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Great First Books in the Series for Fantasy Lovers

August 5, 2016 at 2:48 PM by Cathy Polovina

The Runelords by David Farland

Runelords’ hero is the prince of Rofehaven, Gaborn Val Orden,  who is known as a Runelord; an inheritor of the history of the kingdom and the secret behind the magic of endowments.  Magic here is more than a fanciful trope —it is integral to the workings of the story. The fact that characters can bestow specific endowments upon one another is the essence of the mythology of the world Farland creates. Just as Gaborn wins the princess Iome of neighboring Castle Sylvarresta, he must face off with a force that threatens an apocalypse. Devious Raj Ahten, who has bought or coerced endowments of all kinds through glamour,  is determined to take over the land as the Sum of All Men.  Enter the wizard Binnesman, who represents a natural, earth magic and who offers Gaborn  a new weapon in the  war of magic for the kingdom. The storyline is intricate and lively, the magic is intriguing, and the villain is really evil.  The next title is Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Libromancer by Jim C. Hines     

In Hines’ Magic Ex Libris series, libromancy is the ability to bring the words on the pages of a book to life.  Librarian Isaac Vainio loves science fiction, so his conjuring often holds an extra jolt of imaginative power.  In temporary exile from the  Porters, an elite organization of book sorcerers begun in the 15th century and relegated to cataloging books at a  Michigan library, Isaac uncovers a vampire conspiracy to destroy all Libromancers.  He realizes different books describe different rules for combating vampires, but when  faced with fanged attackers, he manages to call forth a deadly disruptor pistol from a space adventure and escape the library.  After brushing up on his libromancy skills, our hero sets out with his dryad companion Lena and his pet fire-spider Smudge to vanquish the vampire plot and to rescue their leader, none other than Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of moveable type and the lord of books.  The writing is witty and the story is action packed, a real treat for urban fantasy fans and lovers of books.  Codex Born is next in the series.

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

Conan the Barbarian meets Sam Spade might describe this genre bending fantasy whodunit  that introduces a sword wielding, but world weary private eye in a never-land of sorcery, magic dwarfs, and femme fatales. Eddie LaCrosse may sound  like Humphrey Bogart, but he must deal with more capricious circumstances than Bogey when his old friend, King Philip of Arentia, employs his help to solve the murder of his young son—a crime in which his queen is implicated.  As in an epic fantasy, Eddie begins a heroic quest to solve a murder , to save a princess, and to restore peace to the kingdom. But as in a noir thriller, Eddie’s real obstacles are his own demons and in the course of his adventures, he is forced by an actual demon to  relive the past in order to redeem his future.  Turns out he’s a fast talker and a mean monster slayer. In The Sword-Edged Blonde, the first of five adventures so far, hard-boiled mystery blends wittily with the mythical/mystical elements of fantasy that makes for a real pulp epic.