Lion Review | Conn Iggulden

I’ve been a fan of Conn Iggulden’s writing for some time now, both his fantasy and historical fiction works. While Lion is technically a new series, it is also a continuation of The Athenian, with a lot of references to past events and inclusion of main characters. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I’m seeing it as an addition to that series. Read my full review on Lion and see what you think.

Publisher: Michael Joseph | Date: 2022 | Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Ancient Greece, 5th century BC

The age of myths and legends has given way to the world of men. In the front rank stands Pericles, Lion of Athens.

Behind Pericles lies the greatest city of the ancient world. Before him, on land and at sea, stands the merciless Persian army. Both sides are spoiling for war.

Though still a young man, Pericles knows one thing: to fight a war you must first win the peace.

It’s time for a hero to rise.

For his enemies to tremble.

And for Athens, a city of wisdom and warriors, to shine with glory . . .

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Eyes of the Void Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

You know when you see the sequel for a much-loved book, and you have to drop everything to get straight to it? That was me when I received a copy of Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I adored the first in The Final Architects series and couldn’t wait to get back to the Vulture God and it’s crew. Here’s my full review.

Publisher: Tor | Date: 2022 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.

Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.

Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.

What Idris discovers there will change everything.

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The Hunger of the Gods Review

The Hunger of the Gods Review | John Gwynne

It’s been a while since I posted a review. In all honesty, it may be a while before my next one as well. Due to changing personal circumstances, I’ve stepped back from the blogging sphere entirely. But I actually managed to both read and review a book in time for its publication date, so figured that was a good one to get up online. Here’s my review on The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne.

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The Wolf of Oren-Yaro Review

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro Review | K.S Villoso

The synopsis for this made it sound a gritty and compelling read. While the latter is true, it didn’t have the grimdark vibes I anticipated. Instead, it was a softer tale pivoting around how far someone would go for love and duty. Here’s my review on The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.

Publisher: Little Brown, Book Group | Date: 2020 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: ‘They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.’

Born under the towers of Oren-yaro, Queen Talyien inherited a deeply divided kingdom, devastated by years of war. Her marriage to the son of a rival clan was meant to herald peace, yet her fiancé disappeared before their reign could even begin.

Now, years later, Talyien receives a message that will send her across on the sea. Yet what was meant as an effort to reconcile the past leaves her stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with assassins at her back and no idea who she can trust.

If Talyien is to survive, she must embrace her namesake.

A wolf of Oren-yaro is not tamed.

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Top Books of 2021 Q3 Edition

Top Books of 2021 | Q3 Edition

I know, I know, I’m late again with this. I kept trying to schedule it and then was doing this crazy thing called being on top of reviews and getting them out on time. So, this kept getting pushed back. But better late than never, right? I’m sharing my top books of 2021 – Q3 edition.

For this wrap-up, I’m just focusing on those I read between July-September. These are books from any genre, ARCs or backlist, reviewed or not, that I gave a 5* rating for.

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Murder At The Bailey Review

Murder At The Bailey Review | Henry Milner

My review on Murder At The Bailey is a little different to my norm. It’s a different sort of read for me, and while it took me a little while to get into the style and the pacing etc, I found myself wanting to find out how it would end.

Publisher: Biteback Publishing | Date: 2021 | Genre: Crime/General Fiction

Plot: A notorious loan shark is shot dead, in broad daylight, right outside the front doors of the Old Bailey. The killer is arrested at the scene and Adrian Stanford is lined up to take on the toughest defence case of his career. Can he steer his client past the no-nonsense Detective Chief Superintendent ‘Iron-Rod’ Stokes, hell-bent on achieving a murder conviction in his last case before retirement? That’s assuming he can keep his client alive in prison long enough for the trial to go ahead. Can his illustrious defence QC, Patrick ‘The Edge’ Gorman, swerve the case past the acerbic judge known to all as Mack the Knife, whose own resolve is being tested to the limit by an adulterous wife? And why is London underworld numero uno Big Jake Davenport showing such a keen interest in the proceedings?

A wickedly eccentric cast of brilliantly drawn characters populate this daring debut from one of Britain’s top criminal defence lawyers. Dripping with sparkling dialogue and delicious wit, Murder at the Bailey is a masterly picaresque romp through the courtrooms, custody suites and London restaurants graced by the cognoscenti.

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A Psalm of Storms and Silence Review

A Psalm of Storms and Silence Review | Roseanne A. Brown

After lamenting last month about taking too long to tackle my TBR, I was delighted to be approved for this ARC! Reading a series almost back-to-back and getting a review up near publication date? What’s happened to me? Keep reading for my review on A Psalm of Storms and Silence.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Karina lost everything after a violent coup left her without her kingdom or her throne. Now the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of reclaiming what is rightfully hers lies in a divine power hidden in the long-lost city of her ancestors.

Meanwhile, the resurrection of Karina’s sister has spiraled the world into chaos, with disaster after disaster threatening the hard-won peace Malik has found as Farid’s apprentice. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Malik must use his magic to lure her back to their side. But how do you regain the trust of someone you once tried to kill?

As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. And when the fate of everything hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives.

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Under The Whispering Door Review

Under The Whispering Door Review | TJ Klune

I’d seen a lot of glowing reviews for this author and couldn’t wait to start reading this one. Hands down, one of my favourite books of the year. It made me laugh; it made me cry (in a heartfelt good way). Check out my review on Under the Whispering Door.

Publisher: Pan MacMillan / Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

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5 Fantasy Series to read this Halloween

5 Fantasy Series to Read This Halloween

I can’t do spooky. Or creepy. Or scary. Or, pretty much, anything that is vaguely related to Halloween. Any book that advertises itself as being a Halloween read normally has me running for the hills. Last year, however, I had quite good fun deciding what I’d watch that had Halloween themes, but weren’t technically that genre. So, I thought I’d do it with books… here’s 5 fantasy series to read this Halloween if you don’t do traditional ghouls and ghosts.

This was supposed to be a general list, but it turned into fantasy through no fault of my own! Okay, the fault is mine, it’s mainly what I read but hey, you should know that by now.

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The Necessity of Stars Review

The Necessity of Stars Review | E. Catherine Tobler

I looked back at the synopsis of The Necessity of Stars when I sat down to write this review, and I’m not certain what drew my attention to it. It’s a short book which explodes with a lot of important messages, but I can’t say for sure I understood everything.

Publisher: Neon Hemlock Press| Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Science-Fiction

Plot: Plagued by the creeping loss of her memory, diplomat Bréone Hemmerli continues to negotiate peace in an increasingly climate-devastated world, ensconced in the UN-owned estate Irislands alongside her longtime friend and companion Delphine.

The appearance of the alien Tura in the shadows of Bréone’s garden raises new questions about the world’s decline. Perhaps, together, Tura and Bréone will find a way forward… if only Bréone can remember it.

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