Fantasy

Review of ~ Andrzej Sapowski – Baptism of Fire (The Witcher #5)

9.5/10

Minor Spoilers May Follow

My adventure with The Witcher novels continues at a breakneck pace as, like the previous books, I devoured this story in two days. This series has shown moments of utter brilliance but with certain plodding and info-dumping sections, it’s never quite ascended to the heights that it truly could have. Until now. So far this is the finest entry and it features everything I love from this series. (more…)

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Review of ~ Mark Lawrence – Bound (Book of the Ancestor #2.5)

7.5/10

I received a review copy of Bound in exchange for an honest review. I’d like to thank Mark Lawrence for the opportunity.

Bound is set in between the events of Grey Sister and upcoming novel Holy Sister and clocks in at sixteen thousand words. It’s an excellent bite-sized addition to the already brilliant Book of the Ancestor world that can be devoured in approximately an hour. As it’s a short tale I will just compose a quick mini review. (more…)

Review of ~ Andrzej Sapkowski – Blood of Elves (The Witcher #3)

8.5/10

Blood of Elves is chronologically the 3rd entry within The Witcher saga. Whereas previously all the short stories followed Geralt of Rivia working on certain monster assassination assignments, within Blood of Elves he is one of 3 or 4 main characters that we share the minds of. For the novels, you can start here but I wouldn’t recommend it. I found that I completely loved the groundwork I’d put in with the previous narratives and then hearing about the past stories mentioned of which I’d already read such as recollecting thoughts regarding meeting the Golden Dragon and about the macabre events that happened at the downfall of Cintra. (more…)

Review of ~ Andrzej Sapkowski – Time of Contempt (The Witcher #4)

8/10

“I mistook stars reflected in a pond at night for those in the sky.”

Minor Spoilers May Follow ~

The narrative commences at what seems like a time of contempt indeed. The Kings aren’t conversing with the Mages as they have previously, the Nilfgaardian army is still planning for war, and the Scoia’tael (Squirrels) are attacking humans in forests and villages. Many parties are all still looking for the elusive Lion Cub, the child of Destiny, Cirilla. (more…)

Review of ~ Josiah Bancroft – The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3)

10/10

I received an advanced review copy of The Hod King in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Josiah Bancroft and Orbit Books for the opportunity.

When I concluded my review of Arm of the Sphinx I stated that I would be counting down the days until I could rejoin Senlin and his companions adventures in The Hod King. As soon as I received this novel all other books failed to exist to me until this was completed. (more…)

Review of ~ Anthony Ryan – Many Are The Dead

7.5/10

I received a review copy of Many are the Dead in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Anthony Ryan and my good friend Adrian Collins at Grimdark Magazine.

This tale is set approximately ten years before the action that takes place in Blood Song. The gentleman who becomes Master Sollis, the dude who trains Vaelin Al Sorna is at the forefront of this narrative. This story is only approximately 120-pages but it is pretty excepti0nal. Anyone who has read Blood Song will adore this and honestly, it probably works amazingly as a standalone.

The brothers of the Sixth order, alongside a lady who’s been looking for an age to find a cure to this worlds equivalent of the plague venture forth. We have Sollis, the mute Smentil, Oskin, and his pet Red Ears, and the healer Elara amongst others. The cast is very well fleshed out for such a short tale.

It commences with a bloody battle with the Sixth Order fighting their enemies the Lonak’s. As trained warriors they succeed but not without casualties. This Lonak warrior nation has a vendetta against our Blue-Cloaked pals.

They travel, a group of 5 including Elera and our bloodhound friend Red Ears to find the necessary weed for the curing of this plague but things don’t work out that simply. They meet creatures such as giant apes, shadow-cats and undescribable beasts. These creatures aren’t very accommodating… if anything it is the opposite.

I won’t say too much more about the story. I don’t normally rate short stories high but this is pretty exceptional. Within the 100 or so pages we get to know and care about all of the characters. There are a few deaths and twists which left me shellshocked and absolutely speechless.

Sollis is a brilliant main character. You may remember him from Blood Song as Vaelin’s brutal and experienced trainer. Sollis alongside mute Smentil control the narrative and it is great to see things from their point of view. Sollis was a bit of an arse in Blood Song so it’s nice to find out about his roots. Young and talented with a name to gain before he was a master.

The Lonak’s and the Sixth order join forces to fight against the Dark and it’s brilliant. The shaman character who can make water explode is useful when human’s bodies are made up of 55% water. That’s a nice skill in a war zone. There are an exceptional few set-pieces that are featured towards the finale. It’s brilliantly written and great to be back in this world. To be honest. I adored this and finished it in a day. Highly recommend. x