A Fool’s Hope (The Last War #2) by Mike Shackle

Relic Book Tour: My review of Relic by Bronwyn Eley

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Blurb: In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.

As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.

It’s an appointment that will kill her.

As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…

As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series

Note: ARC with uncorrted proof exchanged for review, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review:

Relic is an amazing novel that  needs more attention. On the one hand, this was quite an amazing experience to read through. I liked Kaylon’s ability to use her powers to help in her when trouble came, but I felt she did not take enough ownership of the consequences of her actions as much as I would have liked too.


The prose, the dialogue and the pacing is all well done. 


I also loved Rover 🙂


This novel is quite complex in its characterisation. I felt Markus was a good love interest but he did not know enough about Kaylon. The two needed more scenes to get in touch with each other, and to develop the chemistry between them.


While I liked Kaylon I wanted her to take more action and being less hesitant. Rennard may have been an man that over time has become corrupt, which is true in history, but I would use the example of Empress Theodora. She was a prostitute yet the most powerful man in all of Byzantium fell in love with her. Kaylon would benefit from some inspiration from her. 


I felt Rennard was under-used as well as Jespar. Clearly there is a hidden history between the whole basis of the conflict that envelopes the town.


I like the concept of feudal lords utilizing people to work. This was what the Samurai Warlords did to their populations, and they killed unproductive workers.  If you’re in the UK and on KU, its free for what I believe is a limited time. Do not miss this at all.
I def want to read on this exciting triology and see what comes next. Thank you so much to Shealea for allowing me on this blog tour.

Order Now:

Why you need to read the Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox (First Impressions Post)

Libri Draconis – A bookish nerd sharing reviews of current SFF novels
The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox | Waterstones

The Wood Bee Queen is an amazing novel. This is a stop on the blog tour for Edward’s book, as I have not seen a book like this anywhere on the market, especially the historical fantasy market, that combines Greek and Celtic Mythology in such fascinating tune. It’s like a crossover almost. This book, for all intents and purpose, is Narnia for adults.

There, I’ve said it. It’s Narnia for adults. It’s got some amazing writing, some amazing prose, and so far, I’ve been thoroughly immersed into this novel. I’ve enjoyed elaborate descriptions of a fairy tale, and this book has a fairy tale vibe, but done in an almost Grisha-like style. In fact, I’d compare this a little bit to Shadow and Bone. It gives off that historical vibe, but it gives off that fantasy vibe too. It introduces the modern world and the fantasy world in a well connected universe. The main character, Ebbie Wren, is the last manager of a library that will soon fall into decay as it is going to be sold off by the heartless husband who once gave permission to his wife to fund it. Now that his wife is gone, Ebbie was promoted to manager, but the heartless owner couldn’t care less. He is the perfect typical example of the archival type, the one who couldn’t care less. Libraries are incredibly important to the book industry, and seeing many of them go in real life, is a big shame. Libraries are the heart of our communities, just as indie book shops are and major publishers of fiction novels are. I completely dislike the fact that working at a library is not considered as profitable as getting a real job, and these are my own thoughts. Thank you to Edward for bringing this up. We as bloggers, should support amazing fiction like this.

Mai is an amazing character who I feel has so much history, so much personality that I’d love to read off-spin series of her. Princess Yandira? She reminds me so much of Princess Azula of the Fire Nation. Cunning, clever but stupid at the same time because she is fixated on the goal of simply ruling. Do the people not come first for her? Or maybe it is the fact that she’s too fixated on taking revenge on those that never considered her a proper Queen? Or was it the fact that she did not receive much love. She’s not a smart villainy at all. She doesn’t think ahead apart from building her own empire now that the Queen has died, and she’s gotta think better. There was a funny line about metal and warbirds. Just wait and read it. I swear its gonna make you chuckle a lot. Of course, she can be much better. I’ve not read far enough to judge what and how she’s going to be like, but so far, alright. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt!

This book has amazing writing, an easy to get into novel, and the worldbuilding is so smooth – that you’ll want to read more. Basically, you NEED to read the Wood Bee Queen. Full review will be coming in 2-3 days. This is amazing!

Eyes of Obsurance: Book Blitz!

Hello, and welcome to this Book Blitz where I showcase this wonderful book! An amazing cover, an amazing title, and an amazing plot. It has elves, dwarves, villains and a classic style DND adventure!

Eye of Obscurance (Fate of Wizardoms, #1) by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

More information can be found here:

Book Information

Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

Published: May 18, 2021

Series: Fate of Wizardoms (#1)

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 300 (Print Length)

Possible Ultimate Tour Experience Tickets: Elves and dwarves and orcs, oh my!, Snark it up, The more the merrier, A villain you love to hate, Storyteller in the house, Bring on the magic

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Book Blurb

A rollicking adventure: Can a quick-witted thief assassinate an almighty wizard lord?

Power. The ambitious thirst for it.

In a realm where wizards rule, those able to claim a throne are granted the power of a god.

How can one defeat a god?

A clever thief, a determined acrobat, and a troubled dwarf are joined by an old storyteller as they attempt the impossible: Assassinate a wizard lord. Their slim hope relies on an enchanted amulet, the Eye of Obscurance.

These unwitting pawns are embroiled in a contest of wizards. The stakes: The fate of the world.

From bestselling author Jeffrey L. Kohanek comes the first novel in an epic fantasy saga where magic reigns, wizards scheme for power, and the world teeters on the edge of breaking, perfect for readers who enjoy Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, or Robert Jordan.

Download and prepare for a spectacular, thrilling adventure.

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Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51569949-eye-of-obscurance

Amazon:  https://geni.us/hq6IOA9

Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Wizardoms-Eye-of-Obscurance-Audiobook/B07YLZJ3CR

Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Wizardoms-Eye-of-Obscurance-Audiobook/B07YM4HY6K

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Author Info

Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all..

Website: http://https//JeffreyLKohanek.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/JeffreyLKohanek

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jeffrey-l-kohanek

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-L.-Kohanek/e/B01F1G5LTM Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15180818.Jeffrey_L_Kohanek

Be sure to enter the giveaway here!

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e832e98884/?

Prize:

GRAND PRIZE: Signed copies of all six books in Jeffrey L. Kohanek’s FATE OF WIZARDOMS series (US Only)

RUNNERS-UP: One (1) of three (3) signed paperbacks of Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek (US Only)

Starts: May 18th, 2021 at 12:00am EST

Ends: May 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm EST

Blog Tour: Master Artificer (The Silent Gods #2) by Justin Call

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis:

The fabulous sequel to 2019’s hit debut novel: Master of Sorrows.

Annev has avoided one fate. But a darker path may still claim him . . .

After surviving the destruction of Chaenbalu, new mysteries and greater threats await Annev and his friends in the capital city of Luqura. As they navigate the city’s perilous streets, Annev searches for a way to control his nascent magic and remove the cursed artifact now fused to his body.

But what might removing it cost him?

As Annev grapples with his magic, Fyn joins forces with old enemies and new allies, waging a secret war against Luqura’s corrupt guilds in the hopes of forging his own criminal empire. Deep in the Brakewood, Myjun is learning new skills of her own as apprentice to Oyru, the shadow assassin who attacked the village of Chaenbalu – but the power of revenge comes at a daunting price. And back in Chaenbalu itself, left for dead in the Academy’s ruins, Kenton seeks salvation in the only place he can: the power hoarded in the Vault of Damnation . . . 

Review

This review contains minor/major spoilers and are not intentional. Thank you to Will O Mullane at Gollancz for providing me a review. All thoughts are mine.

This is a masterpiece forged in the mountain of Kale. This is a huge sprawling epic that I would not be able to summarize within an entire review, it is that good. Somewhere I just wonder that this entire journey, this entire story is nothing more than Keos himself writing his own story. It was Keos that was cast from the Heavens, Keos that created goblins and un-natural creatures and for that he was deemed unworthy. Everyone swears that infernal God’s name in this book because Annev slowly begins to realize that the world of good is no longer becoming good. All the adults that he looks up to in this novel to aid him become in the end just that: villains. Many people claiming to help Annev are revealed to be some obscure servents of Gods or maybe Keos himself because Annev wears the golden hand of that God. And sometimes, it makes me wonder. What does Keos get out of all this at the end? He may be silent, but he is no fool. Keos is a master manipulator.

And this novel very clearly explains how people who are good-natured can turn into evil. Annev’s whole journey is like a parallel to this. Let’s not forget however, that Kenton is swearing revenge against him, for what obscure reason I am not particularly impressed with. Kenton was in love with Myjun, but did she ever return his affections so favorably once he was scarred? Myjun learns with her mentor, Oyru, and she discovers truths that are far more shocking when you read this story. I urge you, to read ALL the lore of this book. All the special manuscripts, the notes, every single thing. It makes sense as you read and as you discover along, you find so many secrets. I also was the type of reader going, ahhh and oooh and dammn. Writing a fantasy epic like this over 800 pages, keeping atop of all the orders, the names, the characters, this is no work that is rushed, but it shows a lot of hard work and dedication. I want to have this type of dedication. I can see why it took a year, it’s good! Really good. But a novel of this scale would have been proof-read, redrafted, edited many many times. I would take this into consideration. You have to read book 1 in order to understand the events of book 2.

I was not impressed with the way Annev made his decisions sometimes. In the novel, Annev, Titus, and Therin make their way to the Dionarchs. All I can say about the Dionarchs is that they are far worse than what Tosan and the Academy at Chalenbeau were. They are a bunch of self-hypocritical arsehole immortal beings with no sense of direction but to awake the silence of the Gods. And Reeve, who shall we say, is the leader of that presumed order, wants to use Annev as a tool. And this is where it goes worse. Annev is intelligent and realises when he is being used, but sometimes when he turned evil, I completely disagreed with what he was doing, and there were certain acts that he did that seemed a bit off-paced. I’d have gone with some different choices to show how he transitions to that type of villain. Many times you will see him doubt, you will see him worry, and you will not like what he is becoming. I was still satisifed with the fact that he can still retain and control his thoughts. But this is all Keos’s doing. Never mind all the damn Gods in this world, Keos is like the Loki of this world. Hidden but never seen, he is not present no. But he is there. In every step of the way.

That said, I am glad that most of the characters got their own time to shine as well: Therin and Titus got their own time, and they really are fun to read. I do wish they’d find some proper girlfriends, because they need it. And we got to see Crag, but I want MORE of him. He’s a fun character. Fyn and his gang of Ashes crew were brilliant, and I loved Fyn begin to mature, to question his previous behavior, and to also fall in love! I loved Sodja, and the entire story that is crafted around her. I didn’t enjoy Myjun at all, because I don’t agree with what she’s doing and her prejudices, but I respect what she seeks to find out, but she should have been an Assassin from the start. What was the point of her being raised by her father if she was nothing more than turning out to be someone who does horrible actions? While I can see why the morality of this world goes awry, I would ask that at least some morality, some sense is established. Because it seems to me, the Gods of this world are more evil than anything else. All fighting each other, all doing away with each other. If I was a character I would rage and start my own religion and be free from all this chaos. This world is chaos. Slavery, thievery, all of it! This is not a fun world to be in, and it makes me sad. I want to see the characters at least get a small measure of peace.

Oh, and I thought I would never enjoy Elder Tosan again. He is such a brilliant villain that I want to see more of him. I really miss Sodar, and I want him to come back. Sodar has to stop Annev, because he is the only sensible father-figure that can stop Annev from becoming too evil. The story is excellent, it is large, and it is huge. There’s a lot of lore as well. There’s gore and brutality as well, there’s love, loss, hope and misery. I didn’t like Annev becoming jealous of his friends, Therin and Titus when they stood up for him against Fyn and Kenton. Sometimes I wonder if Annev quietly contemplates using his powers to travel back into the past and change it. Would he prevent all that had happened?

This story is amazing, the worldbuilding is fantastic, the writing, description and prose is great. I really enjoyed this. 10/10 from me!