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Young Warlock by Mathew Bridle – The One Saga – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is Young Warlock by Mathew Bridle.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Epic/High Fantasy

On his graduation day at the University of Elements Dekor is shown how to conjure fire, an art forbidden to mages. He immediately succumbs to the lust of the flame. Now a battlemage Dekor is expected to climb through the ranks and become a great mage. His experiments with fire lead him to a confrontation with the Archmage resulting in Dekor becoming a wanted criminal.
He sets out on a night of lust driven destruction securing his transformation to warlock. Now he must flee for his life, pursued by hunters who will stop at nothing to bring him in. He heads north, through dark, spider infested forests, over mountains and through dangerous swamps where he encounters Icthus, a truth provoking creature who becomes his friend. Icthus guides Dekor to a place of refuge but first they must scale vast cliffs and traverse the plains of Oumtuk before they can reach the safety of Gamran Mire where the next part of his journey begins.
Dekor is asked by the enemy of the mages to help them open a magical doorway into the Cavern of Souls though what they really want is something different. With Icthus as guide the party sets out on a simple quest. When he returns Dekor finds he has something unexpected.
War has come to lands of men. Dekor’s homeland is laid waste by armies of goblins and the undead. The people of land flee to the neighbouring kingdom of Grimlaw where they live as refugees. The mage guild is no more, Dekor is a free man. Now he must put his inner demons rest and to put right the wrongs of his night of lust.

Review

From the outset I had a feeling I would like this book, the blurb screams potential.

Dekor is a battlemage, training to offer his support wherever he may be needed..but as with all magic there’s a dark side to tempt you and Dekor is unable to keep his lust for fire in check and turns to the darkness.

All is not as is seems though, there’s a plan and the One has his eye on Dekor and others. With the aid of allies the One sets up the chessboard ready for the war to come. A prophecy long ago foretold is about to come to fruition but many are blind to the danger they are in.

This is most certainly the kind of book I want to read when I think of epic fantasy, there’s gnomes, dwarfs, goblins, orcs and trolls to name just a few! plus the gods they pray too.

The pace of the tale for the most part works well and builds up the plot nicely but at times it did seem things progressed rather fast so didn’t get much page time, one major event stands out.. I’d love to be specific but that would ruin a big piece of the plot… The chapters could have probably done with a timeline of sorts.

What the author gets spot on for me is the setting and its characters..both grew nicely as the tale progressed helping me as a reader understand the bigger picture. I particularly found Icthus and Gestorn highly fascinating. Dekor himself has the most page time and therefore the most growth throughout the tale and it worked pretty well. I’d loved to have seen more inner struggles with the fire.

One of the best things about the book is the build-up, you never quite know who to trust and what their true motives are.. even the One. It made for an exciting read.

Easy 4* for me! I’ll definitely add Mathew Bridle to my authors to look out for list as I’d like to see where the story goes as the ending leaves me in no doubt the adventure will continue.

My thanks go to the author and Charles at Publishing Push for the chance to read/review the book.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

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Carina by Alison Morton – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is Carina by Alison Morton.

Here’s the blurb

Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces of Roma Nova. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody’s way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas.

All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?

Set in the time after INCEPTIO but before PERFIDITAS in the Roma Nova series, this thriller novella reveals hidden parts of Carina’s early life in Roma Nova. And North America isn’t quite the continent we know in our timeline…

Review

Carina is part of the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton. I came late to the series but was instantly hooked in by the uniqueness of the plots.

Think alternative fiction and strong female leads mixed with intriguing and well planned plots.. yeh you’re on to a winner.

This novella is perfectly suited for someone who hasn’t read the other novels in the series yet.. It’s got the detail to make you want read the rest of the series but there’s noting that isn’t explained that would confuse the reader so it’s a perfect standalone read.

Carina is part of the Praetorian Guard.. she’s young and headstrong.. this can only lead to trouble when tasked with a mission to bring back a traitor. Carina must stay under the radar but things quickly start to go wrong…something smells funny..but can Carina figure it out?

I’m always amazed by Alison’s plots, so believable, perfectly executed..real page turners!

Overall another cracking read from the author who has a very unique setting for her tales, Alison Morton challenges female stereotypes and gives the reader a fast paced thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Blog Tour – Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon.

Next up on David’s Book Blurg It my turn on the blog tour for Russian Roulette by Keith Nixon!

B L O G T O U R (1)

Here’s the blurb

Meet Konstantin Boryakov, the enigmatic ex-KGB agent and tramp with a dark history and darker future.

Trouble has a habit of seeking out Konstantin, whether he wants it or not. Starting with small time drug dealer Dave the Rave from the moment he arrives in the seedy seaside town of Margate where he’s supposed to hide, to Nikos the loan shark and Fat Gary, all round idiot. Then there’s the so-called good guys, the councilors and lawyers who are worse than the criminals.

But Konstantin isn’t alone, despite his wishes. Fidelity Brown, aka Plastic Fantastic, dildo wielding dominatrix who has her own mélange of secrets and lies, and nightclub owner Ken who’s connected to all the wrong people, help the Russian with the heap of problems delivered to his doorstep.

Cue deception, murder, mayhem as Konstantin settles into his new life. Margate will never be the same again.

Review

I’ve read a lot of Keith’s work and I just love his books!

Konstantin Boryakov is an ex-KGB asset… he wants to stay below the radar..but trouble just seems to find him..

A couple of things I really enjoyed about the book were that the tale is broke up into nice small chunks so you can easily fit these in when you have a quick lunch break. I also really loved the style of writing.. it was like Konstantin was telling the story himself..quite dark with a hint of humour..short but informative sentences.. no bullshit..and throw in the fact it’s a quick read makes this a very easy book to devourer.

It’s quite a grizzly and dirty tale at times..the detail given not only sucks you in but also ignites the receptors in your brain..you really imagine what the characters look like, feel and smell.. I was totally immersed in this world.

Russian Roulette leaves you wanting more.. so much more..Konstantin’s so closed off.. the author holds back divulging too much but just enough to make you want to read more.. I need to see what happens next… I want to know everything!

If you want a book that grips you and won’t let go its this..I just need more!

I can’t give Russian Roulette any less than 5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

River God by Wilbur Smith – Review

Now, you might wonder why I’m reviewing a book that was 1st released so long ago..Well here’s the thing.. I’ve only been reading properly the past few years..I’ve lots to catch up on and one thing I want my blog to be is a true reflection of my reading journey…old and new books it doesn’t matter to me.. it’s the journey those books take me on that counts.

Genre – Historical Fiction

Taita is a humble slave; an expert in art, poetry, medicine and engineering, as well as keeping important secrets. He is the most treasured possession of Lord Intef. Yet when Intef’s beautiful daughter Lostris is married to the Pharaoh, Taita is commanded to follow her, and swiftly finds himself deeper than he ever could have imagined in a world of deception and treachery.

But outside the palace, the great kingdom of Egypt is divided, and in even greater danger. Enemies threaten on all sides, and only Taita holds the power to save them all . . .

Review

I picked up a bunch of Wilbur Smith books cheap.. I’m late to the party I know but I thought it was about time I gave his work ago.

River God follows Taita, a slave who ends up helping the most important man in Egypt.. The Pharoah.

Taita used to be the property of Lord Intef and Intef is not happy to let him go even if it is to serve his daughter Lostris. Taita know’s Lord Intef’s secrets and Intef wants nothing more than to quieten Taita permanently.

If that wasn’t bad enough Taita’s troubles increase when it’s clear Lostris does not love the Pharoah and never will.. not so bad in itself..the issue is she loves another..Tanus, the fair-haired warrior..most trusted of the Pharoah..ooh it’s getting good isn’t it. Can Taita keep this secret from the Pharoah? and at what cost?

There are bigger problems afoot too as an army approaches.. This army uses tactics unknown to the Egyptians and many will fall in the battle. The survivors flee but vow to return to take back what was once theirs.

The tale was quite graphic at times, dark and disturbing all of which had me hooked.

My only issue is the main character Taita. It’s claimed he is a humble slave but he is anything but humble. He’s the bloody best at everything and seems quite happy to make sure everyone knows that. He’s got so many talents the list goes on – surgeon, tactician, weapons designer, political adviser, lip reader.. he even designs a wheel and learns to ride a horse in the blink of an eye. He simply grated on me at times.

The other thing that didn’t work for me was the style of writing. To start with it felt like 1 chapter of plot, then 2 of detailed description then back to 1 chapter of plot progression then back to 2 chapters of description. It took too long for me to get to the good stuff. Once it did though I was hooked and I plan to continue on with the series to see where things end up..

I have the feeling Taita will never grow on me though.. time will tell… I do hope I’m wrong.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Elji And The Galrass – By Colin Sinclair – Review

Next up for review is Elji and the Galrass book one in the Essence Sagas series by Colin Sinclair.

Here’s the blurb

Pages – 250

Genre -Fantasy/Science Fiction

Elji, a boy from a village outside the city of Mehem discovers a “Galrass” a tool usually wielded only by those who understand its power. Perhaps it was left for him to find or perhaps it was just a random happening?

The Galrass embroils him in a struggle he never expected to be part of or even imagined existed. Dregar, a being from a different planet and galaxy ‘feels’ the boys interruption of the universal essence and takes him under his wing and so his journey begins.

Friendships are made and lost and many lives must be put in danger to usher the civilization into its rightful place among the Universal essence. Will Elji fulfill his potential and help save his world or will it fall into darkness?

Review

Elji is a young boy whose life is about to be turned upside down when he finds a strange stone. This is no ordinary stone though..it’s a Galrass which has unimaginable power.

Dregar senses Elji and his Galrass and takes him under his wing. He’s not the only one who has sensed the presence of the Galrass and we learn of beings, The Four, from far away who watch and influence the development of other worlds to one day see them reach the same enlightenment they have reached. They don’t wish to push a civilization before it’s ready so their influence is subtle and over many years.

We also learn of a dark power that is growing, Framin, once part of The Four now falling…

With one of The Four turned to darkness and one, Ichancha lost years ago this leaves just two to influence pivotal pieces on the chessboard to ensure Framin’s plot doesn’t come to fruition.

These chess pieces turn out to be very specific individuals, influenced slightly at times by the remaining members of The Four, Elgred and Charina. They assemble for one final battle.. or is it?

There’s twists and turns as we learn the true capabilities of The Four and Elji and I found the plot quite riveting at times.

For me the tale is fun and interesting but with the sheer number of characters and the fact the tale is so fast paced there’s a lot to take on board. I would have liked to see the progression of the tale be a little slower at times so more time could be spent on developing the characters so they become ingrained in your mind. I just didn’t feel like I got to know the characters as well as I would have liked.

Overall I enjoyed the book, the characters were interesting, the plot well thought out and those twists when thrown in really did make me go ooo as I dreamt up the possibilities myself. It’s was well written and clear to read so It’s a great start to what could be a fun series if developed well. I’d be interested to see where this goes.

My Raring – 3/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

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

Blog Tour – Vitellius’ Feast by L. J. Trafford (@TraffordLj) #VitelliusFeast

Vitellius' Feast - Blog Tour Poster.png

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Vitellius’ Feast by L. J. Trafford the final book in the Four Emperors series.

I’ve been a big fan of the authors work since reading the first book in the series and I’ve eagerly been awaiting this installment.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Historical Fiction
Pages- 464
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

AD 69. As this most dramatic year draws to a close, now is the time to choose a definitive side. Whilst Vitellius enjoys the trappings of power around him, machinations are afoot. In the East, Vespasian has his eye on the throne, but he needs help preparing Rome for his plans and, for his teenage son Domitian, protection from Vitellius’ agents. With her characteristic flair, and lashings of skulduggery, sex, brutality, and humour, L. J. Trafford brings her Roman quartet, tracing the Year of the Four Emperors, to a spectacular conclusion.

Now reading the first 3 books in the series is a must! check out my reviews here for more details :-

Book 1 – Palatine

Book 2 – Galba’s Men

Book 3 Otho’s Regret

Review

Vitellius’ Feast is the final installment of the Four Emperors series by L. J. Trafford. 69AD in Rome must have been a tough time with four emperors holding power within the same year after the suicide of the emperor Nero.

After the tragic demise of emperor Otho we now have Vitellius on his way to Rome to take his place of power, but little do the people know how utterly useless this man will be and within a few sort months will find himself in deep trouble.

During 69AD it seemed like anyone with a few men could try to make claim to the throne and after some questionable movements of troops Vitellius quickly loses any support he might have been able to get from the legions in the east who proclaim Vespasian their emperor.

With this in mind you know there will be a plot to remove Vitellius as quickly as possible with minimal bloodshed but planning takes time and it never goes smoothly. During this period we see who Vitellius really is, quite a vile man who is more interested in abusing his workforce than seeing the paperwork done to keep Rome running. He parties the nights away without concern until it’s too late.

What the author manages to do so well is weave a tale of known facts with her own input with the characters based right in the middle of the action. This serves to give you not only a cracking read but also helps you learn something about history that I for one never knew about until I starting reading this series.

My favorite character Philo is back and is caught right in the middle of a plot that could see him hanged for treason. He’s got a family to worry about now but Philo knows what he has to do.

Now if you follow my reviews you’ll know I love Philo the most but Vitellius’s Feast is a tale that belongs to another. Sporus…I’m not going to lie..I  never really took a liking to Sporus until now..but in this book he shines through as you learn more about him and the reason behind his attitude in life. His part in this tale is a tough read and I find myself with a new-found respect for the man, the pain he endures must have been unbearable.

Trafford manages to breathe life to history and gives a voice to those who no longer have one. As much as events in the previous books have been quite brutal I think this one is the darkest and most vivid of all and it really shows you the dark time Rome was facing.

It’s been one hell of a journey which I’m sad has come to an end but this is definitely a series to keep on the book shelf to read again and to rave about to friends and family. Trafford’s style of writing makes the book so easy to read and 400 plus pages goes by in a flash.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the publishers, The Book Publicist and the author for having me on the blog tour and for the advanced copy of the book for review! 

The Druid by Steven A. Mckay (@SA_McKay)- Review

Today i’m reviewing The Druid by author Steven A. Mckay. Here’s the blurb

Genre : Fantasy/Historical
Pages : 290

Northern Britain, AD430

A land in turmoil. A village ablaze. A king’s daughter abducted.

In the aftermath of a surprise attack Dun Buic lies in smoking ruins and many innocent villagers are dead. As the survivors try to make sense of the night’s events the giant warrior-druid, Bellicus, is tasked with hunting down the raiders and thwarting their dark purpose.

With years of training in the old ways, two war-dogs at his side, and unsurpassed skill with a longsword, Bellicus’s quest will take him on a perilous journey through lands still struggling to cope with the departure of the Roman legions.

Meanwhile, amongst her brutal captors the little princess Catia finds an unlikely ally, but even he may not be able to avert the terrible fate King Hengist has in store for her.

This, the first volume in a stunning new series from the bestselling author of Wolf’s Head, explores the rich folklore and culture of post-Roman Britain, where blood-sacrifice, superstition and warfare were as much a part of everyday life as love, laughter and song.

As Saxon invaders and the new Christian religion seek to mould the country for their own ends one man will change the course of Britain’s history forever. . .

. . . THE DRUID.

Review

You should know who Steven A. McKay is..author of the Forest Lord series based around one of the best historical figures ever in my mind Robin Hood..after what seemed like forever the end of the series came hard like a punch to the gut.. I needed more.. but could the author ever live up to the expectations set..well lets see.

The Druid is a brand new tale for the author, this tale follows Bellicus. Religion is changing but Druids still hold some power..and as such when the King’s daughter is taken he sets out to rescue her. What he doesn’t know is that every corner he will be tested to his limits.

There’s twists and turns as Bellicus deals with the changes in the world around him. He’s been closed off abit in his own little bubble so he taken aback when people don’t give him the respect his station once demanded.. it’s doesn’t help that he’s a giant of a man..only his weapon makes him stand out as the Druid and as soon as people see it you seem them quickly decide to help the man out..for the most part.

He’s hot on the trail from the start but there’s numerous challenges ahead but Bellicus can handle everything..well at least that’s what he thinks..he either wins or will go down fighting.

The plot was good but I just know the author has more to give. It just proves McKay has a natural talent for storytelling, that he’s able to change the focus of his tales after such a well-developed series like The Forest Lord series. He still manages to give us a tale where there’s a clear ending but leaves so much open left to develop if he wishes. An ending like that just has me desperate for more.

Overall I thought it was well written, It flowed well and it seemed effortless..at no point did it feel like the story lost its way or that things didn’t make sense..it just worked.

Being such a fast paced action tale where the heat is on from the start it’s a wonder the author managed to develop the characters at all but he managed it perfectly.. at one point I even started to really like one of the kidnappers..that’s how easy McKay manages to control your thoughts.

Cracking read and a nice change from the authors previous work. Plenty of life left in the tale to see this develop further and I’d love to see how it continues.

5* .. I can’t give it any less.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.