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 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!


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 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 WORLDS I WOULD LOVE TO LIVE IN…

It was a day of Skyrim a few days ago, and while I was playing I randomly said “I wish I lived in Skyrim“. Safe to say, the other half just looked at me. Now, he loves the game as well but couldn’t comprehend why I would want to live somewhere I can die in so many horrible ass ways. In any case we ended up having a long ass discussion about what game-worlds would be cool to live in. Well, it got me thinking what fantasy worlds from books I would love to live in.

So here it is, the fantasy worlds amazing authors have created that I would definitely live in. In no particular order…

THE BANISHED LANDS:

Honestly, this should come as no surprise! The amazingly talented John Gwynne is the creator behind The Banished Lands. The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone are set in the Banished Lands and its EPIC!

The Banished Lands is a place of such diversity, and is filled with such a deep history! Those who survive in the Banished Lands are tough hardy folk who stand together in times of hardship, either in the impenetrable shield wall or on the back of a finely bred warhorse. This world is not for the weak of heart!

This is a world where you can triumph, where you honour the men beside you and you fight for the Bright Star! Yes, angels (Ben-Elim) and demon (Kadoshim) war with each other, and some really shady folk live here but, hey, you get than anywhere.

I loved this world and all who fill it so I can’t not put this on the list!

And just because this is an awesome music composition to accompany the Banished Lands…

MIDDLE EARTH:

Ahhh, Middle Earth. Most who read fantasy will have probably expected this. I love Lord of the Rings, so it was inevitable that Middle Earth made the cut.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

–Bilbo Baggins

Middle Earth is a fantasy world which is rich in detail and so utterly complete. I always say that it wouldn’t surprise me if one day in the future people believe Tolkien’s works to be our history. There is just that much detail. I mean he created a bloody language.

Tolkien wove an incredible world filled with numerous different legends and cultures, namely European mythologies, and then filled them with dwarves, man, elves, wizards, hobbits and more.

Anyone could find a location in Middle Earth to settle in, you could lead a simple life in Hobbiton, earn glory in the ranks of the Rohirrim in Rohan or settle in Lothlorien and enjoy the beautiful forests.

HYBORIA:

I’m pretty sure you will have heard of Hyboria, seen as thought the tales of Conan the Barbarian are huge, and by huge I mean defining, in the sword and sorcery genre.

Conan BY Niconoff for Drawing Jam #68:: Conan Published: Jan 30, 2012

Hyboria is really cool, even more so because it literally means beyond the north wind, and that is just cool. Hyboria is a magical and mythical place based off our prehistoric word. Now, you might be thinking why on Earth would you want to live in Hyboria when it has formidable monsters and out of control magic users but it is a place to plunder lost treasures and live wild! What can I say? I’m weird and love this shit.

ERILEA:

Erilea is from one of my guilty pleasure authors, the series is the Throne of Glass Books, and I love this world. It has great oceans, a pirate riddled archipelago, dessert lands filled with deadly assassins, once fertile lands of the Witch Kingdom now a wasteland and so much more.

Other amazing fantasy worlds from books, games and films are…

Some of these even I might stay clear of, I’m not sure living in Fallout’s Wasteland is ideal, so these are the other absorbing, delightful, and terrifying worlds I loved.

  • Avatar’s Pandora (Film) – Its just so damn pretty!
  • C. S. Lewis’ Narnia (Book) – We have witches, talking animals magic and mythical creatures.
  • George Lucas’ The Star Wars Galaxy (Book) – A fantastical space world with quirky and awesome droids, amazing spaceships and the Force!
  • George R. R. Martin’s Westeros (Book) – Dragons. Just, dragons!
  • Mass Effect’s Milky Way (Game) – A complex and ambitious world, and in my opinion one of sci-fi’s BEST!
  • SKYRIM!!
  • Fallout 4’s The Wastelands (Game) – A post-apocalyptic horror of a world filled with radioactive mutants and bandits.
  • God of War’s Nine Realms (Game) – Inspired by Norse Mythology we have Baldur, the world serpent, talking heads, Draugr and the Valkyries.