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K.V. Johansen

K.V. JohansenK.V. Johansen has Master’s degrees in English and Medieval Studies. You can read or listen to excerpts of her books and see her lists of recommended children’s fantasy literature at K.V. Johansen’s website.

The Storyteller and Other Tales: Needs to be savored

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The Storyteller and Other Tales by K.V. Johansen

The Storyteller and Other Tales is a book of stories, and I mean that as the highest compliment. I felt like I was transported from the 21st century to some Thane’s hall with a roaring fire and a smoke hole instead of a chimney, while K.V. Johansen wove tales that took me to different and wonderful traditions.

Johansen is a fantasy scholar, and this shows up clearly in this book. The four tales that she presents use widely differing fantasy settings. "The Storyteller" is set in a Scandinavia-like land, in a world of little gods, ancient devils and power-hungry wizards. "He-Redeems" is set in the bronze age, and is told from the perspective of a simple, devout slave, and demonstrates the problems with blind obedience. "The Inexorable Tide" is an Arthurian story, the way it might really have been... Read More

Blackdog: Stand-alone epic fantasy

Readers’ average rating:

Blackdog by K.V. Johansen

While religion is often found in epic fantasy, rarely is it the main focus of a novel, as it is in Blackdog. It’s even more rare to find an epic fantasy that is a stand-alone rather than part of a long series or trilogy. While the fact that Blackdog is a stand-alone might turn some epic fantasy fans off, it is rather refreshing to read a fantasy on an epic scale that is contained within one book and has a definite beginning, middle and ending.

K.V. Johansen’s world building reminds me a bit of Steven Erikson’s MALAZAN series. The world is large, intricate and sprawls into lands that are just hinted at. It has a rich history which will keep the reader interested and yearning to learn more. Furthermore, the gods are... Read More

More books by K.V. Johansen

Marakand — (2014-2016) Publisher: Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard. To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.

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Torrie Quests — (1997-2009) Ages 9-12. Publisher: On a moonlit night around a bonfire, the capricious creature Torrie tells the story of an adventure he shared – in the days when humans and the magical Old Things believed in one another. Join the forest creatures as they hear of Prince Rufke’s Quest across the mountains to slay a fearsome dragon; of Enchantress Cossypha, a headstrong Maiden who is bored with hunting goblins and joins the Quest; of the evil Wolf-Headed guards who are sent to capture the trespassers; and of Wormbane, the sword with magical powers.

Torrie Quests K.V. Johansen review 1. Torrie and the Dragon 2. Torrie and the Pirate-Queen 3. Torrie and the Firebird 4. Torrie and the Snake-Prince Torrie Quests K.V. Johansen review 1. Torrie and the Dragon 2. Torrie and the Pirate-Queen 3. Torrie and the Firebird 4. Torrie and the Snake-Prince Torrie Quests K.V. Johansen review 1. Torrie and the Dragon 2. Torrie and the Pirate-Queen 3. Torrie and the Firebird 4. Torrie and the Snake-Prince Torrie Quests K.V. Johansen review 1. Torrie and the Dragon 2. Torrie and the Pirate-Queen 3. Torrie and the Firebird 4. Torrie and the Snake-Prince 5. Torrie and the Dragonslayers Torrie Quests K.V. Johansen review 1. Torrie and the Dragon 2. Torrie and the Pirate-Queen 3. Torrie and the Firebird 4. Torrie and the Snake-Prince 5. Torrie and the Dragonslayers


The Cassandra Virus — (2007-2010) Ages 9-12. Publisher: It’s the near future. Computers are faster, cars run on fuel cells, and there’s not much to do in the small town of Easter River if you’re thirteen and not into team sports. Helen Chan-Fisher is happy enough trying singlehandedly to save the world’s remaining amphibians from chytridiomycosis, but her friend Jordan O’Blenis is at a loose end. He may be a genius, but it seems like no matter what he tries to do, his robot-building older sister Cassie did it first. Then he has his great idea, an idea so great even Cassie hasn’t done it. He’ll write a programme for a virtual supercomputer, one that can live on the Web, and grow and spread and learn… Jordan calls it Cassandra. Helen calls it a virus. Cassandra calls home… and when agents of the government security agency Bureau 6 try to seize her for their own purposes, it’s up to Jordan and Helen to keep Cassandra from falling into the wrong hands.

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Warlocks of Talverdin — (2007-2010) Young adult. Publisher: After his guardian dies, Maurey is reduced from student to unpaid servant at his grammar school and bullied because of his black hair and eyes, which make him look as if he is related to the sorcerers who once inhabited the island. When it is discovered that Maurey is indeed a descendent of one of those sorcerers, or Nightwalkers, he is sentenced to be burned alive. He and his young rescuer flee for the Nightwalkers’ hidden kingdom. Any reader who enjoys otherworld fantasy, or just a good adventure story, will not be able to put this book down.

K.V. Johansen Warlocks of Talverdin review 1. Nightwalker 2. Treason in Eswy 3. Warden of Greyrock K.V. Johansen Warlocks of Talverdin review 1. Nightwalker 2. Treason in Eswy 3. Warden of Greyrock K.V. Johansen Warlocks of Talverdin review 1. Nightwalker 2. Treason in Eswy 3. Warden of Greyrock 4. The Shadow Road K.V. Johansen Warlocks of Talverdin review 1. Nightwalker 2. Treason in Eswy 3. Warden of Greyrock 4. The Shadow Road


fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Serpent Bride — (1998) Publisher: In The Serpent Bride, K.V. Johansen weaves a haunting web of magic, tinged by a sprightly amusement. She tells stories of transformation and witchcraft, of dragon children and heartbroken knights, of trolls and dark treachery, but her work is not bleak. Good magic appears in feathered cloaks, gentle hearts and help from beyond the grave.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsQuests and Kingdoms: A Grown-up’s Guide to Children’s Fantasy Literature — (2005) Publisher: Fantasy has become an increasingly popular genre of children’s literature in recent years; Quests and Kingdoms provides a basis from which an adult unfamiliar with the genre of children’s fantasy literature may explore it. Quests is an historical survey for the interested general reader, which will be of great practical value to library and education professionals as well. Though the aim is to give adults concerned with bringing children (or teens) and books together a familiarity with the children’s fantasy genre and its history, for those who already know and love the classics of children’s fantasy Quests will be an introduction to works and authors they may have missed. Taking a chronological approach, Quests begins with the fairy-tale collections of d’Aulnoy, Perrault, and the Grimms and works its way up to the novels of J.K. Rowling and Garth Nix, covering over three centuries of fantasy read by children. The lives of 95 authors are looked at and placed in historical context, while their works are introduced through both synopses and analysis. Quests also includes chapters on Tolkien, retellings of traditional stories, and King Arthur and Robin Hood. More than 500 works are discussed, and the thorough index makes the book a practical reference resource as well as a history and an introduction to the best in the genre.

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