Tag Archives: K.V. Johansen

BOOK REVIEW: The Lady by K.V. Johansen

REVIEW SUMMARY:The second half of Marakand (started in The Leopard) that is best read immediately after the first half


BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: The story of Marakand continues, as the grip of the titular Lady upon Marakand is challenged from within and without.

PROS: Fascinating world building; real epic storytelling feel to landscapes, characters, backstory and history; beautiful cover art.
CONS: The ungainly split makes for a rough singular reading experience in both volumes.
BOTTOM LINE: Deep, epic storytelling in a fascinating world that is marred by its split and format.

We crossed the river beds all etched in stone
And up the mighty mountains ever known
Beyond the valleys in the searing heat
Until we reached the caravanserai
–Loreena McKennitt, “Caravanserai”

There is a world in fantasy steeped in its history and myth. A world where the Old Gods have withdrawn, and seven devils, long ago imprisoned and bound, have sought to work their way free to dominate the world of local gods and Men. A world of cultures and societies inspired by Central Asia, the Russian Steppes, and Siberia. From the lost kingdom of Tipyur in the West, through to Nabban and the forest kingdoms over Malagru in the east. Along the trading highway, where the Malagru mountains meet the Pillars of the Sky, there is a great city. A city where three Gods once ruled, but now one, with a dark secret, is ascendant. A Goddess, The Lady, whose rule over the City, and the lands around, is challenged, even as she tightens her grip.

Come to Marakand.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Leopard by K.V. Johansen

REVIEW SUMMARY: Returning to the world of The Blackdog, Johansen crafts half of a story continuing the machinations of wizards, devils and Gods.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: At the trading city of Marakand, a Goddess’ move to build an Empire draws the attention of assassins, devils, and stranger folk.

PROS: Welcome return to a rich, diverse, secondary world fantasy that looks beyond the usual Western European models; gorgeous writing.
CONS: Pacing needs work; title of the book is misleading; feels like half of a story rather than a self-contained one.
BOTTOM LINE: While not without issues, this is a pleasing step back into a fantasy world and characters that beg for more exposure.

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Summer 2014 Fantasy Book Cover Smackdown! NIGHT SHIFTERS vs. THE LEOPARD vs. BAPTISM OF FIRE

It’s another Book Cover Smackdown! The theme this time around is fantasy books hitting shelves in June 2014.

Your mission should you decide to accept it: play art critic!

Tell us what grabs your attention! What appeals to you? What works and what doesn’t work? Do any of them spark your interest?

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