Posts Tagged ‘Epic Fantasy’

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce

August 18, 2017 - 6:48 am No Comments

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce

Published 15th October 2011

402 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

To help with grief Kara loved to hike, but a strange gazebo in the middle of the forest takes her to another world. Ending up in Ourea, she unintentionally becomes involved in the politics of the world, but can she bring peace. To do this she needs to master the Grimoire and learn who to trust.

Kara was a bit of a loner, this has always helped her avoid uncomfortable issues, especially after her mom died. However, once in Ourea, she was thrown in to situations that she had to had no control over and had to learn to fight or die. Not knowing who to trust made her vulnerable but it also made her stronger.  Teaming up with Braedon helped her in a lot of ways and even when she knew his secret she wanted him around and was willing to take him into her confidence. My only moan was that I felt that Kara took to it so easy and it was only at the start that she freaked out. However, throughout this story she does rely a lot on Braedon and others to get the results she needs.

With a large world like Ourea and with 4 major houses in charge, there are quite a few characters. However, this is not confusing story to read, as the author concentrates on each ruling family separately. This also helps you understand the bigger task that Kara must accomplish. As this is a fantasy story there are a lot of weird and exotic creatures and whilst some are familiar, there are others that I had not heard of. This is the start of an epic fantasy journey and you find that much of the story is setting the scene to what is to come. Throughout this story you have the feeling that something big is going to happen and the author has a way of building up the suspense.    With this book being the 1st in the series of four, you know that Kara’s task will not be easy. As a new author to me, I enjoyed this book and will read the rest of Kara’s story.

Into the Darkness (Cathell Book 1) by AM Rycroft

September 2, 2016 - 8:43 am No Comments

Into the Darkness (Cathell Book 1) by AM Rycroft

Published by Mighty Quill Books on 19th July 2016

414 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Aeryn Ravane is a sell-sword, a bodyguard for hire. She decides to honour her adopted father by finishing the quest that he had started. According to legend a sword by the name of Aric would rid their land of a curse. Aeryn’s quest starts at the Black Cavern and this is where she comes across the her soon to be travelling companies. Theo is a young street thief, but it is not till further on in the book that we find out her real intentions of being in the cave and the other unlikely companion is the ghost of Tynan. As soon has she removes Aric from the cave, it releases an evil god who was trapped by a curse going by the name of Harbinger. To save the land of chaos Aeryn and her unlikely companions have to track him down and defeat him.

From the moment I started this book I was drawn into the adventure of Aeryn. Aeryn although very skilled with the sword, doubts herself and can come across quite aloof. Theo is your typical street child, orphaned at an early age she has learnt to survive on the streets by any way possible even if that way involved stealing and Tynan is so sure of himself and his magic, that it is comical, you can just see him flaunting himself around town and gets quite put out if no-one recognises him. You would think that this unlikely partnership wouldn’t work, but it does. The work really well as a team and slowly you can see that Aeryn has got a caring nature towards Theo.

If you like your epic fantasies, then read this book. The action is paced throughout which makes it an exciting read. Even at quieter time in the story are not boring as the way as the descriptive writing by the author made you feel that you were with her for every step of Aeryn’s journey. The minor characters were interesting and I was surprised when a vampyre was writing into the story, but this added even more depth and you got to read more about Aeryn’s past. The final battle was intense as you had no idea what to expect.

 The difference between the special edition and the original is that the special edition has some short stories at the end. A really good read and would love to read more of Aeryn and Theo’s travels.

Calamity

May 9, 2016 - 3:55 pm No Comments

Title: Calamity

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 432
Released: February 18th 2016
Reviewer: Andy Angel

Calamity is the third and final book in Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Reckoners’ series. The series is aimed at a younger market I guess but please don’t let that put you off.

The main gist of the story so far is that after an ‘event’ certain individuals develop super powers but the difference with other Superhero stories is that these individuals (known as Epics) use their powers to subjugate and rule the people of what is an America but an America ‘moved on’. Up against these Epics are small bands known as Reckoners whose main aim is to bring them down.

When the first book started, our hero David had lost his father to an Epic (Steelheart) and was studying ways to defeat what was, at that point, the undefeatable. Long story short he was taken in by a group of Reckoners, won the day, lost the girl……..the story moves on.

By the time we reach ‘Calamity’, the leader of David’s group of Reckoners (known as Prof) has been revealed as one of the most powerful of all the Epics and it is up to David and his friends (but mainly David) to either defeat him or bring him back to being the Prof he was before.

And then there is Calamity to face………………….

As much as I enjoyed the characters and the pace of the book, where Sanderson excelled for me was in the world building. The cities in the new version of USA are kind of recognisable but different enough to be interesting and keep the reader wondering what he is going to show you next. This is an anti-superhero tale with plenty of action and battle scenes but (as always with Sanderson) plenty of room for character development and a liberal dose of humour.

As always with Sanderson this was a treat. As I said before this is aimed more at the teen/young adult market but reading as an adult of nearly 50 I didn’t feel like it ‘wasn’t for me’. The only down side to it all for me is that this is the end. The tale is told and I don’t think it is one he will come back to (although I will be more than happy to be proved wrong).

If you read and enjoy this, may I recommend Sanderson’s ‘Alcatraz’ series, aimed at the same audience and a really fun read

The Bands of Mourning

April 4, 2016 - 4:27 pm No Comments

Title: The Bands of Mourning
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Gollancz
Page count: 447 pages
Release Date: 28 January 2016
Reviewer: Andy Angel

Brandon Sanderson cannot be human, or not completely so. He churns out books at such a pace that he must be, at least partially, a machine. Okay, this is said wholly in jest but really his output is astonishing and it is all of a consistently high standard that it wouldn’t surprise me to find he has cloned himself.*

For review today is The Bands of Mourning. This is the sixth book in the authors’ Mistborn series and the third to feature his Wax and Wayne characters. The first three Mistborn books were set in a fairly standard fantasy world, with the next three (and I believe there will be a fourth) the setting is the same world but ‘moved on’. The trope here is more Steampunk meets Wild West – and although I am not a big fan of westerns this actually works well for me.

The magic system throughout the series is one based on metals and their properties with new ones being introduced when needed to move the story on. The metal/magic here is the titular Bands of Mourning, a ‘metalmind’ that may or may not even be real but is alleged to have belonged to The Lord Ruler (way back in the original series). When a researcher returns to the city of Elendil with possible (indecipherable) clues to their whereabouts it is Wax and co who set off for the city of New Seran to investigate.

With the cast moving out of the city more of the world is revealed (and there are maps to accompany this which made me happy as I do like a good map). The character development was more for the ‘second string’ characters (especially Steris who I grew to like more).

As with a lot of Sanderson’s own work (of which I’m not including his books to finish off Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series) the interaction between characters is what drives the narrative and although this was not too ‘infodumpy’ I did feel at times the story did get bogged down a little. It could maybe have done with being trimmed a little but once things picked up again the race to the end was quite satisfying.

This is certainly not a book to be read on its’ own as although you don’t need an in depth knowledge of the previous books and the world/ magic system without at least a basic clue you will be lost.

Also, interspersed throughout the books in the Wax and Wayne series are illustrations featuring Newspaper sheets that really open up the reader to the world of Scadrial (in which the books are set, obviously) and make for a fun added diversion from the story.

I wouldn’t say that The Bands of Mourning was my favourite Sanderson novel to date but it’s certainly good enough to be ‘up there’. I’ll be interested to see what he does with the characters if there is a fourth book and how he will develop the magic system (and the world) for the third phase – which I believe is to be a sci-fi setting.

So, in short, an entertaining, if at times slightly overlong, addition to the Mistborn series which I will give a worthy 4/5 stars

*Through reading Mr Sanderson’s website I do actually know how he keeps turning out the books at such a pace and can confirm that no cloning of the author took place at any time 😉