BOOK REVIEW | THE HOBBIT BY J. R. R. TOLKIEN & NARRATED BY ANDY SERKIS

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

Today I will be posting my review of Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’. Firstly, I would like to say this book has been one of my favourite books for a long time and will continue to be so. It probably, to many, doesn’t stand up to the modern day but this book will forever have a place in my bookish soul.

A few facts about .:

  • Title: The Hobbit
  • Author: J. R. R Tolkien
  • Series: Standalone
  • Published by  Harper Collins
  • Pages: 322
  • Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure.

Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Although quite reluctant to take part in this quest, Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar! 

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • A classical fantasy tale;
  • Reluctant hero;
  • Dragons;
  • Middle Earth;
  • A charming adventure; and
  • A fun read.

On to the full review…

As I have said before I have always loved The Hobbit, it is one of my favourite books!It is captivating, fun and an epic tale of adventure and friendship. There is little I can say that has not already been said my the masses so i’m expecting this review tone quite short.

First off, as I reread this by way of the Audiobook I am going to say a few things about that…

ANDY SERKIS IS FREAKING AMAZING!

I haven’t listened to the other narration and never will, many I know have said it is beyond drab and utterly boring. Which is not what this book deserves, this book deserves to be told by a super talented narrator. Thankfully, Andy Serkis is just that!

Serkis does not disappoint he is an utterly engaging narrator, each voice and character is unique and he brought a new and fresh breath of life to this old gem for me!

In terms of the book itself it is set in a breathtaking world and filled with loveable characters. I always remember the birds of old in this book, the listening thrush and the old truthful bird who gathers the other Dwarves for Thorin. All these little details fill the world and add to the lore and history of these stunning lands.

Bilbo is an utter joy to read, his dry sense of humour mixed with his longing for home is pure gold. I love how Bilbo develops in this tale and creates lifelong relationships. The dwarves are also a great bunch to journey with and obviously Gandalf is brilliant. I love the old wizard as it is because I LOVE Lord of the Rings but seeing him in this book and what seemed like a little grumpier was great!

I feel like this is quite a well paced book, I didn’t feel overwhelmed much by heaving descriptions and found that the story was continuously moving, I probably couldn’t describe this a fast paced book but it didn’t feel like a slog to me.

I will say reading this book again makes me truly dislike the movies. I wasn’t overly impressed with them in the first case but now remembering how much they missed and changed…just urghhh. There was no need.

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 personally would buy The Hobbit in hardback, I love this book along with Lord of the Rings. I have the stunning leather-bound editions and have every intention of buying the newest illustrated edition too!!

  • This book has and forever will hold special place in my heart, I loved it when I first read it and I adore Middle Earth.
  • I’m well aware someone who hasn’t read it before may feel it to be childish and not modern, but it isn’t a modern book so its not going to be.

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE THIEF WHO SPAT IN LUCK’S GOOD EYE BY Michael McClung

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

Today we have a review of Micheal McClung’s second book of the Amra Thety’s Series and it is another utterly enjoyable book.

A few facts about The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye:

  • Title: The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye
  • Author: Michael McClung
  • Series: Amra Thetys (Book Two)
  • Published by Mr McClung
  • Pages: 202

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Amra is a thief with morals—she won’t steal from anyone poorer than she is. Fortunately, anybody that poor generally doesn’t have much worth stealing! Holgren is a mage with a distaste for magic and a soul bartered away to dark powers. Together they embark on a quest for the fabled city of Thagoth, where the secret of immortality is rumored to be hidden.

But Amra and Holgren aren’t the only ones after the secret. Many others seek to utilize the hidden magic for their own twisted ends. And waiting in the ruined city with dark plans for the world are the twin gods Tha-Agoth and Athagos, a brother and sister whose illicit passion is as destructive and vengeful as they are. 

Now, as potent sorceries clash in a violent struggle for dominion over all that lives, Amra and Holgren face a choice between the unthinkable and the unbearable—with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. . . .

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye:

  • A feel good book;
  • Meddling gods;
  • A fast paced adventure;
  • Good Vs Evil;
  • Humour; and
  • AMRA, the witty, slightly prickly, honourable and utterly compelling thief!

On to the full review…

This is such a good second book to Amra’s story, yes that is correct Michael McClung has done it again he has given us the utterly compelling, slightly prickly and remarkably honourable thief Amra! I think I am with the many here in that these books are such fun and its mainly down to Amra. I think I would go as far as to say she is one of my all time favourite characters. I have read many books who have tried and failed to create their own version of Amra but they never quite catch the right balance so when you find a character like Amra you have to keep hold of her and not let go.

I’m with Amra to the end guys, that’s right I will get through all of these books. Promise.

And now I can add Holgren to the list! I really liked Holgren in the first book, and I wasn’t let down with this instalment. I still want to know more about him but this instalment was a nice taste of that pie, it didn’t give too much away, but kept in line with what we know of his character. Which isn’t all that much but I know we are yet to see all of Holgren.

This book is a little bit mare serious than book one in the sense that there is a lot more at stake here, relationships begin to develop and the characters are up against seemingly impossible odds. The whole story is much more ambitious as Amra and Holgren leave the confines of Lucernis and head to a ruined and long forgotten city of Thagoth.

I loved the injection of even more fantasy in this book, McClung has given us sorcery kings and monsters that only the deepest darkest parts of the night could conjure. Not only that but we get to see a little bit more of this worlds history and lore through the brief and enjoyable snippets of a gods POV.

McClung also, once again, manages to give you so much in 200 odd pages without overbearing you. I am constantly amazed at his ability to expand on this world, and with a good degree of detail too, yet it does not clog up huge portions of this books.

I really, enjoyed this book and I am excited to see the what the other instalments bring.

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 am happy to say The Thief Who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye is one I would put in the BUY THE PAPERBACK rank!

  • It is a book I know I can just pick up during a slump and enjoy regardless.
  • I will read this again, along with the other books of this series and It will be really cool when I have the whole series sitting proud on my shelves.
  • This book is a little pricey for a shorter book, especially when the eBook is so cheap but honestly it is worth it just on the fact that Amra is amazing nevermind the writing, the world, the humour and everything else. I tend to buy these books here and there, I have the first three and will slowly get them all.

Sound good? I can confirm it is! If you want to pick up your own copy just head to Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


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!


Book Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

Welcome! Today it is my turn to follow in the footsteps of some incredible bloggers on the Kings and Daemons Book Tour hosted by the amazing Storytellers on Tour. It is day five and my turn to gush about this gem of a book.

For full details about this tour then head on over to the Storytellers on Tour Book Tour Page.

Firstly, the giveaway…

Click on the picture above for a chance to win one of five paperback copies of the brilliant Kings and Daemons! Ends in three days!

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

  • Title: Kings and Daemons
  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and The Cursed (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Mr Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 416

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

Review:

I really bloody enjoyed this book!

Kings and Daemons is Marcus Lee’s debut novel and the first in the series, I loved it and I am excited to read the next book in the series.

As I said on my Twitter and Goodreads update I truly loved Marcus’ writing, it read perfectly to me, and by perfectly I mean it is exactly the tone and style of writing I adore in fantasy. It made me feel like I was reliving a tale told by someone who knew the characters and witnessed the story unravel. 

I really enjoyed my time in the world, it was a dark and punishing world with a history as bloody and harsh as it’s present. Really early on it the book, when we hear a little of Kalas’ history, I was thinking give me that book too! I wanted to know more and more and could have read about the previous wars and beauties of the Ember Kingdom for longer and that’s saying something! For this not to come off as an unwanted info dump is a feat all in its self. These glimpses into the characters and the worlds history were utterly enjoyable.

Spoiled vegetables in the fields, dead or dying fish in the rivers, the whole land was teetering on a knife-edge.

Marcus really managed to make the world something in its own right, yes the witch king was an epic villain and always the root cause of it, but the world was almost a character unto its self, it was so evil and utterly corrupted. People were taught to relish in bloodshed and revel in the gore of war and death, it was so corruptive you saw glimpses of it’s corruption even in your ’good’ characters. 

His dreams, full of killing and bloodshed, he would once have considered nightmares, had shown him his destiny in all its blood-drenched glory.

Throughout we see glimpses of quite a few characters in Kings and Daemons, I’m going to say this is third-person omniscient because the narrator knows all the characters and their inner thoughts not just our leads, but I could be wrong. As I was saying, you see into other people’s minds in between our main characters. This is done brilliantly, I enjoyed the breaks in main character pov’s and found that they really added to the story and the scenes. In some cases it showed the awe of someone in response to one of our leads actions or the disgust. It is done fluidly and does not come across as disjointed or clunky. 

Maya is one of our main characters and I found I quite liked the nimble-footed little hunter, at one point she says something a little flirtatious and I was a shocked and giddy at it, as was who it was said too, because I was like oh hello new playful Maya. Then the nitpicker in me thought is that really in character for her and it was, because all her life she had been told to stay away and keep to herself, play herself down whereas now she was in the company of folk whole knew her so she had nothing to hide and could be her true, playful and nature-loving self. 

Mmmm, and the grey hair! You know I love this, I mean I named my dog Rogue (after the x-men and not rogue one star wars) so I was digging this little detail. 

Kalas was also quite an intriguing fellow, I adored his history and thoroughly enjoyed reading of it. Kalas was at sometimes infallible though, there didn’t seem to be any risk to him. I would have liked to have seen more go wrong for him, or at least provide a few wee hiccups in his journey. Though saying this I don’t think this will be an issue in the next book!

From there, chaos reigned. But inside the chaos, as men ran forward, swords clashed, blood flew and screams shattered the afternoon air, there danced the daemon, moving fluidly, every blow deadly, men falling behind him like leaves from a tree.

Rakan was a great character too, I actually liked him from the start despite his horrible nature. Something about him just seemed redeemable and to see his character grow and develop was an absolute treat.

Taran was a joy to read too and I thoroughly enjoyed the blossoming relationship between him and Maya. 

His life which was hardly gifted by the gods, was now certainly cursed.

And. Don’t judge me. I like the Witch-King, its almost as if by calling him by his given name I feel more understanding towards him. He didn’t have a great start and was pushed to some degree in the direction he took. Don’t get me wrong he continued in that direction with a ruthless brutality but I still kind of like the guy. It is understandable how he masterfully manipulates those around him perfectly, by knowing his soldiers and gifting them his attention and actual gifts! Heck, he manipulated me into kind of liking him! Thats how well written his character is. Marcus managed to create a brilliant cast of characters who are all fun and unique.

Marcus takes you on a great journey with his plot and his writing, I love the burst of colour when Maya works her magic and his descriptions of such create such vivid imagery. The plot is filled with many of the aspects I love from fantasy and constantly had me wanting to read more. We are treated to dark fantasy elements, a natural feeling and stunningly written romance and your classic fantasy elements. 

I’d rather die fighting next to you, than live without you. Don’t ask me to go again. I won’t.‘

The magic in this book is satisfying to read, I love that it always comes with a cost and Marcus does a brilliant job at slowly showing you the rules of said magic. Without saying much I am really excited to see the costs of said magic for some of the characters, we find a few out in this book but I expect we may find out some others in the later books too.

This book is really good, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series, it was a super easy read and you will find yourself reading and reading and reading.


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


What Marcus had to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books and also other version of his book cover.

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook 😉

Thank you for reading!


What’s New To My Kindle?

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

Here we go…

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Add Them To Your Goodreads!

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Add This To Your Goodreads!

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Vultures by Luke Tarzian

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Blood-Tainted Winter by T L Greylock

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Wildfire Cycle by D. P Woolliscroft

Add These To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

You should give them a try!

#SelfPub

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

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

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

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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The Path of Flames By Phil Tucker

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang

My Thoughts On This Book? This book is just, wow. I would say I have no words but that’s a lie! I could praise this book all year round. This is easily one of the best books I have read this year, I think it is second 🤷‍♀️ quickly thinking what I have read this year. I read this initially on Kindle Unlimited but have a physical copy ordered!

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?

High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface. 

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Kingshold By D. P Woolliscroft

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

Golems are built for war and little else. In centuries past, they were a terrifying staple of the battlefield. Empires were conquered on the backs of golems. Now, time and fear have whittled their kind down to a precious few, kept only by kings and warlords.

Task of Wind-Cut is one such machine of war.

Task was built to kill. Built to win. Thousands have died at his stone hands. He cared once, perhaps, but far too many years have passed and too much blood has been spilled. Task has become numb to the chaos he wreaks for his masters. A slave to the spells that bind him.

Now, Task has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund is in the grip of civil war, tearing itself in two over coin and crown. This time, Task will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath his formidable stone, Task longs for change. For an end to this cycle of warfare. For proof of light and good amongst the foul darkness of humanity and war. It will take the mind of an unusual stable-girl to change his.

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Spit and Song By Travis M. Riddle

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

How hard could it really be? 

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


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.


Book Review: Wrath by John Gwynne

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Wrath:

  • Title: Wrath
  • Author: John Gwynne
  • Series: The Faithful and the Fallen Series (Book Four)
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 720

Synopsis:

Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasures are in his possession. And together with Calidus and his ally Queen Rhin, Nathair will do anything to obtain the remaining Treasures. With all seven under his command, he can open a portal to the Otherworld. Then Asroth and his demon-horde will finally break into the Banished Lands and become flesh.

Meanwhile Corban has been taken prisoner by the Jotun, warrior giants who ride their enormous bears into battle. His warband scattered, Corban must make new allies if he hopes to survive. But can he bond with competing factions of warlike giants? Somehow he must, if he’s to counter the threat Nathair represents.

His life hangs in the balance – and with it, the fate of the Banished Lands.

(Goodreads)

Review:

What a treasure this series has been to read, and I can safely say without a single doubt that it will be the same when I read it again. 

Five stars do not come close to rating these books. Starting with Malice, all the way to Wrath John Gwynne has continuously improved each book. Which is really hard because Malice was amazing, so to keep getting better and better each book is just monumental.

When I read a book, I jot down the things that spring to mind while reading, and no lie every time I start a new bullet point I always start it with ’one thing I have noted…’ and I don’t know why because there is never just one thing of note, especially not with the Faithful and the Fallen Books.

So one thing I have noted 😉 (I’m sorry I couldn’t help it) throughout this series is the POV structure, albeit a pretty menial thing in the grand scale of things, but it is something I really appreciated. At times of battle Gwynne sometimes has it that the POV’s jumps between two key players while not seeming disjointed or clunky. Gwynne also gives us insights into some of the less than savoury characters, though they are never too long and are just enough to remind you of that persons plans and role in the inevitable betrayals, he manages to ignite the spark of hatred for them and their horrible deeds and wicked ways. It’s bloody marvellous. 

In every book I have read of this series I have found something more, be it about the plot or the writing or the characters. It never stops growing. Gwynne was able to make these books feel personal, the way he writes is filled with emotion even when describing a bright sun in a sheer sky that has no warmth. It is utterly compelling and I can not praise him enough. 

As many reviewers have said previously this book, along with the others, doesn’t take fantasy in a new direction and uses many of the classic tropes found in this genre but the way in which John Gwynne writes these is so refreshingly creative. During Wrath there are moments when you truly see the diversity of everyone involved, instead of having your typical band of races (elf, dwarf, man, wizard, etc) it has the likes of a former slave, a rebel queen, a loyal to the bone shieldman, a tired and beaten warrior, a sister, a brother in arms and so much more. It is nice to see the things that became tropes of the genre reimagined a little. 

I enjoyed everything about Wrath, at no point does it feel slow, at no point did I want to skip a character POV, and at no point did the plot fall flat, literally these books are perfection. The villains are all as well crafted as the hero’s and as we travel through the Banished Lands you experience everything.

Wrath is such an epic and brilliant conclusion to the Faithful and the Fallen Series, and it holds nothing back…not even the heartache. I cried. I actually cried. My Sisters Keeper, Marley and Me and every soppy ass film you can think of did not pierce this stone heart of mine, and this book broke me. I CRIED! I never cry.

Gwynne wraps everything up in Wrath, and in the most satisfying of ways. I loved where the characters went, with nobody ending in a way that felt like it should have ended in a differently, there were no grand gestures that the characters wouldn’t have ever done to dress it up, each ending fell in line with what the character you grew to know and love would have done.  Honestly,  the idea of the school made me want to read the other books in the banished lands just to see how it went! 

I am genuinely saddened to have finished this series, thank you John Gwynne for creating such an epic masterpiece that has done what no other book has managed! 


Book Review: Ruin by John Gwynne

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Ruin:

  • Title: Ruin
  • Author: John Gwynne
  • Series: The Faithful and the Fallen Series (Book Three)
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 768

Synopsis:

The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. He has choices to make, choices that will determine the fate of the Banished Lands.

Elsewhere the flame of resistance is growing – Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Here he will witness the birth of a rebellion in Nathair’s own realm.

Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. He has suffered, lost loved ones, sought only safety from the darkness. But he will run no more. He has seen the face of evil and he has set his will to fight it. The question is, how? With a disparate band gathered about him – his family, friends, giants, fanatical warriors, an angel and a talking crow he begins the journey to Drassil, the fabled fortress hidden deep in the heart of Forn Forest. For in Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun. 

(Goodreads)

Review:

Well, shit. John Gwynne does not mess around with this instalment.

In relation to the plot of Ruin and its progression, Gwynne does amazing; we see so SOOO much more in this instalment and we see a lot of things from the previous book brought out into the open.

There are so many amazing scenes in this book, I found no complaints about the pace this book sets and it is an incredible continuation to this series again improving upon the other books.

I have actually read Wrath at the time of writing this and still can’t comprehend how to type up a review for it. I couldn’t help but read it seconds after completing Ruin, so for everyone who actually had to wait between books after that ending…I am so sorry.

As a member of my buddy read said, this book is very aptly named.

In Ruin you see more battles and more loss, but with each battle John Gwynne manages to fill it with tension. He so brilliantly raises the stakes each time and no battle seems repetitive. As we know, having read up to this point, John Gwynne does not shy away from killing characters. Now, some may dislike this and love the hero bubble that many authors wrap their characters in, but without this cut throat promise of death you would not feel the level of fear, adrenaline, courage or bravery each individual character goes through. 

As with the other books of this series with each one we see more character POV’s but not one of them is boring, each time you see a change of name you a new wave of excitement comes forth from where this person and their merry band are, what they are doing and who they will meet. 

When you thought you knew the characters and their personalities John Gwynne makes you love them even more. His characters are constantly growing both individually and together. Bonds of friends and paths deepening. Dath and Farell were a constant source of laughter for me with their mutterings in tense moments and insistance in calling the Seren Disglair seven disgraced instead. 

‘It’s not as simple as that,’ Meical said. ‘To be destroyed, the Treasures must all be gathered together.’

‘There’s always a catch with these things,’ Dath muttered. Coralen punched his shoulder.

As well Tahir and his bloody mum 😂 I tell you his mam said a lot, but these are all things that just add to these characters, making them real giving more meaning to their relationships. 

As with the other books of this series with each one we see more character POV’s but not one of them is boring, each time you see a change of name you a new wave of excitement comes forth from where this person and their merry band are, what they are doing and who they will meet. 

I will say it again, I have never cared for characters like the way these books make you before, and I would be surprised if I ever will from anyone other than John Gwynne. He is an absolute master.

“Still, can’t change the truth of things. Have t’bend with it. Better’n breaking.”


Review: Valour by John Gwynne

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Valour:

  • Title: Valour
  • Author: John Gwynne
  • Series: The Faithful and the Fallen Series (Book Two)
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 669

I read Valour in paperback, but gods do I wish i had this beauty in hardcover!

Synopsis:

The Banished Lands are torn by war as the army of High King Nathair sweeps the realm challenging all who oppose his holy crusade. Allied with the manipulative Queen Rhin of Cambren, there are few who can stand against him. But Rhin is playing her own games and has her eyes on a far greater prize . . .

Left for dead – her kin have fled and her country is overrun with enemies – Cywen fights to survive. But any chance of escape is futile once Nathair and his disquieting advisor Calidus realize who she is. They have no intention of letting such a prize slip from their grasp. For she may be their one chance at killing the biggest threat to their power. 

Meanwhile, the young warrior Corban flees from his conquered homeland with his exiled companions, heading for the only place that may offer them sanctuary. But to get there they must travel through Cambren, avoiding warbands, giants and the vicious wolven of the mountains. And all the while Corban struggles to become the man that everyone believes him to be – the Bright Star and saviour of the Banished Lands. 

Embroiled in struggles for power and survival, the mortal world is unaware of the greatest threat of all. In the Otherworld, dark forces scheme to bring a host of the Fallen into the world of flesh to end the war with the Faithful, once and for all. 

(Goodreads)

Review:

If you were an absolute rockstar and read my review of Malice you will know that I enjoyed it immensely. As with Malice, this is probably going to heavy on the gushing and low on the critique. Ahhhh, who am I kidding? I found no faults with this book. Valour is the second book in The Faithful and the Fallen Series, and it was AMAZING! 

In my Malice review I said this series was likely to be my favourite one, and I can say that I still firmly stand by that statement.

John Gwynne does not disappoint, picking up pretty much straight after the ending of Malice, we plunge back into the world that is The Banished Lands. John Gwynne’s incredible writing style remains true in Valour, as he continues to wow with his intricate weaving of facts and simple but profound writing style.

Having read Malice and understanding the level of sly manoeuvrings and betrayals of its characters I was actually able to pick up more little hints of what was to come in this instalment. Now, you might think that a bad thing but I assure it wasn’t. Gwynne did this in such a way that you don’t necessarily notice the first breadcrumb or so, but then maybe three of four down the line something clicks and immediately you are itching to read more to get to what you think know will happen. Simple as these bread crumbs are they give you a whisper of hope, a chance that someone may realise the errors of their ways or a character might just make some choices you wanted and not follow in blind faith! Ohh, and that person you think I’m referring to you are probably wrong. He isn’t that obvious, these breadcrumbs are so finely woven and seamlessly blended you almost miss them. And that my friends is the magic of John Gwynne’s writing.

In Malice we saw a low magic system, so it was nice to see the elemental magic we were introduced to expanded further in Valour. Gwynne better explains the rules of the magic and we see it’s use a little bit more. 

In every book you read there is always a drive to reach the conclusion of the story, a need to finish it and see how it all ends. That need still stands with Valour, but at the same time you are so invested in the smaller things happening to each of the characters own individual stories and relationships. Upon finishing valour I still felt utterly satisfied,  much happens in Valour and Gwynne made it that I wasn’t chasing the end of the greater story but grasping the pages to conclude the smaller plot lines making this book utterly enjoyable.

Gwynne furthers the bonds of brotherhood in Valour, more so than in Malice. I particularly liked the blossoming relationship between Camlin and Dath. Corban also began to show greater levels of camaraderie, not that it wasn’t present in book one, it certainly was especially with his band of friends but Gwynne develops this even more to brother and sisters in arms, bound by the harrowing events of book one and book two.

I also found Valour to be diverse in it’s conflict. In more than one way, as with Malice we saw different levels of good vs evil, some being the greater war, others personal fueds and also that between kings and queens. Gwynne does not fail to keep this diversity in Valour. As a lover of all things military and battle-related I was happy to see that Gwynne treats you to guerrilla warfare, shield walls, magical and monstrous battles between giant and wolven and so much more. He does not fail to mix things up. I also enjoyed seeing the different aspects of a single battle. It was nice to see Corban not fighting but helping Brina in the medical wing at one point.

The plot in Valour is definitely a little darker than Malice, but it fits, we get a deeper look at the prophecy and those who will inevitably play a role in it. The pace is a lot quicker than Malice and things are heating up more and more. This book is amazing, and dare I say more enjoyable than Malice, and if that keeps and these books keep getting better then that’s freaking brilliant!