December 2020 Indie/SelfPub Book Haul: Set 2

Saturday I hauled a bunch of books. Like 17 books. Now my TBR that was already a mile high and ready to collapse is just a heap on the floor. I blame Twitter.

You see on Saturday the kind folks over at r/fantasy hosted a 2020 Holiday Megasale. It was a one day only sale with over 100 authors and 250 titles all of which were free or just $0.99 each. And all of them were indie/self-published authors. So naturally I had to buy some because that’s what one does. I ended up with seventeen books for just $3.00 which was a steal.

I’ve been a slacker about Book Haul posts the last few months but I really wanted to put this one together because I love supporting indie/self-published authors as much as I can. So for the next few days I’m gonna post a handful of the books I hauled and why.

I posted Set One yesterday. Here’s set number two…

Book Haul Set 2

Mage Errant
Mage Errant Books 1-2
John Bierce

This is actually two books in one! It’s the “Publisher’s Pack which includes Into The Labyrinth and Jewel of the Endless Erg.

Into The Labyrinth

Hugh of Emblin is, so far as he’s concerned, the worst student that the Academy at Skyhold has ever seen. He can barely cast any spells at all, and those he does cast tend to fail explosively. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also managed to attract the ire of the most promising student of his year- who also happens to be the nephew of a king. Hugh has no friends, no talent, and definitely doesn’t expect a mage to choose him as an apprentice at all during the upcoming Choosing.

When a very unusual mage does choose him as apprentice, however, his life starts to take a sharp turn for the better. Now all he has to worry about is the final test for the first years- being sent into the terrifying labyrinth below Skyhold. – Goodreads Blurb

Jewel of the Endless Erg

After surviving Skyhold’s deadly labyrinth, Hugh and his friends are looking forwards to an uneventful summer. Their teacher Alustin has chartered a sandship for a training expedition into the vast sea of sand known as the Endless Erg, aiming for the wealthy and powerful desert city of Theras Tel. Hugh’s happier than he’s been in a long, long time, and he’s quite excited for the fresh air, sunshine, and quiet.

Of course, given Hugh’s luck, their summer is going to be anything but quiet. They’re about to be plunged into a morass of pirates, monsters, warring cults, flesh-tearing sandstorms, and a conspiracy against Indris Stormbreaker, the dragon queen of Theras Tel herself.

At least Hugh’s going to get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. – Goodreads Blurb

I grabbed this set because fellow Self-Published Fantasy Month team member Calvin Park told me, “The Mage Errant books are fun.” As I noted in my previous post, Calvin reads a ton of indie/self-published fantasy and I appreciate any recommendations he makes. I’m also a sucker for the fantasy/magic school trope and most books anywhere along that line will attract my attention. Into The Labyrinth was also an entrant in the 2019 Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).

Child of The Daystar
The Wings of War #1
Bryce O’Connor

Among the scattered fringe cities bordering the Cienbal desert, the true name of the Monster of Karth is spoken only in whispers… 


A sellsword of the utmost caliber, Raz is a killer of paramount skill and highest regard. Towering tall even amongst the atherian, he is the only of his kind to live free in the “civilized” confines of mankind’s varied cultures. He has no need of loyalties, his sole affections pledged to the gold crowns that buy his time and skills. Wed to his blades, Raz’s only friends are the Moon and Her Stars and the shadows they bring with the night. 

But Raz was not born to the mercenary’s way, to the butchery and battle of day-by-day survival. Raz, like a sword, was hammered from steel and fire and ashy smoke, forged on the ruins of an old life. 

And Raz knows who he owes this new path to, this carved way of blood and iron. The Monster of Karth, after all, would never forget who gave him that name. 

And some debts can’t be paid in gold… – Goodreads Blurb

I’m not sure what first attracted me to Child of The Daystar. I guess maybe the cover caught my eye and then I went and checked out the reviews. And the reviews are all pretty solid. The blurb definitely had me intrigued. It was another #SPFBO entrant (2018 I think). Then I realized O’Connor is the co-author along with T.L. Greylock of Shadows of Ivory, the first book I picked up in this haul. So I thought “hey let’s give it a try.”

Ranger’s Oath
Fall of Radiance #1
Blake Arthur Peel

The barrier between worlds is broken. Only he knows the truth…

Magic has protected Tarsynium for a thousand years, shielding its people from being ravaged by bloodthirsty demons. When a young ranger’s apprentice named Owyn Lund discovers that the Arc of Radiance has been breached, he tries to warn anybody who will listen.

But legends aren’t supposed to be real.

When a village is mysteriously destroyed, rangers, mages, and rebels all point the finger, blaming each other for the demons’ brutality. However, Zara Dennel, a mage’s ward, has heard Owyn’s tale—and she’s inclined to believe him.

Together, they must prove that friendship is greater than intolerance, unity is more important than division, and that even the most powerful magic can sometimes not be enough.

Failure means the end of all things. A second—and lasting—Doom.

Experience the beginning of a thrilling Epic Fantasy series suitable for all ages. It’s perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas, and Brandon Sanderson.

Grab your copy today! It’s also Available on Audible narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. – Goodreads Blurb

It was the blurb that interested me first about Ranger’s Oath. I mean I like the cover don’t get me wrong, but it was the story pitch that grabbed me. The epic fantasy aspect of this one sounds cool and every now and then I just want to read an epic fantasy. The reviews I skimmed were all very favorable too. The “suitable for all ages” may mean YA…not sure about that…but cool if it is because I’ve also been looking for some good books to rec to my kids who are growing more interested in fantasy so hopefully this will be a good candidate either way.

Balam Spring
Ustlian Tales #1
Travis M. Riddle

Balam is a sleepy town on the eastern coast of Atlua, surrounded by forest and sea. It’s a village where nothing happens and everybody knows each other. But now, people are dying.

School is out for the spring, and schoolteacher Theodore Saen is ready to spend the next few months relaxing with his family. But when the town’s resident white mage falls ill and several townspeople begin to show similar symptoms, they must call on a new mage. Aava has freshly graduated from the nearby mage academy when she is swiftly hired to deduce the cause of the unknown illness and craft a cure before the entire town is afflicted. Aiding her is an ex-mercenary named Ryckert who keeps to himself but has grown bored with retirement and is itching for a new investigation when a suspicious young man appears in the local pub the same night the sickness begins to spread.

On top of it all, whatever is causing the sickness seems to be attracting strange insectoid creatures from the surrounding woods, desecrating the bodies of the victims and tearing through anyone unlucky enough to cross their path. Theo, Aava, and Ryckert must come together to discover the cause of the illness and put a stop to it before there is nobody left alive in Balam. – Goodreads Blurb

When I saw this on the list I had to grab it. I reviewed another of Travis Riddle’s books The Narrows last year and have been wanting to read another ever since. Riddle entered Balam Spring into SPFBO 2018 and the follow-up Spit and Song was a semi-finalist in this year’s SPFBO. This is “Slice of Life” fantasy from what I gather which isn’t normally something I’m drawn to, but a number of my blogging friends have reviewed Balam Spring and really seemed to have enjoyed it.

The Spark
The Patron Wars #1
Katrine Buch Mortensen

“The Spark is a madcap tale of rebellion and getting caught up in forces beyond one’s control, set in a truly strange, magical world. I couldn’t put it down until it was done.” John Bierce, Mage Errant

“The Patron Wars utilizes a magic and combat system where clan warriors can harness the attributes of various animals: wolves, bears, vipers, big cats, ravens, and more. The fight scenes are visceral and beastlike; if you’ve ever wondered how someone imbued with the strength of a full-grown moose would fare in a fight, you’ll find your answer here.” – Alexander Darwin, The Combat Codes

Daina has always dreamed of flight. To soar above her problems, her doubts, and the conflicts of her clan. And here, where shapeshifting is as normal as breathing, flight is indeed possible. Just not to a mix like her, a barely tolerated member of the clan, not belonging to any of the tribes within it.

With parents long gone and no friends except for a curmudgeonly old boss, she has little for her except her dream and a burning rivalry with her longtime enemy, Aisma.
So when two of the clan’s gods approach her, offering to fulfill her dream, how can she not accept? But there is a price for everything.

As civil war besets the clan, and the gods draw up battle lines, the time for dreams and petty rivalry is running out. There is a price for everything, and Daina might have to pay more than she ever imagined.

I picked up The Spark because the magic system sounded really cool. And a combat system where warriors take on attributes of animals…yep sign me up. There’s only a couple of reviews for this one out on Amazon and Goodreads so this is another I’m hoping to be a hidden gem, and what better time to give a book a shot than this?

Well that’s all for this post. Be on the lookout for the third and final installment tomorrow. Until then let me know if you’ve read any of the books in this list, and if so what you thought.

– Jason

4 thoughts on “December 2020 Indie/SelfPub Book Haul: Set 2

  1. Really interested to see your reviews on these. Balam, Spring is one I’m particularly interested in. I read the reviews for Spit and Song, which were very positive.

    That sale was NUTS! I only snagged one book since I’m a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, and many of the books are on KU, but boy oh boy was that sale a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

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