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Monday, May 4, 2015

GUEST REVIEW: Sword Of The North by Luke Scull (Reviewed by Steff "Mogsy" Sheung)

Official Author Website
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Grim Company
Read Mogsy's review of The Grim Company
Order Sword Of The North HERE (US) and HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic Interview with Luke Scull
Read "From Zero To Hero: A Tale Of True Grit (Or how I got a book deal)" by Luke Scull

INTRODUCTION: One of the blogs I follow regularly is The Bibliosanctum and Steff (Mogsy) is one of the main reviewers over there. Her review style and choice in books is something that I’ve really enjoyed. So recently she and I came up with this terrific idea to do a review swap for one of the most anticipated titles of 2015. My thanks to Steff for agreeing to participate in this fun experiment and you can read ahead to find out her thoughts on Luke Scull’s Sword Of The North and then tomorrow head over to The Bibliosanctum to read mine.

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Luke Scull was born in Bristol and has lived most of his life in the British Isles. Luke also designs computer roleplaying games and has worked on several acclaimed titles for Ossian Studios and Bioware. Luke began his career, as a hobbyist game designer, who was selected by Bioware as one of his modifications to Neverwinter Nights, became a hit. Since then he has worked as designer on the Neverwinter expansion, Mysteries of Westgate, and an unreleased expansion for The Witcher role-playing game. He currently lives in Warminster with his wife.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: It is the Age of Ruin, a time in desperate need of heroes. But heroes are in short supply. The only candidates - a motley company at best - are scattered to the four winds.

Former rebel Sasha has now become an unwilling envoy between the powerful. Eremul the Halfmage languishes in disgrace, his warnings of approaching war falling on deaf ears. Yllandris, sorceress of the High Fangs, servant to a demon lord, has become that which she most despises. Davarus Cole, assassin of the immortal, lies on the brink of death. The legendary champion Brodar Kayne carves a bloody path towards his enemy of old in search of the woman he thought dead...

In this, the second blistering installment of Luke Scull's critically acclaimed trilogy THE GRIM COMPANY, past and present collide, plunging the Age of Ruin further into darkness...

FORMAT/INFO: Sword Of The North is 448 pages long, divided over forty-eight titled chapters. Narration is in the third-person primarily via Davarus Cole, Brodar Kayne, Yllandris, Sasha, Eremul and Sir Meredith. This book is the second volume of the The Grim Company Trilogy.

December 10, 2014 marked the publication of the UK e-book edition of Sword Of The North by Head Of Zeus and the hardback was previously released on March 12, 2015. The book will be published in the US on May 5, 2015 by Ace-Roc books.

CLASSIFICATION: The Grim Company series is a dark epic fantasy series that can be best summed up as Joe Abercrombie's grim wit & gritty characterization meets James Clemens' Godslayer Chronicles!

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Of the many fantasy sequels coming out this year, Luke Scull’s Sword of the North is high on my anticipated list. The follow-up to the hit that was The Grim Company, this second book continues with a story teeming with fantastic characters, a strong plot, and plenty of action.

In the first book we met Brodar Kayne, a hero from the cold reaches whose battle prowess and skill with a blade earned him the title Sword of the North. Together with a band of ragtag outcasts, he and his companion Jerek the Wolf were able to survive the chaos that reigned after the White Lady declared victory and succeeded the tyrant Salazar. However, their new ruler has proven not to be as benevolent as she claimed. Something feels rotten at the heart of the city as dissidents are captured or disappeared, but if the White Lady cannot be convinced of the new danger threatening Dorminia, the state of things are sure to go from bad to worse.

Our grim company is broken now, the characters scattered across the land to pursue their own personal quests. Amidst dark tidings about the Shaman and demon hordes in the High Fangs, Brodar and Jerek begin their journey back to their homeland in light of new revelations about Brodar’s family. Weakened and injured from the ordeal at the end of book one, Davarus Cole wakes up in a labor camp and immediately finds himself put to work, but deep inside he is a changed man, no longer the puffed-up blowhard he once was. Sasha grieves, believing Cole lost to her, and falls back into her drug addiction even as she travels with her slightly unhinged sister Ambryl to bring news to the White Lady. And last but certainly not least, there is Eremul the Halfmage who continues his investigation into the race of immortals known as the Fade. Who are these mysterious creatures? And what do they want?

Make no mistake, the characters are the highlight of this series. It’s difficult for me to single out any favorites, because they are all so well written, deeply developed and memorable in their own way. I don’t know how Luke Scull does it, but even when his characters are dastardly and unlikeable, they’re great. Take for example, the chapters featuring Sir Meredith and his misguided notions of honor. I found them a pleasure to read, if for no other reason because you know it’ll feel so good when the cruel “knight” finally gets what he deserves.

I also believe much of the characters’ strength comes from their all-too-human flaws, which are nonetheless balanced by admirable virtues…well, in most cases anyway. Even Jerek who is as crass as ever can be lovable in his own way, because one would think nothing can shake the old Wolf’s loyalty to his friends. It’s what makes one significant plot development late in the novel so heart-wrenching. When it comes to plot elements that cut deeply, there’s also Sasha and her hopeless cycle of abstaining from the moon dust only to fall off the wagon again and again.

Scull has this way of getting you right into the heads of his characters, and Sasha’s struggle with the drug is one instance where the storytelling really closes in at a more intimate level. It’s all about personal stories, and nothing can be more personal than the flashbacks to Brodar Kayne’s past. These chapters were excellent, giving insight into our rough and tough protagonist, especially with the way they were interspersed with his present perspective. The company may be no more, most of its members separated, but in the process we’ve actually been given some great opportunities to further explore each character.

I was also surprised that for a heavy book containing such abundant themes and trappings of grimdark, Sword of the North was a relatively smooth, breezy read. It’s helped by the strong thread of wry humor woven through the story as well as the straight forward prose and dialogue, which at times featured language that bordered on modern-sounding. It’s not all gloom and doom despite the action and brutal violence, and actually managed to pull quite a few laughs out of me too.

As for flaws, I can’t think of many at all. Sword of the North is the middle book of a planned trilogy, and there are a lot of plot threads to follow so you can expect a slight slowdown in some of them while we gear up for the finale. On the whole, I found this to be the case with Davarus Cole as well as Eremul’s chapters. That’s not to say they were boring; on the contrary, there’s a lot of development happening there. But in terms of pacing, they were no match for Brodar Kayne’s action-filled chapters. Practically every other scene featured Brodar and his companions sticking a sword in something’s face, whether they be bandits, the risen undead, or poop-flinging barbarians. There were a couple new plot elements inserted into that storyline that felt a bit awkward though, such as a certain character from the Jade Isles who joins Brodar and his party late in the book. I think Scull may be setting up some game changers for book three, but the introduction of this character still seemed quite sudden and random. I guess we’ll see if it pays off in the next installment, but something tells me the author knows what he’s doing.

CONCLUSION: All told, this book was very enjoyable. Speaking of the next installment, I absolutely cannot wait for the third and final volume of this trilogy. If the first and second books are any indication, the finale is going to be well worth it. In Sword of the North, Luke Scull delivered a truly stellar sequel.


GUEST REVIEWER INFO: Also known by her handle "Mogsy" on her blogs and on Twitter, Stephenie Sheung is a contributor at The BiblioSanctum, a book review site for speculative fiction and graphic novels. A freelance artist by trade, you can often find her at work with an audiobook in her ears or sneaking in breaks with her nose in a fantasy novel.

When she's not lost in fictional worlds, she likes to play video games, try out new recipes, crochet stuffed animals, and spend time with her husband and their two little daughters. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she now lives in the US with her family and a couple of hyperactive Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Friday, May 1, 2015

"Alistair Grimm's Odditorium: Odditorium #1" by Gregory Funaro (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Gregory Funaro's Website Here

OVERVIEW: Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

FORMAT: Alistair Grim's Odditorium is the first book of a children's fantasy series. It has a mix of everything in it from action, adventure, sci-fi, steampunk, supernatural, enchanted characters, mythology, a London setting, and a little mystery.

Alistair Grim's Odditorium stands at 432 pages and was published January 6, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion.

ANALYSIS: What if you added a steampunk/gothic flair to Harry Potter and threw in some magical creatures like from Beauty and Beast? What would you get? I would say you get the Odditorium series. Now, before you rush off and chalk this up as just another Harry Potter/children's fantasy knockoff book, let me tell you it is anything but that.

The minute I started reading Alistair Grim's Odditorium, I knew I was in for a treat. There is just something magical about the writing style, the characters, and the pace of the book. It practically pulls you in and before you know it the book is over and you have to wait until the next one is released.

One of my biggest concerns with Alistair Grim's Odditorium was that it would become a pure mess. The overview promised a lot. There was a promise of dragons, mythology, magical creatures like banshees, a powerful magical force, wizards, witches, and a steampunk-like house. That is certainly a lot of elements that can turn into a mess when not handled properly, but luckily it was handled with care.

It is surprising with all the elements that are actually present within the novel that there was such a simple feel to the book. Even though Gregory Funaro introduces a lot of things it is done at a pace that – for the reader – is easy to keep up with and maintain. Characters were slowly introduced and developed, which kept them memorable.

There also was a 'main cast' that stayed consistent throughout the book. Some secondary characters were introduced, but for the most part the main cast was involved in all, or most of, the activities. This made it really easy to remember who people were, what their background story was, and really relate to them.

Another element of Alistair Grim's Odditorium that really helped was the pacing of the novel. The novel was fast paced with a lot of action, but there were detailed elements thrown in. There was a whole backstory that was revealed, the characters' stories were told, and everyone developed a personality. Considering how fast and action-packed the novel was it was surprising so much could be jammed into the book and not turn into something that was confusing or just plain junk.

Overall, I loved Alistair Grim's Odditorium. I loved the magical watch character, found Grubb likeable and someone I really wanted to learn more about, and really was just invested in the entire story. I can't wait to see where the series goes. There was a lot thrown in at the end that left me waiting anxiously for the next novel. The author is extremely talented and I just cannot wait to see what happens.

If you are looking for a good read that isn't overly complex, give Alistair Grim's Odditorium a try. It is sure to be a delight for anyone who likes children's fantasy books and is looking for something that is a little out of the norm.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off First Update (by Mihir Wanchoo)

As I talked about previously in my introductory post, Mark Lawrence was kind enough to give me a list. I’ll be doing six reading rounds wherein I’ll be selecting one title from 4-5 books. In the end, the chosen six will get a proper FBC style review and I’ll be selecting one title from that list. So for my first round, I read the following four titles:

1) David Tatum – The Kitsune Stratagem
  The Kitsune Strategem is an interesting book about a world wherein Kitsunes are present and have been brought into existence by the Goddess Inari. The book had an interesting start and the characters are rather straightforward in their approach. Kieras and Mathis are the main protagonists and are the central focus of the story. One of the plus points of this story was how the author inculcated various mythological creatures in a secondary fantasy world. This was a good read but it didn't quite grow out of its fun mold.

2) Charlotte Cyprus – Kiss of the Fae
  Kiss Of The Fae was a romantic fantasy and it focused on two characters Xenos and Johara who are from different sides and are forced to let go of their conventional views. This of course being a story with a strong romantic focus, we find that the characters do manage to overcome their biases and find love in each other. This was an interesting story and the characters were intriguing if not slightly predictable.

3) Scott Warren – Sorcerous Crimes Division: Devil Bone
  I had high hopes from this book as it presented a fantasy world and gave the story a noir feel with magic and gangs and a constabulary who regulates and tries to keep the city safe. The story begins in a meandering fashion and we are introduced to our main characters Commander Vulfort & private Tanner. The plot takes a while to get going but the ending more than makes up for the slow start. What I thoroughly enjoyed with this story was the world that’s slowly unveiled and the epic story that’s promised in the sequel volumes.

4) Brian Lynch – King Callie
  This was a rather different book as it focuses on a teenage character Callie who faces some stern odds. I enjoyed the "teenage character in an adult fantasy world" approach of the story. Very reminiscent of the ShadowMarch quartet by Tad Williams, though Brian Lynch keeps the plot focus much narrowed down than Tad Williams. The story is fast-paced and that kept me reading all the way through to the end. I enjoyed this story but the story felt a bit unrealistic with the way Callie goes about her journey.

From this round, the one title that appealed to the most and will be proceeding forward is Sorcerous Crimes Division: Devil Bone by Scott Warren. Next up will be five new titles & I'll hopefully finish reading them in the next two-three weeks.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Prudence: The Custard Protocol Book One" by Gail Carriger (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Gail Carriger's Official Website Here
Read FBC's Review of Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless
Read FBC's Review of The Finish School Book 1 and Book 2 

: When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

FORMAT: Prudence is the first novel in The Custard Protocol. This series picks up 20+ years after The Parasol Protectorate series. It is not necessary to read The Parasol Protectorate. Some of the events will be referenced and some characters make an appearance, but it isn't necessary.

Prudence is an adult fiction novel that is a mix of supernatural, steampunk, humor, and a little romance and historical fiction. Prudence stands at 368 pages and was published by Orbit on March 17, 2015.  

ANALYSIS: Gail Carriger is one of those authors that you either love her writing style or you hate it. It is a little bit steampunk, little bit supernatural, and a whole lot of out-right silliness. It certainly isn't for everyone.

I started reading Carriger's novels in 2010 when the Parasol Protectorate series was brand new. I admit it took a little getting used to, as the books weren't like anything I had read before. The conversations between characters was flowery, the situations ridiculous (in a silly/fun way), and there was an effort to keep things time period specific. I grew to enjoy Carriger's novels and have since read the entire Parasol Protectorate series and all three books – so far – of the Finishing School series.

Given how much I enjoyed the Parasol Protectorate series, I was excited when I heard that Carriger was doing a spin-off of sorts with The Custard Protocol. The Custard Protocol follows Prudence – Lord and Lady Maccon's daughter – as she makes her way through society and learns to accept her role as a metanatural. Unfortunately, my excitement did not last through this book.

First, it should be known that if you enjoyed the Parasol Protectorate series, you will probably enjoy The Custard Protocol. The writing style is the same, the characters are the same; everything is pretty much in line with the first series. And that is where the problem begins.

Ultimately, I felt as though The Custard Protocol was a mere redo of the Parasol Protectorate. Substitute Alexia with Prudence, Ivy with her daughter, and a few other characters, and you ultimately have the entire first series. I was really looking forward to seeing Prudence as a new person and new character, but that didn't happen.

In fact, if you closed your eyes there really was no difference between Alexia in book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate and Prudence in book one of The Custard Protocol. The powers were a little different and Prudence was more aware of the supernatural aspect of the world, but attitude, personality, quirks, and speaking style was exactly the same. The only exception is..... Prudence is boring. She only knows clothing and fashion. So imagine a boring Alexia and you get Prudence.

Prudence wasn't the only one without a new personality. Prim Tunstall is attached at Prudence's hip and appears non-stop throughout the book. The problem with this is Prim – while claiming to not be like her mother – is exactly like Ivy Hisselpenny (Alexia's best friend from The Parasol Protectorate series).

I really would have liked to see the characters be themselves instead of feeling as if Carriger was trying to re-capture the feelings from the first series. Yes, it could be argued that people inherit their parent's traits, but every character was almost a cookie cutter knockoff of their parent from the first series. It was a bit disappointing.

In addition to the lack of new character development, there is the lack of a plot. The ultimate plot of the book is that Prudence is sent to India to discover some odd, but tasty tea plant. I wish I could tell you there was more to the plot, but there isn't a whole lot more to the plot. There is a subplot that gets revealed in the last part of the book about two groups of warring supernatural creatures, but it is largely overshadowed and downplayed.

For much of the book readers are overburdened with nonsense. There are huge sections of silly talk about what the proper dress is for an occasion or what hat should go with what. There is a lot of description and time spent talking about a ladybug painted dirigible that farts – yes it farts and that is world-ending horrible. And let us not forget the debates about what is or is not proper for society. I know society gossip/reputation was important in that time period, but this just seemed to be placed there in the absence of a plot.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the series is supposed to be silly and humorous, but for the most part Carriger knows how to bring in humor while keeping a plot going. That did not happen here. We were left with a good 25-50% of nonsense, a little plot development, and a little look back and hints of favorite characters from previous books. 

I wish I could say I enjoyed Prudence. Carriger is a wonderful, amazing and very talented author. Unfortunately, this book was not one of her strongest. I believe fans of her other series may enjoy it, but it does not have the potential to capture the attention of a new audience.
Thursday, April 9, 2015

"The Island of Dr. Libris" by Chris Grabenstein (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Chris Grabenstein's Official Website Here
OVERVIEW: What if your favorite characters came to life? Billy’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of swords. The twang of arrows. Sometimes he can even feel the ground shaking. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life! But that’s impossible . . . isn’t it?

FORMAT: The Island of Dr. Libris is a standalone novel. It contains elements of fantasy and adventure with a slight mysterious element to it. The Island of Dr. Libris was published March 24, 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers and stands at 256 pages.

ANALYSIS: Ask any avid reader if they have ever gotten so engrossed in a book that they felt like they were actually a part of story and chances are you will hear them say 'yes'. It has happened to all readers at some point in time.

Now, what if there was a way we could take the worlds are characters created by our favorite authors and somehow bring those to life. We would be able to interact with the characters, play out scenes from the books, and occasionally add our own plot twists or start our own adventure. That is the concept that is explored in The Island of Dr. Libris.

The Island of Dr. Libris may be a children's book, but it is much more than that. It really explores the concept of the power of imagination. It truly makes us think about just how powerful the written word is in terms of developing our imagination and influencing the future.

I will admit that The Island of Dr. Libris will be enjoyable if you don't take it too seriously. The tone is lighthearted and fun while the entire book is fast paced. But, I'll admit there are certainly holes in the plot and the subplot (the main character's parents are getting divorced) is resolved in a manner that is a bit unbelievable. Readers will encounter things that can certainly be picked apart and debated that it isn't 'logical', but at the core of it – this is a children's book and it isn't really meant to be detailed to the point that everything is explained in a logical way.

In many ways, The Island of Dr. Libris has two distinct audiences. The experience you get out of it will depend upon which group you fall into. The first group, elementary aged children, will like the silly dialogue and fast pace. Those that fall into this first category will certain be introduced to a tone of characters and authors that seem to be pushed to the wayside by the younger audience in favor of newer, hipper authors.

The other audience, the one I fall into, is the adult audience who will appreciate the way the author brought to life – and meshed – favorite literary novels. There is Robin Hood, Hercules, and The Three Musketeers, and my favorite – Pollyanna.

Unfortunately, if you fall into the last category there are drawbacks to the novel and you will probably notice. For example, the entire book revolves around the idea of Dr. Libris running an experiment, but Dr. Libris only appears for like 2 seconds and that is it. If you want to see what happens, I guess you will have to use your imagination and create an ending!

Overall, I enjoyed The Island of Dr. Libris. The story wasn't intense, but it wasn't bad. There were certain plot holes that were noticeable, but it didn't really impact my overall experience with the book. If you are looking for a fast, fun book that will certainly stay with you for a while – this is the place to look.
Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Great Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off by Mark Lawrence & various bloggers

Self-published authors have it quite tough, usually they are disregarded by many readers and review sites. Among the few that do review them, the self-pubbed/indie crowd has tough completion with traditionally published authors and their works. All in all for them, it’s more than just an uphill climb. Which is why I want to thank Mark Lawrence for coming up with this massive idea and blog-off for giving all self-published authors a chance at recognition, reviews and hopefully great press.

Nearly a month ago Mark announced this competition, wherein he asked for author to submit their works to be judged by 10 fantasy review blogs. Previously he had sent out a call for bloggers to participate. In this endeavor, reader & blogger extraordinaire Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues admirably helped out with logistics and was the first volunteer blogger to sign up for this.

At Fantasy Book Critic, we have prided ourselves on trying to give Indie and self-published books a fair shake amidst the traditional author books. This has lead us to discover talented folks such as Michael J, Sullivan, Anthony Ryan, David Dalglish to just name a few.

Amid such a fantastic role-call, it was all I could do to not volunteer. Mark was very gracious enough to grant me a place among esteemed bloggers such Ria (Bibliotropic), Bob M. (Beauty In Ruins), Tyson Mauermann (Speculative Book Review) and many others. These bloggers are people whose choices I pay attention to as well as consider them my friends. So after getting close to 300 title entries, Mark disseminated these titles among the 10 of us and I have gotten the following titles allotted to me:

1. Corey Bryers – Scrapper
2. Alex ZiebartBlood and Masks
3. Beth LyonsThe Soul Thief
4. Scott WarrenSorcerous Crimes Division: Devil Bone
5. Domino FinnShade City
6. David TatumThe Kitsune Stratagem
7. Charlotte CyprusKiss of the Fae
8. Scott McGowanBjorn and Bread
9. Greg James – Under A Colder Sun
10. Andy CrawfordThe Pen is Mightier
11. Brian LynchKing Callie
12. Christopher RuzCentury of Sand
13. Anthony LoweCity of Blades
14. Eric KnightWreckers Gate
15. Melissa PorterPurple
16. Rachel BowdenArtisan
17. Annika HowellsHow to disappear completely
18. Wilf Jones The Best of Men
19. Robert MullinBid the gods arise
20. Sean MoranA Time of Kings
21. Rob DonovanRitual of the Stones
22. Randall FitzgeraldNo One’s Chosen
23. Nat Russo Necromancer Awakening
24. A. Murtagh Soldiers
25. Jenny WatsonSpirit’s Mage
26. Ken LimThe Starfall Knight
27. Victor SalinasThe Sword and its Servant

The idea is for all of us to choose one worthy title among the all titles in our list and then pitch it to the rest of us as to why we feel it as the best. Eventually one winner will be announced among all such worthy titles. I plan to do a major review of the best book I choose and also do as many mini-reviews of the books from the above list. I’ll be stating my reasons for books which I’m not able to finish or didn’t enjoy.

Since I’m a bit strapped for time, I’ll be a bit stricter than I usually am while reviewing titles for FBC. So I hope you all join us bloggers amidst our search for the next fantasy self-pubbed breakout star. Here’s what my compatriots have been up to so far:

Bob Milne of Beauty in Ruins on blurbs, covers, and titles.
Lynn Williams of Lynn's Books reviews His Own Good Sword by Amanda McCrina.
Ria of Bibliotropic on titles, covers, and blurbs.
Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues divides to conquer!
Elitist Book Reviews outline their slush-strategy.
An update from Lynn's Books.
Here an 11th man has a sift through the slush.
On The Fictional Hangout Milo reviews Fire and Ice by Patty Jansen.
Ria of Bibliotropic reviews Son of a Dark Wizard.
Ria of Bibliotropic starts an update list.
Elitist Book Reviews like The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids.

As for me, I’ve already selected my first title among the bunch selected for me. I’m currently reading Sorcerous Crimes Division: Devil Bone by Scott Warren. What drew me to it was the mix of procedural noir and fantasy in its blurb which reminded me greatly of Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos and Daniel Polansky’s Low Town trilogy. So far I’m very much enjoying it and I’ll be posting my thoughts on it soon.


Click here to find out more about “Blood & Royalty”
Order HERE


Click here to find out more about “The Abyss Beyond Dreams”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “Unholy War”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “Station Eleven”

Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “The Knight”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “The Dark Defiles”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “Tom Swan and The Siege of Belgrade 1”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “City of Stairs”
Review HERE


Click here to find out more about “Bete”
Review HERE