***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***

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.




Chapters 5 to 7.

Book Two opens in a new location with new timeframes, so, nope. I’m not going to try explain that…

907th Year in the Third Millennium
The Season of Fanderay in the year of the Five Tusks
Two thousand years since the birth of Darujhistan, the city

Now in Darujhistan, we have a new set of characters to journey with, and I’m not going to lie. I kinda like Kruppe. I nearly read this because I thought listening would be odd but it worked in my favour because the narration of Kruppe it brilliant.

So, first off we meet Kruppe, he is a bit of a kooky one and refers to himself in third person. Kruppe is walking in his dreamworld to an Inn. Inside the Inn are several scraggly looking folk of which he ends up chatting with. They mention the spinning coin, and the it will soon fall at the feet of a youth. Kruppe takes notes of this as he know the coin spins.

We then meet Crokus, he is mid-theft and goes on to steal a young ladies belongings.

Meanwhile on the roofs Talo, an assassin of the Assassin’s Guild, is patrolling. He is attacked and injured, hoping to turn things in his favour he sets up an ambush.

Crokus after pillaging the young ladies belongings flees over the rooftops too causing Talo to mistaken him for his attacker and fire a crossbow bolt at him. It misses, as at that moment a coin drops and Crokus bends to pick it up and then flees using the thief lines. Though he is now being pursed by the actual assassins who killed Talo. He takes cover in the Phoenix Inn. The assassins watch the Inn, meaning to kill him when he leaves, but then decide that some rumours may help in their plan and hen leave.

Circle Breaker, a spy for The Eel in Darujhistan, spies on a secretive meeting between two councilmen, Turban Orr and Feder. He then sends a missive to Baruk about said meeting. After reading the Old Crone, a Great Raven from Moon’s Spawn, arrives to give Baruk a message from Anomander Rake wanting a meeting. He agrees just as Turban Orr arrives.

Turban Orr tries to convince Baruk to remain neutral in the war with the Empire, stating all of Pale’s mages were killed. Baruk disputes this and refuses to take a stance of neutrality with Turban Orr. While the Old Crone hears the spinning coin.

An assassin named Rallick Nom spies on Lady Simtal and Councillman Lim. Rallick has every intention of killing Simtal. Though Rallick overhears Lim telling Simtal of Baruk and his powerful cabal and then hears a spinning coin. He decides to kill Lim instead. He escapes only to be told by Clan Leader Ocelot of an assassin’s war. They suspect the Claws.

Having listened to Turban Orr and Baruk’s conversation the Old Crone departs, only for Anomander Rake to arrive moments after.

Anomander Rake wants an alliance with the real rulers of Darujhistan, not the bickering councilmen but the mages. Baruk explains that he would have to discuss this with his fellow mages.

Anomander is angry at the Pale mages, as they went to ground as soon as they heard new of the arrival of the Claw. During the Siege of Pale, Anomander took heavy losses and does not appreciate the lack of help from the Pale mages. He tells Baruk he demands their heads or else he will kill them himself. Looking at Dragnipur (Rake’s sword) Baruk tells him that he will send him their heads, a mercy to them.

Inside of the Phoenix Inn, Crokus is playing cards with Murillio and Kruppe. Whilst Coll is passed out drunk. Crokus explains to the others his encounter with the assassins. Crokus has been with these guys for a time and is a bit miffed that Rallick and Murillio are up to something and he isn’t a party to it.

Kruppe ventures to his dreamworld again and ends up speaking to the Elder God, K’rul. K’rul believes his is going to lose to a battle quite soon but he will not die. He also tells Kruppe to seek out Adjunct Lorn.

Circle Breaker relived of his vigil, he is worried as he has set himself agains a man such a Turban Orr and plans to seek help. He decides against this and tears up his request for help.

Lady Simtal accuses Turban Orr of appeasing the Empire by taking the stance of neutrality, she believe he does this to gain title of High Fist. She asks Turban Orr set up the murder her ex-husband, Coll.

Murillio, needing entry fr Rallick’s plan, manipulates two invitations from Lady Orr to Lady Simtal’s party on Gedderone’s Eve.

Waiting outside the Orr estate Rallick tells Crokus not to rob the Orr estate. He doesn’t and leaves, while continuing to examine the coin that saved his life. He asks Kruppe about his previous loot, and wonders if he could have it back. Kruppe examines the coin.

Rallick and Murillio conclude that Crokus wanted his previous loot returned because he is smitten with his last mark, Chalice D’Arle. The two decade to decide on turning Crokus honest.

Outside of Baruk’s estate he is being bothered by the noise from road works, making him jump he spills ink over a map. The ink spreads all the way to Catlin, and Baruk feels it is some premonition of what is to come. Meeting with one of his informers, Baruk chats with Kruppe. Kruppe shows Baruk a wax replica of Crokus‘ coin.

Kruppe informs Baruk that the coin from Oponn. Baruk instructs Kruppe and his agents that they are to protect the Coinbearer, Crokus.

There we have it, a recap of what happened in book two of Gardens of the Moon. Now I have written this up and gone over book two myself I feel ready to move on to book three! I really wanted to finish this before I went back to reading it, so come tomorrow I can comfortable fall back into this book.

Thanks for reading and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!




***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***

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.



1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep
96th Year of the Malazan Empire
The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved’s Reign

Gardens of the Moon opens with a young noble boy, Ganoes Paran, he approaches a Bridgeburner Commander and asks if it is true Dassem Ultra is dead. The soldier tells Ganoes to lead a life that the gods don’t notice before another Bridgeburner comes over to talk, the two discuss a few things one of which the fact Surly has changed her name to Laseen.

The Commander and Laseen exchange in some not so pleasant conversation, with sly threats and assertions that the laws against sorcery will not survive, Laseen dismisses him and leaves.


Chapters 1 to 4.

1161st Year of Burn’s SleepSeven years later
103rd Year of the Malazan Empire
7th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule
– Laseen rules now

A young girl is in the streets in Itko Kan next to a kooky old lady called Rigga, a seer, the two end up chatting though it’s all a little batty, Rigga grabs the girl claiming she will embrace Shadow, but that Rigga will preserve her by linking the two. Rigga is then killed by a passing soldier.

The girl then notices two men, and one is soon surround by seven hounds who he quickly sends after the soldiers. The two men are revealed to be Cotillion and Ammanas. Cotillion decides the girl will be of use in their plan against LAseen, he bathes the girl in shadows and they disappear.

There is a massacre, a Captain and the Adjunct Lorn are riding towards it to inspect what caused it. The two don’t know what happened, there is no invading force and its is a harrowing sight. The Adjunct Lorn then notice Ganoes riding through the bodies, they too call him over.

Adjunct Lorn asks what was responsible for the massacre, Ganoes explains it was done with teeth. Adjunct Lorn concludes that the attack was magical and a diversion from something greater while talking with Ganoes. Adjunct Lorn soon decides to take him on as an officer on her staff. Noticing that two huts are empty, a fisher girl and her father and that of Rigga are empty she asks for a search to be made and want details of all new recruits matching their description.

The girl having walked quite a way then takes the name Sorry and enlists in the Malazan Marines requesting a specific stationing.

Ganoes Paran is riding along contemplating life and the massacre when he comes across Topper, the Empress’ Chief Claw. Topper and Ganoes travel trough the Imperial Warren to the Imperial Throne room meeting with Laseen. Laseen makes a comment about remembering Paran from seven years ago, and send them away. Shocker Topper quizzes Paran about knowing Laseen but Ganoes reveals nothing.

Ganoes meets with Adjunct Lorn, he asks if they will stop their search into what happened Itko Kan and she advises it is to be looking into but not too closely.

Two years later in Pale, we meet Tattersail and Hairlock.

Hairlock is dying after the Siege of Pale, a destructive magical battle with the Moon’s Spawn. Tattersail thinks back to earlier that morning and the Seige of Pale. The battle was a mess, everyone is stationed around and the fight begins though they are soon attacked from behind killing many. Though, the Moon’s Spawn sustain heavy damage and retreat South withdrawing their protection of Pale.

Tattersail pulls herself from her own thoughts when several Bridgeburners approach her. Hairlock convinces Tattersail that the attack from behind was one of their own, Tayschrenn. To save Hairlock, Quick Ben soul shifts him into a puppet doll. Tattersail is then thrust into the Brudgburners plan when accepting to carry Hairlock Puppet, she is happy about this as she went vengeance on Tayschrenn.

WhiskeyjackKalam and Quick Ben voice their concern that they, and all the Bridgeburners are being setup to be eliminated by Laseen.

Tattersail opens herself to the Warren and performs a reading with the Deck of Dragons. She reveals two cards, the twin Jesters of Chance and the Knight of High House Dark and refuses to reveal another much to Hairlock annoyance. Tattersail then notices the presence of a spinning coin, and Hairlock does not, this gives her hope.

Paran is given instructions that he is to take command of Whiskeyjacks squad in Pale, namely because Sorry is also a part of that squad.

Tattersail conducts a Reading. She reveals several cards and believes from her reading that the Death’s Virgin is Sorry, She discusses this with Whiskeyjack. Whiskeyjack and his group try to figure out just who Sorry really is.

Paran is greeted by Toc the Younger, the two journey to the City during which Toc tells Paran that his own Clawmaster was garotted two days earlier.

Once in the city Paran meets several of the Bridgeburner soldiers, and then makes his way back to his barracks once in his quarters he is assassinated, by none other than Sorry. While slowly dying Ammanas and Cotillion discuss their ongoing vengeance scheme with Laseen and that something has entered their Shadow warren. Paran slowly gives into the blackness to the sound of a coin spinning.

Tattersail, WhiskeyjackQuick BenFiddler and Kalam all discuss Hairlock, they feel he is insane from his use of the Warren of Chaos.

They know of the massacre back in Itko Kan and suspect that Sorry had something to do with it and may be posses and on the side of the Shadow

Fiddler has a bad feeling and the group is soon aware that an officer had been garotted and they suspect Sorry as the assassin. The group take off in a hurry.

Paran lingers by Hood’s Gate awaiting his inevitable death but is surprised when the Twins of Chance interfere. They explain they have long admired his sword (a sword named Chance) and the fact that is is far more subtle than a coin. Hearing a howl the Twins of Chance make moves to leave but before they do call the Lord of Death, Hood. Though the Lord of Death is busy and another comes they all agree for him he is to be saved but someone will have to take his place. The Twins leave.

Shadowthrone arrives with two Hounds of Shadow, Shadowthrone and Paran talk for a time and Shadowthrone decides it would be easier to let him live in order to find out who opposes Shadow. Paran one again succumbs to the darkness to the sound of a coin spinning.

Paran wakes in front of the Bridgeburners; they move him to safety. Kalam warns them to leave the doors open if a woman follows them.

Whiskeyjack and Dujek discuss their belief that the Empress is trying to kill off the rest of the Bridgeburners and the assignment to Darujhistan is the way to do it. Dujek tells him that if they somehow survive they can leave afterwards, free. Fiddler and Whiskeyjack imply that ten thousand soldiers are ready to rebel and should the Empress decide to outlaw Dujek, they would stand with him.

Paran is moved to Tattersail’s residence. Kalam, Quick Ben and Tattersail wait to hear from Hairlock, he appears but is being chased by Hounds. Realising Paran was saved by an Ascendant they ask Tattersail to take care of him while they leave for Darujhistan.

A Hound of Shadow chases Hairlock to Tattersail’s residence. Tattersail barely manages to avoid the Hounds attack, Hairlock tries to take its soul but then Paran appears awounds the Hound before it flees into the Warren of Shadow. Hairlock threatens both Paran and Tattersail, but she calls his bluff knowing there’s isn’t anything he can do against them without exposing himself to Tayschrenn. Paran and Tattersail both hear a spinning coin.


It is really complex, likely to cause a heavy dose of confusion and will require more than one read..

You know, I really felt like I was following the books events well while reading it, and I guess I still do but going over it again for this post jus showed me how freaking crazy and entwined all the story threads are and are going to continue to be! So many characters have several names because they are all actively meddling in the world and not always with their own faces.

I was planning on going into a whole section on who we have met and the Houses but it can easily fall into spoiler territory and I don’t want to end up revealing to me or you true identities of people we are not yet aware of and plus you can just look at the Dramatis Personae.

I hope this helps, it was pretty helpful for me going over the details again in my head! I hope to get Book Two done in the next couple of days, so watch out.


Hello, Bookish Folk!

It is about time I reviewed this book, I finished reading The Fires of Vengeance at the end of December. I read it in a total of four days and I listened to a good chunk of this book via the audiobook. This is one of those books I cant really read myself. I know that sounds odd but Prentice does such an incredible job at narrating this book and book one that even when I am reading the physical book I hear his voice, but then it becomes some weird fucked up version (I suck at accents) in my own head and it no longer feels authentic to me.

A massive thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for approving my request for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Fires of Vengeance
  • Author: Evan Winter
  • Narrated By: Prentice Onayemi
  • Series: The Burning (Book Two)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 400
  • Narration Length: 15 Hours 30 Minutes


Add It To Your Goodreads!

Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the ‘true’ Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne and reunite her people, then the Omehi might have a chance to survive the coming onslaught.


Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • A worthy and remarkable sequel;
  • A deeper look into all the things you loved about book one;
  • Characters you cant help but become utterly invested in; and
  • Incredible duels, graphic and intense action and epic battles;

The Audiobook…

I said it in my review of The Rage of Dragons Prentice Onayemi is amazing. Both of the audible narations for the The Burning books are the BEST I have listened to. I have probably listened to maybe thirty audiobooks so far but none have yet claimed the title of my favourite audiobook over these books. THEY ARE AMAZING.

On to the full review…

Evan Winter has done it again.

His debut novel The Rage of Dragons blew me away like never before, and I can easily say Fires of Vengeance has done the exact same. I think it takes a truly talented writer to produce a second book in a series that is equal to if not superior to book one.

The Fires of Vengeance picks up where The Rage of Dragons left us, and it has continued to build on an already spectacular foundation. While there is still a lot of focus on Tau’s revenge it also becomes so much more. We delve deeper into this amazing world Winter has created, into its history, its lore and we see so much more of what drives not only Tau but Tsiora and her people.

I really liked the deeper look into Isihago, I don’t want to say much by way of this but know it is thrilling to read and is the place where one of my FAVOURITE fights take place.

As with book one we experience this story mainly through Tau’s POV with little glimpses into a few other peoples minds and each one brings out such an emotional response from the reader. You feel their determinations, steel, heart and so much more. Every action shows you a little more of these characters and what drives them.

I love Tau, I loved him in book one despite his single-mindedness and I grew to love him so much more in this book, he becomes more. He is no longer set to his own singular purpose but also the aims of those around him, those he has bonded with even more and slowly begun to realise that he isn’t on his own.

The increase in attention on the other characters that surround Tau are also fabulous, each brings their own flare and complexities. You truly see the impact of those surrounding Tau and how this isn’t just his fight anymore, it is all of theirs too.

Winter is such an incredible writer it is pure joy to visit the world he creates, I said in my review of The Rage of Dragons he is a superb writer and he continues to shine in this book. He is such an emotional and powerful writer, you feel the oppression, the injustice and the hurt that it causes.

As with book one, The Fires of Vengeance feels relatively fast paced though not in an action after action after action sense, but in a tense, page-turning way. The players are always moving, something is always happening and you literally can not stop wanting to read more.

Knowing that there is to be another two books in this series makes me so happy, I don’t think three would be sufficient. I am so excited to see where Winter goes with the following books and how everything we are teased with in the series so far will come into effect!

The Fires of Vengeance is an incredible book that does not stumble or bow down to the other books in this genre, it stands strong and so so proud. It is two books in and an ultimate favourite of mine. So, a MASSIVE thank you to Evan Winter for writing this masterpiece and allowing us to experience such an incurable book!



Easy. Easy. Easy…BUY THE HARDBACK!

I said it earlier this book is fast becoming an all time favourite and it still has two books to go! Grab the audiobook too. Just saying.

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


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

Hello there my beautiful book people!

Well, hot damn guys…but have I got something to show.

We all know how much a book cover does for a book and if you keep those stunning eyes of yours scrolling you are sure to see one of the most beautiful covers…

But a few things about the author first…


Zack was raised with a wonderful family motto: don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. What better way than to write fiction? He spends his days writing code and his nights writing epic stories about family, love, loss, friendship, and pain all intermixed with a heavy dose of the fantastical.

Now, I know y’all are thinking just show me the damn cover, thats what I’m here for! But people, slow up. Take a moment.

You can’t truly appreciate the beauty of such a creation if you don’t have the whole picture….

Stones of Light is the second book in the Threadlight Series by Zack Argyle and if Voice of War (Book One) is anything to go by book two is going to be amazing! I review Voice of War here and I can assure you it is a fabulous book.

Stones of Light is due to be released April 4th 2020 but you can pre order it HERE.

This BEAUTIFUL cover was the fine work of one, Ömer Burak Önal, and you can check out some of his other work HERE.


Former High General Chrys Valerian is trapped in his own mind and, as they travel east, he will soon learn where the Apogee is headed.

In the grounder city of Alchea, Laurel is taken in by the queen of the Bloodthieves but, if it means she can become a threadweaver again, it might just be worth it.

To the west, Alverax travels with the Zeda people as they deal with the aftermath of the battle of the Fairenwild. With an uprooted people and a broken coreseal, he’ll have to navigate a whole new world and rising pressure.

Together, they changed the world…now they must deal with the consequences. 

Add It To Your Goodreads!






























Stones of Light.



Hey Bookish Folk!

I am finally back, I feel like I haven’t written a review or one of my features in such a long time! But hey, a girl has to have some time off over the holidays, right?! Lord knows I didn’t get it at work.

Today I am going to be reviewing not one but two books. I always find it hard to review books the further into the series I get because a lot of the time the same praises from book one still stand and so I just end up repeating myself. So, to avoid that I am going to review book two and three of the First Law Trilogy together and it will likely be a wee bit shorter. Maybe.

A few facts about Book Two and Book Three of The First Law Trilogy:

  • Titles: Book Two | Before They Are Hanged & Book Three | Last Argument of Kings
  • Author: Joe Abercrombie
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: Book Two | 441 & Book Three | 536


Add Them To Your Goodreads!

Before They Are Hanged | OR Audible Audiobook

Last Argument of Kings |


Here are a few things you can expect from these two books:

  • Books that live up to the hype;
  • Dry and witty humour;
  • Remarkable characters you can’t help but root for despite their lack of morality;
  • Exceptional storytelling; and
  • Epic bloody battles.

On to the review…

I finally made my way to this series, and I finished it. Shit, folks, I gobbled this up like a woman starved.

I’m so glad I listened to the audiobooks, I have so many books I HAVE to read that I allow audiobooks to be MY books and because of that I was able to go through the trilogy one book after another!

Both Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings are such good books. Abercrombie set up an incredible set of characters in The Blade Itself and they continue to shine in the following books and remain so captivating. They have so many positives and they are so well crafted, none seem out of place in the world Abercrombie creates including the tone of the book too, while not coming across as copies of each other or too dark. He teases you with a glimmer of hope for al of his characters, whether they get it or not is a whole other kettle of fish.

The plot in books two and three certainly picks up, and shows a good degree more progression than book one. It takes unpredictable turns and stays true to its gritty and darker tone while still keeping one of my favourite aspects…the humour. I was chatting in a forum about The First Law the other day and got to talking about the British feel to Abercrombie’s writing and it is true for the humour too. It is that dry and witty humour the I just cannot get enough of!

Something Abercrombie really excels at in this trilogy is his ability to write brilliant action. I have seen so many YouTube videos about ‘action packed’ books and Abercrombie always popped up. Though, having not read them I was like ‘mmm, can it be that good’…

So, yeah. It is that good. From the larger battles to the close quarters combat, he does it so well. It is vivid and terrifying and done oh in such a brilliant way the action jumps from the pages.

From book one right through to book three you see such growth. Book one is arguably my favourite and it is such a foundational book. Book two moved forward with such amazing relationship building and character depth and the book three solidly concludes everything, it ties up all little threads superbly.

I’m not really sure if I can say anything beyond what the masses have already said for book one, two or three! Just know Abercrombie is a fab writer, he is stupidly talented and these books are simply brilliant.




As with The Blade Itself I would, had I not LOVED the audiobook so much, picked this up in HARDBACK!

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


***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***

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

A few facts about BEFORE THEY ARE HANGED:

  • Title: Before They are Hanged
  • Author: Joe Abercrombie
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 441

Add Before They Are Hanged to your Goodreads.



Before They Are Hanged opens with The Dogman, still travelling southwards when him and his crew stumble upon a recent battle with bodies strewn everywhere. I guess that means Bethod is ploughing southwards to and with little resistance from Union sops. Which a little bit over is causing West and Lord Marshall Burr quite a headache. After the loss to the Union West and Burr, among other petty nobles who care more for bickering with each other than winning the war, get to deciding on a strategy.

West and Burr bugger off on a ride only to be ambushed by The Dogman and his crew. Turns out they didn’t quite like the reception they got from the Union and sought to take matters into their own hands forcing an audience with the lead sop to offer their aid.

Meanwhile Glokta is now living the fine life in Dagoska, poverty, sadistic inquisitors, seedy council members and more. What is not to love? Glokta then begins his investigation into the death of his predecessor. Glokta soon meets the governing council and much to his shock they don’t want him there. He is happy however to float around his power and whip the ship into shape.

Jezal, Bayaz, Logen, Ferro, Brother Longfoot and Malacus are now on their way to the end of the world. While passing through Calcis the group separate, and also disguise as merchants though not to any success as they are soon intercepted and given three days to leave. Bayaz, being the high-rate magi he is, gets his grump on and says they will leave right away.

Glokta takes a tour of Dagoska, as he suspected it is paradise…the walls are crumbling, there is a Gurkish horde on the horizon, supplies have stopped coming in and he has very few soldiers to defend Dagoska, half of which are drunken mercenaries who will switch sides to the highest paying boss at any time! One of which is Cosca.

Having left Calcis Bayaz and company make their way to Darmium, on their travels Ferro tries to get more information from Bayaz. He isn’t very forthcoming, and Ferro is pissed. Pissed enough to leave. Though when she tries to leave Logen persuades her to stay, a start to a wholesome and healthy relationship…

Back in Dagoska, Glokta is making the rounds of the governing council and trying to figure out who is likely to off him as they did he predecessor. He approaches Kahdia, needing as much help as he can Glokta promises him the Great Temple and Upper City access in exchange for soldiers and workers. His meeting with Harker reveals his predecessor was extorting the natives. Last but not least Glokta visits Elder, the true ruler of Dagoska, she is surprisingly supportive and while not offering financial aid does agree to give him the Great Temple. It’s the little wins in life.

During Logen’s journey he struggles with the lack of camaraderie amongst his companions, knowing he will need them to have his back in any coming fights. He slowly brings the crew closer together and carefully curates much needed camaraderie amongst them. Lord knows it is needed when Bayaz insists on throwing curve balls left, right and centre! Like changing the groups travel plans. Guess they are to just going to have to fly over the River Aos.

West, having been sent to be a part of Prince Ladisla’s regiment, is shocked to see it in such a poor state and so he slowly remedies it by acquiring some new hands, namely Pike and Cathil. West also sent The Dogman and the crew out scouting, not expecting to find much and moaning about their dwindling glory until they stumble upon a wee little adversary, known as BETHOD’S ARMY!

After being told by Sult that Glokta will not receive any aid from back home and has to make do with what he has already, he has no option but to make a deal with none other than the Bank of Valint and Balk. Though, not his strangest visitor, soon Glokta is visited in the dead of night by Yulwei. Yulwei tells Glokta the Gurkish have arrived, that they have ships and a whole host of Eaters and that Eaters killed his predecessor.

It isn’t long before Jezal and the rest of the merry gang are in trouble. Some of Emperor Cabrian’s men find them and attempt to bring them to him. Bayaz huffs and puffs and blows them all away, and then collapses himself. So, that leaves Logen in charge.

West finds himself in quite the predicament, having thought they were merely the rearguard he is soon surprised when Threetrees and Dogman tell him Bethod here. West thinks a withdrawal is needed, but Ladisla thinks a full blown assault is best. It isn’t.

In Dagoska, a Gurkish emissary arrives. He is met by the ruling council behind Glokta back, though he manages to tun up just in time. The misery offers passage to them but he wants the city, Glokta’s explains he will consider it. Instead he takes the emissary into custody and questions him. Turns out that Vurms, the Lord Governor of Dagoska’s son, and Elder are the traitors.

Ferro and the group continue on with Bayaz passed out. The group are still being followed since their last little encounter. They agree to fight them rather than try to outrun them. They make their stand but three slip through the cracks and test Jezal’s mettle. he kills two but one comes at him from behind and makes him a little less petty than he was.

As thought, a full blown assault on Bethod isn’t a good plan and they are defeated. West, Cathil, Pike, Ladisla escape only to come upon The Dogman and the crew.

Glokta attends a meeting with Elder, Vurms and Vissbruck. Skulking in the background is the Mercenary soldier Cosca. Glokta throws the head of the emissary and both Elder and Vurms know they have been outed. Vurms panics and Elder relies on her well set plans telling Glokta the gates to the city will have already been opened to the Gurkish by Cosca’s men and that the city will soon fall. Now, it turns out those mercenaries who would switch to the highest paying boss at any point…did.The highest paying boss happened to be Glokta. He then takes Vurms and Elder into custody. Though he is yet to identify the assassin, until it is that the assassin shows herself. It is Shickel, a girl Glokta saved at the start from the Inquisition and employed as his servant. She admits to killing and eating Glokta’s predecessor.

Shickel tries to kill Glokta but fails, his practical capture her and Glokta intends to question her.


Glokta, having a wee soft spot for Elder gives her a second chance at life and sets her on a ship. While Glokta has on that battle the Gurkish are still laying siege to Dagoska, it is the third day and they are losing.

Bayaz is awake and Jezal is having a bit of an epiphany about living a better life and being a better person.

Dogman and company having decided on what to do next, ignoring Ladisla who still thinks he has influence over those around him and insists on going to Ostenhorm. They ignore him and decide on following Bethod and hopefully warning Burr. On their journey Ladisla continues to be a pain in the ass, throwing himself to the floor in fatigue and generally being a whiny little bitch.

Still losing to the Gurkish, Glokta orders everyone to the Upper City ceding the rest to the Gurkish. Soon he is back to questioning Shickel, who is hard to torture considering she heals and doesn’t really feel pain. Despite the failed attempts at torture she tells them of her life, the eaters and that those captured are eaten.

By the fire elsewhere, Bayaz begins to tell the group of his mistakes. He tells them of how he was Juven’s first apprentice though he soon recruited 11 more, including Khalul (religious leader of the Gurkish). They argued, became rivals and eventually had to be separated. Bayaz sought out a new master in Kenedias, the maker. He soon found he fancied Kanedias’ lovely daughter Tolomei. He got down and dirty with Tolomei and Kanedias wasn’t impressed so Bayaz ran away. Having told his tale the rest join in telling stories of their lives.

West and his companions are soon faced with a tough decision, they have very little to get them by but some of Bethod’s men have been spotted. They decide to fight they need what they have. As Ladisla is quite simply shit at everything he does other than being a creep he is left with Cathil away from the fight. It all goes tits up, West bites of some chaps nose and earns the name Furious. West, worried for Ladisla’s safety runs back only to find him trying to rape Cathil. West pushes Ladisla off the cliff.

Everyone approves.

Glokta is ordered by Arch Lector Sult to return to Adua. With no mention of Vitari, one of his practicals, in the letter she asks Glokta to take her with him. She ends up begging, Glokta revels in it because she is always a bitch to him and finally he relents. Soon Glokta leaves with all his practicals.

Bayaz and the rest of the company soon arrive at Aulcus, and they seem to be the only ones there. Nothing lives there, no birds, people or anything. Ferro demands information about The Seed, Bayaz tells them that the Seed is material from the other side and only Ferro can carry it. The next day the group explores Aulcus some more, and come across a rank smell. Logen knows the smell. The Shanka are here. The group flee but come across more Shanka. Bayaz uses his magic rocking the earth, into which Logen and Ferro fall. They search for a way out I the darkness only to come across more Shanka. They fight and then the Bloody-Nine makes an appearance.

Ferro and Logen are soon shivering away in the dark and being a true gent Logen offers her his coat. To Ferro that is practically a diamond ring and then sex is on the table. There is a lot of awkward decision making and the two go at it! Until Captain Cum-Quick makes an appearance. Though Logen is quick to recharge and him and Ferro get down and dirty in a cave. Th next morning isn’t as sweet and Ferro clocks Logen, the two fall out.

Glokta reached Adua with his practicals and goes to see Ardee, she has been beset upon by debtors. Glokta fixes it and upgrades her old stuff. Sult is unusually happen with the events of Dagoska, and Glokta find out West is missing. Which actually bothers him.

West and the rest of the crew finally reach Burr’s camp and provide him with some much needed intel. West keeps thinking of Cathil and goes to seek her out, only he finds Dogman fast-assing it and storms off but not before stumbling and making his presence known. The next day Dogman, as a result of getting himself some nooky, is volunteered by the rest to scout out Bethod’s base of operations. Dogman comes upon Shivers, turns out he wants to fight Bethod, so Dogman takes him to see Threetrees to decide. He accepts their service and those of the men who follow him.

Glokta, despite returning to Adua, isn’t demoted and instead is joint superior of Adua with Goyle. A Gurkish envoy comes to Adua offering peace and empty chests.

Bayaz and companions, after many days in the mountains the group males it to the Great Western Library. Inside they meet Cawneil and seek out the boat that will get them to their destination of Shabulyan. Ferro and Logen are still humping.

West has a battle meeting with Burr, Kroy and Poulder. With the plans set they go about their orders.


Glokta is woken in the middle of the night by Vitari, the Prince of Adua has been killed. Glokta is tasked with investigating it but finds several clues as to the killer, which are very easily found and he has his culprit very quickly. Ambassador Tulkis, the Gurkish emissary. Not convince Glokta seek to investigate further but is shut down by a representative of Valint and Balk. Tulkis is soon found guilty and executed and war with the Gurkish inevitable.

The battle between Bethod and The Union begins, during the battle Burr become very ill! In response West covers it up and proceeds with his orders. Threetrees and Dogman, from their position, get a whiff of the Shanka and shit hits the fan. Cathil and Threetrees die. Dogman becomes chief.

Bayaz and company reach then edge of the world only to fin that The Seed is not there and all the progress they made was for nothing.



My Review to this book can be found here.

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

A few facts about THE BLADE ITSELF:

  • Title: The Blade Itself
  • Author:  Joe Abercrombie
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 515


Logen is separated from his crew, he is guided by the spirits to meet Bayaz. He does, they piss off Bethod and journey to Adua. Jezal is training for a fencing contest, meanwhile getting down and dirty with his friend Collem West’s sister. Glokta is off on a merry adventure eliminating all the people who prevent Arch Lector Sult from gaining power. Jezal wins his contest, he is awarded by being sent on a mission with Bayaz, Logen and Malacus.

Add The Blade Itself to your Goodreads or to see a book summary.


The Blade Itself opens with Logan Ninefingers plunging through the Northern Hinterlands, after being split from his crew whom he assumes are all dead. He is fleeing from Shanka, after fighting one successfully he is then up against another in which heat the Shanka fall over the edge of a cliff.


Then we meet Glokta, cripple and torturer, a real fine chap. He is going about his day torturing and questioning Rews when he is interrupted and given a task by Arch Lector Sult. He is to add the name of the Master of the Royal Mints to his current guest’s confession. Leading him to his next job, getting a confession from the Master of the Royal Mints too.

Having survived his encounter with the Shanka, and survived his cliff fall Logan speaks with the spirits (something maybe only he can still do, though not for long as the spirits are dwindling) they inform him that Bayaz, the first of the magi, is looking for him.

Then we meet the fine Jezal dan Luther, the rich and arrogant nobleman, he is hustling his friends out of their money until he remembers he has fencing practice for his upcoming fencing contest. He practices, poorly, and then leaves to drink, not so poorly. At his next practice his close friend West enlists his help with his sister, Ardee West, who upon meeting Jezal is soon smitten with despite his initial judgments of her.

Meanwhile in the Hinterland Logan meets Malacus Quai, an apprentice of Bayaz, and they set off together to meet Bayaz.

Having all the confessions needed Arch Lector Sult has consolidated his power somewhat and has moved his pawns in the longer game plan. He enlists the help of Glokta, and asks that he take down the Guild of Mercers in a bid to increase his own power and reduce the strength of the loathsome nobles.

Logan and Malacus finally reach their destination and meet Bayaz, nearly straight away their introduction is interrupted by the arrival of Bethod’s son who Bayaz dismisses. Bethod soon arrives himself to seek Bayaz’s help in his upcoming war, Bayaz refuses his help and the two part way no longer allies but enemies.

Back in Adua, Glokta is still doing Arch Lector Sult’s bidding, though it is no easy task as all his leads are dead on his arrival. Bethod has sent a delegation to Adua to talk of peace, only the peace is conditional. In open council word has arrived that Bayaz will make his way to Adua and Bethod’s delegation challenge the Aduan council to a duel, refused they go their separate way.

Back in the North we are introduced to The Dogman and Logan’s not so dead crew. After an encounter with more Shanka, The Dogman and his crew realise things are worse I the North than they thought and decide they have to warn people of the Shanka’s presence.

Glokta soon has what he needs by way of a confession, legally obtained through no means of deceit and lies. Right, because that is the truth. Anywho, Glokta’s current detainee has agreed to testify in open council.

After making an enemy of Bethod, Logan, Malacus and Bayaz set off south. It isn’t long before they are under attack from some of Bethod’s men, not one to take their previous insult lightly, he has them ambushed. Bayaz however, has other plans in mind and deals with their attackers by using his magic.


Part two of The Blade Itself opens with a new character introduction, and we meet Ferro Maljinn, an escaped slave of the Gurkish. Ferro is then found by Yulwei, another magi. After much posturing the two set off together evading the Gurkish as they go to Adua. Though on their travels Yelwei notices many Gurkish ships and speeds up considerably.

In Adua, it is time for a meeting of the open council, most of the main players are present and shit is about to hit the fan. Arch Lector Sult accuses the Guild of Mercers of evading the kings taxes and the whole meeting ends in an uproar with many worried for their own purses and their noble arses which are now on the line. Glokta soon enters with his recent detainee whom, after much torture and conditioning, reports on the guilds activities giving Arch Lector Sult just what he needs. The guild of Mercers is found guilty of treason. Glokta and the soldiers are then tasked with arresting the higher ups of the guild. One particular higher up would rather die than fall into the hands of Glokta, though just before topping himself he implicates the Bank of Valint and Balk, the Council and the University.

Since Ardee made Jezal look like the arse he truly is and calling him out on his petty self-centred bullshit he has vastly improved his fencing, now showing promise and not being the lazy arse we all know him to be. He might actually have a chance at winning the upcoming contest. West is also going up in the world and is promoted by Lord Marshal Burr to his personal staff for the upcoming war.

Logan, Bayaz and Malacus soon arrive in Adua, though not exactly looking the part, so the three fit themselves with some new more appropriate attire and go about their intended tasks. Though, despite the new attire the council doesn’t exactly give them the warmest of welcomes.

After all his hard work, Glokta is still not really winning in life. I mean stairs are his worst enemy and he routinely shits himself, so he is never really winning but the guy has worked his little ass off for Sult only to have his previous superior, one he detests promoted over him. Glokta soon enquires as to the last minute accusations against the Bank of Valint and Balk only to be shut down immediately by Sult and told to leave it alone. He is however told to start an investigation into none other than Bayaz and his companions.

Busting for a piss, Logen gets up in the middle of the night searching for a place to relieve himself. During this mini expedition he comes across an apparition of his long dead wife and is right quite shocked and confused. Not one to mess around, and knowing what exactly the apparition was, Bayaz erupts in a fit of magic banishing the apparition and putting a mighty big hole in wall of their rooms.

The following morning Glokta is made aware of Bayaz and Logen’s late night encounter and sets off to investigate and finally meet Bayaz, someone he believes is nothing but a pretender.

After ignoring Ardee now for some time, as a result of West’s little outburst, he is surprised to see a note from her requesting a late night secret meeting. Not the wisest time to have her on the mind though as it is time for the first fights of the fencing contest. Jezal is not ready for the Contest and is quite nervous despite his usual arrogance, though once he gets into the grove of his matches he finds he had no reason to be nervous and proceeds to win against his competitors. To which he buggers off to celebrate with his friends, though he soon realises he want to get himself a little nooky! So, despite being quite late sets off to meet Ardee. Surprisingly, she is still there and the two begin to flirt and before long the two are kissing like porn stars.

Back in the North Threetrees and the crew are still making their way south, though they come up with a bright idea to seek out Bethod to warn him of the Shanka presence seen as though he is the only viable option to defend the North.

During Glokta’s investigation into Bayaz he is told of Bayaz’s history, his involvement in the fall of Kanedias and something called the Seed. Not so long after, Glokta comes across a body, it appears as though the body has been eaten, but Glokta’s new superior says it was an animal attack and demands the matter be left alone.

It is not long before Jezal is in the final match of the contest. He is up against Gorst, the expected winner of the contest.

Watching the contest Bayaz, Logan and Malacus make their observations as to the fighters. Logen thinks Gorst will win and Bayaz thinks Jezal will win, the two place bets. Though, Malacus is quick to advise against such foolish things, no one wins against a magus.

Everyone is seemingly in attendance, Glokta is watching the contest the same as Bayaz and Logen, and Jezal is a participating in the contest and getting his ass beat by Gorst.

Not one to lose a bet Bayaz uses his magic to help Jezal win.

At the champions dinner everyone is uncomfortable in some way or another and it is only made worse by Arch Lector Sult quizzing Bayaz. Bayaz then exclaims, after being pushed by Sult, that he is to enter the House of the Maker with none other than Jezal and Glokta. He also uses his magic to embarrass Sult and vanishing the chair he is sat on.

Bayaz, Jezal and Glokta make their way to the House of the Maker within the University. They search the house to which Bayaz, much to Glokta’s displeasure, shows a wide knowledge of the House and its history. Before long, and after much walking, the group leave the house.

After their encounter with the eaters and much travelling Ferro and Yulwei arrive in Adua and meet Bayaz. The initial meeting doesn’t go swimmingly and Ferro cracks Bayaz, for being a shit, despite this she soon agrees to work with him.

After having beaten this shit out of his sister, Collem West makes his way to Glokta’s home, the only person he feels he can trust with his sisters care while he is away fighting in Angland. Glokta initially refuses to help West in any way as he never made an effort with him after his return, after two years of being tortured. West soon explains he did, Glokta’s mother sent him away too many times. Somewhat shocked and awed by this new found news Glokta agrees to care for Ardee while West is away at war.

Soon, Dogman’s crew make the decision to send Forley the weakest of their crew to warn Bethod. It doesn’t go to plan, he is beheaded by Bethod’s men and the crew decide they will join whoever is against Bethod, which just so happens to be the Union.

Jezal, along with his comrades, are ready to set sail to Angland and make a name for himself in the coming war. Though, not for long a herald soon orders him to a meeting with the High Justice. Jezal is confronted by many high ranking officials and is told of a great journey he is to go on, with none other than Bayaz.


Just as Jezal, Bayaz, Malacus, Brother Longfoot, Logen and Ferro are to set off on their journey Ferro is nowhere to be found. Shocker. Logen sets out to bring her back only to find she is being bothered by three practicals. A fight breaks out and soon Ferro and Logen are fighting and running for their lives, during this we see Logen’s other half, his alter-ego…the bloody nine. He is a monstrous killing machine who doesn’t know friend from foe and it isn’t long before they are surrounded by blood and gore of all his victims. They make it back to the ship but are pursued again. Bayaz bollock naked and not to impressed at being interrupted literally blows up one of the practicals.

Meanwhile Glokta has been sent on a new errand in which he has been promoted to Superior but not of Adua, of Dagoska.

There we have it guys and gals my very first book recap, and a fairly details one at that! This took its sweet merry time but I actually quite enjoyed reliving the book again even though I have only just read it! Watch out for more recaps, I will be sure to finish this series off!

Thank you for reading and please, as this is my first recap, let me know if you have any constructive criticism. If your going to be a dick though…keep it to yourself!


Hey All!

I hope you all had a great and safe New Years Eve. Well, it is the first day of the new year and what a year 2020 was.

Ok, so this month was my last stand against my Goodreads Challenge! I was so sure I wasn’t going to make it. It was the December 22nd and I was 23 books away from my goal of 150! I wasn’t even going to push for it until I wrote my last Sundays Seven of 7 Books to Help You Reach Your Goodreads Reading Goal! And I thought maybe if I get some shorts I could do this, completely forgetting about graphic novels too!

I decided to push for it, I didn’t complete my last years challenge. Then I thought I definitely won’t if I don’t try, and try I did and it paid off! I completed my challenge and with so much support from my big ass book family!

Now, it is tie to see what I read in December.

Goodreads here I come…



Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novels

Review Link: The Blade Itself Review

My Thoughts:

Mmmm, guys this series…I am so late to this party but better late than never, right? These books are great it is grimdark and yet so filled with heart and humour. Nothing is guaranteed in this world and the people that fill it have to fight to survive. I loved the characters in this book and really enjoyed my first journey into Abercrombie’s world and writing.


Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Short Stories

My Thoughts:

I can only say good things about these stories! Lord knows I needed to go back to this world and I was so happy to actually return to see what made some of my favourite characters who they were. Though, now I just want to reread the main trilogy! McClellan is one of my favourite authors so it felt good that is was the Powder Mage universe that helped me towards my Goodreads Goal!


Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Graphic Novels

My Thoughts:

I am so glad I read these, they popped up on my radar when I asked Twitter to give me Sci-Fi recs and I’m so glad someone said these! Then Richard was kind enough to send me the first four, the rest I picked up on the Kindle! These are such fun to read. They are emotional, fun and so much more! I cant wait for more to be released.


Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor.

Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution.

With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Short’ish

Review Link

My Thoughts:

We Men of Ash and Shadow is a thoroughly enjoyable book and a great start to its following books. The characters are brilliant and while the plot is more of a setter-upper it is still a great read.


Humanity has finally defeated the Dark Lord, but Morrick fought on the wrong side. Though he was a slave, he is branded a traitor and must earn the trust of new lords in order to return to his family – if they are still alive… 

Now that their common enemy is dead, the nobles begin to forget old loyalties, and Queen Cathryn’s realm looks set to plunge into war once more. But there are older and more terrible powers dwelling within the forest, and when they are awakened, Morrick will decide who lives or dies. 


Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novel

Review Link

My Thoughts:

Jacob was kind enough to send me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review and I am glad he did. It is such a magical book and is firmly in the classical fantasy realm, he has created a beautiful world with a really cool concept and ran with it.


Wraith Queen Sharrow Met, servant of the Voice, discovers a terrible truth at the moment of greatest victory.

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: SHORT

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this short story and could definitely read a full length novel of Sharrow-met and her world.  It is a short and simple story but one that still manages to pack a few punches. It is a quick easy read and one that leaves you wanting to know more of the character involved, where certain relationships could go as well as all the before and after of this tale.  I’d be down for a fill length novel or more shorts in this world, maybe how she began bonded with Keera or her time spent gaining the sisters loyalty. It would be pretty freaking cool. 


Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror.

D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.

Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: SHORT

My Thoughts:

I loved this, it is such an incredible Novella and one worth reading if you haven’t already read it. It has a little darkness, historical fiction and incredible characters and it really packs a punch despite its fast pace! I can’t recommend this book enough.


Tristan’s Folly is the stunning sequel to the acclaimed Kings and Daemons, and the second in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy.

Tristan’s Folly. An ageing fortress built over fifty years ago to repel the invading hordes of the Witch-King, an invasion that never materialised – until now.

Now it’s a crumbling reflection of its former self and set against Daleth’s savage horde of a hundred thousand men are a mere fifteen hundred defenders, who are surely doomed to fail.

As Kings and Daemons face one another, there is but one shining light that pushes back the darkness, but even her flame might be extinguished thanks to Tristan’s Folly.

In this epic tale of a battle against the odds, the best and worst of humankind will show itself … sacrifice, honour, bravery and love, set against depravity, betrayal, greed and hatred.

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novel

Review Link

My Thoughts:

Tristan’s Folly is a fast paced book, that is another classic feeling fantasy. It continues the story of some much loved character while showcasing a beautiful writing style. I really like these books and cant wait to read the finale.


Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Graphic Novel

My Thoughts:

These graphic novels are BEAUTIFUL, the artwork is just amazing. It is minimalist and yet packed with detail. I have a new found love for watercolour art. Though, these aren’t simply awesome for the art the characters are incredible also and the world is brilliant. I ant wait to read the other three in this series.


Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy… 

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novel

My Thoughts:

This was a fun read, it sets up a pretty coo world and the main character is dang cool too. I like these reads for when I am a little unsure of what to read because they are easy to consume and I know exactly what I am getting more often than not.


Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the ‘true’ Queen of the Omehi.If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne and reunite her people, then the Omehi might have a chance to survive the coming onslaught.

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novel

My Thoughts:

Well, this book is freaking amazing! It is just as brilliant as book one and gives you so much more of the world. I’m not going to say to much as I plan to review this real soon.


When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined. 

The vast, fallen city of the Ancients is home to a new people who face the constant struggle to find resources needed to survive in the dangerous ruins. For the Engineer, however, Redemption is a treasure trove of technology, opportunity, and answers. But his unique skills make him a target for those who would use his talents to achieve their own dreams of power and control. 

In his endless quest for the truth, will Actaeon discover the fallen city’s greatest secrets? Or will he share the same fate as the Ancients of whom nothing remains but a whisper? 

One thing is certain: in Redemption, everything comes with a cost. 

Check it out on Goodreads

Book Type: Novel

My Thoughts:

Another one I plan to review real soon, so I won’t say too much. The Engineer is a great read, it is a chunky boy but it is such a well crafted world and you see some brilliant world building.



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

This months BOOK OF THE MONTH is , once again no easy task to decide, as you can see I read A LOT this month and I have enjoyed most of them! This month, I am giving my Book of the Month to…


Despite having read some amazing book Ring Shout is like nothing I have read before and I LOVED it so much. It is so much more than its story and you should all read it!

Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment here 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.


Hey Bookish Folk and happy Monday!

It is a good Monday for me as I don’t work Mondays or Tuesdays! Though, I will be getting up stupidly early on Wednesday and rocking a 12-hour shift on Christmas Eve as well as working Christmas Day! It going to be a week for sure!

Today I am reviewing Holly Tinsley’s debut book ‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’.

A few facts about We Men of Ash and Shadow:

  • Title: We Men of Ash and Shadow
  • Author: HL Tinsley
  • Series: The Vanguard Chronicles
  • Published by HL Tinsley
  • Pages: 296


Add It To Your Goodreads!

Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor.

Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution.

With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.


Here are a few things you can expect from We Men of Ash and Shadow :

  • Serious Gangs of New York Vibes;
  • An utterly fascinating world/city;
  • A unique and refreshing writing style;
  • Brilliant characters carved by a sinister world; and
  • A great start to this series.

On to the full review…

“We are men of ash and shadow. We endure the darkness so that others might see the dawn.”

This book came to my attention from the author, I’m sad to say that had Holly have not contacted me I’m not sure it would have come up on my radar! Thankfully, the totally polite and lovely Holly sent me the best review request I think I have had so it did, but this is not a review of Holly’s social etiquette this is a review of her grimdark fantasy We Men of Ash and Shadows

As I think back to my reading of this book I find that I am quite fond of this tale and its characters. Holly writes in such a unique way, I don’t really know how to explain it. I’ll try, obviously, and I will hope my wittering does Holly’s distinctive and brilliant writing style the justice it deserves.

One thing that Holly really excels at in her writing is her dialogue, I enjoyed every conversation that this book offered, which seems like a really bizarre compliment but they all felt really authentic and representative of the character’s personality, even the side characters. The more and more I read of this book the more I came to agree whole heartedly with my above statement.

“Henriette stood. As she went to leave she placed a hand on Vanguard’s shoulder. “Be careful what you show her. She will see the world through rose-tinted glass and throw herself into a pit of snakes thinking it’s a flower bed. Girls like her die outside these walls. I should hate to have to kill you.”

As I said above Holly has a really unique way of writing, it’s almost 50/50 show me and tell me. Now I know books get slated for telling you something rather than showing you but Holly has managed to do this, twist and remake it into something unique.

Now, having said that I want it known that all of the above is all complimentary to her writing style, so don’t think for one instance think this book is lacking in detail because of it, it isn’t, this book plunges you into the depths of it’s world and has you fully absorbed. There was just such a ‘tell me’ vibe to Holly’s writing style. And you know what? I really fucking liked it. It felt utterly new. Like I said it isn’t lacking in description or world-building. Holly manages to make the smallest things such as the wearing a nightgown and robe relevant to the scene at hand. It’s the little details that add to the tone of the upcoming conversation and the words spoken.

I think my only real criticism, which is one constructive in nature, would be that there could have been a degree more fluidity. There were a lot of characters we had perspectives from but the rate at which they switched sometimes became a tad bit jarring.

With this being a shorter book it meant that some relationships could have been a little more, it wasn’t so much lacking in detail but it could have been made better by more time being spent with them. I would have loved to have seen this book a little longer with more emphasis on character relationships and general characterisation because the characters that filled this book were amazing!

It took me a little bit longer than usual to read this book considering it is less than 300 pages long, but that is nothing to do with the book and everything to do with my work schedule! I have to admit though, I’m a little thankful as I wouldn’t have noticed my next point had I not have read it the way I did.

We Men of Ash and Shadow felt like an old friend, weird praise I know but hear me out.

This book felt like an old friend in the sense that I could not read this book for a few days, a week or however long and when I went back to read it , it felt like I had only put it down an hour ago. We Men of Ash and Shadow is so incredibly easy to slide back into, I didn’t need a moment to reacquaint myself with the characters or the world at all. I read a few words and I was once again absorbed into this world.

We all know the pros’s and cons of a books cover, right? Well, Holly truly demonstrated this to me. Don’t get me wrong I know the uses of a cover but it wasn’t until We Men of Ash and Shadow that I truly understood that the cover is as much a part of the story for some books as the writing inside is. It’s the start of the journey, I went into this world with just the book cover and it’s blurb and as soon as I read the first page the world burst from it’s pages. There is such a sly, unfair and sinister feel to this world and Holly incorporates it into every aspect. It is in the world-building, the character interactions and well, just about everything. Holly has got the tone of this book down! 

“There was a thin line between mercenary and soldier, and an even thinner one between mercenary and murderer.”

We Men of Ash and Shadow is a great book and the world that Holly has created very much reminded me of Gangs of New York just in Victorian England. It is filled with bloody crimes, sewer riddled districts and a bustling and territorial underworld. D’Orsee is a fascinating city and one I am eager to know the rest of its story.

I know I mentioned earlier that more characterisation and the relationships would have benefited from greater detail, but I also have to compliment those characters. It is something worthy of praise that I still loved the characters that filled this book despite my earlier criticism. Vanguard is such a compelling character and he is someone I am excited to see grow even more in any following books. He has such a rich and harrowing history and you can feel the emotions he feels, his tiredness and so much more. I also LOVED Mandego, and I would love to see more of him in the future.

“Mandego’s face changed. “You come into my home, with your hands dripping in the blood of my people and have the gall to insult me by telling me that you need my help?”

Every character in this book has been carved and defined by the world in which they reside and it has led to hardened people who have little choices in the direction their lives will go.

“They were both relics of the past trying to live in the new world.

We Men of Ash and Shadow is a thoroughly enjoyable book and a great start to its following books. The characters are brilliant and while the plot is more of a setter-upper it is still a great read.



I would happily pick this book up in its paperback form, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely reread this book when it comes time to read the second. The cover is great and oh so appropriate.

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


Hello fellow book lovers and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT! As usual I am going to talk to you today about ten books that have been sitting on my Goodreads TBR for quite some time. The books in this weeks post were all added in August 2019, so 16 months ago. That’s a long time for a book to be sitting! Though, briefly looking some of these and I know a few of them have flickered back up on my radar through either purchasing the book or the audiobook so not totally unloved.

Last week my Keep It Or Cut It post evolved a little, changing ‘Reasons‘ to ‘Reasons & Thoughts‘. It wasn’t a huge change to the layout but it was a change none the less, and today the post is going to evolve a little more.

As you can see from the method below, I do some or all of the below checks, so I’m thinking of adding a few review comments from others, maybe a good opening to the book from the sample or a little information into why the blurb is an interesting one. Hopefully it ill make me a little more accountable for my decisions and also it may be fun for you. Who knows?!

The Method

For any who are unsure as to how I vet a book you can see below the checks I run through. I may only need to see the blurb to love it, I may want to check out a few reviews of those with similar tastes to me or I might read a little bit of the sample. I don’t always do all three but here they are, the method checks…

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



The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns #1) by Django Wexler

Goodreads Link

Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic….

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.


Reasons & Thoughts:

While I added this on to my TBR around 16 months ago as I really love military fantasy fiction, it actually came back to my attention again in Feb 2020, around the time I had read and LOVED Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy. It was strongly recommended as a book to read if you liked that flintlock fantasy.

This isn’t the first Django Wexler book on my TBR and I doubt it will be the last. Also, the whole woman dressed as a man trope, well, I kinda like it and that bit of the blurb honestly gives me Mulan vibes! Don’t laugh.

Petrik described it as “…A great explosive Flintlock/Military fantasy debut that left me begging for more by the end of it...”


The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley

Goodreads Link

The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again…

The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy.

His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries’ brutal final initiation.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he’s learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move? 


Reasons & Thoughts:

This is another one of those books that was added some time ago but had quite recently popped back up in my mind. Though for a different reason. As some of you may be aware I have recently joined the many who love audiobooks, and on my mission to find a narrator I could listen to I stumbled across this. I remembered it was a book I had on my TBR and reread the blurb, it quickly had me wanting to read it and so I grabbed the audio with one of my credits! Though if it isn’t enough that this is narrated by Simon Vance, someones voice I quite like, it also sounds epic. It’s cover is stunning, its book title is intriguing and it blurb has you wanting…

A murdered emperor; an empire in turmoil; TRAINING MONTAGE; mercenaries; and court politics!

This is a book that has some quite amazing reviews and ratings too among the book community, so that is always a promising sign!


The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks

Goodreads Link

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.


Reasons & Thoughts:

From what I have read this is a fairly complex book, its world building is highly praised and has a brilliant magic system that is integral to the story. While all of these praises make me want to read I, it is probably the idea of the magic system I want to experience the most. I haven’t, despite reading fantasy for a good while now, read all that many books with a complex magic system. I want to see one in action that honestly is Sanderson’s. That’s nothing against him, at all, I’ve not read his works but books that hyped are always tougher reads.

Mike said “…Im not selling you a bill of goods here, guys; I feel like Black Prism is the best book 1 of a fantasy series that Ive read in over a decade….


Paternus: Rise of Gods (Paternus Trilogy #1) by Dyrk Ashton

Goodreads Link

Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.

When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter—and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore—they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.


Reasons & Thoughts:

To say how much I enjoy urban fantasy in TV and movies I haven’t actually read a lot in the genre. I have read PNR and shifter books that are still urban fantasy, and while I enjoy them, they are not really what I’m looking for in an adult urban fantasy story. So, to see a so widely loved urban fantasy is great and it had me buying this book, that and it obviously sounded cool!

Nick Borelli said “…Let me start off by saying, I am not a big fan of Urban Fantasy for those who know me. In fact, it’s my least favorite sub-genre of Fantasy. So when I say I was blown away in a good way by this book, it really is saying something about both the story and the author Dyrk Ashton…”


Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


Reasons & Thoughts:

I don’t remember a thing about this book, but having just reread the blurb…It sounds bloody brilliant! I LOVE rebellions against oppression, and your hunter type books. Also, having just watched ‘The Boys’ this whole blurb reminds me a Frenchie, with his experiments to find a supe’s weakness and what not.

The Coycaterpillar Reads has sold this to me even more than the blurb. I am all about a books beginning, as some of you may know, so when Yvonne said “…It’s usually within pages that I will be able to determine whether a novel is going to submerge me within its world, whether I mould between its pages…I was a goner by page two…” I was done.


The Way of Kings, Part 1 (The Stormlight Archive #1, part 1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link





Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.


Reasons & Thoughts:

For some reason this book keeps coming to mind, I really am going to have to read it! I have seen fan art for it a lot recently, new revises and general Sanderson talk. The world is telling me to start reading this book! Plus I already have this book on my shelves at home…

David sold it to me even more with his review comments “…you like beautifully intricate worlds, fun magic systems, and likable characters, I would definitely recommend this to you…”


Wolf in Shadow (Jon Shannow #1) by David Gemmell

Goodreads Link

Three centuries after terrible floods drowned most of Earth’s civilizations, humanity scratches for safety in a world of deadly evils. And through this world walks Jon Shannow, the Jerusalem Man. His quest is to find lost Jerusalem–and confront the world’s evil, including the devil himself.


Reasons & Thoughts:

My first ‘cut it’ of today’s post! I haven’t read any Gemmell and while I have every intention of doing so I won’t be begging my journey into his works with this one. It doesn’t sound like a bad story but nothing about it really grabs me either.


Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

Goodreads Link

Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn’t an axiom, it’s a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one’s delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. 

The question, then, is: Who will rule there?


Reasons & Thoughts:

I like this cover. It almost reminds me of the covers for Brian McClellan’s Gods of Blood and Powder books, but that literally could just be the whole charging horses aspect…

A dark fantasy with a twisted and intriguing plot, peoples delusion twisting reality, that sounds crazy and quite interesting. Plus, when does the puppet god/king/leader plot ever go to plan?

The Tattooed Book Geek said “I was hooked from the first page all the way up until the last, great world building and great characters make this a quality read, fantasy at it’s darkest, deluded best, a unique read that I thoroughly enjoyed and would gladly recommend to everyone!”


The City (The City #1) by Stella Gemmell

Goodreads Link

Well, we cut the husband, let us see if we keep the wife..


Reasons & Thoughts:

I remember adding this book to my TR and to say it was added over 16 months ago I think that is quite a feat, even more so because I haven’t seen this token about in the book community at all. That is not to say I remember the full blurb, but I do remember being greatly interested in the whole idea of a waring city filled with tribal fighting and a mysterious leader.

I also already have this book on my shelves to read so it is a easy keep it book!

BOOK #10

Legend (The Drenai Saga #1) by David Gemmell

Goodreads Link

I was clearly digging the Gemmell’s during this phase of my Goodreads hunting…

He is DRUSS the Legend. His skill in battle has earned him a fearsome reputation throughout the world and the stories of his life are told everywhere. But the grizzled veteran has spurned a life of fame and fortune and has retreated to the solitude of his mountain lair to await his old enemy, Death.

Meanwhile, barbarian hordes of the Nadir are on the march, conquering all before them. All that stands before them and victory is the legendary six-walled fortress of the Drenai empire, Dros Delnoch. If the fortress falls, so do the Drenai. Druss reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement. But can even Druss live up to his own legends?

Held by many to be Gemmell’s most iconic work, the book is considered a classic in the heroic fantasy genre.

A second chance, will Gemmell make the cut this time?


Reasons & Thoughts:

And now we have both Mr and Mrs Gemmell being kept this week on Keep It Or Cut It! This is another trope I really like to read, the retired veteran who has removed themselves from the world to live the rest of their days alone in some hut on a mountain storyline.

I think I like these storylines because they have the potential for such incredible characters, we are given a character who has already lived a life, so you are constantly wondering how much the character can still grow, how will their life experiences steer them in their new journey? What is going to happen?

Then throw in the whole last stand, the last remaining defence against a seemingly unstoppable force and you have a book I really want to read!

I actually really enjoy writing these posts because I am slowly but surely noticing more and more what tropes, storylines and more that I truly like. I am seeing clearer each time what I want to see in a book, what I want to experience. This feature is genuinely beneficial and I would recommend you guys doing your own.

One cut, nine kept!

This was nearly a full strike! Just one fell short but nine out of ten isn’t bad. or it is because the aim is to reduce the TBR but I’m not cutting books for the sake of it! Plus, I feel like I have learnt more about my own reading tastes in this weeks post so I would say that is a win!

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut or ones you cant believe I didn’t cut? Have I made any mistakes? How many did you guess correct?

Again, thank you to everyone who takes the tie to read my posts and engage with me over on Twitter, it is always such fu and I appreciate you all so much!