Earlier this week there was a sale going on for books related to the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO). A bunch of self-published/indie authors got together and put their books on sale for $0.99 each. Most of the books were part of SPFBO5 that is currently underway, but there were a few books and authors from SPFBO4 that I noticed.
Anyway, what’s important for this conversation is there were a bunch of self-published/indie books on sale. This of course meant I had to buy some. Because you know, there was a book sale going on. It’s what one does.
I bought five books. I’m pretty sure at least one of these will be read and reviewed for Self-Published Fantasy Month in September though I haven’t decided which one or whether there will be more than one.
Here’s what I picked up…
Banebringer by Carol A. Park
(The Heretic Gods #1)
“Banebringers. Source of the bloodbane who stalk the land. Cause of a thousand wrongs. Despised. Cast out. Hunted.
Vaughn never asked for the powers of a long-forgotten moon goddess. But rarely do the gods give humans a choice when using them in their machinations. Now Vaughn is a Banebringer, loathed by all who discover his true identity—even his father, a man obsessed with his own power and bent on destroying Vaughn’s miserable life.
Vaughn is desperate to end his father before the madman ends him. But to do so he’ll need the skills of Ivana, a vindictive assassin with her own scores to settle. The only question is whether Vaughn can keep himself from becoming another of her targets long enough to see his father eliminated.” – Goodreads blurb
I’ve been wanting to pick this one up since last year when it was a part of SPFBO4. A couple bloggers I regularly follow have reviewed it and liked it which is always a plus. I also follow Carol on Twitter and she’s always engaging and positive which I enjoy. The story sounds interesting…gods interfering with mortals, dads and sons out to kill each other, and then the added bonus of an assassin you need for an ally who may also want to kill you. I’m thinking this Vaughn character is in for a rough go of it. Should be fun to read.
The First Of Shadows, by Deck Matthews
(The Riven Realm #1)
“As a raging storm descends on the Blasted Coast, the crippled young rigger, Caleb Rusk, meets a stranger on the road. Little does he know that the encounter will pull him into a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear—and change the course of his life forever.
Meanwhile, in the Capital of Taralius, a string of inexplicable deaths have captured the attention of the Ember Throne. Second Corporal Avendor Tarcoth is tasked with uncovering the truth behind a danger that could threaten the very fabric of the Realm.” – Goodreads blurb
The First Of Shadows was recently brought to my attention by Calvin Park on his podcast Under A Pile Of Books Episode 2. Calvin was discussing book two in this series and really seemed to enjoy the pacing, action, and magic system and he was basically gushing about the book and series as a whole. I like Calvin’s take on things so I have high hopes for this story. Since listening to the podcast I discovered some more of my blogger buddies have reviewed it on Goodreads and they all seemed to like it too.
The Lore Of Prometheus, by Graham Austin King
“John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.” – Goodreads blurb
This book first came to my attention during it’s cover reveal. I can’t remember who had the honor of revealing it, but it quickly made the rounds on Twitter. A number of the bloggers I follow have read it already and given it 4 and 5 stars. I don’t read much urban fantasy but this one sounds like it may be right up my alley. Early reviews give it really high marks and note its fast paced brutal action.
The Narrows, by Travis M. Riddle
“Oliver and his friends have returned to their hometown of Shumard, Texas for the funeral of their close friend Noah. They each grapple with the loss in their own ways, trying to understand the strange circumstances of their friend’s unexpected death.
While visiting the site where the body was found, Oliver stumbles across a chilling discovery that he knows must be related to what happened to Noah. Wanting to protect his friends from these newfound horrors, Oliver takes it upon himself to venture into the grotesque otherworld known as the Narrows to learn what happened to his friend and find a way to bring him back.
Entering the Narrows is one thing, but will whatever he finds there allow him to leave?” – Goodreads blurb
I first came across The Narrows when I put out a request on Twitter for some recommendations for some good self-published/indie horror books. Travis M. Riddle jumped in and offered his own book as a candidate for my attention. He was quickly followed by a few other bloggers who backed up his self-nomination. I’d been planning on picking this one up even before I knew it was in SPFBO5 which just gave it some added appeal. I’m thinking I may read this it in October for Halloween.
The Sword Of Kaigen, by M.L. Wang
“A mother struggling to repress her violent past,
A son struggling to grasp his violent future,
A father blind to the danger that threatens them all.
When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?
High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’
Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.
Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.” – Goodreads blurb
I don’t even know where to start. I’ve seen absolutely nothing but glowing rave reviews for this book. I have a feeling it will be a strong contender in SPFBO5. The review over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday said, “At least 10% of the book, right in the middle, is devoted to what is honestly one of the best – if not the best set pieces I’ve ever read.” Every review I’ve read since that first one has basically said the same thing. I can’t wait to dig into this one.
Well, that’s my recent book haul. All self-published/indie books just in time for Self-Published Fantasy Month. As I indicated above I’ll probably only read one or two of these in September. That’s because I’ve already got a couple other books lined up. Whatever I don’t read next month will definitely be on a short list of titles to read in the coming months.
Have you picked up any self-published/indie book lately? If so what were they and what did you think? If you’ve got some on your TBR and you’d like to get them off your “to read” list consider joining me for Self-Published Fantasy Month. I’d love to hear about the great indie fantasy you’ve been reading.