Hello again, dear readers. The past couple of months have not been especially prolific on the AWW reviewing front, but some reading and reviewing got done, so let me tell you about the books that caught our readers these past two months.

emperor eight islandsLian Hearn was the most popular author reviewed, with Carolyn reading the first book in the feudal Japanese fantasy series, Tale of Shikanoko: The Emperor of the Eight Islands. To make things neat, Jennifer Cameron-Smith made her way through books 2 to 4 of the same series: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child, Lord of the Darkwood, and The Tengu’s Game of Go. Jennifer enjoyed the series so much that she plans to re-read it soon.

Juliet Marillier was the second most popular author with her latest book, Den of Wolves, the conclusion to the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy, garnering three reviews. Tien @Tien’s Blurb also included an interview with the author in the same post as her review, worth checking out if you’re interested. Elizabeth Fitzgerald also enjoyed the conclusion to the trilogy, saying, “It didn’t let me down, though it also didn’t go quite where I expected.”

Den-of-Wolves-Blackthorn-Grim-3-Juliet-MarillierKeri Arthur received a couple of reviews for books from different series. Eleni Konstantine reviewed Darkness Rising, the second book in Dark Angels series, which is set in the Riley Jensen universe and which she enjoyed. Elizabeth Fitzgerald reviewed Flameout, the third in the Souls of Fire series, which unfortunately she didn’t enjoy as much as she hoped.

Another series which got a bit of attention these past two months was Sharon M Johnston’s Open Heart books, which Cassandra Page has been making her way through. She enjoyed the first book, Divided, enough to re-read it before moving onto the second book, Shattered. She concludes her second review with the following suggestion:

if you want a fast-paced Aussie urban fantasy/sci-fi with kissing and a supernatural mystery, why not give the Open Heart series a try?

troubles-keeper-mayThe Troubles Keeper by Susan May also picked up a couple of reviews from Brenda and Tracey Carpe Librum. Both note that it’s a mix of genres — thriller, crime, paranormal, horror, mystery — and enjoyed it, but didn’t love it.
And then there were quite a few authors that got one review each:

  • The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer was reviewed by Lou Murphy, who enjoyed it enough to write:
  • Falconer writes with authority, fiercely navigating unconventional terrain to uncover a conspiracy of mammoth proportions. An instant page-turner that maintains its frenzied pace to the last.

  • Sleeping Dragon by Rinelle Grey is the first in the Dragon Echoes series which, I gather, is set in the same world as the Dragon Ruins series. Having made her way through the first Australian urban fantasy series, Brenda is now enjoying the second.
  • theWizardryofJewishWomen-SWInnocence Lost by Patty Jansen got a look in, with Brenda reviewing and enjoying this first short novel in the For Queen and Country fantasy series.
  • The Wizardry of Jewish Women by Gillian Polack was reviewed by Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who called it a complex work of literary fantasy. She also notes that it’s her favourite of the author’s works so far.


Tsana Dolichva is a Ditmar Award-nominated book blogger who has been reading and enjoying Australian speculative fiction for as long as she can remember. She blogs her book reviews over at the creatively titled Tsana’s Reads. Along with Holly Kench, she edited Defying Doomsday, an anthology showing that people with disabilities and chronic illnesses also have stories to tell, even when the world is ending. In her spare time she is an astrophysicist.