BOOK REVIEW | THE SHADOW OF WHAT WAS LOST BY JAMES ISLINGTON

Hello Everyone and welcome to my latest review!

I hope you are all doing well and have something fantastic of your own to read, but still if you haven’t read this book, I am going to try and tempt you to add it to your TBR or move it up The TBR altogether!

I figured it was about time I wrote my review for The Shadow of What Was Lost considering I am due to start book three very soon! I have read this book and book two with David from FanFiAddict and Eleni from Late Night Books in one of the best Buddy Reads!

Eleni’s Twitter & David’s Twitter.

You can find David’s review HERE.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The Shadow of What Was Lost
  • Author: James Islington
  • Series: The Licanius Trilogy (Book One)
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 704

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

OLD POWERS AWAKEN

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them – the Gifted – are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers.

As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out.

But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life – and shake the entire world.

ORDER HERE: Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Review:

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

  • A complex epic fantasy done RIGHT;
  • NAMED WEAPONS;
  • An outstanding character driven fantasy;
  • A wonderful and oh so relevant magic system; and
  • another AMAZING debut.

On to the full review…

The Shadow of What Was Lost is another book you could say I am late to the party for, I missed all the hype of its publishing originally and then missed it allover again for book two. It wasn’t until book three was making its rounds in the Book Community that I thought to move it up The TBR, and not because I didn’t want to read it because I did. It was just one of the many unknown ways in which the TBR sucks books into its void.

Anywho to the review, as you may have gathered from the fact I will be starting book three soon I enjoyed this book.

This is my first time reading the works of James Islington and I was not disappointed in the slightest, he writes in such an accessible and easy flowing way. Before you know it you have read 100 pages and you are hooked! He is also incredibly skilled at doing complex the right way, which I mention a little later on. While Islington’s writing is easy to consume it doesn’t not lack flare, and is beautifully written!

“You can put your trust in something that’s obvious, that’s measurable or predictable – but that’s not faith. Nor is believing in something that gives you no pause for doubt, no reason or desire to question. Faith is something more than that. By definition, it cannot have proof as its foundation.” 

The Shadow of What Was Lost is a fine example of an outstanding character driven fantasy, and I can confirm it has an incredible cast of characters of whom you will want to fight for, love, cry for and so much more. This book is told from several POV, we have Davian, Wirr, Asha and Caeden (who my phone ALWAYS changes to garden, so if you see it just pretend it says Caeden, yeah?)

I loved every single character of this book, I didn’t find myself getting to a certain POV chapter and wishing for another. Each POV brings you something unique to themselves and also relevant to the world, so you are always excited to read all of them. Which may sound like a silly praise but it is incredibly important to me, too often have I found I don’t like all the characters and when I get to them I think ‘ahh I will stop reading here’ because I cant really be arsed with them. So, the fact this isn’t an issue in a book of this page count makes for an incredible read.

The plot of this books is quite complex and has many intricacies, though having read Gardens of the Moon right before it I honestly didn’t feel at any point like I wasn’t following, Islington gives you the details and feeds it to you in such a captivating way, I didn’t find myself being like ‘Gahh, what is going on i’m so confused’ but more along the lines of ‘ohhh Islington you crafty devil, this now makes sense and that does but what about this mean…give me MORE’. It was fun, and wonderful and, in my eyes, how complex plots should be done. I wanted to know everything while 100% enjoying what I had received so far, I didn’t get frustrated or annoyed at it! 

Also, guys the prologue and overall start to his boo is brilliant! 

The world of Andarra is also a joy to read, Islington seamlessly shows you the world through all of his characters. The history of the world, the conflicts and key figures are all explained to you perfectly. He does not drop place names, people, wars and other historical facts at your feet like a sack of spuds but feeds it to you in an easily digestible and incredible alluring way. He gives you just enough for you to understand but also enough to have you going ‘ohhh thats great but wait what about this..?’ And so you HAVE to read on! This is in my opinion how world building should be done! Especially with epic worlds which have such a well established and fascinating history and magic in place, like Andarra does. 

The magic in this book is wonderful, it has rules and limitations and at no point felt pointless, also we have NAMED WEAPONS people, NAMED FREAKING WEAPONS. I love them, can you tell? The magic is also quite a visual one and is crucial to the plot. It impacts the world/setting, the characters, their choices and so much more so the fact that it is easy to understand and generally fun to read works brilliantly.

“Everyone has a darker nature, Caeden. Everyone. Good men fear it, and evil men embrace it.”

Honestly, this book really blew me away and I’m pretty sure it will be one of my top series’ pending book three but I’m not worried about it, the reviews so far speak for themselves! 

Also, the fact that this is a debut blows my mind, it is such a large sale epic fantasy and done so well you would think Islington had been writing for a lot longer.


THE RANKS: 

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

I rated this five stars on Goodreads and I would happily get the HARDBACK of this book! I enjoyed this immensely. I always love doing buddy reads with likeminded people because you get to theorise and gush and cry about which ever bit you are on, and it makes the reading experience so much better but even if I read this on my own I would have loved this book just as much.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS ON MY NETGALLEY TBR…

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

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

This post is about a few things this week. Not only is it seven books I am SO excited to read, but also seven book on my NetGalley TBR that I have to get and I am so excited for! So we have a degree of accountability today…but books!

My NetGalley ratio is NOT good. So, having got through many of my physical arcs I can get to my NetGalley ones and make a move on my ratio. I have some serious work to do, but I am so up for it

ON TO THE BOOKS…

SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN BY SHELLEY PARKER-CHAN

I am so excited for this book, every time I read the synopsis I nearly screw the TBR and just pick it up. I love Mongol history from its rise to its fall, it is one of the most interesting periods and then throw in the serious Mulan vibes and I am practically vibrating with excitement for this book!

She’ll change the world to survive her fate . . .

In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.

Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a re-imagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Hardback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Phoenix Extravagant BY Yoon Ha Lee

I am ashamed I haven’t read this book yet, I actually got it quite some time ago and it is still yet to be read. With its discord, need for revolution and mechanical freaking dragons I need to pull my finger out and get this book read!

Dragons. Art. Revolution.

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight… 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Northern Wrath BY Thilde Kold Holdt 

This is another one I really wish I had read already, it sounds fab and it reviewed so well. I was silly enough to let page count steer me away each time I contemplated it.

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


The Black Coast BY Mike Brooks 

Recently released this book is reviewing really well! I have read each one I have seen pop up in th book community and they all make me even more excited to read this book. I’m actually due to start it in the next few days.

The Black Coast is the start of a series filled with war-dragons, armoured knights, sea-faring raiders, dangerous magic and battle scenes.

When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have come in search of a new home. Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org

Songs of Insurrection BY J.C. Kang 

I only recently found out about this book from stalking the indie lists on Goodreads and then I saw it on NetGalley and couldn’t resist! This is another I’m due to read in the near future.

Lose yourself in this fusion of Asian and Western fantasy, which critics extol as “wonderfully opulent,” “Breathtaking,” and “Unique.”

Only the lost magic of Dragon Songs can save the world. Only an awkward girl with the perfect voice can rediscover it.

The Dragon Singers of old summoned typhoons and routed armies, liberating mankind from the orcs before fading into legend. Now, with the world again facing a new cataclysm, the power of music stirs in Kaiya, an a naïve misfit with the perfect voice.

Without a master to guide her, she must rely on Hardeep, a disgraced foreign paladin, to help awaken her latent magic. His motives might not be entirely noble. When he leads her to the fabled Dragon Scale Lute, which only a Dragon Singer can wield, it is up to Black Lotus Clan to intervene.

Because the instrument’s fell power can save the world…

Or destroy it. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited)


We Ride the Storm BY Devin Madson

I am so sooooo LATE on this one, I’m pretty sure bloody book three is due out soon! I have no excuses!

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut. 

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Ashes of the Sun BY Django Wexler

I actually have this book in physical copy too, from Goldsboro but I originally got it on NetGalley. Considering when this book came out you can imagine how shite my ratio is!

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy.
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


As usual thank you for reading another Sunday Seven!


BOOK REVIEW | COLD FROM THE NORTH BY D. W. ROSS

Hello Bookish Folk!

Today, I am reviewing the first instalment to a new self-published series by D. W. Ross, and his debut no less. A massive thank you to D. W. Ross for sending me a copy of this book I exchange for an honest review.

You can order this book through the affiliate links on the page, of which, I will earn a small commission for qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Cold From The North
  • Author: by D.W. Ross
  • Published by Self Published
  • Pages: 365

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Driven by the promise of an ancient prophecy which will bring the dark ways of an old god back to power and prominence, an army of invaders swarms Ogulf Harlsbane’s homeland slaughtering all those who oppose them.

Along with his people, Ogulf must seek refuge from this savage force. In his search of sanctuary, he is tasked with finding the one person who can put a stop to the onslaught.

Doing so will send him across lands and seas, have him and his closest friend navigate the intricacies of a civil war, and try to win the help of the princess fighting for her throne.

If he fails, darkness will prevail and the reign of the Onyxborn will begin.

ORDER HERE: Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Paperback

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • A solid debut;
  • A travelling tale that showcases a brilliant nordic/viking’esque world; and
  • A world rich in lore and an oh so interesting history.

On to the full review…

Cold From the North is a very well written debut, it has a very well built nordic inspired world and it is an enjoyable read.

As I said this is a nordic-inspired story and that made for a great world, Ross has gone to great lengths to build this world and make it feel authentic and real. It is in the little details that you get to see this, and it is woven into the plot quite well. I love nordic tales, it is a time and setting I always have fun reading and never seem to get tired of.

This book is a fairly plot driven book, and you are constantly moving forward within the story though it does lull at times and I personally would have liked more action fitting to this world, but as a first instalment it is somewhat expected. Having said that however, when the action did happen it was very well written, I loved that it felt bloody and battle-like.

I enjoyed the character’s Ross created, they were interesting and each felt worthy of your time but I would have liked more by way of character development and dialogue. I found I could go quite a while and not see a conversation, this is an utterly personal criticism though and really isn’t a huge issue, it is just some I noticed while reading.

While reading this I found myself enjoying the lessons in history of this world, I always like past tales and often think to myself, I could read a story about that!

Overall, this is a great first instalment to a series, Ross does not write like a newb and his writing is elegant and well written.


THE RANKS: 

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

BUY THE EBOOK…Despite enjoying this I had a few personal preference points that meant this would be an eBook purchase for me.


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


WHY THE LIVESHIP TRADERS BY ROBIN HOBB IS A MASTERPIECE & WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT…

Good Evening Book Friends!


So, following on from last weeks post; Why The Dragonbone Chair By Tad Williams Is A Masterpiece & Why you Should Read It, I wanted to continue with that theme . I’m going to talk about another classic Trilogy to come out of the 90s, albeit, the very late nineties!

Liveship Traders is, in my opinion, the best instalment for the Realm of the Elderlings by the phenomenal Robin Hobb. So, I’m going to give you a brief overview and then hopefully I would like to think I can inspire some readers to continue the series and just maybe help some to overcome some of the obstacles you face when dealing with a series of this magnitude. I don’t want you to miss out on this outstanding nautical masterpiece!

I think the one thing that makes this is a stand out trilogy from that era, is that you won’t find those usual tropes that would be typical from series from this era…no chosen one, no orphaned farm boy, no battle against a malevolent force, this is a very different tale and I think this is where its brilliance lies!! This a hugely character driven story.

“Hobb literally delivers flawless prose, astounding character work and technical brilliance that surpasses the likes of Sanderson!!”

An Overview

I think if you were pitching this book to someone there is every chance that they would look at you a bit mystified, there are ships made of sentient wizard wood that contains the souls of dragons that can communicate with the ships masters….You might be a bit bewildered by that statement but i’ll give you more context below that should peak your curiosity.

With this story you follow a family called the Vestrits, an old and noble family, who amongst others in Bingtown are a trading family and are privileged to own one of the limited number of ships made out of wizard wood named Vivacia, which gives them access to Rain Wilders and there elusive goods.

After the death of the head of the family, you meet Althea, who has dreamed of taking the helm of the Vivacia since she was girl. But as fate would have it, her dreams were crushed, her legacy unjustly ripped from her grasps, the Vestrit family become fragmented, betrayal, envy and greed seek to tear this once happy family apart. After senior members of the Vestrit family play their roles as pragmatic decision makers, other members of the family suffer, the young nephew and one of our main protagonists Wintrow is ripped from his studies and made to join his father Kyle Haven on a voyage to regain the Vestrits former glory and save them from oblivion. Wintrow once dreamed of a life of a scholar and a holy man, to be thrust into servitude of his ruthless father, to lead a life of suffering that no boy could even imagine possible.

Other members of the family adjust to life under harder less privileged circumstances, while the senior members of the family scrabble around trying to secure the future of their family’s interests.  What seems like a usual tale of hardships, family strife, has one major threat, which comes in the form of a pirate named Kennit whose ambition for power and unimaginable wealth leads him to have designs on the family ships Vivacia and so the story begins!!

Yes, there are dragons, sea monsters and the magical people of the Rain wilds, their history intertwines with the magic of this world, it’s at the core of the fantasy elements to this tale, there are many secrets hidden in the murky depths. You’ll get some of the most well staged battles the seven seas have ever witnessed and to be frank you’ll be like pirates of the who……

The connection between bing town and the Rain wilds is as you would expect,is the trading of exotic goods and they’re bound by and ancient covenant. The liveships are the only ships capable of traveling the to the rain wild rivers to procure those elusive goods. But you will get small doses of local politics as the old ways being forgotten….

As this is a very character driven novel I won’t do a deep dive into the characters, so not to drop spoilers.

As with most epic fantasy I’ve barely scratched the surface on the sheer scope of this story.

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Let’s talk about the character work

To begin with this is an incredibly character driven novel with some of the best character development that I have ever read within the fantasy genre. Hobb in this trilogy really writes the most captivating, relatable characters, that you form a connection with very quickly, in such depth, you’ll find yourself unable to put this book down. The majority of the characters don’t really conform to the usual stereotypes, and it can be said that there are many morally grey character’s within this series down to the plain out evil, especially our main protagonists. Other themes include morality, seeking refuge, family, class, race, gender roles and expectations, tradition and obligation. But Hobb doesn’t smash you over the head with any of these, they’re all relevant when crafting this type of character work. As the characters are so complex, you’ll find yourself second guessing their reactions as you would with a complex plot, which keeps those pages turning. The relationships within this book go from everyday to very toxic, to dark human relationships, but they are skillfully handled in a way that doesn’t tarnish your view of the series, but what they will do is provoke a strong reaction, so sensitive readers brace yourself as Hobb doesn’t dodge those more extreme scenes. So for character driven readers this will surpass your expectations like no other!!!

As I mention later on, I won’t do a deep dive with all the characters.

However I must do a special mention on the pirate King Kennit. With this character Hobb has crafted one of the most complex Villains you will ever find within the fantasy genre! You’ll be taken in by his devilish charm, inspired by his courageous efforts to liberate suffering, you’ll come to love him and loathe him, understand him and hate him for the villain he is….. You will not forget this character for as long as you live…this character work is a selling point in itself !! Could you do a character study on this one character, absolutely yes….

Why do people struggle to get to this series?

After reading people’s reactions from this series as a whole, what I have noticed is that there are some mixed reactions, which of course is what you’d expect. It does present obstacles for some to get onto the Liveship Traders.So when people approach this series, the most common qualm people have is with the final book of the Farseer Trilogy Assassins Quest and is usually why they don’t get onto Liveships! I can agree that the ending of the final book really did let the series down, in terms of how the conclusion of this book was executed. So it’s a shame for some there journey ends with the first trilogy.

Do not fret those of you that may of struggled with Farseer!! As previously mentioned Hobb literally delivers flawless prose, astounding character work and technical brilliance that surpasses the likes of Sanderson!! So step aboard and experience the masterpiece that is Live ship Traders!

It would literally be criminal to miss out on this series, because every aspect of this novel is improved upon in this series from its predecessor.

Personal note

From my perspective, regardless of those flaws, Farseer has has huge following. I personally would give it 4 ⭐ I loved it. But what I think you can take away from the Farseer Trilogy is the huge potential of Robin Hobbs character work and without question her incredible writing style. For me, like so many, I could see that potential and pushed forward and discovered a masterpiece that is The Liveship Traders.

Can I read The Liveship Traders without reading Farseer?

The answer is yes in my opinion, it may be beneficial to watch some spoiler free reviews for farseer, to get a basic understanding of the farseer world, but there aren’t strong enough connections to this series for it to be problematic. The reason for making this point, may be fairly obvious, in that, if you want to jump into this Trilogy, go ahead. Do not miss this unforgettable series!!

It is a big Trilogy, yes indeed, but once you get into this novel you won’t want to stop!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I hope I’ve inspired some of you to read it. If you have any questions, topics you’d like to discuss, you’ll find me lurking in the depths of Twitter somewhere😂

Happy Reading !!


BOOK FOUR RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 11 TO 13…

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

Hello, Fellow Gardens of the Moon Readers!

I have finished Gardens of the Moon, and WOW my brain hurts! While I followed this story quite well it still takes a lot to fully appreciate this world and everything it includes!

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.


FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE (CHAPTERS 1 TO 4) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK TWO (CHAPTERS 5 TO 7) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK THREE (CHAPTERS 8 TO 10) HERE.


WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK FOUR?

BOOK FOUR | ASSASSINS

Chapters 11 to 13.

Book Four is still in Darujhistan and we come into this book with none other than Kruppe, I LOVE Kruppe. dude is SO kooky. Kooky Kruppe is once again in a dream world and has quite a few people surrounding him this time. We have K’rul, Imass Pran Chole, the White Fox and a pregnant Rhivi woman. It’s all a little crazy but Tattersail (recently blown up) undergoes a soul-shift, the Rhivi woman births her.

Knowing Kruppe is an important player, Sorry tells Whiskeyjack who tells her to investigate him. He asks if Kruppe is a seer and the word causes Sorry some trouble (yanno because a seer liked with her to save her soul from the Shadow), she members something but isn’t sure what is happening in her head.

Sorry follows Kruppe, though not as stealthy as she thinks as Kruppe notices her, could have been the bloodied sword she carried after killing Chert? Who knows? Crokus also clocks this and knows Sorry is the murderer, as do Irilta and Meese but they say nothing.

Crokus drops Oponn’s coin in front of Sorry and she is quite happy with this as she now knows the face of the coin bearer.

In the Phoenix Inn, Rallick, Crokus and Murillio join Kruppe at their usual table, and as usual Coll is sloshed, but he says something odd he says five black dragons live in Moon’s Spawn.

Quick Ben, using his Warren to travel to the Warren of Shadow asks for an audience with Shadowthrone.

In Mammot’s study Kruppe begins to read about the chaining down and crippling of a God. It states that six dragons (five black and one red) were witness to the chaining in Moon Spawn. Confirming Coll’s drunken ramblings.

The Old Crone arrives at Baruk’s estate to tell him of what she saw (Hairlock heading towards the Gadrobi Hills and causing havoc on his way). He surmises it is heading to the Jaghut Tyrant burial location. Baruk is fairly worried about this and keeps his cards close to his chest revealing little to the Crone but the location of a Standing Stone.

Quick Ben is escorted to Shadowthrone by four Hounds, he explains to Shadowthrone he can give him the one he seeks (Hairlock). The two verbally spar for a time and it is revealed Quick Ben was a High Priest of Shadow but deviated from the path, towards the end Shadowthrone realises who he was, a chap named Delat, Shadowthrone angrily calls “shape-shifting bastard”.

Kruppe, after being summoned, arrives to see Baruk. The two discuss the Eel and his spy network. Baruk instructs Kruppe to gain intel on those seeking the Jaghut Tyrant and to take Crokus with him.

Still searching for the assassin, Rallick enters the Phoenix Inn only to be followed shortly after by the assassin (Kalam). He is ordered by Ocelot to lead him to a warehouse, on his return however Kalam is gone.

Meanwhile, the smitten Crokus decides to break back into Challice’s home to return his looted goods.

Kalam and Quick Ben follow Rallick unseen, by the aid of Quick Ben’s magic, to the warehouse to observe. Rallick knows this and tells Ocelot the same. Ocelot dismisses Rallick to deal with the assassins himself.

A demon, observing all of this these sees Ocelot and his assassins move in on the Kalam and Quick Ben. Though he (the demon) too is attacked by an assassin mage, though she doesn’t continue her assault going for her intended victims. Rallick and Ocelot seeing more than them are involved decide to get out leaving Quick Ben and Kalam.

Sorry follows Crokus to Challice’s estate, she kills a guard and waits for Crokus. She overhear Rallick shouting at Crokus and of their intended mission to the Gadrobi Hills and decides to follow them.

Kalam and Quick Ben flee but notice the demon and use it as a means to survive. The demons faces off with the remaining Tiste Andii, more Andii arrive and the demon realise she is no match agreeing to give him time to flee but nothing else.

The Tiste Andii assassins report back to Anomander Rake of their losses and battle.

Whiskeyjack brings an injured Kalam to their healer, Mallet. Kalam reports on the battle and their encounter with the Tiste Andii assassins. Whiskeyjack and Quick Ben surmise they are wiping out the assassins so that the empire cannot strike a deal with them to cull those in opposition to them.

Baruk and Anomander Rake meet, both are suspicious of each other and do not full trust each other yet. Baruk is angry Rake took it upon himself to start and assassin war.

Kruppe visits his dreamworld and K’rul explains Tattersail is well and growing at a fast rate. He also mentions Baruk has an alliance with Anomander Rake and his cabal of powerful mages. K’rul wants Kruppe of the Jaghut Tyrant and its power.


There we have it, another recap, this time for Book Four. I could not have done a recap for Gardens of the Moon as a whole, can you imagine how big it would be! TOO big. These individual books carry so much detail of places, people, guilds and alliances. It is so sooo much to get through, these could be even more detailed but then you’d likely be better just rereading the book again!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my recap and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!

Thanks,

S A M | The Book in Hand


BOOK THREE RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 8 TO 10…

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

Hello, Fellow Gardens of the Moon Readers!

I really hope you are enjoying reading Gardens of the Moon and finding it as addictive and exciting as I am. If you are struggling to remember what has happened or just need a recap then keep reading.

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.


FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE (CHAPTERS 1 TO 4) HERE.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK TWO (CHAPTERS 5 TO 7) HERE.


WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK TWO?

BOOK THREE | THE MISSION

Chapters 8 to 10.

Book Three opens with Whiskeyjack, he is surprised to see Kalam appear with a Black Moranth, the three discuss the arrival of munitions from the Green Moranth and before parting ways the Black Moranth confirms that Whiskeyjack could rely on them for assistance. The Black Moranth explained before departing that Whiskeyjack’s people have worms within it, a scourge the Moranth are skilled at clearing away.

Whiskeyjack informs his squad that they are no longer following the plan set out by the Empress Laseen but another one, one that isn’t intended on wiping the Bridgburners out.

Quick Ben initiates his Warren making contact with Hairlock, the puppet updates Quick Ben on the situation with Tattersail before whining that he was not made aware that Gods were meddling in current events. Quick Ben worries of Hairlock’s corruption and insanity due to his use of the Warren of Chaos and realising the frailty of his control over him in this state he muses on what to do about it.

Quick Ben proposes a plan (unknown to the reader at this point) to Whiskeyjack and Kalam, on they won’t like.

Over yonder, around three days away from Pale Toc the Younger is on his merry way to meet Adjunct Lorn. He comes upon the sight of several dead Malazan Marines and Jakatakan Elites. Following the trail of some survivors Toc comes up Lorn fighting with the remaining Jakatake Elites. Near overrun Toc fires off some skilled shots and Ones T’oolan (a T’lan Imass) finishes the remains Jakataken Elites.

Toc and Lorn ride to Pale.

Tattersail and Paran get up to date with each other and what has happened.

Meanwhile Toc and Lorn arrive in Pale.

Lorn meets with Dujek, they discuss current events without the interpretations of Tayschrenn, being that he will likely just talk rubbish, and Dujek explains how he isn’t pleased with Tayschrenn’s culling of the Nobels. It seems excessive for no reason. Soon Tayschrenn joins them and Dujek departs. Lorn tells Tayschrenn to leave Dujek be and Tayschrenn conveys his suspicions about Tattersail and Whiskeyjack.

Tattersail, Toc, Lorn, Dujek and Tayschrenn have a formal dinner. Upon Tattersail’s arrival Lorn recognises her as the one who killed her parents some time ago. Lorn challenges Tattersail to a duel, however Dujek is quick to calm the tension, reminding Lorn she is The Adjunct and both are executing the Empress’ wishes, and always have. Her childhood and history ceased to exist when she tooth title of Adjunct. Lorn accepts this. The topic of discussion turns to Tattersail’s encounter with the Hound and how she survived, Tattersail lies (though mixed with some truth) and seems to convince all but Toc, When Lorn asks for Toc’s thoughts on the matter he lies to Lorn saying it all sounds right. Tattersail knows Toc lied for her.

On Tattersail’s return to her quarters and Paran begins to tell her of a message from Hairlock. Paran also explains to Tattersail that he was to be Lorn’s contact in Darujhistan. Despite her anger at Paran she is able to surmise that Lorn’s plan was to indeed remove Sorry from the equation but also Whiskeyjack and his squad, hence the need for the T’lan Imass.

Lorn departs Pale joining Ones T’oolan. She decides to name him Tool.

Still in Pale, Toc and Paran meet. Both divulge what they know and surmise the same as Tattersail, that Lorn plans to kill Sorry and Whiskeyjack and his companions. Neither can abide by this and set out to catch up with Tattersail who has set off to warn Whiskeyjack of Lorn’s plans.

Tattersail, on her way to Darujhistan becomes incredible exhausted due to the use of her Warren. She continues on but is confronted by Bellurdan, he has been ordered to arrest her. The two fight and are caught in a huge conflagration.

Tool/Ones T’oolan feels a new presence being born and the opening of several Warrens.

Paran and Toc find the bodies of Bellurdan and Tattersail. Toc notices some odd tracks leading away, tracks of a child-like thing. Paran is pretty upset consider he had recently humped Tattersail and vows to stop Lorn.

Over yonder, the Old Crone feels a pull to report to a master who is not Anomander Rake. She flies to meet Caladan Brood, during which she divulges details of current events, they detail they seem to have luck on their side but the Old Crone advises them that Oponn may be involved and that their is a Coin Bearer, Brood advises he will arrange protection for the Coin Bearer.

On her return flight Crone encounters Hairlock incinerating several Ravens with his Choas as he makes his way to Darujhistan.


There we have it, another recap, this time for Book Three. Lord I swear these all end up huge regardless f how many chapter there are or how many pages are in each book!

I am currently about half way through Chapter 13 and so fast approaching Book Five! Things are getting hotter and hotter! Enjoy your reading folks.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my recap and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!

Thanks,

S A M | The Book in Hand


BOOK TWO RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 5 TO 7…

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

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE (CHAPTERS 1 TO 4) HERE.

WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK TWO?

BOOK TWO | DARUJHISTAN

Chapters 5 to 7.

Book Two opens in a new location with new timeframes, so, nope. I’m not going to try explain that…

907th Year in the Third Millennium
The Season of Fanderay in the year of the Five Tusks
Two thousand years since the birth of Darujhistan, the city

Now in Darujhistan, we have a new set of characters to journey with, and I’m not going to lie. I kinda like Kruppe. I nearly read this because I thought listening would be odd but it worked in my favour because the narration of Kruppe it brilliant.

So, first off we meet Kruppe, he is a bit of a kooky one and refers to himself in third person. Kruppe is walking in his dreamworld to an Inn. Inside the Inn are several scraggly looking folk of which he ends up chatting with. They mention the spinning coin, and the it will soon fall at the feet of a youth. Kruppe takes notes of this as he know the coin spins.

We then meet Crokus, he is mid-theft and goes on to steal a young ladies belongings.

Meanwhile on the roofs Talo, an assassin of the Assassin’s Guild, is patrolling. He is attacked and injured, hoping to turn things in his favour he sets up an ambush.

Crokus after pillaging the young ladies belongings flees over the rooftops too causing Talo to mistaken him for his attacker and fire a crossbow bolt at him. It misses, as at that moment a coin drops and Crokus bends to pick it up and then flees using the thief lines. Though he is now being pursed by the actual assassins who killed Talo. He takes cover in the Phoenix Inn. The assassins watch the Inn, meaning to kill him when he leaves, but then decide that some rumours may help in their plan and hen leave.

Circle Breaker, a spy for The Eel in Darujhistan, spies on a secretive meeting between two councilmen, Turban Orr and Feder. He then sends a missive to Baruk about said meeting. After reading the Old Crone, a Great Raven from Moon’s Spawn, arrives to give Baruk a message from Anomander Rake wanting a meeting. He agrees just as Turban Orr arrives.

Turban Orr tries to convince Baruk to remain neutral in the war with the Empire, stating all of Pale’s mages were killed. Baruk disputes this and refuses to take a stance of neutrality with Turban Orr. While the Old Crone hears the spinning coin.

An assassin named Rallick Nom spies on Lady Simtal and Councillman Lim. Rallick has every intention of killing Simtal. Though Rallick overhears Lim telling Simtal of Baruk and his powerful cabal and then hears a spinning coin. He decides to kill Lim instead. He escapes only to be told by Clan Leader Ocelot of an assassin’s war. They suspect the Claws.

Having listened to Turban Orr and Baruk’s conversation the Old Crone departs, only for Anomander Rake to arrive moments after.

Anomander Rake wants an alliance with the real rulers of Darujhistan, not the bickering councilmen but the mages. Baruk explains that he would have to discuss this with his fellow mages.

Anomander is angry at the Pale mages, as they went to ground as soon as they heard new of the arrival of the Claw. During the Siege of Pale, Anomander took heavy losses and does not appreciate the lack of help from the Pale mages. He tells Baruk he demands their heads or else he will kill them himself. Looking at Dragnipur (Rake’s sword) Baruk tells him that he will send him their heads, a mercy to them.

Inside of the Phoenix Inn, Crokus is playing cards with Murillio and Kruppe. Whilst Coll is passed out drunk. Crokus explains to the others his encounter with the assassins. Crokus has been with these guys for a time and is a bit miffed that Rallick and Murillio are up to something and he isn’t a party to it.

Kruppe ventures to his dreamworld again and ends up speaking to the Elder God, K’rul. K’rul believes his is going to lose to a battle quite soon but he will not die. He also tells Kruppe to seek out Adjunct Lorn.

Circle Breaker relived of his vigil, he is worried as he has set himself agains a man such a Turban Orr and plans to seek help. He decides against this and tears up his request for help.

Lady Simtal accuses Turban Orr of appeasing the Empire by taking the stance of neutrality, she believe he does this to gain title of High Fist. She asks Turban Orr set up the murder her ex-husband, Coll.

Murillio, needing entry fr Rallick’s plan, manipulates two invitations from Lady Orr to Lady Simtal’s party on Gedderone’s Eve.

Waiting outside the Orr estate Rallick tells Crokus not to rob the Orr estate. He doesn’t and leaves, while continuing to examine the coin that saved his life. He asks Kruppe about his previous loot, and wonders if he could have it back. Kruppe examines the coin.

Rallick and Murillio conclude that Crokus wanted his previous loot returned because he is smitten with his last mark, Chalice D’Arle. The two decade to decide on turning Crokus honest.

Outside of Baruk’s estate he is being bothered by the noise from road works, making him jump he spills ink over a map. The ink spreads all the way to Catlin, and Baruk feels it is some premonition of what is to come. Meeting with one of his informers, Baruk chats with Kruppe. Kruppe shows Baruk a wax replica of Crokus‘ coin.

Kruppe informs Baruk that the coin from Oponn. Baruk instructs Kruppe and his agents that they are to protect the Coinbearer, Crokus.


There we have it, a recap of what happened in book two of Gardens of the Moon. Now I have written this up and gone over book two myself I feel ready to move on to book three! I really wanted to finish this before I went back to reading it, so come tomorrow I can comfortable fall back into this book.

Thanks for reading and I hope this is somewhat helpful to a few of you!

Thanks,

Sam


BOOK ONE RECAP | GARDENS OF THE MOON CHAPTERS 1 TO 4…

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

If you haven’t already got your copy of this book then you can pick one up here or the Audible Audiobook here.

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Gardens of the Moon
  • Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen (Book One)
  • Author: Steven Erikson
  • Published by Tor
  • Pages: 657 to 729 (So many editions…)

Add GARDENS OF THE MOON to your Goodreads.

WHAT HAPPENED IN GARDENS OF THE MOON, BOOK ONE?

PROLOGUE

1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep
96th Year of the Malazan Empire
The Last Year of Emperor Kellanved’s Reign

Gardens of the Moon opens with a young noble boy, Ganoes Paran, he approaches a Bridgeburner Commander and asks if it is true Dassem Ultra is dead. The soldier tells Ganoes to lead a life that the gods don’t notice before another Bridgeburner comes over to talk, the two discuss a few things one of which the fact Surly has changed her name to Laseen.

The Commander and Laseen exchange in some not so pleasant conversation, with sly threats and assertions that the laws against sorcery will not survive, Laseen dismisses him and leaves.

BOOK ONE | PALE

Chapters 1 to 4.

1161st Year of Burn’s SleepSeven years later
103rd Year of the Malazan Empire
7th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule
– Laseen rules now

A young girl is in the streets in Itko Kan next to a kooky old lady called Rigga, a seer, the two end up chatting though it’s all a little batty, Rigga grabs the girl claiming she will embrace Shadow, but that Rigga will preserve her by linking the two. Rigga is then killed by a passing soldier.

The girl then notices two men, and one is soon surround by seven hounds who he quickly sends after the soldiers. The two men are revealed to be Cotillion and Ammanas. Cotillion decides the girl will be of use in their plan against LAseen, he bathes the girl in shadows and they disappear.

There is a massacre, a Captain and the Adjunct Lorn are riding towards it to inspect what caused it. The two don’t know what happened, there is no invading force and its is a harrowing sight. The Adjunct Lorn then notice Ganoes riding through the bodies, they too call him over.

Adjunct Lorn asks what was responsible for the massacre, Ganoes explains it was done with teeth. Adjunct Lorn concludes that the attack was magical and a diversion from something greater while talking with Ganoes. Adjunct Lorn soon decides to take him on as an officer on her staff. Noticing that two huts are empty, a fisher girl and her father and that of Rigga are empty she asks for a search to be made and want details of all new recruits matching their description.

The girl having walked quite a way then takes the name Sorry and enlists in the Malazan Marines requesting a specific stationing.

Ganoes Paran is riding along contemplating life and the massacre when he comes across Topper, the Empress’ Chief Claw. Topper and Ganoes travel trough the Imperial Warren to the Imperial Throne room meeting with Laseen. Laseen makes a comment about remembering Paran from seven years ago, and send them away. Shocker Topper quizzes Paran about knowing Laseen but Ganoes reveals nothing.

Ganoes meets with Adjunct Lorn, he asks if they will stop their search into what happened Itko Kan and she advises it is to be looking into but not too closely.

Two years later in Pale, we meet Tattersail and Hairlock.

Hairlock is dying after the Siege of Pale, a destructive magical battle with the Moon’s Spawn. Tattersail thinks back to earlier that morning and the Seige of Pale. The battle was a mess, everyone is stationed around and the fight begins though they are soon attacked from behind killing many. Though, the Moon’s Spawn sustain heavy damage and retreat South withdrawing their protection of Pale.

Tattersail pulls herself from her own thoughts when several Bridgeburners approach her. Hairlock convinces Tattersail that the attack from behind was one of their own, Tayschrenn. To save Hairlock, Quick Ben soul shifts him into a puppet doll. Tattersail is then thrust into the Brudgburners plan when accepting to carry Hairlock Puppet, she is happy about this as she went vengeance on Tayschrenn.

WhiskeyjackKalam and Quick Ben voice their concern that they, and all the Bridgeburners are being setup to be eliminated by Laseen.

Tattersail opens herself to the Warren and performs a reading with the Deck of Dragons. She reveals two cards, the twin Jesters of Chance and the Knight of High House Dark and refuses to reveal another much to Hairlock annoyance. Tattersail then notices the presence of a spinning coin, and Hairlock does not, this gives her hope.

Paran is given instructions that he is to take command of Whiskeyjacks squad in Pale, namely because Sorry is also a part of that squad.

Tattersail conducts a Reading. She reveals several cards and believes from her reading that the Death’s Virgin is Sorry, She discusses this with Whiskeyjack. Whiskeyjack and his group try to figure out just who Sorry really is.

Paran is greeted by Toc the Younger, the two journey to the City during which Toc tells Paran that his own Clawmaster was garotted two days earlier.

Once in the city Paran meets several of the Bridgeburner soldiers, and then makes his way back to his barracks once in his quarters he is assassinated, by none other than Sorry. While slowly dying Ammanas and Cotillion discuss their ongoing vengeance scheme with Laseen and that something has entered their Shadow warren. Paran slowly gives into the blackness to the sound of a coin spinning.

Tattersail, WhiskeyjackQuick BenFiddler and Kalam all discuss Hairlock, they feel he is insane from his use of the Warren of Chaos.

They know of the massacre back in Itko Kan and suspect that Sorry had something to do with it and may be posses and on the side of the Shadow

Fiddler has a bad feeling and the group is soon aware that an officer had been garotted and they suspect Sorry as the assassin. The group take off in a hurry.

Paran lingers by Hood’s Gate awaiting his inevitable death but is surprised when the Twins of Chance interfere. They explain they have long admired his sword (a sword named Chance) and the fact that is is far more subtle than a coin. Hearing a howl the Twins of Chance make moves to leave but before they do call the Lord of Death, Hood. Though the Lord of Death is busy and another comes they all agree for him he is to be saved but someone will have to take his place. The Twins leave.

Shadowthrone arrives with two Hounds of Shadow, Shadowthrone and Paran talk for a time and Shadowthrone decides it would be easier to let him live in order to find out who opposes Shadow. Paran one again succumbs to the darkness to the sound of a coin spinning.

Paran wakes in front of the Bridgeburners; they move him to safety. Kalam warns them to leave the doors open if a woman follows them.

Whiskeyjack and Dujek discuss their belief that the Empress is trying to kill off the rest of the Bridgeburners and the assignment to Darujhistan is the way to do it. Dujek tells him that if they somehow survive they can leave afterwards, free. Fiddler and Whiskeyjack imply that ten thousand soldiers are ready to rebel and should the Empress decide to outlaw Dujek, they would stand with him.

Paran is moved to Tattersail’s residence. Kalam, Quick Ben and Tattersail wait to hear from Hairlock, he appears but is being chased by Hounds. Realising Paran was saved by an Ascendant they ask Tattersail to take care of him while they leave for Darujhistan.

A Hound of Shadow chases Hairlock to Tattersail’s residence. Tattersail barely manages to avoid the Hounds attack, Hairlock tries to take its soul but then Paran appears awounds the Hound before it flees into the Warren of Shadow. Hairlock threatens both Paran and Tattersail, but she calls his bluff knowing there’s isn’t anything he can do against them without exposing himself to Tayschrenn. Paran and Tattersail both hear a spinning coin.

SO…WHAT DO WE KNOW FROM GARDENS OF THE MOON BOOK ONE?

It is really complex, likely to cause a heavy dose of confusion and will require more than one read..

You know, I really felt like I was following the books events well while reading it, and I guess I still do but going over it again for this post jus showed me how freaking crazy and entwined all the story threads are and are going to continue to be! So many characters have several names because they are all actively meddling in the world and not always with their own faces.

I was planning on going into a whole section on who we have met and the Houses but it can easily fall into spoiler territory and I don’t want to end up revealing to me or you true identities of people we are not yet aware of and plus you can just look at the Dramatis Personae.

I hope this helps, it was pretty helpful for me going over the details again in my head! I hope to get Book Two done in the next couple of days, so watch out.


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 | DARK OAK BY JACOB SANNOX & NARRATED BY NIGEL PEEVER

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

This was planned to be an earlier post considering I’m currently at work 🙈 but I forgot to post it before leaving like a dope. Thankful, while I am currently sat on my break eating the most amazing Lotus biscuits I remembered. Yay me. So here it is.

Today, as the post title suggests I will be reviewing Jacob Sannox’s fantasy novel Dark Oak! I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review but I also listened to this via audiobook to. I usually listen to non review books via audio and treat them as my personal reads but I was a little behind with reviews and honestly the audiobook sounded great.

A few facts about Dark Oak:

  • Title: Dark Oak
  • Author: Jacob Sannox
  • Narrated By: Nigel Peever
  • Series: The Dark Oak Chronicles (Book One)
  • Published by Jacob Sannox (Createspace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Pages: 314
  • Narration Length: 12 Hours 59 Minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Dark Oak:

  • A high fantasy novel that is beautifully magical but with a darker core feel;
  • An intriguing and unique story concept;
  • INCREDIBLE creatures and magics;
  • Political intrigue; and
  • An incredibly raw and emotional punch from several aspects of this book.

A little bit about the narration…

This was a really good narration, it is the first narration I have ever listened to that has sound effects. Now, I know that for some the may not be a great thing but it really added to the story for me. I LOVED them. It wasn’t overbearing and it wasn’t disruptive my my listening experience. Well, for the most part, there was one single time that it became difficult to listen to, at the point when a group of Dryads were talking as one, pair that with the creaking of their wooden limbs and the throaty tone of their voices I genuinely didn’t know what was said. Luckily, I had the a physical copy so I was able to read that bit. Other than the once instance though I found I really liked the sound effects. They were, more often than not, subtle and only added to my listening experience.

As a narrator I found Peever to be quite good, his pace was easy to follow and his male voices were nicely distinct. Some of his female voices however sounded a like little old cackling witches…

Though saying all of the above, I will listen to the next book via audio narration. Thats how little it put me off.

Now on to the full review…

As I said above Jacob sent me a copy of Dark Oak in exchange for an honest review along with his two other books; The Ravenmaster’s Revenge and Agravain’s Escape. This book is currently sitting with 61 ratings and 25 reviews and has a decent rating of 3.67. I would love to see more people pick this book up as it deserves it, if you look on Goodreads it seems to have a bit of a mix of reviews so many people have loved and a good number haven’t but I would honestly give this book chance!

Dark Oak is a richly imagined world and one I really enjoyed journeying into, it is an incredible fantastical world that is very much in the traditional vein of high fantasy with creatures such as the Dryads, the water folk and even more wonderful elemental beings. Dark Oak gave me Lord of the Rings vibes in terms of its imaginative world!

Jacob does wonderfully at bringing his world to life through his writing and it is a story rich in detail and beautifully described. He brilliantly weaves in the magic that surrounds this world and showcases it impressively, especially the Dryad’s , yet all the while not making you feel as though they are infallible despite their evident power.

At the start of this book there is quite a bit of exposition, which is wholly appropriate and enjoyable. This isn’t the story of the battle that Queen Cathryn won that led our character to be where they are now but in order to fully understand the present you need to know the facts of the past. I really liked the exposition, it was magical and I felt like I was sat wrapped in a cozy blanket cradling a warm cup of tea in my ever cold hands while being told a grand old tale by a wisened old story teller! And that Is something I love.

Each of the characters you come across in Dark Oak are all really good, some I loathed but understood, others I saw the manipulation and others I was rooting for them with everything I had. Some of the character could have had a little more consistency and been a wee bit more well rounded but overall I really enjoyed all of them for some reason or another. While Dark Oak is very high fantasy to me, it has such a dark core to its world and its characters. I knew it had a darker tone before reading it but goodness I didn’t expect what I got! At all.

The Dryads…they are AMAZING! I was so impressed with them as a race, the things they can do, the power they hold and their origins were all so utterly interesting I loved every single moment in which a dryad appeared.

I think for me the strongest point of this book was Jacob’s ability to shock you so profoundly you are left in a state of both confusion and understanding. There are several sequences within this story that you do not see coming, even in the slightest, but once they do happen no matter how shook up you are you understand the reasoning behind it. Which is testament to Jacob’s ability to showcase his characters motivations and emotional states. In a world so vivid and creative the realness of his character and very human responses become all the more impactful, it is touching, sickeningly raw and quite intense at times.

There are times within this book that you see some inconsistencies in the characters voices, and it can at times feel a little jumpy from POV to POV. This book isn’t perfect and if you going in looking for little hiccups you will find them, as you would with many books, but if you are going in to experience a brilliant and imaginative world filled with REAL characters with REAL motivations you are in the right place. There is a rawness to this book and an emotional grittiness that you don’t see often in books and it was brilliant to experience it within Dark Oak’s pages.


You know the drill, on to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

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

I would definitely pick this up in its paperback form if I didn’t already have it and would strongly recommend the audiobook if you don’t have an issue with narrations accompanied by sound effects, I get that might be a hard no for some people, but im not one of them and I loved it! I actually want to find more with it in so yanno, its a winner to me!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!