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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.

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A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Rating: 10/10

Synopsis

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation

Review

This review contains spoilers. I recieved an ARC from Tor Publishers and thank you to Stephen for providing me a copy of this.

What can I say about this book? It’s impressive in its worldbuilding, epic in its scale of description, and focused on a woman that has a mission to save Lsel Station from the clutches of an ever-expanding empire named Teixcalaan.

There is so much to discuss here. The first bit is that an Lsel Ambassador, Yskandr was killed by Ten Pearl because he threatened to flood the Teixcalaani markets with a special kind of technology. Yskandr was supposedly protecting his station by offering the Emperor, Six Direction, a special kind of Imago technology. To my sense, it is a sort of machine that carries the dead and makes them live on. It is immortality. And the Teixcalaani nobility have not missed any of this. The three presumptive heirs to the throne, Thirty Larkspur, One Lightening, and even Eight Antidote, who is but a child, are some of the ruthless heirs you will ever find.

Thirty Larkspur is the cunning maniuplator on a grand scale. I do feel his prescene was needed more in this book. He is a mad-man, a man obessed with power. The Emperor Six Direction, is now old and wants the imago-techonology to create a clone of himself. There are various deals made with the Science and War Ministry, and One Lightening and Thirty Larkspur are behind all of this. And here comes Mahit. The newly appointed ambassador from Lsel Station that has to figure this out with her new lisasons, Twelve Azalea and Three Foot Seagrass. And then there is Nineteen Azde, who has far more regret buried inside of her which causes her to help Mahit in more ways than she could ever imagine. That is also not forgetting the ministers at Lsel Station that sent her because they believe there is an Alien threat coming which will envelope the Empire and all of its client states into chaos. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

This is a new world, and this is hard-core sci-fi. I only have begun to appericate the complexities of sci-fi world-building. There is so much here that a fantasy writer could be envious off. Arkady goes into detail about the city, it’s police, it’s literature, its televisons, every single detail you can think of is pin-pointed. Come to think of it, this is perfect material for a Netflix show. This is akin to the Expanse. Realistic sci-fi. Or even a video-game. Horizion Zero Dawn had a future where humanity’s history was wiped out, and it is up too Aloy to figure out the past of this world in a world run by machines. The amount of worldbuilding is impressive. Twelve Azalea and Three Foot Seagrass are some of the best side-kick characters you would ever want to have. I also liked the fact that there was so much detail…it boggles the mind. It was not easy to write a novel like this and so much hard work went into this. This is also akin to Nick Martell’s Kingdom of Liars, where the main character has to figure out his past and what events led to it. In terms of themes I mean. This is a bit of a challenging read, and I rec you read the glossary at the end. It’s at page 451, but keep referring to it as much as possible.

I liked the idea that the city ran on artifical intelligence system, or an algorithim that didn’t identify Mahit as a citizen. You need to be indentified by the algorithim to become a citizen. It also shocked me that the Texicalaani are shorter than normal human beings. Nineteen Azde is a character that is also a villain but also someone who regrets a lot. She’s both. You’ll figure this out soon.

I found this to be an amazing book. I will give this a solid 10/10. Not just because of the sheer visuals, but of the sheer worldbuilding. This is akin to a whole bible of information and lore. It takes a very big mind to come up and catalogue all of this.

My Review of There Wil Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

Rating: 10/10

Synposis

THE AGE OF DARKNESS APPROACHES.
FIVE LIVES STAND IN ITS WAY.

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity – until they disappeared, one hundred years ago.

They left behind a secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As a dark new power rises, five souls are set on a collision course that will determine the fate of their world:

A prince exiled from his kingdom
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up

One of them – or all of them – could break the world. Will they be saviour or destroyer?

Review

When authors like Tasha Suri and Sebastien de Castell praise this book, you know it will be good. I have yet to read Tasha Suri’s wonderful Empires of Sand Book. But praise from a master such as Sebastien De Castell whose books I love? It’s going to be really good.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Little Brown Book Group UK and Orbit for providing me an ARC of this wonderful book. When I saw this reveal for the first time, I knew I had to have this. I want more Ancient World fantasy inspired novel books. I want way more of this. The Ancient World was fascinating for one big reason: The Times of Ceasar, the expansion into Gaul, Nero’s rule as Emperor, Ramesses and the Sea People, Egypt at the heights of its new found empire, the Assyrians and the Babylonians establishing their legendary empires. And the mythologies of the Norse, the Egyptian, the Greek Gods that has been told throughout humanity. Even Gilgamesh and the cities of Ur and the Sumerians. All these tales come from a time that is now long gone. So when I saw this, I knew I had to review this. There needs to be WAY more fantasy in the Ancient World. I appeal to Little Brown Book Group and Orbit to publish way more fantasy inspired in the Ancient World and the Bronze Age.

This is a book that was made into a legendary saga of a story. I have become a bit weary of high political intrigues in fantasy, for some reason what shocks me the most, is that humans are the best at manipulating each other. Humanity is humanity’s worst enemies. We are our worst enemies. There is so much political intrigue that it pays off right at the end. How long will humanity keep manipulating each other for the sake of a throne that carries power? It boggles the mind.

All the characters in this book served a solid purpose. None of their character arcs felt wasted in any shape or form. Khepri and Hassan make a wonderful couple, and I loved how their relationship blossomed from Pallas Athos to the Kingdom of Herat. There is so much power-plays and prophecies that it does take a while to get into. But I say keep reading on because then it gets interesting. I liked the Hierophant, but I was not convinced of his arguments that much. I wanted to see why the Seven Prophets had disappered. Was the Hierophant behind that?

Lethia is a character that will shock you in the end. I felt a lot for Hector, poor lad. I hope he has a better life. Jude was one of those characters that doesn’t spark until the end. I’ll tell you why because he’s privy to the events of the world around him. He reacts more than he does take action. And sometimes while I know the demand is that your character should take action, it’s nice to see a character actually figuring out what his entire purpose is. I liked the concept of the Graced and the Witnesses, but I did not see much of the power structure in Pallas. I didn’t see much of that and I would have wanted to seen more.

I love the fact that there’s trains. Please let there be trains. They are my favorite thing in fantasy. The Pale Hand and her sister have a tale that is best explored by you, the reader. I liked the world-building but I wished there was more references to actual Egyptian clothing and Greek armour etc. I felt we were in a sort of Medieval World with references to Paladins and Order. That’s my quirk, a small minor one. I want to see if there’s Gods in this universe. And Anton, he’s a character that grows with you in this book.

And if the Hierophant is working with Illya (who is a sadistic creature that has become a monster) and Lethia, then surely there’s more power-struggles at play. I was shocked when Hassan had his army ready, that Lethia’s son betrayed him and then it showed that Lethia had been playing Hassan like a fool all along. It reminds me of the admiration that Catherine the I of Russia had towards Frederick the Great. Frederick may have been a great general and king of Prussia, but she learnt a lot of her skills from him That is why Lethia reminds me of this relationship with her and the Hierophant.

I do feel we need more chapters into Herat, giving us more details of this fantasy Egypt. I’d like to see more hoplites and traditional Greek armour, and other things to show us more of this ancient world inspired fantasy.

I felt this was a fantastic book. A solid 10/10 from my side.

This is a novel that will captivate you in its wonderful prose, take you on a breath-taking journey and make you question your morality. For are we not all imperfect?

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Review of the Total War Three Kingdoms DLC: The Mandate of Heaven

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Steam

The Mandate of Heaven DLC

Rating: 9.5/10

Synposis

The year is 182CE. The Han Empire is in turmoil, and China is slipping towards chaos. The Emperor’s court is paralysed by corruption, and a great famine has ravaged the north. In the eyes of the people, Emperor Ling has lost the Mandate of Heaven – and with it, the right to rule.

Across the land, the people band together in opposition. Led by the three Taoist brothers Zhang Jue, Zhang Liang and Zhang Bao, they don yellow turbans and take up arms. Their aim: to tear down the unjust Han and replace it with their own dynasty of harmony and peace. They are thousands strong, with more flocking to their cause by the day.

Warlords sworn to the emperor rally to his banner; warriors of great influence and fierce ability. Yet the wiser, more ambitious of them harbour their own desires… if the Han becomes too weak, who then will take the reins of power?

The Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – Mandate of Heaven Chapter Pack depicts the events of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, enabling players to engage in the conflict from either rebel or loyalist perspectives. Introducing a number of new characters and playable faction leaders, the campaign begins in 182CE, but players can choose to continue well into the Three Kingdoms period, with familiar characters entering the campaign as the timeline progresses.

Review

I was provided an early access code for the purposes of reviewing this DLC. All thoughts and opinions are my own and thank you to Josh at CA and Creative Assembly for this wonderful DLC.

Mandate of Heaven is one of the biggest DLC expansions to the already excellent Three Kingdoms Total War video-game developed by Creative Assembly. Three Kingdoms Total War is set in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical novel written in the Ming Dynasty by Luo Guanzhong focusing on the events of the fall of the Han Empire that had ruled China for 400 years.

As Liu Chong, you’ll have missions to do, and you must gain ancillaries fighting in battles. This allows you to force the AI in diplomacy to give you food and gold for ancillaries. Liu Chong is a very popular and respected solider of the Empire, and thus with more victories you will get more fame. The more fame you have, the better it is for you. It is vital you complete the early missions first.

The attention to historical detail is a fantastic detail, you will find many events telling you of all the historical events that happened during the fall of the Han Empire. Liu Chong was one of the last remaining princes that could have prevented the fall of the Han Empire at a time when the Yellow Turban Rebellion had occured. But he was killed by Yuan Shao, an ruthless and ambitious warlord that would years later fall at the hands of Cao Cao, one of China’s most cunning warlords to date. If there was a way to compare Cao Cao, he is your Napoleon Bonaparte of China. That’s how clever he was.

Some of the glorious visuals you’ll get to see when besieging cities in Three Kingdoms. You have access to siege towers and stakes!

Liu Chong is like the Ned Stark of China, of the Han Dynasty to be precise. And you really do get a sense when playing this epic campaign. I started as Liu Chong, knowing full well that greedy warlords were ready to break the Empire into their own personal fiefdoms! For the glory of the Han Dynasty, I as Liu Chong had to prevent this. I had to re-write history. The corrupt ministers that claimed to serve the Han Empire would be punished! And so we met rebels and bandits! Liu Chong proclaimed victory at every match!

This is Liu Chong’s Residence for the time being as he plots to bring back the Empire to glory

Liu Chong starts at a perilous time when the Yellow Turban Rebellion has erupted. It is Liu Chong’s duty to wipe out the Yellow Bandits and restore order. I would advise destroying Yuan Shao and his brother, Yuan Shu. The Yuan Brothers become a bit of an annoying thing in the historical novel and in the gameplay – which CA have done tremendous effort with.

The Prince of the Han Empire, Liu Chong

And the men of the Han Empire rallied behind Liu Chong, content that there was a hero in China, blessed by the Heavens that he would bring back the glory of the Han Empire. The Empire would be divided no more!

The Golden Dragons storm the infamous Yellow Bandits!
SHAAA! SHAA! SHAA!

Sha! Sha! Sha! is an Ancient War cry that is used in many historical Chinese TV programs. At the end, it becomes more challenging and I had to do re-starts. Because the Yellow Turbans and the Warlords will pick at your logistics, they wil have more troops than you. The key is to have Liu Chong making alliances in the South, removing Yuan Shao, and taking as many Yellow Turbans cities as possible. But don’t over-stretch. You take one Yellow Turban City at one time. Also make an alliance with Kong Rong. I dub him the most wealthiest man in all of China. You’ll see why.

As you can see, Liu Chong has the best heavy crossbow elite infantry. These new units really give the units of the Han a booster in the campaign.

During my campaign playthrough, there was chaos in the Imperial Capital. The Emperor had died, the Empress had taken over, and Dong Zhou (you’ll see why he was not a good man) took over the Han Empire pretending to be its protector. There is so much events happening during this time it is no wonder the Empire was unable to keep government at a functioning level.

I would have wanted to seen Liu Chong’s reaction to all the events that were happening around him. I would have wanted to seen more events from his personal viewpoint. I think a few more events would have increased the flavour of this wonderful soup, or of this campaign, that is already excellent in shape, detail and form.

As you can see, you’ll get many special events during the campaign. It does happen quite fast between turns and I wish the pace was much slower in this regard.
Special Story events also appear in the campaign!

The fact of the matter is, you may be the Prince of the Han Empire. But you’ve already got the Emperor that only runs the capital. Looters and Bandits at your doorstep. The Ennuchs running the  bureaucracy which hampes your ability in some respects. Warlords having declared their own personal empires. The people aren’t exactly going to be pleased. Liu Chong however is the sort of what if? What if he had lived, would we have seen a different outcome? That’s what this DLC allows you to do. There’s new technologies, new units, and new story missions that will keep you playing one more turn. This isn’t a mini campagin, as this is integrated into the main story of the main campaign. What happens then after that, is your choice. It will affect the story you create in Three Kingdoms Main Campaign.

This is a lush, richly detailed DLC. I loved this DLC and I cannot say anything more than do consider a purchase of this wonderful DLC. There’s so many leaders to choose from you’ll have hours of fun playing this campaign.

Review: Dark Skies (Dark Shores Triology #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: 10/10

Synposis:

Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Skies, the follow-up to Dark Shores, set in the universe of the YA fantasy series that Sarah J. Maas called “everything I look for in a fantasy novel.”

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

Review:

I was provided an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not influence my thoughts in any way or shape or form.

This book reminded me of Avatar the Last Airbender and the Dragon Prince wrapped into this epic conflict that is literally going to take this world by storm. Be that Celendria or any other Kingdom out there. The Seventh God corrupts everything he touches. The blight are a plague, and this novel is so frustrating for Lydia I wished the poor girl would get a better life. And I think she will in book 3. I also loved Lydia’s father, and hated Lydia’s nephew. You will also love Killian because he’s an man with honour. You will experience his story in your own personal experience.

I have been waiting for the sequel for a long time and it does not disappoint. It’s like Lord of the Rings the Two Towers. And so much political scheming! There is so much involved that your mind will get mind-boggled in this. Lydia is taken to the Kingdom of Mudamoria by the Xenither, and from there she learns about the conflict, the scheming nobles of Mudamoria, and how she navigates through this entire web. It’s like a never-ending web. And Lucius Cassius, our favorite villian makes a fab return. I guess he’s also playing hands with Rufina and the King of Mudamoria’s Daughter, Malahi.

I really wished there was a map, as I want to see this large world. I also wanted to see more of Gamdesh, which we saw of Sonia, but not enough. I would have wanted to seen more individual descriptions of the Sultanate of Gamdesh’s troops. I was also so glad to see Bait saving Lydia, and thus telling the stories of how Lucius is using Legate Marcus for his own end. We didn’t get to see much of Terianna and Marcus in this novel, but this is a big world. What Danielle is creating is akin to There will come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool. It’s a world of ancient fantasy. It’s going to be big. I think there are more novels coming.

You will like this novel because of Killian, and I ship Killian and Lydia together. They both are affected by the politics of their nations, and both come together because of that. Now we really have to see who is playing the real game here. Rufina? The corrupted? The goddess? The Seventh? And I’d love to see Celendria’s Emperor take the center stage. I get the feeling that Danielle wants to explore more of the world, and I do too! I want to see Phalanxes of the Fantasy Greek City States, and I’d love to see the chariots of fantasy Egypt in the next sequels or so.

There’s so much plot involved I’ll leave it to you guys to figure it out. But from me, I loved book 1. I love book 2, and I’m going to give this a solid 10/10 and I cannot wait to read book 3 and 4.

Review of the Emperor’s Axe (Imperial Assassin #3) by Alex Gough

Rating: 10/10

Synposis:

The fate of Rome, and thousands of lives, rests on the shoulders of one man.

After murdering his brother, and taking the position of Emperor for himself, Caracalla orders a brutal purge of the supporters of Geta.

Meanwhile, Caracalla’s ally Marcellus, along with his family, is captured by Syrian warriors. They wish to use his son, Avitus, as a puppet emperor to affirm a new Eastern Empire.

Caracalla orders Silus to track down and rescue Avitus, rumoured to be Caracalla’s child. As Rome buckles beneath the weight of internal slaughter and external threat, only Silus stands in the way of death and destruction on an incomparable scale

Review:

Thank you to Canelo and Sophie for this wonderful and dazzling historical window into the past. This review will contain minor spoilers. I love Roman historical fiction, Egyptian historical fiction, and I love anything about the Ancient World if I am honest. This was a treat to read. This review contains minor spoilers. I will not spoil the plot as it is best you will figure this out.

This adventure is something out of the extraordinary. It feels like I’m in a virtual tour of Assassin’s Creed, except in the historical era. The worldbuilding is some of the best I have seen that makes this world really believable. The descriptions of Alexandria is meticously well researched, meticously well written, and more to the point well done. On this note, if you want to see Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Age, download Assassin Creed Origins, and you can buy the game, or the virtual tour. You can use Xbox 1, Steam, Playstation. Most of the research that Alex has done will show up in the game.

This book also explores the religious conflicts that today will seem as if it is a matter of the past. The religious matters and conflicts of Alexandria are well brought into perspective. I also like that Alex showed that the glorious religions of their time have become corrupted to an extent. Egypt is now full of revolutionaries, scheming priests and who can blame them? At one point, Egypt ruled the world. Egypt was glorious, Egypt was the world. That all fell when the Persians invaded and since then, there was a rebellion by an Egyptian Pharoah in Ptolemaic Egypt before that was also crushed. It is no wonder the Egyptians, an ancient people, feel they too need some of that glory back. And the Greeks still clinging onto their sense of superiority, and the Christians. Alexandria was perhaps a city full of scheming conflict. I mostly think that there were deeper strings being pulled in the background.

And all to get a boy to become a High Priest of a Mountain God, and there’s an interesting hint you should take. There was the discussion between Carcacella and Geta to spilt the Empire a century before Constantine did. Atius and Silus explore this religious conflict that is central to this book. It is an interesting discussion and array of thoughts. One of the scenes I liked was when Silus used his title to grab something. Read onto find out. This is around the early 200s, and this is literally the powder-keg, which at one point, Constantine will begin the new legacy of Christanity that will come to change the Roman Empire forever. It makes me wonder if there was an alternate history of this. What if Christanity had remained where it was, and the Roman religion had instead adopted with other Gods? There’s a lot of debate to this. It does explain how people by the late 200s were beginning to get out of this pluaristic ideal and become more self-isolationist. When you compare the Bronze Age, the Assyrians used to steal statures of Marduk from Babylonian Temples.

At one point, ancient religions have had their ancestral golden age. Then after that age is over, its gone. It’s common in Hindusim since we’re in age of Kali-Yuga. The very name itself gives you that indication. There was the Hermetic prophecies where Thoth, the Egyptian God of Writing and Knowledge, wrote that one day the Gods would leave Egypt. The Egyptians did not belong to the land of the Nile. They were descendents of the Altanteans before them. If you read about Altantis and Thoth there is some theory regarding this. It’s just a fun little tid-bit of a theory. But do you see the point I am making? This book really gives you an idea of all the religious conflicts, and Alex has written very well on the descriptions of the religions.

Caracella was really a ruthless man. He was like what if Nero was actually even more competent? His father Septimus Servus had done a lot of work of keeping the Empire stable. Caracella was a bit like Caligua, that he undid all of that work which would then also lead into the events of the Crisis of the Third Century, which suffice to say brought the Empire to its knees. Some will disagree with me, but Rome after that could not really maintain such a large power-status as it once did. The Franks, the Alemmani, the Goths, all knew that the Romans could be provoked and they would be circled. Of course there’s a lot of debate into this.

Alex really has a wonderful way of writing the Egyptians. I loved his description style and wished he would write a series on Egypt, at the height of its power during the Napoleon of Egypt’s reign. Thutmose III: The Napoleon of Ancient Egypt that ruled from 1479 – 1425 BC. I think Alex would do so well in writing a series of this era.

This book is great, not only because of Silus’s fortiude, but because of his skill and cunning. I like the Egyptian Priestress and wished there was more. Silus has a remarkable knack of tolerance, and he’s a good man. And Atius, at times he also brings himself to question a lot. Read onto find out more.

This book has dazzling writing, amazing prose, breath-taking dialogue, and Avtius and Issa are the best characters ever. For Marcellus, he’s a bit of a man that follows orders but doesn’t see what’s around him. Ganny is like that cunning tutor that manipulates from behind and Marcellus’s wife is crazy and delusional with splendour of power.

Fantastic Book, Fantastic work, I LOVED THIS! Honestly books in this world are the next best thing.

10/10

Review of the Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell

Rating: 10/10

Synposis

In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth.

Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.

In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.

What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it.

Review:

Thank you to Will and Gollancz for sending me a review copy. This did not influence my opinions/thoughts. This review is a non-spoiler review and so will contain more about the world building than anything else.

This is what Game of Thrones would look like, if it had a sense of an moral compass and heroism. This is what my intepretation of this fantastic novel is. It comes at a whopping 608 pages or so. This is what fantasy books should be in my opinion. I have seen a boy become a man by the end of this book. If I had to summarise it in one sentence, that describes everything that is for this book.

The details of distinguishing between the high and low nobles, the Ravens and the Fabricators, the Archivists is so painstainkingly done to every single detail, this was a labour of love done by Nick Martell. Michael Kingman is a character that you would expect to be a coward, a person that knows nothing. A man that’s too afflicted from his past. A man that runs from his past. A man that needs to discover the truth of what afflicts him the most.

I would call this under a category of a good mix of grim-dark fantasy combined with heroic fantasy. That’s what I think the novel represents in my opinion. Gwen in my opinion needed more scenes with Michael. I also wanted to see even more scenes of King Issac, to better understand his motivations, and more scenes of the Corrupt Prince, who I felt needed a few more scenes in there. But you can’t fit everything in this whopping debut. Without spoiling too much, I also wanted Michael to go towards his mother a lot more. I feel as if the mother holds more clues than she’s revealing.

Dormet is officially one of my favorite characters along with Dark. I do not know why, but if you read on, you’ll figure why. You will feature loss throughout this novel, and you will cry. The way in which Nick demonstrates loss is honorable, though it does have Game of Thrones tendancies some times. There is so much power and political intrigue I cannot understand how Michael Kingman must navigate through all this when his father was branded as a traitor. Sirash is a great character, and yet Trey…has a past that he must come to grips with.

If I were to compare this to any fantasy novel out there that has a similar genre, it would be Mark Lawrence’s the Broken Empire. The characters are similar, and both are running from a past rather than taking course of their own lives. You know I’ve always loved fantasy novels which focus on the under-dog. And Michael Kingman is just that. There were so many emotional scenes in this novel that it is better you read it. I cannot express this into words. I found this an awesome read. The writing and prose is sharp. I want more novels that show the underdog. That show the under-dog rising through society to take his or her steps. I want more novels like this.

This is a brilliant, dazzling novel that will have you be emotional within hours of reading this book. It’s that fantastic. The writing, the dialogue, everything is on point. It is not easy to create an emotional scene, and Nick has done a fab job of making this. Nick, you’ve made me a fan. I am impressed, and I loved this. Please keep writing more awesome and bad-ass content like this.