Tag Archive | "magic"

Flames

Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition available now!

Posted on September 23, 2015 by

We’re all mages, we Awakened Ones. Tradition wizards and Technocrats, Mad Ones and Fallen Ones and all the “ones” in between who refuse to choose a side in our demented little War. We’re ALL mages. Many refuse that title, or deny it to others, but that’s what we are: priest-kings holding the keys to reality.

Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition is available now in PDF and Hardcover editions at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!

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Flames

Magic the Gathering Will be a New Film Franchise

Posted on January 18, 2014 by

Twentieth Century Fox and Hasbro, Inc. have joined forces to make a series of films based upon Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast’s fantasy-adventure property, MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), whose Genre Films banner is based on the Fox Lot, will serve as the franchise’s creative steward and produce in close […]

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Monica Valentinelli

A Discovery of Witches Review

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy and was written by Deborah Harkness. The premise is centered upon Diana Bishop, a historian with a secret past, who stumbles upon an ancient text that is *also* a palimpset. After her accidental discovery of Ashmole 782, Diana’s life begins to change — and not necessarily for the better.

What drew me to this story was the promise of mysteries and ancient texts. I immediately identified with Diana and her more rational side and, as the book’s secrets took a strange turn, felt even more drawn into the story.

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Flames

Debut author brings a devilish edge to the English Civil War

Posted on January 21, 2012 by

Figure the English Civil War is all about dashing Cavaliers and dour Roundheads? Think again…

Solaris is proud to announce it has acquired Gideon’s Angel by Clifford Beal, due for publication in 2013, which takes the seemingly familiar history of the mid 17th Century but introduces an infernal plot that makes this much more than just a history lesson!

Described as The Day of the Jackal meets The Devil Rides Out, this swashbuckling historical fantasy set in the aftermath of the terrible English Civil War sees science and alchemy as strange bedfellows with witchcraft and magic.

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Flames

A Brief History of Magic by Michael Jasper

Posted on August 26, 2011 by

Author and comic scribe Michael Jasper is here with a new design essay about his novel A Sudden Outbreak of Magic. Michael tells about the genesis of the idea back in his teaching days and how that initial concept developed into the book that is available now. He even links us to a sneak peek at the follow up book, A Wild Epidemic of Magic, which is currently in development.

Magic is everywhere. You just have to look hard enough to see it.

Magic is contagious. You can get infected it by it just as easily as catching a cold.

Magic is dangerous. You start using it, and all sorts of powerful people will take notice. And they will hunt you down.

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Flames

Bradley P. Beaulieu on The Winds of Khalakovo Debut

Posted on August 1, 2011 by

Thanks to Monica for letting me stop by Flames Rising. It’s always great to meet new people through different sites as I’m spreading the word about my debut novel. The Winds of Khalakovo came out this past April, and I thought it would be interesting to talk a little bit about the arc of emotions I’ve had along the way.

Any writer with a debut novel will tell you how exciting it is. (If they aren’t excited, they’re either lying or they’ve done something they’re not proud of.) It was wonderful to have The Winds of Khalakovo come out, and it was terribly gratifying seeing the kind of welcome it received. One of the most interesting things for me was how fun it was working with reviewers, not on the reviews themselves, of course, but on guest posts and interviews. It’s so nice to share beyond the bounds of the book. There are so many stories to tell.

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alanajoli

The Snow Queen’s Shadow Fiction Review

Posted on July 19, 2011 by

How do I start a review of the final book in a series that I love, which had me sobbing for about three chapters of the conclusion? As it turns out, by avoiding the issue:

I feel sorry for Prince Armand.

There, I said it. Three kick-butt heroines of the whole series and this review starts off with some compassion for the guy who is always first in line to get cursed, kidnapped, and just generally gets the short end of the deal. In a series about princesses who don’t need to be rescued, someone else has to be — and once again, nice-guy prince Armand (who seems reasonably capable) suffers some of the very first consequences to evil becoming a threat in the kingdom of Lorindar.

This time, the threat starts close to home, with Snow White, who has been set up for this kind of fall from the beginning of the series, overstretches her magical abilities and ends up releasing a demon from her mother’s magic mirror. Worse, the demon corrupts Snow herself, meaning that our three heroines are no longer on the same team.

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alanajoli

Touch of Frost Fiction Review

Posted on July 13, 2011 by

Gwen Frost, a gypsy, doesn’t know where she fits in, and she doesn’t really want to. She came to Mythos Academy after the death of her mother — for which she blames herself — and doesn’t understand what she’s doing there. She’s no warrior, and her gift of psychometry, the ability to read emotions and history off of objects, mainly helps her find lost things. She doesn’t really believe in the Pantheon or the Reapers, and she’s got no interest in fighting those battles even if they are real.

But then Queen Bee Jasmine gets brutally murdered in the library, where Gwen works, and everything changes. Unwilling to let Jasmine’s death go unmourned — when not even Jasmine’s friends seem to feel grief at her murder — Gwen is determined to discover the identity of Jasmine’s killer. And in the meantime, she ends up finding out a lot about what it is that brought her to Mythos Academy in the first place.

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Monica Valentinelli

The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols Review

Posted on June 22, 2011 by

Published by Harper-Collins, The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols: the Ultimate A to Z guide from Alchemy to the Zodiac is not one book, but several smaller books that range from the language of flowers to numerology and, of course, symbols.

Normally, I find there are two challenges a book like this has to overcome. First, there’s the issue of gravity. Books in this vein can either be lighthearted, with more of a pseudo-magical feel to them, or serious and grounded in fact. This particular tome is squarely in the middle. While it does offer an aura of mystery in some respects, The Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols also offers a comprehensive resource guide at the end of the book.

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alanajoli

Deader Still Book Review

Posted on January 24, 2011 by

Anton Strout brings us more madcap mayhem in book two of the Jane chronicles (otherwise known as the Simon Canderous series, but his girlfriend, the ex-evil cultist Jane, totally steals the show). Now a member of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs after leaving her cultist ways behind, Jane is working in the Black Stacks (the scariest library in urban fantasy) and discovering that she has a talent for technomancy. In fact, she’s so good with magic and machines, she rescues her boyfriend Simon from an attempt on his life in his Oubliette test over his cell phone. Her new gig working for the ambiguously moralled Thaddeus Wesker, Director of Greater and Lesser Arcana at the DEA is going swimmingly — except for the tension it creates between her and Simon, who doesn’t like her boss.

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Flames

The Queen of Crows is Now Available for Your Kindle, Nook, iPad and More!

Posted on January 19, 2011 by

First published in March 2010 on The Queen of CrowsDriveThruHorror.com, we’ve expanded our digital offering to include a text-based version for your Amazon Kindle or your Nook from Barnes and Noble. Since this file format is primarily text-based, we went ahead and dropped the price to $2.99 on both the Kindle and the ePub edition. The ePub format, which is available at Barnes and Noble, is also compatible with several other devices including your Sony eReader and your iPhone. Both the Kindle and ePub format are also available through DriveThruHorror.com for your convenience.

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GRIM

Kraken Fiction Review

Posted on September 16, 2010 by

China Mieville is one of my favourite authors and has energised the alternative/urban fantasy or the ‘New Weird’ for me as much as Peter F Hamiltion re-energised British science fiction for me. I wasn’t so keen on The City & The City but his Bas Lag novels and his somewhat similarly themed children’s book Un-Lun-Dun are acts of pre-meditated brilliance. Kraken lacks the pure and unadulterated awesomeness of Perdidot Street Station but is much better and more engaging than The City & The City and closer in theme to King Rat, somewhere between that and the Bas-Lag novels in terms of wierdness. Comparisons with the last book I reviewed, Into the Nightside, are likely to be inevitable in the course of this review.

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Flames

The Age of Ra Review

Posted on July 8, 2010 by

The Ancient Egyptian gods have defeated all the other pantheons and claimed dominion over the earth, dividing it into warring factions. Lt. David Westwynter, a British soldier, stumbles into Freegypt, the only place to have remained independent of the gods’ influence. There, he encounters the followers of a humanist leader known as the Lightbringer, who has vowed to rid mankind of the shackles of divine oppression. As the world heads towards an apocalyptic battle, there is far more to this freedom fighter than it seems…

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Hoodoo Blues RPG Review

Posted on June 11, 2010 by

Advertising will sometimes try to sell a movie as the funniest of the year . . . during the third week in January. I think that’s a fairly short-sighted marketing approach, but maybe people don’t remember that eleven more months will doubtlessly have contenders to the self-proclaimed title. Why even bring it up? Because I want to explain my take on this RPG. I’m not going to call this the coolest RPG I read in 2010 . . . yet.

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GRIM

Soldier Son trilogy Review

Posted on May 27, 2010 by

I don’t really understand why I like Robin Hobb. I tend to dislike traditional fantasy almost on reflex and her writings are almost (but not quite) regular fantasy. I also tend to dislike writing where the heroes are helpless, tortured or at the mercy of outside forces. I prefer empowered heroes and Hobbs protaganists almost always seem to be at the mercy of outside forces and to take a severe drubbing at the hands of the world around them. Nonetheless, I still like the books and it’s a source of consternation to me that I carry on reading despite my distaste at the tortures that her characters undergo. Hobb’s novels are fantasy ‘misery tourism’, they often leave you feeling sad and upset but the worlds are well realised and if the characters weren’t well written they wouldn’t tug at your heart-strings.

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Flames

An excerpt from The Conqueror’s Shadow by Ari Marmell

Posted on April 14, 2010 by

With The Conqueror’s Shadow, Ari Marmell brings a welcome seasoning of wit to the genre, proving that dark fantasy can address the enduring questions of good and evil and still retain a sense of humor. Playful yet intense, sharply sarcastic yet deeply sincere, The Conqueror’s Shadow announces the appearance of a unique talent—and an antihero like no other.

Flames Rising is pleased to present a portion of Chapter Six of this new novel by Ari Marmell…

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Monica Valentinelli

Review of Wings of Wrath by C.S. Friedman

Posted on April 14, 2010 by

Years ago, I had read the Coldfire trilogy by C.S. Friedman and had really enjoyed it, so when the opportunity came up to review a book in her new series, I was pretty intrigued.

WINGS OF WRATH is the second book in the Magister trilogy. I hadn’t read the first book, so that is something to keep in mind when you’re reading my review. Often, series are either structured in a way that you can pick up a book at any point and get into the story pretty quickly, or you have to read the series from the beginning. For many reasons, I felt that I really needed to go back and read the first book…primarily to appreciate a particular character named Kamala.

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Night Horrors: Unbidden Review

Posted on March 29, 2010 by

The Unbidden is Mage: the Ascension’s contribution to the Night Horrors line. For those who haven’t read my earlier reviews on this line, these books detail the kinds of monsters that monsters fear. You may be saying to yourself that the spellcasters in Mage aren’t really monsters. They are trying to enlighten the world, which isn’t high on many evil “to-do” lists.

What is horrible about these do-gooders? The authors address this question in the introduction. Magic is the horror that the typical Mage has to face. Magic is temperamental, akin to catching a tornado in a mason jar. Yeah, it may look cool in there, but there IS going to be a mess down the line. There are also antagonists in this book (great ones, I might add); however, they all boil down to the dangers of magic.

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Movie Review

Posted on March 19, 2010 by

I normally tackle book and RPG reviews; however, I thought I’d give a movie a shot. You may be asking yourself why this movie would even make it to a site dedicated to all things horror, but Percy Jackson fits just as easily as, say, Harry Dresden or Mercy Thompson or the many characters from the Kelley Armstrong novels. Urban fantasy is a fantastic genre, despite the fact too many authors seem to be jumping into its waters. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief may be the longest name for a movie in 2010, but it is a big movie in scope and promise.

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Tracy

Evil Ways fiction review

Posted on September 10, 2009 by

They had me at the giant demonic bats.

Evil Ways is a suspenseful dark fantasy novel by Justin Gustainis. Black magic and occult investigators are mixed together skilfully creating a exciting plot. It’s a very entertaining book… so long as you don’t mind jarring geographic errors and odd attempts at dialect.

The second book in the “Morris and Chastain” investigations, Evil Ways (published by Solaris Books) presents its protagonists with a problem: someone is killing children and stealing their organs, and this means dark magic is afoot, and a lot of it. Quincey Morris is an paranormal detective with skills in a variety of areas, including burglary; Libby Chastain is a white witch with experience in taking out some pretty nasty guys.

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