Fantasy

Review of ~ George R.R. Martin – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

9.5/10

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a collection of three novellas that are set a generation or two before the events of A Song and Ice and Fire. In the third person perspective, we follow Dunk or as he tailors himself – Ser Duncan the Tall. The first narrative is named The Hedge Knight and we are presented to our protagonist as he is burying his former mentor for whom he used to squire. It’s a touching start, and an interesting introduction to Dunk. He is planning to go to a tourney in Ashford and at a crossroads inn he meets Egg, who he assumes is a stable boy. (more…)

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Review of ~ Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson – Shadows of the Short Days

8.5/10 –

I received an uncorrected proof copy of Shadows of the Short Days in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson and Gollancz for the opportunity.

Vilhjálmsson’s debut is a masterfully crafted dark tale that fuses elements of alternative history, steampunk, science fiction, urban fantasy and grimdark. It is a strikingly original and often complex narrative that mainly follows two well-crafted protagonists. Sæmundur is a sorcerer who has recently been expelled from the magic university of Svartiskóli for being too ambitious, being intrigued by gaining absolute knowledge of the esoteric source of magic galdur which is forbidden and borderline heresy. (more…)

Review of ~ Andrzej Sapkowski – Season of Storms (The Witcher #0)

7.5/10

I received a review copy of Season of Storms in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Andrzej Sapkowski and Gollancz for the opportunity.

Season of Storms begins with the Witcher successfully completing a contract to eradicate the threat of a monster known as an Idr. Upon receiving payment Geralt opts to travel to Kerack where another mission may be waiting. Upon arrival at Kerack’s Watchtower he is made to disarm (more…)

Review of ~ Melissa Caruso – The Unbound Empire (Swords and Fire #3)

9/10

I would like to thank Melissa Caruso and Orbit Books for sending me a prerelease copy of The Unbound Empire in exchange for an honest review.

Following on from the conclusion of The Defiant Heir we find Lady Amalia now at home in Raverra. In addition to the other political duties that the Cornaro heir would have to perform, she is looking to compose the Falcon Reform Act. This Bill would allow the ‘mage-marked’ certain rights and elements of freedom. They are currently seen by all as little more than weapons of magical destruction that are owned and that will be controlled by The Serene Empire should war occur. The Witchlord and Skinwitch Ruven who rules Kazerath has been quiet recently (more…)

Review of ~ Justin Call – Master of Sorrows

9/10

I received an uncorrected proof copy of Master of Sorrows in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Justin Call and Gollancz.

The narrative begins as we are introduced to the 17-year-old acolyte Annev. He is aiming to progress to the desired status of an Avatar of Judgement in this educational environment. The atmosphere he lives within, the classes he frequents and seminars he attends are to help him achieve this, whilst also being aided by the influence of his guardian Sodar and a varied group of teachers. The issue is that to achieve the status of an Avatar of Judgement, a trainee needs to pass a test simply known as a judgement (or testing day). Annev is yet to pass, (more…)

Review of ~ Mitchell Hogan – Dawn of the Exile (The Infernal Guardian #2)

9/10

I was sent a review copy of Dawn of the Exile in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mitchell Hogan for approaching me and 47North for the NetGalley widget.

Set ten years after the conclusion of Shadow of The Exile, the second novel in The Infernal Guardian series sees Tarrik Nal-Valim, one of the most well-crafted and likeable demon characters in fantasy facing a trial regarding his actions in the human world and the following consequences. Five demon lords are presiding and after his case is discussed each of the judges can state whether they believe Tarrik should be offered redemption from his exile, to remain exiled, or to be put to death. It would be a short narrative if the resulting verdict was death at this point so I won’t mark this as a spoiler. Following the outcome, Tarrik, (more…)

Review of ~ Michael R. Miller – Battle Spire

8.5/10

I received an advance reading copy of Battle Spire in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Michael R Miller and Portal Books.

In the year 2053 our protagonist Jack Kross is an average geeky guy and the narrative starts whilst he is taking his genetic engineering examination at Xen Tech University. He is an avid gamer but when interactive role-playing games and MMO’s (more…)