Fantasy

Review of ~ Graham Austin-King – Faithless

8.5/10

I received a free copy of Faithless in exchange for an honest review and would like to thank Graham Austin-King for this opportunity.

Faithless is set in a dark and claustrophobic subterranean environment. The action mainly takes place within the temples, the underground cities, or within the literal darkness of the mines. Everyone within this cataclysmic domain revere and offer service to the Forgefather. We follow a 15-year-old lad called Wynn who has essentially been sold off as a slave to this mysterious cause by his father in exchange for a few coins. Wynn’s under the impression that he’s here to study and pay homage for what should only be 12-months. Perhaps the truth of the matter is a bit darker than that. The second point of view perspective is that of novice priest Kharios who has been within this territory below the surface for years and goes about his days working a forge. (more…)

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Review of ~ Melissa Caruso – The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1)

Originally posted on Fantasy Book Review

8/10I received a review copy of The Tethered Mage in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Melissa Caruso, Nazia, and Orbit.

I received a review copy of The Tethered Mage in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Melissa Caruso, Nazia, and Orbit.

Less than a week ago I had no idea what to read next. I picked up this book as the cover looked gorgeous and contained quotations from RJ Barker, Anna Smith Spark, and Vic James. I’m super happy that I did and I would describe this book as YA political fantasy with magic – almost like the perfect mix of Gilded Cage and The Lies of Locke Lamora.

The world of Eruvia has had a lasting peace under the guidance of the Empire based in the city of Raverra. One of the contributing factors to how the peace is kept is that the Empire control the Falcons. They are mage-marked warlocks, some of who control magical destruction capabilities that can engulf and eradicate whole cities with ease. (more…)

Review of ~ John Gwynne – A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1)

As originally posted on Fantasy Book Review

9/10

I received an advanced copy of A Time of Dread in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank John Gwynne and Pan MacMillan for this opportunity.

The story places readers within the Land of the Faithful approximately 120 years after the conclusion of the novel Wrath, which was an epic, brutal, and fulfilling climax to one of my favourite ever fantasy series. The angel-like Ben-Elim rule the land now from their base at the giant-erected fortress of Drassil. They’ve spent generations uniting the nations and tracking the remaining forces of the grotesque and scarily powerful Kadoshim, their Eternal enemy. The Kadoshim’s leader, Asroth is frozen in metal within the Ben-Elim’s stronghold but that doesn’t mean his faithful aren’t out there plotting, sacrificing innocents and boiling up some horrid actions that could equate to A Time of Dread. (more…)

Review of ~ JA Andrews – A Keeper’s Tale: The Story of Tomkin and The Dragon

7.5/10

I received a free copy of A Keeper’s Tale in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to JA Andrews.

Set in the world of The Keeper Chronicles which includes SPFBO semi-finalist A Threat of Shadows, this is an enjoyable fantasy fairy tale told to a crowded inn full of enthusiastic patrons, by a Keeper. The story progresses as follows. Tomkin is the youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell. He’s a great strategist and administrator with a prompt, analytical mind. His hero brother, Elton, and the nation’s armies are away doing typical military duty. Everything is in order and great until a dragon is witnessed hijacking and devouring local sheep. Tomkin, with his grandfathers sword Scalebreaker, decides to investigate the castle ruins at Colbreth where the dragon is reportedly residing. (more…)

Review of ~ T.M. Lakomy – The Shadow Crucible

9/10

I received a review copy of The Shadow Crucible in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank T.M. Lakomy and Select Books Inc. for this opportunity.

This novel was influenced by the scriptures found within the Nag Hammadi scrolls which were written sometime between the 2nd and 3rd-century A.D. and resurfaced about 70-years-ago. Lakomy’s stunning debut is a complex adult fantasy epic set mainly in an alternative medieval London that reeks shadowy imagery and environments reminiscent of Penny Dreadful. For the majority, this narrative follows two key players who are pawns in a greater game of which they do not yet comprehend. Firstly, the orphan protecting, demon tormented seer, Estella; who has been blessed with the gift of sight, and can often unwillingly see into Heaven itself. Secondly, Count Mikhael, a mind-reading Templar who enforces religious viewpoints and actions even though he also sees the spirits and grotesque beings that frequent beneath the radars of most individuals existence. (more…)

Review of ~ Craig Shaefer – Winter’s Reach (Revanche Cycle #1)

8/10

Winter’s Reach is Craig Schaefer’s entry for this year’s Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and is Fantasy Book Review’s first semi-finalist. Although he is mostly known for the Daniel Faust series, this is Schaefer’s foray into writing complex dark fantasy.

It starts by following a young nobleman called Felix who has a plan to go to Winter’s Reach to make a deal to save his family’s dwindling reputation. The problem is that Winter’s Reach is controlled by barbaric criminals under the guiding hand of the notorious Mayor, Veruca Barrett. Making this deal might not be so straightforward. Against his father’s advice, he goes through with the trip but, perhaps he has another motive for venturing to the infamous, blisteringly chaotic city. (more…)

Review of ~ Josiah Bancroft – Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1)

9/10

Will be posted on Fantasy Book Review shortly.

Josiah Bancroft’s debut novel is a huge deal in the world of fantasy fiction right now. I truly regret being late to the party but can safely say the hype is well deserved. Seeing only unanimously positive reviews from my blogging peers, I had to check out this 2016 #SPFBO’s entrant as soon as I could. (more…)