Category Archives: Fantasy

Fantasy reviews

Victoria Aveyard: Kings Cage (review)

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard's picture

Victoria Aveyard  is a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists.

book cover of King's Cage

In this breathless third installment of Victoria Aveyard’s best-selling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country – and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire – leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Review:

This series has surprised me since book one Red Queen, This is a dystopian style world, where society is 2 tiered and the elites are not the nicest people…. only even the elites have tiers within tiers, being a red is to be down trodden, but is being a silver better? Silvers have powers, but now so do some of the Reds and these are powers that require work  and te Red population of down trodden people are much more used to that than Silvers. All of this is a cauldron boiling toward ruin and has been all series long.

Kings Cage brings much of the animosity to its head, schisms appear sight through the silver community, civil war looms. This series and this book is forever full of surprises, action, miss direction, real depth of sub plot and characters that will dominate the book and your thoughts while reading it. Most of all as a granddad of a very strong willed young lady i love the strong female characters in this book, i love the way they drive the book and the plot and have real key pivotal roles in the book, not relegated to gender stereotypes. I will be happy to let her get her hands on this at some point.

This series blows away most of the YA dystopian series i have read in recent years, and i highly recommend it.

(Parm)

 

 

Series
Red Queen
0.1. Queen Song (2015)
0.2. Steel Scars (2016)
0.5. Cruel Crown (2016)
1. Red Queen (2014)
2. Glass Sword (2016)
3. King’s Cage (2017)
Red Queen 2-Book Collection (omnibus) (2016)
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Ben Aaronovitch The Furthest Station (5.7 Peter Grant / Rivers of London)

Ben Aaronovitch

Ben Aaronovitch’s career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series.

Born and raised in London he says that he’ll leave his home when they prise his city out of his cold dead fingers.

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There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.

Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.

And time is running out to save them.

Review

Furthest Station, actually works, i wasn’t sure if a novella would be enough to tell a PC Grant tale, but actually it worked perfectly, More so in fact than the Hanging Tree did for me, which seemed to just stop.

As with many mid series novellas a large part of this book is dropping hints, tit bits and introducing people who we will see more of later, but this was a lot more than that, it had all the charismatic humour that you expect from this series, all the innate British humour, and i think even funnier, the netgalley copy i had was for the USA, it had notes to explain some English vernacular for the Americans, those made me chuckle and should always be in there.

So this book is mainly i think about us seeing more and more of Peters wannabe Wizard cousin, and why not, she is smart, very smart. Has that usual smart mouth approach and condescending view of all people older and stupider than her (and lets face it thats a lot of people, she is very smart) .. As usual the author pays all the characters very well, true laugh out loud moments, groans  and a plot and pace that means the book is over in a blink. It leave you wanting more…. and that for me is the sign of a good book. Hanging Tree left me going…. wheres the rest… that’s not the same thing!

So lots more Mr Aaronovitch and soon please…

(Parm)

 

Series
PC Peter Grant
1. Rivers of London (2011)
aka Midnight Riot
2. Moon Over Soho (2011)
3. Whispers Under Ground (2012)
4. Broken Homes (2013)
5. Foxglove Summer (2014)
6. The Hanging Tree (2016)
P C Grant Novels (omnibus) (2013)
Ben Aaronovitch The PC Grant Novels 4 Books Collection Set, (omnibus) (2015)
The Furthest Station (2017)
The PC Grant Collection (2017)
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Series contributed to
Doctor Who : Seventh Doctor
Remembrance of the Daleks (1990)
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Doctor Who : New Adventures
10. Transit (1992)
44. The Also People (1995)
56. So Vile a Sin (1997) (with Kate Orman)
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Professor Bernice Summerfield
Genius Loci (2007)
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Doctor Who (with Trevor Baxendale)
Remembrance of the Daleks / Prisoner of the Daleks(2016)
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Sebastien De Castell : Tyrant’s Throne (Review)

Image result for Sebastien De Castell

Author Web site

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later he realized how much he actually hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor, and product strategist. His only defence against the charge of unbridled dilettantism is that he genuinely likes doing these things and that, in one way or another, each of these fields plays a role in his writing. He sternly resists the accusation of being a Renaissance Man in the hopes that more people will label him that way.

Sebastien is the author of the acclaimed swashbuckling fantasy series, The Greatcoats. His debut novel, Traitor’s Blade, was shortlisted for both the 2014 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fantasy and the Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut. He lives in Vancouver, Canada with his lovely wife and two belligerent cats.

Tyrant’s Throne  (2017)
(The fourth book in the Greatcoats series)

book cover of Tyrant's Throne

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead king’s dream: Aline, the king’s daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.

But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighboring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies that have long plagued Tristia’s borders–and even worse, he is rumored to have a new ally: Trin, who’s twice tried to kill Aline to claim the throne of Tristia for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, led by a bloodthirsty warrior, she’ll be unstoppable.

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and with a sense of dread the three friends realize that the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.

As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. With so many powerful contenders vying for power, it will fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to utter, much less enforce. Should he help crown the young woman he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?

Buy a signed Copy

Review

There are many books you can ruin with a review, this is truly one of them, as such i will stick only to how much i enjoyed it, not what its about. To give away any of the story would be to ruin the magic, the tragedy, the action and fun that awaits in every sentence on every page of this wonderful book and series.

Since i got my hands on book one of this series in 2014 i have been a huge fan and supporter of the series. It for me has always held the magic and mystery that is invoked by the tales of Dumas and the musketeers (a set of characters that captivated me as a child). The great coats having the je ne sais quoi of those 4 daring heroes of France, fighting not only those outside the law but also those rich conniving self serving traitors within the kings court.

Over there years there has been so many differing styles of Athos, Aramis, Porthos, Milady de Winter and D’Artagnan, Falcio and his cohorts bring to mind a mix of the 1993 Kiefer Sutherland era and the current BBC series. A more rough and tumble mixed with humor and sarcasm band of brothers. But this series is not just a play on an old favourite, it is so much more, the author plays with modern politics and the cynicism of this age, and mixes it with the differing ends of the spectrum of heroic fantasy. Our heroes are the epitome of what they stand for, ‘the law, honour and friendship’, and yet they must within that restriction navigate a cruel corrupt regime, dispensing justice to those who hate them or deride them.

This entire series has been written with a flair for the dramatic, the noble gesture, the  dangling of hope for the reader only to have it cruelly ripped away with a cold bath of reality. Yet not once does it ever phase our group of heroes, Falcio driven by his past to never fail, to always risk all on a daring plan, Brasti with his droll ever present wit and eagle eye both for a target and often the root of the problem and Kest who calculates every action every motive every scenario so that Falcio can then save them all with a large dollop of improbably action written in a way to make it all just so real, and improbability hidden in the spinning silvery blades and destructive power of Brasti’s bad jokes and deadly arrows.

This final book for me felt more alive and more emotional than the previous three, im not sure if it was the knowledge that it was the last (of the current crop….) I like to think its because the story was just that much more hard hitting, with a hugely explosive and emotive plot hidden among all the daring exploits, the shocking revelations and the inevitable failings as the group once more tried to save their world. I know for me it packed a huge punch and i shall miss them all. This is a series that has been read and re-read, and that’s not something i have time or patience for these days, except for the truly brilliant books/ series.

All i can say is that this sits up there as one of my all time fav fantasy series… (and I’ve read a heck of a lot of them)… so go buy them, go read them… don’t miss this.

(Parm)

 

Series
Greatcoats
1. Traitor’s Blade (2014)
2. Knight’s Shadow (2015)
3. Saint’s Blood (2016)
4. Tyrant’s Throne (2017)
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Spellslinger
1. Spellslinger (2017)
2. Shadowblack (2017)
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C.F Iggulden : Darien: Empire of Salt (Review)

From acclaimed historical novelist Conn Iggulden, DARIEN is an epic new fantasy series of spellbinding imagination.

Author Bio

 

TWELVE FAMILIES. ONE THRONE. WELCOME TO THE EMPIRE OF SALT.

The city of Darien stands at the weary end of a golden age. Twelve families keep order with soldiers and artefacts, with spies and memories, maintaining a peace that shifts and crumbles constantly. The people of the city endure what they cannot change.

Here, amongst old feuds, a plot is hatched to kill a king. It will summon strangers to the city – Elias Post, a hunter; Tellius, an old swordsman banished from his home; Arthur, a boy who cannot speak; Daw Threefold, a chancer and gambler; Vic Deeds, who feels no guilt; and Nancy, a girl whose talent might be the undoing of them all.

Their presence inside the walls as the sun sets will set off a series of explosive events. Before the sun returns, six destinies will have been made – and lost – in Darien.

Review

I feel very fortunate to have been given the chance to read a very advance copy of this book. Conn Iggulden is one of the biggest names in Historical Fiction, i think still the only writer to top the Fiction and Non fiction charts at the same time. So when i found out that Conn Iggulden was going to do a fantasy book i was thrilled, the man is a born storyteller, given free reign to write without the bounds of history was going to be fun to read. Add to this the fact that he has a great passion for my favorite writer David Gemmell, which would without doubt and i think does influence his work, in the way he builds his characters and backgrounds, and the sparse style that says much with minimal words.

Given the above i’m sure you will not be expecting an impartial review? And yet it is,  i went into this book expecting a lot…. a heck of a lot, so failure to deliver would have meant a review to match.

What Conn Iggulden has produced is a book that will be in the running for the Fantasy book of the year, and if its not a shoe in for the Gemmell fantasy Debut next year im not sure what should be! (does it count as a debut if its first in Genre?)

With Darien, Conn has created a world with a hint of Dystopia, is this earth in some far flung future? or is it entirely a construct? that was always the puzzle and challenge with Gemmell. The City of Darien seems to have a very Roman flavour. The corruption, the absolute ruler, the advisory council, the legion. but its only a framework, everything as ever with Conn has so much more wrapped around that, and it all feels very fresh and original.

The Magic of the world is certainly fresh, light touch, some abilities, some items imbued with magic, many from a time past, in a society that has lost the knowledge of its glorious past. The Characters… well its an Iggulden book, the are multi faceted, easy to read and easy to love. The skills they bring, and talents to survive are subtle like so many of the plot twists and turns. You will be hooked before you know it.

This is a truly excellent book, I thought Mark Lawrence had a run away winner for Fantasy book of the year this year, but now we have Darien, and its going to make that choice very difficult.

Darien is one of the best fantasy titles you will read this year, and is another genre Conn Iggulden looks set to dominate.

(Parm)

 

Buy from Goldsboro 13th July 2017

Buy from Amazon 13th July 2017

Series
Emperor
1. The Gates of Rome (2002)
2. The Death of Kings (2004)
3. The Field of Swords (2004)
4. The Gods of War (2006)
5. The Blood of Gods (2013)
Gates of Rome / Death of Kings (omnibus) (2009)
Emperor (omnibus) (2011)
The Emperor Series Books 1-5 (omnibus) (2013)
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Conqueror
1. Wolf of the Plains (2007)
aka Genghis: Birth of an Empire
2. Lords of the Bow (2008)
aka Genghis: Lords of the Bow
3. Bones of the Hills (2008)
4. Empire of Silver (2010)
aka Khan: Empire of Silver
5. Conqueror (2011)
Conqueror and Lords of the Bow (omnibus) (2009)
The Khan Series (omnibus) (2012)
Conqueror Series 5-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)
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Tollins
1. Tollins (2009)
2. Dynamite Tales (2011) (with Lizzy Duncan)
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Wars of the Roses
1. Stormbird (2013)
2. Trinity (2014)
aka Margaret of Anjou
3. Bloodline (2015)
4. Ravenspur (2016)
Wars of the Roses (omnibus) (2017)
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Novels
Dunstan (2017)
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Novellas
Blackwater (2006)
Fig Tree (2014)
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Series contributed to
Quick Reads 2012
Quantum of Tweed (2012)
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Non fiction
The Dangerous Book for Boys (2006) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Yearbook (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do (2007)(with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: How to Get There(2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: Nature Fun (2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys: 2009 Day-to-Day Calendar (2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Facts, Figures and Fun (2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know(2008) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Wonders of the World (2008) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar (2009) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book of Heroes (2009) (with David Iggulden)
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Peter Newman: The Seven (Vagrant book 3) Review/Blog Tour

Peter Newman

Peter Newman's picture

Peter Newman co-writes the Hugo nominated Tea and Jeopardy podcast and is also the voice of the butler, Latimer.

***DO NOT READ THE BELOW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE MALICE***

***DO NOT READ THE BELOW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE MALICE***

Years have passed since the Vagrant journeyed to the Shining City, Vesper in arm and Gamma’s sword in hand.

Since then the world has changed. Vesper, following the footsteps of her father, journeyed to the breach and closed the tear between worlds, protecting the last of humanity, but also trapping the infernal horde and all those that fell to its corruptions: willing or otherwise.

In this new age it is Vesper who leads the charge towards unity and peace, with seemingly nothing standing between the world and a bright new future.

That is until eyes open.

And The Seven awaken

Review

I find that Peter Newman breaks the mould a bit with this series, as he makes me break my reading rules. He somehow convinced me to read Malice before Vagrant…. i know shocking! Yet i found the book could indeed be read as a stand alone. I’m not sure i feel that The Seven could be, there is too much you need to know from before to invest you in the book/ series to just take a dive into this book. I’m also not sure where i would truly pigeon hole this book genre wise… is it really Fantasy? or Dystopian? or Scifi? (i hate Scifi) or just a blend of all?

As with the previous two books, the story is quite dark, gritty and immersive. Its not a book i can read in my normal style of pick up and put down, it needs to be read in large swathes of reading time to truly enter the world and the spirit of the story. I find for me at times it (like Malice) can be a little too dark and a smidgen too depressing…but that said i think its a testament to the writing that it elicits a range of emotions across the spectrum and makes me want to keep reading. It has that ability to give you edge of the seat tension as well as doldrum like darkness and all the time keeping you in step with the wonderful characters of the book.

In my last review i wrote : “The major characters don’t require major depth, in fact they seem to start out shells ready to be filled, and grow as the book progresses, as do the variations of creatures that now inhabit the world.”

Over the course of Malice, Vagrant and the City and now the Seven, Peter Newman has more than filled the shells of these characters, his world has blossomed from its dark beginnings giving the reader such a rich kaleidoscope for the imagination and a truly original tale that i dare any reader to not enjoy and not be utterly drawn in by his world and the people who inhabit it.

(Parm)

Series
Vagrant
1. The Vagrant (2015)
2. The Malice (2016)
3. The Seven (2017)
The Hammer and the Goat (2016)
The Vagrant and the City (2017)
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Tales Of Albion
1. Landfall (2016)
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David Gemmell Rhyming Rings (Review)

David Gemmell

David A Gemmell's picture
UK flag (19482006)
aka Ross Harding

David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell’s works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sell worldwide.

(Pre order link at the bottoms, 18th May release date)

book cover of Rhyming Rings

Rhyming Rings is a never-before-seen Gemmell novel, discovered in his papers by his widow, Stella Gemmell. Merging autobiographical details of Gemmell’s life as a journalist in South London with a serial killer and a tinge of the supernatural, this is perfect for fans of David’s work, as well as readers of gritty crime novels. Set against the backdrop of a London simmering with poverty, change and racial tension, this taut thriller is a fitting legacy for the great writer.

This book includes a brand new introduction from massive Gemmell fan Conn Iggulden, and an afterword by Gemmell’s friend Stan Nicholls.

An ambidextrous killer is murdering women, leaving virtually no evidence behind, and struggling journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case. Instead, he’s stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly psychic ladies.

So when his stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy.

Or, it turns out, more at risk.

Review:

Reading this book has been a journey for me, I knew after so long reading a new David Gemmell would be an emotive experience and i tried to take my time with the book and truly read it and let it take me on its intended journey, right through to the afterword which brought tears to my eyes and I only knew the Big man a little, yet his kindness touched me as much as his words always inspired me, his simple encouragement to a new bookseller and reviewer had a profound impact on me.

I think i needed this book, its very easy to become a little jaded in reviewing, so many books and a to be read pile that grows every year and if you are lucky an audience who expects more and more books to be reviewed, only then it takes away the simplistic joy of reading for yourself. When David Gemmell passed away i never wanted to be in a place where there was no new Gemmell on the horizon, that perfection of writing to come, so the final book of the Troy series always sat there on the shelf unread but after this book I think I can finally finish reading the Troy series … silly as it sounds I never wanted to let go that last book, but the words should be read and lived and loved., and finishing this book has left me refreshed and ready for more worlds and time periods, and most of all its reminded me to take time out and go back and read the books i love.

Rhyming Rings is truly such a simple and powerful book and yet takes me back to why I love reading … and the simple answer is David Gemmell .. that’s where my love of reading , my real passion to constantly seek out the next book came from and how can you ever repay that. Stan Nichols and Conn Igguldens words helped remind me of the person behind the words, in many ways this book reminds me of White knight Black Swan, that simple honest yet impacting story… he still stuns me with his writing now, so honest and real.

I don’t want to delve too much into the plot, the blurb tells you pretty much all you need to know, the book is as much a journey of self awareness as it is a crime drama, but done in that unique subtle Gemmell style, there is I feel a little Jeremy Miller in us all, that wanting to belong yet feeling outside the group, the degrees of self doubt and angst and the inexperience of youth not knowing when to shut up and listen. The use of the polar opposites in Mr Sutcliffe and Ethel offer that counter point of experience and understanding, that stillness and reflection or maturity.  All of this is wrapped around a very cleverly put together crime drama, set in 80’s London, and while the book may be set in the 80’s it does not feel dated, it reminds me a bit of life on Mars in that it feels fresh and right, it feels like the author lived through those times and is just now retelling them, its a story that has not dated at all.

For me i think this is a book to be experienced as much as read, but i acknowledge my fan status and love of the mans work, please do try this, see the style and quality, and if you have never picked up his other work i hope this leads you into the worlds of David Gemmell, because they are a true joy to read.

(Parm)

 

Series
Drenai
1. Legend (1984)
aka Against the Horde
2. The King Beyond the Gate (1985)
3. Waylander (1986)
4. Quest for Lost Heroes (1990)
5. In the Realm of the Wolf (1992)
6. The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (1993)
7. The Legend of Deathwalker (1996)
8. Winter Warriors (1997)
9. Hero in the Shadows (2000)
Drenai Tales (omnibus) (1991)
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Sipstrassi : Jon Shannow
1. Wolf in Shadow (1987)
aka The Jerusalem Man
2. The Last Guardian (1989)
3. Bloodstone (1994)
The Complete Chronicles of the Jerusalem Man (1995)
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Sipstrassi : Stones of Power
1. Ghost King (1988)
2. Last Sword of Power (1988)
Stones of Power (omnibus) (1992)
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Lion of Macedon
1. Lion of Macedon (1991)
2. Dark Prince (1991)
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Hawk Queen
1. The Ironhand’s Daughter (1995)
2. The Hawk Eternal (1995)
Hawk Queen (omnibus) (2014)
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Rigante
1. Sword in the Storm (1998)
2. Midnight Falcon (1999)
3. Ravenheart (2001)
4. Stormrider (2002)
Tales of the Rigante (omnibus) (2001)
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Skilgannon the Damned
1. White Wolf (2003)
2. The Swords of Night and Day (2004)
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Troy
1. Lord Of The Silver Bow (2005)
2. The Shield of Thunder (2006)
3. Fall Of Kings (2007) (with Stella Gemmell)
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Novels
The Lost Crown (1989)
Knights of Dark Renown (1989)
Morning Star (1992)
White Knight, Black Swan (1993) (as by Ross Harding)
Dark Moon (1996)
Echoes of the Great Song (1997)
Rhyming Rings (2017)
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Mark Lawrence: Red Sister (Review)

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire comes the bestselling RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. The BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy, in an entirely new setting, commences with RED SISTER in 2017. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.

Author Website

Release date: April 6th 2017

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“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin”
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Review:

I’m not sure if i should be immensely grateful to Mark Lawrence or curse him soundly? This has been book 7 for 2017 for me, and i’m not sure i want to be in a position of thinking I’ve just read what is highly likely to be the best book i will read this year. But that’s the case, any other author is going to have to smack the ball way way out of the park to top this read.

I admit i’m a fan of Mark Lawrence’s writing, and I’ve given him high praise before, but even with my love of the wonderfully sarcastic Jalan and the brutally efficient Snorri, i could very quickly see them eclipsed by the characters of this new series. Who would have imagined that the antics of a bunch of young girls training to be warrior Nuns would be so well imagined? The world building in this book is phenomenal, Marks style as always is so subtle, the world emerges around you as you read, there is no conscious information drop, you see it and it develops through the eyes of the characters, with different view points and perceptions. The magic in the book is subtle and wonderful, a little bit shown then a bit more, each piece branching and dovetailing neatly into the next to weave a complex set of abilities and society of magic amidst a failing world. There are ever progressing tantalizing glimpses of where these people came from, making the book borderline Sci-Fi (careful there mark…. i don’t like Sci-Fi 😉  ) I feel this series has so much more to come, so many layers to the story and the characters that no matter the genre you read it can and will totally capture your attention and take you on an amazing journey.

I find myself wanting the use the phrase character growth, yet it seems redundant, we are following the early years of training and growing up of these girls, so there has to be character growth. yet it is carried out in a very real fashion, all the little interplay’s of friendship, politics, fun and pain are there, all the little interplay’s that children have but in a more brutal word with a harder set of rules and training, an uncompromising life for an uncompromising world.

This book and its lead character Nona will literally explode into your life from the first page, demanding your attention, needing love and protection and your time and devotion, and giving you none of those in return, but instead delighting you with her growth and achievements, her prowess and her misdemeanors. Mark Lawrence seems have managed to make a book that emotionally is the equivalent of raising your own warrior child.

Book 2 cannot come soon enough.

Literally

(Parm)

Series

Broken Empire
1. Prince of Thorns (2011)
2. King of Thorns (2012)
2.5. Sleeping Beauty (2014)
3. Emperor of Thorns (2013)
Mark Lawrence 2-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)
The Complete Broken Empire Trilogy (omnibus) (2014)
The Secret (2015)
Road Brothers (2015)
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Red Queen’s War
1. Prince of Fools (2014)
2. The Liar’s Key (2015)
3. The Wheel of Osheim (2016)
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Red Sister
1. Red Sister (2017)
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Collections
Road Brothers Stories (2017)
Novellas
During the Dance (2014)
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Filed under Fantasy, Mark Lawrence