BOOK REVIEW | SHARD OF EARTH BY ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today I am reviewing Adrian Tchaikovsky’s newest book ‘Shards of Earth’ as a part of TheWriteReads Book Tour!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Shards of Earth
  • Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Series: The Final Architects (Book One)
  • Pages: 560

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans ­such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.

Review:

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

  • A vast and immersive world with fabulous races and worlds;
  • An oh so epic space opera;
  • A fairly complex but intriguing and well done;
  • Great characters; and
  • Lots of intriguing elements to keep you wanting more.

On to the full review…

I say this all the time but I apparently never actually make a conscious I effort to do it; but…I WANT TO READ MORE SCI-FI!

So, when the fabulous WriteReads contacted me asking if I was interesting in possibly partaking in their tour I was super excited! I had a quick browse of the book synopsis and was safely intrigued! Having read Adrian’s ‘Doors of Eden’ I felt comfortable going into this book and enjoying it!

I took the plunge into reading Shards of Earth and was glad I did. The thing is with Sci-Fi for me I really struggle to stay immersed if it gets too scientific. I am definitely not alone in this, and I tread a fine line of what I consider to be enjoyable. So, this review will be from a stand point of someone who has read less than 15 science fiction books. I have done well so far, those I have read I have enjoyed immensely with a few exceptions but I’m still grateful for those books because it defined my taste a little more. 

Shards of Earth, yes I am going to actually start my review instead of waffling, was a great read. My initial reaction was a good one. Though, I did feel like I was being given a fair amount of information at the start, it was done well and I was glad for the history of this world but it was still an info dump.

Shards of Earth is filled with so many incredible, unique and utterly captivating races and cultures and it was a thrill to be in such a world! The attention to detail of this world is fabulous, I personally am not actually a massive advocate for expansive worldbuilding. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate it and enjoy it when it is to my tastes but I like to use my own imagination to fill in the gaps, yanno?  However, saying that it was actually the heavier world building element that helped me this time around. I haven’t read too much fantasy, as I said and the world AT has created had such vivid imaginary popping up left right and bloody centre in my mind, even my imagination was heavily influenced by things such as Mass Effect and other SF games and TV shows I have watched. But that ain’t bad!

I really appreciate politics done well in a book, I don’t like politics for the sake of it and it has to be crucial to the story. Well, I am happy to announce AT does politics great! There was such a refreshing balance in SOE because while we had fairly devoted characters they weren’t blindly loyal so I wasn’t constantly frustrated at their decisions. 

I think something I look forward to when choosing to read a book by Adrian is that there is always something that is totally unique to it, in this instance AT created unspace and it was great experiencing it. I won’t say much on it and will let you discover that for yourself but know it is great!

I really enjoyed the character POV’s in Shards of Earth each grew on me more and more, they could have had a wee little it more development but it was by no means lacking. I think Idris was my favourite, but each had something they brought to the story and the team! Even the side character had a pull to them, you bonded with the team and I was constantly wanting to know more.

Shards of Earth was a great read for me, I enjoyed its epic world and its unique characters, and I cant wait for book two. The plot was fairly complex but I am used to that with fantasy so I was able to follow and enjoy it!


THE RANKS: 

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

I enjoyed this book and I am keen to see how it will progress, it was beautiful and creative and was what I needed in a sci-fi!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK TWELVE

Hello and welcome back to Keep It or Cut It!

I have missed a few of these lately, I have been so busy, work is making the most of the fact we are on furlough and I have so much training to get done by the weekend. I still have so many modules to get done but I feel bad that I have neglected this feature. So pardon me for a shorter post this week…

The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

THE IRON KING BY JULIE KAGAWA

Goodreads Link

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Thoughts:

I feel like this book will be a bit of a throwback book, I really like fae stories always have but I cant always find one that deal more in the adult fantasy genre than young adult.

“I was greatly impressed with the way Kagawa intertwined the steampunk of today with the fey stories we have always been so captivated by.”

Trin (4 Stars)

BOOK #2

SNOW LIKE ASHES BY SARA RAASCH

Goodreads Link

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Thoughts:

Trusty reviewer I appreciate do not love this book, and the points raised can be a pain sooo…

BOOK #3

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS BY RAE CARSON

Goodreads Link

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Thoughts:

You know, this books sounds like a book I would like to read. I always like these reads when Im in the mood and I don’t feel like im aware of to many that are done well, so considering the reviews I will keep this for one of those days.

For one reason or another, this book didn’t have much initial cover appeal to me, so I passed it over early on without taking the time to find out what it was about. Foolish I tell you – FOOLISH! It wasn’t until I jumped aboard the Throne of Glass bandwagon that I started noticing the many cross-references between the two series.

Niki Hawkes (5 Stars)

BOOK #4

THE LIGHTNING THIEF BY RICK RIORDAN

Goodreads Link

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

Thoughts:

This is a book I have been meaning to read for so long but never have, and sadly I don’t think I will..

BOOK #5

ERAGON BY CHRISTOPHER PALINI

Goodreads Link

One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. 

Thoughts:

I actually have these books on my shelves and I have read them, but it was that long ago I have no clue what happens (not beyond the movie) so I really want to see if it still good.

BOOK #6 THE VINE WITCH BY LUANNE G. SMITH

Goodreads Link

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Thoughts:

I don’t know why but this book just doesn’t grab me, it did when I first saw it, and I even have the eBook. Maybe I will read it but if I really fancy it and see it on my kindle but otherwise…

BOOK #7 THE NINTH SORCERESS BY BONNIE WYNNE

Goodreads Link

In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?

Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.

But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name… 

But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.

The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic. 

Thoughts:

I don’t actually mind the sound of this book, it isn’t doing anything new but it doesn’t sound bd. I just know I won’t read it over other books I have and want to read.

BOOK #8

SEMIOSIS BY SUE BURKE

Goodreads Link

In this character driven novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke, human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance.

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that mammals are more than tools.

Forced to land on a planet they aren’t prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape–trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

Thoughts:

Character driven, debut and bizarre alliances…what isn’t intriguing about that, plus it has some good reviews. I remember adding this because it was nothing like what I have read or usually read and I want to push the boat out a little.

BOOK #9 NINEFOX GAMBIT BY YOON HA LEE

Goodreads Link

The first installment of the trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, centers on disgraced captain Kel Cheris, who must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles in order to redeem herself in front of the Hexarchate.

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

Thoughts:

I did not know this was Yoon Ha Lee! It doesn’t make much a difference because I tried reading this a while back but couldn’t really get it into but I find it coincidental that I have just read Phoenix Extravagant and then this books crops up.

BOOK #10

THE NINTH RAIN BY JEN WILLIANS

Goodreads Link

The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…

Thoughts:

This has been on my radar for quite a while, and I actually grabbed a copy of it recently.

The Ninth Rain won the Best Fantasy Novel trophy in British Fantasy Awards 2018; this is a totally well-deserved victory. “

Petrik (4.5 Stars)

There it is!

So, this week I have cut 5 books and kept 5. HALF AND HALF, I think this is the first week I have cut more than three!

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut or ones you cant believe I cut?


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS WITH FIERCE ASS MOMMA BEARS…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk & Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mommas out there!

Well, seen as though it is mothers day I figured what better way to celebrate than to have todays Sundays Seven feature some of the awesome mums that feature in SFF books!

I was talking to David and Eleni a little while ago about tropes and I had myself a wee moan about the orphaned hero trope. I don’t hate it but I always thought to myself why can’t the hero just have a normal and functional family? I get it, the ambiguous origins trope means that you can have an easier route to other tropes such as the amazing trope of found family or the secret heir trope, but there are still ways to get to those with them having a family! Then to add to that, when there is a family dynamic we see the evil step mother or the disgraced child (in the terrible parents eyes) and so you can see how parents have themselves a wee bit of a bad rap in books!

And folks that ain’t on! I have a fierce ass momma bear of my own, and she has been mom and dad for a bloody long time, so as a thank you to her and all the fierce mothers out there I wanted to find some books with some fierce, loyal and loving mums in them!

So, without further ado, here are seven books which feature a fierce momma bear…

ON TO THE BOOKS…

ORKA

(The Shadow of the Gods BY JOHN GWYNNE)

“Fear is no bad thing,” Orka said. “How can you be brave if you do not feel fear?”
“I don’t understand,” Breca said, frowning.”
“Courage is being scared of a task and doing it anyway.”

Having just read this incredible book (which I will post a review for soon) I simply could not have a list about fierce momma bears and not feature Orka! I think I was less than ten pages into this book and I knew I would love Orka, I even tweeted about expecting to see one of the fiercest mums in the book and I wasn’t disappointed!

Orka is such an incredible mum, and not one I would want to mess with…AT ALL! This mum has some serious skills and she will scour the earth for her son and die to protect him! The raw emotions you see within the pages of this book are incredible, from the motherly chastising to her internal worries and fear you will feel it all!

“It is a hard world, and we will not always be here to protect him from it. We are not just his parents, we are his teachers, too.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


MOLLY WEASLEY

(HARRY POTTER SERIES BY J.K. ROWLING)

“You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!’ screamed Mrs. Weasley.
Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.”

I love Mrs. Weasley she is a different kind of fierce mum, she is the stay at home beautiful mother to a brood of seven (I think) and she is such a loving and caring mum and one I adore! She is funny, she cooks the best food, knits the sweater and will shout at her silly kids through a letter for being a dumb kid! I’m sure I have pushed my mum to some of the levels of frustration you see from Molly for being a little shit!

“Now, you two – this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you’ve – you’ve blown up a toilet or –”
“Blown up a toilet? We’ve never blown up a toilet.”
“Great idea though, thanks, Mum.”

Then throw in the fact that on top of her children already she has no issue taking Harry and Hermione under her wing too!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


MISAKI

THE SWORD OF KAIGEN BY M.L. WANG

Oh Misaki! How I love her, she made me feel strong yet beaten and so much more.

Misaki is another type of fierce mother and her journey is a phenomenal one, she goes through so many stages with her children and motherhood, she goes from feeling like her children are husbands and less hers, to longing for her old life and all the way to her realising that isn’t the case and her fighting ! It is an emotional roller coaster!

“What is really important to me was protecting the people I cared about. I’ve never needed a sword to protect you—to raise you the way your father wanted. Caring for my family meant putting away the fighter, so I did.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


ALANA

SAGA BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

I love this series! And Alana is funny, kick ass and such a great mum. She is always trying to e better and very rarely has Hazel far from her.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


TAMRA

RACE THE SANDS BY SARAH BETH DURST

“Tamra’s breath caught in her throat. She spun around and there was Shalla! Dropping to her knees, Tamra pulled her in tight until she yelped.”

Tamra is another mother who just wants what is best for her little girl! She faces so many challenges through her journey and is constantly trying to make the best of her situation. She proves that they don’t need all tings lavish, but what her daughter does need is unconditional love!

On top of that she assumes a mother role of another character within the book too, despite all her struggles.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


AGNES

ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES BY ALIX E. HARROW

“Agnes almost laughs at her: of course she wants a child. Of course she wants to lay its sleeping cheek against her breastbone and smell its milk-sweet bread, to become on its behalf something grander than herself: a castle or a sword, stone or steel…”

In The Once and Future Witches we see a different take on being a mum, we see it through the eyes of Agnes as her baby grows in her tummy.

Agnes shows the love and care that mothers go through on their journey, from realising they are pregnant to the bond they slowly but surely develop throughout the pregnancy. Agnes develops a fierce love for someone she has never met and you see how it changes the way she sees the world, the people and how she makes some huge decisions.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


CERSEI LANNISTER, GILLY, LYANNA STARK & CATELYN STARK

GAME OF THRONES BOOKS BY GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

Game of Thrones reps so many mums here, and with such a variety too! We have Cersei who, despite having some seriously messed up traits, can’t be said to not love her children! Yes, she makes mistakes but down to her core her children are her everything.

Gilly is my absolute favourite she goes so far to protect her baby, she is so wholesome and lovely and is always trying her best!

Then we have Catelyn and Lyanna Stark! Lyanna did everything she could before her son was even born to ensure he was safe and it cost her everything, if that isn’t a fierce display of love then i don’t know what is! Then we have the super tough mum, Catelyn Stark she might have been a dick to Jon but she loved her own children fiercely and always seemed to have their best interest at heart.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


There you have it, seven books that feat a different variety of all the strong momma bears out there!

Thanks for reading. Who are some of your favourite mums in books!?


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS NOT SET IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

Todays Sundays Seven post is going to be, as the title suggests, about books that are NOT set in the typical medieval setting, and a European medieval setting to boot.

When we think of fantasy, especially epic fantasy, it is generally a struggle not to conjure up the idea of a medieval setting. Tolkien usually comes to mind along with a great number of other authors and books.

Though, saying that there has been a massive increase in none medieval settings, which is incredible but I still don’t feel like I come across ENOUGH!

I am always utterly satisfied when I have read a book that deviates from medieval Europe, don’t get me wrong I still love it but I want to read more out of it, you know?

So, here is seven fantasy books that are not set in medieval Europe…

RAGE OF GHOSTS BY ELIZABETH BEAR

SETTING: INSPIRED BY Central Asia, SILK ROAD

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.

These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

THE KILLING MOON BY N. K. JEMISIN

SETTING: INSPIRED BY ANCIENT EGYPT

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

THE CITY BURNED BENEATH THE DREAMING MOON

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe…and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, the Gatherer Ehiru must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering innocent dreamers in the goddess’s name, and Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

JADE CITY BY Fonda Lee

SETTING: ASIAN INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. 

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

DREAD NATION BY Justina Ireland

SETTING: 19TH CENTURY AMERICA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

SABRIEL BY GARTH NIX

SETTING: EARLY 20TH CENTURY AUSTRALIA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A tale of dark secrets, deep love, and dangerous magic!

Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Charter-Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life–and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR BY JEAN M. AUEL

SETTING: PREHISTORIC/ICE AGE INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge. 

TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI BY BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU

SETTING: DESSERT/Silk Road INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings — cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first. 

There you have it, seven books that I have found that aren’t set in medieval Europe! I had fun doing this post and added all of these (that weren’t already on my TBR) to my TBR, despite trying to reduce it!

Thanks for reading.


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK THREE

Hey Everyone and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT!

As you know, in a bid to maybe reduce my TBR, I am taking ten books from it and checking to see if I still want to read said book.

It is week three and I have removed a total of five books so far, not a lot but still…

The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample

THE BOOKS…

Ohhh, so I have just looked at the ten books that will be in this post today, yang opening the tabs and the likes and I’m pretty impressed with the books on this weeks list, some are a instant KEEP IT for several reasons and one, maybe two, are a instant CUT IT again for certain reasons. However, I have a feeling that I will be keeping most of this weeks list.

BOOK #1

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1) by Julie Eshbaugh

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

Two clans. Only one will survive.

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • I actually thought I would be keeping this at first thought, the cover is cool and the first line of the blurb was like ohhh, go on…
  • Shame it then details a tale of instalove and couple quarrels. Now don’t get me wrong I actually love romance as a genre, more fantasy romance, but I love a good romance. Though they have to be ones that are written well with a foundation and the story has other stuff going on, the blurb to this does not suggest this so alas its a CUT IT.

BOOK #2

The Wolf of the North (Wolf of the North #1) by Duncan M. Hamilton

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

It has been generations since the Northlands have seen a hero worthy of the title. Many have made the claim, but few have lived to defend it. Timid, weak, and bullied, Wulfric is as unlikely a candidate as there could be. 

A chance encounter with an ancient and mysterious object awakens a latent gift, and Wulfric’s life changes course. Against a backdrop of war, tragedy, and an enemy whose hatred for him knows no bounds, Wulfric will be forged from a young boy, into the Wolf of the North. This is his tale.

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Oh the unsuspecting underdog of a hero…I can’t miss that up, I actually love the trope.
  • I really appreciate a shorter synopsis/blurb, its gives you just enough to be intrigued. Yes, I am aware that is what they are meant to do but when do they really? They borderline tell you the skeleton of the plot. So, yang this book wins points for that already!

BOOK #3

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

‘I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me’

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I think David, Cassidee and Daniel would murder me.
  • I have actually read near half of this book but had to pause, but I plan to read this again from the start hence it being on the TBR and not reading list. I really enjoyed the what I read but alas work and deadlines meant I had to pause.

BOOK #4

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

n a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals. 

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Again, David would murder me.
  • I have actually read this book, but I read it SO LONG ago and when I wasn’t really that into my adult fantasy, so while I read it, I don’t recall a thing about it baring the first chapter! So it is back on the TBR so I can read and enjoy it having read a lot more adult fantasy.

BOOK #5

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed . . . They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind’s past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield? 

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I have this on my shelves and have every intention of reading it. At some point. Its a chunky boy soo…time!

BOOK #6

House of Blades (Traveler’s Gate #1) by Will Wight

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

Simon can only watch, helpless, as his family is killed and his friends captured by enemy Travelers—men and women who can summon mystical powers from otherworldly Territories. To top it off, another young man from Simon’s village discovers that he’s a savior prophesied to destroy evil and save the realm.

Prophecy has nothing to say about Simon. He has no special powers, no magical weapons, and no guarantee that he’ll survive. But he sets off anyway, alone, to gain the power he needs to oppose the Travelers and topple their ruthless Overlord. It may not be his destiny, but Simon’s determined to rescue his fellow villagers from certain death.

Because who cares about prophecy, really?

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Again, a cracking blurb/synopsis, so that has me interested.
  • Also, I’m really keen to see the complete opposite of the standard heres journey vibes.

BOOK #7

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • This is being cut on a technicality.
  • I went through a phase of adding whole series’ to my TBR without even reading the first or second book, so throughout this I am going to delete any book that is like that. So while I read Caraval and enjoyed it, I haven’t read book two so I will remove book three and add it if I read book two. Feel me?

BOOK #8

Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1) by Nina Varela

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made. 
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father. 

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • Hmmmm, this book just doesn’t take my fancy. I have read the whole revenge romance story way to many times in the past and while this is rated highly by a few people I follow I just don’t feel anything towards it. Nothing makes me want to read it.

BOOK #9

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

TWO GODS-ONE CHANCE FOR MANKIND

In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all…

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I actually remember adding this to the TBR! I saw the cover and was like mmmmm that looks cool, then I read the blurb and I was caught by the idea of a setting in Victorian London, and Whitechapel no less. After reading the blurb again I definitely feel like I would click the good ole ‘to read’ button so yahoo…Imma keep it.

BOOK #10

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) by Samantha Young

Goodreads Link

Date Added: June 2019

Synopsis:

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul. 

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • So, I still read romance novels, don’t judge me they are my chick flicks of the book world. I always enjoy them and they work really well when I want a little break from longer adult fantasy books.
  • Saying that I remember adding this book, I had read my first romance novel and really enjoyed it so I looked up a few of what many posts deemed the better romances and this was on it. Now, I have read a few romances and I know what I like and it very rarely falls in contemporary romance. I still need the fantasy element, a crime element or a paranormal setting and this book has none of that.

There it is! So, this week I have cut 4 books and kept 6.

So my TBR is currently sitting strong still at 536, it is still a big ass list but we are getting rid of a few each week. Who knows one day it might be manageable?

Yeah, my thought too


THANK YOU FOR READING FOLKS! HAVE A GREAT DAY


BOOK REVIEW | WE ARE THE DEAD BY MIKE SHACKLE

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

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

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

A few facts about We Are The Dead:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

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

Review:

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

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

On to the full review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

BUY THE HARDBACK RATING

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

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

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK TOUR | FROZEN RAGE BY Steve McHugh

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

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

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

Firstly, the giveaway…

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

A few facts about Frozen Rage:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

Review:

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

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

On to the full review…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, the ending….pretty fucking epic!!

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

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

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

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

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


About Steve …

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

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

Ways to get in touch with Steve…

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon |

Thank you for reading!


BOOK 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 NON-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 😀