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review 2017-07-14 17:32
Smart-Alecky SF: "Skullsworn" by Brian Staveley
Skullsworn - Brian Staveley

“’If I wanted you dead, you would be dead’?” He sucked some blood from between his teeth, then spat it onto the cobbles. “What is that? A line from some mid-century melodrama? You hear that onstage a few nights ago?”


In “Skullsworn” by Brian Staveley



Reasons to avoid some Fantasy:


  1. 1 - Trilogies - a story seldom needs 3 volumes, nobody wants to read the 'excluded middle' of tosh, let alone wait for the third volume when they have forgotten the contents of the first - strike George R.R. Martin;


  1. 2 - Sequel proliferation. Ditto objection 1 squared - strike Eddings et al;


  1. 3 - Formulaic - It's often better to re-read Tolkien, skipping some of his embarrassing attempts at females than read the whole thing again with different silly names - strike all sorts of piffle;


  1. 4 - Silly names - countries; cities; people. How about concepts; recipes; politics - invent something - move to include Iain M. Banks 'Culture' - or does invention have to belong to THE science fiction part of SF?


  1. 5 - Written by die cast. Surely much is the product of hashish and D&D - this you can make up for yourself;


  1. 6 - Poor writing - to wit the obviously much beloved Staveley - whilst his books were entertaining they are limited by his repetitive vocabulary; why can't his educated characters master the conditional subjunctive…?



If you're into SF, read on.

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text 2016-11-02 18:06
Series Read Needed Soon...
The Emperor's Blades - Brian Staveley

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review 2016-05-05 18:24
The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley - My Thoughts
The Providence of Fire - Brian Staveley

Even better than the first book in the series!  


The adventures/quest of the 3 siblings continue and I grew to like Valyn even more than I did after the first book.  We delved deeper into Kaden's personality and I grew to really like him almost as much as Valyn.  Even the sister, Adare, grew on me.  


This series is a fantastic blend of magic, action and politics and while sometimes the politics get a bit confusing and murky, I found myself okay with this because they were just as confusing and murky for our 3 main characters.  Enemies become allies, we meet new people who could be one, the other or both and we lose some characters along the way.  Some of which pissed me the hell off, but as a veteran reader of George RR Martin, I have learned to deal with this in my epic fantasy.  Brian Staveley is, however, on my side-eye list.  *LOL*   


There's a depth and heft to this story-telling that I quite enjoy.  It feel meaningful to me,and if I have to compare Staveley to anyone, it'd be GRRM.  


Staveley's world-building is intricate and logical and totally believable. Nothing is black and white, good or evil, right or wrong.  These are real people living in times of upheaval and reacting in so many different and sometimes quite unexpected ways.  


I loved it, really.  The 3rd and final novel in this trilogy came out in March and believe me, it's on my TBA (To Be Acquired) list.  


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review 2016-04-17 17:59
Review: The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley
The Emperor's Blades - Brian Staveley
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review 2016-04-14 00:00
The Last Mortal Bond
The Last Mortal Bond - Brian Staveley,Si... The Last Mortal Bond - Brian Staveley,Simon Vance This was a great finish to a very entertaining series .The author kept you guessing what was going to happen and wraps everything up nicely at the end.

5 Stars for a really great book and series. All grimdark fantasy fans should pick this up and read it!!!
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