Tag Archive | "magic"

alanajoli

Street Magic Fiction Review

Posted on June 13, 2009 by

There are some rare talents in fantasy these days whose words coast along like poetry while depicting a world full of dark and terrible dangers: drugs, monsters, and magic among them. Crafting a balance between artful and gritty writing – such that the language doesn’t shy away from either side of the equation – is incredibly difficult. Caitlin Kittredge has mastered it.

To my shame, Street Magic, which I received earlier this year as an electronic advance copy, is the first novel I’ve read by Kittredge, despite the fact that I own some of her earlier books. They’ve been sitting on my TBR pile, just waiting for me to catch up with other review titles and series titles that always seem to come first. I can tell you with great confidence: no longer. I’ll be picking one up to read as soon as I finish this review.

[...more]
Flames

Gabriel Nassif Wins at MtG Pro Tour Kyoto

Posted on March 4, 2009 by

Magic: The Gathering Tournament Champion is First to Capture the Title in 2009

The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour season kicked-off this weekend in Kyoto, Japan. Gabriel Nassif from Paris, France was the first to be crowed Pro Tour champion in 2009 and took home $40,000. Luis Scott Vargas from Davis, California, Akimasa Yamamoto from Iwade-shi, Japan and Brian Robinson from North Quincy, Massachusetts filled out the top four. Nassif’s win in Kyoto marks his first Pro Tour victory although he’s had several top-8 finishes and was the 2004 Player of the Year. Since 1996, Wizards of the Coast has given away more than US$32 million in prize money, which includes both cash prizes and scholarship awards.

[...more]
Monica Valentinelli

Keeper of Light and Dust Fiction Review

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

After reviewing Natasha Mostert’s book, Season of the Witch, I was curious to see how this up-and-coming author’s next book would fare. Keeper of Light and Dust is not a sequel to Season of the Witch, but was written as a stand-alone story about the duality of healing as it relates to chi. Mia Lockheart is a mystic protector, a healer who works as a tattoo artist in South London secretly guarding the lives of today’s warriors, a group of boxers. The villain of this tale is a modern day vampire, a man who learned how to steal chi, that mystical and ancient energy force that fuels our souls and provides us with life’s energy.

Well-researched, Keeper of Light and Dust is an excellent nod to the modern day sport of boxing mixed with the ancient form of martial arts. Not often do we find athletics at the center of a supernatural tale, and it’s refreshing to read a book where the sport is part of the plot.

[...more]
teampreston

Quintessential Wizard RPG Review

Posted on January 30, 2009 by

As I was currently playing a Wizard in a D&D 4E campaign, I figured that when the opportunity to review The Quintessential Wizard came up it was serendipity. When I created my character I was a little let down at the lack of options and flavor for building my arcanist. The choices available in comparison to the other classes seemed a bit…bland, or maybe un-unique. Same-ol, same-ol. The Quintessential Wizard goes a long way towards rectifying this.

One note: the book was designed by Italian studio Asterion Press, and there are a few instances where the translations show. Nothing major, the work they did was exceptional and I seriously doubt any of us could do better on an Italian published book. When reading, be a bit forgiving of a few awkwardly worded sentences.

Review by Jeff Preston

[...more]
Matt-M-McElroy

Magic: the Gathering Conflux Preview

Posted on January 23, 2009 by

A powerful and infinitely sinister force is conspiring to reunite the Shards of Alara. This reunification will come with a deadly price – sheer chaos, as realities begin to overlap. Thus begins the Conflux.

Wizards of the Coast is releasing a new expansion to their popular Magic: the Gathering game. In addition to Puzzles, Launch Parties and other events, the company has handed out a few preview cards to show off.

Here at Flames Rising we are happy to reveal this new card:

[...more]
Flames

Spearfinger – A New Hunter: the Vigil Adventure

Posted on January 21, 2009 by

The old woman totters off to enjoy her breakfast, as tiny drops of bile patter on the street behind her.

People are turning up dead with their organs missing, but there’s no evidence of scars or surgery. The deaths are clearly unusual and perhaps even supernatural, and when one victim dies right in front of the hunters, their involvement becomes crucial. While the hunters may at first believe they are simply tracking down a monster, their investigations soon reveal a pattern to the killings, which implies some guiding intellect behind the travesties.

A story in the Storytelling Adventure System for Hunter: The Vigil.

Spearfinger is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

[...more]
Flames

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers Beta Released

Posted on January 18, 2009 by

Wizards of the Coast has released the Beta version of Duels of the Planeswalkers, an arcade-style video game for Xbox LIVE Arcade developed in conjunction with UK company Stainless Games. The game is rated T for Teen and is scheduled for spring release for the Xbox 360.

Duels of the Planeswalkers takes players on a journey through a Multiverse in which they take on the roles of Planeswalkers, powerful wizards who battle others for glory, knowledge and conquest. Throughout their journey, Planeswalkers battle with, or against each other in lush interactive 3D environments. Similar to the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, Planeswalkers are equipped with an arsenal of spells and creatures that if used wisely will help advance the Planeswalker through the game.

[...more]
alanajoli

Dog Days Fiction Review

Posted on December 30, 2008 by

Dog Days gets off to a somewhat awkward start with too much exposition during an action sequence to make the action feel immediate, but as I got accustomed to the voice of Mason, the hero and jazz/magic improvisation master that narrates the book, the world and story both began to come together. As a practitioner, Mason isn’t much good at the actual practice implied by such a title. His real talent is improvisational magic–something that most people never master at all. Other practitioners use spells to control magic, but Mason can pull energy from the surrounding environment, using ideas and archetypes and emotions to craft the effects he desires. He also has Louie: an Ifrit (named after the djinn, though no one is sure if they’re related) who takes the form of a small, mini-doberman like dog.

Review by Alana Abbott

[...more]
Flames

Dresden Files Audio Books at Buzzy!

Posted on December 22, 2008 by

Jim Butcher, New York Times best selling Fantasy & Science Fiction author has many interests and they all season his fiction. Jim is a multi-discipline martial arts enthusiast, skilled horseman,and enjoys gaming,fencing, singing, and bad Science Fiction movies.

The Dresden Files are about a wizard who works in Chicago solving supernatural crimes and assisting the Special Investigations Unit of the Chicago Police Department. It has large helpings of action, humor, and old fashioned chivalry in a very modern world.

[...more]
Matt-M-McElroy

Backup (Dresden Files) Fiction Review

Posted on December 8, 2008 by

One of the great elements of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is the large cast of interesting characters that Harry Dresden encounters throughout his adventures. Friends, foes and fellow wizards make up a variety of supernatural (and a few “normal”) beings in the Dresden-verse. One of the most interesting characters is Harry’s half-brother Thomas Raith, who also happens to be a vampire.

Although the marketing for this tale makes claims of it being a novella, I’d have to say it is more of a short story with great art. Without the fancy hardcover or the illustrations by Mignolla this would fit just fine in one of the urban fantasy anthologies we’ve seen other Dresden Files tales in (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding for example).

[...more]
Monica Valentinelli

Princeps Fury by Jim Butcher Fiction Review

Posted on December 3, 2008 by

Princeps Fury is the latest novel in a series dubbed “Codex Alera” by Jim Butcher. The fifth book in the series, its plot centers around a promise made in the previous book and the deadly war between the Vord and well, everyone else. Alera, the Kingdom run by the First Lord who isn’t well liked for many, intricate reasons, is under attack while Tavi escorts the Canim back to their homeland over a turbulent sea.

Whenever I read a book in a series like this, I have to ask myself two questions. The first question is, “Could you read Princeps Fury without knowing anything about the Codex Alera series?” The answer to that question is, “No, definitely not.”

[...more]
Flames

Keys to the Supernal Tarot for Mage: the Awakening

Posted on November 5, 2008 by

The Major Arcana

Each key, each trump, is a step along the path of the mage. From the dangerous ignorance of the Fool to the completion of the World, each card holds a secret. Seek Justice, pursue Strength, trick the Devil, and defy Death — the cards will show you the way.

A Chronicle Book for Mage: The Awakening

Keys to the Supernal Tarot is available in print at Amazon.com and in eBook format at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

[...more]
Flames

Welcome to the Jungle (Dresden Files) Review

Posted on October 27, 2008 by

When reviewing this graphic novel, I have tried to be as impartial as I can be. But the problem is that I am just a Jim Butcher fan that it is very hard. I have read all of the books, I am play testing the RPG based on it. Yeah, I am a fan. But I did at least attempt to be as partial as I could.

It probably was not very successful.

Welcome to the Jungle was a 4 issue comic release revolving around Jim Butcher’s creation, Harry Dresden. For those of you familiar with the story, it takes place shortly after his first novel, Storm Front.

Review by Stacey Chancellor

[...more]
alanajoli

Armed and Magical Fiction Review

Posted on October 6, 2008 by

You may remember that in my review of Shearin’s Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I expressed some confusion about reading a novel that felt like urban fantasy but was set in an elves-and-goblins style world. Armed and Magical follows the further adventures of Raine Benares as she tries to get rid of the Saghred, the evil stone that has claimed her as its link to the world, and has very much the same style as the first book. In reading the sequel, however, I finally made the connection that I missed in Raine’s first adventure: Raine is a seeker, which is roughly the equivalent of a private investigator for her world. What Shearin is writing isn’t a hybrid of urban fantasy and low fantasy–it’s hard boiled fantasy noir.

Review by Alana Abbott

[...more]
Flames

Home Is Where The Heart Is – Mage eBook Bundle

Posted on September 25, 2008 by

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Eddy Webb, AP developer, and RPGNow have made a new PDF offering available today. This week we are focusing on Mage supplements centered around the places of power, after all – Home is where the Heart is. These materials normally retail for $33.98, but in PDF form for the next seven days, you can acquire them for $15.99.

The Home is Where the Heart Is bundle is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

[...more]
Flames

Magic: the Gathering – Shards of Alara

Posted on September 20, 2008 by

Alara was whole once. But that was millennia ago. Where once there was a plane, now there are five: the Shards. The plane of Alara was a world rich with mana, a world in balance… until the Sundering. In a cataclysm of unimaginable proportions, Alara was rent asunder into five separate worlds, each a refraction of the others.

We can’t tell you everything about the Shards of Alara set yet, but keep watching magicthegathering.com for more information as we release it, including three weeks of official card previews beginning Monday, September 8. In the meantime, keep checking the Visual Spoiler to see all of the Shards of Alara cards officially previewed anywhere.

[...more]
TezMillerOz

Night Child Fiction Review

Posted on September 17, 2008 by

The mystical is also believable in Jes Battis’s ace début novel.

An Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, Tess Corday arrives at a crime scene where a vampire is dead. A note and photo on the vamp lead Tess to Mia Polanski, a thirteen-year-old in danger but whom also possesses great power, and Lucian Agrado, a necromancer who’s liaison to the vampire community. And the action heats up as the investigation deepens…

Vancouver is a welcome diversion from the seemingly endless stream of American cities in urban fantasy. Jes Battis gives a right good dose of Canadian flavour that makes the setting all the more enjoyable.

Review by Tez Miller

[...more]
Flames

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers

Posted on August 29, 2008 by

Wizards of the Coast, Inc. a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. and a leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer today announced the unveiling of Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers, a video game extension of the successful Magic: The Gathering franchise for Xbox LIVE(r) Arcade. Scheduled for official release in Spring 2009, this year’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) attendees can demo the game at Wizards of the Coast’s booth (No. 1123) during the show taking place at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle August 29-31.

“We’re excited to bring the Magic brand to new platforms and give gamers new ways to experience this great property,” said Jared Gustafson, Brand Director for Magic: The Gathering at Wizards of the Coast. “The game successfully brings Magic’s inherent strategic game play to the Xbox LIVE community.

[...more]
Flames

A.W. Gryphon “Witchcraft, Magick, and Tackling The Unknown”

Posted on August 4, 2008 by

So far our horror design essays have featured creators of horror role-playing games talking about the development of new projects and the systems that went into those projects. We have more horror game design essays on the way over the next few weeks as well as other creators.

Today we are going to feature our first horror novel essay. Author A.W. Gryphon tells us about her novel, Blood Moon, as well as the challenges that went into writing that elusive first page.

[...more]
Flames

Zorcerer of Zo RPG Review

Posted on July 18, 2008 by

“The Zantabulous Zorceror of Zo,” by Chad Underkoffler and Atomic Sock Monkey Press, is a game of adventure and wonder set in a world of fairy tales. But the land of Zo is more than just pixies and knights. The game includes classic story elements from almost every childhood fantasy, from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland” to “Peter Pan” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The game uses Underkoffler’s Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system, which is also used in the super-hero RPG “Truth & Justice” and the manic “Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the Roleplaying Game.” In PDQ, characters use Qualities to represent their abilities. Qualities can be anything from skills to beliefs to personality quirks.

Review by Michael Erb

[...more]

11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

    Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

    join our monthly mailing list
    * indicates required

    The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

    Free Devil's Night | White Wolf

    Become a Fan on Facebook!

    Reviews Wanted!

    The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

    What do you get out of it?

    Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

    Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

    Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.