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Blackwing – Ed McDonald

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Synopsis:

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man’s desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny…

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

Copied from Goodreads
Review:
Galharrow is the ultimate anti-hero. He is a take no shit, hold no punches kind of guy, who realizes he is going to have to do something to save his people. His gritty personality, coupled with his determination, make him one of the most likable characters I have read to date.
The Misery… I am just going to say this… Can we PLEASE have a movie? Pretty please.
McDonald’s description of this world is amazing. I could picture each nuance in his landscapes from blades of grass that were as sharp as glass to mazes of ruts blown into the surface of the world.
His creativity blew my mind. The Deep Kings, the monsters he presented, the way magic is filtered through the moonlight.
This is easily one of the best novels I have ever read. I am thrilled this book has a #1 because that means there is more!
Quotes:
“I saw you stand,” I said. “Saw your courage, back at Twelve. Saw the steel in your will, the power you command. You say there’s nothing of woman about you? You aren’t some painted vase, delicate and useless. You’re a fucking lioness. The strongest damn thing that ever lived. There’s nothing of you but woman.”
“The world is a cruel mother, a matron of darkness, selfishness, greed, and misery. For most, their time suckling at her breast is naught but a scramble through stinging, tearing briars before a naked, shameful collapse as the flesh gives out. And yet in the bright eyes of every newborn, there lies a spark, a potential for goodness, the possibility of a life worth living. That spark deserves its chance. And though most of them will turn out to be as worthless as the parents who sired them, while the cruelty of the earth will tell them to release their innocence and join in the drawing of daggers, every now and then one manages to clutch to its beauty and refuses to release it into the dark.”  ― Ed McDonaldBlackwing
Recommendations:
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Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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Give These A Listen

Audiobooks are becoming ever more popular, with a growing list of excellent performers, it’s not hard to see why. I have come across many of my favorite voices, be it from video games or celebrities, taking on the task of letting us listen to their voices for hours. Here are some you should give a try.

This is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat, sci-fi novel. Assassins, space travel and a James Bond-esque feel make this novel worth your time. Another bonus, it is narrated by Gideon Emery. (Fenris himself, if you are a Dragon Age fan). His voice is so rich and his performance is phenomenal.

Purchase here.

Another great delivery by Steven Brand. Anthony Ryan’s new series will have you hypnotized as you are lead on an adventure through drake infested lands, naval battles and political intrigue. 

Purchase here.

Having trouble tackling the massive tomes of The Stormlight Archive? Do what I did. Switch between book and audio book. I have found this helps me when I want to set a book aside due to sheer volume. Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy writers out there. His books deserve a spot on your shelf. Don’t let this series slip by just because you feel you can not devote such time to a novel (or series). 

Purchase here.

Here is another performance by Kate Reading. She is a popular voice within the fantasy genre. Her performance lends a great deal to each novel she narrates. 

Purchase here.
Happy reading, or listening 😉

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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The Waking Fire- Anthony Ryan 

Synopsis:

The Waking Fire is set in a vibrant new world where the blood of drakes—creatures similar to dragons—is valued beyond reckoning, and can be distilled into elixirs that grant fearsome powers to those who are “blood-blessed.” The novel follows an unregistered blood-blessed as he searches for an elusive variety of drake so potent, its capture would mean unrivalled riches; the second in command of a blood-burning ironclad ship; and a young woman in a lifelong contract to a trading syndicate, whose espionage mission places her on the front lines of a newly declared war. As empires clash and arcane mysteries reveal themselves, these characters are tested again and again and soon discover that the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

The Draconis Memoria is a remarkable new epic fantasy series with steampunk flavor, full of the phenomenal worldbuilding and non-stop action that have gained Anthony Ryan a global fan base.

(Copied from Goodreads)

Review:

It is no secret that Anthony Ryan is my favorite author. In fact, I’m pretty sure even he knows that (yay, Twitter). His Raven’s Shadow trilogy is the best fantasy series I’ve read to date. So, when this book came up on NetGalley, I jumped on it. I was mildly heartbroken when I didn’t receive a copy and posted about it on Twitter. A few weeks later, this lovely thing came in the mail.

I literally squeed and danced around my living room when he said he would send me a copy! Now, let’s end the fangirling adventure and get to the review.

This book is part Indiana Jones, part Pirates of the Caribbean. Add some drakes and you have all elements of this novel.

There is no one better than Anthony Ryan at setting a scene. He paints his landscapes expertly. I have read a few other authors (who shall remain nameless) that take their description way too far. So much so, that I completely lose interest. Examples could be given, but that is not necessary. Ryan’s descriptions are always deliberate. They set the tone, the pacing, and they allow the reader to be immersed, rather than overwhelmed. My favorite examples, within this novel, are the naval battles. I feel as if I am in the midst of the action.

I think my favorite part of this novel is how the characters all fell together in the end. I won’t give any spoilers, just know, you will be satisfied with how it ends. I love a good cliffhanger, but some writers just leave you going “what?!?” 

Another thing I loved was Anthony Ryan’s presentation of a strong female character. I have read many male writers who fall short in their female leads. Ryan has never let me down on this front. While Lizanne may not be the main character, she is still an integral part. She is still emotionally driven but she doesn’t let it control her every move. 

I have recommended this and “Blood Song” to some many people that I have truly lost count.

Quotes:

“Caution favours no-one in battle,” 
― Anthony RyanThe Waking Fire

“A White breathing fire on a group of Spoiled kneeling in obvious supplication. An egg bathed in fire and cracking open to reveal the screaming infant Black inside, the flames fading to reveal an old man in a robe staring down at the fledgling drake with the expression of a proud father.” 
― Anthony RyanThe Waking Fire

“True change has never been bloodless.” 
― Anthony RyanThe Waking Fire

Recommendations:

Blood Song – Anthony Ryan

Age of Myth – Michael J. Sullivan 

The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson 

The Warden Man – Peter V. Brett

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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