Fantasy Worlds and Reader Assumptions

A few weeks ago I wrote about those times when there are just enough anachronisms or inaccuracies in a book’s worldbuilding to make it feel a little off. I was talking about a historical fantasy book in that case, but even in secondary worlds it’s jarring to have, say, people riding on horseback while shooting … Continue reading Fantasy Worlds and Reader Assumptions


Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

In Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, the Silver-blooded nobility possess magical powers; some can control water, others fire. Trampled under their feet are the Red-blooded commoners, with no powers to speak of. Mare Barrow is one such powerless Red - or, more accurately, she's a Red, but she's not powerless. When the king learns of her ability, … Continue reading Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

The Bone Season and The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon

In a world where clairvoyance is commonplace enough to be branded by the government as 'unnatural', and those gifted with it persecuted and executed, voyants band together in an organised syndicate. Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker, is the right-hand woman of one of the syndicate's mime-lords - that is, until she is kidnapped and enslaved for … Continue reading The Bone Season and The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon

The Falconer, by Elizabeth May

The Falconer is set in an alternate, steampunk-inspired version of Victorian Edinburgh, in which ornithopters and mechanical tea-making machines (Mrs Doyle from Father Ted would loathe this world!) are commonplace. After Aileana Kameron's mother is killed by a faery, she trains and hunts down faeries in the hopes of one day killing her mother's murderer … Continue reading The Falconer, by Elizabeth May