BOOK OF THE MONTH: AUGUST

Goodbye August, its been a pleasure.

Well, it has been another month, one of which has been and gone into the abyss that is 2020. I can’t believe that we are coming into September, it is just flying by.

I really didn’t feel like I had actually read much this month, but having done this post I realised I have still read a fair amount despite having a ton of other things on my plate this past month. I am a month into returning to work and still haven’t found my routine. Im still trying to do all the things I was doing while furloughed in half the time! So I am genuinely really happy and proud I have go through the amount of books I have!

So, to the books.

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

This month didn’t really have any type of theme or selective reading aims, it was a mood reading month if you will! Which is great. I did have two book tours to honour and thoroughly enjoyed participating in them!

So, this months reads…

The Medina Device by T.J. Champitto

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review Link: The Medina Device

My Thoughts:

Overall, this was a great introduction to a new genre for me, I read it quickly and was pretty gripped by the plot and its characters, while I probably wouldn’t read this book again (more because once you know the twists and ending its not as suspenseful) I would definitely read future books written by this author.


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: RTC. Promise.

My Thoughts:

I REALLY enjoyed this book! That’s it. They are my thoughts, I plan to write a review later in the week.


Kings and Daemons By Marcus Lee

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: Kings and Daemons

My Thoughts:

This book is really good, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series, it was a super easy read and you will find yourself reading and reading and reading.


Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice

My Thoughts:

Overall, I am so impressed with this book and have already started the next book. I am reading them considerably slower than usual but that is more to do with a busier schedule than anything but I am almost grateful for it as the time I am giving these books when I can is that much more treasured.


May Day by Josie Jaffrey

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review: I will. At some point. I have my notes just need to make it coherent!

My Thoughts:

This was a fun and quick-reading vampiric police investigation story. I flew through this and really enjoyed it.


Saga Volume One and Two by by Brian K. Vaughan (Author),  Fiona Staples (Illustrator)

My Rating: 4 to both

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: I will. I have my notes, I again just have to make it coherent! Though I think these will be very short ones, so I may review them as a whole. We shall see…

My Thoughts:

These have been great reads that I have slotted in between other reads, they take no more than an hour or so and are filled with colourful and quirky art!


Still Reading…

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

My Rating: N/A

N/A – Still Reading

Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.

My Thoughts (so far):

I am REALLY enjoying this book! I have found I have fallen into the rhythm of this book easier than Assassin’s Apprentice because I already love the world and the characters, so yanno the usual with a second book.

Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…

As you can see I have read a little bit of a variety his month. We have had graphic novels, epic fantasy and vampiric urban fantasy so this is a wee bit harder because these books vary so much.

It is another tough one to call this month, again I have read some great books and again I am bouncing between two books. Now, some of you may be thinking it obvious out of what I have read but the two contenders I am toying between are both similar in genre but different in writing style and detail.

After quite a bit of deliberation and switching between which one will be titled BOOK OF THE MONTH I settled on…

KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee

While Assassin’s Apprentice is a phenomenal book and one I really enjoyed I chose Kings and Daemons instead for a good many reasons. Obviously, as my review shows I enjoyed this book but what has topped this was generally my overall experience. Kings and Daemons was my first blog tour hosted by Story Tellers on Tour and I really enjoyed participating. On top of that I chatted a fair amount with Marcus, the simple fact that an author actively engages with his fans is such a great thing and really adds to the whole experience and Marcus actually helped me out in areas other than his book. So, there you have it Marcus Lee‘s Kings and Daemons takes this months title of BOOK OF THE MONTH!


Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or on Twitter if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.


7 URBAN FANTASY BOOKS TO READ…

Having just bought Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, the first book of the Dresden Files I realised I don’t have that much GOOD urban Fantasy under my belt. So, I did a little research and have hunted down seven books that sound pretty awesome in the urban fantasy genre.

I’m going to give them all a go. At some point soon. Maybe. Hopefully…

Here it is, then 7 urban fantasy books to read:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman 

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

WAR FOR THE OAKS B EMMA BULL

Acclaimed by critics and readers on its first publication in 1987, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel, Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks is one of the novels that has defined modern urban fantasy.

Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But she’s breaking up with her boyfriend, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.

By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that’s as much about this world as about the other one. It’s about real love and loyalty, about real music and musicians, about false glamour and true art. It will change the way you hear and see your own daily life.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA

RIVERS OF LONDON BY BEN AARONOVITCH

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | WATERSTONES

Libriomancer BY Jim C. Hines

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.


With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . . 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

MAGIC BITES BY by Ilona Andrews

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy… 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein

ANCIENT POWER

As the only female detective in Tokyo’s most elite police unit, Mariko Oshiro has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. But when he gives her the least promising case possible—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—it proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.

The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it.

Mariko’s investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield could turn against her. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

STORM FRONT BY JIM BUTCHER

HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |



BOOK REVIEW: ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE BY ROBIN HOBB

Oh gosh, I feel like I haven’t written up an actual book review in so long so don’t judge, I feel a little rough around the edges!

My Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A few facts about Assassin’s Apprentice:

  • Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
  • Author: Robin Hobb
  • Series: The Farseer Trilogy (Book One) and First trilogy in the Realm of the Elderlings series.
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Pages: 401

I read Assassin’s Apprentice on my Kindle which is currently only £2.99 on Amazon! I do plan to buy physical copies too!

Synopsis:

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill–and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom. 

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Review:

As it is with the well established series of the fantasy genre, and even more so ones of this magnitude, there are always tonnes of opinions. What the book did wrong, how it depressed some readers, how it was slow but amazing or any number of other comments. So it is more than likely you will see some similar views within this review but I like talking and reviewing books so I’m still going to write this despite what I have just said 😀

As we can see I’m pretty late to the Robin Hobb party but I don’t think it is a book I could have tackled any earlier. I had this trilogy on my TBR for a while but always veered away from it because I knew it was an older fantasy book and a classic. Though, I can safely say that I am happy I joined the Hobb party no matter how late.

So Assassin’s Apprentice has some fairly long chapters, at one point I was tired and thought ‘Ohhh I’ll just read to the end of the chapter’. Ummmm, no. I quickly looked how long it was and was like ‘nope, I can’t do it. I can’t make it that long’ 😂 

Straight off the bat, I knew I would love Hobb’s writing style. It is soo stunningly written, and being told her other trilogies only get better is amazing and has be insanely excited. 

With writing like Hobbs it often goes hand in hand with immense world building and this book is no exception. Hobb treats you to such detailed and colourful world building, there wasn’t a time I didn’t feel utterly involved in the book, in both larger scale plot events and smaller interactions.

One thing I really loved about this book was the time spent with Fitz as he grew up, I really enjoy these starts to a book and this one kinda reminded me of Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song. Now, I know this came out first but I read Blood Song first, so if I say it reminds me of Blood Song just take that as it is, ok? Ok. I loved Blood Song, so as soon as I met a young nameless boy being carted off to somewhere other than what he thought was his home and be thrust into the unknown I was eager! Even more so for this tale to begin the way it did with the snippets of narrator texts (again reminded me of Blood Song) it was already off to an amazing start.

Though, while I mention this and as I said I enjoy these beginnings because we see incredible character developments it does make for a far slower pace. This isn’t really an issue for me, least all in a first book but I know it may be for some people.

Hobb has done a damned fine job at building an incredible collection of characters. I loved the depth of Fitz as a character, he had so much personality and as a reader you genuinely felt a whole range of emotions. What made him even more intriguing was the fact that he never truly showed anyone himself wholly, he always kept something from someone! It provided a lot of options for the book, is he going to slip up with one person, tell the wrong person something they don’t know, show them a side of him he simply cannot? It is brilliantly written.

You do spend a lot of time in Fitz’s head, and this isn’t really a bad thing but i did find myself at times hoping for a character interaction and not getting one. 

This story goes far beyond Fitz alone, you become invested in nearly all the characters and Hobb both gives you the goods and doesn’t. Chivalry for instance, isn’t a character we got more from and I really wanted to see more of him, but where this is the case Hobb seamlessly interweaves the characters relationship to him to satisfy it. We see the way Burrich thinks of him, and the level of loyalty he shows, this alone shows us more into Chivalry’s character. His relationship with his brother and with Patience. It is quite masterfully done, we create a relationship with a character who isn’t even there so imagine the goods you get from those we do come into contact with.

Now, I don’t often mention magic systems in my reviews, I probably should because the are an intrinsic part of the fantasy genre but honestly I don’t feel qualified in magic systems yet having not read some of the leading ones of the genre. That’s not to say I don’t have an opinion on them but you won’t get me talking about hard magic or rule based ones and so forth. Buuuuut, saying all that I am going to say how much I liked the magic in this book. We have Wit and Skill and they are so simple in nature yet the way Hobb weaves them into the plot and the characters development just puts them a step above others I have read. Hobb also teases us with the potential for these magics to play a far greater role in the future books of the trilogy.

Overall, I am so impressed with this book and have already started the next book. I am reading them considerably slower than usual but that is more to do with a busier schedule than anything but I am almost grateful for it as the time I am giving these books when I can is that much more treasured.


6 THINGS THAT NONE READERS DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT BOOKS AND READING…

 Hello everyone! Today is a fairly fun post, or at least when I thought of it I figured it would be, but we shall see if that is the case now I am writing it!

There are an astonishing number of people reading these days but there are still a great number of folks out there who simply have little to no interest in picking up a book of their own free will. Weird, I know right?! But they just don’t get what the appeal is. Why pick up a book when you can watch a movie right? Mehh. No, but that’s just us.

So here it is guys and gals, 6 things that none readers just don’t understand about books and reading:

BOOKS ARE ALIVE:

Books keep readers coming back time after time, either for a reread of a favourite book or to continue the series, these books are then kept alive by our vivid imagination and our participation in the book community. We discuss the events in a book like we discuss events in the news. The motivations of a character, the loss of a character and more! I have had many a conversation about fictional people because, like I said, books are alive and those contained within its pages are real to us!

REPRESENTATION MEANS A LOT, JUST AS MUCH AS IT DOES IN ANY ANOTHER ART OR MEDIA FORM:

We are in a time now were the absence of varied representation and inclusivity of people of colour, LGBT groups, women and minority groups in general is being highlighted but folks who don’t read can sometimes still not quite get the need for representation because “there just books” or “they aren’t real people” but just as it is with gaming or movies when we read many of us want to see people like ourselves in a story. I mean we commit a considerable amount of hours to a book, so its pretty fucking important to feel represented and be able to resonate with certain aspects of a character.

BOOKS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH:

There are tons of benefits to a daily reading session. To name a few; it builds ones vocabulary, it prevents cognitive decline and strengthens the brain, its aids sleep and reduces stress! I’m pretty sure I read somewhere it even increases ones lifespan! 

THE INABILITY TO ‘JUST STOP READING’:

We have all had it where someone starts talking to you while you are reading and it takes you a moment to respond. You know why? Because we are at least finishing the sentence we are on, for me you are lucky I don’t make you wait until the end of the paragraph for me to respond. I can miss an entire conversation because I’m not just reading a book, I am in a book. I am experiencing everything the characters are! The other half, in response to one of the worlds largest yawns from me, says ‘just stop reading and go to sleep’…Mmmm, no. I have just gone to war, I’m currently atop my war horse charging the orc hoards of the east! One cannot simply just stop and go to sleep in the midst of an epic battle. Pfft. Please.

This is probably one of the biggest things none readers just don’t get, and it is that you can’t just stop reading.

BOOKS ARE AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT:

Even now, in a time when we are being encouraged more and more to talk about our emotions and engage with things on an emotional level, there are still tons of folks out there who find the prospect of emotionally engaging with anything, never mind with a book and its characters completely alien. It is important as a reader to fully appreciate the immersive nature books can offer, and in my opinion books take this to whole new heights, yes a movie can make you cry but a book…a book breaks you. And it is that what I think a none reader is unable to comprehend or even appreciate.

THE STRESS OF THE BEASTLY TBR:

This I think is something that both long time readers and new readers can appreciate.

An avid reader has the problem of being wider read than a newb, they have read so many books from such a variety of authors that for each authors they loved they have added most of their other works to their TBR and also they have been exposed to books that are similar which more than likely make it to their TBR’s but then on the other hand you have a new reader. They essentially have all the greats of their chosen genre to read before even being exposed to other works so they have an instant TBR.

We all know that the TBR can be pretty stressful, it becomes difficult to chose your next book, you worry you will never get around to reading your backlog because new books are constantly coming to light and your TBR can sometimes become so convoluted and filled with books that may not even suit your tastes anymore! The TBR and the stresses that come with it is definitely something a non reader cannot even begin to fathom!

There you have it, six things I think none readers just can’t understand about readers and I can confirm it was fun to do. I always love seeing the bookish traits we all have and mutual understandings our community has. I know that there are tons of bookish quirks that folks don’t get about book folks but the above six points are things I genuinely don’t think none readers get. If you have any that you have experienced or think I have missed pop them in the comments or on the Twitter post and let’s discuss!!


Again, thank you to everyone who visits by blog and takes the time to read my bookish ramblings I truly appreciate it! If you like the content then maybe follow my blog or even head over to my Twitter where I also talk shit 😀



7 BOOKS WITH LUSH, POIGNANT AND GENERALLY BRILLIANT WRITING STYLES/PROSE…

Since I am an utter flop and completely forgot about Sundays Seven yesterday I am going to do it now, hope you don’t mind. Better late than never, right?!

In todays belated Sundays Seven I am going to share with you seven books which I thoroughly enjoyed reading which were written wonderfully. Us notorious book worms have seen and experienced all kinds of writing styles. The good, the bad, the lyrical, the flowery, the dreary and the life changing. I hope, we have all read at least one book that shined a little brighter than the rest, a book so exceptional it rose above all overs and resinated with us on a wholly different level, a book we felt.

I am lucky to be able to tell you of seven of these diamonds!

I recently read an opinion of writing within the fantasy genre that I found to be wholly inaccurate, obviously opinions are subjective and what I consider to be well written or beautiful writing style may not be the case for another but really I just balked at this statement! It was something along the lines of ‘more often than not fantasy has the worst writing styles…’

The above GIF…yeah that was me when I read it! Imma like ‘mmm, say that shit again’. I mean fantasy, in my opinion, is known for it’s master word builders, magnificent swordplay, vivid imagery and brilliantly selected metaphors.

Fantasy has gifted me with novels that I have highlighted first lines, memorised whole paragraphs and reread over and over. I have read sentences so marvellous you feel the need to read them out loud. So I, in good conscience, have to sit here and say the above statement is a load of shit!

Anywho I will get to it, here are seven books with lush, poignant and generally brilliant writing styles/prose.

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE BY ROBIN HOBB

Tides wait for no man, and that I know is true. But time? Did the times I was born into await my birth to be? Did the events rumble into place like the great wooden gears of the clock of Sayntanns, meshing with my conception and pushing my life along?

“Justice. There’s a thing we shall ever thirst after, and ever be parched.”

“For there is a very strange peace in giving over your judgment to someone else, to saying to them, “You lead and I will follow, and I will trust entirely that you will not lead me to death or harm.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

“The stillness of the tent becomes a quiet melancholy. Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness. Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds. The stone feels heavier in your hand. When you drop it in the pool to join the rest of the stones, you feel lighter. As though you have released something more than a smooth polished piece of rock.” 

“I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.’

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | WHSMITH | WATERSTONES | BLACKWELL’S

THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN BOOKS BY JOHN GWYNNE

“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .”

“Both the brave man and the coward feel the same. The only difference between them is that the brave man faces his fear, does not run.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

“She will not come back, but her beauty, her voice, will echo until the end of time. She believed in something beyond herself, and her death gave her voice power it didn’t have in life. She was pure, like your father. We, you and I – he touches my chest with the back f his index finger – are dirty. we are made for blood. Rough hands. Dirty hearts.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

“You’ve one mark on your record,” Tamas said. “You once punched a na‑baron in the face. Broke his jaw. Tell me about that.”

Olem grimaced. “Officially, sir, I was pushing him out of the way of a runaway carriage. Saved his life. Half my company saw it.”

“With your fist?”

“Aye.”

“And unofficially?”

“The man was a git. He shot my dog because it startled his horse.”

“And if I ever have cause to shoot your dog?” “I’ll punch you in the face.”

“Fair enough. You have the job.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA BY SCOTT LYNCH

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.” 

“If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

Honourable Mentions:

I have gone with authors here instead of books but meh, it still counts!

  • George R. R. Martin
  • Mark Lawrence
  • Tolkien
  • Niel Gaiman

There you have it folks! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment on here or twitter with books you loved for their writing styles! Have a good week all and I shall see you next Sunday if not before!


7 SFF BOOKS WITH INCREDIBLE OPENINGS…

They say the hardest part about writing a novel is the first line, now I’m not too sure how accurate that statement is having not written a novel but I know there are those out there that believe it to be a crucial element.

I appreciate a good opening line and the different ones you come across as a reader. There are the ones introduce a character like that of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, or the ones that illustrate the beauty of an authors writing style! I love the ones that hook you and suggest an intriguing plot, it truly shows an authors talent when one line has you drooling for the rest of the book.

So, without further ado, here are seven books with opening that I love for one reason or another.

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

Goodreads

My Review of The Night Circus

RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

Goodreads

My Review of Red Rising

THE HOBBIT BY J. R. R. TOLKIEN

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Goodreads

BLOOD SONG BY ANTHONY RYAN

“He had many names. Although yet to reach his thirtieth year history had seen fit to garner him with titles aplenty: Sword of the Realm to the mad king who sent him to plague us, the Young Hawk to the men who followed him through the trials of war, Darkblade to his Cumbraelin enemies and, as I was to learn much later, Beral Shak Ur to the enigmatic tribes of the Great Northern Forest – the Shadow of the Raven.”

Goodreads

My Review of Blood Song

THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER BY C. S. LEWIS

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

Goodreads

THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”

Goodreads

RED SISTER BY MARK LAWRENCE

“It’s important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”

Goodreads

Thank you again for reading and visiting the blog, it is very much appreciated. Let me know in the comments if there are any opening lines in books you love!


Book Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

Welcome! Today it is my turn to follow in the footsteps of some incredible bloggers on the Kings and Daemons Book Tour hosted by the amazing Storytellers on Tour. It is day five and my turn to gush about this gem of a book.

For full details about this tour then head on over to the Storytellers on Tour Book Tour Page.

Firstly, the giveaway…

Click on the picture above for a chance to win one of five paperback copies of the brilliant Kings and Daemons! Ends in three days!

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

  • Title: Kings and Daemons
  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and The Cursed (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Mr Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 416

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

Review:

I really bloody enjoyed this book!

Kings and Daemons is Marcus Lee’s debut novel and the first in the series, I loved it and I am excited to read the next book in the series.

As I said on my Twitter and Goodreads update I truly loved Marcus’ writing, it read perfectly to me, and by perfectly I mean it is exactly the tone and style of writing I adore in fantasy. It made me feel like I was reliving a tale told by someone who knew the characters and witnessed the story unravel. 

I really enjoyed my time in the world, it was a dark and punishing world with a history as bloody and harsh as it’s present. Really early on it the book, when we hear a little of Kalas’ history, I was thinking give me that book too! I wanted to know more and more and could have read about the previous wars and beauties of the Ember Kingdom for longer and that’s saying something! For this not to come off as an unwanted info dump is a feat all in its self. These glimpses into the characters and the worlds history were utterly enjoyable.

Spoiled vegetables in the fields, dead or dying fish in the rivers, the whole land was teetering on a knife-edge.

Marcus really managed to make the world something in its own right, yes the witch king was an epic villain and always the root cause of it, but the world was almost a character unto its self, it was so evil and utterly corrupted. People were taught to relish in bloodshed and revel in the gore of war and death, it was so corruptive you saw glimpses of it’s corruption even in your ’good’ characters. 

His dreams, full of killing and bloodshed, he would once have considered nightmares, had shown him his destiny in all its blood-drenched glory.

Throughout we see glimpses of quite a few characters in Kings and Daemons, I’m going to say this is third-person omniscient because the narrator knows all the characters and their inner thoughts not just our leads, but I could be wrong. As I was saying, you see into other people’s minds in between our main characters. This is done brilliantly, I enjoyed the breaks in main character pov’s and found that they really added to the story and the scenes. In some cases it showed the awe of someone in response to one of our leads actions or the disgust. It is done fluidly and does not come across as disjointed or clunky. 

Maya is one of our main characters and I found I quite liked the nimble-footed little hunter, at one point she says something a little flirtatious and I was a shocked and giddy at it, as was who it was said too, because I was like oh hello new playful Maya. Then the nitpicker in me thought is that really in character for her and it was, because all her life she had been told to stay away and keep to herself, play herself down whereas now she was in the company of folk whole knew her so she had nothing to hide and could be her true, playful and nature-loving self. 

Mmmm, and the grey hair! You know I love this, I mean I named my dog Rogue (after the x-men and not rogue one star wars) so I was digging this little detail. 

Kalas was also quite an intriguing fellow, I adored his history and thoroughly enjoyed reading of it. Kalas was at sometimes infallible though, there didn’t seem to be any risk to him. I would have liked to have seen more go wrong for him, or at least provide a few wee hiccups in his journey. Though saying this I don’t think this will be an issue in the next book!

From there, chaos reigned. But inside the chaos, as men ran forward, swords clashed, blood flew and screams shattered the afternoon air, there danced the daemon, moving fluidly, every blow deadly, men falling behind him like leaves from a tree.

Rakan was a great character too, I actually liked him from the start despite his horrible nature. Something about him just seemed redeemable and to see his character grow and develop was an absolute treat.

Taran was a joy to read too and I thoroughly enjoyed the blossoming relationship between him and Maya. 

His life which was hardly gifted by the gods, was now certainly cursed.

And. Don’t judge me. I like the Witch-King, its almost as if by calling him by his given name I feel more understanding towards him. He didn’t have a great start and was pushed to some degree in the direction he took. Don’t get me wrong he continued in that direction with a ruthless brutality but I still kind of like the guy. It is understandable how he masterfully manipulates those around him perfectly, by knowing his soldiers and gifting them his attention and actual gifts! Heck, he manipulated me into kind of liking him! Thats how well written his character is. Marcus managed to create a brilliant cast of characters who are all fun and unique.

Marcus takes you on a great journey with his plot and his writing, I love the burst of colour when Maya works her magic and his descriptions of such create such vivid imagery. The plot is filled with many of the aspects I love from fantasy and constantly had me wanting to read more. We are treated to dark fantasy elements, a natural feeling and stunningly written romance and your classic fantasy elements. 

I’d rather die fighting next to you, than live without you. Don’t ask me to go again. I won’t.‘

The magic in this book is satisfying to read, I love that it always comes with a cost and Marcus does a brilliant job at slowly showing you the rules of said magic. Without saying much I am really excited to see the costs of said magic for some of the characters, we find a few out in this book but I expect we may find out some others in the later books too.

This book is really good, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series, it was a super easy read and you will find yourself reading and reading and reading.


Sound good? I can confirm it is! If you want to pick up your own copy you can do so through Kindle Unlimited or treat yourself to a physical copy from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


What Marcus had to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books and also other version of his book cover.

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook 😉

Thank you for reading!


7 FANTASY BOOKS WHO’S COVER ART IS THE BUSINESS…

This is a fairly simple Sunday Seven this week, mainly because i’m shit and didn’t even realise it was Sunday! I have been working for the last ten days and honestly all my brain can comprehend right now is that I’m at the end of my stint. I promise I have something a little different next week, I’m actually pretty excited for next weeks!

Sooo, what I thought would be a nice easy post was actually pretty damned hard. I ended up with so many covers I love that I opted to try and grab one from different styles. You’ll see what I mean in a wee moment.

Le’t get down to it eh? Here it is seven books who’s cover art is the business!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I couldn’t not put this cover on the list it is absolutely amazing! It is bright and colourful, it grabs the eye and it genuinely makes you want to read the book at first glance.

Illustrated by Ivan Belikov  and designed by David Mann.

A Natural History of Dragons

I chose to put this cover in this list because I feel like it is a cover unto itself, it is completely different to any I have seen and that alone warrants recognition.

We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

I really like this cover, and couldn’t help but put it in the post. I’m playing Ghost of Tsushima at the minute and I have a Samurai mask very similar to this for my character! I also love the Japanese Hannya masks and this reminds me of them too.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

This one was a tough one, I had put together Circe, The Bone Shard Daughter, Gilded Wolves and The Goblin Emperor for this slot. They all are more pattern based in nature, but as I only have seven slots I had to try to narrow them down, almost by category if you will and out of them I found The Binding to be the winner (for lack of a better word).

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

I find this cover to be absolutely breathtaking, I love this type of art. I actually have several of the types of designs floating around on my Pinterest Boards and find them to be so beautiful. They are such a vivid mix of nature and humanity and for some reason they really get to me.

Cover art and design by David Curtis.

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

I adore this cover, it is genuinely stunning! It is intricate, mysterious and really quite fantastical! It helps that I love tattoos and one of my favourite design styles are Chinese tattoo designs.

Designed by Feifei Ruan

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

This is such a cool cover, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know how much it encapsulates the story but if the cover and blurb are anything to go by its pretty appropriate! Also I love a lot of Lauren Panepintos work, she I responsible for The Shadow Of What Was Lost, Promise of Blood, Kings of the Wild and more. All of which were in the shortlist for this blog post!

Art by Ian Leino with design by Lauren Panepinto.

There you have it guys 7 book covers I think are the business, this was harder than I anticipated and i’m pretty sure I could do another seven several times over!

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and I hope you enjoy these covers as much as I do!


What’s New To My Kindle?

This month I went a little mental with Kindle Deals, I got so many and a few others that were still a steal but not necessarily one of the deals.

Here we go…

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Add Them To Your Goodreads!

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Add This To Your Goodreads!

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Vultures by Luke Tarzian

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Blood-Tainted Winter by T L Greylock

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Wildfire Cycle by D. P Woolliscroft

Add These To Your Goodreads!

Well, that is my list of Kindle purchases! So many of these are currently £0.99, I think for another two days or so!

So you should definitely head on over to Amazon and get them while you can!

Thank you for checking out my new purchase. What have you bought this month on Kindle?


Book Tour: The Medina Device by T. J. Champitto

I would jut like to begin by thanking T.J. Champitto and Breakeven Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for The Medina Device, and for allowing me to read and review this prior to release.

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A few facts about The Medina Device:

  • Title: The Medina Device
  • Author: T. J. Champitto
  • Series: Standalone
  • Publisher: Black Rose Writing
  • Pages: 268

Synopsis:

Former Navy SEAL Cameron Lyle is transitioning to life as a husband, father and government contractor. But his thirst for adventure has driven him to a secret life of high-stakes crime that has gained the attention of the FBI. When a mysterious device is unearthed in the mountains of Bolivia, an ancient brotherhood emerges to offer Cameron the opportunity of a lifetime–to steal the greatest discovery in human history from a rogue cell of U.S. intelligence officers. As a beleaguered FBI agent closes in, and a team of deadly assassins hunt him down, Cameron leads his pursuers on a worldwide manhunt as he sets off to find the scientist who can explain it all. Secret societies, ancient technology and international espionage all converge in a journey that will ultimately test the bounds of reality. 

(Goodreads)

Review:

I want to just highlight my rating criteria first…

FOUR STARS 

★★★★

I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK.

There is a fine line between a five star rated book and a four star rated book because I still really liked these books, the difference is that these books just slipped up on occasion. They may have fallen flat in a subplot or left certain plot threads unanswered. It will honestly, be something pretty small but enough to knock it off  obsessive gushing level. I will still recommend these books, though only to those who like the genre, and will likely read them again just not at the rate I would reread a five star beauty.

THREE STARS

★★★

I LIKED THIS BOOK.

These books are good solid reads but simply fall into the average category. They tend to be the fun and easy reads that are still enjoyable even though they have their flaws. These are still good books, don’t doubt that, so I would still recommend them but only when they fit a few criteria someone has listed when asking for recommendations. I am unlikely to read these books again, unless I’m really in the mood for the book specifically.

This book, for me, sits firmly in the 3.5 rating, it is a good solid read that I enjoyed and read easily. This book isn’t quite a four star, but I wouldn’t feel right categorising it as average because it isn’t.

I don’t read thrillers often, if at all, but I was contacted by Breakeven Books and asked to participate in this Tour. Having read the blurb and generally wanting to read a little outside my genres I accepted. It sounded super interesting and is exactly the type of movie I LOVE. So, if I can love a movie of this nature then surely I can love a book of this nature, right? Exactly, and I did. I found this book to be really enjoyable.

Champitto really captures an energy in his writing, especially with the main character Cam’s family, there is such a vibrance to their interactions. Once I had adjusted to his writing style I enjoyed it. Though, a few character introductions felt like they were their online dating profiles, Hannah likes long walks on the beach and excels at law. If you feel me? While I noticed this it isn’t a massive issue as you are not introduced to tons of new characters.

Champitto managed to write one of those books that are so well thought out and their characters so nicely crafted emotionally that I wondered if the author had ever been in their position. That was the case for this book, I wondered if Champitto had served in the military, if he had made decisions that either saved or ended others lives. I think that is always a sign of a talented writer, their characters are real to the point you think the author must have a personal knowledge of this stuff!  Though, despite this raving I did want more history from these characters. While Champitto is talented and his writing does evoke quite a lot of emotion I found I didn’t really know the characters beyond this plot. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this is a shorter book to what I am used to and it still managed to capture me, it may not have had the most developed characters but what you saw you loved, I genuinely found myself quite attached and invested in Cam, Michael and Trip. I found Rand the least fun of the characters but once he was surrounded by other characters I like him a lot more. 

I really enjoyed the plot of this book and found myself constantly wanting to know what happened next, it has great action sequences and is really quite suspenseful. The pace is a nice tight and ever moving thing, and does well to give you the feeling that time is of the essence. 

I definitely wanted a little bit more to go wrong in our characters journey though, there were a few instances when I wondered if the characters would just manage everything. Don’t get me wrong there are definite consequences and bumps in the road but I wanted a few more little hiccups here and there.

Overall, this was a great introduction to a new genre for me, I read it quickly and was pretty gripped by the plot and its characters, while I probably wouldn’t read this book again (more because once you know the twists and ending its not as suspenseful) I would definitely read future books written by this author.

 This is a promising debut and as I said above, I would like to see more from this author! 

Thanks for reading and have a great day!