Member Reviews

Ominous feels from the opening page.
The Harrows, a family, charged with protecting a unique fantasy world. A tangible family with its own dysfunction, which gives the story line such an authentic feel.
Prophecies, incomparable creatures, personified animals, and soldier toys from a children's toy box, Oh My! This is a book that could have fan fiction spin offs, maps, and its own creature lore.

The Family dynamics, albeit dysfunctional, yet each one is connected through blood lineage and the same experience of guardianship of The March. Inside the fantasy world, the modpodge of creatures, have either a level of veneration and respect for the Harrows or the exact opposite, lending to further drama within the story plot.

The book has its comedic moments which breaks up the mystery, drama, and heroics. Quote: "We don't have jubjub birds in humanland." "Humanland sounds like an awfully boring place."

The different lands and cities described has your imagination reeling with excitement. Much like a kid in a fully stocked candy store.

As adults, the siblings, in one way or another, are trying to figure out their own generational curses, their emotional weaknesses, and personality quirks, all the while still being a brave and productive part of the Harrow family. Battling mundane, everyday life in their own time, and the possible collapse of the realm The March. Tension builds with war room negotiations for the realm's cities adding to gritty interactions.

The battles are enthralling, large or small. Danger here and there. Within the March and in their own world the peril mounts and stacks like stones and boulders.

Loyal companions inspire a literary sense of faith and hope. Each companion creation has a whimsical, and dreamlike feel which makes this book such an unorthodox horror intermingled with fantasy. This book has something for every emotion.

I give this book a five star rating as a unique, blended tale of fantasy. Thank you for my advanced reader copy. I throughly enjoyed this adventure.

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Thank you Daniel Polansky, Netgalley, and Angry Robot for this free ARC in exchange for a review.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get too far into the book, because of the lack of characterization, and the telling instead of showing.

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If there ever has been an author whose works would undoubtedly qualify as its own genre of fantasy, it would probably be Polansky. Everything I've read of his so far is absolutely unique, and yet has one similarity - in that his imaginary worlds are never fluffy. They have magic and they have a staggering variety of characters and creatures, but it's never a fairy tale and it never reads as a simple moralizing parable or a mirror image of the reality we live in.

In March's End, the setup seems traditional: humans ruling over a magical world, a chosen family - what could go wrong? Well, the answer is 'everything', really, especially when the humans in question also have their own mundane lives and family troubles to think of. Ruling a different realm is tough work, especially in an apocalypse - and, for a change, this is the book that will truly show it. It will look at complicated family dynamics and raise the issues of expectations and duty, assuming responsibility, breaking down (and healing, in a way), and if you feel like all those trials and tribulations should resolve into a neat happy ending, well, think again.

At its core, Polansky's style is something I would call 'very adult fantasy' - complex and detail-rich (sometimes overly so, like with the number of fantastical races and creatures in this one), but with the events often taking place in deeply alien and occasionally creepy settings. It always seems like you're just catching a glimpse of a world so vast there is just no understanding it fully. There is no glossing over the harsh truths, in the 'real world' or the magical one, and there are many questions left unanswered, so this is definitely not the book for someone who is looking for an easy-to-process feel-good fantasy journey.

Thanks to #NetGalley for an advance copy of the book.

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Received arc from Angry Robot and Netgalley for honest read and review,this review is my own.
I am an avid fantasy reader and when the chance came to read Daniel Polansky's book,I jumped at it. I have read his Low Town books and I loved them,especially writing and characters.
This centres around the Harrow family, parents and grown up kids and glitz between two deals ,ours and the far world(for want of a better word).
The blurb sounded interesting and I dived in expecting to be be gobsmacked and in a realm of unputdownable. I wasn't. This to me was so confusing and I struggled to get get any feelings for any of the characters.
As I have said I love Mr Polansky's books, but I could not get really into this one.I preferred the March storyline to the current daytime storyline, but not for me.
If you like fantasy books like me, then give it a go.It will not stop me reading more from author,I even have some more in my TBR like from him.

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Thank you to Angry Robot for this opportunity to rate and review this arc which is available for purchase May 9,2023

This is a fantastical world building sci-fi/fantasy novel about a human family who rules The March, a secondary world populated with other beings. The pacing of the novel is steady. The characters are enjoyable. Mary Ann is my favorite. You see a family fracture then reconcile. Fight for the March as well as the human world. You watch three children grow up and learn exactly what the March is and their roles in it. Their mother struggle under the weight of it. It is a very human story with fantastical bits. Reminds me a wee bit of Neil Gaiman.

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3.75/5 stars! The premise of this book was so creepy and gripping that I didn't quite know what to expect when reading it. Yes, this was an epic fantasy, but there was also more to it. There is this intricate and beautiful story about generational trauma and familial misunderstandings and their consequences. This book was shocking and I loved the time jumps and their different perspectives. Overall, I liked the book but it was a long, kind of exhausting read at times.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

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A fun, highly imaginative, urban fantasy where a 'normal" suburban family with all the typical inter family squabbles and dramas at night are rulers of an entire fantasy kingdom. Well written and quite a ride,

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I requested this one because it might be an upcoming title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book does not suit my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one.

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3.5/5

In this stand-alone multi-generational portal fantasy, the Harrow family drama intertwines with upheaval in a fantasy world they’ve sworn to protect. As expected from Polansky, things get bleak. Fantastic land populated with animate antiquated toys and sentient lichen gets more terrifying than blissful.

Harrow siblings aren’t close. Their personalities clashed since childhood. An accident divided them even more, disfiguring one of them. Constance (Mama‘s golden girl) has a family and tries to keep things together, Mary Ann (a rebel) drifts through life with no goal, and Jonh... well, all of them are damaged but John most of all. Dark secrets and bitter quarrels fractured familial bonds, and each of them deals with trauma and other significant issues.

The premise is great - a typical suburban family leads a normal life (in various professions) but at night they also rule the March - a secondary world where giant snails carry cities on their backs. Polansky’s imagination shines - the March surprises (and terrifies) on every step. With its diverse and complex society and rules, it continues to surprise readers.

The story jumps in time between the present and past, allowing readers to understand the situation and reasons for the protagonists’ troubled relationships. It also shows how March becomes a dangerous place to be. While I appreciate Polansky’s imagination, I didn’t fully connect to the secondary world plot. I found Jonh and Mary Ann’s arcs much more interesting and personal.

I like antiheroes and morally grey protagonists. People here are complex and I appreciate it. Sadly, they lack the charisma, personality, or agency to make me really care. It’s deeply subjective and I’m sure other readers will identify with them more than I do.

In the end, I have mixed feelings about the book. It’s intelligent, well-thought-out, and hits all the right story beats to make readers care. The real-life arcs of siblings immersed me, however, I didn’t fall in love with the world of March. Yes, I found it fantastical but also tiring. Polansky’s craft is top-notch, so don’t let my review stop you from giving it a go!

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Daniel Polansky does a great job in telling the story and has a great writing style. I enjoyed how well the characters were written and how they worked in the universe. The plot was really well done and worked in the universe's favor. It was a great journey to go on and I really enjoyed reading this.

“Of course you are! Why wouldn’t you be?” The Man-With-Many-Hands threw himself back into his work, stirring a mix of indigo cake batter, thinly slicing a bit of beetroot, grinding an array of spices with a mortar and pestle. “I don’t have enough to do feeding half the March, now I’m supposed to break in two new servers! On today, of all days!”

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