What Is Christian Fantasy?


This post was first written in May of 2004. I think it holds up pretty well. I made some minor edits, and fixed a couple of typos. Kudos to Phil Wade, of Brandywine Books; the link below hasn't decayed, even though it's to the old version of the blog.Phil at Brandywine Books has written several posts (most recently here) on the subject of "What is Christian Fiction?" My answer is that there are several things which can go by that name. The first is simply, "Fiction written to be … [Read more...]

A College of Magics, by Caroline Stevermer

The title of Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics makes it sound like yet another Harry Potter-inspired tale of gifted children, magical hijinks, and saving the world from He Whose Name In This Book We Do Not Yet Know, but in fact it is nothing of the kind.The tale is set in an alternate Europe, toward the end of the 19th century. There are railroads, and automobiles are not unheard of, but there are no airplanes and the First World War is not yet even a dream. There is magic, clearly, … [Read more...]

Power of Three, by Diana Wynne Jones


A boy, son of the chief of a clan living in a mound on an English moor of uncertain date, beginning to get his growth, and terribly full of himself, finds and kills his counterpart from an enemy tribe of water dwellers in order to steal the ornate golden torc from around his neck.  Along with the torc he receives his enemy's dying curse. His little sister is with him, and indeed inadvertently made it possible for him to find his enemy; and she resolves to undo the curse...and therein hangs the … [Read more...]

Three Parts Dead, by Max Gladstone

In Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone paints a picture of a fascinating world where gods are a commodity to be bought and sold, where "soulstuff" is the coin of the realm, and where knowledge of the Craft can be a key to immortality...of a sort.The city of Alt Coulumb came out of the God Wars with one of its gods intact, Kos the Everburning. In return for the worship of his people, Kos provides heat and steam power to the citizens of Alt Coulumb; he is also the hub of a vast network of power … [Read more...]

Mormons and Full Frontal Snogging — UPDATED

Now, with the relevant link.Leah Libresco discusses an article that asks, why is it that there are so many Mormons in genre fiction? Certainly there are, and they include some of my favorites, including Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson. (L.E. Modesitt is also a favorite, but although he lives in Utah and has written a couple of books that riff on Mormonism, I don't know whether he's a Mormon or not.) And then of course there's Stephenie Meyers' sparkly vampires. One conjecture the … [Read more...]

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

Rachel Griffin, youngest child of the Duke of Devon, has read (and memorized) almost every book in the family library. She's blessed with a perfect memory; anything she's seen or heard she can relive exactly as it was, and she's smart enough to take good advantage of it. She's also skilled at riding, whether on horse or broom. Now, a precocious thirteen year-old, she's heading to Roanoke Academy in New York there to stay, according to family tradition, in Dare Hall. Once there she'll learn … [Read more...]

Ghost Story

Ghost Story is the 13th novel in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, immediately following after Changes. I'm going to review it a little differently than usual.Usually when reviewing a book I give a little background, and then describe the setup; then I might make some general remarks; and then I say whether I liked it, and whether it's worth reading. And I don't do spoilers. The trouble with this book (and with the series in general) is that I can't even discuss the setup without giving you … [Read more...]

Dresden Files: Changes

Harry Dresden has a problem…and if I told you what it was, you'd have to kill me.Having revisited the first eleven novels in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, I grabbed the twelfth, Changes, eager to see if that last chapter was as disturbing as I'd been warned.Now, here's the problem. I want to tell you all about this book. I want to explain what's going on. There are many details to linger over. But I don't do spoilers. And in a long-running series like this, with long-running s … [Read more...]

The Dresden Files

Harry Dresden's a man of the dirty streets of Chicago, a tarnished knight who can't resist helping the next damsel in distress to come along. One of his enemies bought a burial plot and tombstone for him; it says, "Harry Dresden — He died doing what he thought was right," and in all likelihood that's a true prophecy. Oh, and he's a wizard-for-hire. Call it wizard-noir.There are currently fifteen volumes in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. I started reading when there were six or s … [Read more...]