Category Archives: Fantasy

The Spirit of Solstice by Charlotte E. English (@Charlottenglish) – Review

Title – The Spirit of Solstice (The Malykant Mysteries Book 6)
Author –Charlotte E. English
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 92 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Solstice Eve, and Konrad is dragged from his bed to investigate the murder of a local wine merchant. The man’s as dead as they come, but his spirit seems oddly unperturbed by his passing.

More victims are swift to emerge, all killed in the same brutal style — and all with strange, unheard-of reactions to the news of their own demise. Is it just the Solstice spirit, or is there something else afoot? Something stranger, darker and far more dangerous…

Review

I don’t know how Charlotte does it but this series gets better and better with each story.

Konrad is the Malykant, He seeks justice for those murdered and he has a growing group of followers to help him. My favourites being Optapi and Eetapi as always. Their dark humour always has me smiling. The relationship between them and Konrad is a strange one, I don’t think Konrad wants to admit it but as much as he doesn’t like the serpents he’d be lost without them.

This case is a very perplexing to start with..a man is found murdered but seems happy to be dead when the serpents bind him. Why?

More bodies turn up and the curiosity grows with each death.

Now I don’t want to spoil the tale by giving away too much detail but Konrad has to root out fact from fiction to discover the identity of the killer but the strange manner of the deaths means this isn’t a quick open and shut case.

I loved the injection of myths in this tale. Fantasy and myth blend so well for me and it made for an extraordinary tale.

What the author manages to do superbly well is that she builds on the previous foundations set in the series and develops the relationships. Konrad is still coming to terms with feeling emotions and in this tale it looks like having emotions might not be the best thing.

While I loved the original ensemble of characters I really enjoyed the return of Tasha, she’s very unique and I love the relationship she has with Konrad and the growing support she has to offer with her own set of skills.

Once again I’m shocked at how much Charlotte can fit into so few pages. At 92 pages this is exactly what a short story should be..It’s a full tale, fast flowing and easy to follow, no unanswered questions & nothing feels rushed.

Charlotte’s tales are dark and a mildly gruesome at times but are very enjoyable and well suited to a young adults and above. I think what I really enjoy is Charlotte’s use of language, it’s never dumbed down but never too complex to put a reader off either.

I’ve said it before but Charlotte is Queen of the short tales for me. She never sets a foot wrong and they’re perfect if you don’t have the time to read a longer length novel.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Indefatigable by J.B. Garner (@JBGarner_Writes) – Review

Title –  Indefatigable (The Push Chronicles #2)
Author – J.B. Garner
Genre – Superhero/Fantasy
Length – 167 Pages
Publication – Sept 2014
My Rating –4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Three months ago, the Whiteout changed the very nature of reality across the globe, spawning in its wake superhuman beings, both good and evil. For every day since then, Irene Roman, armed only with a strange immunity from the powers of the ‘Pushed’, has donned the guise of Indomitable to try to reverse that change and protect the normal people from the worst excesses of the Pushed. She may never have wanted to be a hero, but she had no choice in the mater.

Unfortunately, Irene is still only mortal. Her never-ending duties have pushed her to a breaking point. Now, what began as a simple kidnapping investigation catalyzes overnight into the worst threat the city of Atlanta has had to face. An unholy plague, old enemies, and new challenges are coincide at once, landing squarely on Indomitable’s shoulders, despite the help of her small cadre of allies.

How much burden can any one person carry and how much strain can she take? Will Irene crumble or will she prove to be indefatigable?

Indefatigable is the second novel of The Push Chronicles. This tale of an altered Earth will conclude with Incorruptible, coming in 2015.

Review

I can honestly say I enjoyed this one more than the first. The first book was a clear-cut good vs bad tale whereas this book has more to it…some motives aren’t 100% clear at first which made it more interesting.

Click here to view my review of book one – Indomitable

After the events of the previous book Irene and her friends are still tackling their fair share of Push crooks.

Epic is still around but has cleaned up his act a little..although he still believes he should rule he’s helping protect the people from the Push crooks too, although him and Irene have very different views and their teams try to stay clear of each other.

In this tale an old enemy resurfaces and starts to wreak havoc and Irene/Indomitable has to do everything within her power to find out who is behind things and what the ultimate end goal is.

Indomitable isn’t like the Pushed and with the constant workload she’s running on empty..pushing herself to the limit and at times you think she’s one step away from collapsing. The first book was a fight of good vs evil, in this book I feel the fight was more an internal one for Irene.

The plot builds nicely on the first book in the series and it definitely felt stronger, I enjoyed it more. What made the story even better was the addition of the Argent Archer character, he’s one of Epic’s crusaders sent to help Indomitable in her time of need.

There’s a few decent twists in this tale that keep you engaged and we get a lovely cliff-hanger ending that has me itching to follow this one up quickly.

At 167 pages it’s a short and fast paced book. It’s easy to follow and suitable for YA and big kids alike.

My thanks go to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Veiled Intentions by Michael R. Miller (@MMDragons_Blade) – Review

Title – The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions
Author – Michael R. Miller
Genre – Epic Fantasy
Length – 467 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017

My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow.

The Three Races must work together if they are to survive, but they have another problem – Castallan. The traitorous wizard has raised a deadly rebellion and declared himself King of Humans. He believes himself safe in the bowels of his impenetrable Bastion fortress, but Darnuir, now King of Dragons, intends to break those walls at all costs.

To face these threats, all dragons, humans and fairies must truly unite; yet old prejudices may undermine Darnuir’s efforts once again. And as the true intentions of all are revealed, so too is a secret that may change the entire world.

Review

After the events of the first book we know war is coming but there’s so much more to this book than just one big fight.

The three races are plagued by trust issues. The Dragon’s still see themselves above humans, especially since Castallan has manged to turn a large number of humans to his cause but they must come together if they stand any chance of beating back the demons.

It’s a battle of wills fought on a number of fronts, Darnuir has a clear plan and it’s not what you might think.. the negative effect magic has on him makes him dependent on it so he flies wildly about looking for any excuse to draw his blade and the magic it contains. I loved this negative side effect to magic, it shows it’s not something to be messed with..you need to know how to manage it..and Darnir just can’t cope without it now.

Blaine is back and he has his own internal demons to deal with as well as the physical demons sent by Rectar. He was still a mystery after the first book but this one brings some much needed depth to the character.

The most interesting development is the continued friction between the demons and the spectres..You should remember from the first book the leader of the spectres knows his master has a plan..and this plan doesn’t require him or his kind.

What I really love about this series is good and bad aren’t so clear cut.  Magic always seems so cool and fun..not in this book, it’s poison! The spectres who control the demons hordes are only doing what they are forced to do.. some just want to live, they tire of war. Darnir even though he’s fighting ultimately for the good of the three races has motivations that aren’t so just, he craves the magic and this drives him on at times.

The three races split their forces up to best fight the demons and this allowed the story to stay fresh as we moved from fight to fight.

Character development is always high on my list of wants and this book has tones. Some characters from the previous book take a step as others new and old get their time to shine but it all worked for me.

This is what fantasy should be, swords and magic, fairies and dragons. This book builds nicely on the first book and sets up the final book perfectly. The next book will have a lot to live up to.

Some secrets are revealed but you can tell the author has more to give to make the final installment an explosive one.

This is epic fantasy which I love but what gave it the wow factor for me is that things aren’t black and white. There are hidden depths to a lot of the characters and this meant I never knew what to expect next.

My thanks go to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I hope many of you will agree with my take on things.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Corpse Thieves (The Malykant Mysteries Book 5) by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The Corpse Thieves (The Malykant Mysteries Book 5)
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Horror/Fantasy
Length – 94 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Danil Dubin is a murderer. He knows this because he’s been told — by the many witnesses to his crime.

Only, he has no memory of it himself.

It’s part of a spate of similar killings, and Konrad must act. But how can he deliver The Malykt’s justice to a man with no reason to kill, and no knowledge of his crime?

Review

I’m so glad to be back with Konrad, Optapi and Eetapi. I always find comfort reading Charlotte’s work as I always know I’ll enjoy it and she has such an imaginative mind you can’t but help love the story.

This Is the 5th book in the Malykant Mysteries series and we are back with Konrad..he’s having a bit of a slump. His job is to dispense justice on those who commit murder but everything is quiet.. you know it won’t last though.

The case is a little different this time. Although someone dies Konrad is not so sure of where the guilt lies and as such sets out to investigate. The lamaeni we discovered in a previous tale show their faces and we learn just how far one of their kind will take things.

The relationships that have built over the series continue and this really does add something to the tale. Konrad struggles with emotions but this struggle brings some depth to the dark and mysterious man. He doesn’t want to admit how he feels and stores it up inside..sometimes you really feel if he just used his voice things might work out better but Konrad likes to do things the hard way.

For me, once again it’s a 5* story from Charlotte, she never lets me down. When I read the book it was like I had blinkers on..The whole world around me shut off and for a couple of hours spread over two nights I was in the author’s world and it’s just wonderful.

What Charlotte always gets right for me is the balance between plot and descriptive writing. She gives you the right amount of detail when needed but understands the plot of the story doesn’t require too much.

At 94 pages it’s a short story but it doesn’t feel like it. Charlotte’s work for me is always so developed I feel you actually read 3 times as much as she’s wrote simply because you take the time to really immerse yourself in the tale or read between the lines and replay moments from the previous books.

I’m no wordsmith, the only way I can describe why I enjoy Charlotte’s work so much is how easy the writing flows. The writing isn’t dumbed down but I’m never stuck wondering what a word means either. You’re never stuck reading pages of dialogue then pages of detail what you get with these books is a well written and engrossing read from 1st page to last.

I do enjoy the author’s longer works but for me she’s Queen of the short story.

This is the best story yet for Konrad. I’ve already downloaded book 6 so can’t wait to get to grips with it

To find out more head to Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads.

If you’ve not read the previous books in the series I highly recommend the compendium of books 1 – 4. It’s a bargain price and you won’t regret it. You can find it here on Amazon or Smashwords.

You can also see my review here – The Malykant Mysteries Compendium: Books 1 – 4

The Reborn King (The Dragon’s Blade #1) by Michael R. Miller – Review

Title – The Reborn King (The Dragon’s Blade #1)
Author –  Michael R. Miller
Genre –  Fantasy
Length – 408 Pages
Publication – Nov 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.

Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.

Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging…

Review

Now this was a fantasy tale i could really get to grips with. We have everything I love in a fantasy book, Wizards, Trolls, Dragons, Fairies, Demons and a battle of good versus evil.

The story starts well and we are thrust into a war between demons and the rest of humanity. During this battle Prince Darnuir is hurt but saved by the wizard Brackendon. He uses a dangerous spell which turns him back to a baby.

Cosmo is a wonderful character, a hunter who is entrusted with baby Darnuir. He raises him without the knowledge of his former self. This means when the demons return that Darnuir has to grow up fast and unite everyone to fight. But the demons have been quiet for 20 years.. why did it all stop any whya re tye now suddenly back??

Now I can’t spoil the plot but there’s a good reason why.. things are hinted at throughout the book.. little bits shared here and there that add up to give you a fuller picture but still leaves you desperate for more when the end comes.

As Darnuir grows Brackendon has his own battle to fight. I loved in this book that magic is poison.. If not properly controlled it will break you and the rebirthing spell is just too much for Brackendon to take.

For 20 years Darnuirs past life has been kept secret and he must face an internal battle with himself to become the leader everyone needs.

The main issue he has is trust, none of the races really trust each other..too much bad blood.

Along the way he is aided by not only Brackendon and Cosmo but the mysterious Guardian Blaine. He’s been away for many years…why?? I liked Blaine. He’s certainly got the best interests of his people at heart but how far will he go to save his own race? only time will tell. Dragon’s have a rather high opinion of themeselves so will Blaine be able to follow Darnuir’s wishes to unite the races to fight the demons as one?

There’s battles, death and so many twists to enjoy in this one and one of the best things had to be the unpredictability of it..I was hooked, even though I had some ideas I really didn’t know where the story was going to go and what would happen next.

Now, let’s talk about the demons and their master Rectar. I loved the setup and their internal struggles. As a reader you are still left in the dark a bit as to Rectar’s motivations but his plan is clear and towards the end of the tale his past starts to become clearer. There’s so much unanswered at this stage but I felt the author gave you just the right amount of information to hook you so you’ll come back to read the next book.

The word I used most often with this book was “Damn”. Mainly –

Damn why didn’t I see that coming, Damn that’s a nice idea! or Damn they killed….(obviously not going to drop names 🙂 )

Overall this is a brilliant story, easy to read, fun, exciting and engrosing. There’s twists & treachery around every corner… what more could you want? Early on I felt a lot of questions were unanswered which meant I stopped reading to think these questions through..answers do come but later in the book. My only advice is don’t over think things..all will be explained in due course and what an imagination this author has…Damn it’s good!

The author has me excited to see how this one plays out. Bring on book 2 due out in February.
To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/revew their work

The Gift-Knight’s Quest by Dylan Madeley – Review

Title – The Gift-Knight’s Quest
Author – Dylan Madeley
Genre – Fantasy
Publication – March 2015
Pages – 289 Pages
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

When a young woman named Chandra takes the throne under suspicious circumstances, she has to solve the deaths of the King and Queen before those responsible get to her. She has to maintain peace in an empire where people consider her the number one suspect.

Derek is summoned by an official letter and his people’s tradition to be Chandra’s personal guard. He’s immediately suspicious given that her family ruined his once-noble ancestors, but if there’s no way to escape the world’s largest empire, what might he do to turn the tables?

Interwoven with Derek and Chandra’s story is the history of their ancestors, infamous and famous, that lead them to confrontation. A new world is built before the reader’s eyes, and key groundwork is laid for the impending sequels, leading to a highly detailed narrative.

Review

The Gift-Knight’s Quest follows two main characters, Derek and Chandra. Both have led very different lives and a family feud from years past has the potential to resurface.

I felt the plot was strong, I liked the idea of these two meeting, the trust issues that would ensue thanks to the family history. Blood is thicker than water so they say..

This isn’t the fantasy tale I’m used to, it’s more of a fiction tale but you are teased with little bits about powers we’ve not yet witnessed which hopefully will appear in the next book in the series to give it the fantasy kick.

Chandra’s tale for me was the stronger. I particularly liked the political issues covered in the book. I won’t spoil it but as you can imagine when a young girl is thrust upon the throne not everyone is happy, some want rid of her altogether.

This is where Derek comes in. He’s actually sent to serve the new queen and protect her. Given the family history you’d think they would send someone else but I really liked how the author explains why Derek is the one sent.

The story is told from different perspectives so I don’t think the relationship between Derek and Chandra really had the chance or time to develop, thus leaving plenty for the author to work with as the series continues.

Something that I really liked was the history, the author explores past events that led to the family feud. My only issue was it bounced around without warning sometimes and changed character perspective so I was left reading a paragraph before things made sense to me.

My favourite character had to be Jan Donde, Captain of the Guard. I loved the relationship that formed between him and the new queen. I hope he gets more page time in the next installment. I think he’s got more to bring to the story.

The pace of the book is steady and you get the history thrown in to give the plot some depth and to slow the tale down about, it worked well and I was left at the end looking forward to the next book to see where things go.

In all honesty it’s a good read, decent pace and has set the next book up nicely. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it that’s for sure as the twist towards the end of the tale does leave me excited for more.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Where the Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick (@benedictpaddy) – Review

Title – Where the Waters Turn Black
Author – Benedict Patrick
Genre – Fantasy
Publication – 16th November 2016
Pages – 227
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of friendship, gods and monsters!

Review

After Benedict’s previous work They Mostly Come Out At Night I was left wanting..wanting more of his work. Fortunately for me and you the author hasn’t kept us waiting long..phew.

We are back in the wonderfully dark and exciting world the author has created full of gods and monsters that will send shivers down small children’s backs.

I loved this book. It feels like a fairytale.. but not the Disney kind.. the true kind.. think The Brothers Grimm. Myths told to scare the little ones come to life and change the life of one person in particular..Kaimana.

From the opening sentence I knew I would enjoy this – “There’s a monster in the village” and this author has a real knack for creating the weird and wonderful that switches on my brain giving me the blissful feeling of using my imagination to see this world myself.

The tale is fast paced..would have liked it slowed down a bit so I could really enjoy the world and people the author has created but saying that the author has fit in a lot of content into less than 230 pages.

So you’ll want to know a bit about the book..

First off one thing I really loved about the author’s previous work and this one is how he separates the chapters with little tales, myths, folklore from the world he’s created. I’ve not read anything like it before and it really shows off the author’s imagination to the fullest.

Kaimana is part of a traveling group of performers. She has the knack but hasn’t reached her full potential yet. When the group heads back to her former home this is a chance to see her parents but she’s kind of an outsider in her own home since she didn’t follow in the family footsteps.

This feeling of being an outsider is what I think draws her to go searching the woods when she’s told a monster is lurking..she just doesn’t think of the consequences .

After disturbing the creature the travelling group are asked to leave and they head out to their next destination.. little do they know the taniwha has become connected to Kaimana.

Kaimana is certain this connection is what is needed for her to become a legend..to create a song that will be shared for generations.

Along the way on this adventure we meet gods..good and bad..and more monsters. We even see the Magpie King make an appearance :).

I won’t spoil the overall plot for you but this was another well written tale from a strong author that you should definitely keep your eye on.

The tale is one of friendship & loyalty and the fantasy edge really makes this one hell of an interesting book to read.

Another plus for me is that the book is written in such a way that even though it’s connected with the previous tale you don’t have to have read that book first, you can read them in any order.. Although I’d strongly suggest you read it at some point..Damn it was good.

I can’t wait to see what Benedict comes up with next!

The book is out today! To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review the book