The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro Review

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Author: K.S. Villoso
Series: Annals of the Bitch Queen (Book One)
Publisher: Liam’s Vigil
Publication Date:  January 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 417

Let me start by saying I’m a bad, bad book blogger and should be punished for how bad I am. I read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro in September as part of Self-Published Fantasy Month here on Off The TBR. SEPTEMBER. The book had already been out four 9 months. It’s been five more months. The book has now been out over a year. Book two has already been published and has been out for ten months. And I’m just now getting around to posting this review. It’s been so long I will miss important details and points because I didn’t take notes and the review won’t be up to my usual standard. This book is good and deserving of a detailed review. Really good in fact. I suck.

Now that I’ve got some self-flagellation out of the way let me tell you something about this beautiful book. Because of what I mentioned above this review won’t follow my usual format and may not be as detailed as usual. (Some of you will like that). Continue reading

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Pirate Latitudes Review

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Author: Michael Chrichton
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384

“The Caribbean 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate there’s a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease – or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.”

I picked up Pirate Latitudes from my local library when preparing for our recent trip to Jamaica. I was looking for a fun page turning beach read set in the Caribbean in general or Jamaica specifically. I’d read Jurassic Park and Rising Sun back in high school (way back in the 90’s) but nothing by Crichton since. I really enjoyed those books then and figured this one would be cool. I would read it while sitting on the beach sipping a rum drink and bask in all the atmosphere. We were even staying at a resort on a bay where the pirate Calico Jack was supposedly captured. I mean c’mon pirates (check), Jamaica (check), rum drinks (check)! This had everything going its way. To add to the interest factor It turns out Pirate Latitudes was published posthumously in 2009. Supposedly after Crichton died in 2008 an assistant found the manuscript on one of his computers.

As you might could tell I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I tried to like it. But in the end I just couldn’t. There was a reason Crichton hadn’t published Pirate Latitudes yet and it shows. I think he knew it and that’s why he hadn’t submitted it yet. Continue reading

Red Sister Review

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Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: The Ancestor
Publisher: ACE
Publication Date:  April 2017
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 469

“I WANT MORE!!!”

Those were the words that came out of my mouth the moment I finished Red Sister. I stayed up late to finish it and felt cheated I didn’t have book two in hand and another day to devote to reading.

I was late coming to this read and was aware of all the hype surrounding it the past couple of years yet I was still surprised by it; just how much was unexpected. I know there isn’t a lot I can say about this book that ten other reviewers haven’t already said but I’m gonna give it a go. Continue reading

Kingshold Review

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Author: D. P. Woolliscroft
Series: Wildfire Cycle Book One
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date:  April 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 506

Regicide, politics, assassinations, pirates, magic, demons, and giant draco-turtles are just taste of what’s in store for you in this solid and entertaining self-published debut from D. P. Woolliscroft. Kingshold made it to the semi-finalist round in this year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blogg Off (#SPFBO) hosted by author Mark Lawrence and it’s easy to understand why. Offering a fresh take on revolution and dynastic change in fantasy literature this first book in the Wildfire Cycle sets the stage for an imaginative and rousing new series.

I read Kingshold back in September as part of Self-Published Fantasy Month here on the blog but didn’t get a chance to write up my review. It made my list of favorite reads for 2018 though and I’ve been wanting to be sure to review it even if the review came late. Given that it’s been about four months this review may not be as good and detailed as I’d prefer. That’s nobody’s fault but mine. Continue reading

The Great Restoration: A Tale of The Verin Empire Review

My Post

Author: William Ray
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date:  2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 483
(I received a copy of his book from the author in exchange for an honest review)

Gaslight, elves, goblins, secret societies, kidnapping, detectives, and black-powder fantasy. All of these come together as William Ray continues his Tales Of The Verin Empire series with The Great Restoration. Where Gedlundthe first book in the series was a mix of black powder fantasy mixed with sword and sorcery while on military campaigns at the boundaries of the empire, for this installment Ray took a different approach. In fact he kinda went with a slightly different sub-genre. The Great Restoration is a detective-mystery story set within both the heart of the empire and one if its recently acquired territories. Continue reading

Bloody Rose Review

My Post

Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date:  August 28, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512 (minus “extras”)

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher.

Kings Of The Wyld was my favorite book of 2017. Hell it was my favorite fantasy book to come along in years. That meant I had really high expectations for Bloody Rose. In fact my expectations were so high that I’d decided it would be impossible Eames could meet them and produce something that would equal my love and excitement for KoTW. I was wrong. He freaking did it…and let me tell you…Bloody Rose is even better! Continue reading

The Poppy War Review

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Author: R.F. Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date:  May 1, 2018
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 527

(I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher. I read it in May and did not take notes at the time so I’m lacking in some details I would have otherwise included. This review is also longer than normal as I address the YA controversy surrounding it.)

R.F. Kuang has delivered a gritty, dark, and violent debut to our fantasy libraries. Continue reading

The Song Of All Book Review

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Author: Tina LeCount Myers
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Publication Date:  February 20, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 442

I received a copy of this book from the publicist agency Wunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review.

I had high hopes going into The Song Of All for a number of reasons:

  • Scandinavian setting – not your typical Western European one
  • Lots of snow (I LOVE snow)
  • Music as a subtext to the narrative
  • mortals vs. immortals (I like un underdog)

Unfortunately the muses didn’t call out to me on this one which is sad because I REALLY wanted to love it. Continue reading

The Half Killed Review

The Half Killed

Author: Quenby Olson
Publisher: World Tree Publishing
Publication Date:  August 2015
Format: Paperback

The Half Killed will seduce you. It will whisper and draw you gently into its pages. Before you know it you’re in its clutches. This isn’t a wonton sexual seduction, all about the eyes and desire. No, this is the kind that entices your mind, playing on your emotions of safety and fear, telling you its going to be all-right while you know for a certainty something evil lurks around the corner but you can’t help but trust and follow into the shadows. It is a dark, intimate, and immersive Victorian horror story that will keep you turning pages. Continue reading

Gedlund: A Tale Of The Verin Empire Review

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Author: William Ray
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:  December 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 627

(I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Black powder weapons, railroads, steamships, spear chucking goblins, zombies, vampire lords, lightning giants and magic.

That was a list, not a sentence, but did it get your attention?

In Gedlund, William Ray takes blackpowder fantasy and merges it with sword and sorcery. What he produced is a war story set in a fantasy world that seems almost real. You know, except for the goblins and vampires and whatnot. So let’s get to it… Continue reading