It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of RJ Barker’s Wounded Kingdom series, and when I recently reread the first book in the Tide Child trilogy I was once again reminded how much I love his stories and I kept on thinking about the story and the characters long after that reread. So when the time came around for myself, TS and Petrik to resume our buddy read with the Call of the Bone Ships I was more than excited to plunge into this world again and I was overjoyed to find that it was every bit as good as I’d hoped.
Published: 2nd November 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
Will Wight keeps on upping his game; Reaper is the best book of this series so far for me and delivers one hell of a payoff!
You would think that the tenth book in a not yet completed series might be prone to losing some steam, and in many cases, you might be right. Regarding Reaper, the book that takes the Cradle series into double digits, you would be wrong. This is of course only my opinion and is greatly influenced by the spotlight being shone on my favourite character throughout, but that is just one aspect of the story. What makes this better than any other for me, is how much the story focuses on teamwork, and just like this plot, Wight has made all the different parts work together to result in what I believe to be the strongest Cradle entry to date and also the most revelatory.
Published: September 26th, 2019 by Orbit (UK) & September 24th, 2019 by Orbit (US)
Audacious storytelling, with an original, captivating world.
RJ Barker wrote one of my favourite fantasy series of all time, The Wounded Kingdom trilogy. So, when I heard that he was writing a brand-new series called The Tide Child trilogy, I was excited. And by excited, I mean I might have shouted about it to one or two, or seventy random people. I am a huge fan. That said, on my first read I struggled with the start of this book and that influenced my initial rating quite a bit. I still thought this was a very good book in the end, but felt it took slightly long to get there. On rereading this though, I was pleasantly surprised by having an absolute blast of a time and I am happy to say that I misjudged this book a bit.
Spellslinger is a highly entertaining and engrossing start to this hexalogy.
Normally when I see a promising sounding book and notice that it is YA, I immediately lower my expectations for it as I have not always had the best experience with the genre. That has steadily changed over the last few years though, as more and more YA books have surprised me. When Spellslinger quietly showed up on my radar, though, I had no such reservations. I love Sebastien de Castell’s writing that much and will give him the benefit of the doubt any day of the week, and I am thrilled to say that it did not betray my trust in the least.
Published: 6th May 2021 by Orbit (UK) and 4th May 2021 by Orbit (US)
The Shadow of the Gods is the new benchmark in Norse mythology-inspired stories. This is the fantasy I’ve been waiting for.
In all honesty, this book had as good a chance as possible of becoming a favourite of mine, for I am without a doubt an ardent reader and supporter of John Gwynne and his books, having read and loved all of his previous works. Both The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone are masterpieces in my estimation and occupy treasured spaces on my shelf and within my heart. Nevertheless, no book is a certain thing as writers are only human beings, but I could not contain my excitement when I read that this latest venture of Mr Gwynne was another epic fantasy story, this time with Norse ink in its veins. I believe that mythologies always appeal to a wide fan base, with Norse and Greek, in particular, being personal favourites. And while I am nowhere near well-read on the subjects, I squeed like any fan worthy of the title at the idea of a favourite author shaping a story from the fertile ground that is the Norse culture. On such a foundation The Shadow of the Gods had much to live up to and I tried to curtail my hopes a little. There was no need though. At the end of this story, I was once again in awe at witnessing a master completely comfortable in executing an epically captivating and exciting tale.
Published: 1st August 2015 (Aaron/Bach, self-published)
One Good Dragon Deserves Another is simply a sublime sequel.
I thoroughly enjoyed book one in The Heartstrikers series and was eagerly looking forward to more of the same with Rachel Aaron’s follow up book, One Good Dragon Deserves Another. Lucky for me, the author not only delivered on this expectation, but she also blew it out of the water! This book has every chance to be in my top ten at the end of the year! I LOVED IT. …
Published: 13th July 2014 (Aaron/Bach, self-published)
Nice Dragons Finish Last is a delightful start to what looks like a very promising series.
I might love the fantasy genre, but urban fantasy has ever been my least favourite of its sub-genres, making this latest foray of mine a rarity. Despite my reservations, I am impressed though. Once again, my friend, TS, has proven that the title I have bestowed upon her – Queen of Recommendations – is not a ceremonial one in the least. I am confident that this series is going to be one of my favourites. …
Published: 7th September 2017 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 5th September 2017 by St. Martin’s Press (US)
Rejoice, O gentlefriends! Devious, gripping and fast paced, Godsgrave is a worthy sequel that delivers the expected and the unexpected in equal amounts.
Godsgrave reunites us with that daughter of shadows, Mia, as she continues her quest for vengeance. Taking place shortly after the events of Nevernight, the story has two alternating timelines, four months apart. The present timeline is where we first meet up with Mia again, wondering what in the blazes is going on as she finds herself being sold as a slave to a Collegium of gladiatii or gladiators. While mysterious, it of course holds the promise of seeing our girl as a gladiator, fighting in an arena. No complaints here. As for the past timeline, it will need to stay a mystery for now, as it contains spoilers for the first book. I will say however that it is the continuation of Nevernight’s denouement until some possibly devastating information crosses Mia’s path. Consequently, she is left to question much of what she knows and to formulate a new plan of attack, sending the plot in an entirely different direction. We get to follow both these timelines until their convergence, as the reasons for Mia’s current path is laid bare.
All hail the queen of murder mystery, Agatha Christie!
I recently finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, my first ever Agatha Christie read and a masterful display of writing. As that book is now among my favourites, I was quite eager to sample more of the author’s works and decided on a book in her Miss Marple series. It was not a completely random choice, rather the blurb was extraordinarily compelling and promised a very intriguing plot. …
Published: 25th July 2016 by Harper Voyager (UK) & 9th August 2016 by St. Martin’s Press (US)
A deviously dark and thrilling tale, Nevernight is the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I loved every murderous second of it.
The protagonist, Mia, is a girl bent on revenge, hoping to make the cut in a fabled assassin school called the Red Church. The story starts off with her making her first kill which will serve as a tithe to the Maw.
“…the Maw. Niah. The Goddess of Night. Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Sisterwife to Aa, and mother to the hungry Dark within us all.”