Tag Archives: club fantasci

Ender’s Game: Review by Club Fantasci

Ender's Game: Review by Club Fantasci
Club Fantasci met last weekend to discuss both the March Book of the Month – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. You can watch the discussion of co-hosts David Lowry, Dionne Lister, Kriss Morton and myself below.


You can find our full reviews of the books here on the Club Fantasci website.

April’s Book of the Month is The Glass Demon by Helen Grant and the Hangout will take place on April 26th at 7:30pm CST.

Review of ‘The Accidental Sorcerer’ by K.E. Mills



Welcome to Ottosland, a country with a vague British flavour, in a world that more or less resembles ours, except that alongside the telephone sits the crystal ball. This is a world of both magic and technology.

Gerald Dunwoody is a Third Grade wizard, graduate of a mere correspondence course in wizardry, and reduced to the level of inspector for a government department. When the blame for the destruction of Ottosland’s most prestigious staff factory falls on Gerald, he finds himself virtually unemployable.

At the enthusiastic insistence of his genius friend, Monk Markham, Gerald takes a job as advisor to the King of New Ottosland. Monk reasons that Gerald needs to get away from the debacle that is the destruction of Stuttley’s, and when he returns, not only will the uproar have died down, but Gerald will have ‘advisor to a king’ on his resume.

Reg, Gerald’s apparently sentient bird, is less enthusiastic. Potential employers need to be vetted, she says. Royalty can be dangerous. And what does a king want with a Third Grade wizard?

Against Reg’s objections, Gerald takes the job and they travel to New Ottosland, where they are greeted by Princess Melissande, the Prime Minister of New Ottosland. It quickly becomes clear things are not at all what they seem. The Privy Council has been sacked. Melissande, under-staffed and over-worked, is trying to do the work of the Council, the Prime Minister, and negotiate with a delegation from neighbouring Kallarap about tariffs the king refuses to pay. The kingdom is verging on bankruptcy.

And King Lional himself demands that Gerald impress him, or be sent on his way.

Sweating under pressure, Gerald somehow manages to turn Lional’s cat into a lion. A level 12 transmogrification spell? Impossible! Such a feat is beyond the skills of a mere Third Grade wizard. But what if Gerald isn’t a Third Grade Wizard anymore? What if the events at Stuttley’s have… changed him?

Completing the royal ensemble is Prince Rupert, more interested in his butterfly house than the running of a nearly bankrupt kingdom or royal politics. He is quite obviously mad, and yet Gerald has the sinking feeling that Rupert might be the saner of the two brothers when Lional announces that Gerald will be his secret weapon in the negotiations against Kallarap.

Adding a sinister feel to proceedings, it soon comes to light that Gerald’s five predecessors in the position of advisor to King Lional, all First Grade wizards, have not been seen since they supposedly left New Ottosland…

Why is Lional determined to provoke war against his neighbours? What happened to the missing wizards? And what does he want with Gerald?

The book is engaging and fast-paced, as well as humorous, though perhaps written more in a young adult style. If that bothers you, give the book a miss, but I found the story compelling and well-written. Though hardly the most competent wizard, Gerald draws you in with his personality, his well-meaning dedication, and his genuine attempts to make the best of a bad situation. When things turn really pear-shaped, he is really tested, and the decisions he makes will shape the man he will become.

A mostly fun, light-hearted read interspersed with darker moments, the book is a solid, well-written effort and definitely worth your time. 


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Club Fantasci: Review of the Last Continent

Club Fantasci met last weekend to discuss both the December and January Books of the Month – Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey and The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett. You can watch the discussion of co-hosts David Lowry, Dionne Lister and myself below.


You can find our full reviews of the books here on the Club Fantasci website.

February’s Book of the Month is The Accidental Sorcerer by Australian author Karen Miller, writing as K.E. Mills, and the Hangout will take place on February 23rd at 7:00pm CST.


The Last Continent: Club Fantasci

Those of you who follow Club Fantasci might have noticed the scheduled Hangout for Kushiel’s Dart did not proceed as planned at the end of December. This was unfortunately due to a combination of technical issues and illness amongst the co-hosts.

Given the holiday period, and how close we now are to the end of January, we’ve decided to role the Hangout for Kushiel’s Dart and January’s book into one.

January’s Book of the Month is The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett, a comedic fantasy set in the country of XXXX on the Discworld, a country that is not Australia, but looks suspiciously like it! For those who don’t know, there’s a beer in Australia called XXXX!

The Hangout will be held on 1 February 2013 at 7pm CST time instead of 25 January to allow for the Australia Day public holiday in (you guessed it) Australia. After all, I’m pretty sure it would be un-Australian to discuss a book about a country that looks a lot like Australia, on Australia Day. Unless maybe you do it with a XXXX in your hand.

If you don’t already follow Club Fantasci, we’re an online speculative fiction book club striving to educate and entertain in the genre of speculative fiction. You can check out our previous Hangouts here and we look forward to seeing you on 1 February!




Club Fantasci: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty



November’s Book of the Month for Club Fantasci was The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice. The book certainly seems to polarise readers, and it had that effect on myself and my co-hosts. Watch the Hangout below to see what we thought of this rewrite of the classic Sleeping Beauty.


Reviews by the co-hosts will shortly be available on the Club Fantasci website and will be linked here as soon as they go up. 

Next month, we have another erotic fantasy – Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Tune in to see the Hangout on December 29 at 7pm CST or, it being the holiday season, check it out while recovering from a post-holiday hangover!

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might as well join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign up for the newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.