Rec: Silver in the Wood

Title: Silver in the Wood
Author: emilyenrose
Format: short story
Published/Free: free
Length: 19k
Status: complete 
Rating: Teen
Warnings: violence
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/12161433
Summary: It was the middle of an autumn downpour when Tobias first met Henry Silver. Midsummer had come and gone, and the wood was quiet.
Review: This is a beautifully written story about a grumpy woodsman and the lordling that finds him. It has elements of fairytale and folklore but is ultimately something of a redemption story. I only wish it was a hundred times longer. This is the first original fic of emilyenrose’s that I’ve read and if she maintains the same quality I am definitely looking forward to more. If you’re in the Dragon Age fandom, I’d also recommend her other works, By the Still Waters.

Rec: Silver in the Wood

Title: Silver in the Wood
Author: emilyenrose
Format: Novella
Published/Free: free, on ao3
Length: 19291 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Everyone (maybe Teen ?)
Warnings: None
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/12161433
Summary: It was the middle of an autumn downpour when Tobias first met Henry Silver. Midsummer had come and gone, and the wood was quiet.

Review: Very good and well written story with mythological/english folklore elements in a sort of victorian setting (this last characteristic isn’t very pronounced). Poetic and slighly melancholic story that still ends on a positive/hopeful note.

Rec: Spidersilk

Title: Spidersilk
Author: Pamela Kotila (Alakotila)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free. Two volumes available for purchase on Kickstarter
Length: 20 chapters and counting
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Torture in flashbacks, combative violence, and sexual references
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/Spidersilk
Summary: Prentice, a former soldier struggling with events a year before the story’s start, is introduced to a city’s criminal system by new friends. Attacks during his training reveal threads to a large trap for their system.

Review: Spidersilk is Social Fantasy. While the primary relationship is a sweet romance between a warrior-mage and a golden-hearted thief, the story follows other relationships, most notably friendships and chosen family. Because of the interwoven story lines, I feel as if the comic’s title is as descriptive of the story’s structure as the network of criminals accepted by the city.

The large cast can be hard to follow, especially when background characters are referred to by name. Original character designs makes remembering the big players easier. It’s obvious their creator cares about showing their unique identities.

One aspect I really appreciate about the cast is the mix of masculinity and femininity in the characters. After jumping in from a reading break, remembering the gender of the secondary characters can be a challenge but it ultimately doesn’t matter. They treat each other differently based on skill, affiliation, and attraction rather than on gender.

The characters are beautiful. All of them. I suspect every reader develops a crush on at least one character. It’s not only their pretty faces, lean bodies, lush hair, and intricately-drawn clothing; many of the characters have lovely personalities. Excepting the occasional racist guard and mysterious strangers attacking the city’s system, the characters are accepting, supportive, and interesting.

I wouldn’t mind living in their world.

There’s both beauty and humor. The physical humor is actually what first hooked me. This summoned creature called Ambassador is a big contributor. He seems to change size to loom threateningly or to offer up hugs. He has to share the funny moments with a guard llama (my favorite), an owl, and even clothing as an impromptu weapon.

That this comic is culturally rich is quickly apparent. While Prentice (and the reader) is introduced to the city of Kalviva. The clash and blend of cultures from outside the city adds to the rich tapestry of the world.

Speaking of, I wish for a faster-moving plot. That’s because I’m more action-oriented and more interested in the main couple than any of their friends and allies. More patient readers might delight in the time spent exploring the side relationships.

What many of us fans have in common is that we wait like spiders, ready to pounce on each new page.

Rec: ENTROPIA

Title: Entropia
Author: Ink-Mix Studio
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 5/10 chapters
Status: Wip
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Abuse, Violence
Link: https://tapastic.com/series/Entropia
Summary: Taavi is a hybrid slave that lives in a society divided by political and racial aspects. Living among the winged and being a victim of prejudice because of his impure blood, Taavi finds himself involved in a circle of conquest and defeat that fate reserved for him since the day he was born.

Review: Self-Rec. The story may be interesting for those who like medieval fantasy.

Otherworldly

Title: Otherworldly
Author: Becky Hopkins
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 156 pages as of this submission
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Alcohol use, mild sexual references, mild swearing, gambling
Link: http://otherworldly-comics.cfw.me/https://tapastic.com/series/Otherworldly
Summary: Otherworldly is the story of five twenty-somethings who’ve recently discovered they’re not human; they’re actually changelings, magical babies swapped for human ones, and at first they don’t even know what kind of Fair Folk (used as the general term for magical being here) they might be. While they’re helped along the way by two friendly fairy private detectives, they also start to run afoul of some shady characters in both the human world and the magical Otherworld, as they attempt to balance their lives in both and figure out who they are, not just what.

Review: As the creator of this comic, I don’t think I can offer a completely unbiased review, but I really do think this comic offers a reading experience that can appeal to all kinds of fantasy fans. LGBT+ identities aren’t the main focus at the moment, but several characters’ identities and queer relationships will be important as the story goes on. I’m trying to do something unique with all the mythological and fantastic elements I have at my disposal through an approach of equal parts comedy, action, and some quieter drama.

Happy reading!

Rec: Spidersilk

Title: Spidersilk
Author: Pamela Kotila (Alakotila) 
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 17 chapters and counting
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: The protagonist has been tortured
Linktapastic.com/series/Spidersilk
Summary: Prentice and his exiled brother, both former soldiers, are far from home, just trying to survive. Bored and more than a bit frustrated with senseless work at a local mercenary board, Prentice follows up on a mysterious lead and soon finds himself joining the Orbweavers. They’re thieves.

As it turns out, there are a lot of thieves in Kalviva. They’re confident, their system stable and secure. But the thieves are perhaps too sure of each other, of their system. They will be hard pressed to deal with the slowly surfacing storm.

Review: I found Spidersilk to be a wonderfully attractive comic, not just for its fun loving characters with distinct personalities, or the interesting story that keeps ‘weaving’ around (pun intended, you’ll understand), but also for the very well thought out and executed designs for characters, their clothing and accessories.

The author / artist for Spidersilk has a background in fashion design, which has been a valuable asset to the comic’s design, and honestly is one of the attractive features that keeps me coming back. There are some sexual situations in the comic, but not overly explicit, at least at the time of this review.

The story follows a friendly group of thieves on their misadventures through Kalviva, a city that apparently has enough value to support such a vast network of five finger discounters! The story starts off quick and gets us acquainted with two of the main characters, Prentice and Sohrab, right away. It’s friendship at first theft!

There is a nice balanced diversity in the characters, which I feel gives readers someone they can really attach to. Spidersilk is a LGBT friendly comic and has characters covering that spectrum in a natural sense. It just flows well and I dig that.

During the course of the story we see continuous development in character personalities, relationships, clothing and armor design (ohhh the armor!), and of course the story, which dives deeper and deeper into a vast hierarchy of guilds and the missions they carry out. Seriously though, the armor designs are awesome. It takes some serious thought and research to develop intricate things like this.

I don’t want to write a super long review to attract you to Spidersilk, but I do want to point out that in my long list of web comics I follow, I always look forward to its updates because it continues to get better all the time. It’s really fun watching an artist develop throughout a long project like this.

Rec: Beauty and the Beast

Title: Beauty and the Beast
Author: Teh Dante
Format: Short story
Published/Free: Free
Length: 798 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Abuse?, violence, humiliation, suicide
Link: https://www.fictionpress.com/s/2484876/1/Beauty-and-the-Beast
Summary: This short story is inspired by the plot of the beginning of the original work.

Review: A nice tragic one-shot. The grammar isn’t perfect but it’s okay. Although it is short, it does give food for thought (and maybe lets us imagine a sequel?)

Rec: Huntress

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Title: Huntress
Author: Malinda Lo
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Published
Length: 371 pages
Status: Completed
Rating: Teen
Warnings: slight mention of emotional/verbal abuse
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Huntress-Malinda-Lo/dp/B009CQ32KS/
Summary: Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

Review: I read Ash before and finished Huntress today and I don’t know why, but in the beginning both books were incredibly boring to me and both books had this point where I couldn’t stop reading anymore.
Huntress suddenly changed from easygoing to a fast-paced story filled with action. There are a lot of fights, a lot of intense moments and even some spine-chilling scenes. As one comes to know each character, they become more and more interesting – each of them having their own way of living and their own desires and ways of acting and thinking.

And thinking is what I’ve missed in the end. After their meeting with the Fairy Queen they don’t question her motives, they seem to greenly believe in her story and do as they’ve been told, without the desire to listen to the other party. Maybe I am too distrustful, for this is a fairy-tale where the Fairy Queen has to be pure, innocent, and always right. I don’t know.
And I missed some witty returns in this ‘last battle,’ but considering the fact that they didn’t seem happy with their choices, it was the right thing for these characters to do. A fortiori I loved the outcome and all those heavy thoughts they have afterwards. (When they start thinking about it 😉 )

I loved the quick pace of the story and all this action. The love story is really sweet and their resolution in the end is very grown-up. I was pretty disappointed when the story ended. Yes, I would have loved to read more about their future and about the choices they indicated.

As for order I have no recommendation which book to read first. There are a lot of details that are mentioned in Ash too. So maybe it would be nice to first read Huntress and then read Ash. I sometimes thought “That was mentioned in Ash! What a shame I can’t remember where and whether it’s exactly this story or whether it’s just alike.” But maybe it’s the same problem if you read them the other way round. And you don’t have to read both of them to know the story. The author writes at the beginning of Huntress, that it’s set in the same world but that Huntress takes places many centuries before and that there are significant cultural differences between these periods.

(Original Post)

Rec: Hiromasa and the Fairy King

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Title: Hiromasa and the Fairy King
Author: Pamela Kotila
Format: Novel (ebook)
Published/free: Published through Amazon Kindle
Length: 253 pages
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen+ (minor language)
Warnings: None
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019KUIZ34/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_jrYEwb1FW4SZX
Summary: No one wrote to the village asshole but his parents. One day, however, Hiromasa received a letter that demanded he find the letter-writer and fight their terrifying bodyguards to rescue a princess. The usual. 

Best of all? The idiot letter-writer left no clues to their identity or whereabouts, and gave Masa thirty-one days to find them. 

Masa and his chain-smoking ride must make their way through a forest filled with fairies, merfolk and more, none of which he imagined existed two weeks ago. Along the way, they are joined by a couple of elves and an outcast centaur. Masa’s people skills are strained as he goes, questioning himself and those he meets, especially those dodgy elves…. Where will he find time to worry about the demon parade or the Highland Fairies? Will Masa hold their shaky alliance together against the troubles in the forest? And if the journey doesn’t kill them, will they find the letter-writer before time runs out?

Review: I am submitting this myself, but a customer left this review on Amazon: “This is a delight for those who love fantasy novel. It has quirky, interesting characters and you really feel like you’re on a journey along with the protagonist. It has fresh ideas, action, humor, all in one.

I don’t usually read books, preferring comics, tv and movies, but this one kept me hooked the entire way. I had a really great time reading this!

I would recommend this book to any age group above 12.”

Rec: Never Say Thank You

Title: Never Say Thank You
Author: tygati
Format: Short Story
Published/Free:
Length: 7,753 word (+ 3 extras)
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Eh, abusive ex but nothing is overly graphic.
Link: https://www.fictionpress.com/s/2422843/1/Never_Say_Thank_You
Summary: When Conall hears his coworkers discussing a strange thief that sneaks into their houses and cleans everything, he knows it couldn’t possibly be what it sounds like. After all, Brownies are just fairytales… aren’t they?

Review: Never Say Thank You is a light, cute read about a Brownie! I’ve never seen Brownies in slash before so this story definitely had me fangirling to the extreme. The Brownie, Niven, is adorable and reading how he and Conall interact is adorable as well 🙂 I do wish this was a tad longer, so things could’ve developed a little slower but overall I was very satisfied and don’t regret reading it (well, if I did I wouldn’t be reccing it, eh?)

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