BOOK TOUR REVIEW | THE END OF DREAMS BY MARCUS LEE

Hello Bookish Folk!

How are we all doing today? I hope you are all well.

Today I am once again thrilled to be one of the many incredible bloggers coming together to review Marcus Lee’s final book in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy! This tour is hosted by Storytellers on Tour, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a few previous occasions, so definitely check out their site!

I would also like to take this time to thank Marcus for sending me a copy of this book!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The End of Dreams
  • Author:  Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed (Book Three)
  • Published by Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 403

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

‘What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.’

The End of Dreams is the nervewracking and glorious conclusion to The Gifted and The Cursed trilogy.

—–

As Daleth the Witch-King and his horde ready themselves for the final battle, a small alliance prepares for a desperate last stand.

However, the alliance is weak and fractured, led by a king interested only in retaining his wealth and a lord commander consumed by his thirst for revenge. With a seemingly unbeatable army before them, invisible foes amongst them, and broken hearts between them, the alliance appears destined to fall.

Yet in these dark times, her light almost extinguished, a peasant huntress is soon to be queen. But if she can find what was lost, she might prove to be more powerful than two kings combined.

This war will bring about the end of dreams, but for whom, the gods have yet to decide

ORDER HERE: Paperback | Kindle (Free with Kindle Unlimited)


Review:

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

  • A dark fantasy romance;
  • Epic battles;
  • A far reaching and magnificent world;
  • Deep, complex and nuanced characters; and
  • An utterly satisfying end to a great trilogy.

On to the full review…

I feel like I have been on such a journey with these books, from its characters and their journey all the way down to mine. I have the joy of saying that I have been able to participate in a book tour for each book from this series, and I am honoured to have been one of the many bloggers to have come together to share our thoughts on these books.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series as a whole and this final book was not a disappointment. I have loved, throughout reading this series, the the detail Lee puts into his writing, it is the little things I wouldn’t think of like Kalas’ armour being to bright to give appropriate camouflage, and it just adds that little extra to his writing that makes all the difference to the readers immersion into the book. 

I also really enjoyed Lee’s knack for showing us the camaraderie amongst those who had survived Tristan’s Folly, and the introduction of new people into their ranks, though I did feel at times that anyone who wasn’t a part of their group were untrained simpletons and that at times felt a little unrealistic.

Lee manages to draw out some serious emotion towards the characters. Lord knows the moment I saw Yana’s name I was sighing at the bitch. Girl, please. He ain’t your man!! But then she surprises you and has you agreeing and appreciating certain aspects of the same damn character and it is such a real and human reaction. You don’t simply hate someone and instantly dislike every word out of their mouth and I like that Lee is able to showcase the complexity of several of his characters, especially within his darker less “good” characters. 

Lawdd, help me but I just cannot get enough of Lee’s ability to blur the lines between what is typically good and evil! It allowed for us to see so many shades to several different characters every time we saw it from their eyes. 

Damn, Daleth!

The man got darker in this instalment, suffering many near fatal wounds at the hands of Kalas he was bitter, showed slight signs of redemption, became even darker and more! I think that is what makes him a great villain, and while they were utterly despicable they were such a great addition to this character and story overall. I think Daleth was one of my favourite characters!

The characters that have filled the pages of this series are all great, some you love, some you hate and some you just can’t decide! But regardless of that I’m sad to see an end to their stories and happy because this was just such a satisfying ending!

It gives you everything!

It wraps up the tory brilliantly, it makes you sad, then happy, then sad again, then smug and so much more. It is simply one of those ending that is truly satisfying.

I don’t want to say much about the plot because you have so much to experience when you read this but know it is very satisfying, we travel and get to experience so much more of this incredible and vivid world Lee has created. It is a world that just keeps giving, I absolutely adored the insertion of the Horselords. I loved them, they are such a great addition to an already great book. It is the fear of their savage nature, the unknown and so much more that I enjoy about these elements and Lee managed to execute it so well, you were genuinely worried about the outcome of certain plot points surrounding them, so kudos to Lee for brilliantly weaving them into this story and with such suspense and tension.

I do have one gripe, and it is petty but the overuse of the word ‘for’ bugged me to no end. It was everywhere, I loved it in the other books because it wasn’t used nearly as much as it was in this book. I got to a point where I scowled each time I saw it.

However, despite my petty gripe this book and series in general is a fab one! When I think bak to the books of this trilogy I just smile, it is one of those trilogy that has a lot of scenes and moments that I love, I can pick out so many scenes that I LOVED and get excited about these books all over again!


You know the drill, On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

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

I am happy to say that Tristan’s Folly is a BUY THE PAPERBACK! Yayyy

  • As I said in my review, I enjoyed this book. I have book one and two so it would be rude t not have the complete set!

ABOUT MARCUS LEE…

What Marcus Lee has to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and the Illiad as a seven-year-old.  Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others. 

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books, other reviews, artwork and more,

Marcus’ Twitter:

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

Marcus’ Facebook:

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK TOUR REVIEW | TRISTAN’S FOLLY BY MARCUS LEE

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

How are we all doing today? I hope you are all freaking awesome.

Today I am thrilled to be one of the many incredible bloggers coming together this week to talk to you about Marcus Lee’s second book Tristan’s Folly. This tour is hosted by Storytellers on Tour, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a few previous occasions, so definitely check out their site!

I would also like to take this time to thank Marcus for sending me a physical copy of this book!

A few facts about Tristan’s Folly

  • Title: Tristan’s Folly
  • Author:  Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed (Book Two)
  • Published by Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 331

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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.

Before I get to the review I want to share with you the generous giveaway Marcus and the Storytellers are offering…

It’s both books and is open internationally, so don’t miss out!

CLICK HERE OR ON THE PICTURE FOR THE GIVEAWAY PAGE…

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Tristan’s Folly:

  • A dark fantasy with a sprinkling of romance;
  • A visually stunning magic system;
  • Seige warfare;
  • A dystopia world filled with cracking characters; and
  • A unique and refreshing fantasy story!

On to the full review…

Today is day four of this book tour and thus my day, along with Rowena at Beneath A Thousand Skies, to share our thoughts on Tristan’s Folly. It still has another day to run, so head over to the Tour Schedule page to check out all amazing reviews already posted!

As I have said Tristan’s Folly is the second book of The Gifted and the Cursed series by Mr Marcus Lee, and it picks up right where Kings and Daemons left off. Tristan’s Folly does not mess around either, it is straight into the thick of it with so much to lose and even more to win! It is a great second instalment and I was not disappointed.

I praised the magic system in my review of Kings and Daemons and I will praise it again. It is such a lovely magic system. It gives your such a great level of variety throughout the book. It did feel very convenient at times but worry not Lee combats this superbly. One of our characters, Taran, was able to know the truth of an enemy’s words through his gift and that alone could have made many events within this book feel anti-climatic but it didn’t! It didn’t because Lee would always have other and more enjoyable sequences at play. Lee managed to create even more tension where Taran’s ability could have taken it away, the character’s reactions and the way they dealt with these revelations and truths after the fact was brilliantly done. To be honest it was refreshing, too often do you read a book that makes you just sit there and be like really, yes obviously take the bad guy at his word. There is no room for that in this book, so not only is the magic fun it’s a brilliant writing mechanism that shows Lee’s skill at changing the direction and bringing the tension that such events usually warrant a different way. 

While Lee is a new writer with only two books out there for the world to see he shows such promise! This is his second book and it is already brilliant. I honestly think he can only get better as he goes on, and I for one am incredibly excited to see his style grow!

I found myself during this read constantly thinking ’oh you clever, clever man’. Again, Lee shows us he is a talented writer. At some points I was like ’mmmm well what happened then?’ because a POV would change and so would the tide of the battle. I swore I had just missed something at first only to soon see Lee reveal it in a far more spectacular way, one in particular point I was so smug and satisfied because of the way Lee wrote the sequence of events was just brilliant! As much as I would love to tell you in detail what and how Lee did this, I won’t because…SPOILERS! And you need to experience the joy of unravelling the events of this book yourself!

Having already met most of the characters in book one it was amazing to see the still growing and progressing. They didn’t plateau and were a joy to read.

I found that I liked Maya a lot more in this book, not that I didn’t like her before but you know how it is!

Now, I have said before but I shall say it again; a main character is only as good as those that surround them in my opinion. If you have a strong character but their interactions are with subpar characters they don’t shine, bu thankfully Lee doesn’t need to worry about this. Maya was such a good character to read because she was so layered and well rounded. She had deep and thought provoking conversations with Astren, but then she was soft and loving with Taran and yet comical and fiery with Drizt and Trop. IT was great to see how she changes with each person she is with!

I also really liked Daleth, I actually really likes his POV’s in book one and he doesn’t disappoint. He is a truly great character because you kind of like him. He is filled with manipulation and deceit (not so different to another character who is in the good side might I add 🤔) and yes its bad to manipulate those who serve him, yet he knows all the names of his men, he gifts them and treats them well. Yes, a good deal of their fire is based off a lie but that isn’t all they are fighting for, they are fighting for Daleth! He doesn’t lead by fear alone but through admiration and they respect and choose to follow him. He is such a brilliantly complex character that brings out much thought from the reader and not only from his own character but what he represents. Which is definitely another strength of Lee’s writing style. He shows you that not everything is as it seems, no one person is wholly bad or good!

Tristan’s Folly is a fast paced book, as I said it picks up right where it left off and it does not stop! This story is filled with action sequences and siege warfare and has you turning to the next page. Lee continues to raise the stakes in this book and sets up for what I expect is going to be a dramatic conclusion to this story. There is so much going on, though not cluttered and incoherent, and we see a lot more internal strife and deception in this book!

I really enjoyed this book as I did the first and I am excited to see Lee grow as a writer and what he has in store for us in book three!


You know the drill, On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

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

I am happy to say that Tristan’s Folly is a BUY THE PAPERBACK! Yayyy

  • As I said in my review, this book is delightfully written, with its plot twists and refreshing way of writing! I am super happy to have this book on my shelves and will look forward to having the final book when it is out to make the set complete!

You can get this book from Amazon.Co.UK OR Amazon.com. It is also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.


ABOUT MARCUS LEE…

What Marcus Lee has to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and the Illiad as a seven-year-old.  Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others. 

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books, other reviews, artwork and more,

Marcus’ Twitter:

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

Marcus’ Facebook:

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK TOUR | FROZEN RAGE BY Steve McHugh

Hello Bookish Folk and welcome to my stop on the Frozen Rage Book Tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour.

I am absolutely thrilled to be partnering with an incredible author and an incredible book tour organiser again! Don’t stop here though, I am one of many incredible Bloggers participating in this tour!

For more details on who has already posted and who is yet to post simply head over to the Frozen Rage Book Tour Main Page.

Firstly, the giveaway…

Click on the picture above for a chance to win a paperback copy of the brilliant Frozen Rage!

A few facts about Frozen Rage:

  • Title: Frozen Rage
  • Author: Steve McHugh
  • Series: Hellequin Chronicles (Book 6.5 but can be read standalone)
  • Publisher: Published by Hidden Realms Publishing
  • Pages: 117

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Realm of Dreich is a getaway for the rich and powerful, a medieval-inspired town in the middle of a vast frozen wilderness. Now it’s the site of a wedding, intended to join two feuding families who have spent centuries in an uneasy truce with each other.

When Tommy Carpenter asks his best friend, Nate Garrett, to help him with the security of the wedding, Nate reluctantly agrees, knowing that it will be a long weekend of work and, in all probability, treachery.

It is only a matter of time before members of each family are found murdered and it is up to Nate and Tommy to find the killer before more bodies fall, potentially reigniting a war. 

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Frozen Rage:

  • Serious murder mystery vibes;
  • Intrigue;
  • Shapeshifters;
  • A kick ass lead;
  • LGBT;
  • Break-neck pace filled with bloody and brilliant action;
  • CHAOS.

On to the full review…

If you don’t want to read it already from the above details then let me tempt you a little bit more.

This book is such an enjoyable read, I didn’t realise how much I wanted a fast paced whirlwind murder novella until I picked this book up. I had engaged with Steve on Twitter a bit in the past over games, so when I saw this book tour I couldn’t help but join in. I have been in a bit of a time slump at the minute so this book was perfect for my current circumstances.

Firstly, let me point out this is a technically a standalone and for me has acted as the perfect introduction to Steve’s series as a whole, having not read his other books prior to this. This wasn’t an issue for me as I still felt like I could follow the plot and connect with the characters involved. The only downside of this is there are a few mentions of previous events and previous characters within the world you don’t fully appreciate or understand and there is an assumption you are indeed familiar with the world and its races.

BUT LET ME REMIND YOU THIS IS MY FAULT AND NOT A FAULT OF THE BOOK. IT IS BOOK 6.5 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, THE CHARACTERS ALREADY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT HISTORY PRIOR TO THIS.

This novella has actually made me want to read all the books prior to this series so I can get those details, I want to see the relationships between characters start and grow and the events that have made Nate such a bad ass!

Frozen Rage is actually a little bloodier than I expected, I’m not overly sure what I expected but I was shocked and impressed at the level of bloody murder within this book. This book is as Nick Borelli said in his review “an interactive experience”. One of the first things I noticed when reading this was that there is quite a bit of dialogue between the characters and it is this for me that made this read so much more interactive. I genuinely felt like I was a part of the conversations between characters, I was stood there nodding along and putting in my two pence about why Viktor is a dick.

Steve does great in this novella to show you the little realm of Dreich, it honestly sounds like somewhere i’d be happy to go, less the murder though! You can imagine the whole realm from the people that fill it to the landscapes that surround it.

The investigatory nature of this book is also well written, it is fast acting and unravels the way you would want a investigation to be handled. There is no lollygaggin between clues and revelations and you don’t stop until you have it uncovered.

Also, the ending….pretty fucking epic!!

A final note too. The Cover. OMG it is beautiful!

As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or borrow/sale scale. I am happy to say Frozen Rage sits nicely in the BUY THE PAPERBACK rank!

  • The novella is reasonably priced
  • I would read this again, though after the other books
  • THE COVER!

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

Or be a little more logical than me and start at the beginning! Book One is ‘Crimes Against Magic’ and can be ordered through Amazon.co.uk OR Amazon.com 🙂


About Steve …

Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson.  Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language.  The follow up “One boy and his frog” was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is now available to purchase.
He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

Ways to get in touch with Steve…

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon |

Thank you for reading!


BOOK TOUR: THE LOST SENTINEL BY SUZANNE ROGERSON

Welcome back to The Book in Hand, as you may know I’m Sam and I’m back working with Storytellers on Tour! I had such an amazing experience last time I couldn’t help but sign up to some more!

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

My Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A few facts about The Lost Sentinel:

  • Title: The Lost Sentinel
  • Author: Suzanne Rogerson
  • Series: Silent Sea Chronicles (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Suzanne Rogerson
  • Pages: 363

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel – the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? 

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

Sound good? Get the BOX SET on Amazon UK | Amazon US

This epic fantasy box set contains:

The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)

The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)

The Sentinel’s Alliance (Book 3)

Review:

The Lost Sentinel is the first book in the Silent Sea Chronicles and we take a trip into the magical world of Kalaya. Kalaya has a small population of magic wielders called mystics. The Lost Sentinel follows a few of the typical fantasy tropes with a dwindling magic, the orphaned hero and a few more but Suzanne does well to write these in a way that they don’t feel tired and overused. The only issue with using these tropes is that there is an air or predictability to the story.

Suzanne manages to create a good level of tension throughout her story however with the fact that no one is really safe in the lands of Kalaya. We journey through Kalaya via a few different POV’s and I have to say I probably preferred the side characters as they were super interesting. Farrell was really interesting and fun to read.

The world that Suzanne creates is an compelling and interesting one, it was great to see the world through the different POV’s ad the challenges each character faced.

This is a fast paced book that is constantly moving so you tend to get through this book fairly quickly, and while I sometimes like a faster pace I did see this impact the characters and relationships. At 10% the main love interest had professed his love for our main character. I would have preferred greater character development and a better foundation for the romance but I imagine this is something that will be covered in the following books. The plot is filled with action and constantly moving parts.

This is a super short review compared to my others though don’t take that as a negative this book is still an enjoyable book and it is a good introduction to the series as we get a brief introduction to who our characters really are.

I think this book would be a good read for those just getting into fantasy or who don’t read it often but sometimes want an escape from their usual reading as it gives you all the things we love about fantasy just not in the detail a more seasoned fantasy reader would want.

About Suzanne..

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Ways to get in touch with Suzanne: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Newsletter

Thanks for reading guys!


Book Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

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

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

Firstly, the giveaway…

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

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

Review:

I really bloody enjoyed this book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


What Marcus had to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

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

Marcus’ Twitter:

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

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook 😉

Thank you for reading!


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

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

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A few facts about The Medina Device:

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

Synopsis:

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

(Goodreads)

Review:

I want to just highlight my rating criteria first…

FOUR STARS 

★★★★

I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK.

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

THREE STARS

★★★

I LIKED THIS BOOK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and have a great day!