BOOK REVIEW | A FOOL’S HOPE BY MIKE SHACKLE

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

It is Monday, and thankfully I am not in work until tomorrow so I can write up my review of Mike Shackle’s second book to The Last War series: A Fool’s Hope!

I am absolutely thrilled to be able To read and review this book, it is a dark and sensational follow up to the first book: We Are The Dead!

A Fool’s Hope is due to release on 3rd December 2020, and you can pre-order from any of the below places…

AMAZON.CO.UK £15.19 | WHSMITH £15.19 | WATERSTONES £18.99 |

**Prices as shown on 30/11/20**

A few facts about A Fool’s Hope:

  • Title: A Fool’s Hope
  • Author: Mike Shackle
  • Series: The Last War (Book Two)
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 594

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

War takes everything.

From Tinnstra, it took her family and thrust her into a conflict she wanted only to avoid. Now her queen’s sole protector, she must give everything she has left to keep Zorique safe.

It has taken just as much from Jia’s revolutionaries. Dren and Jax – battered, tortured, once enemies themselves – now must hold strong against their bruised invaders, the Egril.

For the enemy intends to wipe Jia from the map. They may have lost a battle, but they are coming back. And if Tinnstra and her allies hope to survive, Jia’s heroes will need to be ready when they do.

The sequel to the darkly fantastic WE ARE THE DEAD: with more unflinching action, A FOOL’S HOPE sees Jia’s revolutionaries dig in their heels as they learn that wars aren’t won in a day.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • WAR;
  • Epic battles filled with bloody desperation;
  • An excellently written masterpiece that doesn’t pull punches or pussy-foot around;
  • Fascinating, compelling and generally amazing characters; and
  • A great middle instalment to a sure to be exquisite trilogy!

First off I would like to thank the folks at Gollancz & NetGalley who accepted my request to read this book early! I also have to laugh because my instant response to this book was “Holy shit – this book” and that is what is quoted on Gollancz website! So, I see no other way to start my review…

On to the full review…

HOLY SHIT – THIS BOOK!

There, that is my review.

I joke, I joke. While accurate I think I can muster up some more words to do this book its justice.

A Fool’s Hope is an incredible story and it begins right back to where it left you, there is no irritating missing period that you always want to know about, you are straight back to it! Many say the second book is often the worst one, it is the calm before the epic climax of book three and can often be filled with a lot of filler. Well, Shackle shit’s all over that statement! This book just keeps getting better, it stands on equal footing with book one and is damned incredible.

Having read Shackle’s first book in this series, I am somewhat familiar with his writing style and yet A Fool’s Hope still managed to amaze me. Over my last few review’s I have been talking a little bit more about how coherent a book is, its dialogue and other general but crucial writing elements.

While reading A Fool’s Hope I saw nothing but a faultless piece of work! Shackle’s ability to weave a story is brilliant, no sentence is wasted, and no dialogue out of place. Everything just seemed to fit so well, and when a book is a fast paced as these books are it is often easy for it all to become a little jarring and feel all over the place. This was not the case in A Fool’s Hope despite the different locations and characters.

Shackle’s writing isn’t like anything I have read before, it is so tight-knit and compact you feel the punch of every word. His battle scenes are diverse and not repetitive and they all feel so real, because of Shackle’s incredibly world building you have more than brief explosions of imaginative action, you have a damn movie playing before your eyes! I felt the vibrations of every explosion and I felt raw from the sights that war brings, the people you cant help, the desperation. You are quite simply plunged into a world so deeply you are there for it all.

As with book one, We Are The Dead, you will be constantly driven to turn the next page, I read this book in three or four days. It is so addictive.

We Are The Dead introduced us to a good amount of the characters in this series but I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to some more in A Fool’s Hope. We continue to see these incredible and flawed characters grow, we see their relationships grow deeper and their level of progression is fantastic. No character really remains the same, war changes them irrevocably, and it was such a rush seeing them deal with the events that unfold within this book. Nothing about this book feels rushed and you will, as surely as I did, become wholly invested in the outcome of these characters journey!

A Fool’s Hope is darker in nature, the stakes are higher and it is filled with the grim realness of a country under siege. Shackle holds nothing back and is not afraid to throw everything he can at his characters but this book is also so much more than that.

I can say so much more about this book, and I really do want to, but to do so walks into the realms of the spoilers and that is no place I dare tread. All I can say is that everything you expect to happen in this book will not happen, the direction you think this book will go in…yeah, it is going to rage a battle so vicious in the complete opposite direction and it is all done with such incredible finesse it leaves you wanting!

I would definitely say to those who plan on reading this book to avoid anything even remotely spoiler’ish, avoid any review that goes into detail about the relationships and the characters who feature or well anything really! I don’t think my review falls into those categories but many I imagine will so please be careful. In my opinion, you should go into this blind beyond the first book to really experience this spectacular book!

I read A Fool’s Hope straight after We Are The Dead without sight of a single review and I enjoyed it so much more. Each event I came upon was shockingly brilliant, I had no idea which direction it would turn and what an experience it was.


On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

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

A Fool’s Hope unfortunately is not being published in hardback I don’t believe, though that does not change this books rating of BUY THE HARDBACK!

Instead I purchased the signed Paperback (Twitter Link Here) from Matt, he is a bookseller at Waterstones so definitely message him to see if he has any left!

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE STONE KNIFE BY ANNA STEPHENS

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I am really happy to be sharing with you my review of Anna Stephens ‘The Stone knife‘ and on its day of publication no less!

YAYY!! Happy Publication Day!

Firstly, I would like to thank HarperVoyager for approving my NetGalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A few facts about The Stone Knife:

  • Title: The Stone Knife
  • Author: Anna Stephens
  • Series: Songs of the Drowned (Book One)
  • Published by Harper Collins Publishers
  • Pages: 608

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

A fantasy epic of freedom and empire, gods and monsters, love, loyalty, honour, and betrayal, from the acclaimed author of GODBLIND.

For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Stone Knife :

  • Gods and mysterious monsters;
  • Love, loyalty and family;
  • Bloody battles;
  • Political intrigue;
  • Darker scenes and swift melodic brutality; and 
  • Mesoamerican vibes.

On to the full review…

You know it is always so fascinating reading the works of a new author, and no I don’t mean debut author but an author new to the reader. That is what Anna Stephens is to me, a new author. So it was a delight to dip my toe into the waters of her wonderful writing. Stephens sets up her novel really really well, it was honestly great seeing the many interpretations of the Drowned to start off this story, especially considering they are such a big part of the book. However, what made this book have such a great start was something even more skilful. It was the delicate weaving of seemingly insignificant world facts that by a few pages into your reading have you building such a well-grounded and magnificent world so efficiently and one your imagination can truly go wild with. 

Stephen’s writing as a whole is beautiful, and while I rave about her world building and more in this review that is not its only strength. Stephens prose are beautiful while remaining wholly authentic. If it is your first time reading her writing worry not, her writing is fluid, understandable and very well balanced. She is a brilliant storyteller!

“ It sounded like the sunset looks. It sounded like all the world is there just to make you gasp with wonder, to open your heart so wide that it can absorb all that beauty and hold it and be it and never lose it, no matter what.” 

And the battle and fight sequences are epic, Stephens give you all the action and the impact!

This story is a beautiful one, and inexplicably powerful. It is a bloody tale of gods, monsters, war and death but it is one of family, love, loyalty and faith. Stephens manages to authentically showcase the development of her character’s relationships, though not in a tasteless and too obvious way, and when we are shown just how far those characters have come you truly understand the depths of their actions and the significance of them. 

”She hesitated, then she licked her thumb and pressed it to his temple and he stilled, shocked, before a rush of affection and gratitude surged through him. She had gifted him a piece of her courage, her spirit, to aid him in the war. She had named him family.”

I think this is quite possibly the first book I have read that is written in such a setting too. The lush jungle (even though Goodreads says forests I see nothing but jungle soo) and wonderful cities steeped in such history and lore were beautiful to read. It really gave me Apocalypto vibes, and I would pay good money to see this as a TV series! I want to say that it based off Mesoamerican, as it greatly reminded me of the Maya civilization and/or the Aztecs but I could be wrong. 

The Stone Knife is a larger book, with a page count of 600+ but Stephens used the pages effectively. It has great focus on the worldbuilding and introducing us to this book’s incredible characters. The chapters are also a little longer, though this is actually really well done. When an authors opt for several POV’s they run the risk of not introducing them with enough depth that by the time you next see their chapter you’re not sure who they were. This is not an issue in The Stone Knife, after each introduction you are clear on who they are and where they are.

I‘d rather die fighting than die at the teeth of one of the things after years on my knees for these arrogant shits.”

I think that there are maybe seven character POV’s in this book, but don’t quote me, and each and every single one of them is a thrill to read! I really like that more books, or at least the ones I have been reading, are giving both sides POV. You still know who you are rooting for and who you want to win but all are still enjoyable. I don’t sometimes like it when I see the ”bad guys” POV because you can so blatantly dislike them and you just don’t want to listen to their shit, but Stephens does an incredible job of avoiding that. One of my favourite characters to read was definitely not good and I loved their world bubble, their family and side characters that surrounded them. I think that says a lot about Stephens ability to write outstanding characters!

Something I truly loved about this was the political manoeuvrings and intrigue, it is too often that I see some politically sly genius who always gets their way and they are infallible in their position. Everything goes in their favour until the main character somehow thwarts the attempts through chance, so it was so exciting to see the sly political genius written in a truer light. They win some and they lose some and it only amped up the tension and risk for the characters who are playing such dangerous games. 

A final note of praise for this book too is the ability of Stephens to seamlessly represent the many and not in a ’hey look my main character is deaf” way. Stephens did not need to make her writing shout about character relations or the fact that Xessa had a disability, it was just there. Natural, refreshing and REAL! 

I finished this book in two days, it made me into the biggest book sloth ever. I moved from my reading corner to eat and that’s about it. This book will inevitably grip you in some way when you start reading it and I really hope you do. I am already dying for the next book in this series. 

The Stone Knife is an incredible book. Remarkable characters, a breathtaking world and savage brutality! It is bloody and it is magnificent, so at least add it to your Goodreads!


As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale. I really need a buy the audiobook in there too now I listen to audiobooks!

Anywho back to the book in hand (mmmm see what I did there?)

RIGHT! Well, I don’t know if you could tell but I really liked this book and I am super excited to say it is definitely a BUY THE HARDBACK rated book. Even better it is also the Goldsboro Book sooo…I am way to excited to get that!

  • The Stone Knife is a world I WILL return to
  • The cover is beautiful
  • It is the first book of this type for me, or at least the first I have loved this much because if I have read any other I don’t refer them at all, so it deserves a special place on my bookshelves!
  • I want this trilogy standing proud on my shelves! I am so excited for book two and the direction it will take!

**Now, usually there would be a delicious picture of my copy (if I owned one) of this book but your girl hasn’t received her Goldsboro goodies yet!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | WE ARE THE DEAD BY MIKE SHACKLE

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Ohh, two days in a row. I have a wee bit of a backlog of book reviews to write up so I’m going to try and keep smashing them out and get up to date, then I have more time to reading. Which is always good.

As you can see by the title this will be my review of Mike Shackle’s book We Are The Dead. I can’t thank Mike enough for sending me a copy of this book.

A few facts about We Are The Dead:

  • Title: We Are The Dead
  • Author: Mike Shackle
  • Series: The Last War (Book One)
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 488

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The war is over. The enemy won. Now it’s time to fight back.

For generations, the people of Jia – a land where magic has long since faded from the world, clinging on in only a few rare individuals – have been protected from the northern Egril hordes by their warrior caste, but their enemy has not been idle. They have rediscovered magic and use it to launch an overwhelming surprise attack. An invasion has begun.

And in moments, the war is over. Resistance is quashed. Kings and city leaders are barricaded in their homes awaiting banishment and execution, the warriors are massacred, and a helpless people submit to the brutality of Egril rule.

Jia’s heroes have failed it. They are all gone. And yet… there is still hope. Soon the fate of the kingdom will fall into the hands of a schoolboy terrorist, a crippled Shulka warrior and his wheelchair bound son, a single mother desperate enough to do anything she can to protect her baby… and Tinnstra, disgraced daughter of the Shulka’s greatest leader, who now lies dead by Egril hands.

A brand new epic fantasy: gritty and modern featuring a unique ensemble of characters who will lead a revolution against their overlords.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from We Are The Dead:

  • A fast paced book which has you unable to put it down;
  • Bloody and marvellous close quarters combat;
  • War and invasion; and
  • A book not for the faint of heart but well worth it and wholly addictive!

On to the full review…

We Are The Dead is an outstanding book and it is one of those books that has me completely shocked that more people haven’t read it! I mean i’m not one to talk really I added this to my shelves back in April and haven’t read it until November but I feel redeemed somewhat as I read the following book A Fool’s Hope immediately after and what a ride it has been.

We Are The Dead, despite being an incredibly fast paced book which is brutal and bloody, it is remarkably well balanced. I posted via Goodreads while reading this saying how this book has you and keeps you and I stand by that. I also standby my statement that a book had me like no other has but worry not you do have moments of respite. Mike gives you a moment to breath, though not much more I might say, not before you are plunged back into the turmoil that is Jia.

Now, do not mistake We Are The Dead for a simple and brutal tale, yes it is brutal, but it is by no means simple. This is a layered book with complex themes present. Mike shows you that the best are only so until someone bigger and better comes along, you do not remain superior forever it is but a chapter in ones history.

The world that Mike creates in We Are The Dead is marvellous, while reading this I had a FULLY realised world in my mind. Mike’s world building and infusion of its history and magic was brilliantly done, and I would say essential with the battle and fights that are present in this book. I don’t think I would have experienced it the same if I didn’t have such a clear depiction of Jia. So, massive praise to Mike for doing such an incredible job.

The characters that fill Jia are incredible, I don’t think I can accurately explain how great these characters are, and not just our main POV characters but every single person that fills this world. Each character is uniquely individual with their own motivations for fighting in the war for Jia, with their own influences and their own limitations and hurdles.

Ok, so the combat…I can’t not bring the combat up in this book. The fights; the battles; just the action sequences in general are incredible and altogether engaging. There is such a savageness to the Egril and Mike does not hold back in showing this through several bloody scenes.

This book is exactly as it says on the cover, it is a book with no more heroes.

I think that I stand with numerous other readers of this book in saying that to explain how magnificent this book is, is no easy task. Yes, I have just written a review of it but blimey it wasn’t easy and I don’t feel like I have even remotely covered everything that is amazing about this book, so I implore you to read this book for yourself and experience what is one of the best dark fantasy books I have read.


As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale.

BUY THE HARDBACK RATING

Now, I’m pretty sure these book have not been published in Hardback but if they were I would DEFINITELY get this in Hardback!

  • The cover…I mean look at it, it is bloody amazing that alone deserves a HB!
  • I will read this book more than once.
  • This book is INCREDIBLE!

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE WAKING FIRE BY ANTHONY RYAN

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I am really happy to be posting my review of Anthony Ryan’s ‘The Waking Fire’. Firstly, I would like to thank Anthony for sending me a signed copy of this book! I am beyond grateful!

A few facts about .:

  • Title: The Waking Fire
  • Author: Anthony Ryan
  • Series: The Draconis Memoria (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 679

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Waking Fire :

  • A gutter fighting blood blessed thief with a little more to him than meets the eye;
  • A clever quick thinking bad ass spy;
  • Epic sea battles;
  • Bloody land battles;
  • Indiana Jones expedition vibes; and
  • DRAGONS, well drakes. 

On to the full review…

Once again Anthony opens his book with scintillating occurrences and immediately compelling characters. If Anthony Ryan does one thing for me, it is his ability to have me hooked within the first twenty pages. He did it with Blood Song and has done It with The Waking Fire. I’m writing this note here not even 30 pages in and I’ve had drakes, corporate espionage, gutter fighting, crime lords and more. Now that may cause you to wonder how an earth so much can be done in such little time and still be well written and skilful but I promise you it is! A brief hint at the power a crime boss holds by the persistent tapping of a glass in a pit fight; the witty and cleverly disguised conversation between two seemingly noble passengers; all the while expertly feeding you information as to the magic that surrounds the much sought after product; drakes blood. 

Gosh darn, do I love it when authors hint at future encounters between characters. It it such a brilliant way to keep your readers engaged and wanting more and Anthony Ryan expertly teases the reader in The Waking Fire! A brief mention of a destined location by one, followed by the plans of another to go there also and then comes the final breadcrumb that has you excited beyond belief…the common link.  And dear lord the promise that is given at the end of the book…

I’m obviously not going to say anything more but holy shit! I need to get through some other books SHARPISH so I can read book two!

I don’t even know what words to put down to describe Anthony’s writing. I mean, I know the words. Of course I know them. I know it is damned fine writing; I know it is evocative and creative; it fuels my imagination like no other; but none of it seems enough! Those phrases do not, in my opinion, do a lick of justice to the magic that happens when I read his books. 

I can also applaud Anthony even more for his character work! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one. Lizanne, Clay, Silverpin, Braddon, Loriabeth, Skaggerhil…the list goes on but I’ll keep it short and simply tell you characters who appear inconsequential are still fantastic! On to the main POV characters though. We have Clay, Lizanne and Hillmore! All are fab and Anthony has crafted such a well balanced story with appropriate focus to each character POV.

Clay was such a nuanced and complex character, he constantly showed a new layer or a new facet of his character/personality. His growth in The Waking Fire is brilliant and seeing who he is at the end and knowing who he will meet has me beyond excited.

Lizanne was such a fresh take, in my opinion,  on the spy and assassin type character. She is an absolute bad ass but in an educated and discreet way. I really liked reading her journey, even more so when she was in the company of many of the brilliant characters within his book.

Hilemore was also a great character to read, he was almost like the calm between the storm for me, which is a silly thought because he has so much going on, there isn’t much time when the poor sod isn’t dealing with something. I really loved Hilemore by then end of the book, I liked him at the start but as it is with great characters the events they go through and they way they deal with those events and the people they meet make them so much more.

Throughout this book Anthony managed to continuously make me worried about those who inhabited the world. Now, that might not seem like a huge thing but it really is. I didn’t at any point feel like these characters were safe. Anthony does an outstanding job at showcasing the grim reality of this world. A point of particular note for me, and again it might seem insignificant to you, was when Skaggerhil was telling Clay to take it easy as headhunters are a rough crowd because the next day for them is not guaranteed. For the first time I genuinely felt the grimness of this trade, I have read many of books with mercs and hunters and other characters of some deadly occupation but never once have I truly understood these people. That they live, albeit wildly, on the days they have relative safety in a local town!

Oh the battles, the battles guys! They were such an epic thrill. Both at sea and on land Anthony has you turning page after page. 

I truly loved the setting of this book too, it reminded me of so much and was a refreshing move away from the often used medieval settings. I’m not sure if I am correct in thinking this, but to me, it very much felt like the whaling times in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s with big shipping companies going off on expeditions and the remnants of native tribes and islanders still fighting companies trying to establish control over areas and creating settlements.

The Waking Fire tells such a story, with so much depth and creativity it is an utter thrill to read! It is a great quest narrative, which is why I say it has Indian Jones vibes. There is both calm moments and epic battles as is expected with a quest narrative, but even the calmer times move something forward despite this being a near 700 page book I wouldn’t remove any of it, none felt like filler and everything had a point!

This book is incredible guys, so you know…Go pick it up!


As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale. The Waking Fire is BUY THE HARDBACK, bloody hell this is a book I would absolutely love to see have an illustrated edition!

  • THE COVER! Goodness the cover of this book is amazing I love it and to have it in hardback would be brilliant.
  • THE STORY
  • THE CHARACTER
  • EVERYTHING

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


7 BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE MADE INTO MOVIES OR TV SHOWS…

Mmmmmm, books to movies.

Books to movies has a fairly split fanbase, some people love them and some people hate them! I guess I sit in the middle I am all for books to movies or TV shows so long as it is done well and has the deserved budget to make it what I can be.

I think in some cases to it gives the books more exposure, a bump in sales and praise from a far wider audience. I for one can name at least five people who have watched Game of Thrones, loved it and then bough the books. From that they have then proceeded to look into other fantasy books and thus started reading when they hadn’t previously. I can probably name a handful of folks I know too who once read, slowly stopped and from watching a book to movie adaption started reading again!

I can almost guarantee that someone will disagree with a few in this list, maybe all of them, because some people can’t help but watch a book to movie adaption and just hate it. But for me these are seven books I would like to be adapted into either a TV Show or a Movie!

THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN BY JOHN GWYNNE

Obviously this was going to be in this list. I love this book, if this was made into a TV show I think my book existence would be complete. Give it the budget it deserves and I’m more than comfortable saying this would be better than the early seasons of Game of Thrones.

CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber

Now, this is a film that could be so visually stunning while still keeping a fun and magical element through the mystery of the game. With the tools and talents of movie makers now this film could be utterly spectacular.

The Farseer Trilogy BY Robin Hobb

Now, I am only a book and a half into this trilogy but I can already see how this trilogy would make a brilliant TV series. I mean come on…a royal bastard training as an assassin in lands plagued by raiding red ships. Throw in the political intrigue and the country folk being turned into mindless husks and you have an action packed, witty and incredibly tense show! Thats to even accounting for the amazing characters and their relationships!

Graceling BY Kristin Cashore

This book falls into the Young Adult Fantasy genre but I remember really enjoying it when I read way back when, it was such a good book and has some pretty cool characters. Not only that but the magic system could make for some pretty interesting scenes.

BLOOD SONG BY ANTHONY RYAN

Bloodsong has garnered quite a few fans, and it tells the story of Vaelin and the epic journey that leads to his duel to the death. It would be such a grande movie, given the right budget and the right actor to play Vaelin it would be sheer amazingness!

THE SWORD OF KAIGEN BY M. L. WANG

Gosh, I don’t even know what to say for this one. If you have read the book you just know. The magic, the world, the characters and the setting all make for an incredible movie.

RED RISING SAGA BY PIERCE BROWN

This trilogy is just outstanding so to make this into either a TV Show or a movie and my lord what a show it would be!

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments any books you would love to see turned into a movie.

Again thanks for reading and have a smashing week!


7 SELF PUBLISHED BOOKS I HAVE READ AND 7 I WANT TO READ…

Good Afternoon book folk and welcome back to my blog, yes it is the one in which I promise a weekly feature and forget said weekly feature! My bad, I am sorry but sometimes work just gets in the way. However, worry not as I am going to give you the goods today!

Maybe I should call today Missed Posts Monday. Mmm, yeah that could work…

So, as it turns out I actually forgot TWO Sunday’s Seven posts…

To compensate you for said loss I am going to give you 14 books!

As we are still in September’s Self Published Fantasy Month I am going to be giving you 7 self-published books I have read and enjoyed and 7 self-published books I am due to read!

7 SELF PUBLISHED BOOKS I HAVE READ AND ENJOYED…

Kings and Daemons

by Marcus Lee

Synopsis:

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

My Thoughts:

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. 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. 

MY REVIEW

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

Blood of Heirs

by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Synopsis:

Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of her father’s daughters; more than capable of one day leading her clan. But caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. Before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan must fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive. 

Ranoth Olseta wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. When his home is threatened by the aggressive Woaden Empire, Ran becomes his city’s saviour, but powers within him are revealed by the enemy and he is condemned to death. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee his homeland, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him.

Facing an unknown future, and battling forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?

My Thoughts?

Blood Heirs is a promising debut and sets itself up for a darkly entertaining second book. I enjoyed reading Blood Heirs due to the amazingly beautiful writing style that is Alicia Wanstall Burkes and the great characters… 

MY REVIEW

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

The First of Shadows

by Deck Matthews

Synopsis:

How do you kill a shadow? 

As a raging storm descends on the Blasted Coast, the crippled young rigger, Caleb Rusk, meets a stranger on the road. Little does he know that the encounter will pull him into a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear—and change the course of his life forever. 

Meanwhile, in the Capital of Taralius, a string of inexplicable deaths have captured the attention of the Ember Throne. Second Corporal Avendor Tarcoth is tasked with uncovering the truth behind a danger that could threaten the very fabric of the Realm. 

My Thoughts?

A delightfully fast paced and easy flowing novella which gives you the feels of a larger epic read while not bogging you down with the page count! AND the map! This is a map that is even outstanding on my Kindle soo imagine it on paper!

Pssst…RTC.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

Limbo

by Thiago d’Evecque

Synopsis:

The fate of the world hinges on a forsaken spirit, a mad god in a sword, and 12 mythological beings.

The Limbo is where all souls — human or otherwise — go to after dying. Some don’t realize where they are. Death is a hard habit to get used to. Gods and mythological figures also dwell in the plane, borne from humanity’s beliefs.

A forsaken spirit is awakened and ordered to dispatch 12 souls back to Earth to prevent the apocalypse. Many don’t take kindly to the return. Accompanied by an imprisoned mad god, the spirit must compel them.

Each of the 12 unlocks a piece of the forsaken spirit’s true identity. Memories unfold and past wounds bleed again.

The journey will reveal buried truths about gods, angels, humanity, and the forsaken spirit itself.

If you like epic fights, diverse mythology reinterpreted, and surprising plot twists, Limbo is for you. 

My Thoughts?

Limbo is a strange tale to be told, interesting and quite creative with its mixture of many religions, legends and folklore tales. It was interesting to read one story which is made up of many historical tales coming from Asia, Europe and all across the world and done so skilfully as not to feel disorientating.

MY REVIEW

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

Paternus: Deluge, A Short Story

by Dyrk Ashton

Synopsis:

“Deluge” is a stand-alone backstory of two characters from The Paternus Trilogy. In this short story, myths, fables, and legends from around the world are combined to recount the adventures of Fintán mac Bóchra and Myrddin Wyllt in ancient Ireland, and tell the “true” tale of the global disaster known as the Great Flood. 

My Thoughts?

I have been eyeing Ashton’s Paternus books for a while now so saw this little gem and took it for the perfect opportunity it is, and I can safely say I loved Ashton’s writing and will be reading his other book in due time!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

The Sword of Kaigen

by M.L. Wang

Synopsis:

A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?

High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.

My Thoughts?

This book is just, wow. I would say I have no words but that’s a lie! I could praise this book all year round. This is easily one of the best books I have read this year

MY REVIEW

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |

The Heart of Stone

By Ben Galley

Synopsis:

Golems are built for war and little else. In centuries past, they were a terrifying staple of the battlefield. Empires were conquered on the backs of golems. Now, time and fear have whittled their kind down to a precious few, kept only by kings and warlords.

Task of Wind-Cut is one such machine of war.

Task was built to kill. Built to win. Thousands have died at his stone hands. He cared once, perhaps, but far too many years have passed and too much blood has been spilled. Task has become numb to the chaos he wreaks for his masters. A slave to the spells that bind him.

Now, Task has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund is in the grip of civil war, tearing itself in two over coin and crown. This time, Task will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath his formidable stone, Task longs for change. For an end to this cycle of warfare. For proof of light and good amongst the foul darkness of humanity and war. It will take the mind of an unusual stable-girl to change his.

My Thoughts?

Ok, I know this one is technically cheating because I am still in the process of reading this book but its going well so far so I’m going to chuck it in! Go judge me.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA |


7 SELF PUBLISHED BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ BUT PLAN TO…

Sufficiently Advanced Magic

by Andrew Rowe

Synopsis:

Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess. 

He never returned. 

Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess. 

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won’t be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that, he’s going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity. 

The journey won’t be easy, but Corin won’t stop until he gets his brother back.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

What Remains of Heroes

by David Benem

Synopsis:

Lannick deVeers used to be somebody. A hero, even. Then, he ran afoul of the kingdom’s most powerful general and the cost he paid was nearly too much to bear. In the years that followed, his grief turned him into a shadow of his former self, and he spent his days drowning his regrets in tankards of ale. 

But now an unexpected encounter casts Lannick upon an unlikely path to revenge. If he can just find the strength to overcome the many mistakes of his past, he can seize the chance to become a hero once more. 

And with an ancient enemy lurking at the kingdom’s doorstep, he’d better…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Asunder: A Vatan Chronicle

by L. Steinworth

Synopsis:

Alden knew life in the Shadowen Thieves Guild would cost him greatly, but when their next mission means abducting Princess Mayli Drake of Ammos, the price was too high. Defying the guild, Alden sets out to return Mayli safely home in hopes of restoring peace with the kingdom of Brimley. 

Mayli feels as though her life has torn asunder after being taken captive. However, if she is to survive, she must come to trust the renegade thief loyal to her mother’s killer. As Alden pleads for Brimley’s innocence, Mayli begins to question what she thought she knew about her kingdom’s enemies.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Frozen Rage

by Steve McHugh

Synopsis:

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. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

The Thief Who Spat In Luck’s Good Eye

by Michael McClung

Synopsis:

Amra is a thief with morals—she won’t steal from anyone poorer than she is. Fortunately, anybody that poor generally doesn’t have much worth stealing! Holgren is a mage with a distaste for magic and a soul bartered away to dark powers who will transport him to an eternity of torment on the instant of his death. Together they embark on a quest for the fabled city of Thagoth, where the secret of immortality is rumored to be hidden. 

But Amra and Holgren aren’t the only ones after the secret. Many others seek to utilize the hidden magic for their own twisted ends. And waiting in the ruined city with dark plans for the world are the twin gods Tha-Agoth and Athagos, a brother and sister whose illicit passion is as destructive and vengeful as they are. 

Now, as potent sorceries clash in a violent struggle for dominion over all that lives, Amra and Holgren face a choice between the unthinkable and the unbearable—with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. . . . 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Parasites

by Matthew Samuels

Synopsis:

Parasites is a YA science fiction, solarpunk exploration novel that takes place at the end of the universe, just as it slowly starts to contract in the ‘big crunch’. On the planet Lyra, humans evolved late, on a resource-poor world, in a resource-poor solar system. The Lyrans master space flight, only to discover that their nearest worlds have also been stripped of resources. The population begins to decline, until a scientist discovers a technology allowing people and vehicles to travel through ‘thinnings’ – patches of space linking universes. 

Kael and Alessia are explorers, charting where the thinnings go and bringing valuable resources back to Lyra, trying desperately to extend the lifespan of their home world. Alessia’s father, Ben, set out two years ago to uncover another species’ reference to a ‘solution’ to the big crunch problem – but never returned. A chance discovery leads Kael and Alessia to a clue, prompting another expedition to see if they can avoid the mistakes of the past and help to unravel the mystery. 

Kael, Alessia and their gruff bodyguard Basteel retrace Ben’s steps, seeking closure for Alessia, a solution for Lyra and together begin a voyage through wild, weird and wonderful planets.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Voice of War

by Zack Argyle

Synopsis:

Chrys Valerian is a threadweaver, a high general, and soon-to-be father. But to the people of Alchea, he is the Apogee—the man who won the war.

When a stranger’s prophecy foretells danger to Chrys’ child, he must do everything in his power to protect his family—even if the most dangerous enemy is the voice in his own head.

To the west, a sheltered girl seeks to find her place in the world.

To the south, a young man’s life changes after he dies.

Together, they will change the world—whether they intend to or not.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS


There you have it folks, my Missed Posts Monday feature, the day in which I make up for missed posts! I have a good few more Self Published books I want to read so feel free to check out my Self Published List on Goodreads! It is always growing so you may find something you are yet to read!


BOOK OF THE MONTH: AUGUST

Goodbye August, its been a pleasure.

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

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

So, to the books.

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

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

So, this months reads…

The Medina Device by T.J. Champitto

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review Link: The Medina Device

My Thoughts:

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


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: RTC. Promise.

My Thoughts:

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


Kings and Daemons By Marcus Lee

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: Kings and Daemons

My Thoughts:

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


Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice

My Thoughts:

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


May Day by Josie Jaffrey

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

My Thoughts:

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


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

My Rating: 4 to both

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

My Thoughts:

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


Still Reading…

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

My Rating: N/A

N/A – Still Reading

Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.

My Thoughts (so far):

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

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

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

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

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

KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee

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


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


BOOK REVIEW: ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE BY ROBIN HOBB

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

My Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A few facts about Assassin’s Apprentice:

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

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

Synopsis:

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE BY ROBIN HOBB

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

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN BOOKS BY JOHN GWYNNE

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

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

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

“With your fist?”

“Aye.”

“And unofficially?”

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

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

“Fair enough. You have the job.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA BY SCOTT LYNCH

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

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

Honourable Mentions:

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

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

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


7 SFF BOOKS WITH INCREDIBLE OPENINGS…

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

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

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

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

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

Goodreads

My Review of The Night Circus

RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

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

Goodreads

My Review of Red Rising

THE HOBBIT BY J. R. R. TOLKIEN

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

Goodreads

BLOOD SONG BY ANTHONY RYAN

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

Goodreads

My Review of Blood Song

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

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

Goodreads

THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

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

Goodreads

RED SISTER BY MARK LAWRENCE

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

Goodreads

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