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

Hello and Happy Friday, Bookish Folk!

Apparently I review this series on a Friday because I reviewed Priest of Bones on a Friday too!

Happy Friday!

A few facts about this book and audiobook narration:

  • Title: Priest of Lies
  • Author: Peter McLean
  • Narrated By: David Morley Hale
  • Series: War of the Rose Throne (Book Two)
  • Published by Jo Fletcher Books
  • Pages: 368
  • Narration Length: 12 Hours 44 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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. 

ORDER HERE: Audible | Paperback | Hardback | Kindle | Bookshop.Org

Review:

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

  • An impressive and standout dark fantasy sequel;
  • It is harsher, bloodier and even more intense than Priest of Bones;
  • A page turner that will consume you; and
  • just an exceptional read you need to make time for.

A little about the narration

ONE OF THE BEST…

On to the full review…

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

I honestly don’t think I have a bad thing to say about this instalment of the War for the Rose Throne series. It is just so incredibly good and I enjoyed every page.

As a second instalment review I am going to try and keep it shorter, because as usual most of my points of book one still stand for book two (you can find my Priest of Bones review here). We see more of the world and a much wider spectrum of people in this instalment. I loved seeing more interaction between the side characters and their own story arcs. I think it shows the talent of a writer when they can give you fully fleshed out arcs for other characters when a story is told from a single POV, and that is just one of the amazing things McLean delivers in this instalment.

McLean upped his game in this book from an already superb first instalment. Priest of Lies is harsher, bloodier, more intense and focus’ even more on Tomas and his journey to becoming even more powerful than he already is. Tomas is an incredible character, and listening to the audiobook for this was even better because it only added to an already distinct and unique character voice. I think he may be up there as one of my favourite characters written. He was such a deep and complex character, experiencing his journey through his sole POV is nothing short of outstanding.

I would also like to note I did not read this straight after book one, there was a gap of maybe just over a month, and I forgot nothing about book one. I slotted straight back into this world and its characters with an ease not many books achieve.

I really do not feel like I can accurately explain just how exceptional this book is, it throws so much at you and none of it is predictable and will for sure shock you to the core. It is heartfelt and harrowing at times and filled with betrayal and gore at others.

It has the characters, the plot, the pace, the prose, the world and everything in-between that makes for a super book. It is just that good.

This is one of those books you read and then feel terrible about how long you then have to wait for the follow up book, and I’m not even waiting that long compared to those who read this via an ARC! I devoured this book, I often listen to audiobooks for an hour or two, longer if I am super busy with cleaning and the likes but it is not often I just listen sat down because I fall asleep or my attention goes elsewhere. I listened to this book for a solid five hours in one sitting, it is so riveting and captivating you don’t want to stop reading/listening and there is never a dull moment.

I highly recommend this series.


THE RANKS: 

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

BUY THE FOOKIN HARD BACK Y’ALL! This book (as I have said) upped its game from an already brilliant book so its and easy HB purchase for this one.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I will be sharing with you my review of The Bear and the Nightingale. This book is fabulous it has everything from its people, to the place and finally the prose! All the P’s!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Bear and The Nightingale
  • Author: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Series: Winternight Trilogy (Book One)
  • Published by Cornerstone Digital
  • Pages: 464
  • Narration Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Beware the evil in the woods. . .

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods. 

ORDER HERE: Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Review:

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

  • A wonderfully enchanting and magical story set in old world Russia;
  • A real and authentic heroine;
  • One of the most atmospheric reads you could possibly immerse yourself into; and
  • An expert storyteller.

On to the full review…

I picked up The Bear and the Nightingale on a bit of a whim, on both counts of actually purchasing it and when I chose to listen to it. The audiobook was in a deal so I picked it up really cheap, then I knew I wanted to read it in and around Christmas but I never found the time to. Until I found myself between audiobooks and not really feeling anything too serious having just read Gardens of the Moon, and trust your brain needs an easier read after that. So, I thought I would try The Bear and the Nightingale and if I didn’t click with it I would drop it like a hot potato and move swiftly on. That didn’t happen. I was suckered into this book almost immediately. Every moment in this tale was pure magic, to the point that when I went to bed that night I found where I was in the book and carried on reading on my Kindle. Then the next day, after I FINALLY went to sleep it picked it straight back up and continued listened to it. It was so enchanting and easy to love that I couldn’t help but want to return to the book immediately. It was just such a pleasure to read and become immersed in.

This book is described as ‘atmospheric’ EVERYWHERE, and you can be sure if you talk to someone about it and/or how they felt about the book then the word will inevitably be used to describe The Bear and the Nightingale. Which I cant fault because it really is. Arden has managed to create such an atmospheric read in numerous ways. The setting of this book heavily informs the mood of this book, it is Old Russia and it has some of the coldest and harshest winters, you feel the crisp air on your face as you read. Most of The Bear and the Nightingale is set within the confines of a village led by Vasya’s father and yet it does not feel confined, Arden expertly uses their home and towns locations to keep you from getting bored.

Arden is an incredible storyteller, her writing flows beautifully and she sets the tone perfectly and creates so many different mood levels evoking so many feelings from you as a reader while the subverting your expectations too, I didn’t feel like this tale was as predictable as fairy tales often feel.

I can not praise Arden enough for her skill in character creation, Vasya was incredible, as where the other characters from her brothers, step mother, father, sisters, priest and more. They were a tough bunch brought up through harsh winters and a harsher world. You truly cared about what they wen through, hell I felt for the town as a whole, I wanted to fix what was broken and restore this town and its people to what it was.

The Bear and the Nightingale feels like a rare and precious gem, it is not defined by its genre and feels refreshing and magical. This book is perfect as a bit of a pallet cleanser, for lack of a better phrase, it is everything you need to pull you from a slump or just lift you spirits a little as a reader. It was perfect in my eyes, it has a wee bit of an uneven pace at times but I really didn’t care because I was swept away by the house spirits and the fight of an incredible character to find her place in a world not meant for her.


THE RANKS: 

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

If I could find this in HB it would be on my shelves! Alas it is only PB, but still this if a full rating, 5/5 stars on Goodreads and BUY THE HARDBACK on my rating system! Hell, I would love an illustrated edition of this!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | RING SHOUT BY P. DJELI CLARK

Hola, All.

Todays review will be, as the title suggests, a review of Ring Shout! I read this book as a part of my last stand, the last stand against the impending Goodreads Challenge of 2020 and I am glad I managed to fit it in.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Ring Shout
  • Author: P. Djèlí Clark
  • Published by Tor.com
  • Pages: 192

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK | KINDLE | HARDCOVER

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Ring Shout:

  • Prohibition era Georgian historical fiction meets dark fantasy;
  • Monster hunting magic with a little witch doctor vibes;
  • Distinct and loveable characters;
  • A cultural and historical work of art; and
  • Utterly fabulous writing.

On to the full review…

Would you look at that another horror infused book I LOVED! Still not a full blown horror but hello horror elements…but anyway to this book.

Ring Shout, genuinely, is one of those books that you really don’t think your words can accurately describe. There is so much to this book…it is a lesson in history; a journey of love, hate and friendship; an emotionally engrossing tale inspired by African lore; and a clever and thought provoking tale of racism.

This is my first time reading anything of Clark’s and it is fantastic, enough that I added much of this other works to my ever growing TBR.

I remember seeing this on Twitter, and reading the blurb and just thinking how fab this book sounded. I have never read anything like it and immediately pre-ordered it from Amazon. It is the KKK and in their truest light, hateful demons. The historical setting of Ring Shout is incredible, Clark has given you everything you need to truly feel the world in which Ring Shout is set from its people, culture and even its distinctive streets! There is a level of intent in everything Clark says, every word is used to maximise this tale, and it is incredibly done to say this is less than 200 pages. It is a fast paced ride that just keeps on giving, it is a clear page-turner that you really don’t want to stop reading and sure enough I was up until silly o’clock in the morning trying to finish this story. Then when you have finished you wish there was another 300+ pages with these people.

This story is told through the incredible voice of Maryse Boudreaux, and what a woman she is along with her companions Sadie and Chef. All three of these characters are deeply engaging and so utterly distinctive you can’t help but love them. There is something so authentic about everyone you encounter from our main characters to our bad guys. The world is also incredible, I felt everything. I was cold and eerie in the other place, I was revelling and trying not to smile at a drunk Sadie and so much more. Every encounter you experience in this novella you feel, every scene you are 100% involved in. I truly loved this book, and the level of detail to its world, culture and traditions are nothing short of inspiring.

I do not for one second feel like my words have done this novella justice. Ring Shout is an incredible story with its thrilling characters, a riveting world and utterly immersive world and so much more. 100% read this book folks, you won’t be disappointed.


THE RANKS: 

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

HARDBACK. HARDBACK. HARDBACK. God lawwwd hardback all the damned way…this book is phenomenal. It is so much more than it’s 192 pages.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | A RITUAL OF BONE BY LEE C. CONLEY & NARRATED BY RJ BAYLEY

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I will be posting my review of Lee Conley’s book ‘A Ritual of Bone’. Firstly, I would like to Lee for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also won a copy of audiobook for this book to through a Storyteller on Tour giveaway!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: A Ritual of Bone
  • Author: Lee C. Conley
  • Narrated by: RJ Bayley
  • Series: The Dead Sagas (Book One)
  • Pages: 384
  • Narration Length: 9 Hours 49 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

“Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead”

Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds. 

The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories. 

But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records. 

Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.

This Dark Fantasy Epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Kindle (Available on Kindle Unlimited too) | Paperback

Review:

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

  • ZOMBIES;
  • A brilliant fantasy-horror;
  • A brilliant Nordic influenced debut;
  • Skyrim vibes; and
  • A captivating cast of characters in a brilliant and atmospheric world.

The Audiobook…

The audiobook to this is great, I listened to maybe 50% of this book via audiobook and I really enjoyed it.

On to the full review…

A Ritual of bone is a book I didn’t know I needed, it is not often you see (or at least I can only think of one other example) zombies mixed with fantasy. There may well be other books out there but none that I know of, nor have I looked for them in all honestly, which works both to my advantage and my detriment. On the one hand I got to experience this book and really enjoy it as something wholly new to me, and on the other hand…I’ve been missing out. This book so finely straddles the line between horror and fantasy, and it works. Add in the nordic influences and you have a killer book.

Lee managed to weave many different aspects into one very enjoyable world, and he found a clear and expertly done balance in his use of these elements. The world building in A Ritual of Bone was great, and oh soo immersive. It sounds a wee bit odd but it really reminded me of the movie Sleepy Hollow, not for the story but how it was creepy and eerie. It was strange and you could feel how frightening it was for its characters. There is such a well built fear in these lands, they don’t have a clue what it is happening and it keeps happening in these smaller towns and no one thinks they are going to be believed, and rightly so. It is a great way to build drama and tension throughout this story.

Lee is a superb storyteller and really managed to showcase the level tension and constant ill feeling present. He also masterfully builds tension and constantly ups the stakes while giving you all the shock and awe you want in a zombies infused story.

Another aspect I really enjoyed about this was the college, it reminded a little of the College of Winterhold from Skyrim and I like that while they were clearly involved in the origins of this horror story they were detached enough from it too, and we were able to experience this scourge of sorts as it happens and grows and how all the people in this world react to it.

I was surprised to realise just how big the cast of this story is, I don’t know what I was really expecting but I am so glad for this books scope because it only added to its enjoyment. Each character has something unique and imaginative about them and each POV you read from was too good.

Overall, this is a great read, and as a person who hasn’t read any horror served as a nice introduction into a genre I would like to get into at some point!


THE RANKS: 

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

BUY THE PAPERBACK…I would definitely grab this in its paperback form and add it to my shelves. It is a great read and a gem when you think of how well it has blended several elements from two different genres together.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


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

Hello and Happy Friday, Bookish Folk!

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

A few facts about this book and audiobook narration:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

ORDER HERE: Audible | Amazon.co.uk

Review:

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

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

A little about the narration:

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

On to the full review…

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

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

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

And shine they do!

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

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

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

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

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


THE RANKS: 

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

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


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE FIRES OF VENGEANCE BY EVAN WINTER & NARRATED BY PRENTICE ONAYEMI

Hello, Bookish Folk!

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

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

A few facts about this book:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

Audible.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

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

The Audiobook…

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

On to the full review…

Evan Winter has done it again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


THE RANKS: 

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

Easy. Easy. Easy…BUY THE HARDBACK!

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


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE RAGE OF DRAGONS BY EVAN WINTER & NARRATED BY PRENTICE ONAYEMI

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

I will today be posting my review of the much loved ‘ The Rage of Dragons’. It is a book that has been on my radar for quite some time. I actually added this to my Goodreads page in August 2019 and then when Twitter blew up over the book, it totally renewed my interest. It is too often that we add a book to our TBR and then completely forget about it so I am thankful to the many amazing bloggers and book lovers who brought this book back to my attention.

A few facts about The Rage of Dragons:

  • Title: The Rage of Dragons
  • Author: Evan Winter
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Series: The Burning (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Narration Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
  • Pages: 544

Synopsis:

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

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

YOU CAN GET THIS BOOK FROM…

AUDIBLE | AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.COM | WHSMITH | WATERSTONES | BOOK DEPOSITORY | FORBIDDEN PLANET

**Pssst…It is only £0.99 on Kindle at the minute, just saying**

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Rage of Dragons:

  • A fast paced military fantasy;
  • Utterly compelling characters;
  • A revenge story;
  • Incredible battles;
  • heart-wrenching writing; and
  • It will be one of the best books you will read.

On to the full review…

I listened to this via the audiobook, so as usual when I listen to the audiobook I will start this review with a few thoughts on the audiobook!

First and foremost, I cannot praise Prentice Onayemi enough! He brought this book to life in a way you can’t even begin to imagine. To the point that I am now reading ‘The Fires of Vengeance’ and it is his voice I hear in my head, not mine but his base narration voice and his interpretations of Tau and the other characters. I could have listened to this book again immediately after finishing it, it was that good.

My only struggle when listening to the audiobook, and it is a truly minor one, was interpreting certain words. If you are not reading the book it can be a little confusing distinguishing what is a name, a location, an honorific or a rank for example. However, this is easily fixed. I simply read the first few pages of the book, with the audio narration, and you immediately see what is what. Then back to the narration alone. This may not be an issue for regular audio listeners but this is only my third or so audiobook so I am still getting the hang of being read to, if that makes any sense!

So, that’s I on the audio aspect I don’t really know what to say in resect of audios other than whether I enjoyed it or not.

Now for the story…

I have seen dotted around that this book is a mix of Gladiator and Game of Thrones. I don’t see it, and I am glad I don’t. I really don’t like it when books get described as another book. Especially a book which needs no reference to fan favourites. What exactly makes this like Game of Thrones?

This book is a mind-blowing African inspired fantasy novel about injustice, love, revenge and so much more. It is one which has you completely absorbed immediately. It needs no comparison because this book will be one of the best books you read.

The Rage of Dragons is told from Tau’s POV, though there are certain times when we get another characters POV, this doesn’t happen often and it is wholly appropriate when it does. I actually really liked those moments.

Tau. What to say about Tau? He is one of the MOST compelling characters I have read, there is something so authentic and raw about him. He is compelling, relatable and authentic. At no point does Tau do something out of character, even when he does something stupid, and your left staring at the book like stop being so dumb and think for a minute man!

Evan Winter is a superb writer and I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style, it felt like every word that was written was something more, you almost felt the words. Evan is such a thought-provoking writer but not in a way that you feel you are being force fed the issues the book tackles. They are instead weaved throughout the character interactions, in how they deal with the constant barrage of injustices they face. It is in how they still form relationships when it seems nothing in their favour can possibly last.

This book is a fast paced and action packed read, the battles and fight scenes in this book are incredible. The story is constantly moving forward, something is always happening and remarkably it is not detrimental in any way to the characters development or world worldbuilding.The finale of this book is an absolute rollercoaster, your heart is in your mouth the whole time.

Another thing I loved about this book is that it shocks you, it is ruthless at times and at several point renders you speechless and stood mouth open catching flies. This happened to me at work, I pop in to get some clothes and BOOM something happens and I am just stood there mouth agape in a cleaning cupboard and even then my walk to the front office was just me in a state of sheer shock. I had to pause the audio for a moment to just stop and take in what was happening!

This was my first African-inspired fantasy, and I can happily tell you it will not be my last! I could honestly go on and on and on about this book but i’m conscious this review is already getting to be quite long, so let us leave it at that and if you have read it let’s fangirl over Twitter!!


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. If you couldn’t tell from the above review this is a BUY THE HARDBACK rated book for me!

ANNNNNDD…

I managed to find a not too expensive hardback copy in perfect condition! Sooooo, to celebrate this book being…AMAZING I am going to give away my paperback copy of this book. As I listened to this via audio the book is unread and the spine is unbroken. See my twitter post (the one sharing this review) for details.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!