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(The Drifting Lands ##1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  382 ratings  ·  105 reviews
An apprentice sorceress is dragged into a vicious quest across an endless sky in this Star Wars-inspired space fantasy

The Axiom Diamond is a mythical relic, with the power to show its bearer any truth they desire. Men have sought for it across many continents for centuries, but in vain. When trainee sorceress Aimee de Laurent's first ever portal-casting goes awry, she an
Mass Market Paperback, 344 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  382 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Start your review of Skyfarer (The Drifting Lands, #1)
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
No one who reads Skyfarer will ever accuse Joseph Brassey of being hip; this novel is so unabashedly dorky, it reads like something dreamed by a Mountain Dew guzzling twelve-year-old hooked on Star Wars and Final Fantasy. This sword and sorcery space adventure stands apart from everything else currently out there in the SFF market, ignoring trends in favor of the author’s personal tastes. It’s highly derivative, to be sure, but uniquely so.
The story centers around Aimee, a young “porta
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A light space fantasy book that's action-packed and inventive but feels extremely derivative.

The Drifting Lands are continents floating in an endless sky. Somehow humans live on them and can travel between them using magical skyships and sorcerers that allow travel via teleportation portals. Aimee de Laurent is a newly graduated portalmage just starting as apprentice to the legendary mage Harkon Bright aboard his skyship Elysium. An unexpected outcome of her first teleportation portal puts the E
I really enjoyed this book! The mages in this story open portals for their Skyships to pass through, allowing them to travel from place to place more quickly. Aimee is an apprentice portalmage whose first portal casting goes awry, and she and the crew of her ship end up somewhere other than where they were supposed to be. They end up right in the middle of a war. While there Aimee and the rest of the crew learn about a mythical relic called the Axiom Diamond that has the power to show its bearer ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Portal mages, sword and sorcery, space knights in a sci fi space opera type setting, what else can you ask for. Probably some more originality. The plot was solid if not predictable, the dialogue was nerdy, definitely can see that the author is a massive nerd/star wars fan. I feel like the novel was written by a fanboy who knows how to create fun fantasy scifi fi but it was written with fanboys and a younger audience in mind. Aimee waa a fin character, Lord Azrael was just Kylo ren in diguise. F ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fantasy
Science-fantasy is a criminally underappreciated genre, despite the fact that its responsible for the entire Star Wars saga. Margaret Weis explored it with her Star of the Guardians saga, Simon R. Green offered up what is perhaps its best example in his Deathstalker Saga, and C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus gave it new life with their Lucifer's Star series.

With Skyfarer, Joseph Brassey perfectly recaptures the magic of Star Wars, straying even more into the fantasy side of the genre to deliver one
Beth Cato
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fantasy, netgalley
I believe I first saw mention of this book on Twitter with a pitch line like "Final Fantasy meets Star Wars," and that is totally accurate. It's a fun, rapid-pace read with space opera-like elements; for example, the sky-faring vessels don't come across as steampunk-style airships at all, more like Firefly crafts, and they are capable of jumps from city to city. This is where the magic comes in--and wow, is there a lot of sorcery about, in all forms and uses. You have a sorceress in the model of ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To begin with: I loved this almost unreservedly -- great characters, fascinating world, fast-paced.

Aimee de Laurent, apprentice sorceress, is brought aboard the skyship Elysium as their portalcaster (kind of a living hyperdrive; she creates gates that allow them to travel between the many, widely-scattered floating world-fragments without having to traverse all of the space between them) and, when she casts her first portal, ends up bringing them to a fragment currently under attack by the Etern
Michael Underwood
I acquired and edited this book because it is exactly my kind of fantasy - exciting, inventive, and optimistic.

It's like Final Fantasy meets Firefly, and it's going to knock people's socks off.
Holly (The GrimDragon)
(Thank you to Angry Robot Books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!)

"The air outside the main viewport swam with ships limping across a bleeding sky. The sunset was achingly beautiful: the golden haze of true west spilled forth the last rays of day to paint the clouds the colors of blood and treasure."

First off.. that cover! Ignacio Lazcano kicking me in the face with some nostalgia right there. I love it! The whole book is pretty nostalgic, to be honest. It reminded me of Sat
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
I've read a few interesting mergers of SF and Fantasy this year -- some that were just that, interesting, some that were good -- a couple that were more than good. Thankfully, Brassey's Skyfarer was in that latter camp. Even in those early chapters where I was still trying to figure out the world, remember which name lined up with what character, and get a handle on the plot, I had a sense that this was going to be
Aug 22, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at 23%
There are a lot of great reviews for this book already, all leading me to believe I would love this book. Indeed I should have, magic in space is something I LOVE. But I couldn't manage to care for what was happening or for the characters and the "bad guy"'s POV was confusing. I've tried on several occasions to read this and never managed more than a few dozen pages at once. I'm sure this is a great book, it seems to be one of these "it's not you it's me" kind of thing here since I don
Online Eccentric Librarian
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, sci-fi
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Amidst the current crop of harsh pessimistic sci fi books, Skyfarer drops in enthusiastically channeling Star Wars and early 1970s optimism. It was a time when aliens sent us musical symbols as we chased them to Devil's Mountain instead of bursting out of stomachs or exploding people's heads. And the future had mankind into working together and exploring strange new worlds in Enterprise class starships instead of civi
Splatter Geist
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I literally have no words to describe this novel. I don’t want to say that it was great, because it was epic. I don’t want to say it was an interesting read, it was captivating. Damn, I don’t even want to say that Joseph Brassey is a brilliant science fiction and fantasy author – he is the author.

To say that this novel has Star Wars-like elements to it, or at least some feeling to it, would be like saying George R.R Martin writes like a high-schooler who had never written a sentence before: you
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I found this book to be a walking stereotype of what people hate about fantasy novels (granted, the book was scifi-fantasy but the complaint stands). I love fantasy and have read hundreds of fantasy novels, and this...... I couldn't stand it. The language was beyond flowery and long-winded; it was incredibly grating and pulled me out of the (weak) story over and over again. The superfluous adjectives nearly killed me. I don't need you to talk about people's actions like "she drew upon her arcane ...more
Matthew Marchitto
Skyfarer is absolutely shameless fantasy fun. It's got magic, airships, massive ether cannons, floating islands, and that's just the start.

This book has LOTS of action in it. Airship battles abound, and magic gets flung all over the place. One thing I liked was how there's a simple structure to the magic. There are some basic principles that set boundaries to what magic can do and how it can be cast while still being loose enough to allow for leeway. This makes it believable that sorcerers like
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
I wrote a silly review for this elsewhere, and I’m posting it here too because frankly, I just don’t feel like writing another. But, I also wanted to add that I really enjoyed how this book didn’t pretend to be anything else but a big fantasy space romp, with overblown characters and a silly plot, that fifteen-year old me would have loved the hell out of (and apparently still loves). I will be back for the sequel. I hope there is one.

First quarter, I was giving this story five stars just because
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an intriguing fantasy story in which the crew of the Serenity face off against Kylo Ren. OK, it's not exactly those characters, but there are enough parallels that that's how I've pitched this book to friends and family, to great success.

Just look at that cover! In this case, it's OK to judge the book by that, because the cover promises so much, and the book delivers.

The pacing of the story was another factor that really impressed me. Several times while reading it, I felt we were gettin
Stephanie Hickman
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure if I would like this book because I do not usually read sci-fi. I do think this is a good book. It has just enough sci-fi to not be over my head, but it is blended with magic. The premesis is to retrieve a hidden powerful object before the Eternal Order gets it. The Eternal Order is evil and sadistic and if they get the Axiom Diamond it will show them any truth they want. A portal mage and his apprentice have to help get to it and save an entire kingdom. I do want to read the 2nd o ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was exactly what I needed this week. Being stuck at home with a bored toddler all day due to COVID-19, trying to release my own book, and being unable to indulge in any fun substances due to being eight months pregnant, I really needed something fun and easy-to-read to de-stress.

Granted, it has a few problems, but nothing that took away from my enjoyment of the book.

I flew through this novel – the prose is succinct, quick-paced, and compelling. I loved the combination of magic + tech
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
A quest filled with interesting characters. While I found the world building familiar (islands floating in the sky) the story fit the place. There is a lot of sword fighting in the story. The characters are capable of many kinds of magic. The good guys are good but one of the bad guys is not what he seems. This is the first book in a new series and while the plot points are solved here there is a lot that can still happen. I look forward to new adventures with this crew.
Sometimes you just really want that fantasy but still somehow sci-fi, action movie style book. This is a book for those times. It was just a flat out fun read.
I also loved the world/setting and magic concepts, simple but well built for the length of this novel. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Kakashi Hatake
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Loved the last few chapters especially.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review first appeared on Wayward Kitsune.

Finally, I was able to mine a gem in Netgalley. Despite some minor issues, Skyfare didn’t disappoint from beginning to end. The story goes like this: An apprentice sorceress, Aimee de Laurent, just finished school and had a taste of what the real world is by becoming a portal mage for a spaceship named Elysium. As she was learning the ropes, Aimee and the rest of Elysium’s crew crossed paths with an evil, powerful and ruthless mage knight, Lord Azrae
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the description of the book as 'Final Fantasy meets Star Wars', and I enjoyed it for this genre mash-up. But something interesting happened during the reading through. I saw a twist come a mile away when the first foreshadowing seed was sewn, and this twist proved to be true. But what was odd wasn't that the twist was particularly well hidden or surprising, but the way it was revealed and woven into the book was both satisfying and moving. It wasn't just the author trying to s ...more
Francesco Lanza
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a fast, action filled book! I never really read much high fantasy, not even when I was a kid, and even then, it really was stuff like Eddings and Brooks who were all about banter, exposition, self-loathing, traveling, sporadical fights and drama, not... You know action-fighting-action, big explosions, "oh no, we have 24 hours or the world will be destroyed!" stuff, and so on.

This book is structured like a comic, like a screenplay. Except, it's not one of those neurotic, endlessly careening
Daniel Shellenbarger
Skyfarer is sort of like a cross between Firefly (small crew of likeable rogues against the universe) and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (I'd say why, but that would be a pretty massive spoiler) set on a world that feels like it came out of a JRPG (I mean, come on, we've got magical airships and floating islands everywhere, that's so JRPG, though I don't mean that as a dig, I've always found that idea fascinating). The story mostly follows Aimee de Laurent, a young woman from a noble family who ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is getting a reluctant three stars. And by reluctant, I mean I don't if I want to give it two stars or four. I'm pretty sure it's not a three, but I don't see how else to resolve that.

So lets start with the Good.

The Good is that the Unabashed Fun meter was turned all the way up to 11. Skyfarer is primarily the tale of Aimee de Laurent, an aristocratic portalmage who's turned her back on the high life in favour of the sky high life and all the freedom that comes with it.

Brassey mentions tha
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a fun romp. The comparisons to Firefly are well merited. The crew is necessarily not very fleshed out, mostly stock characters that are found in most ragtag crew stories (the super close siblings, the genius engineer, the mysterious captain, the tough fighter) but hopefully in future books they will get more development.

The main character, Aimee, is an example of the rebellious, headstrong Tough Girl which is actually a trope I hate, because it's usually done as an excuse to write a Str
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5

Joseph Brassey's Skyfarer is a delightful throwback to science fantasy of the 1970's and 80's.

Aimee de Laurent is fresh out of the academy where she has studied wizardry (wizarding?). She is now apprentice to one of the best teachers in the entire galaxy, Harkon Bright, and they are about to head out on a very long (years) expedition to explore the galaxy in their skyship.

As they begin, however, Aimee casts the initial sp
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Content Warning: child abuse, torture, and emotional manipulation

I initially did not finish this book but then went back to give it another chance and see if it improved. While I didn't hate it I can't really say I would recommend it either.

The premise of the world and how magic is used is interesting. The mix of technology and scattered kingdoms is interesting. However I never felt like I really got to know any of the characters. Aimee is clearly a special individual with a great grasp on casti
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Joseph Brassey is a freelance writer and medieval fighting instructor who lives in Tacoma, Washington.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, son, and two cats. In his spare time, he trains in, and teaches, medieval martial arts. He has lived on both sides of the continental United States and has worked everywhere from a local newspaper to the frameshop of a crafts store to the smoke-belc

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