attacked and that three girls are kidnapped in each village. Saša, who is a warrior monk leave Moscow with the Great Prince Dmitrji to stop these attacks and it is in a monastery close to one of the attacked villages that he meets Vasja once again. Continue reading “The Girl in the Tower”
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.
About the book
The Bear and the Nightingale is a book set in the cold Russia of the 14th century where a patriarchal society still reigns. We follow the story of a landowning family, who, despite the high social level, suffers from hunger in winter. Their home is located in a northern village where winter lasts 7 months and is well hidden in the forest.
The family is made up of the father, Petr, mother, Marina and 4 children and the story begins with the father returning home and his wife gives him the news of being pregnant for the fifth time. Her nanny tells her that pregnancy will kill her because she is too weak, but the woman wants baby because the girl “will be like her.” Some time later the baby is born and named Vasilisa, Vasja for the family, but unfortunately the woman dies.
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for.
About the book
Nahri, lives in Egypt in the 18th century and survives with thefts and scams against the wealthiest and French soldiers. In addition to this, she practices exorcisms and it is one of these that goes wrong and that makes the story begin. She also helps people to heal, because she is able to “feel” a disease, and learn languages easily. Above all, she speaks a language that she has never studied and which is not spoken in Egypt, so she believes to be the language of her ancestors. In fact, she is an orphan and doesn’t know her origins. One evening, after one of her exorcisms, the girl is attacked by an Ifrit who has taken possession of the girl to whom she has practised the exorcism. She is saved by Dara, who then reveals that she is the one who invoked him and that she is a “half human, half djinn” of an ancient family of healers now extinct. Dara explains why these Ifrits are trying to kill her and to protect her he must take her to the City of Brass.
"Give me Harry Potter," said Voldemort's voice, "and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded."
As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves, and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy...
About the book
Last book of the Harry Potter series (I know, it’s not technically the last, but technically it is so I won’t read anything else from the author). Last book in which the author can shed light on the various mysteries narrated in 7 books. So, first I will talk in general about the book and then I will go into detail about the series indicating “spoiler” from that point on, for the few who haven’t read the series yet and don’t want to know anything.
We are at the end of the sixth year, we are finally at the point when Harry turns 17 and therefore, according to the magic law, he isn’t a minor anymore and from that moment on he can use magic even if not in school. Also, from then on, for various reasons, Harry is no longer protected from his mother’s sacrifice and therefore Voldemort can kill him if he leaves his maternal aunt. The order of the Phoenix does everything to make this detachment as painless as possible but will it succeed? Meanwhile Bill, Ron’s brother, gets married but the reception is ruined, forcing Harry, Hermione and Ron to flee. Will Harry survive?
When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort’s darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny...
About the book
Sixth and penultimate book in the most widely read series in the world, or so I’ve heard. I liked this book more than the last one but there is something that made me give 4 stars instead of 5.
We are back to school, everyone finally believes Harry, the minister of magic has changed (thank goodness, even if the new one isn’t better) and Dumbledore is increasingly mysterious.
Our three protagonists (I would say four because I like Neville) received their O.W.Ls. and must choose which courses to attend in the sixth year. Harry thinks he can’t become an Auror because his score in potion isn’t excellent, but as soon as he arrives at school he discovers that Snape is no longer the potions teacher (he has finally become a teacher in Defence against the dark arts) and therefore the new teacher accepts students with his grade.
Obviously he doesn’t have the books and therefore the teacher lends a book which he will later discover to have belonged to the half-blood prince. But who is this prince?
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.