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.
In his fortress at Inuyama, the murderous warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.
Brought up in a remote village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people, Takeo has learned only the ways of peace. Why, then, does he possess the deadly skills that make him so valuable to the sinister Tribe? These supernatural powers will lead him to his violent destiny within the walls of Inuyama – and to an impossible longing for a girl who can never be his. His journey is one of revenge and treachery, beauty and magic, and the passion of first love.
About the book
Across the Nightingale Floor is first of all a Fantasy. The author bases her world on medieval Japan, but being a fantasy, it’s not historically accurate. In fact, this is not the author’s intent. I want to clarify this because many have not understood the author’s intent at all and if you read this book because it talks about Japan, the premises are wrong and therefore you cannot be angry about a wrong representation of the country.
That said, the book is Takeo’s coming-of-age story, a little boy who, one day, is deprived of his family and village. He is saved by the noble Otori who will take him with him to his house and adopt him.
The story, however, is also of Kaede, a noble hostage of a noble, Iida, who (Kaede) will have to deal with the will of the lords of the time and act as a pawn in the war between the two clans (Otori and Thoan, Iida’s clan).
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
About the book
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is the first book in The Cursebreakers trilogy. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and therefore is somewhat a fairytale-like Young Adult. We are in Washington, DC, where Harper lives with her brother and mother, sick with cancer. While she is helping her brother (involved in petty criminal acts due to their father leaving them in debt), she sees a man kidnap a girl. To save her, Harper attempts to hit the man, but suddenly finds herself in a new world that she doesn’t recognise. The man is Gray, the Commander of the Emberfall royal family, a world parallel to ours. The prince is Rhen and he is the beast of the “fairy tale” but he is a particular beast because he becomes a monster only at the end of the autumn season, when the girl he kidnapped from the other world, doesn’t fall in love with him.
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.
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.