SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO RESTORE YOUR FAITH IN PROLOGUES…

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Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

I hope your week has been good and filled with bookish goodness. Well, like I said it’s Sunday so that means I am going to give you seven books, one for every day of the week!

This week I am taking on a subject a lot of readers have a strong ass opinion on.

The Prologue…

I personally like a prologue, I have read some killer prologues that have me really excited for the story ahead but I have also seen some that I’m just like..

There are quite a few types of prologues and I don’t think you can hate them all and I don’t think you can love them all. Some are a direct copy of a paragraph you will get to at some point in the book, some are a character introduction or and introduction to the magic and some are – and these are my favourite – a historical event or inciting incident that set the story you are about to read in motion.

What is your favourite or most hated type of prologue?


So, lets see if you agree with my seven books, and whether you feel they show that a prologue can be a good thing.

****

LEGACY OF ASH BY MATTHEW WARD

Matthew Ward gave us such a wonderful prologue in this fantastic first instalment. He sets the tone of the book and give you crucial background information to a brilliant story, this is actually what made me read this book.

Whoever chose which part of the book would feature as the audio sample did the correct thing, they chose this books prologue and it is fantastic. It moved it u my TBR considerably and I for one am glad.

A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


NAME OF THE WIND BY Patrick Rothfuss

So, I may not have finished this book (and yes I have every intention of finishing it) but I can still appreciate this books prologue. The language used is lovely, and such a delight to read. Though, I will admit I was thankful it wasn’t used in the main body of the book as for me it would have been too much.

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. 

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


The Shadow Of What Was Lost BY James Islington 

I don’t even care if I am biased because I am currently reading this book, the prologue was sooo good. it was just the right mix of dark and descriptive but leaves you asking questions making you eager to continue the book.

OLD POWERS AWAKEN

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them – the Gifted – are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers.

As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out.

But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life – and shake the entire world. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK (CURRENTLY £0.99) | AUDIOBOOK


MISTBORN BY BRANDON SANDERSON

I read this book so long ago and of the entire book the only thing I remember is the prologue. I feel like that is a good thing, I remember just being wowed by the world you are shown and this really interesting magic system you are teased with. It is written well and is generally a good and solid prologue.

The mists rule the night…
The lord ruler owns the world.

For a thousand years the ash fell.
For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow hope survives.
A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.

What if the prophesied hero had failed to defeat the Dark Lord? The answer will be found in the Mistborn trilogy, a saga of surprises that begins here.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


THE RAGE OF DRAGONS BY EVAN WINTER

Mmmmm, Evan Winter does it right!

This is such a damn good start to a book, and as are most of my favourites it is an inciting incident, one that set the wheels turning in this world and led to the story you are about to read.

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


THE LIES OF Locke Lamora BY SCOTT LYNCH

This is actually another book but remember nothing from, its nothing against the books I just read them that long ago. I plan to reread them but alas finding the time is never easy.

Though, again I remember to mysterious and rather interesting prologue, I mean they are trying to sell a kid soooo…is pretty intriguing.

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.

But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.

A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora …

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK |


THE WAKING FIRE BY ANTHONY RYAN

I LOVED this opening, again it is an overall inciting incident that is set a little bit back from when the story takes place. What makes this even better in my opinion is that it is laid out like a report of an officer who was there.

I really enjoyed this prologue, it introduced us to a few characters though not necessarily our main characters and set the tone perfectly for this book and what was to come..

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK


There you have it, seven books that will restore your faith in prologues!

Thanks for reading.

S A M | The Book in Hand


BOOK FOUR RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 11 TO 13…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Hello, Fellow Gardens of the Moon Readers!

I have finished Gardens of the Moon, and WOW my brain hurts! While I followed this story quite well it still takes a lot to fully appreciate this world and everything it includes!

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.


FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE (CHAPTERS 1 TO 4) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK TWO (CHAPTERS 5 TO 7) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK THREE (CHAPTERS 8 TO 10) HERE.


WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK FOUR?

BOOK FOUR | ASSASSINS

Chapters 11 to 13.

Book Four is still in Darujhistan and we come into this book with none other than Kruppe, I LOVE Kruppe. dude is SO kooky. Kooky Kruppe is once again in a dream world and has quite a few people surrounding him this time. We have K’rul, Imass Pran Chole, the White Fox and a pregnant Rhivi woman. It’s all a little crazy but Tattersail (recently blown up) undergoes a soul-shift, the Rhivi woman births her.

Knowing Kruppe is an important player, Sorry tells Whiskeyjack who tells her to investigate him. He asks if Kruppe is a seer and the word causes Sorry some trouble (yanno because a seer liked with her to save her soul from the Shadow), she members something but isn’t sure what is happening in her head.

Sorry follows Kruppe, though not as stealthy as she thinks as Kruppe notices her, could have been the bloodied sword she carried after killing Chert? Who knows? Crokus also clocks this and knows Sorry is the murderer, as do Irilta and Meese but they say nothing.

Crokus drops Oponn’s coin in front of Sorry and she is quite happy with this as she now knows the face of the coin bearer.

In the Phoenix Inn, Rallick, Crokus and Murillio join Kruppe at their usual table, and as usual Coll is sloshed, but he says something odd he says five black dragons live in Moon’s Spawn.

Quick Ben, using his Warren to travel to the Warren of Shadow asks for an audience with Shadowthrone.

In Mammot’s study Kruppe begins to read about the chaining down and crippling of a God. It states that six dragons (five black and one red) were witness to the chaining in Moon Spawn. Confirming Coll’s drunken ramblings.

The Old Crone arrives at Baruk’s estate to tell him of what she saw (Hairlock heading towards the Gadrobi Hills and causing havoc on his way). He surmises it is heading to the Jaghut Tyrant burial location. Baruk is fairly worried about this and keeps his cards close to his chest revealing little to the Crone but the location of a Standing Stone.

Quick Ben is escorted to Shadowthrone by four Hounds, he explains to Shadowthrone he can give him the one he seeks (Hairlock). The two verbally spar for a time and it is revealed Quick Ben was a High Priest of Shadow but deviated from the path, towards the end Shadowthrone realises who he was, a chap named Delat, Shadowthrone angrily calls “shape-shifting bastard”.

Kruppe, after being summoned, arrives to see Baruk. The two discuss the Eel and his spy network. Baruk instructs Kruppe to gain intel on those seeking the Jaghut Tyrant and to take Crokus with him.

Still searching for the assassin, Rallick enters the Phoenix Inn only to be followed shortly after by the assassin (Kalam). He is ordered by Ocelot to lead him to a warehouse, on his return however Kalam is gone.

Meanwhile, the smitten Crokus decides to break back into Challice’s home to return his looted goods.

Kalam and Quick Ben follow Rallick unseen, by the aid of Quick Ben’s magic, to the warehouse to observe. Rallick knows this and tells Ocelot the same. Ocelot dismisses Rallick to deal with the assassins himself.

A demon, observing all of this these sees Ocelot and his assassins move in on the Kalam and Quick Ben. Though he (the demon) too is attacked by an assassin mage, though she doesn’t continue her assault going for her intended victims. Rallick and Ocelot seeing more than them are involved decide to get out leaving Quick Ben and Kalam.

Sorry follows Crokus to Challice’s estate, she kills a guard and waits for Crokus. She overhear Rallick shouting at Crokus and of their intended mission to the Gadrobi Hills and decides to follow them.

Kalam and Quick Ben flee but notice the demon and use it as a means to survive. The demons faces off with the remaining Tiste Andii, more Andii arrive and the demon realise she is no match agreeing to give him time to flee but nothing else.

The Tiste Andii assassins report back to Anomander Rake of their losses and battle.

Whiskeyjack brings an injured Kalam to their healer, Mallet. Kalam reports on the battle and their encounter with the Tiste Andii assassins. Whiskeyjack and Quick Ben surmise they are wiping out the assassins so that the empire cannot strike a deal with them to cull those in opposition to them.

Baruk and Anomander Rake meet, both are suspicious of each other and do not full trust each other yet. Baruk is angry Rake took it upon himself to start and assassin war.

Kruppe visits his dreamworld and K’rul explains Tattersail is well and growing at a fast rate. He also mentions Baruk has an alliance with Anomander Rake and his cabal of powerful mages. K’rul wants Kruppe of the Jaghut Tyrant and its power.


There we have it, another recap, this time for Book Four. I could not have done a recap for Gardens of the Moon as a whole, can you imagine how big it would be! TOO big. These individual books carry so much detail of places, people, guilds and alliances. It is so sooo much to get through, these could be even more detailed but then you’d likely be better just rereading the book again!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my recap and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!

Thanks,

S A M | The Book in Hand


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK EIGHT

Hey Everyone and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT! Thanks for coming again.

I have been so busy today, I very nearly forgot to write up this post. I have actually been working on my 100 Fantasy Books Bucket List Poster today, I am creating all the little icons for each book.

If you don’t know what a bucket list poster is, it is a poster which has a list of books, movies, or anything really and when you have read the book you scratch off the gold square and reveal a little picture. Then when you have read them all you have a cool poster. Well, it never has the books I want to see on it so I decided to make my own and it is taking ages! I have done the layout and two little graphics. See…

Now, back to the post and not my bucket list poster ramblings!

AS USUAL, The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

TIGANA by GUY GAVRIEL KAY

Goodreads Link

Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered…

But years after the devastation, a handful of courageous men and women embark upon a dangerous crusade to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the dark world the brilliance of a long-lost name…Tigana.

Against the magnificently rendered background of a world both sensuous and barbaric, this sweeping epic of a passionate people pursuing their dream is breathtaking in its vision, changing forever the boundaries of fantasy fiction.

Reasons & Thoughts:

I have been told that this is quite a slow book, but one in which the end totally justifies the slower pace. Now, I don’t often like books that give you what you want only in the last 30% but this book also has so much praise for its personable characters and amazing world-building. So, I am inclined to give it ago.

“…GGK has an exquisite way with words. My favorite fantasies are always those with breathtaking prose, and GGK delivers that is spades with Tigana. But the lovely language is just a vehicle for the amazing story he has crafted. .”

Celeste (Rated 5 Stars)

BOOK #2

THE GRIM COMPANY by LUKE SKULL

Goodreads Link

The difference between a hero and a killer lies in the ability to justify dark deeds. But this is the Age of Ruin. And there are no heroes…

Five hundred years ago, the world was destroyed in the celestial Godswar. Seeking to throw off the shackles of the deities who created them, a cabal of mages rose up and made war upon the Gods. Though they won out, it was at a great cost: the ensuing cataclysm brought forth the Age of Ruin to the world.

Five hundred years later, the world limps on, seemingly winding down to an inevitable end. Dystopian city states have arisen, each presided over by one of the Magelords who first made war.

Corrupted, near-immortal, and far too powerful, those wizards who once sought to free the world now make war upon each other, while the helpless populace limp on from day to day.

Into this blighted world, steps Davarus Cole, a boy obsessed with notions of heroism and adventuring, who burns to do great deeds. One night, in a reckless act, Cole gets himself into a brawl with the authories. He quickly finds himself sent away from the city, where the world still groans from the ancient cataclysm, and the corpses of Gods lie deep beneath the bedrock, leaking wild, uncontrolled magic into the world. 

Reasons & Thoughts:

I have said it before but I shall say it again, I haven’t read much grimdark at all so I am inclined to see this book on. It sounds really cool and it is rated well by most of the reviewers I know, and the complaints of others tend to veer on the side of grimdark veterans. Though, saying that despite all the 4 star rating barely anyone has actually written a review!

BOOK #3

SENLIN ASCENDS BY Josiah Bancroft

Goodreads Link

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he’ll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Reasons & Thoughts:

I did not know this was a SPFBO book!

This book has a HUGE amount of positive reviews and the more I read the more I want to read this book, it is such a cool premise and generally just sounds epic!

“…An extraordinary debut that is well worthy of the hype. A beautifully written, highly engaging page-turning masterpiece where I was on Tom’s side every step of the way…”

James Tivendale (Rated 5 Stars)

BOOK #4

CROWN OF FEATHERS by NICKI PAU PRETO

Goodreads Link

I had a sister, once… 

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us. 

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled. 

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken. 

Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.

Reasons & Thoughts:

This books synopsis both draws me in and pushes me away. Weird. I like sibling stories and I love the Phoenix so this books is gaining points on that front, this book sounds like it has a super cool world with it’s Phoenix Riders, warriors and harsh living but it is a YA book. I don’t mind YA but I am slowly getting less and less tolerable of the genre, sadly.

Mmm, do I give it a chance of not?

“Wow! This book was phenomenal! …”

WS_BOOKCLUB (Rated 5 Stars)

BOOK #5

The RAVeN BOYS by MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Goodreads Link

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Reasons & Thoughts:

My TBR isn’t all that varied when you think about it, I stick to one genre and even stick further to certain sub genres. I do really enjoy reading romance and often complain I cant get a hold of a good fantasy romance and there are tons of them! Again, this is YA and that bugs me a little because it can make or break a romance but I believe I have some of this tutors others works on my TBR too, somewhere.

“This was a book I picked up on a whim at the library just before lockdown and I am glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. “

Rowena Andrews (Rated 4 Stars)

BOOK #6

Bone Crier’s Moon by KATHRYN PURDIE

Goodreads Link

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

Reasons & Thoughts:

I had made my decision before I even read the blurb to this book, not sure why it got the instant verdict but sometime you just cant sway your mind!

BOOK #7

The Calculating Stars by MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL

Goodreads Link

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Reasons & Thoughts::

This is a tough one because it sounds pretty damned interesting and I really like a historical setting but something about it is putting me off and I don’t know why. I feel like sometimes these stories get a little lost and they aren’t always fun to read.

BOOK #8

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by BECKY CHAMBERS

Goodreads Link

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Reasons & Thoughts::

This is another book I already know whether I am going to keep it or cut it from the TBR. I remember being recommend this when asking Book Twitter for Sci-Fi recs and it had be really curious then. A Motley crew, strong family themes and a big journey…It sounds cracking.

BOOK #9

The Red Pyramid by RICK RIORDAN

Goodreads Link

Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants—school friends and a chance at a “normal” life. But Carter has just what Sadie longs for—time with their father. After six years of living apart, the siblings have almost nothing in common. Until now.

On Christmas Eve, Sadie and Carter are reunited when their father brings them to the British Museum, with a promise that he’s going to “make things right.” But all does not go according to plan: Carter and Sadie watch as Julius summons a mysterious figure, who quickly banishes their father and causes a fiery explosion.

Soon Carter and Sadie discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are waking, and the worst of them—Set—has a frightening scheme. To save their father, they must embark on a dangerous journey—a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and its links to the House of Life, a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Reasons & Thoughts:

So, I may definitely have these books on my shelves, I don’t really remember buying them so they may well have bee a gift but I have them. Not that it necessarily means I will read them but they are there.

They do sound fairly decent and it is the same chap who wrote the Percy Jackson books. I’ve watched the movies, not read the books tough.

BOOK #10

The Black Company by GLEN COOK

Goodreads Link

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her… So begins one of the greatest fantasy epics of our age—Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company

Reasons & Thoughts:

Whenever I read the name Glen Cook I can not stop myself from saying…

I don’t know why, so don’t judge me. Just laugh with me. I’m sorry Glen COOK. Maybe for that alone I should keep it.

“..There’s as much action as any reader could want, varied and interesting magic, tight plotting from a good number of interesting points of view…”

Eon Windrunner (Rated 4 Stars)

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut and didn’t or are you screaming at me internally because of the ones you cant believe I cut..

Thank you for reading, as always, I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to comment or have a natter with me over on Twitter.


COVER REVEAL | THE SWORD IN THE STREET BY C. M. CAPLAN

A massive thank you to the amazing Storytellers On Tour for arranging this cover reveal.

Hello Bookish Folks!

Well, my fellow bookworms, I have got something pretty freaking cool to show you today!!

It is time for another COVER REVEAL!

Covers do wonders for books, so when an author pulls out the big guns I cant help but get excited and Caplan pulled in a fantastic artist and designer for his cover. He chose none other than the amazing and incredibly talented Felix Ortiz and Ken Dawson.

So, sit and stew on that little nugget. I will show you this amazing cover very soon.

But a few things about the author first…

C. M. CAPLAN

C.M. CAPLAN IS the author of The Sword in the Street. He’s a quadruplet (yes, really), mentally disabled, and he spent two years as the Senior Fiction Editor on a national magazine – while he was still an undergrad in college. 

He has a degree in creative writing from Salem State University and was the recipient of the university’s highest honor in the arts. His short fiction also won an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Writers of the Future Contest. 

Caplan’s introduction to fantasy came through J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin. He has a tattoo that roughly translates to Valar Morghulis, as written in Tolkien’s Elvish script, in an acknowledgment of that fact. Other influences include Robin Hobb, Ellen Kushner, N.K. Jemisin, Katherine Addison, John Irving, K.S. Villoso, and Neil Gaiman. 

He currently lives in New England, where he works remotely for a social justice theater company.

Now, as usual you are probably getting slightly frustrated with me stringing you long with all the above details and I know your thoughts are likely something along the lines of… just show me the damn cover, thats what I’m here for!

But I’m still not going to show you yet!

Sword in the Street is the first book in the new series The Ink and the Street. This book is due to be released March 3rd 2021 but worry not you can pre order it HERE.

This BEAUTIFUL cover is the one of the many fine works of Felix Ortiz, and you can check out some of his other work HERE. If you haven’t heard of this chap you will have certainly seen his work among some other INCREDIBLE book covers. I recently shared his work for The Combat Codes on Twitter and in my Review.

Ken Dawson also worked on this fab cover as the cover designer and you can find more of his works HERE.

Synopsis:

Trial by battle is a holy rite on Hillside. Hired blades bleed their foes in savage duels, settling everything from petty grievances to the corporate laws that keep their citizens in line. Embroiled in these cutthroat political games is John Chronicle, an impoverished swordsman with no better prospects, seeking the duel that will free him from the Dregs.

Meanwhile, John’s boyfriend Edwin, an autistic university student, befriends a fellow scholar who claims to study the arcane art of thaumaturgy. When she offers to teach Edwin this subtle magic, he hopes that he can use it to bolster John’s skill with a blade. But thaumaturgy is a dangerous magic, and the forces that drive it have other plans.

The couple soon find themselves entangled in the web of intrigue surrounding the swordsmen and their sponsors, and they’re forced to question how bloody they’re willing to get to escape poverty — and they don’t come away with the same answer.

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Ok.

I

don’t

think

it

is

fair

for

me

to

keep

stringing

you

along

this

long

so

here

it

is

an

amazing

and

beautiful

cover

The Sword in the Street.


THE FULL SPREAD…



THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS AND I HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN…


WHY THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR BY TAD WILLIAMS IS A MASTERPIECE & WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT…

Hello Book Friends!

Today I am going to attempt to motivate you into reading Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorry and Thorn books. There will be a few points and an overview that hopefully will inspire you to read this phenomenal series!!!

A brief overview

After the death of the high King John Presbyter and the rise of the Mad king Elias, who with the influence of the Dark Priest Pyrates, have damned the world , together they have made an ungodly pact with the dark prince, known as the Storm king. Seoman our main protagonist has no choice but to flee his home and join the rebellion lead by the Mad kings brother Josua Lackhand in city of Nagilmund. All of the nations within this world are plunged into chaos!! You will follow the characters experience of losing the world that they once knew…..

You can also check it out on Goodreads HERE! Maybe add it to your TBR.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT…

This book has been quoted as one of the seminal works within epic fantasy genre, from the same era as Robert Jordan, Robin Hobb, Raymond E Fiest, amongst other gifted authors. After reading most of the big names from the era I have to say that Tad Williams is without question a Titan of the fantasy genre. As I was reading through the first novel I understood the reasons why Tad Williams work was so influential and recognising those small nuances and themes that have transcended into what we love and appreciate today!!

This series from my perspective inspired the likes of John Gwynne, Anthony Ryan, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss George R R Martin and more recent authors such as Brian Lee Durfee.

Every aspect of this novel  is deeply captivating , down to the flawless prose, the deeply immersive world building that unravels with each chapter that passes, the complex character progression and constant feeling of intrigue is overwhelming!! It is without question a very character driven novel and you will become very attached to the totally unforgettable cast. You can get lost travelling through beautifully imagined dark forests scenes , stunning cities going deeper into rich lore and history that is totally enchanting and central to this series !!

Tad Williams is a writer that has without question mastered his craft, everything in this series has been forged at the hands of a master story teller which you’ll see in the flawless execution.

For me this is a stand out series from that era and I will be reading the follow up series’ set 30 years after the events of this series and all the series that follow in this world. I am currently reading the last instalment, a chonky 1400 page monster, which has already convinced me that this series will in doubt be in my top 5 of all time.

Has this book aged well?

Absolutely yes, because and forgive me for maybe repeating myself but this is without a doubt one of the definitive works of that era! So what I’m saying is this series should by future generations be regarded in the same way as Tolkien in my opinion. In terms of its impact on the fantasy genre!!!

Here are some of the other wonderful works set in the world of Osten Ard…

THE SHADOWMARCH SERIES | ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The Last King of Osten Ard Series | ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


OK, SO IT’S HUGE TRILOGY…Is it worth it? How does it compare to other series from that era?

I would say that if you’re daunted by the size of other series from this era like Robert Jordans Wheel of Time, I think you will have a comparable experience with this series. I would argue that despite this only being a trilogy, I feel that Tad Williams has achieved as much as Jordan/Sanderson did in a 15 book series. I am not saying that it’s better, as I think everyone should read Jordan,but this series stands shoulder to shoulder in terms of its brilliance, if not surpassing Jordan in some aspects. For instance, Tad Williams will not spend two paragraphs describing the pattern on a member of the Aes sedai dress lol. I know how that flowery prose puts people off. Tad Williams prose as I mentioned earlier is flawless and totally poetic at times and he paints some scenes with total precision.

This is the perfect introduction to epic Fantasy from this era! That said even if you’re and experienced fantasy reader this will make you remember why you fell in love with this genre!!

If you have it already on the shelf, then I recommend turning to chapter 33, that chapter alone will sell this book to you if nothing else will !!

LET US TALK ABOUT THE TONE…

There is an over bearing sense of hopelessness, with an atmospheric feeling of an encroaching darkness just adds such depth to this epic tale!! With King Elias falling deeper into madness, with Pyrates working as the architect for this worlds destruction, with his use of dark magic, the fate of Osten Ard is seemingly doomed and you’re witness to the horror that is to follow. With this first instalment you’re very aware that you’re on the doorstop of something very special and so the journey begins….. Hope of the rebellion is founded in the prophecy surrounding the three swords, Sorrow memory and Thorn which will be there only chances against the forces of evil within this tale.

ON TO THE CHARACTERS…

So our main protagonist Seoman is your typical orphaned scullion working under the watchful eye of his merciless overlord Rachel the Dragon, you follow his misadventures in Hayholt castle in a typical coming of age style that’s very typical. What Williams does to engage you as reader with this character is he provokes those childhood memories of a time of innocence in your life as a kid, which really engages you on an intimate level and helps you to connect with Simon very quickly. As much as Seoman is idle and lazy, he is head strong and like all young boys has grandiose dreams of a heroic future!

Resident wizard/ doctor Morgenes is eccentric, wise and hilarious , but his true purpose within Hayholt is shrouded in mystery…. So as you may of guessed already, he takes the wayward Seoman as his apprentice….

So on to the high king Elias who you’ll come to know, and as I call him the Mad king, who is in the grasps of the dark priest Pyrates, has been lead into a world of corruption, his lust for power threatens to destroy the lives of many.

His brother Josua, the brooding intellectual sibling, the brother that is to lead the rebellion and have the courage an honour to fight against his foes, against all odds and save the world from damnation! He is pitched as one of the potential heros and savior if this tale!

Finally Pyrates quite possibly one of the finest villains that I’ve encountered in the fantasy genre. His history in this series, his becoming,is probably the slowest in terms of progression, which is very much intentional, but his dark grasp on the Mad king is clear. His very presence within Hayholt is an omen for the horror that is to follow!

So those are you main characters, but there is a huge cast that you will come to know and love, hate and fear as go through this novel!

ITS INFLUENCES…

You will find heavy influences of polythiestic and monotheistic religions that strongly influence the various human races within this world on a societal level and down to the characters own lived experience adding more depth to what motivates them.

The politics are generally very typical of a medieval world and isn’t hard to understand the hierarchy of each society. There are very clear Nordic (Rimmersmen), Germanic( Thrithings) and western European Anglo Saxon (Erkynlanders/Nabanese) influences as far as the mortal races are concerned which is a trope you’d expect to find in a series like this which is very typical of novel from this era.

You will be introduced to immortal races more as you get into the series, but just to note the following, are central to plot the most important being the immortal Sithi, The Norns, The Niskies, Quanuc and the Dwarrows. The sheer scope of the lore within this series is so huge.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post hopefully you know more on why you should be reading The Dragonbone Chair if you haven’t already!

Have you read The Dragonbone Chair? If so let me know in the comments what you thought of it or head on over to Twitter. Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Happy reading!


BOOK REVIEW | THE COMBAT CODES BY ALEXANDER DARWIN

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I am happy to be reviewing one of the SPFBO Finalist’s this year, and that is The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin.

SPFBO Award Finalist for Best Fantasy Book (2020)

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Combat Codes
  • Author: Alexander Darwin
  • Series: The Combat Codes Saga (Book One)
  • Published by Insight Forge
  • Pages: 408

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

“We fight, so the rest shall not have to.”

In a world where single combat determines the fate of nations, the Grievar fight so that the rest can remain at peace.

Cego is a mysterious Grievar boy forced to fight his way out of the slave Circles into the world’s most prestigious combat school. 

At the Lyceum, Cego will learn a variety of martial arts from eclectic teachers, develop deep bonds of friendship and fight against contentious rivals to climb the school’s rankings. 

But, Cego will find far more than combat studies at the Lyceum. He will find the mystery of his past unraveled by forces greater than he could ever imagine. 

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book :

  • A martial arts inspired gem;
  • Excellent and raw fighting sequences;
  • Master and apprentice vibes;
  • Incredible military academy; and
  • Friendships and family.

Art By ryanbestart (Shop)

On to the full review…

I started reading The Combat Codes on January 1st and it was such a great book to start my reading year off with! I LOVE martial arts in all of its forms so to see such a great Jiu Jitsu inspired SFF novel was super cool.

My experience reading The Combat Codes was one of nostalgia, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was such fun! Every time a pointer was given or a stance adjusted I knew what the Cego was feeling, it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me to be honest. I remember having my hips wobbled and being told to get good and get strong or I would blow away like a leaf in the wind and that my stance wasn’t balanced, my arm was to low, firm taps to my elbows and wrists showing the weak points in my blocks! So this book hit a few great memories I have of Karate and MMA.

“We fight, so the rest shall not have to.”

And man do they fight! This book has some of the finest hand to hand combat I have read, you can totally see Darwin’s in depth knowledge and love of the art in his writing. It is like when you read John Gwynne’s books and you feel so many things in his writing because he has such a vast knowledge of battles and such due to his reenactments and such. So, yeah Darwin knows his shit!

I really loved the characters in this book, they were so well crafted. Cego and Murray are brilliant in their own rights but not only that, Darwin has created a world of fabulous characters even the ones that are not massive parts of the plot. They each add something different, they all had something they learnt from their own history that was imparted in someway onto our main characters. Each character, big or small, had a clear and distinguishable personality.

Another thing I really enjoyed in this book was the unraveling of Cego’s past, he is pretty mysterious at first and it was a joy to learn more about the role he has to play and where he has come from.

I think while this books world definitely feels more sci-fi in nature with it technological advancements but one of its keys components, the alloys, were so magical in my eyes. There were like a magic system in their own science-like way. Though, I don’t plan to say much in resect of these because they are such a joy to learn about.

There is quite a lot to this story, it has so many elements and little twists and it is enjoyable. Though, it did feel uneven at times. Yet the plot never stopped moving, it was always progressing and it was so fun to keep moving forward with such incredible characters but I sometimes felt like I lacked direction overall. Each section had its own direction but I felt the overall plot was slightly uneven.

The Combat Codes is an entertaining story, and its character are some of my favourite to read. Darwin has created a fascinating world and I will definitely be reading book two.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

BUY THE PAPERBACK! This is an easy one for me, I read this on Kindle through my Kindle Unlimited subscription and will very soon be purchasing the PB of this book with its brand new amazing COVER!

ORDER HERE: KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIOBOOK


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO START YOUR READING YEAR OFF AND PULL YOU OUT OF THAT SLUMP…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk and welcome back to Sundays Seven!

Another first of 2021!

This will be my first Sundays Seven post this year, I haven’t posted a Sundays Seven in so long. My last post was SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOODREADS READING GOAL and that was in early December, damn it has been over a month!

But I am back now!

And with a post I hope you like! This is in response to a few tweets I have seen of late. I have seen a lot of people in a reading slump and that is just damn tragic! Lord knows, we have all been in a reading slump and they suck, you don’t feel like you can start anything and nothing really appeals to you.

A slump can come from so many things! Be it a bit of a book hangover, where the last book you read was so amazing you just cant quite move on or that cliffhanger just broke it. Whatever your reasons here are seven books that have either previously got me out of a slump or are just generally great books I’m sure could help you!

TO THE BOOKS…

Servant of the Crown by Brian McClellan

I thought I would start off this list with a SHORT. Short’s are such a great way to pull yourself out of a slump and set you off on good footing for the rest of your reading year. you can read them in no time at all and get that little joy after finishing a book.

Plus, if you have read the Powder Mage trilogy, I promise returning to this world and the character you love always helps with a slump.

Captain Tamas is an ambitious young officer in the Adran army. As a commoner, he is one of very few without noble blood to hold a rank. When he challenges the son of a duke over an insult, the subsequent duel lands him in hot water with the nobility and the royal cabal of Privileged sorcerers. Tamas is soon drawn into a conflict that goes to the very highest office in the land, and his only ally is the most unlikely of people; a young noblewoman named Erika, who needs Tamas to teach her how to wield her powers as a powder mage.

Occurs about 35 years before the events in Promise of Blood.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


RACE THE SANDS BY SARAH BETH DURST

This is an utterly thrilling and entertaining fantasy standalone.

It is one of those books that just leaves you so satisfied on finishing it. It has so many cool concepts and is a brilliantly built book, and by that I mean the stakes just keep getting higher. Plus, Durst in a brilliant writer.

In this epic standalone fantasy, the acclaimed author of the Queens of Renthia series introduces an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions.

Life, death, and rebirth — in Becar, everyone knows that who you are in this life will determine what you are in your next life. The augurs can read your fate in your aura: hawk, heron, tortoise, jackal, human. Armed with that knowledge, you can change your destiny with the choices you make, both in this life and your next. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and you will always be a kehok for the rest of time.

Unless you can win the Races.

As a professional trainer, Tamra was an elite kehok rider. Then a tragic accident on the track shattered her confidence, damaged her career, and left her nearly broke. Now Tamra needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok . . . and a rider willing to trust her.

Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. But she can’t become good enough to compete without a first-rate trainer.

Impressed by the inexperienced young woman’s determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win — if he can be tamed.

But in this sport, if you forget you’re riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races — and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER

Now, I read this at the beginning of last year an I remember really enjoying it. I think this is a good ‘pull you out of a slump’ book because it is just fun and mysterious.

It is YA but the elusive and fantastical nature of this book make it a joy to read and it is whimsical and light hearted enough to just pick you up and give you a good start to your reading year.

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


THE STONE KNIFE BY ANNA STEPHENS

This book very recently pulled me out of a reading slump! It is a new book and the first instalment of the Songs of the Drowned trilogy and it is such a REFRESHING read. It is so easy to read as Stephens writing is fabulous and it isn’t set in your usual fantasy world so you cant help but want to keep reading and learn more!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


SAGA VOL. 1 BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

I couldn’t help but put a graphic novel in this list. Graphics are awesome, and are a perfect way to start your reading year! They are also great for the slumps because they are such light reading, they have great illustrations and you can fit them in when you don’t have much time free!

From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN K.VAUGHAN (Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (MYSTERY SOCIETY, NORTH 40), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. This specially priced volume collects the first arc of the smash hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

This series is just plain incredible, I have reread this so many times and now with the news of it being a TV show I feel like I need to reread it again! I think a good way to start the year on a comfortable note is to sometimes start with a reread of one of your favourite books, it is also one of the ways I get out of a slump!

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it. 

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…
Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved…
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets?

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


NEVERNIGHT BY JAY KRISTOFF

If you haven’t read this book then I really hope you do! Nevernight is an incredible book and so a brilliant book to start your year off with a bang!

It is a wonderfully executed revenge plot with so much more to behold when reading it, it has a little romance, a lot of action and oh so much intrigue.

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. 

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. 

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


There you have it my fellow bookish folk, seven books that are a great way to start your year off and ones that will hopefully pull you out of a reading slump too as they have me in the past!

Thanks for reading.


BLOG UPDATE | WELCOMING A NEW REVIEWER…

Good Evening Book Friends!

My name is Dan, and I have recently been given the opportunity to be a contributor for the wonderful Sam at The Book in Hand Blog. So just wanting to introduce myself a bit.

I basically began reading fantasy full time after reading the Wheel of Time series which opened up a new world for me and has dominated my reading life since then. So like most people I started using Book Twitter to connect with people who had a passion for books as I did and have benefited greatly by making so many friends and more importantly getting those honest reviews. In my experience, I feel that the fantasy genre is home to some greatest writers working today, some of the world building and the character work is truly amazing, the sheer scope of these books just amazes me!! I’m huge fan of classic epic fantasy, high fantasy and grim dark, I’ve been reading my way through the majority of popular sub genres and loving every minute of it. So after watching hours of book tubers, reading countless blogs, I’m happy I have the opportunity to have a small part in something I’m genuinely really passionate about! I’ve been totally obsessed with fantasy genre for a long time and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Some of my favourite writers include Robert Jordan, Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, Anthony Ryan, John Gwynne, R Scott Bakker and many more!!

So I’ll be dropping honest reviews, generally adding content to Sam’s already very popular blog. I hope you find it useful! Looking forward to having conversations and banter with you guys !!!

So I’m obviously really interested in reading as much as I can continue to build my knowledge, so all recommendations welcomed and to give honest reviews in return!!

You can also find me on…


BOOK THREE RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 8 TO 10…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Hello, Fellow Gardens of the Moon Readers!

I really hope you are enjoying reading Gardens of the Moon and finding it as addictive and exciting as I am. If you are struggling to remember what has happened or just need a recap then keep reading.

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.


FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE (CHAPTERS 1 TO 4) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK TWO (CHAPTERS 5 TO 7) HERE.


WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK TWO?

BOOK THREE | THE MISSION

Chapters 8 to 10.

Book Three opens with Whiskeyjack, he is surprised to see Kalam appear with a Black Moranth, the three discuss the arrival of munitions from the Green Moranth and before parting ways the Black Moranth confirms that Whiskeyjack could rely on them for assistance. The Black Moranth explained before departing that Whiskeyjack’s people have worms within it, a scourge the Moranth are skilled at clearing away.

Whiskeyjack informs his squad that they are no longer following the plan set out by the Empress Laseen but another one, one that isn’t intended on wiping the Bridgburners out.

Quick Ben initiates his Warren making contact with Hairlock, the puppet updates Quick Ben on the situation with Tattersail before whining that he was not made aware that Gods were meddling in current events. Quick Ben worries of Hairlock’s corruption and insanity due to his use of the Warren of Chaos and realising the frailty of his control over him in this state he muses on what to do about it.

Quick Ben proposes a plan (unknown to the reader at this point) to Whiskeyjack and Kalam, on they won’t like.

Over yonder, around three days away from Pale Toc the Younger is on his merry way to meet Adjunct Lorn. He comes upon the sight of several dead Malazan Marines and Jakatakan Elites. Following the trail of some survivors Toc comes up Lorn fighting with the remaining Jakatake Elites. Near overrun Toc fires off some skilled shots and Ones T’oolan (a T’lan Imass) finishes the remains Jakataken Elites.

Toc and Lorn ride to Pale.

Tattersail and Paran get up to date with each other and what has happened.

Meanwhile Toc and Lorn arrive in Pale.

Lorn meets with Dujek, they discuss current events without the interpretations of Tayschrenn, being that he will likely just talk rubbish, and Dujek explains how he isn’t pleased with Tayschrenn’s culling of the Nobels. It seems excessive for no reason. Soon Tayschrenn joins them and Dujek departs. Lorn tells Tayschrenn to leave Dujek be and Tayschrenn conveys his suspicions about Tattersail and Whiskeyjack.

Tattersail, Toc, Lorn, Dujek and Tayschrenn have a formal dinner. Upon Tattersail’s arrival Lorn recognises her as the one who killed her parents some time ago. Lorn challenges Tattersail to a duel, however Dujek is quick to calm the tension, reminding Lorn she is The Adjunct and both are executing the Empress’ wishes, and always have. Her childhood and history ceased to exist when she tooth title of Adjunct. Lorn accepts this. The topic of discussion turns to Tattersail’s encounter with the Hound and how she survived, Tattersail lies (though mixed with some truth) and seems to convince all but Toc, When Lorn asks for Toc’s thoughts on the matter he lies to Lorn saying it all sounds right. Tattersail knows Toc lied for her.

On Tattersail’s return to her quarters and Paran begins to tell her of a message from Hairlock. Paran also explains to Tattersail that he was to be Lorn’s contact in Darujhistan. Despite her anger at Paran she is able to surmise that Lorn’s plan was to indeed remove Sorry from the equation but also Whiskeyjack and his squad, hence the need for the T’lan Imass.

Lorn departs Pale joining Ones T’oolan. She decides to name him Tool.

Still in Pale, Toc and Paran meet. Both divulge what they know and surmise the same as Tattersail, that Lorn plans to kill Sorry and Whiskeyjack and his companions. Neither can abide by this and set out to catch up with Tattersail who has set off to warn Whiskeyjack of Lorn’s plans.

Tattersail, on her way to Darujhistan becomes incredible exhausted due to the use of her Warren. She continues on but is confronted by Bellurdan, he has been ordered to arrest her. The two fight and are caught in a huge conflagration.

Tool/Ones T’oolan feels a new presence being born and the opening of several Warrens.

Paran and Toc find the bodies of Bellurdan and Tattersail. Toc notices some odd tracks leading away, tracks of a child-like thing. Paran is pretty upset consider he had recently humped Tattersail and vows to stop Lorn.

Over yonder, the Old Crone feels a pull to report to a master who is not Anomander Rake. She flies to meet Caladan Brood, during which she divulges details of current events, they detail they seem to have luck on their side but the Old Crone advises them that Oponn may be involved and that their is a Coin Bearer, Brood advises he will arrange protection for the Coin Bearer.

On her return flight Crone encounters Hairlock incinerating several Ravens with his Choas as he makes his way to Darujhistan.


There we have it, another recap, this time for Book Three. Lord I swear these all end up huge regardless f how many chapter there are or how many pages are in each book!

I am currently about half way through Chapter 13 and so fast approaching Book Five! Things are getting hotter and hotter! Enjoy your reading folks.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my recap and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!

Thanks,

S A M | The Book in Hand


BOOK REVIEW | PRIEST OF BONES BY PETER MCLEAN & NARRATED BY DAVID MORLEY HALE

Hello and Happy Friday, Bookish Folk!

Well, the weekend is here and I imagine many of you are thankful for it, so why not start it of in the best way possible with news of a book you should definitely add to your TBR…

A few facts about this book and audiobook narration:

  • Title: Priest of Bones
  • Author: Peter McLean
  • Narrated By: David Morley Hale
  • Series: War of the Rose Throne
  • Published by Jo Fletcher Books
  • Pages: 352
  • Narration Length: 10 Hours 41 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The war is over, and army priest Tomas Piety heads home with Sergeant Bloody Anne at his side. But things have changed while he was away: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg–his people–have run out of food and hope and places to hide. Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his with help from Anne, his brother, Jochan, and his new gang: the Pious Men. But when he finds himself dragged into a web of political intrigue once again, everything gets more complicated.

As the Pious Men fight shadowy foreign infiltrators in the back-street taverns, brothels, and gambling dens of Tomas’s old life, it becomes clear: 
The war is only just beginning.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A dark gangster inspired fantasy;
  • Brutal and gritty realness;
  • Cool named weapons;
  • Low-fantasy world;
  • Incredible characters you will love; and
  • A brilliantly paced and exciting story you are sure to consume in one.

A little about the narration:

Priest of Bones is a fine audiobook and well worth using a credit for. It is narrated by David Morley Hale, and he is perfect for this book. Though, I have to admit at first I wasn’t sure. When I first started listening I thought he was a little dry, but once I realised and felt comfortable in the tone of the book (which is pretty quickly) it became a so so narration to an outstanding one. Hale perfectly represents Tomas in this audiobook and the misery that this book is filled with, it isn’t all roses in this world and these men have just come back from a harrowing war…

On to the full review…

Ok, so while don’t really like comparing books to other books though I do sometimes state if a book gives me certain movie/TV Show vibes and Priest of Bones is one of the books. This book gives me SERIOUS Peaky Blinder’s vibes, sometimes it is jarringly similar and other times you can simply see it may have been the thing that gave McLean an idea but he makes it his own. Though, I don’t feel too bad saying that as I hear the book was inspired by Peaky Blinders and it, in my opinion, it superior to the show and I loved the show so that is saying something.

As my first Peter McLean book I was really impressed with the prose, there was some repetition of phrases but it was done well to my mind (see what I did there…). It created a clear and distinct character voice and while I noticed it sometimes I didn’t always clock the phrase because it felt fitting to the dialogue and not like McLean had just thrown it in for good measure. 

McLean is another author who has written in first person and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recently reviewed Ed McDonald’s Blackwing and mentioned that, despite my preference for third person, I really enjoyed the first person narrative. I can safely say the same for Priest of Bones too, it is refreshing to gain a deeper insight into our main character and what drives them, and shows a great degree of skill that other characters can still shine despite the first person narrative.

And shine they do!

I thought, the concept of Tomas being a priest was brilliant and I loved how McLean incorporated it into not only the plot but the storytelling too. It allowed us to see deeper glimpses into out other characters, be that an awful past that made them who they are today or a hilarious prank on another person, yes simple Sam, I’m looking at you pissing in Jochan’s drink and farting on his sleeping face.

McLean has created such a diverse and varied cast of characters and yet they all gel together really well. We have characters such as Bloody Ann the grizzled veteran who isn’t used to this type of life; Billy the Boy the young but unnervingly clever and skilled boy; Cutter the silent killer; and Jochan the slightly psychotic brother. We obviously have Tomas too, and what a character he is. He is thoughtful, respectful, a crime boss, a killer and a priest. So much and yet he is an incredible character.

Priest of Bones has so much to offer, it has incredible action sequences that put fear into any opposing gang, emotional struggles and heartfelt encounters but also cleverly woven political machinations. Not everything is as it seems in this fascinating world.

Priest of Bones’ fantastic characters and its entertaining plot make this book an excellent paced first instalment that you just can’t put down. There is so much progression in this book, McLean makes use of every word and it feels brilliantly paced for it. It isn’t so fast that you don’t appreciate the build up and isn’t slow that your just waiting for something to happen. It is so even and comfortable for the reader. If pacing can be described as comfortable, mmmm, mehh I’m still going to use it!

Overall, I was SO impressed with this book and I absolutely can not wait to continue it with Queen Timy from Queen’s Book Asylum in February!


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

BUY THE FOOKIN HARD BACK Y’ALL! This is an incredible dark gangster fantasy in a low-magic world with such an incredible cast of characters! You are sure to love it.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!