Styrkar the warrior sails to dangerous lands in this thrilling new historical adventure from Richard Cullen. The sequel to Oath Bound, longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2022.
England, 1068: a land gripped in the iron fist of Frankish invaders. But the Conqueror does not sit easily on his fledgling throne. Rebellion is rife, and the flames of uprising have been ignited in every corner of the kingdom.
Thrown back into this crucible is Styrkar the Dane, former housecarl of the slain King Harold. Forced to travel to Ireland by his deadliest enemy, he must risk the fates of his brothers-in-arms in order to protect the one thing he loves.
So begins a journey that will take Styrkar to the royal court of Dublin, and the frigid climes of the north of England, for loyalty, love and vengeance. He will be tested, beaten and broken, but can any man keep the Red Wolf chained for long?
Shield Breaker is a novel of epic historical conflicts and provides a backdrop to an area of English History that isn’t normally shown in the popular media. The legend of William the Conqueror and his army defeating Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 is etched in English History as a mythical and historical context. What Richard has done here is to show the reality of William’s conquests in England, and how the Normans were seen as the invaders by the elites. But to the ordinary Saxon peasant? As long as he or she managed to live their life peacefully, they didn’t care too much. But that’s not a snapshot of every single viewpoint of every Saxon. Some resisted and fought the Normans to the bitter end, perhaps fleeing to Wales or Scotland. Others went to the Byzantine Empire to serve in the Varangian Guard where they would fight against Robert, the Norman Duke of Sicily, and exact revenge.
I would say that this is a backdrop to how the Kingdom of England that we know today was formed. William was a legendary King, but he was brutal and his army massacred many thousands of innocent souls, but of course, this was the Medieval period, or perhaps the beginning. Moving aside the history for a moment, we witness the Red Wolf, once a great warrior in Harold’s army now fighting for his chance to be reunited with his unborn child and lover, Gisela. And then in comes Ronan, and what starts is an epic journey of a roller-coaster of emotions; love, tragedy, hate, war, and ruin. Without spoiling too much, we get to witness just how weak the Saxon resistance became once the Normans, or the Franks in a way, began their consolidation of rule in England.
It’s an excellent story written with great prose, great action battle scenes, and completely well done. I felt completely immersed in the time period, and not a lot in my opinion is known about it. I feel if a TV show adaptation was made out of this, it would do supremely well. 10/10 and well done to Head of Zeus for publishing a great book!
Dates: May 26th – June 1st
Dust of a Moths is a great novel and one I throughly reccomend you check out! This is a guest post, but if you want info, it’s all here 🙂
I shall be delivering a review soon!
Dust of a Moth’s Wing by R. Ramey Guerrero
Series: The Age of Fire
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Older Teen to Adult
Published: March 25, 2022
Publisher: Self Published
The age of Fire begins in six days.
For fifteen hundred years, Slate and the other rebels have trained students to return Fire’s energy to the city of Wen. All have failed. Only one is left, and Nokhum’s past is less than ideal. If he cannot convince the Council of Elders to allow Fire magic to return, chaos will claim the city. The rebels are determined to avoid that end— even if it means sacrificing his student to chaos’s demons to make the Council believe Fire’s energy is necessary.
Magically talented people are disappearing.
Nokhum is convinced that his life-mate is still alive— no matter what everyone else says. Human slavers who salivate for magical beings have taken her. Realizing the Council of Elders will not help him, he seeks forbidden magics to find her. His plans are derailed when Slate sends him out of the city for training. Will his time in the Whisperwood be his undoing?
Like a Moth to Flame • Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires • #Vegetarian
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Author Bio & Information:
To cope with disabling mental illnesses, R. Ramey Guerrero created a world of their own to explore. Their apartment in San Antonio transformed into forests, cliffs, and sea shore. With pen and paper, they filled their world with creatures and people as diverse as a world should be. Now, R. Ramey Guerrero edits fantastic stories written by amazing authors with a kitty on their lap. They live in the medical center in an apartment by the woods with their pets. Two cats: Enki and Katara. An Australian shepherd: Tlaloc. A box turtle: Gaia. Two red-eared sliders: Atl and Tera. And a ball python: Artemis.
Prize: An eBook or Audiobook Copy of Dust of a Moth’s Wing!
Starts: May 26, 2022 at 12:00am EST
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An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates. Lyss had heard her father’s screams, smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She witnessed his execution. And plotted her revenge. Then, a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld, imbuing her with the monster’s forbidden magic—a magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains, the Empire’s soldiers, and Lyss’ uneasy alliance with the rarkyn. But horrors await them on the road—horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with. It’s the one that’s awoken inside her.
Monsters of a feather flock together.
Rarkyn’s Familiar is a good novel, with great worldbuilding and excellent immersion into the world. I am impressed with the strength that this novel brings into the world. It felt like I was in a new universe of Elden Ring and Dark Souls. This is a grim-dark fantasy for me, and I like it. There are a lot of impressive characters in this novel, and each character feels alive. I really feel there’s lots of great stuff in this novel.
This is a world where magic is feared, powerful and dangerous at the same time. An Empire that wishes to eradicate such magic vs those who wish to preserve it. Institutions of holy power and mancers fight for the very power that is magic, while dealing with creatures and monsters for their own profit. There is a very good backstory dealing with Lyss’s Rarkyn that’s essential to the core of their relationship throughout the story.
And the story does have your typical political manovuering, high stakes and incredible tension. I can’t help but feel that this is a great book for adapation and they need to make a TV show already of this book. I loved it! I only wanted a glossary at the end!
Dates: May 19th – May 25th
The Rarkyn’s Familiar by Nikky Lee
Series: The Rarkyn Trilogy
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Intended Age Group: 16+
Published: April 19, 2022
Publisher: Parliament House Press
An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates together.
Lyss has heard her father’s screams; smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She’s witnessed his execution.
And plotted her revenge.
Then a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld and imbues her with the monster’s forbidden magic. A magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains and the Empire’s soldiers—and each other.
But horrors await them on the road, horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with…
It’s the one that’s awoken inside her.
(This is our attempt at a bit of fun. We ask our authors to come up with a few short, clever, possibly pop culture laden, descriptions of their books just to give a little taste of what’s to come for readers.)
Winter is Coming • Always on the Run (Lenny Kravitz) • You Shall Not Pass
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Author Bio & Information:
Nikky Lee is an award-winning author who grew up as a barefoot 90s kid in Perth, Western Australia on Whadjuk Noongar Country. She now lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with a husband, a dog and a couch potato cat. In her free time she writes speculative fiction, often burning the candle at both ends to explore fantastic worlds, mine asteroids and meet wizards. She’s had over two dozen stories published in magazines, anthologies and on radio. Her debut novel, The Rarkyn’s Familiar—an epic tale of a girl bonded to a monster—was published with Parliament House Press in April 2022.
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The author wanted to share this quiz with everyone, so feel free to add it to your posts if you want.
Which Rarkyn are you? Quiz: https://www.parliamenthousepress.com/post/the-rarkyn-s-familiar-by-nikky-lee