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.
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.
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!
I’ve finally made it to the end of The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen. It’s been an emotional and intimate journey with Queen Talyien as she penned her story, and it would be an understatement to say I enjoyed it. Tali’s narrative has become a new favorite fantasy series, with a new favorite protagonist, and with K.S. Villoso as a new favorite author. If you’re looking for compelling and complex characters in an epic non-western fantasy setting I recommend you give this series a chance.
When I first received a copy of The Shadow of The Gods in the mail I can’t tell you how excited I was. I’d never read a John Gwynne novel before but I’ve seen pretty much nothing but acclaim for his work. And the reviews from those other books had me thinking any story by Gwynne would be right up my alley. Friends, those thoughts were not wrong.
The Shadow of The Gods is a violent, bloody, Norse inspired saga that I didn’t want to set down. I was disappointed at the end not because it was bad, but because I hungered for more. My tastes in fantasy vary, and I like to think they are wide ranging, but that gritty, battle filled epic is definitely a favorite of mine.
Why? Why did I wait so long to read The Ikessar Falcon? Like, seriously why? I mean yeah I’ve got a lot of books on my TBR and this was just one among many. But I could have bumped it up the stack a bit. I should have bumped it up the stack a bit. I loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaroso why didn’t I read the follow-up right away? Why?
Look, here’s the takeaway you need from this review…you don’t even need to read the rest of it if you don’t want to…the one thing I want to get across if nothing else is this…
If you’re not already reading The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen, you should be because this series is just damn fantastic.
There. That’s it. That’s the whole point of anything else I might have to say about this book and this series. If you want a little more keep reading.
A beautifully written character driven story about place, belonging, and inequality that left me yearning for more. I can’t express how much I truly just fell into this novel, like sinking into a warm comfortable bed and never wanting to leave it.
This Is How You Lose The Time War is poetry in prose. A Sapphic love story embroiled amidst war and time. That sounds cliché I know but it’s true. Few books I’ve read have as much heft packed into so few pages as this exquisite novella. Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone have given us something beautiful and worthy of all the praise it has received. Continue reading →
The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang is one of the most unique books I’ve read this year. Any one of the following is reason enough to read it; It’s imaginative and defies expected norms; It has elemental magic and one of the best set piece fight scenes I’ve ever read; It is one of the best non-western/Asian inspired fantasies I’ve come across; It’s very much a character driven book for those who love character driven books; It will hit you in the feels; It won the Fifth Annual Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (#SPFBO).
So take your pick. Of the selling points I just listed what grabs your attention the most? Is it more than one? I’ll try to run through them and give you my thoughts. Here we go… Continue reading →
Very few books that I’ve read have packed as much of a scary punch in so few pages as John F.D. Taff’s The Fearing – Book One: Fire & Rain. If you’re into modern horror and like getting it in small thrilling doses you’ll love this novella. Continue reading →