logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Epic
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-21 23:34
Sand of Bone by Blair MacGregor - My Thoughts
Sand of Bone (Chronicles of the Sands Book 1) - Blair MacGregor

I loved this book.  I was surprised by just how much I loved it.  It was truly a delicious read.  :)

I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was in good part because the characters were so beautifully drawn.  The good and the bad.  The main character would by Syrina, a young woman, descended from the gods, one of the ruling family of the desert who has been exiled to the remote and near barren Salt Hold for basically refusing to fall in line with her family's wishes for her.  At first I found her kind of vapid and shallow, her refusal to toe the family line having mostly to do with her own discomfort.  But the author shows us how Syrina grows, the choices she has and the ones she makes - not all of them wise or good, to be honest.  She was real, so I didn't roll my eyes at her.

Her antagonist is her brother Raskah - a nasty piece of work.  Cruel and violent, he's truly an awful young man.  Like a good villain should be.  :)  I was expecting his story to go one way, but Blair MacG took him another way, which both disappointed and delighted me?  *LOL*  I know... I guess I just wanted to be clever.  :)

The secondary characters, Pyrius, Shella, Riner, Ehren et al... were wonderfully drawn and full people, not types, if you know what I mean.  I have my favourites and while some of them survived, other didn't.  And that's a good thing!  The author does not play around and I've come to respect that.  Kill my faves!  Go ahead, but man... make it mean something in the story.  And it does.

This is one of those books that makes me wish I could write a really good and inspiring review filled with thoughtful insights and comments, but sadly, I don't have that talent.

The thing to take away is... I LOVED THIS BOOK!  :)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-21 10:00
Blog Tour and Giveaway for Sons of Kings by Millie Thom
 
Shadow of the Raven
Sons of Kings Volume 1
by Millie Thom
 
Genre: Epic Fantasy
 
The life of Eadwulf, ten-year old son of the Mercian king, is changed forever when his family is betrayed to the Danes by his treacherous uncle. In a devastating Danish raid, his father is killed, his mother raped, and along with his tutor and childhood friend, Eadwulf is captured and taken to the Danish lands to be sold as a slave.
 
As a slave in Jarl Ragnar’s village, Eadwulf’s life is hard, his days unbearably long. But on the return of Ragnar’s eldest son, Bjorn, from his summer raids, his life begins to change. Eadwulf spends the next few years aboard Bjorn’s beloved dragonship, sailing to places he’d never dreamed of, trading and raiding. And although still a slave, he becomes a well-respected member of Bjorn’s closely knit crew. Yet through it all, the smouldering desire for revenge on those who destroyed his family refuses to abate.
 
 
Eadwulf’s story plays out against the backdrop of events unfolding in Wessex in the face of increasing Danish raids. Alfred, the youngest son of the Wessex king, faces family tragedies from an early age, losing first his mother, then his beloved sister when she is married to the new Mercian king: Eadwulf’s treacherous uncle. At his father’s court and the successive courts of his elder brothers, he learns the weighty art of kingship. And, like Eadwulf, he learns the harshest lesson of all … that a trusted kinsman can so easily turn traitor.
 
Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt
 
The snorting and stomping of the horses was the first indication that anything was amiss, then the panicked shouts; the reek of smoke assailing their nostrils only moments later. They hurtled to the stable door, aware that it could take barely minutes for wood and thatch to burn to a crisp, and reeled in horror. Searing waves of heat smacked into them. The hall was ablaze, its heavy thatch ready to collapse; angry red flames lashed at the wood-planked walls. People collided with each other, precious water slopping from their pails as they raced to quell the towering flames. Yapping, terrified dogs added to the pandemonium.Sigehelm crossed himself, uttering a prayer for anyone trapped inside the blazing hall. ‘Eadwulf; Aethelnoth; stay close to me,’ he ordered, grabbing Aethelnoth’s arm as the boy turned to lead the horses to safety. ‘The stables are far enough away to be safe for now. If need be, I’ll loose the horses when you’re both safe with Morwenna. But may the Lord help these other buildings. The kitchens will probably soon be ablaze. We must hurry. I must help to fetch water.’It was then that the Danes struck.Yowling men stampeded through the palisade’s main gate, their entrance unchallenged as people fought to control the blaze. Yet they had needed neither to burn down nor scale the palisade wall. The gates must have already been open – despite Thrydwulf’s insistence that they be kept locked and guarded.Frenzied screams escalated. Sigehelm yanked Eadwulf and Aethelnoth behind the kitchens and, stooping low, they headed for the women’s bower. Suddenly Eadwulf froze. Burgred stood outside the bower’s door – and something about that was so very wrong.‘Eadwulf, in God’s name, child, we cannot stand and stare. We must reach your mother and try to flee from the manor.’‘Burgred’s a traitor, Sigehelm! He was meeting them in the woods. And he must have started the fire: the hall was ablaze before the Danes came through the gate. He must have opened that for them too. . .’

 
 
Pit of Vipers
 
Sons of Kings Volume 2
 
The ninth century story of King Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia continues to unfold against the ever increasing threat of Danish raids. After years as a slave to the Danes, Eadwulf has returned to his Mercian homeland and settles to a life of calm domesticity, marred only by his incessant desire for revenge. His frequent absences from his new home, connected to his past life, threaten to destroy the relationships he has fostered and alienate the family he has come to love.
In Wessex, Alfred, now a young man, has spent his childhood at the successive courts of his father and four older brothers, learning the skills of diplomacy and leadership. Before too long those skills will be put to the test…
The Danish invasion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms is merciless and relentless. Every year more Norse ships come to join their comrades in a quest to plunder for wealth and gain control over the people. The Danes take kingdom after kingdom and Alfred and his brother Aethelred wait with baited breath for them to set their sights on Wessex. By 869, their worst fear is realised.
 
And Eadwulf follows vital leads to the objects of his revenge.
 
Excerpt

Preparing to do battle…Alfred moved along his own front line, noting that most of the fyrd carried spears, though the pitchforks and staffs amongst them would not fare well against the heavy swords and battle axes of the foe. Body armour was light. Some wore leather jerkins, others thinly quilted gambesons, and most heads were protected by a leather helmet. Better than nothing, he thought grimly, acutely aware of the protective qualities of his own mailshirt and helm.‘On my order, the front line becomes an impenetrable wall of tightly locked shields,’ he shouted above the clamour for the benefit of the new recruits. ‘Shields overlap, left over right.’ His arm swung round to the sides. ‘You five men at each end of the lines – and those at the back – will do likewise if need be. And should a man in the line in front of you fall, you step over his body and take his place...‘You’ll be fighting for your lives, not mourning the dead!’ he snapped at the appalled faces, ‘as well as the lives of the men around you. Thrust and stab through the gaps between the shields with your weapons. Aim for exposed flesh – face, legs, even spaces between armour covering chest, belly, or groin. Your purpose is to kill or maim.’ He swept the men with a commanding stare. ‘We fight as an ordered unit, and no one leaves that formation unless the wall becomes irrevocably destroyed. Only then do we resort to individual combat. Is all of that clear?’Alfred took his position at the centre of the front line, between two experienced warriors, Ealdormen Wybert and Unwine.The racket abruptly ceased. Warriors stood rigid, muscles flexed for the opening strike, the onslaught of spears and javelins. But no missiles flew. Instead, the two men Alfred had identified as ‘kings’ stepped forward a pace.‘So, great king, we meet at last,’ the less burly of the two yelled, his eyes scanning the Saxon forces to locate the Saxon king. ‘We were not introduced at Nottingham. Pity, I like to know the face of my enemy. Wherever you’re hiding in the midst of your piss-poor army, I urge you to look closely at what you confront. We are double your number and hold the higher ground. Surrender – or by nightfall your carcases will feed the scavengers!’

 
 
Millie is a former geography and history teacher with a degree in geology and a passion for the Anglo Saxon period. Since retiring a few years ago, she has been indulging this passion by writing her historical fiction trilogy, Sons of Kings, of which she is currently writing Book 3. Millie has also become very fond of writing flash fiction, something that developed from joining in with various challenges on WordPress. As a consequence, she has also recently published a book of 85 flash fiction pieces of 100 to 1,000 words, entitled A Dash of Flash.
 
Millie is the mother of six grown up children, and after living in a number of places in England, she and her husband now live in a small village in Nottinghamshire. When not writing, Mille enjoys long walks in the countryside and visiting historic sites and re-enactments. She is also an avid traveller, swimmer and baker of cakes! Originally from the seaside town of Southport in Lancashire, she still misses the smell of the sea.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You may find us here !
 
 

 
 
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-17 18:52
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu - My Thoughts
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai - Bradley P. Beaulieu

The Song of Shattered Sands - Book 1

I became enamoured of epic fantasy back in the 70s when the big thing to read was Lord of the Rings.  Elves and fairies and orcs and wizards and the like were de rigeur and I was totally along for the ride.  Still am, truth be told.  Today, however, things are finally changing and we're seeing more and more diverse worlds being built and mythologies and cultures being created.  It's wonderful!

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai gives us a desert world filled with nomads and tribes and kings and pit fighters and street urchins and zombies and blade-wielding elite woman warriors. It's refreshingly different from much epic fantasy that I've read.  There are hints of such a world in the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin and I think I might even see some inspiration from my favourite Guy Gavriel Kay, but make no mistake, Bradley P. Beaulieu has created something quite special and immersive, I think.

If I say that this is the story of a young girl coming into her own, starting her life journey, it sounds like the ubiquitous YA novel, but I think that'd be doing it a disservice.  I dislike YA and New Adult novels, they leave me - for the most part - searching for more substance.  But man, oh man, this book has some hefty substance!  It's a long read, but it's fascinating.  The characters are great, they have dimension and weight and substance and they all have flaws.  And while the long game of the plot seems to be something read before - the overthrowing of the current powerful folk - something tells me that it's not going to be so straightforward and the journey to the end game is going to be gripping.

Now, there are a lot of flashbacks in this book and that might give some pause, but while I am generally not a fan, I didn't mind them at all.  Alot of the plot has to do with the MC, Çeda's memories and the way the flashbacks play out, it's like we're remembering things along with her - things that didn't seem important but really are and the like.  I don't know how it's going to play out in subsequent books, but in this one, it works for me.

So yeah,  a highly-recommended read for lovers of epic fantasy and I'm definitely looking forward to the second book which I hope to get my hands on soon.  :)  (This book, is actually on sale at Kobo for $2.99 as I write this.)

Oh... and that cover!  It's GORGEOUS!!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-04 10:48
Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons #1) by Teddy Jacobs
Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons Book 1) - Teddy Jacobs
Sword Bearer is about a (just) sixteen-year-old boy who has been over-protected by his parents for unknown reasons all his life. There is magic in the land, but you are not sure if Anders will be trained to use that, or his sword arm. To be honest, neither seems a possibility when you start the book. However, things happen, and new characters appear. Characters that have a massive impact on Anders and what he knows and believes. With knowledge that he doesn't know he has until he needs it, plus the ability to 'sing' magic, plus animals of the 'dark side' acknowledging him, there is more to Anders than meets the eye. 
 
Anders shows perfectly the inconsistency of teenagers - one moment he is accepting of his fate, and the next bemoaning it. He falls instantly in love/lust with Kara, who is with Kalle. With new breeds of magic character, plus the use of German words as words of power/command, Sword Bearer has a lot to offer if you are after a light read. What it doesn't offer, mind you, are any DRAGONS! I know this is book 1, but you would think, with a series title like that, that you would see at least one! 
 
Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, this is a fantasy recommended for light reading. It was good and I enjoyed it.
 
* Verified Purchase - March 2013 *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

@TeddyJacobs2012, #Coming_of_Age, #Epic, #Fantasy, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/swordbearerreturnofthedragons1byteddyjacobs
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-29 17:12
Gate (The Knights of Av'lor #2) by Sam Rook
Gate - Sam Rook
I'll be completely honest, I'm at a loss on how to start my review of Gate. I started this book and quickly realised it started exactly where Hope had finished. So I indulged myself and re-read Hope first. I'm really glad that I did as I was able to lose myself in the Knights of Av'lor once again. I started book 2 without any break, and not once did I become fatigued with the world. That, for me, is the sign of an excellent writer - the one who can drag me into their world with nary a complaint! 
 
My heart broke for Kate as she has to deal with her return to Av'lor and those who wish to cause her harm. She is also trying to put the torture and hardship she has endured for the past six months (approx) behind her. There are only a handful of people that she can trust, but Lan is as always, top of the list. Earth is in danger though, so once again, their romance takes a back seat to all the action, explosions, demons and devils, they end up fighting. 'The Little White One' still packs a powerful punch, and is the perfect counterpart to the tall, imposing black knight. 
 
Gate, like Hope, ends on helluva cliffhanger. I wish I could complain about it, but in this instance, I can't. It perfectly suits the book, and leaves me definitely wanting more. I can't wait to return to Av'lor, and catch up with these amazing characters once more. Maybe when book 3 comes out, I'll indulge myself again! These books are that good!
 
With no editing or grammatical issues to disrupt the reading flow, full of action, and a smooth pace, I have no hesitation in recommending this book, and The Knights of Av'lor as a series.
 
* Verified Purchase - November 2016 *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

#Epic, #Urban, #Fantasy, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/gatetheknightsofavlor2bysamrook
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?