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Book Review + Cover Reveal: Dark Sea’s End (Beyond Ash and Sand, #1) by Richard Nell

Book Review + Cover Reveal: Dark Sea’s End (Beyond Ash and Sand, #1) by Richard Nell

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ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Felix Ortiz

Cover art designed by: STK.Kreations

Dark Sea’s End by Richard Nell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Beyond Ash and Sand (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy

Word count: Roughly 80k words

Published: 1st June 2021 by Richard Nell (Self-Published)


Dark Sea’s End is a heart-pounding return to the world of Ash and Sand, and I’m sure the future of it will be as brilliant.

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Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Read an early copy of the ebook as a Kickstarter backer

Nolyn by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Series: The Rise and Fall (Book 1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, high fantasy, classic fantasy

Publication date: 3rd August 2021 by Grim Oak Press


Nolyn was yet another well-crafted and enthralling tale from a masterful storyteller, who never fails to give me what I craved from the world of Elan.

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Book Review: The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

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Cover art illustrated by: Larry Rostant

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Riyria Chronicles (Book #1)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 422 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 6th August 2013 by Orbit


Rather than The Crown Conspiracy, I personally think The Crown Tower is a greater starting point to Royce and Hadrian’s story.

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Book Review: Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods, #1) by Justin Call

Book Review: Master of Sorrows (The Silent Gods, #1) by Justin Call

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ARC provided by the publishers—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated & designed by: Patrick Knowles

Master of Sorrows by Justin Travis Call

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Silent Gods (Book #1 of 4)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 576 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 21st February 2019 by Gollancz (UK) and 25th February 2020 by Blackstone Publishing (US)


Master of Sorrows a great coming-of-age fantasy debut with promises of bigger things to come waiting to be fulfilled.

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Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

Book Review: Red Country (First Law World, #6) by Joe Abercrombie

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(This is a repost of an old review I wrote in July 2017)

Cover art illustrated by: Didier Graffet & Dave Senior

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: First Law World (Book #6 of 10)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grimdark Fantasy, Westerns

Pages: 452 pages (UK paperback edition)

Published: 18th October 2012 by Gollancz (UK) and 23rd October 2012 by Orbit (US)


Say one thing for Abercrombie, say he knows how to make me love his book even when the setting is Western.

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Book Review: The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

Book Review: The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley

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

Cover art illustrated by: Richard Anderson

The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Ashes of the Unhewn Throne (Book #1 of 3), Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (Book #5 of 7)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Pages: 752 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 8th July 2021 by Tor (UK) and 6th July 2021 by Tor Books (US)


The Empire’s Ruin is a scintillating explosive epic fantasy with multiple legendary scenes that rivaled The Way of Kings.

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Book Review: The Hand of the Sun King (Pact and Pattern, #1) by J.T. Greathouse

Book Review: The Hand of the Sun King (Pact and Pattern, #1) by J.T. Greathouse

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ARC provided by the publisher—Gollancz—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Patrick Knowles

The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Pact and Pattern (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 5th August 2021 by Gollancz


An all-around marvelously crafted fantasy debut; The Hand of the Sun King has cemented its spot as the best fantasy debut of the year.

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Book Review: The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1) by Christopher Buehlman

Book Review: The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1) by Christopher Buehlman

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

Cover art illustrated by: Marie Bergeron

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Blacktongue (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 416 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 27th May 2021 by Gollancz (UK) and 25th May 2021 by Tor Books (US)


The Blacktongue Thief is an immense entertainment manifesting in a fantasy novel.

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Book Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Song of the Shattered Sands, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Book Review: Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (Song of the Shattered Sands, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

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Cover art illustrated by: Adam Paquette

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Series: Song of the Shattered Sands (Book #1 of 6)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 584 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: 3rd September 2015 by Gollancz (UK) and 1st September 2015 by DAW (US)


For me, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai has everything except the most important one: characters to care for.

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Book review: The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne

Book review: The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Marcus Whinney

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Bloodsworn Saga (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 496 pages (Hardcover edition)

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.

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