SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 GREAT FANTASY DEBUTS…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

As per…this is a late post. When coming’s up with this feature I wasn’t always working Sundays so my apologise for such a late post all the time. I am definitely a spontaneous blogger and I write my posts as I think them. the only drafts I have a templates. I tried scheduling and failed! miserable…

**I have linked the Goodreads Links for your ease…***

Today, while at work, I was wondering what can be my Sundays Seven post and I came up with books debuts. I don’t imagine it is anything overly original and I don’t doubt there are many posts of this across a great many blogs but I don’t care. I like the idea!

So, here be seven debuts, most of which I have read but there may be one, maybe two that I am due to read soon!If you want to check out any more debuts I actually have put together a little Debuts Goodreads List with a few I have found…

On to it…

THE RAGE OF DRAGONS BY Evan Winter

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Having recently read this I couldn’t not put this book on the list! It is too good to not get raved about all over the book blogging world.


PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

I LOVE this book so much, it was my first flintlock fantasy and, in my opinion, it set the bar pretty damned high for others I read.


MALICE BY John Gwynne

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

My goodness, if you do one thing this year please, please PLEASE read this book! It is soo good and you need to experience Gwynne’s storytelling, writing and the Banished Lands themselves.


STORMBLOOD BY JEREMY SZAL

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Now, I haven’t read a lot of Sci-Fi but this book is one of my favourite sci-fi books! It is so incredibly good. Stormblood is such a fascinating and captivating story, and so well thought out.


THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER BY ANDREA STEWART

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The Bone Shard Daughter is an exceptionally good fantasy debut. It has an imaginative world, a unique magic system and some great characters.


THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

I have only read half of this book, but I can telly the half I have read it so worth the praise it receives from so many! I am so eager to pick this book up and finish it though I am tempted to start from the beginning. I plan to tackle this before the year ends.


The Bear and the Nightingale BY KATHERINE ARDEN

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

And last but not least The Bear and the Nightingale. I haven’t read this but have recently picked up the audiobook and I am super excited to start it. I have heard such high praise for this and the other books of the trilogy i’m really excited to listen to it.


There you have it, seven books, one for everyday of the week and this week you have the joy of seeing which fantasy debuts I have read or plan to read really soon. As I said above, I have found a good many more so if ou are interest simply click the link up top and have a browse!

Thanks for reading.


7 BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE MADE INTO MOVIES OR TV SHOWS…

Mmmmmm, books to movies.

Books to movies has a fairly split fanbase, some people love them and some people hate them! I guess I sit in the middle I am all for books to movies or TV shows so long as it is done well and has the deserved budget to make it what I can be.

I think in some cases to it gives the books more exposure, a bump in sales and praise from a far wider audience. I for one can name at least five people who have watched Game of Thrones, loved it and then bough the books. From that they have then proceeded to look into other fantasy books and thus started reading when they hadn’t previously. I can probably name a handful of folks I know too who once read, slowly stopped and from watching a book to movie adaption started reading again!

I can almost guarantee that someone will disagree with a few in this list, maybe all of them, because some people can’t help but watch a book to movie adaption and just hate it. But for me these are seven books I would like to be adapted into either a TV Show or a Movie!

THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN BY JOHN GWYNNE

Obviously this was going to be in this list. I love this book, if this was made into a TV show I think my book existence would be complete. Give it the budget it deserves and I’m more than comfortable saying this would be better than the early seasons of Game of Thrones.

CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber

Now, this is a film that could be so visually stunning while still keeping a fun and magical element through the mystery of the game. With the tools and talents of movie makers now this film could be utterly spectacular.

The Farseer Trilogy BY Robin Hobb

Now, I am only a book and a half into this trilogy but I can already see how this trilogy would make a brilliant TV series. I mean come on…a royal bastard training as an assassin in lands plagued by raiding red ships. Throw in the political intrigue and the country folk being turned into mindless husks and you have an action packed, witty and incredibly tense show! Thats to even accounting for the amazing characters and their relationships!

Graceling BY Kristin Cashore

This book falls into the Young Adult Fantasy genre but I remember really enjoying it when I read way back when, it was such a good book and has some pretty cool characters. Not only that but the magic system could make for some pretty interesting scenes.

BLOOD SONG BY ANTHONY RYAN

Bloodsong has garnered quite a few fans, and it tells the story of Vaelin and the epic journey that leads to his duel to the death. It would be such a grande movie, given the right budget and the right actor to play Vaelin it would be sheer amazingness!

THE SWORD OF KAIGEN BY M. L. WANG

Gosh, I don’t even know what to say for this one. If you have read the book you just know. The magic, the world, the characters and the setting all make for an incredible movie.

RED RISING SAGA BY PIERCE BROWN

This trilogy is just outstanding so to make this into either a TV Show or a movie and my lord what a show it would be!

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments any books you would love to see turned into a movie.

Again thanks for reading and have a smashing week!


7 BOOKS WITH LUSH, POIGNANT AND GENERALLY BRILLIANT WRITING STYLES/PROSE…

Since I am an utter flop and completely forgot about Sundays Seven yesterday I am going to do it now, hope you don’t mind. Better late than never, right?!

In todays belated Sundays Seven I am going to share with you seven books which I thoroughly enjoyed reading which were written wonderfully. Us notorious book worms have seen and experienced all kinds of writing styles. The good, the bad, the lyrical, the flowery, the dreary and the life changing. I hope, we have all read at least one book that shined a little brighter than the rest, a book so exceptional it rose above all overs and resinated with us on a wholly different level, a book we felt.

I am lucky to be able to tell you of seven of these diamonds!

I recently read an opinion of writing within the fantasy genre that I found to be wholly inaccurate, obviously opinions are subjective and what I consider to be well written or beautiful writing style may not be the case for another but really I just balked at this statement! It was something along the lines of ‘more often than not fantasy has the worst writing styles…’

The above GIF…yeah that was me when I read it! Imma like ‘mmm, say that shit again’. I mean fantasy, in my opinion, is known for it’s master word builders, magnificent swordplay, vivid imagery and brilliantly selected metaphors.

Fantasy has gifted me with novels that I have highlighted first lines, memorised whole paragraphs and reread over and over. I have read sentences so marvellous you feel the need to read them out loud. So I, in good conscience, have to sit here and say the above statement is a load of shit!

Anywho I will get to it, here are seven books with lush, poignant and generally brilliant writing styles/prose.

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE BY ROBIN HOBB

Tides wait for no man, and that I know is true. But time? Did the times I was born into await my birth to be? Did the events rumble into place like the great wooden gears of the clock of Sayntanns, meshing with my conception and pushing my life along?

“Justice. There’s a thing we shall ever thirst after, and ever be parched.”

“For there is a very strange peace in giving over your judgment to someone else, to saying to them, “You lead and I will follow, and I will trust entirely that you will not lead me to death or harm.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

“The stillness of the tent becomes a quiet melancholy. Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness. Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds. The stone feels heavier in your hand. When you drop it in the pool to join the rest of the stones, you feel lighter. As though you have released something more than a smooth polished piece of rock.” 

“I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.’

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | WHSMITH | WATERSTONES | BLACKWELL’S

THE FAITHFUL AND THE FALLEN BOOKS BY JOHN GWYNNE

“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .”

“Both the brave man and the coward feel the same. The only difference between them is that the brave man faces his fear, does not run.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

“She will not come back, but her beauty, her voice, will echo until the end of time. She believed in something beyond herself, and her death gave her voice power it didn’t have in life. She was pure, like your father. We, you and I – he touches my chest with the back f his index finger – are dirty. we are made for blood. Rough hands. Dirty hearts.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

“You’ve one mark on your record,” Tamas said. “You once punched a na‑baron in the face. Broke his jaw. Tell me about that.”

Olem grimaced. “Officially, sir, I was pushing him out of the way of a runaway carriage. Saved his life. Half my company saw it.”

“With your fist?”

“Aye.”

“And unofficially?”

“The man was a git. He shot my dog because it startled his horse.”

“And if I ever have cause to shoot your dog?” “I’ll punch you in the face.”

“Fair enough. You have the job.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA BY SCOTT LYNCH

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”
“Oh please,” said Locke. “It’ll never happen.” 

“If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS

AVAILABLE FROM: | WHSMITH | AMAZON UK | AMAZON USA | BLACKWELL’S | WATERSTONES

Honourable Mentions:

I have gone with authors here instead of books but meh, it still counts!

  • George R. R. Martin
  • Mark Lawrence
  • Tolkien
  • Niel Gaiman

There you have it folks! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment on here or twitter with books you loved for their writing styles! Have a good week all and I shall see you next Sunday if not before!


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! 


Review: Malice by John Gwynne

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Malice:

  • Title: Malice
  • Author: John Gwynne
  • Series: The Faithful and The Fallen (Book One)
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Pages: 672

I read Malice in paperback form, but really wish I had it in hardcover.

Synopsis:

A black sun is rising … 

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage. 

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars. 

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust. 

Goodreads

Review:

Malice is book one in The Faithful and the Fallen series, and for some reason unknown to me there are still so many fantasy fans yet to read this book. My own Goodreads has twenty GR friends with this marked as ‘to be read’. 

PEOPLE, READ THIS BOOK! It is amazing, and you will not be disappointed.  

Now, Im not sure I am going to say much different to what many have already said, and by far better reviewers but one cannot simply rate this book and leave it without its due praise.

“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .” 

I can safely say that this book lives up too, and far exceeds all recommendations to read it.

Gwynne is a tremendous writer with his beautiful and effective prose. I found Gwynne’s writing to be excellent if I’m honest. Each description came to life, the world or the scene, blooming in my mind. It was so immersive and real that time just passes you by without even realising. 

To say John Gwynne does anything less than transport you to a breathtaking fantasy world and take you on the journey of a life time is to do it an injustice.

The world that Gwynne has built is fascinating, and has considerable detail. The lore, cultures and religion were all entwined with character views and interactions, and you can see that this world was well thought out. It is incredibly easy to lose yourself in The Banished Lands.

I also really like it when an author distinguishes internal thought by way of italics. It just pleases me.

Gwynne deals more in character depth and development initially in this book, and thus sets a slower pace, but it is still an addicting and exciting read. It isn’t boring at all, or at least I didn’t find it to be, and this is done by the injection of small and frequent action sequences, such as a fight or a wolven encounter, into each POVs story. Honestly, I am struggling to find anything I don’t like about this book. What a debut!

I enjoyed the way in which Gwynne moved forward his timeline too, he smoothly intermingled relevant facts of previous movements/encounters/character actions without overwhelming you with long winded explanation. He points out through a characters internal thoughts a few key conversation snippets without detailing on and on about them walking to a ship, getting on said ship, setting off and so on. So, you know, no unnecessary filler material.

This is a classic tale of Good Vs Evil, though do not mistake this as a simple plot. It isn’t. The plot is filled with intrigue from the get go, it is brimming with dangerous encounters, battles, jaw dropping revelations and gutting betrayals, all of which are written in stunning detail. You will not be bored.

I genuinely don’t know where to start when talking about the characters of this book, there are several of them, and we get a look at all of them. Even the smaller, seemingly less important characters carry with them a massive punch and play an important role in this book. I read this with several people through a buddy read and something I said to them was that I loved the characters more because of the people that surrounded them. Gwynne has written a whole host of characters who all have a massive input in this debut.

Put simply, Gwynne makes use of numerous characters to establish and advance the plot, and though some follow the standard tropes, they are exciting and cleverly written, thoroughly developed, and utterly compelling. 

This book has made me care about the characters in a way no other writer has ever managed, and not just one or two of the lead characters. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. It has left me breathless, had me laughing out loud, scowling at the pages and damned near crying.  

Im pretty sure this is going to be one of my favourite series, and I am only on book one.