BOOK REVIEW | LEGACY OF ASH BY MATTHEW WARD & NARRATED BY SUZANNAH HAMPTON

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

I have been really bad with the blog this week, I didn’t post my feature Keep It Or Cut It because I had a review to post and I was so busy on Sunday I didn’t manage to do my Sundays Seven post either! So, yes, this week I have been a massive let down!

So, before I go back to work tomorrow I thought that tonight I would get another review written up and out there! Thus, I will be sharing with you my review of Matthew Ward’s book Legacy of Ash, as the title of this post suggests.

Annnnd I have just realise how pointless these little paragraphs are because people definitely read the title and don’t need to be told twice! Oh well…

I picked Legacy of Ash up in a Kindle deal but I pretty much listened to it all via audiobook after listening to a sample of Hampton’s lovely narration.

A few facts about Legacy of Ash:

  • Title: Legacy of Ash
  • Author: Matthew Ward
  • Narrated By: Suzannah Hampton
  • Series: Legacy Trilogy (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit/Hatchette Audio UK
  • Pages: 800
  • Narration Length: 28 hrs 34 mins

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Legacy of Ash is an unmissable fantasy debut–an epic tale of intrigue and revolution, soldiers and assassins, ancient magic and the eternal clash of empires.

A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined. 

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Legacy of Ash :

  • A BIG book that is huge in scope;
  • An incredible start (I think it’s my favourite prologue EVER);
  • An EPIC and masterfully complex plot;
  • Warring peoples with a history riddled with injustice and oppression; and
  • An incredible world with even better characters.

A little bit about the narration…

This was actually a narration that I wasn’t sure about upon listening to it initially. At the point of listening to this sample, each time I had listened to a sample I had either hated it straight away or loved it. However, with this one I actually had to listen to the full five minute sample because I wasn’t sure about it. So, if you listen to the sample give it a go. I did end up grabbing the audiobook of this and absolutely loved the narration by Hampton, to the point that I searched her name to see if she had done any others.

I later did this with Steven Pacey and now he is one of my favourite listens, though that could also be heavily due to the fact I am listening to Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy! But we aren’t talking about that book. So…

On to the full review…

Firstly, I want to start, well, at the beginning. The prologue of this book is cracking. It is actually this amazing start to the novel that is the narration sample text, and it played a heavy part in my picking this up as soon as I did. I listened to it and was instantly grabbed, I read the book within the next two days I think. I wanted to know what happened after, so well done to Ward for starting a book with a marvellous hook.

If you have read any of my reviews about Anthony Ryan‘s books, you may know how much I LOVE a good start to a book. If you hook me at the start, chances are (unless you do a massive screw up) you have me right to the end and Ward succeeding in catching me and keeping me from start to finish!

Legacy of Ash is a chunky boy of a book, it is in my top ten largest books! How do I know this? I just checked on my Goodreads, it’s my tenth largest read book. I think that is pretty impressive. Though, what is even more impressive is the fact that this didn’t feel like a big book. I am always game for a big book when it is done well, as I imagine is the case is for most people, because I want as much of it I can get.

As it is with many larger books, Legacy of Ash is inevitably slower in pace but it is necessary due to this books complexity. Though, having said that don’t think you will be bored, you won’t, this book has a solid plot that keeps you interested throughout with its characters (and there are quite a few), world building and magic system. Ward also combats the common problems one finds with a slower pace through many means, one of which is his plethora of characters as each one is filled with tension and intrigue.

The plot of Legacy of Ash in its most simplest of forms is one of several waring peoples. You have Tressia, the Southshires and the Hadari all thrown in and all with way too much history between them! In the middle of this melting pot of hostility you have a host of incredible characters. Ward did an incredible job of keeping each character distinctive in their personality and their motivations. Not only that, but despite the larger scope of characters in this book, all were relevant and had a significant role to play in the overall plot of the book.

I’m not going to go into detail about each of the characters, because as I have said there are a few of them. Just know you won’t be disappointed, least of all with Viktor. Gosh darn it do I love Viktor!

As my first Matthew Ward book I was very impressed with his prose, I found that I could visualise every aspect of this story. Everything was so well written, and beautifully weaved together. The world building was done magnificently, there was not a single point that I felt that he was to descriptive or his writing was over embellished. The word building is shown through the many character interactions and thoughts, it is naturally infused into all aspects of the story. I think what was most enjoyable was that Ward almost made it is mystery, he gives you just enough and leaves you to unravel the details of these peoples history yourself but without leaving you feeling lost!

I don’t want to harp on too much so I will end it with saying that Legacy of Ash is more than just an epic fantasy, it is a magnificent story with strong themes of overcoming the past, loyalty and friendship. It has memorable and incredibly written character all of which are living in an utterly enthralling world.


You know the drill, on to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

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

You know, this is going to be a BUY THE HARDBACK! I think I put this as a 4 stars on Goodreads initially but after reviewing it and realising how much I really enjoyed this book and what a masterpiece it is, I will have to change it to FIVE!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


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

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

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

A few facts about The Rage of Dragons:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

YOU CAN GET THIS BOOK FROM…

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

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

Review:

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

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

On to the full review…

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

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

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

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

Now for the story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale. If you couldn’t tell from the above review this is a BUY THE HARDBACK rated book for me!

ANNNNNDD…

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


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE WAKING FIRE BY ANTHONY RYAN

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I am really happy to be posting my review of Anthony Ryan’s ‘The Waking Fire’. Firstly, I would like to thank Anthony for sending me a signed copy of this book! I am beyond grateful!

A few facts about .:

  • Title: The Waking Fire
  • Author: Anthony Ryan
  • Series: The Draconis Memoria (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 679

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Waking Fire :

  • A gutter fighting blood blessed thief with a little more to him than meets the eye;
  • A clever quick thinking bad ass spy;
  • Epic sea battles;
  • Bloody land battles;
  • Indiana Jones expedition vibes; and
  • DRAGONS, well drakes. 

On to the full review…

Once again Anthony opens his book with scintillating occurrences and immediately compelling characters. If Anthony Ryan does one thing for me, it is his ability to have me hooked within the first twenty pages. He did it with Blood Song and has done It with The Waking Fire. I’m writing this note here not even 30 pages in and I’ve had drakes, corporate espionage, gutter fighting, crime lords and more. Now that may cause you to wonder how an earth so much can be done in such little time and still be well written and skilful but I promise you it is! A brief hint at the power a crime boss holds by the persistent tapping of a glass in a pit fight; the witty and cleverly disguised conversation between two seemingly noble passengers; all the while expertly feeding you information as to the magic that surrounds the much sought after product; drakes blood. 

Gosh darn, do I love it when authors hint at future encounters between characters. It it such a brilliant way to keep your readers engaged and wanting more and Anthony Ryan expertly teases the reader in The Waking Fire! A brief mention of a destined location by one, followed by the plans of another to go there also and then comes the final breadcrumb that has you excited beyond belief…the common link.  And dear lord the promise that is given at the end of the book…

I’m obviously not going to say anything more but holy shit! I need to get through some other books SHARPISH so I can read book two!

I don’t even know what words to put down to describe Anthony’s writing. I mean, I know the words. Of course I know them. I know it is damned fine writing; I know it is evocative and creative; it fuels my imagination like no other; but none of it seems enough! Those phrases do not, in my opinion, do a lick of justice to the magic that happens when I read his books. 

I can also applaud Anthony even more for his character work! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each one. Lizanne, Clay, Silverpin, Braddon, Loriabeth, Skaggerhil…the list goes on but I’ll keep it short and simply tell you characters who appear inconsequential are still fantastic! On to the main POV characters though. We have Clay, Lizanne and Hillmore! All are fab and Anthony has crafted such a well balanced story with appropriate focus to each character POV.

Clay was such a nuanced and complex character, he constantly showed a new layer or a new facet of his character/personality. His growth in The Waking Fire is brilliant and seeing who he is at the end and knowing who he will meet has me beyond excited.

Lizanne was such a fresh take, in my opinion,  on the spy and assassin type character. She is an absolute bad ass but in an educated and discreet way. I really liked reading her journey, even more so when she was in the company of many of the brilliant characters within his book.

Hilemore was also a great character to read, he was almost like the calm between the storm for me, which is a silly thought because he has so much going on, there isn’t much time when the poor sod isn’t dealing with something. I really loved Hilemore by then end of the book, I liked him at the start but as it is with great characters the events they go through and they way they deal with those events and the people they meet make them so much more.

Throughout this book Anthony managed to continuously make me worried about those who inhabited the world. Now, that might not seem like a huge thing but it really is. I didn’t at any point feel like these characters were safe. Anthony does an outstanding job at showcasing the grim reality of this world. A point of particular note for me, and again it might seem insignificant to you, was when Skaggerhil was telling Clay to take it easy as headhunters are a rough crowd because the next day for them is not guaranteed. For the first time I genuinely felt the grimness of this trade, I have read many of books with mercs and hunters and other characters of some deadly occupation but never once have I truly understood these people. That they live, albeit wildly, on the days they have relative safety in a local town!

Oh the battles, the battles guys! They were such an epic thrill. Both at sea and on land Anthony has you turning page after page. 

I truly loved the setting of this book too, it reminded me of so much and was a refreshing move away from the often used medieval settings. I’m not sure if I am correct in thinking this, but to me, it very much felt like the whaling times in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s with big shipping companies going off on expeditions and the remnants of native tribes and islanders still fighting companies trying to establish control over areas and creating settlements.

The Waking Fire tells such a story, with so much depth and creativity it is an utter thrill to read! It is a great quest narrative, which is why I say it has Indian Jones vibes. There is both calm moments and epic battles as is expected with a quest narrative, but even the calmer times move something forward despite this being a near 700 page book I wouldn’t remove any of it, none felt like filler and everything had a point!

This book is incredible guys, so you know…Go pick it up!


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. The Waking Fire is BUY THE HARDBACK, bloody hell this is a book I would absolutely love to see have an illustrated edition!

  • THE COVER! Goodness the cover of this book is amazing I love it and to have it in hardback would be brilliant.
  • THE STORY
  • THE CHARACTER
  • EVERYTHING

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE DOORS OF EDEN BY ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Good Morning Bookish Folk!

Today I will be posting my review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Doors of Eden’. Firstly, I would like to thank Macmillan for approving my NetGalley request for a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

A few facts about .:

  • Title: The Doors of Eden
  • Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Series: Standalone
  • Published by Macmillan (Macmillan audio UK)
  • Narration Length: 18 Hours 3 Minutes 

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Lee’s best friend went missing on Bodmin Moor, four years ago. She and Mal were chasing rumours of monsters when they found something all too real. Now Mal is back, but where has she been, and who is she working for?

When government physicist Kay Amal Khan is attacked, the security services investigate. This leads MI5’s Julian Sabreur deep into terrifying new territory, where he clashes with mysterious agents of an unknown power ­who may or may not be human. And Julian’s only clue is some grainy footage ­– showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.

Khan’s extradimensional research was purely theoretical, until she found cracks between our world and countless others. Parallel Earths where monsters live. These cracks are getting wider every day, so who knows what might creep through? Or what will happen when those walls finally come crashing down…

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • Multiple POV’s;
  • Parallel worlds and Portals;
  • Intrigue; and 
  • LGBT.

On to the full review…

As I said above, I listened to this via audiobook so I feel it’s only right to say a few things about that…

This is narrated by Sophie Aldred, and I am super thankful to her for providing me with, not only, my first ever audiobook but one I could actually listen to!

I requested this on NetGalley thinking I wasn’t going to lose out on my hard earned cash if I hated it and I would just look into getting the book, thankfully this wasn’t needed as Aldred is a great narrator for first-time listeners. She isn’t drab, isn’t robotic and tells you the story quite nicely!

She also sounds good with the speed knocked up a wee bit, because let’s be honest you can nearly always read a book quicker than the bloody audiobooks and that can be off putting sometimes because man they are loonnggggggg. So that helped and she still didn’t sounds like an old school sat nav telling me to go left of dreary lane! 

So, that’s all I really know what to say in that respect. The audio is easy listening, the story is told in a great way and it’s perfect for a newb to audiobooks. 

So onto this pretty cracking book! The Doors of Eden is a stunning looking book, I mean its cover is just…amazing and is an even better story.

This is my first Adrian Tchaikovsky book and it won’t be my last, in fact I recently picked up his ’Empire in Black and Gold’ which is on sale this month (here’s my post with this months kindle deals). 

This book had me from the start, it really didn’t take me long to get into this. The beast of Bodmin Moor has always been a love of mine, mainly due to the stupid tales my dad told me as a kid to scare me, so when Lee and Mal we’re off to Bodmin Moor in search of a mysterious creature I was already eager to keep listening. 

Now this story is a long one, and took quite a few sittings of listening to this monster but don’t let that put you off it is really worth it. To the point that I’m going to try pick up a copy next payday! Which form I wish to purchase will be said later 🤫🤫

The Doors of Eden is such a thrilling and gripping read, it is one of those books you think about when your not reading and a book you are eager to return to. 

This book is very varied to say the least, with a plethora of different elements all beautifully incorporated into it’s story and my gosh you can tell just how much research went into it. Each parallel universe is so well constructed, its amazing to see not one world being made with such skill but many! Each aspect from the biology to the evolutionary elements and dinosaurs is understandable despite some scientific and technical terminology. It’s also seems to span quite a few genres due to this, though I would just bag it as sci-fi but believe me it can be broken down even further and across numerous subgenres and genres. 

Adrian Tchaikovsky is supremely talented to have, one, thought up this book, and two,  actually executed it so brilliantly. This is a book rich in detail and one you have to pay attention to so it is definitely one you should take your time with but it is such a ride and has a fantastic conclusion.

All the characters in this story are great, but the potty mouth Kay has to be my favorite. 

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. I want this book in HARDBACK!

  • This was a very close bag it in paperback rank, but I really enjoyed this book and i’ll be honest the cover absolutely projected this into BUY IT IN HARDBACK!

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!