Category Archives: Fantasy

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn – Review

Title – The Hidden Face
Author – S.C. Flynn
Genre – Fantasy
Length –  403 Pages
Publication – 25th Nov 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years, the sun god, the Akhen takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face is a fantasy mystery drenched in the atmosphere of the Early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles, and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.

Review

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn is a super-fast paced fantasy adventure.

There’s quite a nice build-up to start with as we learn about the main character Dayraven and his family history. Dayraven has been kept away from his homeland for many years and on his return he is quickly thrust into a quest to protect The Hidden Face.

Little does Dayraven know but those close to him have helped keep a secret safe for many years and after the murder of his old teacher things quickly start to unravel.

Sunniva quickly enters the plot, her family have connections to The Hidden Face also and she and Dayraven are thrust together to solve the clues left for them.

This is the fun part of the story as we find clues have been left.. but the answer are only something Dayraven and Sunniva would be able to figure out..and they need to work together to ensure it’s done quickly so they can keep ahead of those who wish to find The Hidden Face of themselves.

Who is The Hidden Face you might ask. A god turned human.. who  heralds the rise of one nation and the fall of another. Dayraven must stop the power of The Hidden Face falling into the wrong hands.

A major plus for this book is that I loved the vast and varied characters within the tale. To be honest I actually preferred the supporting cast over the main duo.

The only thing I can say I didn’t really enjoy was the love angle between Dayraven and Sunniva..the emotional connection wasn’t there for me so it just didn’t feel right…saying that if you read my reviews you’ll know I’m never a big romance fan.

Overall a decent plot with a fun ensemble of characters, there’s more to come and I’m interested to see what happens next.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Light Dawning by Ty Arthur – Review

Title – Light Dawning
Author – Ty Arthur
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 228 Pages
Publication – May 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom. As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Review

A once great city has fallen but rebels still plot from the shadows.. the problem is they are slowly being hunted down.

The four main characters in the book are Myrr, Tala, Father Erret and Casterly. Each has their own journey to follow but at the same time their paths will cross..but are they friend or foe..the line is blurred at times.

I really enjoyed the gruesomeness of the tale, there are some rather vivid moments that don’t leave you quickly and you are left in no doubt the author has a weird and wonderful imagination which works perfectly for a dark fantasy novel.

This book is all about the build-up. You’re expecting a rebellion to happen, for the main characters to rise and become heroes…well you’ll be waiting a bloody long time..that’s not this book.

It’s quite tense at times, you really don’t know where the author is planning to go but everything falls together nicely and the interwoven tales of the main characters work well.

Oh don’t you worry a battle is coming but it’s truly unexpected the plot that plays out. I read a lot of fantasy books and let’s be honest..quite a few follow the same pattern..not this one, it’s refreshingly different and that’s what makes it so good.

The dark nature of the tale is something that really gives this book an edge, theirs a darkness overshadowing all and it was fascinating reading Tala’s tale. I won’t spoil it but she does not have it easy. She has a power within her to open the door to beings from another plain and these guys aren’t pretty that’s for sure, how they are born into this world is pretty gruesome to say the least.

I think Tala was my favourite character I must say, but I enjoyed them all, a special mention has to be made of Casterly and his fate in life.. wow..twist alert..you’ll not see that coming.

If you are looking for an engrossing slow burn of a fantasy book, heavy on the darkness scale that you can really get to grips with then this is top-notch. For me the darkness overshadows all and I liked it.

Do I want to more from Ty Arthur? Yes please.

My thanks go to Ty for the chance to read and review the book!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Toil and Trouble: Modern Magick, 2 by Charlotte E. English – ARC Review

Title – Toil and Trouble: Modern Magick, 2
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 194 Pages
Publication – 31st October 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Having rescued an immensely valuable book from a long-lost library, Jay’s joy turns to dismay when it proves to be unusually… chatty, and possessed of a fine, filthy vocabulary besides. What manner of enchantment created such a strange and powerful book is a mystery to the Society, but Ves is determined to solve it.

She’s not the only one. The organisation known as Ancestria Magicka might be brand new, but they can more than rival the Society in power – and they badly want the book. But why are they so interested in its long-dead creator? When the mystery turns into a race to find a fifteenth-century grave, there’s only one thing to do: call in the Toil and Trouble department…

Review

Toil and Trouble is book 2 in the Modern Magick series form author Charlotte E. English.

If you haven’t already check out book 1 – The Road to Farringale.

Book 2 starts pretty much where we left off, Ves is back at the Society for Magickal Heritage and is about to be sent on another fantastic adventure.

During the last outing Jay discovered a very rare book indeed.. this book can talk.. and it has a lot to say for itself.

We learn of another organisation, Ancestria Magicka, who like the Society track down items of magical relevance..but they don’t always play fair. Once they learn of the books existence they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. But why? Well I’m not going to spoil it am i? ha.

I really enjoyed the plot and it builds nicely on the foundations set in the previous book. The characters develop,  it just makes a better story as you feel comfortable with them..you know them.

The flow of the book is as always is perfect, nice length of chapter to keep you reading. I always think “oh go on then, one more chapter” and before you know it your finished.

Charlotte’s style of writing is what really does it for me with her books, written in a fun and quirky way. Never overly complicated and so easy on the eyes..I can’t help but devour her books. You get a brilliant plot mixed with some good descriptive info but never too heavy to lose the reader..the books always flows nicely.. too many authors throw in descriptive info when all I want is to get back to the plot and English certainly knows what her readers like.

This is a great series so far and this plot is certainly one of her best to date.

Charlotte is an author who never fails to deliver for her fans so I highly recommend you check her work out if you havent already.

The book is out on Tomorrow! And it’s the perfect read for Halloween 🙂 who doesn’t like a bit of Magic after all!

My thanks go to the author for the ARC but as a loyal fan my pre-order is in for an official download 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords by Benedict Patrick – Review

Title – Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords (Yarnsworld #3)
Author – Benedict Patrick
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 268 Pages
Publication – 16th October 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Don’t draw your blade in the City of Swords, unless you’re willing to kill… or ready to die.

Young and filled with idealistic fervor, Arturo packs his blade and travels to the fabled City of Swords in the hopes of joining the dashing Bravadori. Yet upon arriving he discovers these masked vigilantes have more in common with brutal thugs than noble monster slayers. Disillusioned and mocked, he stubbornly refuses to give up his dreams.

When an impending bandit attack threatens untold depravities upon a distant village, and no others will heed the call for help, Arturo joins forces with a worthless outcast and a walking legend to attempt the impossible, to traverse the demon-haunted wilderness and prove that in the City of Swords, true heroes can rise from the unlikeliest of places.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is a gritty, action-packed standalone novel set in Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld, a land where folktales and fantasy mix, where the monsters from stories are real.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of broken heroes and inspiring hope!

Review

We are back with Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series and I’ll be quite honest I couldn’t have been any more excited. For me this series has been the biggest shock since I started reviewing as it was just so original and had an immediate wow factor.

This is the best yet in the series, it’s fantasy with a dark twist that I just love.

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is the tale of Arturo, he wants to become a Bravador. The Bravadori are a thing of legend, they are protectors. Unfortunately for Arturo the Bravadori he meets don’t live up to the legend.

If the Bravadori won’t be the protectors of those in need Arturo will!

Here’s where the tale starts to get really interesting. He’s joined on his journey by Yizel and Crazy Raccoon, each of these has their own tale. Yizel is a fallen Bravador who needs to find her worth again and Crazy Raccoon..well he’s just got a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove.

A familiar feature in the authors work is the idea of a person’s “knack”, essentially something they are very skilled at and they have these moments when their knack will flare and the early scenes in the book really had the young boy in me on edge as I imagined the swordplay and the individuals knack coming into play.

The chapters flow easily and once again the author continues to break up the reading into easy and manageable sections, after each chapter you are treated to some folklore of the Yarnsworld, you hear about the people Arturo dreamed of becoming and it really did bring the story together well while at the same time keeping things fresh and interesting.

I always love the folklore feel with Benedict’s work, it’s like these books themselves could have been passed down through the ages..the stuff of legends.

What the author always gets right for me is the suspense.. the build up to something big you know is coming but until it happens you’ve literally no idea where the author will take you.. it’s so utterly engrossing.

Benedict’s works are a real gem and a must for fantasy lovers, there’s so much scope to the series that I can see many more tales to come. Even the cover gets me excited with this one, the vivid image suits the tale well and I just love the design.

I received an ARC copy of the book for review purposes but I’ll be adding a paperback to my collection soon!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Reaper’s Touch (The Ripper Legacies Book 2) by Robert Southworth – Review

Title – The Reaper’s Touch (The Ripper Legacies Book 2)
Author – Robert Southworth
Genre – Alternative History/Fantasy
Length – 308 Pages
Publication – August 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

London 1890, William Harkness is summoned to the scene of a grisly murder. The victim is not a woman of the night, nor a member of the underclass. Nonetheless, Harkness is certain the Ripper has resumed his slaughter. He and his men resume the hunt for the infamous killer but all is not as it seems. William Harkness soon realises that hunters can also be prey…

Review

For me this has to be one of the most hotly anticipated releases this year. Rob likes to tease us readers and keep us waiting but it’s worth it. Rob’s never given me anything other than a 5* book previously and he’s done it again.

What I’ve always really enjoyed about Rob’s work is that I’ve been there from the first book and I can really see how he’s grown. Don’t get me wrong.. I never found fault with any of his books but this one just seems a step above the last as he continues to rattle out fun and mesmerising tales that really suck you in.

What I really enjoyed about this plot is that with a hint of history and a pinch of imagination Rob gives us something completely original and so god damn exciting.

So this is the second book in the Ripper Legacies. If you’ve not read the first book click here to read my review.

We are back with William Harkess and his rabble of men as he joins forces with Inspector Abberline to hunt down The Ripper. This time his foe is more dangerous as William becomes more of an annoyance to him.

The book has some rather vivid moments where some unfortunate people do meet their end. While this is a completely new tale it does link well with The Ripper’s own handiwork, it makes it so much more believable and sets the tone/period of the story perfectly.

Another plus for this tale is that this time the heat is really turned up on William. Not everyone will make it out alive and this really built up the pressure.

Rob did a great job of quickly reminding me of the main players in the story and also helped me remember the previous tale in the series by mentioning a few certain characters and events that brung everything flooding back.

Southworth develops his characters well, each has their own role in the tale and there’s a few great additions to this one. I won’t spoil it but Bessie and Faraday really made an impression on me.

Do you like twists? I know I do. Well this book had a couple that hit hard..In a good way. What I expected was turned on its head within a page then the author pieces everything together nicely leaving you to wonder why you didn’t see it from the start. To be honest with Robs work I do very little thinking.. I simply enjoy the tale.

The ending sets up book 3 nicely, leaving you craving more.

All I know for sure is Rob keeps offering up brilliant stories so I’ll certainly be buying the next book as soon as it’s released.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

The Road to Farringale: Modern Magick, 1 by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The Road to Farringale: Modern Magick, 1
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 187 Pages
Publication – July 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

In 2017, little remains of magick save scattered, beleaguered pockets of magickal community and scholarship – and a vast, but rapidly decaying, heritage. How can any of it survive the pace of modern life?

As an agent of the Society for Magickal Heritage, Cordelia “Ves” Vesper has an important job: to track down and rescue endangered magickal creatures, artefacts, books and spells wherever they are to be found. It’s a duty that takes her the length and breadth of Britain, and frequently gets her into trouble. But somebody’s got to keep magick alive in the modern world, and Ves is more than equal to the job.

In this first adventure, Ves meets her new partner, the Waymaster Jay. Their mission? Find the source of a magickal disease that’s decimating Britain’s troll enclaves – and fix it. Simple in theory, tricky in practice, for the only place that might hold the information they need is the ancient and inconveniently lost enclave of Farringale…

Review

Charlotte E. English is back with a new fantasy tale and once again it’s a real treat for us readers.

Magic is real, hidden away and on the decline. There are a few out there who are doing their best to keep the community alive..Ves is one such person. She’s a rather intriguing character. She’s quite an internal person so in the inner thoughts of Ves really help you learn what kind of person she is, she strong and capable and you can’t help but grow to like her.

While Ves is on a mission she discovers an alarming issue with the Troll community..something that is threatening to wipe them out..could the answer to this mystery lie in a long-buried enclave?

Along the way we meet some fun characters. Jay who has a rather special ability to transport over great distances using ancient portals. Val had to be the character I enjoyed most.. anytime you need to know something she’s the one to go to and if you find anything juicy she will be the first there to investigate further.

I really enjoyed Milday and House..yes I said house. House is where Ves works for the Society for Magickal Heritage, and this house isn’t like any other you’ve been in. It’s magical and if it likes you it will be kind, if not don’t expect to get to where you plan to go anytime soon as this house can change itself, move and adapt. Ves reports to Milday and Milday and house work in partnership, but like any good partnership they don’t always agree and it’s this very unique dynamic that I really loved.

With the help Baron Alban Ves sets out to save the Trolls from extinction and while doing so she may just solve a long forgotten mystery. I loved the Baron, like all good chracetrs you learn more about him as the tale unfolds and his mysteriousness is what really entriged me.

The book builds its pace nicely and you are left hoping more will come. I enjoyed the ending but knowing how good the author is you are left in no doubt there must be more tales to come.

Charlotte is the queen of the short story for me and she’s done it again. She effortlessly manages to suck you and give you so much story in so few pages..I never feel short-changed when I buy her work, if anything I’m just eager to read it and to find out when the next instalment is due J

English has given me another 5* book, the tale is quirky and fun and I couldn’t ask for more. Anyone who is a fan of the authors work will love it as it has her usual unique charm but at the same time gives the reader a fresh tale.

Charlotte E. English has to be top of list for author you need to read!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc by Jesse Teller – Review

Title – Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc
Author – Jesse Teller
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 262 Pages
Publication – August 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?

Review

I’m a massive fantasy fan I’m not going to lie. To me there’s so many possibilities with fantasy but at the same time this means you’ve really got to hit a high standard to have me enjoy the story.. Well Jesse Teller certainly delivered.

Mandrake isn’t like other fairies.. he’s different in so many ways, and isn’t accepted by anyone. Little do the fairies know Mandrake is their champion and their going to need him very soon.

What really fascinated me about the story was the connection between the fairies and humans and how the actions of one could affect the other.

Because of this connection Mandrake knows his child Is in danger and not only does he have foes to battle in his realm he must also help save his child in the human world..but how can he?

It’s a magical tale. There’s lots of action but there’s a light-hearted feel at times as Mandrake deals with emotions that he’s never felt before.

What Teller gets spot on is the development speed of his characters versus plot..they develop naturally together and nothing is forced on the reader which means you can really get sucked in and enjoy this one.

I also really loved that some characters are a mystery and until the book develops you never quite know which way their loyalty lies.

Overall it’s very well written with fun and mesmerising plot that gives you just the right mix of action/non action scenes.

Often I find little things I don’t like about books, a certain word here or a development with a character that just didn’t feel right but this was perfect to me, no other word to describe it. It ticked everything I want and more.

A fast paced action packed entertaining read.

My thanks go to Rebekah Teller for bringing the book to my attention and provided a review copy. Loved it so much I paid Amazon for an official copy 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon