Night's Master
by Tanith Lee
243pp (Mass Market Paperback)
My Rating: 8.5/10
Amazon Rating: 4.4/5
LibraryThing Rating: 3.94/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.19/5
 

Tanith Lee was an extraordinarily accomplished writer: a prolific author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror for both adults and young adults; a two-time recipient of the World Fantasy Award for her short fiction; a winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement; a Grand Master of Horror; the first woman to win a British Fantasy Award for Best Novel; and a finalist for numerous prestigious awards. Sadly, many of her renowned books have been difficult to find in recent years; however, DAW books has begun republishing several of these including her Tales from the Flat Earth series beginning with Night’s Master, a World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Award nominee first published nearly forty years ago.

In her introduction to Night’s Master, Lee describes its ambiance as “Arabian-Nights-Meets-Every-Myth-Under-the-Sun.” It is an unusually structured novel comprised of three books with two parts containing three stories each. The two parts in each book are at least loosely connected, and the three stories in each part tend to be more closely connected even though they may not always continue to follow the same character. Despite being a collection of somewhat disparate tales, the end does tie into the first book, and the overarching sub-stories within the novel are connected through the titular character: Azhrarn Prince of Demons, who has a role in each.

As such, it’s not a novel with a clear cut plot or a central main character (though prominent throughout the entire book, the tales are not generally focused on Azhrarn). These stories are fairy-tale-like, filled with sorcerers and magic, kings and queens, priests and priestesses, quests and bargains, and recurring instances of threes and sevens. The characters and their goals are rather straightforward, and not all stories end happily: sometimes perseverance is rewarded, but other times the endings are bittersweet or tragic.

Azhrarn and the other demons reside in the Underearth, but they often visit the Flat Earth while the sun is down to make mischief among the mortals. In Book One, Azhrarn takes on the form of a bird and flies over the earth until his curiosity is piqued by the sound of crying. He discovers a woman, distressed because she is dying and leaving behind her newborn son—although, she may be a little relieved to pass on after Azhrarn shows up and angers her by Immortalsplaining how she should be glad to leave behind the cruel existence of which she speaks and spare her own child the misery of living. However, her son is spared because Azhrarn, struck by his beauty, decides to bring him to his kingdom in Underearth. Once the boy is grown, Azhrarn promises him his love and bestows upon him gifts: the name ‘Sivesh,’ the ability to understand the languages of demons and men, superior skill with the bow and the sword, and protection from death by almost anything—except water, over which the Prince of Demons has no power. The only catch is that if Sivesh ever becomes Azhrarn’s enemy, he will destroy him, as demons are wont to do.

The finely-crafted, beautiful language and the promise of meddling god-like characters drew me in immediately, and I loved Book One. The first part does end rather predictably, but it’s still enchanting due to precisely how it unfolds and the aforementioned gorgeous prose style. The second part of Book One, about a necklace forged from the tears of a flower-born woman Azhrarn created just for Sivesh and the havoc it wreaks among mortals, follows a more original path and is just as captivating (although I could have done without the one or two paragraphs of dwarf/spider sex—yes, you read that correctly).

Book Two begins with a king who fancies himself a god until Azhrarn decides to disabuse him of that notion, but it mainly follows his thirteenth daughter, Zorayas. She’s a gentle girl until three tribulations (warning at the end about these trials for those who may want spoilers*) cause her to turn to the darker arts and she becomes vengeful and dangerous. This book is titled “Tricksters,” and though I preferred Book One overall, I quite liked reading about various characters trying to out-maneuver others: the tale of Azhrarn and the king, Zorayas’ rise to power and cleverness when facing Azhrarn, and the story of Zorayas vying with a man in possession of a giant cache of diamonds.

The third and final book was my least favorite, although it had the advantage of containing the most character development since Azhrarn shows more depth and proves he can be more than a mere troublemaker (but never fear if you’re a fan of devilry—he still manages to cause plenty of destruction!). Azhrarn sets his sights on a lovely mortal woman but makes her life hell after she refuses him three times, and in the process, causes a far bigger problem than he intended…

The biggest technical problem with Night’s Master, in my opinion, is that Lee didn’t seem to trust readers to draw obvious conclusions. She repeated information that had already stood out as important when it was mentioned the first time, and she also spelled out aspects that were quite clear. Perhaps this is just the storytelling style, but I found it jarring since there were several explanations so completely unnecessary that they seemed odd.

Considering it’s not a book with in-depth character development, I was surprised by how thoroughly I enjoyed reading Night’s Master. It’s dark with rich prose, absorbing stories, and tales of trickery, and it features a recurring character who contained more dimension than expected at first glance. Though not without its flaws, I loved it and look forward to more Tales from Flat Earth.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Where I got my reading copy: I purchased it.

This book is March’s selection from a poll on Patreon.

* Warning for anyone who wants spoilers about the more traumatic of these tribulations:
The first of these trials is being abused for her scars and disfigurement and the final one is rape.

 

The Burning Page, the third book in Genevieve Cogman’s delightful Invisible Library series, is currently available in both the US and the UK. The first installment, The Invisible Library, is an incredibly fun adventure which introduces Irene, a spy/thief who gathers rare books from alternate worlds for an organization existing outside time and space simply called the Library. As entertaining as I found it, I enjoyed the second novel, The Masked City, even more due to its plot revolving around the power of language and stories and Irene herself. Although I still prefer the previous book since the earlier part of The Burning Page meanders a bit, I still found it well worth reading and was glad it returned to some of the dangling threads hanging after the end of The Invisible Library—and I can’t wait for the release of the next book, The Lost Plot, later this year!

At the end of The Masked City, Irene successfully rescued her assistant Kai, a dragon prince, after he was taken captive by Fae planning to sell him to the highest bidder. Though most considered preventing war between the Fae and the dragons to be an admirable feat, the Library refused to overlook the fact that she shirked her duties as Librarian-in-Residence in order to save her charge and the world(s). Since then, Irene has been put on probation indefinitely, and she and Kai have been given particularly dangerous assignments—such as stealing a rare book from a totalitarian republic.

On this particular mission, Irene and Kai follow the usual method of escape by returning to the nearest library after procuring the book. However, activating the gate to the Library does not work as expected: instead of opening to the Library, the door and its frame burst into flames. Irene is bewildered and concerned that no one warned her about this potential issue, but with the National Guard at their heels, there’s no time to waste so Kai, as a dragon, brings them back to their resident world.

After a quick trip to the Library to drop off the book and send a message about the gate issue to her superior, Irene can’t wait to go home and recover from her arduous adventure; however, this is not to be. Before she reaches her residence, she runs into an old friend who warns of rumors that someone is trying to kill Irene, and this certainly appears to be the case when she returns to her residence to find it teeming with giant, hairy, venomous spiders. On her way to report these new developments to her superior the next morning, Irene sees a message threatening the destruction of the Library and Librarians that can only be from the infamous Alberich himself. Once she arrives at the Library, she learns that the former-Librarian-turned-traitor has indeed demanded its surrender to him—and since the organization refused to comply with his order, Librarians have encountered damaged Library gates, been assaulted, and even been murdered.

The Invisible Library series is tailor-made for bibliophiles, especially those fond of genre fiction, and The Burning Page had much of what I’ve come to appreciate about these books. It’s immensely entertaining, and I continue to love Irene and her third person narrative voice: she’s practical, analytical, and competent, and she handles the absurd situations in which she constantly finds herself with aplomb. This book improved on the last by having more scenes with Irene and Kai working together, but I didn’t think it worked quite as well as the previous novel overall since it wasn’t as thematically focused and the first half was rather disjointed.

Perhaps I was just too impatient to find out what happened with Alberich, but it seemed quite scattered before he entered the picture since it briefly addresses several different characters’ situations. As a result of events in The Masked City, Kai is still traumatized by his captivity and near-brush with enslavement (and I assume the ease with which he, a dragon, was kidnapped is why he seems to have become so overprotective) and Vale is suffering the after-effects of visiting a highly chaotic world. It also reintroduces Zayanna and a couple characters from the Library and includes a scene in which Vale and Irene consider their relationship before the focus turns more toward the threat of Alberich.

Though much of what happens prior to that point is fun to read, it becomes much more compelling once Alberich becomes more prominent. In my opinion, he is the highlight of The Burning Page—or rather, his interactions with Irene are. Alberich has no qualms about murder and is absolutely evil, yet he can sound downright reasonable to the point where Irene can almost forget what he is when discussing his ideology. He believes the Library should use their power to influence other worlds instead of remaining neutral, and he still thinks that Irene, as someone who is not a “good Librarian” but someone who is “good at being a Librarian,” could be a great asset to his cause. Theirs is the type of antagonistic relationship I like: one in which the two have strong differences yet can have fun when facing off and challenging each other, and Alberich can recognize that Irene is uniquely capable, intelligent, and different from most other Librarians.

In this installment, I think it’s especially noticeable that Irene is The Heroine: although even the other characters besides Alberich have seemed to view her as being special in some way in previous books, it seems like there are even more characters who seem fixated on her in some way in this novel. In some books, I’d find this to be over the top, but I think it works here for multiple reasons. First of all, in a book about books it makes sense that the main protagonist is clearly central. Second, and most important, I can understand why the other characters would gravitate toward Irene: she’s a practical, analytical quick thinker who is extraordinarily difficult to unnerve, and I like her quite a bit myself. Third, despite having many wonderful qualities, she’s not perfect. Irene has doubts and fears even while showing a brave face to the world, and though she does a lot right, she also makes a rather major error in judgment in The Burning Page. Fourth, though skilled, she doesn’t solve every problem by herself.

That last point is a feature of The Burning Page that I quite liked: reading about Kai and Irene working together as a team. Both their missions involve going to orderly worlds that resist changes to reality made through the Language, and though Irene does still use it, sometimes she relies on Kai’s dragon senses to figure out how to best use it in their specific situation and environment (and his dragon abilities do save the day on more than one occasion!).

Though I did prefer the previous volume, The Burning Page is an engaging novel with some memorable events, especially toward the end. It also plants some rather intriguing seeds for later books when Alberich gives Irene cause to question an aspect of her background that she’s always taken for granted. I’m excited to learn more and follow Irene’s next adventure in The Lost Plot this winter!

My Rating: 8/10

Where I got my reading copy: I purchased it.

Read an Excerpt from The Burning Page

Other Reviews of The Burning Page:

Reviews of Previous Books in the Invisible Library Series:

  1. The Invisible Library
  2. The Masked City

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week–old or new, bought or received for review consideration (usually unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

Last week brought two books in the mail plus two book purchases (well, technically, three, but since I’m going to be reviewing the third soon I’m not going to feature it here). All of these books sound amazing, but first, here’s last week’s post in case you missed it:

  • Review of Gilded Cage by Vic James (I thought had a great beginning and ending but a lot of slow parts, and it was just interesting enough—and short enough—that I finished reading it)

Now, the books of the week!

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Callie Bates’ debut novel will be released on June 27 (hardcover, ebook). Paste has an excerpt from The Waking Land.

This was one of those fun surprises—a book I knew nothing about before it showed up but now really want to read! As an added bonus, I love the cover, and the comparison to Uprooted certainly didn’t hurt when it came to piquing my curiosity either!

 

In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

Shadowfire by Tanith Lee

Shadowfire (Birthgrave Trilogy #2) by Tanith Lee

The second book in Tanith Lee’s Birthgrave Trilogy was re-released in mass market paperback and ebook in fall 2015. The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Shadowfire (link below the cover image).

I purchased the first book around the time it was reprinted and figured I should complete the set!

 

Turek was raised as an orphan nomad, until one grim night when he learns of his heritage. He discovers he is the son of the last woman of a superior race long thought dead – a woman who once dishonored his warrior king father. Intent on revenge, Turek takes his father’s name, Vazkor, and embarks on a journey to find his mother – and murder her.

Rediscover this realm of brilliant cruel beauty and seductive immortal ruins, of savage war and grand conquest, of falling stars and silver gods—with this 40th anniversary edition of legendary fantastist Tanith Lee’s Birthgrave Trilogy.

Hunting the White Witch by Tanith Lee

Hunting the White Witch (Birthgrave Trilogy #3) by Tanith Lee

The third book in Tanith Lee’s Birthgrave Trilogy was released in mass market paperback and ebook in early 2016. The publisher’s website has an excerpt from Hunting the White Witch (below the cover image).

Although I haven’t yet read the first book in the trilogy, I wanted to make sure to get a copy since I’d wanted to read these books years ago when they were difficult to find!

 

Vazkor, who assumed the name of the warrior father he had never known, seeks his mother, a survivor of the hated Old Race known as the White Witch. He has sworn to kill her, to avenge his father and all the humans who had suffered at the hands of the Old Race. But as he searches, his own powers—his fearful heritage—grow. Can Vazkor rid the world once and for all of his own creator?

Hunting the White Witch is the concluding volume of the Birthgrave Trilogy. Rediscover this realm of brilliant cruel beauty and seductive immortal ruins, of savage war and grand conquest, of falling stars and silver gods—with these 40th anniversary editions of legendary fantastist Tanith Lee’s debut book series.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence

The first book in the Book of the Ancestor series will be released on April 4 (hardcover, ebook). Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature shows an excerpt from Red Sister.

I’ve seen the main protagonist in this compared to Arya Stark, who is one of my favorite characters from A Song of Ice and Fire, plus a “secretive order of holy warriors” sounds like fun!

 

The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors…

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.

A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family—and new enemies.
 
Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself.

Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.

Vic James originally released Gilded Cage under the title Slavedays via Wattpad, where it won a Wattie Award for the distinction of being one of the most discussed books of the year in 2014. Earlier this year, Gilded Cage was published by Pan MacMillan in the UK and Del Rey in the US, and two more books in the Dark Gifts trilogy will follow: Tarnished City in September 2017 and Bright Ruin in June 2018. As a dystopia set in an alternate version of Great Britain, Gilded Cage is built upon the familiar theme of fighting oppression in the name of justice and equality for all people. Personally, I felt it was rather generic—especially considering it is slow with too many characters, many of whom are quite bland—but it does have some strengths setting it apart from other similar books.

In the world of the Gilded Cage, a small percentage of the population has a gift known as Skill (basically, magic) that changed the course of history in Great Britain, making it a nation ruled by people calling themselves Equals. In the 1600s, a man with Skill overthrew the monarchy by killing King Charles the First (and Last) and destroying the palace. His son, Cadmus Parva-Jardine, is remembered as a peace-bringer who erected the Parliament of Equals building using nothing but his Skill and became the first Chancellor. This revolution also led to the Slavedays Compact, which requires each common citizen to spend a decade of their life as a slave, allowing the powerful Equals to dedicate themselves completely to governing.

Though the Equals in their awesome magnanimity* permit citizens to choose approximately when to commit ten years of their life to service, there are benefits of choosing to do so sooner rather than later. Only those who have served are considered full citizens, and only full citizens are granted permission to own their own homes or travel internationally, among holding other rights.

It’s also possible for entire families to opt to complete their slavedays together as long as all children are at least ten years of age, and the three eldest members of the Hadleys decide the family will begin theirs soon after the youngest child’s tenth birthday. Eighteen-year-old Abi has arranged for them to attend the Jardines themselves on their estate: a rare opportunity that is far preferable to spending a decade laboring in a slavetown. However, when the first day of their ten years of servitude arrives, the paperwork only includes four of the five members of the family. The Jardines could not find a job for sixteen-year-old Luke and reassigned him to a slavetown, even though minors are not supposed to be separated from their families even during their slavedays—and his parents and adult sister quickly learn they are powerless in the face of this situation since they now officially have no human rights whatsoever for the next ten years.

After centuries of enduring this mistreatment, many are growing tired of the Equals’ reign and are beginning to dream of changing the system. In the slavetown, Luke finds and joins a group working against the unjust rule of the Equals. Meanwhile, the youngest—and most powerful—of the Jardines convinces the Chancellor to propose abolition to the Parliament of Equals in return for a favor, and he just may be on the cusp of revolutionizing the country one way or another…

The Dark Gifts series has promise given the strong ending of the first installment, but Gilded Cage as a whole is incredibly uneven. The prologue, which introduced the three Jardine siblings from the perspective of a slave attempting escape, piqued my curiosity enough to keep me reading, but there were several times after that point I considered leaving the book unfinished and may have done just that had it not been a fairly short book. Much of the middle of the novel is dull: it’s slow paced with lots of exposition shoehorned into bland text and dialogue. It also follows a lot of characters given its length—even the one in a coma has a point of view chapter—and though a few of them have some interesting qualities, it fails to make them fully three dimensional personalities.

The large number of characters is both a weakness and the novel’s biggest strength. Perhaps fewer characters would have made room to flesh each of them out a little more; however, expanding the cast beyond the underdogs who want to change the system to those who are actually unlikable also provided the more fascinating characters (even if parts of their narratives were still leisurely). Gavar, the Jardine heir, is a horrible person, but his point of view gives him more depth by adding insight into his childhood that shows why he’s so fiercely protective of his daughter. His betrothed, Bouda, is an ambitious woman whose family rose to their position through merit rather than birth, unlike the present-day Jardines. Though she despises Gavar, she believes their marriage will help her achieve her goal: becoming the first woman to hold the title Chancellor. Most intriguing of all is Silyen, who is so powerful that even other Equals don’t understand his abilities with Skill—but what makes him so compelling is that he seems to be steps ahead of everyone else, and his plans and motivations are mysterious. He seems to be working toward dismantling the system when he bargains with the Chancellor in the second chapter, but what isn’t he telling the Chancellor about his reasons? Is it just the cold, calculating curiosity that seems to be part of his nature—or is it something else?

By contrast, Luke and Abi are not particularly multi-faceted, especially the former. Luke has the basic character arc one expects in a dystopia: a brave person who realizes the world is unjust and joins the revolution. I found his chapters rather boring until his life is shaken up toward the end of the book. His sister Abi at least has a few character traits—she’s an intelligent, competent young woman who enjoys romance novels—but until she makes a bold choice toward the end, she’s rather dull, too. The more engaging parts of her chapters revolve around other people, and I quickly became tired of reading about her crush on Jenner Jardine that begins the moment she first lays eyes on him. Even setting aside the obvious problem of the Jardines’ enslavement of Abi (an issue of which she is aware when she first notices him), their budding romance has no spark. The time during which Abi works for Jenner and realizes that he, as the only Equal without Skill, is different from the rest is not shown: it goes straight from her realization that he’s handsome to her realization that she likes him as a person. Although it does show them together after that, they don’t have any chemistry then, either, despite some moments that seem to be trying to depict romantic tension between them.

Gilded Cage did have some strengths with its compelling opening and ending, plus a few engaging characters. However, it lost my attention several times throughout due to some slow pacing, unnecessary filler, unexciting relationships between characters, bland dialogue, and mostly unremarkable prose. It was just interesting enough (and short enough) for me to finish the book, but it was not quite interesting enough to make me want to read the sequel, even though it did end on a high note.

My Rating: 5/10

Where I got my reading copy: Finished copy from the publisher.

*Sarcasm

Read an Excerpt from Gilded Cage

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week–old or new, bought or received for review consideration (usually unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This covers the last two weeks since only one book came in the mail during the first of those weeks. Before the latest books, here are the posts that have gone up since the last one of these features in case you missed any of them:

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by Laurie Forest

Laurie Forest’s young adult fantasy debut novel will be released on May 2 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt from The Black Witch.

 

A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa’s heir—but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the University, which admits all manner of peoples—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of her people—is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

Spymaster by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes

Spymaster (The Dragon Corsairs #1) by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes

This fantasy novel will be released on March 21 (hardcover, ebook). Tor.com has an excerpt from Spymaster.

 

A bold new swashbuckling fantasy adventure set in the land of the exciting Dragon Brigade trilogy.

Politics, court intrigue, and piracy combine in this gripping fantasy adventure. On a world already riven by the ancient hatred between the Rosian and Freyan empires, privateers of each nation have long preyed on the ships of the other. What few realize is that a sinister cabal controlled by a rogue dragon is not only behind this piracy, but is organizing criminal enterprises all over the world.

As one privateer and her dragon corsairs try to keep their enterprise afloat, they are caught up in a conspiracy hatched by the cabal . . . and threatened by a mysterious magic crafter who works in the shadows.

Freya, in turmoil because of the accidental death of the heir to the throne, is also deeply in debt. Sir Henry Wallace, their master spy, is charged with replenishing the treasury by inviting dragons from Travia to make Freya their home—a decision that will have disastrous consequences for everyone involved.

In a riveting novel of pulse-pounding suspense, the ruthless conspiracy of humans and dragons plots against Sir Henry and the Dragon Corsairs.. And waiting in the wings, planning to throw everything in turmoil, is a young man known as Prince Tom, who claims to be Freya’s true and rightful king.

Mythomorphia by Kerby Rosanes

Mythomorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge by Kerby Rosanes

This adult coloring book will be available on April 11. Although I tend to cover fiction here, I couldn’t resist featuring this one after flipping through it—it has some rather compelling artwork!

 

Fans of adult coloring books will love the intricate, imaginative illustrations of Kerby Rosanes, the artist behind the Sketchy Stories blog.

The fantastically detailed style fans have come to know and love through his previous New York Times bestselling coloring books—Animorphia and Imagimorphia—is back, and just as awesomely-complex as before. Dragons, unicorns, griffins and other mythical creatures morph and explode into astounding detail. Bring each imagination-bending image to life with color and find the objects hidden throughout the book.

Additional Book(s):

Since the beginning of 2016, I have been reading and reviewing one book a month based on the results of a poll on PatreonAll of these monthly reviews can be viewed here.

When looking through the books I’d read so far this year, I noticed that all the books I’d read were set on our world or an alternate version of it so I decided to make high fantasy the theme for March. The most recent of the March choices was published in 2010, and the oldest was first published in 1978.

The March book selections were as follows:

The March book is…

Night's Master by Tanith Lee
Night’s Master by Tanith Lee

NIGHT’S MASTER is the first book of the stunning arabesque high fantasy series “Tales from the Flat Earth,” which, in the manner of “The One Thousand and One Nights,” portrays an ancient world in mythic grandeur via connected tales.

Long time ago when the Earth was Flat, beautiful indifferent Gods lived in the airy Upperearth realm above, curious passionate demons lived in the exotic Underearth realm below, and mortals were relegated to exist in the middle. Azhrarn, Lord of the Demons and the Darkness, was the one who ruled the Night, and many mortal lives were changed because of his cruel whimsy. And yet, Azhrarn held inside his demon heart a profound mystery which would change the very fabric of the Flat Earth forever…

Come within this ancient world of brilliant darkness and beauty, of glittering palaces and wondrous elegant beings, of cruel passions and undying love.

Discover the exotic wonder that is the Flat Earth.

I’ve wanted to read this series for awhile so I’m looking forward to it! (Also, the first three books in this series are no longer out of print with the next two soon to follow. DAW recently re-released this book, Death’s Master, and Delusion’s Master, and Delirium’s Mistress and Night’s Sorceries will be coming in April and May, respectively!)