The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack



This is a collection of reviews of fantasy literature--epic, heroic, etc. 

Classic Fantasy

Some books stand up to the test of time. Not all of them won awards, but they have influenced generations of readers and writers and helped to define what we mean by Fantasy. 

The Garrett Files by Glen Cook

It seems unfair that Glen Cook should be the master of both the fantasy warfare genre (The Black Company) and the fantasy detective novel (the Garrett Files) but he undeniably is. Of the two genres, I suspect that the fantasy detective series is the most difficult. Not only does he have to have memorable characters whom the readers can love to cheer for (and against), exciting action scenes, magic that enhances the story without overwhelming it, and a believable fantasy back drop, he has to come up with a credible, multi-layered mystery. Cook does this in the Garrett Files by adopting the Nero Wolfe template with his character the Dead Man (four centuries in the grave but not ready to move on yet) playing Wolfe and his hero, Garrett filling the shoes of Archie Goodwin (drinking beer instead of milk, but otherwise pretty much the same). Add in a growing cast of memorable friends and you have the recipe for outstanding mysteries in a remarkably fresh setting.

To read reviews of individual books in the series, click here


The Warhammer universe is a series of novels based on the game system. A human empire, based loosely on the Holy Roman Empire, is struggling to hold out against the forces of chaos which mutates humans and boasts a number of fantasy species and the undead in its ranks. Sometimes on the side of the humans are dwarves and elves and sometimes even the humans side with the humans instead of seeking power by aligning themselves with chaos. 

This is a bleak universe, perfect for a lot of sword and sorcery adventures where the outcome is not always a happy one. 

You can read my reviews of Warhammer novels here.

William L. Hahn's Lands of Hope

Hahn has created a fantasy realm with a vast class of characters in a complex and fascinating landscape. His two major series within this world are Judgement's Tale and Shards of Light, with other stand alone tales further developing his mythology of hope and despair. 

You can read my reviews of the series, please click here

More Fantasy

Here are additional fantasy novels. I hesitate to call them generic because many are great books that are totally worth your attention.