What I’m Reading: Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

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Yet again I’m posting a What I’m Reading update when I’d hoped to be posting the review for the book. In this case I started reading it on Monday, the day before its release date in the U.S. This is another one I’ve had on my TBR a while and which I received as an ARC. But, the positive, glass is half full thing is I’ve started the read and I’ll hopefully have a review up while it’s still newly published.

So what I’m I reading this week? Well…it’s Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa.

Cover of Son Of The Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, Son of the Storm is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forgotten magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa.

“Everything I love in a fantasy novel. Damn good stuff!” —Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

Goodreads Blurb

Son of the Storm
The Nameless Republic #1
Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Orbit Books
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Kindle ARC

A couple things drew me to this book. One is that cover. I just love the color and the visual it presents. You know I enjoy good cover art and something about it just seems mysterious to me.

The second (and primary) thing that drew me to this book was the setting. I’m always eager to read non-western (European based) fantasy. Add to that the inspiration of pre-colonial West Africa and I had to have it. I’ve made a couple trips to Ghana and I loved the time I spent there getting to know the people and the culture even if only for just a little while. I don’t believe this setting is based on Ghana but I’m still looking forward to maybe picking up on a few references here and there. In my short time reading it last night there were a couple little nuances that transported me back to that general locale and it really helped me feel the setting a bit more.

Beyond that the story just sounds really cool. I’ve seen a couple early reviews that made me feel like I could be in for a real treat with this read and I’m just really excited to dig into it.

Anyone else already read Son of the Storm? If so what did you think? Anyone else have it on their TBR? Let me know in the comments.

-Jason

Book Review: Blood of The Chosen by Django Wexler

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Django Wexler invites us back into the story of siblings Gyre and Maya with another epic fantasy adventure story in Blood of The Chosen. I have to say I found this read just as engaging and fun to read as it’s predecessor Ashes of The Sun. If you’re looking for a solid fantasy series to dip into, you won’t go wrong with the Burningblade & Silvereye.

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Book Review: Jade War by Fonda Lee

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I’ve returned to the world of Fonda Lee’s The Green Bone Saga and let me tell you it was such a good experience! Jade War is just as engrossing as it’s predecessor Jade City, but now on a more global scale. I previously described Jade City as being a “vivid, gritty, gangster fantasy.” Well, Jade War doubles down on that description and throws in some serious character and plot development ensuring it doesn’t fall into that dreaded sophomore slump, but instead stands up and carries the torch for this series as it continues on to the next installment in Jade Legacy.

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SPFM Book Review Repost: Gedlund by William Ray

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September is Self-Published Fantasy Month! This is the fourth year for this event and the first time I’m not participating as an admin/host. Thankfully there’s a great team filling in this year to keep the event going better than ever.

Since I won’t have the opportunity to review many self-pub books this September due to…all the damn reasons, I thought I’d repost some reviews of self-published fantasy I’ve really enjoyed previously. Because really the whole point of Self-Published Fantasy Month is to celebrate self-pub books and authors, and what better way to do that than shouting about them repeatedly year after year to anyone who will listen?

So this begins the first in a series of reposts I plan to upload between now and the end of the month. These will be copies of the original review, updated slightly for formatting. The first is for the book I credit with getting me hooked on self-pub…Gedlund, by William Ray.

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Book Review: Glass Rhapsody by Sarah Chorn

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I’m often at a loss when it comes to figuring out what I want to say in a review. This is especially true when a book and/or an author just utterly and completely wows me with story, and language, and craft. We’ve all been there right? Our minds firing off all these little snippets to use but you can’t string them together into anything coherent when the time comes to post a review. That’s been my experience with anything and everything I’ve read from Sarah Chorn. Her latest novel, Glass Rhapsody is no exception to this phenomenon. As with the rest of the Songs of Sefate series, Glass Rhapsody gutted me….it continued to work away at a wound opened with Of Honey and Wildfires, but, it healed as well. It worked at that wound, cleaned it up, and let me recover. This series is an emotional experience as much as it is a story, one that carries you through the pain to redemption and recovery on the other side.

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Book Review: The Pariah by Anthony Ryan

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Sometimes a book is the perfect read that comes at just the right time. Anthony Ryan’s The Pariah was such a book for me. I’d been in a reading slump for weeks. I just couldn’t bring myself to read anything at all. The book I had been reading was really, really good, but every time I sat down I just couldn’t get in the mood. I finally finished it, took a couple extra days off from reading, then picked up The Pariah because I realized the release date would be upon me soon. I was riveted from page one! I read it in a matter of days, staying up late every night to finish as much as possible. I know there are a few months left, but let me tell you, The Pariah is one of my top reads of the year!

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Family Game Nights: Dungeons & Dragons

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In an attempt to get out of this blogging slump I’ve been in lately I’m trying something new. Will it succeed? Who knows. That depends on a number of factors, but it’s worth a shot if it will get me out of this funk, and maybe I’ll enjoy it…hopefully you will too.

So what is this new thing? Well, I’m gonna try to blog about family game night playing Dungeons & Dragons!

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Blog Page Update: A Slump

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It’s been about 17 days or so since I last posted something here on the blog. It’s been ten days or so since I’ve read a book. It’s official folks…I’m in a slump.

I’m not sure what happened but all of a sudden a couple weeks ago it hit me and hit me hard. I’d started a new review (for a book I really liked) and just had no desire to finish it. I was in the middle of reading another book (which I was really enjoying) and just had no desire to sit and read at night. Hell, it’s all I can do right now just keep up the desire to finish this post.

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What I’m Reading: Glass Rhapsody by Sarah Chorn

Banner image featuring cover of Glass Rhapsody superimposed over zoomed in image of same cover. Text reads "What I'm Reading" and "Off The TBR"

We all have books we can’t wait for. I mean…unless you don’t like to read books of course but then you wouldn’t be following my boring posts. But if you love to read books then you have new stories you can’t wait for. My current read is one of those. The author has quickly risen to the list of authors on my auto buy list and is one whose style and prose will hit you in the feels; hit you hard, and leave you on your knees gasping for air only to beg for more when you can finally draw that breath. Why would you look forward to that raw emotional pain you ask? It’s because it’s so damn good.

So am I reading? Well…it’s Glass Rhapsody by Sarah Chorn.

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SPFBO 7 Review: Demons, Ink by Clayton Snyder

Zoomed in image of portion of cover for Demons, Ink by Clayton Snyder.

Yesterday my SPFBO 7 review for Demons, Ink by Clayton Snyder went up over on Before We Go Blog. This was my selection from my initial batch of books to move on to the next round in the team’s selection process, and the first selection for the team as a whole. We may end up with 9 or 10 books in that second round and from those we’ll narrow it down to a few semi-finalists, and then a finalist.

Anyway, I enjoyed this read and hope you’ll check it out. Click below to be taken to to the review.

Demon’s, Ink Review

As always if you don’t know about SPFBO it’s an annual contest hosted by author Mark Lawrence with 300 self-published fantasy books/authors split between ten judges or judging teams that will eventually work it’s way to a final winner. Check out the SPFBO Webpage for more details and the SPFBO 7 Page for more on this year’s books and judging teams. I hope you’ll follow along!

#SPFBO7 Elimination: A Time Of Ashes by Ru Pringle

I’ve been quiet here lately but it’s not because I’ve quit reading or reviewing, I’ve just been doing it over at Before We Go Blog for #SPFBO.

You’ll be seeing more regular reviews from me here soon. I’ve got some reviews for some Orbit releases coming and some self-published fantasy that ISN’T a part of the contest I’ll be posting about.

But in the meantime here’s my review for A Time of Ashes by Ru Pringle for #SPFBO in case you missed it. It was my second cut for the contest.

https://beforewegoblog.com/spfbo7-cut-review-a-time-of-ashes-by-ru-pringle/