It’s that time again, time to cut more books. Some of these are with a very heavy heart since I enjoyed them a lot — my score for my finalist last year was a 7.7/10, and these books are 7.5/10s, meaning in another batch in another world, they could have been semifinalist or finalist material. Unfortunately, my batch was ridiculously strong this time around, so it’s time to cut some of them so I can announce my semifinalist.
Temple Knight by Paul J Bennett
I really like this, as you may have guessed this follows a Knight as an MC, she’s strong, determined, and a little older than her compatriots, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. This has a very readable prose style that lets you flow through the book without noticing you’re reading. There were enough details to paint a picture without overpowering the sentence and bogging it down. I felt that the characters were well developed and could appeal to those who like leadership MCs. There are great battle scenes and fight scenes and the pacing is on point. There’s a lot to enjoy here if you like old school sword and sorcery kinds of books.
Cold From the North by D.W. Ross
This is another book for old school Going on a Quest/Invasion kind of books. There’s an invading force that no one’s seen before and it’s crushing highly fortified cities like they’re nothing. MC and crew have to try and escape through treacherous mountains that many won’t survive. The magic has an old school feel to it, good old fireballs shooting out of mages hands kind of thing. Recommended for anyone who wants classic epic fantasy with a Nordic flavoring.
Fool’s Proof by Eva Sandor
I really enjoyed this comic fantasy, it managed to create depth that countered the humor which makes it worth picking up if you’re wary of comic fantasies being too absurd to connect with fully. I actually really connected with Elsebet and found myself rooting for her. The plot was quite serious with humorous trappings to make for a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended for Pratchett fans.
The Other Magic by Derrick Smythe
I enjoyed this entry a lot and that’s saying something as someone who in general doesn’t connect much with YA. I found the story and magic system compelling, the way the story came together at the end was satisfying, and by the end all of the characters had grown and developed quite a bit. The audiobook was the best in my batch, so it you enjoy audios def check this one out.
These all were super strong books and I hope you guys take a chance and pick some of them up if these reviews sound interesting to you!