BOOK OF THE MONTH | FEBRUARY

Hello Bookish folks!

It is that time of month where I talk about the book I have read in February and guys I read a lot in February, too much to be honest. While I enjoyed the books I read after so many I got serious book fatigue. My pace dropped and I had a mini slump of sorts, it wasn’t the slump in which no book sounded interesting but a literal inability to focus and read more than a few paragraphs without being distracted by tiny things!

I overdid it!

Though, I have to admit I am seriously impressed with my month at the same time, I made such a big push because I want to get through my ARCs both physicals and from NetGalley, and I was able to up my NetGalley ration through the five reviews I was able to get through.

On top of that I dealt with a two physical ARCs and worked my way up to a few other NetGalleys…the ones where I may have, and by may have I mean definitely did, request book three of a series which then got accepted and so meant I have to read the two earlier books…

I know, its a shameful thing to do!

What I am reading currently…

I am currently reading The Light of All That Falls by James Islington with David S from FanFiAddict and Eleni from Late Night Books! I am also about 70% of the way through The End of Dreams by Marcus Lee as a part of the Book Tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour and finally I am listening to The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell in preparation for one of those shamefully requested NetGalley.

ALL ARE GREAT SO FAR!

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them – the Gifted – are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers.
As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out.
But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life – and shake the entire world.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, more so because I had the joy of reading this with some amazing book friends but I cannot deny it is an amazing debut!

Snakewood by Adrian Selby

This debut epic fantasy from a British writer of incredible talent tells the tale of the Twenty, a band of mercenaries hunted by an unknown killer. Filled with unique voices and incredible worldbuilding, this stunning novel will delight fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence.

Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through their cunning, their closely guarded alchemical brews and stone cold steel. Whoever met their price won.
Now, their glory days behind them and their genius leader in hiding, the warriors known as the ‘Twenty’ are being hunted down and eliminated one by one.

A lifetime of enemies has its own price.

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Snakewood was a really great and an amazing introduction to the works of Adrian Selby, it is a format that some may not like. It has an actually name but I cant remember it but it is when the book is made up of a collective of journals and accounts to make up a story. Either way I really enjoyed it.

THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T. L. HUCHU

When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Opening up a world of magic and adventure, The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu is the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series.

Review Link: Here

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This was a different read to my normal, I enjoyed it and its main strength is definitely its main character Ropa.

Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Review Link: Here

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Now, this wasn’t my favourite read as I had a few issues as to character depth and its length but I can appreciate its prose, world-building and captivating plot.

THE SHADOW OF THE GODS by John Gwynne

Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of the Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author John Gwynne.

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.

Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods . . . 

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

As usually John Gwynne has knocked it out of the park! He is such a great writer, I was only discussing the other day with a friend that in some ways we love these books because we trust John Gwynne as an author. So while usually I might not like something, say I don’t know like a cliffhanger! I really don’t mind with Gwynne books because he has done nothing but deliver in the past and has earned my trust as a reader!

THE LEGION OF FLAME by ANTHONY RYAN

Survival is the only currency…

For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood–and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed–to fuel and protect its empire. But when the drake blood lines began to fail, a perilous expedition was mounted to secure them.

Claydon Torcreek survived the fraught mission through uncharted lands in pursuit of a myth that might have secured his people’s future. Instead he found a nightmare. The legendary White Drake was awoken from a millennia-long slumber, with a thirst to reduce the world of men to ashes, and the power to compel an army of Spoiled slaves to do it.

Spurred on by a vision he desperately hopes he can trust, Clay and rebel naval officer Corrick Hilemore hijack a warship and head towards the icy southern seas, searching for an ancient secret that may give them and their allies a fighting chance.

They are aided on another front by Blood-blessed agent Lizanne Lethridge. The spy and assassin will use her diplomatic status to infiltrate deep into enemy territory on a quest for a device to save them all.

As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few Blood-blessed are the last hope for all of civilisation. 

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Anthony Ryan is another author who has my trust a a reader, I really love these books and I am so sooo excited to start book three! This is a brilliant second instalment to an already amazing series.

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E. HARROW

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice refreshing read for me and one that timed perfectly with my mood at the time, proving that just sometimes being a mood reader rocks!

The Ravenmaster’s Revenge by Jacob Sannox

It is the autumn of 2019. Merlin’s wayward apprentice has escaped from the Tower of London with his raven familiars. Legend foretells that the White Tower, then England, will fall.
Can King Arthur, a weary veteran of the English Civil War, Waterloo and the Somme, prevent the Ravenmaster from exacting his revenge?

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This book is a great reworking of an Arthurian legend, and one which I enjoyed, a strength of this book for me was the authors ability to show the effects of immortality on a person, something I have seen other more popular authors not do half as well.

Priest of Lies by Peter McLean

Tomas Piety has been many things: soldier, priest, gangster…and spy. As Tomas’s power grows, the nobility better watch their backs, in this dark and gritty epic fantasy series.

People are weak, and the poorer and more oppressed they are, the weaker they become–until they can’t take it anymore. And when they rise up…may the gods help their oppressors.

When Tomas Piety returned from the war, he just wanted to rebuild his empire of crime with his gang of Pious Men. But his past as a spy for the Queen’s Men drew him back in and brought him more power than he ever imagined.

Now, with half of his city in ashes and the Queen’s Men at his back, the webs of political intrigue stretch out from the capital to pull Tomas in. Dannsburg is calling.

In Dannsburg the nobility fight with words, not blades, but the results are every bit as bloody. In this pit of beasts, Tomas must decide once and for all whether he is truly the people’s champion…or just a priest of lies.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

An impressive and standout dark fantasy sequel from Peter McLean for a series which is shaping up to be an all-time favourite.

A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas 

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This is a typical SJM fantasy romance, and one I enjoyed very much!

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington 

Darkness spreads across a land in need of heroes.

In the wake of the devastating attack on Ilin Illan, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs – finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against Andarra. However, as Davian and his new allies hurry north towards the ever-weakening Boundary, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.
In the capital, Wirr is forced to contend with assassins and an increasingly hostile Administration as he controversially assumes the mantle of Northwarden, uncovering a mystery which draws into question everything commonly believed about the rebellion his father led twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows, determined to discover not only where they went but the origin of the Vessels that created them – and, ultimately, a cure.
And with time against him as he races to fulfil the treacherous bargain with the Lyth, Caeden continues to wrestle with the impossibly heavy burdens of his past. Yet as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realise that the motivations of the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed . . .

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Another second instalment that was brilliant, while this did feel lie it was setting up the third book a little it was still a great book and one I loved!


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

This months BOOK OF THE MONTH is…

THE SHADOW OF THE GODS BY JOHN GWYNNE

Once again I have been very lucky in the books I have read this month, but John Gwynne has this one in the bag and it is much to do with the fact the book is bloody brilliant but also to do with the fact that this book got me out the book fatigue/slump I was talking about earlier.


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


BOOK OF THE MONTH | JANUARY

Hello my fellow bookish folks!

Well the best month of the year has gone and it has flown by! It’s been a good month, I celebrated my birthday along with a lot of other cool people too, so that is always fun. I bought several new books this month and some slob clothes too, because if I’m locked down and on furlough I want to be comfy while I read an ungodly amount…so give me all the joggers and wide leg soft pants! Attractive I know but…

So, as far as starts to the year go it hasn’t been a bad month for me.

I’m not sure I want to address how much reading I plan to do, they suspect my furlough will run until mid march, possibly up until July so TBR get ready.

This isn’t my biggest month for reading as I have been dabbling in Inkscape a lot this month, as some of you may know I’m slowly making my own ‘bucket list’ post of 100 fantasy books to read so thats taking a bit of time. I finished another one today, and that was for Eragon…

I’m pretty impressed. This is such fun but worry not I am not neglecting reading completely. I am actually reading a few books!

I have Priest of Lies by Peter McLean going via audiobook which I am buddy reading with Queen Timy! I also have another Buddy Read with two amazing people, David and Eleni, and that is for the incredible (so far) The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington and finally I am also reading and a little listening of Snakewood by Adrian Selby.

ALL ARE GREAT SO FAR!

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

THE COMBAT CODES by ALEXANDER DARWIN

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: The Combat Codes Review

My Thoughts:

This was a super fun and enjoyable read for me. I loved the heavy influence martial arts had and the character were a joy to read but I think I enjoyed it that much more because of the heavy dose of nostalgia this book game me!

PRIEST OF BONES by Peter McLean

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Priest of Bones Review

My Thoughts:

I listened to this book via audiobook this month and I so thoroughly enjoyed it. It has heavy Peaky Blinders influences but with magic…Whats not to love?! I think this might have been my favourite audiobook this month. I am remembering how much I enjoyed it because I am currently listening to book two via audio also!

A RITUAL OF BONE by LEE C CONLEY

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I didn’t know how much I needed to experience this zombie fantasy. To say how much I love zombie movies I think this is my first zombie book I have read and im so glad there is a book two so I can continue this series because its simple…I need more of this book!

COLD FROM THE NORTH by D. W. ROSS

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Goodreads will say I finished this today but I actually finished it yesterday and forgot to update it! This is a solid debut from Ross, he is a superbly talented world builder and writer. I shan’t say to much then I can entice you to read my review when I write it!

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by KATHERINE ARDEN

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

I have read a lot of heavy and dense books this month, and as much as I enjoy them coming off the back of a book like Gardens of the moon can be tiring. I actually chose it on a bit of a whim, I had every intention of reading it but it was a little spur of the moment choosing it straight after Gardens of the Moon but I am so glad I did. It is everything I needed in that moment and it was a captivating and magical read.

GARDENS OF THE MOON by STEVEN ERIKSON

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Ohhh boy was this a complex read, I am so so glad I read Gardens of the Moon and will certainly continue series but man did I need a break. This book is odd, I really enjoyed my time reading and liked everything about it in terms of its world and the characters that fill it but overall for such a huge read I expected more of a feeling of satisfaction on completing it. Again, wait for m review to find out more but I will be finishing the recaps before I review it!

CROW by A. ZAVARELLI

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Ok, don’t judge! Your girl needed some Irish mob/mafia romance in her life this month! I love reading romance, they are always quick reads for me but I often miss tense and angsty romances in adult fantasy! I only really read crime/revenge romances or fantasy romance, I don’t really gel with contemporary. I still need some craziness in my reads but I like the drama, the tension, the crime worlds and revenge plots and I just like these books.


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

This months BOOK OF THE MONTH is…

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

I have read some incredible books this month and I have enjoyed them all but this book really stole the limelight this month, it was fun, captivating, magical and I can’t fault it at all. It might have had issues but I was enjoying it that much I sure a shit didn’t notice anything but the amazingness that is this book! It gave me serious Spiderwick Chronicles vibes in terms of house spirits that not everyone can see and it’s fun feels just it was set in Russia.


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


BOOK REVIEW | THE COMBAT CODES BY ALEXANDER DARWIN

Hello Bookish Folk!

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

SPFBO Award Finalist for Best Fantasy Book (2020)

A few facts about this book:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

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

Review:

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

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

Art By ryanbestart (Shop)

On to the full review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


THE RANKS: 

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

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

ORDER HERE: KINDLE | PAPERBACK | AUDIOBOOK


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!