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Thursday, 23 July 2015

The God Eaters


  • Author: Jesse Hajicek
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  • Editions: Free Online, Paperback

  • Publisher: Self Published (LuLu.com)

  • Stars: 5/5


Western/ Fantasy/ Alternate Historical Fiction

Imprisoned for 'inflammatory writings' by the totalitarian Theocracy, shy intellectual Ashleigh Trine figures his story's over. But when he meets Kieran Trevarde, a hard-hearted gunslinger with a dark magic lurking in his blood, Ash finds that necessity makes strange heroes... and love can change the world. 



Review

Don't be put off by the front cover this book is an excellent read. I was put off by the front cover so it took me ages to finally get down and read it. But thank god I did, what an amazing epic story. 

The God Eaters tells us a tale of adventure love and suspense. Set in an alternative universe where magical abilities are present in some people, and a dictatorial government which has tight control over who can use their abilities Kieren and Ash get thrown together on the train to prison. Karen for murder and robbery and Ash for rebellious propaganda. Both have Talents and they find prison is not just a place for criminals but a government testing ground. Surviving prison is only made possible for Ash because of the growing relationship between him and Kieren, as they try to plan their escape. 
This book may look long, however it is gripping and the pages flash by, I honestly could not think past the next page, I was totally captivated. 

The world building and characterisation are rich and vivid, and the characters development as well as the relationships building is riveting. I was enchanted by Kieren andAsh's fight for freedom and their desperate heart aching love for one another. The ending is gripping and truly satisfying. 

Would recommend to anyone who enjoys Ginn Hale's work and loves a good Western.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A Hero at the End of the World

  • Author: Erin Claiborne
  • Editions: Paperback 
  • Publisher: Big Bang Press 
  • Stars: 4/5 
Parody/ Fanfiction/ Harry Potter 


Sixteen year-old Ewan Mao knows one thing for certain: according to prophecy, it's his destiny to kill the evil tyrant whose dark reign has terrorized Britain. Although he's just a normal boy, deep down Ewan is confident that he has exactly what it takes to be a hero. But when Ewan's big moment comes, he freezes. His best friend, the clever and talented Oliver Abrams, defeats the villain for him, and Ewan's bright future crumbles before his eyes.

Five years later, Oliver has a job as an Unusual in the government's Serious Magical Crimes Agency, the life he and Ewan always dreamed of. But a routine investigation leads him and his partner, Sophie Stuart, to uncover a dangerous and powerful cult... one that seems to have drawn his former best friend into a plot to end the world.

A deftly plotted, hysterically funny take on Chosen One narratives, A Hero at the End of the World expertly walks the fine line between satire and sincerity. Its sensitive depiction of a broken friendship and wry take-down of unfairly great expectations will appeal to all readers of modern fantasy



The Fall of the Kings (The World of Riverside #3)


  • Author: Ellen Kushner and Della Sherman
  • Editions: Paperback, Hardback, Audiobook, E-book 
  • Publisher: Bantam 
  • Stars: 4.75/ 5 


Classic Fantasy/ Political Drama/ Folklore 


This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner's cult-classic novel, "Swordspoint," is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society's smug view of itself--and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it.... 

The Fall of the Kings 
Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men. Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge--and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil is not convinced--nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king... 

I heard a lot of negative reviews about this novel so when I finished The Privilege of the Sword, I was a little apprehensive. However I loved this book because of the folklore and the mythology behind this novel, this made The Fall Of The Kings, last book of the Riverside series, my favourite. I have always loved the idea of the Oak King and his Holly King, which has been explored for many centuries.


Review 

I read this one last and I think this is why I enjoyed it so much as everything made sense and I saw how this book links all the others together. In the other book is the Riverside series we hear about the Kings but they are seen as a negative figure. However in The Fall Of The Kings we see that the Kings have been trying to emerge for centres but the Wizards are still sleeping. This made me consider that maybe the reason that Alec was thought of as mad was because of the King blood running through his blood line and only Richard could keep him sane? (I don't know I'm just speculating). 


This novel is written 40 years after The Privilege of the Sword, and the main protagonists are Basil St Cloud, a University professor of Ancient History and Alec's son Theron Campion. They become lovers but Basil's research leads him to explore a history of magic that has been trampled on and made to look negative. However Basil wants to understand the truth, and therefore this book is deeply entangled in dirty politics, and the history of magic comes to light and the nobel's power is questioned.

Kushner takes old mythology and folklore and makes it new in a story that weaves politics, love and sexuality, scholarship and magic, and ancient ideas of kinship and leadership into a rich tapestry that moves the reader into believing that this history could have been real. The prose in this novel is written beautifully as the reader is taken almost dreamlike through the Grove back into a time where magic was freely used and celebrated. 

This novel really reminded me of Greenwode as the same concepts are explored. Brilliant novel in a brilliant series.
  



Song of the Navigator


  • Author: Astrid Amara 
  • Editions: Paperback, E-Book
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
  • Stars: 5/5  
Space/ Steampunk/ Fantasy



Worst Possible Birthday: Being sold into slavery by none other than your lover.


Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.

He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind—the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life—is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.

When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.

Review
Ive read this book twice now and I still adore it. Astrid Amara is one of my favourite authors after falling in love with her work after reading Archer's Heat and The Devil Lancer. Therefore I knew I would love this book and pre-ordered it months ago. This book reminded me a lot of Line and Orbit which I also demolished in a day and adored! 
Song Of A Navigator was simply perfect for me and I'm devastated that I finished it so quickly. I bought it in paperback as a) I wanted to re read it and b) it deserved it. 

Written solely from Tover's point of view I was hooked almost from the first sentence and fell i love with Tover's character quickly and easily there was an inner strength that shone through for me throughout his ordeal. Throughout this book he learns to start thinking for himself and to not be so ignorant of the world around him. Tovers character growth is not fast and certainly does not happen over night but gradually over the course of the novel. He also doesn't immediately accept Cruz's cause out of love. Cruz challenges Tover's view of the world and makes him see himself as more than a commodity and worth more than what he can do and I loved this aspect of the book as Tover learns to see himself in a different way. 

For me this book was simply incredible and I loved the characters and the setting, but most of all the love story between Cruz and Tover as it struggles and then comes through in the end. 
When I finished the book, much to quickly I must add, I was engulfed by a feeling of satisfaction and didn't want to start another story just so I could bathe in the after glow of this amazing novel. 

This book clearly deserves 5 stars and a recommendation to anyone who enjoys Amara's work and also to anyone who loves reading book that don't leave you easily

The Privilege of the Sword (The World of Riverside #2)


  • Author: Ellen Kushner 
  • Edition: Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Book, E-Book
  • Publisher: Spectra 
  • Stars: 4.5/ 5 
Fantasy Classic/ Historical Fantasy

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city's ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine's host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it's up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.

Review 
What a great sequel! Alec has come into his inheritance a decade or so after Swordspoint. Alec is no less manic, but the protagonist to this tale is his niece Katherine whom he is trying to make a swordsman on a whim, but with all Alec's plans we do later discover their is a deeper meaning to it. Katherine matures and grows throughout this novel from a character I didn't partially like to a woman who understood the world around her and be independent and free to choose a parter to marry or choose to stay unmarried. 
Katherine has a very different outlook to life than any of the other characters in Swodspoint, and her tone is young, innocent and endearing. Yet the tone to The Privilege Of The Sword is sadder than Swordspoint as Alec and Richard's glory days are over. Richard is blind and living far away and Alec misses him terribly and consequently sleeps with everything and gains the reputation of The Mad Duke. 
But the ending makes everything worth while and I'm so happy that we get to see these two men happy together. The only criticism I have is that I wanted to see more Alec and Richard, these two characters make these novels for me. 

What I appreciate about these novels is that Kushner explores the role of women in The Privilege of the Sword and how powerless they are in a very patriarchal society, and this aspect of the book made me respect Katherine a lot more.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Swords point (Riverside #️⃣1) - Ellen Kushner


  • Author: Ellen Kushner
  • Editions: Hardback (1987) Paperback (2003) Audiobook
  • Publisher: Spectra
  • Stars: 4.75 / 5


Fantasy Classic/ Historical Fantasy

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.


Review 

This book if just brilliantly unique and I was instantly charmed by it. My reading style has definitely matured in the last year and I felt this book fit with my reading style at the moment. The novel's layout and world building reminded me of Melissa Scot's Point of Hopes series and I feel these two series complement each other really well. 

Swords point has a very different atmosphere than most fantasy books. its set in 18th century instead of the medival period, in a city where nobles can hire Swordsmen to fight their quarrels in the form of proxy, The protagonists to this novel is Alec, a snarky, aggressively insulting ex-University scholar and his lover Robert St.Vier, the best swordsmen in recent history. Alec maybe crazy and frequently suicidel but Richard balances him out and is indeed charming in his own right (and definitely my favourite character). They are both brilliant together and their minor arguments are both entertaining and give the reader an insight to their deep feeling for one another. Like Scott, Kushner is not an erotic writer, but allows her readers to imagine their coupling. This book is not just a fantastic read, but is also beautifully lyrical in its writing, and deserves all the praise it has received, and more, as this book is simply enchanting. 

Recommened to anyone who enjoys Melissa Scotts work and also strangely enough it reminds me of the Havemercy series.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Fairs' Point - Melissa Scott (Astreiant #️⃣4)


  • Author: Melissa Scott 
  • Editions: Paperback, E-book 
  • Publisher: Lethe Press 
  • Stars: 4.75 / 5 


Mystery / Fantasy

During Dog Moon, the chief entertainment in the great city of Astreiant, for nobles and commons alike, is the basket-terrier races at New Fair. This year, with spectacularly bad timing, the massive and suspicious bankruptcy of a young nobleman has convulsed the city, leading to suicides, widespread loss of employment, and inconvenient new laws around the universal practice of betting on the races. As well, a rash of mysterious burglaries seems to suggest a magistical conspiracy.

Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is naturally in the midst of all these disturbances—as is his lover, foreign former mercenary Philip Eslingen. When Eslingen receives a basket-terrier puppy in the redistribution of the bankrupt’s household goods, he makes the best of it by having the pup trained for the races, an action that draws him and Rathe deeper into the coils of a mystery somehow involving New Fair’s dog races, bookies and bettors, the bankruptcy and its causes and fallout, burglaries, and a new uncanny form of murder. 


Review 

This series just keeps getting better and better, as with each book we learn about our characters a little more. I still adore Nico and Philip as they settle into being Leman's and living together. these tales Point Of Hope (1995), Point Of Dreams (2001), Point Of Knives (2012) and now Fairs' Point (2014) are all set in the city of Astriant, which to me has many similarities to Renaissance England but I have heard that it is modelled off the Italian Renaissance and especially Venice? This world is built around star consultations, where astrological predictions make the lives of everyone in this world, isn't that an amazing idea?! And the best part magic is real and women are the dominant sex. 

The main characters Nicholas Rathe and Philip Eslingen continue to be wonderful and thoughtful characters as their relationship depends and strengthens in spite of the continued tension over Eslingen's career choices. The Royal Guard are looking at creating a regiment in the city and want Philip to be their captain, however Rathe believes the guard will take the Pointsman's power away from them. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book of this series which is Point Of Sighs, how will the guard affect the points? And what does Scott mean by 'we see just how bad Philips stars are for water..." :0 I hope the book comes out soon as I am itching to read more about Nicholas and Philip. This book had some really touching quotes which I loved! 

"They usually spent the night apart, though in the morning they woke twined more often than not, as though in sleep their bodies sought each other.in wine and dream comes truth: the old proverb slipped through his mind unbidden."

If you enjoyed the other books in the Astriant series you wont be disappointed with this one. It was brilliant.