BOOK HAUL | SELF PUBLISHED FANTASY MONTH & MY SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK HAUL…

Hello!

Self-Published Fantasy Month is nearly over and it has been such fun to experience. I have seen some incredible reviews and even better interviews. I loved focusing on the self-published gems of the bookish world this month, even if I didn’t read as much as I wanted because I was in a slump ( I loved all I was reading but generally struggled to find the time to read😩😭) I still managed to get some Self-published inspired posts out…

I hosted two giveaways featuring ‘Voice of War’ by the amazing Zack Argyle and ‘The Riven Realm’ by the talented Deck Matthews.

Order Voice of War: Amazon UK / Amazon USA | Order The Riven Realm: Amazon UK / Amazon USA

My Sundays Seven post featured 14 self-published book both read and to be read!

I partnered with Storyteller on Tour and Jesse Nolan Bailey to bring you the cover reveal for his stunning new dark fantasy novella ‘Amethyst‘.

GET AMETHYST FREE HERE

I managed to read…

  • The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rodgerson as a part of a book tour hosted by the incredibly hardworking and amazing Storytellers on TourReview Here
  • Deluge by Dark Asthon – Review to Come
  • The First of Shadows by Deck Matthews – Review To Come
  • The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley – Review Here

So, to end Self-Published Fantasy Month with a bang my book haul is going to be all self-published & INDIE bookS and here’s what I picked up!

**You can see by the picture if I bought them in paperback or Kindle**

Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link
Goodreads Link

What Self-Published/Indie books have you read this month!? LE me know in the comments or on Twitter 🙂

Thanks For Reading


100 FANTASY BOOKS FOR THE BUCKET LIST!

Hello, book friends!

Once again I took to my Book Twitter to get an idea of what fantasy books you all thought should be listed.

Click on the picture to see the thread.

As you can see I asked the twitter community to give me the books they thought were classic, renowned in the genre or a must read for my Book Bucket List Poster.

A book bucket list poster is a poster that has some form of pictures representing a selection books on it and you scratch off the cover when you have read it, kind of like a scratch card. Now, most of the ones I have seen are books in general and have all the classics on rather than being genre specific. I obviously want a fantasy specific one, so I thought to make my own but still needed to come up with the books and Twitter did not let me down!

I had over 100 suggestions and nearly all fell into the criteria I wanted!

So, while I go through the books a little bit more and select the books I want to use for the poster I’m going to draft up this list of all the suggestions that came from the thread!

Without further ado, please see the fantasy books you all said were classic, renowned or a must read for the fantasy genre…

** In no particular order, well I suppose there is an order, just the order I wrote them down from the Twitter thread 🙂 **

Please note I have only written the first books of the series as this will be a bucket list. If you like the book continue the series, if you don’t like it then don’t continue it 😀

1. THE HOBBIT
by J. R. R. Tolkien

2. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
(Lord of the Rings) by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. PAWN OF PROPHECY (The Belgariad) by David Eddings
4. LEGEND
(The Drenai Saga)
by David Gemmell
5. THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
(The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis
6. THE WAY OF KINGS (Stormlight Archive)
by Brandon Sanderson

7. MAGICIAN: APPRENTICE (The Riftwar Saga) by Raymond E. Feist

8. THE SWORD OF SHANNARA
(Shannara Trilogy) by Terry Brooks
9. WIZARD’S FIRST RULE
(Sword of Truth) by Terry Goodkind
10.Dragonsbane
(Winterlands) by Barbara Hambly
11. THE FIFTH SEASON
(The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin
12. A Wizard of Earthsea
(Earthsea Cycle) by Ursul K. Le Guin
13. The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
14. Dawnthief
(Chronicles of the Raven) by James Barclay
15. Blood of Elves
(The Witcher) by Andrzej Sapkowski
16. Gardens of the Moon
(Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson
17. GOOD OMENS
by Terry Pratchett
and
Neil Gaiman
18. The Golden Compass
(His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman
19. Eragon
(The Inheritance Cycle)
by Christopher Paolini
20. Traitor’s Blade
(Greatcoats)
by Sebastien de Castell
21.Dragonflight
(Dragonriders of Pern)
by Anne McCaffrey
22. Blackdog
(Gods of the Caravan Road) by K.V. Johansen 
23. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
by Patricia A. McKillip
24. The Colour of Magic
(Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett
25. Blood Song
(Raven’s Shadow)
by Anthony Ryan 
26. The Name of the Wind
(The Kingkiller Chronicle)
by Patrick Rothfuss 
27. The Rage of Dragons
(The Burning)
by Evan Winter 
28. The Shadow of What Was Lost
(The Licanius Trilogy)
by James Islington 
29. The Magicians’ Guild
(The Black Magician Trilogy) by Trudi Canavan
30. The Crown Conspiracy
(The Riyria Revelations)
by Michael J. Sullivan 
31. American Gods
(American Gods)
by Neil Gaiman 
32. The Way of Shadows
(Night Angel)
by Brent Weeks 
33. Malice
(The Faithful and the Fallen)
by John Gwynne 
34. The Black Prism
(Lightbringer)
by Brent Weeks
35. The City
(The City)
by Stella Gemmell
36. The Lies of Locke Lamora
(Gentleman Bastard)
by Scott Lynch
37. The Thousand Names
(The Shadow Campaigns)
by Django Wexler
38. Promise of Blood
(Powder Mage)
by Brian McClellan 
39. The Book of Three
(The Chronicles of Prydain)
by Lloyd Alexander
40. The Darkness That Comes Before
(The Prince of Nothing)
by R. Scott Bakker
41. Blackwing
(Raven’s Mark)
by Ed McDonald 
42. The Tiger and the Wolf
(Echoes of the Fall)
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
43. Neverwhere
(London Below, The World of Neverwhere)
by Neil Gaiman 
44. Kushiel’s Dart
(Phèdre’s Trilogy)
by Jacqueline Carey 
45. Elantris
(Elantris) by Brandon Sanderson
46. Senlin Ascends
(The Books of Babel)
by Josiah Bancroft
47. Stardust
by Neil Gaiman 
48. The Last Unicorn
(The Last Unicorn)
by Peter S. Beagle 
49. The Curse of the Mistwraith
(Wars of Light and Shadow) by Janny Wurts 
50. A Game of Thrones
(A Song of Ice and Fire)
by George R.R. Martin
51. The Dragonbone Chair
(Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn) by Tad Williams
52. Black Sun Rising
(The Coldfire Trilogy)
by C.S. Friedman
53. The Warded Man
(Demon Cycle)
by Peter V. Brett 

54. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) by Lewis Carroll
55. The Blade Itself
(The First Law)
by Joe Abercrombie

56. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
(Inheritance Trilogy)
by N.K. Jemisin
57. Tigana
by Guy Gavriel Kay
58. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman
59. Sabriel
(The Old Kingdom)
by Garth Nix 
60. The Sword of Kaigen
(Theonite) by M.L. Wang
61. Red Sister
(Book of the Ancestor)
by Mark Lawrence
62. The Mists of Avalon
(Avalon) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
63. Elfsorrow
(Legends of the Raven)
by James Barclay 
64. Mage’s Blood
(The Moontide Quartet) by David Hair
65. Empire in Black and Gold
(Shadows of the Apt) by Adrian Tchaikovsky 
66. The Sword in the Stone
(The Once and Future King) by T.H. White
67. The Crystal Cave
(Arthurian Saga)
by Mary Stewart
68. The Final Empire
(Mistborn)
by Brandon Sanderson
69. Prosper’s Demon
by K.J. Parker

70. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
71. Weaveworld
by Clive Barker

72. Over Sea, Under Stone
(The Dark Is Rising) by Susan Cooper 
73. Taliesin
(The Pendragon Cycle)
by Stephen R. Lawhead
74. Byzantium
by Stephen R. Lawhead

75. Green Rider
(Green Rider) by Kristen Britain
76. Seventh Son
(Tales of Alvin Maker)
by Orson Scott Card
77. Alanna: The First Adventure
(Song of the Lioness) by Tamora Pierce 
78. The Priory of the Orange Tree
by Samantha Shannon
79. The Goblin Emperor
(The Goblin Emperor)
by Katherine Addison
80. Elric of Melniboné
(The Elric Saga)
by Michael Moorcock
81. The Diamond Throne
(The Elenium) by David Eddings
82. Spellsinger
(Spellsinger)
by Alan Dean Foster
83. Assassin’s Apprentice
(The Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb 
84. The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales
by Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm
85. Dragon Wing
(The Death Gate Cycle)
by Margaret Weis
86. The Magic of Recluce
(The Saga of Recluce) by L.E. Modesitt Jr
87. The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
88. Redwall
(Redwall)
by Brian Jacques
89. A Time of Dread
(Of Blood and Bone)
by John Gwynne
90. Beyond Redemption
(Manifest Delusions)
by Michael R. Fletcher
91. Guardians of the West
(The Malloreon)by David Eddings
92. Dragons of a Fallen Sun
(Dragonlance: The War of Souls) by Margaret Weis 
93. Hounded
(The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne
94. The Court of Broken Knives
(Empires of Dust) by Anna Smith Spark 
95. Age of Assassins
(The Wounded Kingdom)
by R.J. Barker 
96. Prince of Fools
(The Red Queen’s War)
by Mark Lawrence
97. The Red Knight
(The Traitor Son Cycle)
by Miles Cameron 

98. The Shadow of the Wind
(El cementerio de los libros olvidados) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
99. Killer of Men
(Long War)
by Christian Cameron

100. Talion: Revenant
by Michael A. Stackpole


There we have it 100 books that I will slowly draw up icons for and put on my book bucket list poster!


6 THINGS THAT NONE READERS DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT BOOKS AND READING…

 Hello everyone! Today is a fairly fun post, or at least when I thought of it I figured it would be, but we shall see if that is the case now I am writing it!

There are an astonishing number of people reading these days but there are still a great number of folks out there who simply have little to no interest in picking up a book of their own free will. Weird, I know right?! But they just don’t get what the appeal is. Why pick up a book when you can watch a movie right? Mehh. No, but that’s just us.

So here it is guys and gals, 6 things that none readers just don’t understand about books and reading:

BOOKS ARE ALIVE:

Books keep readers coming back time after time, either for a reread of a favourite book or to continue the series, these books are then kept alive by our vivid imagination and our participation in the book community. We discuss the events in a book like we discuss events in the news. The motivations of a character, the loss of a character and more! I have had many a conversation about fictional people because, like I said, books are alive and those contained within its pages are real to us!

REPRESENTATION MEANS A LOT, JUST AS MUCH AS IT DOES IN ANY ANOTHER ART OR MEDIA FORM:

We are in a time now were the absence of varied representation and inclusivity of people of colour, LGBT groups, women and minority groups in general is being highlighted but folks who don’t read can sometimes still not quite get the need for representation because “there just books” or “they aren’t real people” but just as it is with gaming or movies when we read many of us want to see people like ourselves in a story. I mean we commit a considerable amount of hours to a book, so its pretty fucking important to feel represented and be able to resonate with certain aspects of a character.

BOOKS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH:

There are tons of benefits to a daily reading session. To name a few; it builds ones vocabulary, it prevents cognitive decline and strengthens the brain, its aids sleep and reduces stress! I’m pretty sure I read somewhere it even increases ones lifespan! 

THE INABILITY TO ‘JUST STOP READING’:

We have all had it where someone starts talking to you while you are reading and it takes you a moment to respond. You know why? Because we are at least finishing the sentence we are on, for me you are lucky I don’t make you wait until the end of the paragraph for me to respond. I can miss an entire conversation because I’m not just reading a book, I am in a book. I am experiencing everything the characters are! The other half, in response to one of the worlds largest yawns from me, says ‘just stop reading and go to sleep’…Mmmm, no. I have just gone to war, I’m currently atop my war horse charging the orc hoards of the east! One cannot simply just stop and go to sleep in the midst of an epic battle. Pfft. Please.

This is probably one of the biggest things none readers just don’t get, and it is that you can’t just stop reading.

BOOKS ARE AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT:

Even now, in a time when we are being encouraged more and more to talk about our emotions and engage with things on an emotional level, there are still tons of folks out there who find the prospect of emotionally engaging with anything, never mind with a book and its characters completely alien. It is important as a reader to fully appreciate the immersive nature books can offer, and in my opinion books take this to whole new heights, yes a movie can make you cry but a book…a book breaks you. And it is that what I think a none reader is unable to comprehend or even appreciate.

THE STRESS OF THE BEASTLY TBR:

This I think is something that both long time readers and new readers can appreciate.

An avid reader has the problem of being wider read than a newb, they have read so many books from such a variety of authors that for each authors they loved they have added most of their other works to their TBR and also they have been exposed to books that are similar which more than likely make it to their TBR’s but then on the other hand you have a new reader. They essentially have all the greats of their chosen genre to read before even being exposed to other works so they have an instant TBR.

We all know that the TBR can be pretty stressful, it becomes difficult to chose your next book, you worry you will never get around to reading your backlog because new books are constantly coming to light and your TBR can sometimes become so convoluted and filled with books that may not even suit your tastes anymore! The TBR and the stresses that come with it is definitely something a non reader cannot even begin to fathom!

There you have it, six things I think none readers just can’t understand about readers and I can confirm it was fun to do. I always love seeing the bookish traits we all have and mutual understandings our community has. I know that there are tons of bookish quirks that folks don’t get about book folks but the above six points are things I genuinely don’t think none readers get. If you have any that you have experienced or think I have missed pop them in the comments or on the Twitter post and let’s discuss!!


Again, thank you to everyone who visits by blog and takes the time to read my bookish ramblings I truly appreciate it! If you like the content then maybe follow my blog or even head over to my Twitter where I also talk shit 😀



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!


7 FANTASY BOOKS WHO’S COVER ART IS THE BUSINESS…

This is a fairly simple Sunday Seven this week, mainly because i’m shit and didn’t even realise it was Sunday! I have been working for the last ten days and honestly all my brain can comprehend right now is that I’m at the end of my stint. I promise I have something a little different next week, I’m actually pretty excited for next weeks!

Sooo, what I thought would be a nice easy post was actually pretty damned hard. I ended up with so many covers I love that I opted to try and grab one from different styles. You’ll see what I mean in a wee moment.

Le’t get down to it eh? Here it is seven books who’s cover art is the business!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I couldn’t not put this cover on the list it is absolutely amazing! It is bright and colourful, it grabs the eye and it genuinely makes you want to read the book at first glance.

Illustrated by Ivan Belikov  and designed by David Mann.

A Natural History of Dragons

I chose to put this cover in this list because I feel like it is a cover unto itself, it is completely different to any I have seen and that alone warrants recognition.

We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

I really like this cover, and couldn’t help but put it in the post. I’m playing Ghost of Tsushima at the minute and I have a Samurai mask very similar to this for my character! I also love the Japanese Hannya masks and this reminds me of them too.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

This one was a tough one, I had put together Circe, The Bone Shard Daughter, Gilded Wolves and The Goblin Emperor for this slot. They all are more pattern based in nature, but as I only have seven slots I had to try to narrow them down, almost by category if you will and out of them I found The Binding to be the winner (for lack of a better word).

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

I find this cover to be absolutely breathtaking, I love this type of art. I actually have several of the types of designs floating around on my Pinterest Boards and find them to be so beautiful. They are such a vivid mix of nature and humanity and for some reason they really get to me.

Cover art and design by David Curtis.

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He

I adore this cover, it is genuinely stunning! It is intricate, mysterious and really quite fantastical! It helps that I love tattoos and one of my favourite design styles are Chinese tattoo designs.

Designed by Feifei Ruan

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

This is such a cool cover, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know how much it encapsulates the story but if the cover and blurb are anything to go by its pretty appropriate! Also I love a lot of Lauren Panepintos work, she I responsible for The Shadow Of What Was Lost, Promise of Blood, Kings of the Wild and more. All of which were in the shortlist for this blog post!

Art by Ian Leino with design by Lauren Panepinto.

There you have it guys 7 book covers I think are the business, this was harder than I anticipated and i’m pretty sure I could do another seven several times over!

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and I hope you enjoy these covers as much as I do!


What’s New To My Kindle?

This month I went a little mental with Kindle Deals, I got so many and a few others that were still a steal but not necessarily one of the deals.

Here we go…

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Add Them To Your Goodreads!

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Add This To Your Goodreads!

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Vultures by Luke Tarzian

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Blood-Tainted Winter by T L Greylock

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Wildfire Cycle by D. P Woolliscroft

Add These To Your Goodreads!

Well, that is my list of Kindle purchases! So many of these are currently £0.99, I think for another two days or so!

So you should definitely head on over to Amazon and get them while you can!

Thank you for checking out my new purchase. What have you bought this month on Kindle?


7 SELF-PUBLISHED FANTASY BOOKS YOU AND I NEED TO READ…

I titled this ‘7 Self-Published Books You And I Need To Read‘ because I have read some of those on the list, and some I haven’t. I really didn’t want to limit this list to books I alone have read, especially when there are some incredible sounding books out there, all of which have been rated highly by bloggers I respect and often agree with, but I just haven’t got around to reading yet.

I also wanted to keep it to books that have remained self-published indie books, so while I have read many others most of them have been acquired by publishers.

The Hugo Awards brought this Sunday’s Seven earlier than I had intended, it was on my list of posts but not for today but a fellow book blogger, Nick Borrelli said it pretty well on his Twitter

Now that all the Hugo hype is over, I’d just like to remind everyone that there’s a world of amazing #selfpublished SFF being churned out every year, & this year is the best ever in my opinion. So many diverse awesome reads to choose from.

You should give them a try!

#SelfPub

Nick Borrelli (Out of This World SFF Reviews). @NickRevws Twitter post – Aug 1 2020

**I have posted links of some of these books, these aren’t affiliate links, they are just there to make it easy for you. **

The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung

My Thoughts On This Book? I can not sing enough praises about this book, and fully understand why it won SPFBO. I would recommend this book to everyone, it is a series but can be read alone. I will definitely be reading the others! This is a fun read with a great female protagonist, a creative and gritty world and murder and intrigue. What’s not to love?

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don’t last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue and good friend is butchered on the street in a deal gone wrong, she turns her back on burglary and goes after something more precious than treasure: Revenge.

Revenge, however, might be hard to come by. A nightmare assortment of enemies, including an immortal assassin and a mad sorcerer, believe Amra is in possession of The Blade That Whispers Hate—the legendary, powerful artifact her friend was murdered for—and they’ll do anything to take it from her. Trouble is, Amra hasn’t got the least clue where the Blade might be.

She needs to find the Blade, and soon, or she’ll be joining her colleague in a cold grave instead of avenging his death. Time is running out for the small, scarred thief.

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Path of Flames By Phil Tucker

Why Do I want To Read This Book? Forbidden sorcery, an approaching army and betrayal! I was actually meant to read this a few months back for my #ReadersWithoutBorders challenge but I didn’t manage to tackle all of them! So this is still on my Kindle and is one I aim to get to soon!

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

A war fueled by the dark powers of forbidden sorcery is about to engulf the Ascendant Empire. Agerastian heretics, armed with black fire and fueled by bitter hatred, seek to sever the ancient portals that unite the empire – and in so doing destroy it.

Asho–a squire with a reviled past–sees his liege, the Lady Kyferin, and her meager forces banished to an infamous ruin. Beset by tragedy and betrayal, demons and an approaching army, the fate of the Kyferins hangs by the slenderest of threads. Asho realizes that their sole hope of survival may lie hidden within the depths of his scarred soul–a secret that could reverse their fortunes and reveal the truth behind the war that wracks their empire.

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang

My Thoughts On This Book? 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, I think it is second 🤷‍♀️ quickly thinking what I have read this year. I read this initially on Kindle Unlimited but have a physical copy ordered!

Amazon Link UK

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. 

Add It To Your Goodreads

Kingshold By D. P Woolliscroft

Why Do I want To Read This Book? A professional drunk, civil unrest and an unlikely band! I like a story that has a mix of characters, and I like a story with sly political machinations even more, throw in some assassinations and that sounds bloody marvellous to me. I have this on my Kindle through Kindle Unlimited but it can be purchase quite cheaply for a nice £3.99.

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

Mareth is a bard, a serial under achiever, a professional drunk, and general disappointment to his father. Despite this, Mareth has one thing going for him. He can smell opportunity. The King is dead and an election for the new Lord Protector has been called. If he plays his cards right, if he can sing a story that will put the right person in that chair, his future fame and drinking money is all but assured. But, alas, it turns out Mareth has a conscience after all.

Neenahwi is the daughter to Jyuth, the ancient wizard who founded the Kingdom of Edland and she is not happy. It’s not just that her father was the one who killed the King, or that he didn’t tell her about his plans. She’s not happy because her father is leaving, slinking off into retirement and now she has to clean up his mess.

Alana is a servant at the palace and the unfortunate soul to draw the short straw to attend to Jyuth. Alana knows that intelligence and curiosity aren’t valued in someone of her station, but sometimes she can’t help herself and so finds herself drawn into the Wizard’s schemes, and worst of all, coming up with her own plans.

Chance brings this unlikely band together to battle through civil unrest, assassinations, political machinations, pirates and monsters, all for a common cause that they know, deep down, has no chance of succeeding – bringing hope to the people of Kingshold.

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey

Why Do I Want To Read This Book? Tribes, corruption and kidnap! The cover first grabbed me for this book because it is beautiful! Then I read the synopsis and I fell deeper into the well! Then I read the reviews and well, I was done for! I have this on my Kindle through Kindle Unlimited at the minute, but I think I may purchase it seen a though it is only £2.31!

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.

The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.

It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.

Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land. 

Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.

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The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Why Do I Want To Read This Book? Warlords, conquered empires, war and a golem! Golems have always interested me, as an animated creature made often from clay or mud, so to see one be the main character of a story is really interesting. I bought this on Amazon Kindle for £2.99!

Amazon Link UK

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.

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Spit and Song By Travis M. Riddle

Why Do I Want To Read This Book? Black markets, illicit jobs and dessert lands! I haven’t read a huge amount of fantasy in a dessert setting so this paired with its brilliant reviews have caused me to pick this book up. I bought this on Amazon Kindle at an absolute steal being on £0.99! So grab it while you can!

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely. 

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf. 

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world. 

How hard could it really be? 

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Thanks for reading everyone, I hope some if not all of these books made it onto your TBR List!


BOOK OF THE MONTH: JULY

Shit! Why is the introduction to a post so stupidly hard. I mean all it is really is Hi, I’m about to talk a load of shit. Keep reading! **Thumbs up** But, noo, it can never be that easy, we have Wassupppp? Howdy? Hey? Whaagwan? Alright? And my personal fave How’s it Hanging? but me being the child I am I can’t help but mutter ‘a little to the left’ and proceed to chuckle like a child. I know, judge me. I deserve it.

Anywhoooo….

So I am currently sat feeling like a badass listening to ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath and wanted to do a monthly wrap up that wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s. I’m still going to tell you all what I have read, and will definitely link the reviews to the books I have read and reviewed BUT I’m going to do it as a ‘Book of the Month’. So, out of all the books I have read this month I’m going to proclaim one BOOK OF THE MONTH!

Say Book of the Month more…

This might not be that original but, and yes I am still claiming this, I’m new 😀 So this bordered on an epiphany for me.

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

This month I stuck to Sci-Fi books after Book Twitter set my TBR roaring with new book recommendations. I would also like to thank, again, everyone who contributed to said Twitter thread and I can confirm I am a huge fan of the genre! Your work is done.

So to this months reads…

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

My Rating: 3

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Not Yet Reviewed – I will. At some point. Promise

My Thoughts:

I liked this book, it was a quick, fun and an easy read but at the same time didn’t grab me like other books I have read recently, but i’m thinking YA maybe a thing of the past for me. Not all but yanno…tastes change.


Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

My Rating: 3.5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Not Yet Reviewed – I will. At some point.

My Thoughts:

As with book one I liked this book as something quick and fun, not to deep and really easy to get through. I liked this more than book one because the plot developed more.


Stormblood by Jeremy Szal

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review Link: Stormblood

My Thoughts:

I don’t think I stated in my review why this isn’t a five, not sure why, but this didn’t make it to a five simply because I have a preference for moderate world-building where as this is heavy in the world building. Again, not an issue as it is brilliantly done, it is just a preference point. Though, thinking on it, that definitely doesn’t warrant a full star deduction. I’m going to change it. Wooo, Yay Jeremy 4.5 Stars!


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review Link: Red Rising

My Thoughts:

What a ride this book was, one I lost sleep over and flew through! Great start to the series. I’m also really jealous of the alternative covers the US have!


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

My Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review Link: Golden Son

My Thoughts:

As above. This book is my favourite of the trilogy! If you want more details read the review 😉


Morning Star by Pierce Brown

My Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review Link: Morning Star

My Thoughts:

A fantastic end to an insanely good trilogy.


Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

My Rating:

N/A – Still reading

Review: Easier when I have read the book.

My Thoughts (so far):

This is my first book by Django Wexler and I am liking his writing style, his action sequences are brilliantly violent and gory, and i’m expecting good things!


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

My Rating:

N/A – Still Reading

Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.

My Thoughts (so far):

I am REALLY enjoying this book! If I ever find the time this week to read it I will finish it soon! I’m still fairly early on and John, the main character not the author, has just landed at Beta Pyxis III and is training with his new team, but even so I am loving this book! I have laughed, a lot.


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

As you can see I have read, and are reading, some absolute gems of the Sci-Fi world this month but only one can take ‘Book of the Month’ title!

It has been a tough one, at first I was all about Stormblood, then thought of Golden Son, then back to Stormblood, then back to Golden Son. This went on for a while.

Alas, I settled on…

STORMBLOOD!!

After much thought Stormblood took the title of BOOK OF THE MONTH and for so many reasons. While Stormblood rated half a star lower than Golden Son I felt it outdid Golden Son because it is the first book of its series, whereas Golden Son was the second book and so I had the love of Red Rising to amp up the love even more. Stormblood was an outstanding start and is a book I am STILL talking about, and STILL thinking about! After releasing that it was an easier decision!


Well, that’s it. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.


7 STANDALONE FANTASY BOOKS I WANT TO READ

**Quick Note: This was posted early and not on Sunday because WordPress gave up the goods early**

Hello all! I hope your week has been great, but if not don’t worry hopefully my new Sunday feature will cheer you up. Seven books, for the seven days of the week.

This Sunday feature will hence forth be named Sunday’s Seven.

Creative, I know.

To start of Sundays Seven I’m going to treat you to 7 fantasy standalone from my TBR.

THE GOBLIN EMPEROR BY KATHERINE ADDISON

I bought this on Kindle this month, so I actually intend to read this relatively soon, or at least I hope to. I found this gem while reading a post about fantasy books with court intrigue, and it made it to the TBR straight away. I love reading books with crazy politics, and it just so happened that it was also one of the Kindle Deals this month, soooooo, I bought it.

Synopsis:

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.

CIRCE BY MADELINE MILLER

I put this on my TBR not to long after its publish date, and I still haven’t read it and that’s not because I’m not interested! I love Greek mythology and retellings can be done really well but as it is with many books on the TBR they just get forgotten.

Synopsis:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE BY SAMANTHA SHANNON

Dragons.

That’s it. Dragons.

Synopsis:

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. 

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE BY JOAN HE

It was the cover to this that first drew me in, and then…”tyrants cut out throats. Rulers sacrifice their own” and I was safely sucked in. If the cover is this gorgeous, then I am really hoping that the story is just as stunning.

Synopsis:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

THE AXE AND THE THRONE BY M. D. IREMAN

I love a good debut, I love reading a book and seeing what it took, what amazed someone enough that they knew it could wow the masses. With a vivid world, savage and ambiguous heroes and raiding northmen it was hard not to put this on my TBR. I’m pretty sure its also on my Kindle too. Also, a little side point I actually appreciate a shorter synopsis, its like when you watch a trailer that tells you the whole film, I mean where are the days when a trailer just teased you with a little something and didn’t show you the end scene of the film in the trailer, but that’s a whole otherrr rant!

Synopsis:

It is a fool’s errand and Tallos knows it, but against his own better judgment and the pleading of his wife, Tallos has committed himself to a voyage north. His lifelong friend’s eldest sons are said to have been taken by Northmen, a raiding people ill-reputed for their savagery. The boys are already dead, Tallos knows, and in that dark place of grim reasoning he wishes only to find their corpses quickly so he can fulfill his promise and return to his wife. Instead, he finds something far worse. 

TALION REVENANT BY MICHAEL STACKPOLE

Described, somewhere, as an intelligent heroic fantasy so I had to look further into this, and then I read the synopsis and was even more intrigued. I’m expecting actions, steel and intriguing plot so I think I may have to move this up the TBR a fair bit.

Also.

Guys. Guys, look. Another short synopsis!

Synopsis:

The man he is sworn to protect is the man who butchered his family.

Justices–the select of the Talion, endowed with fearsome magick and lethal martial skills–roam the Shattered Empire, crushing the lawless and championing the oppressed. Their word is law and their judgement binding on highborn and low.

Nolan is a Justice born in what once was the free nation of Sinjaria. Orphaned in the war of conquest with the nation of Hamis, he traveled to far Talianna and secured the right to become a Justice. Now, years later, the Master of all Talions has a dangerous assignment for Nolan: He is to guard the life of the king who destroyed Sinjaria and slaughtered his family. Alone, Nolan ventures into the political maelstrom that is the court of Hamis to stop an assassin even his Masters think cannot be slain. . . . 

ELANTRIS BY BRANDON SANDERSON

So, I’m pretty sure this is a standalone but I’m not one hundred per cent sure seen as though some say it is and some say it isn’t. But, what can I say, I’m a rebel so I’m still putting it in.

Synopsis:

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

Well, thanks for reading kids.


FANTASY: MY GENRE BREAKDOWN

Today I decided rather than do something I needed to do, I would organise my Goodsreads account, and by organise my Goodreads account I mean delete all my previous lists and start from scratch. Not long winded or tedious at all.

My previous lists were a little all over the place, a lot of my books were on more than one list because they had elements of each of them, and it wasn’t generally helpful. So, I decided to clean them up. I started with 33 different lists and managed to whittled it down to 14 which I still need to allocate books to and build into awesome lists of both read books and books to read.

I bet you’re wondering why I am talking about my Goodreads lists when this article is about the fantasy genre. Well, my brilliant bookish friends, this is what led me down the genre rabbit hole. And by rabbit hole I mean a the massive swirling vortex of never ending sub genres.

After some research I came to the conclusion that there are way wayyyyy to many sub-genres, many of which overlap and just bloody exhaustive. I’m all for an easy life so I opted for less but slightly broader spectrum of sub-genres instead.

MY FANTASY SUB-GENRES:

If it isn’t obvious by the ‘MY’ in the title these are my interpretations of the fantasy genre. There are so many different interpretations, for instance low fantasy can sometimes be considered more on the urban/paranormal side of fantasy or it can be thought of as high fantasy less a few of the typical setting elements, either way the below is my take on the genre.

I’m not actually going to give a description of these sub-genres, because as I have said, what you think defines one of them may be completely different to me. Instead I am going to show some books I attribute to said genre and other sub-genres that I think fall under it.

HIGH FANTASY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to High Fantasy..

  • The Faithful and the Fallen Series by John Gwynne
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • A Song of Ice and Fire Series by R. R. Martin
  • The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my High Fantasy genre…

  • Epic Fantasy
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • Hard Fantasy
  • Portal Fantasy
  • Military Fantasy
  • Medieval Fantasy
  • Swashbuckling Fantasy

LOW FANTASY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to Low Fantasy..

  • Conan Chronicles by Robert E. Howard
  • Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
  • Limbo by Thiago d’Evecque
  • The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my Low Fantasy genre…

  • Alternate History Fantasy
  • Arthurian Fantasy
  • Assassin Fantasy
  • Military Fantasy
  • Medieval Fantasy
  • Quest Fantasy
  • Flintlock Fantasy

DARK FANTASY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to Dark Fantasy..

  • The First Law Books by Joe Abercrombie
  • The Black Company by Glen Cook
  • The Night Angel Books by Brent Weeks
  • Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my Dark Fantasy genre…

  • Grimdark Fantasy
  • Gritty Fantasy
  • Medieval Fantasy

URBAN FANTASY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to Urban Fantasy..

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Crescent City by Sarah J Maas
  • The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my Urban Fantasy genre…

  • Dystopia Fantasy
  • Futuristic Fantasy
  • Portal Fantasy
  • Paranormal Fantasy
  • Series Fantasy
  • Super Hero Fantasy
  • Vampire/Werewolves Fantasy
  • Witch Fantasy

FAIRYTALE/FOLKLORE/MYTHOLOGY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to Fairytale/Folklore/Mythological Fantasy..

  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Percy Jackson and the Olyians by Rick Riordan
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my Fairytale/Folklore/Mythological Fantasy genre…

  • Celtic Fantasy
  • Fables
  • Legend Retelling Fantasy
  • Mythic Fantasy
  • Fantasy Romance

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY

Here be some of the titles I attribute to Young Adult Fantasy..

  • Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
  • Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore
  • The Folk and Air Trilogy by Holly Black
  • Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

Here be some of the other sub-genres that fall under my Young Adult Fantasy genre…

  • Coming-of-Age Fantasy
  • Court Intrigue Fantasy
  • Fantasy Romance

And that’s a little look at the way I categorise books in my mind. Genres and sub genres are so ambiguous and so many books definitely cross over into several other genres. Also, I think a lot of books start out as a low fantasy and then work there way up to being more epic in nature.

My Goodreads account should follow this feel for genre allocations, so if you do what I do and stalk other Goodreads friends who have similar tastes when you’re in a slump to find some goodies, hopefully mine won’t appear such a mess!