The best self-published books that we have read at Fantasy Book Review

The top self-published books that we have read at Fantasy Book Review, in no particular order. (Or they were self-published when we read them.)

Faithless – Graham Austin-King
Faithless book cover


SPFBO Interview with Mark Lawrence

RockStarlit BookAsylum


Phase 1 of this year’s SPFBO is nearing its end, the finalists are being revealed, tears are being shed. To put the dot on the i, James Tivendale from Fantasy Book Review and I set out to interrogate the Godfather of the competition, Mr Mark Lawrence himself.

To see all of our content regarding the competition, check out my SPFBO page!

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.


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The 2017 SPFBO Finalists that Gave a Fuck [NSFW]

The Fantasy Inn

I was in a group conversation with Esme from the Stabby award-winning blog, The Weatherwax Report when she said that she wanted to do a “fuck counter”. I thought that was a great idea, so I decided to go through all 10 SPFBO finalists and plot the swearing and cursing and all those four letter words. But all credit to the idea goes to Esme.

Without further ado, let’s get started. I want to quickly note here that I only accounted for “real” swear words. Invented swear words, if they occurred, were not counted.

overall findings

  • Every book had some form of swearing in it. If a book only had one swear-word, it occurred at least twice in the novel.
  • Where Loyalties Lie gave the most fucks.
  • Where Loyalties Lie also had the most swearing out of any of the books.
  • Tiger Lily and The Way Into Chaos are practically…

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Review of ~ JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)


When everyone first read and loved Harry Potter I ignored it. Not for any particular reason but about 10 years ago I didn’t think I would be into it. Fast forward a decade and I’m now working my way through what I can say already is a children’s classic fantasy series that is up there with The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Narnia. (more…)

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

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Black Antlers

I thought I’d keep a note of some nice reviews on this site of Age of Assassins so I can come here and remember the good old days when everything was lovely and clouds rained down candyfloss each time someone decides they hate it.

Dave is clearly a man of charm and integrity.

Age of Assassins – RJ Barker

James Tivendale of the Fantasy Book review is a gentleman and a scholar.


The hands of fate chose Paul because he is most wise.


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