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

Hello, Bookish Folk!

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

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

A few facts about this book:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

Audible.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

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

The Audiobook…

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

On to the full review…

Evan Winter has done it again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


THE RANKS: 

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

Easy. Easy. Easy…BUY THE HARDBACK!

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


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


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

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

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

A few facts about The Rage of Dragons:

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

Synopsis:

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!