Review: The Story of Evil – a Hero’s Downfall (#1) by Tony Johnson (Blog Tour)

sot_tours Blog Tour: A Hero's Downfall by Tony Johnson
Continue reading “Review: The Story of Evil – a Hero’s Downfall (#1) by Tony Johnson (Blog Tour)”

REVIEW: KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST (FRITH CHRONCILES BOOK 1) BY SHAMI STOVAL (BLOG TOUR)

Amazing book, amazing series. go buy this now.

Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall | Blog Tour -

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis:

Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced fantasy with magical creatures for those who enjoy the Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera series) by Jim Butcher, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. 

Review:

Edit: I had completed the review, I just forget to post it due to some RL issues.

Knightmare Arcanist is a novel you should def consider reading. A light-hearted, straight to the point novel. This had elements of Pillars of Eternity, Dark Souls, Gothic III, Diablo, and Dragon Inquistion. I felt I was on an adventure. The book itself relied more on physical descriptions to an extent, and I did notice that during moments of nervousness, you had ruffling hair. I would have wanted more varation.

The dialogue is the strength of this novel. I normally don’t read fantasy such as this because I’m more into Asian setting. But this took a unique twist, a unique approach on the medieval fantasy genre in terms of plot. In terms of reinventing anything new, not really. I don’t think its needed. But I am glad it is showing that wizards are like politicans to a degree, and that they can be corrupt, and fearsome. They are the real evil are they not to some extent?

The descriptions of voyages is one of the most-breath-taking parts of the story. I felt immersed. The story’s pacing started excellently and Volke Savan is another favorite character of mine. But I felt he needed more personality in the sense, I wanted to see his character to evolve and learn more from the deep secrets that he begins to learn.

I also think it was too easy for him in parts, and there should have been more difficult obstacles for him as he trains with the group. One of the weaknesses of the novel, for me, is that the pacing works well at times and is weak at other points. For example, discovering Gregory Ruma as the villain works.

But then when we near the novel’s end, it felt too easy to take him out. Was Volke not helped by his cast of supporting characters that are suprisingly some of the best written characters of all time? Of course. It felt too short – this story – but I don’t mind that because this is more or less a set up. The second and third novels that will continue in this series will expand on this.

Plus, we have talking animals and mystical creatures that remind me of Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. I can def see the influences of there. I do want to see Atty and Volke’s relationship develop into something more. However, I feel that Volke and his adopted sister’s relationship was rocky from the start, and thats because his adopted sister wants more than just to be a gravedigger’s daughter. I also would have wanted to seen William make an apperance at the end. And killing Ruma is not the end I feel. There’s more to this than we can imagine.

Overall, there’s a fantastic cast of characters, epic battles, magic and much more in this. I’ve barely skimmed over this. Fantastic book. Fantastic story. 10/10 also for the epic cover.

REVIEW: SHIP OF SHADOWS BY MARIA KUZNIAR (BLOG TOUR)

Its a historical fantasy novel that combines influences from aladdin and sinbad while infusing the world of medieval spain and the sultnate of morocco. what’s not to love?

TheWriteReads #BlogTour Book Review: The Ship of Shadows – Maria ...

Rating: 8.9/10

Synopsis:

Aleja whiles away her days in her family’s dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she’s only ever read about in books. After all, she’s always being told that girls can’t be explorers.

But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend. And it wants Aleja.

Once on board its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew are desperately seeking something, and their path will take them through treacherous waters and force them to confront nightmare creatures and pitch-dark magic. It will take all of Aleja’s strength and courage to gain the trust of her fellow pirates – and discover what they are risking everything to find.

Review:

Thank you to Write Reads, and Penguin, for providing me an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

The Ship of Shadows is a mythical tale full of shining domes, emerald towers, enchanting deserts, and the exotic streets of Tangier. This novel was a refreshing change for me. I visited so many cities of buildings that were ruby coloured, ranging from Green to Blue. The palaces were exotic, and I was pulled into a world that has been forgotten from the library of time itself. Not to mention the fact that we get to see Parakeets and Aleja sailing around in this magical ship called the Ship of Shadows.

It feels like I’ve time travelled through the past and entered the trade ports of the Orient and discover a living, breathing world that has been forgetton from the times of history. Review tommorow. The setting of combining Spain and Morocco together is a fantastic decision. There are many incredible influences of 1001 Nights.

I did feel that the author heavily borrowed a lot of inspiration from Morocco’s traditional heritage sites and I for one, applaud this. I also liked how Aleja settled along in a country that she had never visited before. I did feel for her family though, they must be still missing her. Especially her father and grandfather. This is a fantastic combination of historical realism combined with the mythos of the world. I loved the exotic cabins, the ghosts of the ship, and the way this entire world was built.

Some would say that the story is built around the world, or that the world is built around the story. I’d say it’s both. We get to see Malika, who I feel was a very strong character, but I’d have wanted to seen more development. Frances is a great example of a funny character done right – and she loves food.

This is basically Pirates of the Caribbean written right. That said, I did feel the inclusion of mythical monsters was well introduced, but not developed enough. I wanted to get more of Admiral Francois, the former disgraced Admiral of the French court, his view point, and more of his motivations.

I want to see more villains in book 2 chasing against Aleja, and her merry band of pirates. I loved the Captain as well. Ada I felt needed more scenes. But for a world of this scale, its amazing. Well done. I want to see more books like this.
A solid 8/10 from me. Go get this now.

REVIEW: SORCERY OF A QUEEN (DRAGONS OF TERRA #2) BY BRIAN NASLUND

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis:

A fast-paced adventure perfect for comic readers and fans of heroic fantasy

They called her the Witch Queen…

Driven from her kingdom, the would-be queen now seeks haven in the land of her mother, but Ashlyn will not stop until justice has been done. Determined to unlock the secret of powers long thought impossible. Ashlyn bends her will and intellegence to mastering the one thing people always accused her of, sorcery.

Meanwhile, having learned the truth of his mutation, Bershad is a man on borrowed time. Never knowing when his healing powers will drive him to a self-destruction, he is determined to see Ashlyn restored to her throne and the creatures they both love safe

Review:

Thank you to Tor Books UK, Stephen and Jamie Lee Nardone for sending me an ARC of this wonderful book. All thoughts and opinions are mine only for this review.

Warning: This novel has the following: Experiments! Alchemy! Dragons! Airships! Assassinations, exploding cities, pirates, Felgor! Nasty little Vampire named Verdun, an ambitious lady called Kira and Vera, and the return of glorious young Jolan! Empires fight for incredible stakes, Lords and Dukes fight in epic scale battles, and everything goes haywire. The world literally goes into madness. It descends into a pit of hope, then chaos, hope, then chaos. This is what this wonderful book has to offer you, and guess what. The cover is so damn good! So damn good! Kudos to the cover designer. This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read and all I have is praise. Well done Tor and Brian. You’ve delivered a hit series. Cannot wait for book 3. You need to have nachos, a cheese and onion sandwhich, some wedges, and pizza, have some soft drinks to have. These are your go to snacks. Thats how good this is. Haha

Sorcery of a Queen. Sorcery of a Queen. Sorcery of a Queen indeed. This novel comes right at you like a flying kicka pow pow book and literally takes the dark side of fantasy, scrunches it all up, and then spits it. It takes the heroic side of fantasy and literally turns it up side down. Its like something pulled out of real life. And that’s not to meantion the fact that this all happens because of a certain weird individual – read on and you will discover a VERY sinister secret.

This is one of those novels that comes along in a while, and literally reminds me you of something. Wait. Is this a unique twist of both heroic fantasy and dark fantasy? Or is this something else? I feel like its the spiritual successor to Rachel Aaron’s The Legend of Eli Monpress Series. Except this is more like the realistic and grim version yet combined with hope. I’ve spent 3 days and I’ve breezed through this. I’ve really enjoyed reading this. One thing. I love the use of dragons in this book. Well written, well utilised, but can the Flawless Bershard now own an armada of dragons so Queen Ashe can use it? I think Flawless Bershard said he hated killing dragons in book 1 anyway. And in Book 3, he needs to literally kick the **** out of Verdun.

This is like the Deadpool of Fantasy. There. I’ve said it. It’s Deadpool. The writing is so good that the descriptions are bewildering, breath-taking almost. You’re in jungles, islands, airships, and a lot of climate change facts that are incredibly well written into the fantasy narrative. The dialogue is so refreshing its…I could compare this to Nicholas Eames Kings of the Wyld. Heck! This is very comparable to David Wragg’s the Black Hawks. I’d call this a new twist in fantasy. It’s like taking dark fantasy and heroic fantasy into a corner, and then…laughing at them. That’s what it feels like.

Tell me, what novel combines flying airships with humor? With such brutal gore in this world, one should be disgusted when you learn of Verdun. He’s a nasty little vampire. A very nasty vampire. And Castor is the reclutant servant. And quite frankly, I’ve loved all the characters that Jolan meets himself with. I felt sadness and sympathy, laughed and giggled at the same time. The humour is one of the best aspects. And I love Jolan’s innocence. The world needs more good natured people like him.

As for our flawless Bershard…he gets his ass getting handed to him all the time. I’m afraid to say, the man that’s literally killed Naga Soul Striders and Red Skulls…the world treats him brutally. There’s a new cast of characters that join us in this grand new adventure, and I must say, stop getting rid of characters I get attachted too Brian, they’re so good! *weeps weeps* Now if an author can do this in a novel and the reader feels something about it. Then he’s done the work.

This. This is pure fantasy. I did feel the ending was a little dragged on, and there were parts I would have wanted reduced. But I don’t want to spoil too much. All I know is that I’ve loved every character so far. And never, and never, and never, have I seen SUCH a mind-blowing twist. Empires ruined beyond all comprehension. (And this is the only CLUE I’m going to give. Read this novel and you’ll soon start to know what it means very very very very fast!) There is such a fantastic twist that it completely oblierates saving the world stuff and letting the world die – it produces something more unique than that.

Oh. And dear old Fergus! The man’s Jack Sparrow. I swear Jack Sparrow got drunk once upon a time, then stumbled upon his cousin named Fergus, and then they got lost, and then Fergus spent his time becoming mad and high, and well, I’d say the series is really about Fergus. Not Bershard. Also, Ashlyn needs more scenes. I def got a grand sense of her, but I want MORE of her. She’s a very good character, but she still needs to learn that the politics of lords and generals are too cunning – she’s a cunning character indeed. And Vera? Poor Vera. That’s all I can say.

All I can say is, this would be great as the following:

  • Netflix Series
  • Graphic Novel Series
  • Comic Series!

And thats it. That’s all I can say. IT’S THAT GOOOD. GO BUY IT NOW! YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON AN UNDER-RATED FANTASY GENRE AND AWESOME AND UNIQUE SUBPLOT.

Ok I’ve think I’ve rambled enough right now. This book and this series is for fans of Nicholas Eames and David Wragg.

Fergus! You take the stage!

Bugger.

Oh and bring on Book 3. Plz bring it. I need it!!!!!!! 

REVIEW: BLOOD OF AN EXILE (DRAGONS OF TERRA #1) BY BRIAN NASLUND

This is a great book you need to get now!

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis:

Bershad stands apart from the world, the most legendary dragonslayer in history, both revered and reviled.

Once, he was Lord Silas Bershad, but after a disastrous failure on the battlefield, he was stripped of his titles and sentenced to one violent, perilous hunt after another. Now he lives only to stalk dragons, slaughter them, collect their precious oil, and head back into the treacherous wilds once more. For years, death was his only chance to escape. But that is about to change.

The king who sentenced Bershad to his fate has just given him an unprecedented chance at redemption. Kill a foreign emperor and walk free forever.

The journey will take him across dragon-infested mountains, through a seedy criminal underworld, and into a forbidden city guarded by deadly technology.

Review:

Sentenced to die. Impossible to kill. The two main sentences illustrate and summarise this book perfectly. What an incredible journey I’ve just been on. I feel like I’ve gone through an fantasy epic. Like the old days. I’ve related to characters, I’ve seen gore and brutal torture that will remind you of Medieval times, I’ve seen spies and networks of a vast web of power and corruption. How the rich nobles of this world try to manipulate people to fight for them. And boy, was this such a good cast of characters.

You know which character I ended up liking the most? Rowan. That old man was a man of foresight, honor and courage. He represented the goodness in all of us humans. I have a feeling he’s lived through an epic life that I wish Brian would make a prequel about him. I wonder if Rowan had a lover. Then it was Felgor, who turned out to be a more mature version of Jolan. The evilness that is depicted in the Lords of Power, from the Emperor of Balaria to the King of Almira himself, just goes to show how good people are taken in, and then twisted to the roots as they are forced to do acts of terror that they would never wish to do in the first place.

More than that, I sympathised with Bershad a lot man. Poor guy’s been through so much, and yet he’s still a badass taking on the biggest dragons in this world. I love how Brian related the effects of climate change and illustrated into it the fantasy context. There’s an empire that has no proper roads, lets say its Almira, and they worship with mud-totems. One of the most incredible things that Brian did was relate the jaguar/jungles to this European foundation that Almira to me resembles. This is actually more historically authenthic, because when the Spanish settled in the New World, they began to adapt a lot of customs from their Aztec neighbours, and thus the infusion of a new Latin culture integrating the Spanish and the Mexica, so to say, was born. The jaguar is a potent symbol in the Aztec culture, and was worshipped often. So I really liked this.

I don’t want to spoil the plot. It took me 2 days to get started, but man, I did enjoy this. Really buy this book now. Go get it!