Book Review: Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King

Book Review: Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King


Song of Susannah by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Song of Susannah is the penultimate installment in King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower. And though I still wouldn’t consider it a bad book by any means, I do believe it’s the weakest in the series since The Gunslinger. That being said, I still very much enjoyed my time in this world and with these characters. I was absorbed the entire time, and the tension was palpable. Even when King isn’t at his best, there’s something about his writing that just sucks me in and won’t let me go, even after I’ve read the final pages.

“In the Land of Memory the time is always Now.
In the Kingdom of Ago, the clocks tick… but their hands never move.
There is an Unfound Door
and memory is the key which opens it.”

Read More Read More

Cover Reveal: The Blood of Outcasts (The Bane Sword Saga, #1) by D.A. Smith

Cover Reveal: The Blood of Outcasts (The Bane Sword Saga, #1) by D.A. Smith

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here.

After yesterday, we have another exciting post today. Yes, it’s another cover reveal! Novel Notions will be hosting the cover reveal to The Blood of Outcasts by D.A. Smith! Or to be more precise, this is a cover re-reveal. Knowing the importance of beautiful cover art, especially in self-publishing, the author decided to rebrand his debut novel with a brand new look. This is the first book in The Bane Sword Saga, a gritty samurai-inspired fantasy novel!

Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to The Blood of Outcasts by D.A. Smith!

Cover art illustrated by Martin Mottet

Read More Read More

Cover Reveal: Starbinder (Eye of Eternity, #0.5) by Mark Timmony

Cover Reveal: Starbinder (Eye of Eternity, #0.5) by Mark Timmony

Hi everyone! Petrik from Novel Notions here.

We have an exciting post today. Novel Notions will be hosting the cover reveal to Starbinder by Mark Timmony! Starbinder is an Eye of Eternity novella and a loose prequel to The Blood of the Spear. The author has mentioned that it is not necessary to have read Blood of the Spear first but you might get a bit more out of it if you have. The ebook for Starbinder is not available for sale, it’s an exclusive download for people who subscribe to my mailing list – which can be found here: https://marktimmony.com/signup/

There will be a physical version of the book available for sale via Amazon, etc, soon. Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to Starbinder by Mark Timmony!

Cover art illustrated by Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by STK.Kreations

Read More Read More

Book Review: In The Shadow of Lightning (The Glass Immortal, #1) by Brian McClellan

Book Review: In The Shadow of Lightning (The Glass Immortal, #1) by Brian McClellan

ARC was provided by the publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Dan Burgess

In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Glass Immortals (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy

Pages: 576 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 21st June 2022 by Tor Books


Brian McClellan’s return to the epic fantasy scene is a good one, but it didn’t feel as explosive as his Powder Mage universe.

In the Shadow of Lightning, the first book in The Glass Immortals series, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. It has been three years since Brian McClellan concluded his Powder Mage universe series with Blood of Empire, the third and final book in his God of Blood and Powder trilogy. I have read the entirety of the Powder Mage universe, and since then, I have wondered what kind of series and world will McClellan create next. When I saw the cover art to In the Shadow of Lightning being revealed, the illustration done by Dan Burgess, my interest in it was sparked immediately. Plus, Brandon Sanderson, Fonda Lee, and James Islington (all three are some of my favorite authors) gave their praises for this book made me even more excited to read this. Sanderson even said this is McClellan’s best work to date! Unfortunately, I have to disagree with him. The book didn’t click as much as I expected it would.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1) by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1) by Ken Liu

Cover art illustrated by: Sam Weber

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Dandelion Dynasty (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Silkpunk

Pages: 640 pages (Hardcover Edition)

Published: 7th April 2015 by Saga Press (US) & 4th June 2015 by Head of Zeus (UK)


This debut is super underrated. Ken Liu’s reimagining of the birth of China’s Han Dynasty is nothing short of epic, complex, thrilling, and heartbreaking.

“Read a lot of books and try a lot of recipes…When you learn enough about the world, even a blade of grass can be a weapon.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another of those books that’s been sitting on my shelf for years, but news of an upcoming adaption made me finally pick it up. I didn’t expect to love The Essex Serpent. I bought it at a library sale because the cover is stunning, but it sounded more than a bit slow, and I’m not a huge reader of historical fiction. However, when Tom Hiddleston was cast as one of the leads in the television series, I knew I had to finally dust it off and read it. I’m so incredibly thankful that I did, because this novel was gorgeous. I was incredibly surprised by how much I ended up loving it.

“If love were an archer someone had put out its eyes, and it went stumbling about, blindly letting loose its arrows, never meeting its mark.”

Read More Read More

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : April 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : April 2022

Hello all!  Welcome back to my monthly wrap-up.  I can’t believe that four months had already gone by this year.   One positive development so far in 2022 is that international borders are opening up and I’m looking forward to be able to travel again, one of my other favourite things to do besides reading.

April was another great month of reading, as we continued our Middle Grade series reads and started the epic reread of all the Mistborn books in preparation for the release of The Lost Metal in November this year.

NB. Books are rated within its genre.  For avoidance of doubt, rereads are not considered for Book of the Month.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The First Binding (Tales of Tremaine, #1) by R.R. Virdi

Book Review: The First Binding (Tales of Tremaine, #1) by R.R. Virdi

ARC was provided by the publishers—Tor Books & Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Felipe de Barros

The First Binding by R.R. Virdi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Tales of Tremaine (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 832 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 16th August 2022 by Tor Books (US) & 18th August 2022 by Gollancz (UK)


The First Binding is a South Asian inspired high fantasy debut reminiscent of The Name of the Wind. I walked into the book in search of the most important thing in the world of escapism. An unforgettable story. And I ended up swept into one of the most memorable ones.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King

Book Review: Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King


Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first read The Gunslinger, I wasn’t a fan. But I was determined to get past that first book, because I know King views The Dark Tower as his magnum opus and I really wanted to at least try to read that. Then I got to The Drawing of the Three and fell in love it. I couldn’t help but think that it would be the highlight of the entire series for me, but then I read The Wastelands. And Wizard and Glass. And The Wind Through the Keyhole. And I’ve loved them all just as much. Wolves of the Calla was no exception. I would have never thought that a western-horror-fantasy would become one of my favorite series of all time, and yet here we are. If King doesn’t drop the ball in the last two books, this will have quite possibly been the most epic literary experience of my life.

Read More Read More

Short Story Review: Hounds by Clayton Snyder

Short Story Review: Hounds by Clayton Snyder

Hounds by Clayton Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Grimdark
Pages: 15 pages (Kindle Edition)
Published: Grimdark Magazine #30, 22 April 2022


Short stories are tough to review, especially in the case of Hounds. There’s a very limited amount of real estate you can work with, and Snyder tips his hand at many new ideas and characters that we barely get to spend time any time with. Before we know it, the story is over, and I’m left wanting more – which is a good thing! On the flip side, why introduce certain elements if they’re never going to be dug into? Not that every detail must be explored, but I felt that a lot of potentially interesting ideas were just barely touched upon and then dropped entirely, be it an allusion to power, a relationship status or history, a mention of ancillary characters, or important world-building elements. In some cases, less is more, but I would have appreciated more being more, here.

Onto the story itself.

Hounds is about making tough choices while raising children out in the wilds of a plague-infested land. In this world, the morality is so grey that our narrator must consistently remind himself to take the higher ground. But as the story progresses, what constitutes the higher ground keeps changing for the worse. When there’s no easy choices left, at what point should survival be considered optional?

It is a bleak story with a dark ending, and Snyder’s writing is powerful and effective at conveying the hopelessness of the narrator’s journey. But without knowing more about the surrounding circumstances, I couldn’t fully relate to the decisions of the narrator. There was a bit of a disconnect in understanding his motivation and reasoning. However, the experience of reading the story itself I very much enjoyed; Snyder has a knack for quickly creating effective atmosphere in his stories and Hounds brings this in spades. If you’re a fan of creeping dread, walls-closing-in tales of paranoia, then this is a story for you.

%d bloggers like this: