BOOK TOUR: THE LOST SENTINEL BY SUZANNE ROGERSON

Welcome back to The Book in Hand, as you may know I’m Sam and I’m back working with Storytellers on Tour! I had such an amazing experience last time I couldn’t help but sign up to some more!

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

My Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A few facts about The Lost Sentinel:

  • Title: The Lost Sentinel
  • Author: Suzanne Rogerson
  • Series: Silent Sea Chronicles (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Suzanne Rogerson
  • Pages: 363

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.

Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel – the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? 

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

Sound good? Get the BOX SET on Amazon UK | Amazon US

This epic fantasy box set contains:

The Lost Sentinel (Book 1)

The Sentinel’s Reign (Book 2)

The Sentinel’s Alliance (Book 3)

Review:

The Lost Sentinel is the first book in the Silent Sea Chronicles and we take a trip into the magical world of Kalaya. Kalaya has a small population of magic wielders called mystics. The Lost Sentinel follows a few of the typical fantasy tropes with a dwindling magic, the orphaned hero and a few more but Suzanne does well to write these in a way that they don’t feel tired and overused. The only issue with using these tropes is that there is an air or predictability to the story.

Suzanne manages to create a good level of tension throughout her story however with the fact that no one is really safe in the lands of Kalaya. We journey through Kalaya via a few different POV’s and I have to say I probably preferred the side characters as they were super interesting. Farrell was really interesting and fun to read.

The world that Suzanne creates is an compelling and interesting one, it was great to see the world through the different POV’s ad the challenges each character faced.

This is a fast paced book that is constantly moving so you tend to get through this book fairly quickly, and while I sometimes like a faster pace I did see this impact the characters and relationships. At 10% the main love interest had professed his love for our main character. I would have preferred greater character development and a better foundation for the romance but I imagine this is something that will be covered in the following books. The plot is filled with action and constantly moving parts.

This is a super short review compared to my others though don’t take that as a negative this book is still an enjoyable book and it is a good introduction to the series as we get a brief introduction to who our characters really are.

I think this book would be a good read for those just getting into fantasy or who don’t read it often but sometimes want an escape from their usual reading as it gives you all the things we love about fantasy just not in the detail a more seasoned fantasy reader would want.

About Suzanne..

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.

Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Ways to get in touch with Suzanne: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Newsletter

Thanks for reading guys!



BOOK OF THE MONTH: AUGUST

Goodbye August, its been a pleasure.

Well, it has been another month, one of which has been and gone into the abyss that is 2020. I can’t believe that we are coming into September, it is just flying by.

I really didn’t feel like I had actually read much this month, but having done this post I realised I have still read a fair amount despite having a ton of other things on my plate this past month. I am a month into returning to work and still haven’t found my routine. Im still trying to do all the things I was doing while furloughed in half the time! So I am genuinely really happy and proud I have go through the amount of books I have!

So, to the books.

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

This month didn’t really have any type of theme or selective reading aims, it was a mood reading month if you will! Which is great. I did have two book tours to honour and thoroughly enjoyed participating in them!

So, this months reads…

The Medina Device by T.J. Champitto

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review Link: The Medina Device

My Thoughts:

Overall, this was a great introduction to a new genre for me, I read it quickly and was pretty gripped by the plot and its characters, while I probably wouldn’t read this book again (more because once you know the twists and ending its not as suspenseful) I would definitely read future books written by this author.


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: RTC. Promise.

My Thoughts:

I REALLY enjoyed this book! That’s it. They are my thoughts, I plan to write a review later in the week.


Kings and Daemons By Marcus Lee

My Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: Kings and Daemons

My Thoughts:

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


Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice

My Thoughts:

Overall, I am so impressed with this book and have already started the next book. I am reading them considerably slower than usual but that is more to do with a busier schedule than anything but I am almost grateful for it as the time I am giving these books when I can is that much more treasured.


May Day by Josie Jaffrey

My Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review: I will. At some point. I have my notes just need to make it coherent!

My Thoughts:

This was a fun and quick-reading vampiric police investigation story. I flew through this and really enjoyed it.


Saga Volume One and Two by by Brian K. Vaughan (Author),  Fiona Staples (Illustrator)

My Rating: 4 to both

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review: I will. I have my notes, I again just have to make it coherent! Though I think these will be very short ones, so I may review them as a whole. We shall see…

My Thoughts:

These have been great reads that I have slotted in between other reads, they take no more than an hour or so and are filled with colourful and quirky art!


Still Reading…

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

My Rating: N/A

N/A – Still Reading

Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.

My Thoughts (so far):

I am REALLY enjoying this book! I have found I have fallen into the rhythm of this book easier than Assassin’s Apprentice because I already love the world and the characters, so yanno the usual with a second book.

Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…

As you can see I have read a little bit of a variety his month. We have had graphic novels, epic fantasy and vampiric urban fantasy so this is a wee bit harder because these books vary so much.

It is another tough one to call this month, again I have read some great books and again I am bouncing between two books. Now, some of you may be thinking it obvious out of what I have read but the two contenders I am toying between are both similar in genre but different in writing style and detail.

After quite a bit of deliberation and switching between which one will be titled BOOK OF THE MONTH I settled on…

KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee

While Assassin’s Apprentice is a phenomenal book and one I really enjoyed I chose Kings and Daemons instead for a good many reasons. Obviously, as my review shows I enjoyed this book but what has topped this was generally my overall experience. Kings and Daemons was my first blog tour hosted by Story Tellers on Tour and I really enjoyed participating. On top of that I chatted a fair amount with Marcus, the simple fact that an author actively engages with his fans is such a great thing and really adds to the whole experience and Marcus actually helped me out in areas other than his book. So, there you have it Marcus Lee‘s Kings and Daemons takes this months title of BOOK OF THE MONTH!


Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or on Twitter if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.


Book Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

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

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

Firstly, the giveaway…

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

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

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

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

Review:

I really bloody enjoyed this book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sound good? I can confirm it is! If you want to pick up your own copy you can do so through Kindle Unlimited or treat yourself to a physical copy from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


What Marcus had to say…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

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

Marcus’ Twitter:

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

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook 😉

Thank you for reading!


What’s New To My Kindle?

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

Here we go…

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Add Them To Your Goodreads!

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Add This To Your Goodreads!

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Vultures by Luke Tarzian

Add This To Your Goodreads!

Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Blood-Tainted Winter by T L Greylock

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

Add This To Your Goodreads!

The Wildfire Cycle by D. P Woolliscroft

Add These To Your Goodreads!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

You should give them a try!

#SelfPub

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

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

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

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Path of Flames By Phil Tucker

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

Kingshold By D. P Woolliscroft

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

The Heart of Stone by Ben Galley

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Add It To Your Goodreads

Spit and Song By Travis M. Riddle

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

Amazon Link UK

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

How hard could it really be? 

Add It To Your Goodreads

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


Book Review: A Storm of Silver and Ash by Marion Blackwood

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A few facts about A Storm of Silver and Ash:

  • Title: A Storm of Silver and Ash
  • Author: Marion Blackwood
  • Series:  The Oncoming Storm Books
  • Publisher: Published by Marion Blackwood
  • Pages: 326

Synopsis:

What would you sacrifice to save your friend?
Your soul? Your humanity? Your life?

The Oncoming Storm is a name whispered in awe throughout the Underworld. She’s known as a master thief and a lethal knife-wielder – some even say she has the skills of an assassin. All of it is true. She’s also a sarcastic smartmouth with the social graces of a bull.

You will find her running across rooftops, sneaking in the shadows, and breaking into houses. That is, if she’s not busy getting ambushed and blackmailed into a seemingly impossible mission. Grudgingly caught in a dangerous power struggle, the Oncoming Storm must leave behind the world she knows and maneuver through scheming assassins, calculating elves, and desperate royals.

Before her adventure is over, she will have loved, saved, killed, and double-crossed those around her. The only question is, who? The clock is ticking, and before time runs out, the Oncoming Storm must decide who to trust and who to betray…

(Goodreads)

Review:

A storm of Silver and Ash is a promising debut, was a fun read and I found myself wanting to keep reading.

The synopsis of this book is what really grabbed me, as did the cover. I was sold. A thief with the social graces of a bull, and us getting to see more of Storm utilising her surroundings. It gave the opportunity for incredible world building scenes and stunning descriptions.

Blackwood created a great world, I love a good dingy underworld where it is almost a place unto it’s self. It had a hierarchy, a cast system of the criminals who associate with a guild and the less than savory folk who can’t be apart of it for reasons such as they are too dark or can’t deal with authority etc. 

The underworld hierarchy, while being pretty simple, is a great addition to the world Blackwood created. I enjoyed the concept of the different guilds and their rankings. The idea of a beggars guild, it kind of reminded me of the homeless unit of hitmen from the John Wick films. I would have quite liked to see more of them, as an information source maybe. I thought the world was nicely done but could have been used much more in the actual story. 

Blackwood also created what I found to be a totally a refreshing take on elves, while the elves were not wholly different to those we see in the world of fantasy, it was their culture and social practices I enjoyed. They were a tougher more hunter like people, hardier and less about ethereal grace and such.

I unfortunately I found Storm to be a little off-putting at times, what was one of the main drives to me reading this book quickly became a little disruptive to the story. In terms of the character as a person, she was a cool character, fun and sarcastic but then not so good. I like the morally ambiguous character at times but when done in a way that you can still route for them, Storm just killed at times and felt a little unnecessary.

Now, this is definitely nit picky on my part but these things too often pulled me from the story. More at the start than anything else, but still. There was a lot of ’telling’, yanno the whole show me don’t tell me thing. There was also a lot of emphasis on how bad ass Storm was, and how no one liked to mess with her, but this was told through her own thoughts on how bad ass she was. I thought this could have been shown a wee bit better. 

I also noted a few things I would say we’re inconsistent. For example, Storm may enter a place renowned for being cutthroat, orderless, outside of the guilds and known for being a pretty rough place especially for a women (which she herself tells you). Yet she cleared a table with a glare alone. Or her not knowing a type of material which is so picky, I know, and sounds weird to say but if you are a thief I would expect one to have an eye for details, to know when something is a fake or cheaply made etc yet she didn’t.

The breaking of the 4th wall in this book was also not my favourite. 

Despite my above complaints I did find myself wanting to keep reading, and I enjoyed this book as a whole.

I discussed this with my partner, who had just played both Last of Us Part Two and Infamous Second Sons, and when I told him my thoughts on it he said that it was like what he thought about second sons. It was a fun game that you go back to and complete but when compared to Last of Us you realise that thats all it is, fun, the story and characters don’t really give you any of the feels but you still liked it as a whole.


Book Review: Limbo by Thiago d’Evecque

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A few facts about Limbo:

  • Title: Limbo
  • Author: Thiago d’Evecque
  • Series:  Standalone
  • Publisher: Published by Thiago d’Evecque
  • Pages: 162

Read Limbo on my Kindle FREE with Kindle Unlimited. So, not free because you pay for KU, but it still feels like a free book.

Synopsis:

The fate of the world hinges on a forsaken spirit, a mad god in a sword, and 12 mythological beings.

The Limbo is where all souls — human or otherwise — go to after dying. Some don’t realize where they are. Death is a hard habit to get used to. Gods and mythological figures also dwell in the plane, borne from humanity’s beliefs.

A forsaken spirit is awakened and ordered to dispatch 12 souls back to Earth to prevent the apocalypse. Many don’t take kindly to the return. Accompanied by an imprisoned mad god, the spirit must compel them.

Each of the 12 unlocks a piece of the forsaken spirit’s true identity. Memories unfold and past wounds bleed again.

The journey will reveal buried truths about gods, angels, humanity, and the forsaken spirit itself.

If you like epic fights, diverse mythology reinterpreted, and surprising plot twists, Limbo is for you.

(Goodreads)

Review:

When I woke up, I knew something was wrong. For I only opened my eyes when the world spiraled into chaos.

Limbo comes across as an incredibly intellectual tale, it touches on many aspects of life such as religion but also humanity. Our existence and the way many live, it pulls everything that makes these topics so provocative and inserts them into Limbo through our main characters thoughts and understandings. 

“The past is enticing, and we need it to make sense of our lives. We can only understand who we are when we look back to who were. But it’s a trap. Watch it and leave it, there’s nothing you can change there.”

Limbo is a strange tale to be told, interesting and quite creative with its mixture of many religions, legends and folklore tales. It was interesting to read one story which is made up of many historical tales coming from Asia, Europe and all across the world and done so skilfully as not to feel disorientating.

I found myself really intrigued as to who our main character will enlist next, excited to see what legendary figure was to be chosen and what myths or religion it came from. 

Limbo was a lovely quick read, its chapters were short and snappy and its sentence structure refreshingly sharp. 

Thiago has you intrigued at the start, and does brilliantly to create an interesting world where anything can be conjured. The world Thiago creates, or the Limbo he creates, is written in amazing detail and comes to life for each new person encountered. 

The surroundings took shape, bringing the refreshing scent of wet dirt and leaves. Huge trees obstructed the sky. Spears of light pierced through the swaying branches and canopies.

With any short story there is a degree of difficulty to develop a character to the extent the readers of longer books expect but Thiago bridges this really well. The pace is definitely slower but it feels appropriate with the themes this story utilises, being more thought provoking and meaningful. 

I especially enjoyed reading Thiago’s notes at then end, throughout the book I highlighted each historical person/culture/legend that intrigued me with the intention to research these later but I didn’t need to do this completely blind because Thiago gives some detail as to them and its brilliant.


Review: Never Die by Rob J. Hayes

My Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A few facts about Never Die:

  • Title: Never Die
  • Author: Rob J. Hayes
  • Series: The Mortal Techniques Series
  • Publisher: Self-published by Rob J. Hayes
  • Pages: 274

I read Never Die on my Kindle.

Synopsis:

Samurai, shinigami, vengeful spirits, and an impossible quest.

Itami Cho has earned the name Whispering Blade. She is a Shintei warrior, sworn to the path of oaths and honour. But keeping her oaths has always been more difficult than taking them. When Flaming Fist and his bandits attack the city of Kaishi, Itami swears one last oath: she will protect the city and its people at any cost.

Ein has spent his life dreaming of being a hero, and now the God of Death has given him a chance. The Reaper has set him an impossible quest: an eight-year-old boy sent to stop an immortal Emperor.

Never Die is a stand alone set in the world of Mortal Techniques. It’s a wuxia adventure filled with samurai, shinigami, heroes, and vengeful spirits. 

Review:

At the time of reading this I was going through an eastern-asian themed reading spree, so when I saw this and its damned cool cover it had me. Having read other Goodreads folks I follow and seeing them LOVE this book it wasn’t a chance I was going to miss, especially when like I said I had been reading a lot of books with an eastern-asian settings and loving them.

This book started off really strongly, it was filled with action and gave me real ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny’ vibes with its famed warriors and quirky warrior titles. Knowing we were only going to meet more warriors I was really excited to get into the thick of this book.

Unfortunately, this feeling didn’t stick for me and despite its frequent fight scenes I lost interest. It felt slow, and like it wasn’t really getting anywhere. Yes, Ein was procuring a band of warriors to go and kill the emperor but it still felt stagnant to me. Which is a reason is DNF’d a previous book by this author, it just felt like nothing was happening despite what was actually a fairly fast paced book. 

The battles faced by each of these warriors seemed clunky, each new member was to be killed by those already bound to Ein, yet each battle seemed separate as if they were just wandering through the empire aimlessly. Then came the monsters they faced on their travels, again these encounters all felt singular. I think if the plot was slightly more complex and easy-flowing and the characters had more development this could have been amazing.

The world in which these warriors were travelling also bore little embellishment, I didn’t really know why there were on the mission they were and I didn’t really care. There was only one character I really liked and felt had the depth I was wanting and that was the Emerald Wind, or Green Breeze 😂😂 The rest all seemed distinguishable but not developed. That isn’t to say the characters were bad, we get some insight into their past and personality just not a lot.

I would have loved more tension and conflict. Bloody hell the first two heroes we meet fought against each other in a battle that killed both of them but they seem fine with each other. I would have thought these characters would have series clashes and issues with each other yet they didn’t really have more than bickering. 

I did guess the ending, I guessed Ein’s familial relationships pretty much at the start when there was only the Whispering Blade and the Emerald Wind. 

Despite this I did finish the book, and it was a pleasant read though you won’t hear me gushing over this one I’m afraid. I think, for me, there is just something about the writing style that I just don’t gel well with. I find it really drab, for lack of a better word, it just doesn’t keep me entertained. This is an incredible story and nothing I have come across, so I was super excited for it but I feel like it could have been better. 

If I was you I would read a few other reviews and see if there complaints/praises fall in line with your tastes and maybe give it ago. I mean it won its literary award for self-published books so it is doing something right!! I think a lot of fantasy readers will enjoy this book as many have already but alas it wasn’t for me.


Review: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A few facts about Blood Song:

  • Title: Blood Song
  • Author: Anthony Ryan
  • Series: Raven’s Shadow
  • Publisher: First published by Anthony Ryan
  • Pages: 591

I read Blood Song on my Kindle first but I enjoyed it so much I have every intention to buy the hardback for my shelves.

Synopsis:

“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

Review:

I am such a stickler for the start of a novel, I have read books that have hooked me in a page, the first ten per cent or books that have gotten to thirty per cent and I’m still not excited. So to see Anthony Ryan begin this novel in such a brilliant way, it was safe to say I was in for an enjoyable read. The book begins with a scribe and an imperial prisoner who is being transported to a trial by combat. The whole encounter between these two men made me wonder so much, who was this man? So calm in the face of death, so well spoken and polite and oddly enough respected by those who would seemingly hate him, enough to be gifted not only something that was once his but another precious gift. If that doesn’t grip you then I don’t know what will, but I instantly wanted to read on and know all there was to know about this man.

First we begin with the scribe’s POV, who is with Vaelin, then the rest of the book is written in a flashback, exquisitely done I might add, from Vaelin’s POV where he is explaining to the scribe the events of his life up to the present day.

This is an incredible book, and one I struggle to find fault with and totally worth the five stars given in this rating/review. Anthony Ryan writes in a way that is wholly immersive and easy flowing.

Vaelin’s tale is one in which we experience bonds of friendship/brotherhood, war, politics, religion, conspiracy and so much more. I am all about bonds of brotherhood in books, they are my weakness, so when I say I loved Vaelin and his brothers of the order it is no small thing. Frentis, Dentos, Brakus, Caenis and Nortah were all sublime, they were utterly believable and so well developed. I am a firm believer that a main character is only as good as the characters that surround them, and with Vaelin surrounded by these boys and many more amazing character this book has to offer, this had the makings of a five star read. It is safe to say this is a character-driven book, and one which is filled with emotion and character development, so if that is your thing read this book. Simple.

This book, I would say, is a relatively slow-paced book being one of training and coming of age but make no mistake this book does not allow you to stop reading. It is a seriously addictive page turner and does not falter under the dreaded middle phase slump that is often seen in books.

I would highly recommend this book to those who love the epic/high fantasy genre, its world building is light and wonderful, its character outstanding and its plot intriguing.