Review of ~ Ian C. Esslemont – Kellanved’s Reach (Path to Ascendancy #3)

9/10

“The elders were powerful and dreadful – it was a blessing their days were over. Only a fool, or an insane power-craving… He shook his head once again, this time in exasperation. Ah…”

I received an advanced review copy of Kellanved’s Reach in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Ian C. Esselmont and TransworldBooks/ Penguin Books UK. Before I start the review proper I will quickly state that I am quite lucky as a reviewer because of some of the books I get to read early. Ever so often a book arrives on your doorstep and everything else ceases to exist until a certain novel has been completed. This was one such occasion. I was deep through Mark Lawrence’s Holy Sister and John Gwynne’s A Time of Blood – by far, two of my favourite authors but the works of Erikson and Esslemont, and the world they’ve created is incomparable and the pinnacle of not just fantasy but current literature in general. I had to drop everything and start this immediately. (more…)

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Review of ~ Andrzej Sapkowski – The Tower of the Swallow (The Witcher #6)

8.5/10

I received a review copy of The Tower of the Swallow in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Andrzej Sapkowski and Gollancz. Minor spoilers may follow for this book and the previous entries in the saga. 

The narrative begins with a hermit called Vysogota finding what he believes is an injured boy in a forest. It transpires that this young gentleman is actually the girl, Ciri and she is very close to death. The hermit takes her to his shack which is untraceable unless you know it’s there and prays that he can aid her recovery. He was formally a scholar and a medical practitioner which is fortunate. (more…)

Review of ~ Gareth Hanrahan – The Gutter Prayer

9/10

I received an uncorrected bound proof copy of The Gutter Prayer in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Gareth Hanrahan and Orbit Books for the opportunity.

Hanrahan’s highly anticipated fantasy debut is a real breath of fresh air. We follow three thieves who are affiliated with the underground Brotherhood. The gang’s leader – Henreil – orders Carillon, Spar and Rat to steal some documentation from the House of Law. Little did the ensemble know that the master of the thieves guild had other plans that evening involving this building and another group of thieves. (more…)

SPFBO Interview with Mark Lawrence

RockStarlit BookAsylum

Feature-SPFBO_Purple

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.

Welcome…

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The Top 20 Books I’ve Read This Year

Hi, all.

Last year, this was my most popular post. This year, I’ve read so many amazing books that I’ve had to drink four cans and listen to extreme death metal to get my mind in to any sort of state that it can take on this gigantic task. Well, let’s see what happens. All the quotes attached to the books are from my original reviews that can be found on here or Fantasy Book Review (and a few covers and Amazon pages – woop -maybe I should have stopped at three cans! :s) I will include my review scores next to the books but the rating does not necessarily grant it a higher place… this post is me reflecting on the last year and the effects that the books have had on me ! But enough of that, back to drinking… (more…)

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…)