Tag Archives: Epic Fantasy

The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Epic Fantasy/Dystopian

Take a stand. Defy the gods.

Avril was raised salvaging tech in the dead cities left behind after the apocalypse. He was happy, living quietly and avoiding the chosen’s holy wars, but a chance encounter reveals people are coming for him. Whether he wants it or not, he has a role to play in the holy wars and life will never be the same again. Neutrality is not an option for Avril as forces on all sides of the conflict learn who and what he is and set plans in motion to use him to gain the upper hand.

The Bastard Cadre is an ambitious science fantasy saga set in a futuristic dystopia where dragons soar above cities of technological splendor, and what’s left of humanity must choose between kneeling to malevolent gods and risking annihilation to fight them.

Review

I actually read The Bastard Cadre series some time ago and loved it..my only comment to the author was the covers lacked the first impression to make a reader buy the book.. well the author has clearly took that on-board and has released the series with fab new covers..not only that but book 1 in the series has had a rewrite… and to tease me there’s also now a book 5 to the series I’ve yet to read. To do the series justice I thought the best idea was to read the series again from the start to enjoy the ride once again J

What originally caught my eye was the author’s tag line.. epic fantasy without the word count. At 178 pages it’s perfect for a quick read and a great way to test if a series is for you.

The Bastard Cadre is the best series I’ve read and the rewrite for book 1 served only to improve on what I deemed perfection.. as if that was even possible.

The tale follows Avril.. he’s being raised (or rather protected) by Ethan Godkin but why?

After Avril and Ethan are attacked while on the road their life is turned upside down and Ethan does everything in his power to protect Avril… and that means calling someone he’d rather not..he’s stuck in a hard place and there doesn’t appear to be an easy way out.

Set in a futuristic dystopia era where cities are now wasteland you can’t trust anyone as most are struggling to survive… only the rich thrive while the gods play their little games.

A series of events lead Avril to the conclusion he’s not just another lost soul..he’s part of something bigger…but what…. there’s a connection to the gods themselves.. but why was Ethan hiding this truth?  Who can he trust?

I really enjoyed the setting along with the futuristic technology used by Avril to stay alive. I’ll be honest.. the plot was great and the setting perfect.. the detail given in under 200 pages sucks the reader in and leaves so many questions open setting the series up perfectly.

5/5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Rise of the Warlords by Brian K. Larson – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Rise of the Warlords by Brian K. Larson

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Epic Fantasy/Science Fiction

Journey along with Gor’con of the Crimson Guild as he tells the stories of how his ancestors became the Warlords. Answering an urgent call from Empress Ruki’ Grey’con, Admiral Jedidiah Fitz and Colonel Race Jennings return to the Rising Star of Antares. When they arrive, their former Queen Danielle is told that the Kron’Shulooka has returned and so has the beast of the trenches – the deadly Antarian Dragon.

Empress Ruki’ reveals to them that several tombs were discovered empty when the Dragon’s screech returned to Serintin once again. Danielle’s Bron Vis’Ka was not successful as the scrolls foretold, sending Danielle, and Jed’s team, on a dangerous quest. Now they must unravel the mysterious disappearance of their missing dead and to harvest more of the dragon’s blood to partake of the blood spirit once again.

Review

Rise of the Warlords is book 4 in the Warlords series by Brian K. Larson. After the events of book three in the series you could be forgiven for thinking that was the end of the journey but with Brian K. Larson you know the end is never going to come that quick.. he has a talent for keeping a series going, so I was more than a little pleased when book 4 was released.

Just when Race and Danielle thought they could get back to life on Earth we find out that the blood lust will return to the Rising Star of Antares and the Warlords will once again rise unless Danielle partakes of the blood spirit one final time.

Once we are back in the thick of the action we learn of the disappearance of those we thought were dead.. including Dumakas and it’s time to look to the past to save the future.

Something I really enjoyed was the back story as we learn more about the history of the Warlords and how they came to be. Perfectly paced and with great detail made this the most riveting of the series yet..the author even managed to give time to describe some of the planets visited which made the tale come alive.

Brian K. Larson is clearly a fan of the epic fantasy/science fiction saga and I for one thoroughly enjoy his work..it’s fun and exciting and his style of writing is easy to read. Rise of the Warlords is a fast paced tale..take your time and enjoy the ride.

For me the word to describe this latest instalment is development..you can really start to see the bigger picture. Sometimes you can get sucked along for the ride, this time Brian gives you time to reflect and learn more..it’s a winner for me! I really enjoyed the character development too as we see emotional bonds tested. Loved it!

5/5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

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

Windcatcher by A.J. Norfield – Review

Title – Windcatcher (Stone War Chronicles #1)
Author – A.J. Norfield
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 332 Pages
Publication –Oct 2015
My Rating – 5/5

Synopsis

Far away from home, under the command of his brother, Raylan and his squad must retrieve an ancient relic stolen from their kingdom’s trading partner—the Tiankong Empire.

Traveling deep into unknown enemy territory to complete their mission, Raylan learns that the ancient relic holds unexpected life; a creature buried in legends, one not seen in their world for more than two hundred years.

With their enemies closing in, Raylan and his friends search, desperately, for a safe way home. Danger lurks around every corner: Warriors larger than any man, predators stalking them through the night and soldiers determined to hunt them down. Leaving them all little choice, except to keep moving as they strategically plot and fight their way back to those awaiting their return.

Review

Windcatcher is Book I of the Stone War Chronicles.

I’m a big fan of epic fantasy novels and this one ticks all the boxes and more.

The story is written well with a decent page count and the perfect amount of detail when it’s needed. The pace of the book is perfect for all types of readers in my opinion..it’s slow enough for new readers to get immersed in Norfield’s world without be overwhelmed but for the more avid readers it moves fast enough to keep the story flowing well and has the build-up you’ll want to keep you engrossed.

So the story follows Raylan. Raylan is a member of an elite team headed by his brother Gavin tasked to take back a stolen relic after an attack on the Tiankong Empire by an unknown force.

From the outset of the book you are totally hooked in wondering who this evil force are and what their plans are.

The author packs a lot into this tale and it’s riveting..sorcery brings to life warriors stronger and taller than Raylan could ever imagine and at times it looks like our heroes will never find a way to win or even escape with their lives.

Hope appears in the form of Galirras…I try to keep my reviews spoiler free so I won’t give too much away but if you go back to the book blurb you’ll see this line “a creature buried in legends”.. that’s as much as I’ll say. 🙂

Something I enjoyed even more than the plot were the characters, each is given time to develop when possible as we go along instead of just feeling like they have been thrown in to make up the numbers and to provide cannon fodder for the author.

This book brings you everything you need in a fantasy book. It has a great plot developing and I’m looking forward to reading book 2 which I’ve already purchased.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

 

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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 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

I was never the best reader in the world..

I thought it might be interesting for you to find out how i came to setting up this blog and how I’ve found the authors i have. I would be very interested to hear your own story’s

As a child i struggled with printed format, my eyes would get tired and blurry. Even after getting glasses i still struggled.

Up until a few years ago i basically never read any books other than what i needed to get by in life, instruction manuals etc.

One day i decided to treat myself to a tablet for twitter/emails and so forth. I found the kindle app and decided i might as well give it a go. I travel to work on the bus so have plenty of free time.

Not being a big reader i decided to look at the free books listed on Amazon under the genres i liked. I thought this was a good starting point and it introduced me to authors like David Dalglish and Michael R Hicks. Both authors offered the first book in one of their series for free and i liked the idea of getting into a series on books rather than just a stand alone novel.

Next i found Robert Southworth, I’m a massive fan of Spartacus and he had recently released a story about him and it had me hooked. This then led me to Gordon Doherty and his Legionary series

From there i headed to twitter, followed these authors and all of a sudden other authors were following me. I took the time to look at some of their work and have found some authors who managed to capture my imagination perfectly and surprising quickly.

I plan to do a write up of some of my favorite authors so far so keep and eye out for that 🙂

Now after getting sucked in by these authors i found myself enjoying books for the first time in my life. Because of this i decided to create this blog so i could interact with other readers but also to show these authors that their work is appreciated

I don’t know why it took me so long to get into reading but i’m glad i have

As always i welcome suggestions on books/authors i should acquaint myself with so feel free to drop me a line either by commenting below or send me an email davidsbookblurg@gmail.com

Cheers