WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: PRIEST OF BONES

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme I’ve participated in for years which lets readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and this week the story I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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priest of bonesPriest of Bones by Peter McLean

Genre: Fantasy – Grimdark

Series: War for the Rose Throne #1

Publisher: Ace Books (October 2, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 352 pages

The first in a brand new dark and gritty epic fantasy series, where a crime boss comes home from the war only to find that his businesses have been stolen from him.

It’s a dangerous thing, to choose the lesser of two evils.

The war is over, and army priest Tomas Piety finally heads home with Lieutenant Bloody Anne at his side. When he arrives in the Stink, Tomas finds that his empire of crime has been stolen from him while at war. With his gang of Pious Men, Tomas will do whatever it takes to reclaim his businesses. But when he finds himself dragged into a web of political intrigue once again, and is forced to work in secret for the sinister Queen’s Men, everything gets more complicated.

When loyalties stretch to the breaking point and violence only leads to violence, when people have run out of food, and hope, and places to hide, do not be surprised if they have also run out of mercy. As the Pious Men fight shadowy foreign infiltrators in the backstreet taverns and gambling dens of Tomas’s old life it becomes clear; the war is not over.

It is only just beginning.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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I seldom plug projects on GoFundMe, Indiegogo, or other funding websites, but the other day I stumbled across a really cool, exciting, and great looking comic project over on Indiegogo.  The cover image and description grabbing my attention, leading me to check out the creator/artist Mitch Breitweiser’s YouTube channel, The Last Comic Artist.  This talented artist and his co-creators’s excitement and plans for the project getting me even more interested, causing me to fund it.  And I thought I’d share it with you guys, so you can take a look and see if it is something you might be interested in funding.

RED ROOSTER: GOLDEN AGE

“LIGHT BRAVES THE DARKNESS, DARKNESS FEARS THE DAWN.”

For centuries, the mantle of The Red Rooster has passed from generation to generation to fight mankind’s most ancient and terrible evils.  Now Frank Cooper must rise to the challenge, as a cabal of his most notorious villains conspire to ruin him and The Red Rooster Legacy forever!

Created & illustrated by Mitch Breitweiser (Captain America, Drax)
Colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser (Batman, Winter Soldier)
Scripted by Mark Pellegrini (BlackHOPS)
60 Pages

 

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For those interested in a deep dive into the world, characters, and plot of the Red Rooster, Mark and Mitch hosted Edwin Boyette for an extended chat to discuss his reactions to the script here.

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I’M BACK!

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As some of you will have noticed, I’ve been gone for almost three weeks. A nice long breather.  But now I’m back!

For those who are interested, the first twelve days of this hiatus were spent on a family vacation where my wife’s one rule was no social media by anyone in the family.  A rule I supported by cutting myself off from everything (including the blog).

Mainly, this was to stop my sons from spending every minute on instagram, twitch, and whatever other social media they use from day to day, but honestly my wife gets sick of me spending so much time in front of the computer screen — especially on vacations.  So this rule was to force all of us to focus only on the family.

I have to admit I had withdrawals from social media and blogging.  The first couple days were difficult, as I desperately wanted to check my phone or pull out the laptop to share my thoughts about a book, movie, or whatnot.  My wife wouldn’t have it though, holding me to my promise.

After I finally grew accustom to not being connected, I really liked it.  The time just sitting around talking, playing board games, taking hikes in the mountains, and watching movies with my whole family was a breath of fresh air.  So once the vaca ended and I returned home I found it hard to want to reconnect.

Eventually though I grew to miss my time blogging.  The other social media stuff I can’t say I’ve missed (especially Twitter), but spending time talking with my online buddies about books was something I can’t replace.

So, anyway, expect the usual activity on the blog to begin tomorrow.  A return to the exciting, boring, and helpful stuff we try to post here on Bookwraiths.  Can’t wait to talk to all of you again!

 

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WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: KNEE-DEEP IN GRIT

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme I’ve participated in for years which lets readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and this week the story I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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knee deep in gritKnee-Deep in Grit by Adrian Collins & Mike Myers

Genre: Fantasy – Grimdark

Series: Anthology

Publisher: Grimdark Magazine (June 30, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 380 pages

Get knee-deep in grit with twenty-six grimdark fantasy and sci-fi short stories from the shadowy vaults of Grimdark Magazine. The top names in dark speculative fiction and the genre’s brightest newcomers bring you stories of war, betrayal, violence, and greed, as anti-heroes and adversaries fight to the bittersweet end.

For the first time, two years of fiction from Grimdark Magazine are printed on dead trees and bound together like captive slaves to be read or reread and proudly placed among your favourite tomes on your bookshelf.

Knee-Deep in Grit features short stories by authors including Mark Lawrence, Aliette de Bodard, Adrian Tchaikovsky, R. Scott Bakker, Kelly Sandoval, James A. Moore, and Victor Milan.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP TEN TUESDAYS

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

The topic this time out is: Books To Read on Vacation!

Yes, I am actually going on vacation.  Family is ripping me away from work to go pay for them to have fun.  (Joking!)  I’ll try to have some fun too.

I’m mentioning this because I am here to ask for your help.  Instead of just putting a list together on this topic, I’ve decided to pick a few books from my tbr pile and ask for your input on which ones I should give a try.  So please stick around for the poll at the end of the post and be sure to vote!

Oh, I couldn’t weed my list to just ten, so I’m do twenty this week!


20. Shadowline – I love Glen Cook, but I have to admit not being as enamored of his science fiction offerings as I have his fantasy.

19. Dune: House_Atreides – I love Dune, but I have had only so-so feelings about all the novels penned by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

18. Rogue Planet – I have to admit owning almost ever EU novel ever published.  I haven’t read them all though, but I’d like to give the decent ones a go.

17. Murder In LaMut – I’ve generally stayed away from Riftwar books for years, but after enjoying Honored Enemy, I’m thinking this light fantasy story might be a great vaca book.

16. The King Beyond the Gate – Some rousing fantasy adventure in the standard David Gemmell style might be exactly what I’m looking for.

15. The Runelords – This one sounds like a light Terry Brooks-esque fantasy.  Not sure if it is worth giving a try though.

14. Lord of the Isles – The reviews are all over the place with this one, so much so that I have no idea if this a novel I’ll love or hate.

13. The Dragonstone – Classic fantasy is comfort food for me, so anything by McKiernan would seem like it couldn’t go wrong.

12. The Dark Glory War – A prequel story to the author’s DragonCrown War Cycle which I’ve been toying with starting.

11. A Cavern of Black Ice – Never having read anything by Jones, I’m a bit worried by review comparisons to Tad Williams, who has always bored me to tears.

10. Imager – The premise looks interesting, but I’m not sure if Modesitt can develop the cool ideas into a great story.

9. The Eyes of God – As a big fan of Marco’s Tyrants and Kings Series, I’ve always wanted to read this, but every time I start it doesn’t grab my attention.

8. Kull: Exile of Atlantis – Robert E. Howard is always a fun, easy read, but I’m not sure if this collection of stories is right for relaxation or not.

7. Blood Song – Others have called this one of the best fantasy debuts ever.  Can’t go wrong with that, right?  Now, I’m scared.

6. Wizard’s First Rule – I’ve been putting off reading Terry Goodkind for decades.  Should I get it over already or not?

5. The Red Knight – Cameron’s background in medieval history and reenactment makes me curious how historically accurate this story is.  But is it exciting?

4. Before They Are Hanged – I’m asking myself why I’m even putting this novel here.  Abercrombie and I haven’t been great for one another.  Should I try again?

3. The Way of Shadows – I’ve never read Brent Weeks.  Everyone I know recommends I give this one a go, but I’m unsure due to reviews saying it’s juvenile.

2. The Well of Ascension – This is the book I’m leaning toward reading.  The first installment in the series was well done,and I generally enjoy Sanderson.

1. Gardens of the Moon – I’m putting this one because I really, really need to give it a try.  I’m not sure sitting beside the pool is the best place to read this book though.

So what do you guys think I should read?  Vote in the poll!

 

 

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FUNDAY MONDAY, OR THE BOOKS THAT WILL HELP ME SURVIVE THE WEEK AHEAD (JUNE 18, 2018)

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Another week begins.  I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. While I try to fool myself into being excited about the promise of a new week and the continuation of the regular grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by finally reading a book I’ve had on my tbr for too long!
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in the eye of heavenIn the Eye of Heaven by David Keck

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Tales of Durand #1

Publisher: Tor (March 6, 2007)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length:  446 pages

From a strong new voice in epic fantasy comes the tale of Durand, a good squire trying to become a good knight in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Set to inherit the lordship of a small village in his father’s duchy because the knight of that village has been bereaved of his own son, Durand must leave when the son unexpectedly turns up alive.

First he falls in with a band of knights working for a vicious son of a duke and ends up participating in the murder of the duke’s adulterous wife. Fleeing, he comes into the service of a disgraced second son of a duke, Lamoric, who is executing a long subterfuge to try to restore his honor in the eyes of his father, family, and king. By entering tournaments anonymously as “The Red Knight,” Durand will demonstrate his heroism and prowess and be drafted into the honors of the king.

But conspiracies are afoot–dark plots that could break the oaths which bind the kingdom and the duchies together and keep the banished monsters at bay. It may fall to Durand to save the world of Man…

Authentic and spellbinding, In the Eye of Heaven weaves together the gritty authenticity of a Glen Cook with the high-medieval flair epitomized by Gene Wolfe’s The Knight, to begin an epic multi-volume tale that will take the fantasy world by storm.

Purchase at Amazon.

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FRIDAY FACE OFF JUNE 15, 2018

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Welcome to the Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy. Join us every Friday as we pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in the literary universe.  If you want to join us next week, check out next week’s predetermined them, choose a book, compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog

This week’s theme is:

“Live in the saddle.  Die on the hog – a cover featuring riders!

 

YES!  A topic which is tailor made for fantasy fans everywhere.  I mean, there are tons of book covers with riders on them, but I already have the perfect cover in mind, so I’m going to coast this week.

Let us take a look at my pick!

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AND THE WINNER IS . . .

drumroll

THE DINOSAUR PRINCESS

Sure, I’m cheating a bit this week, but I’m okay with that, because all these covers are damn amazing.

First off, I have to admit I love all these covers.  They are all eye-catching.  The Dinosaur Princess is just a little more striking to me though.  The dinosaur charging with razor sharp teeth opened to engorge its enemy is so visceral and menacing that I had to pick it.

So, do you agree with my pick?  Disagree?  Love them all?  Hate them all?  Let us know!

Posted in Cover Lover, Friday Face-Off | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: WAR CRY

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme I’ve participated in for years which lets readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and this week the story I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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war cryWar Cry by Brian McClellan

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Tor.com (August 28, 2018)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 112 pages

On the high plains, war is life.

Teado has been a part of the war effort for as long as he can remember. His childhood was spent in the aircraft and ammunition factories until his power manifested. Now he is on the front lines, fighting the great war as one of the monstrous shapeshifting wizards that are all but extinct after decades of battle.

Behind enemy lines, Teado’s special operations platoon plays a deadly game of cat and mouse, sabotaging and demoralizing the enemy. But food is scarce. The enemy has pushed their main forces back further and their requests for resupply have gone unanswered. They will make one last dangerous bid for survival and, maybe, change the course of the war forever.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP TEN TUESDAYS

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!

The topic this time out is: Books That Make Me Want to Travel!

First off, I’m not much of a world traveler anymore.  Too old and comfortable, I guess.  But when I was younger there were stories which got my imagination running wild, making me want to jump in a car/train/plane and head off to discover something amazing.  And the following list includes the novels/series I recall being the catalysts for some of my desires to travel far and wide.


10. Bazil Broketail 

Sure, this world is fairly generic fantasy, but every novel skips around to new environments, introducing interesting concepts, making this place come to life.

9. A Man of His Word

Dave Duncan does an excellent job of following the familiar pattern of traveling across a huge world introducing readers to exotic places and exciting faces.

8. Dragonlance Legends

Back in the day, Dragonlance was a personal favorite probably because I loved the medieval setting.  This series explored so much more it even skipping through time.

7. The Belgariad

A whole series centered on traveling from country to country discovering a brand new culture and meeting different people.  As a teen, I wanted to be Garion.

6. Riftwar Saga

While Feist might not reinvent the traditional fantasy world in The Riftwar Saga, the way he sends his characters off into that world, introduces all these new places and different worlds, was comforting and always made me want to know more.

5. The Elric Saga

One thing you could always count on with a Moorcock book was exotic locals and weirdness galore.  Elric was always the best for this in my limited experience.

4. Darwath

I’ve always been a sucker for “portal” fantasy, so Barbara Hambly’s tale of normal people from earth being transported to a fantasy world gripped in an apocalyptic event was a wonderful trip into a place.

3. Wheel of Time 

One of the main reasons I loved this series when it first came out (and for many years thereafter) was the traditional quest journey across the world.  Sure, it was pretty standard stuff, but I enjoyed the journey.

2. Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

Other than Tolkien I’ve always felt Donaldson did the very best job of crafting a quest narrative which allowed him to travel across a huge world and use the reveal of that world as one of the main plot elements.  Even Covenant couldn’t ruin the Land.

1. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings

Epic quests.  Wondrous lands.  Magical creatures.  This timeless fantasy series opened my eyes to the wide world which could be lurking out there somewhere, and it still makes em feel that even today.

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FALL OF ANGELS

fall of angelsFall of Angels by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Saga of Recluce #6

Publisher: Tor (July 15, 1997)

Author Information: Website

Length: 592 pages

My Rating: 4 stars

The Saga of Recluce is a series which has captivated readers for decades, spawning 19 books so far, and soon to include installment twenty, Outcasts of Order, which hits shelves on June 19, 2018. One of the main factors contributing to the longevity of the saga the novels’ variety, as L.E. Modesitt, Jr. has effortlessly shifted his stories from one time period to another in Recluce’s long history, focusing in on legendary characters and explaining historical facts. Fall of Angels arguably one of the best examples of this, as it explores the founding of the mythical, female ruled land in Candar.

The story begins in exciting science fiction fashion upon a starship of the Angels (Humans from the various “cold” planets of “Heaven”). The commanders of the predominately female crew (Only three men!) tapped into a ship wide neuronet (a mental command program which controls every aspect of the ships and its systems), frantically preparing for battle. Of primary importance are two people among this group: Captain Ryba, a no nonsense commander, and Engineer Nylan, who is a competent techie but definitely not a leader. These two are sexual partners but not really romantically involved, as it is very clear the Captain has no emotional attachment to Nylan and views him as a tool to satisfy her professional and personal needs.

Very quickly after our brief introduction, the Angels are part of a space battle with the forces of the Rationalists, or “Demons” (Humans from the “warmer” worlds of “Hell”). The conflict resulting in their ship being thrown into another dimension, where they take quick action to safely land in the icy mountains of an alien world.

There is only one problem with the new planet they arrive on: it is already inhabited by the remnants of a Rationalist colony. These people very patriarchal and feudal in nature, viewing the new arrivals as instant enemies who must be attacked and destroyed.

Quickly, the Angels discover they are stranded on this world; their technology slowly ceasing to operate. Ryba and Nylan taking up important roles in the titanic task of building up their refuge’s infrastructure and defenses before their technology completely dies. Added to their monumental tasks an even more difficult problem of how to control the “changes” some Angels have undergone by their arrival in this new dimension.

From this setup develops a story of the birth of a fledgling civilization. Mr. Modesitt writing what some reviewers have dubbed “crafting porn.” A huge amount of the narrative spent focusing on Captain Ryba, Engineer Nylan and their fellow Angels creating a colony from scratch, building the trappings of a low technology civilization, and setting up the social trappings of the new community. Simple things like having enough charcoal for the forge or finding enough food to eat or building a tower before winter adding real drama in the context of the plot.

Mixed into all that civilization creation is the main plot of the book: the clash between the patriarchal and matriarchal systems. It is actually quite brutal and harsh, yet also very enlightening. Modesitt taking the traditional gender roles of Western Civilization, twisting them inside out, and allowing the rival societal narratives to compete against one another. Ryba becoming the physical embodiment of the matriarchy, Nylan the physical embodiment of modern gender equality, and the rulers of the world the physical embodiment of the ancient patriarchy. The different representatives very believable avatars of their differing philosophies; their clashes quite dramatic, as a rousing philosophical debate lurks just beneath the surface of this fantasy tale.

As for any negative with the novel, the main one I had was the huge amount of page time spent on the establishment of the Angels’ colony. I certainly understood why all these actions needed to be taken to ensure the survival of the ship, but it was too much of a good thing for me personally. I can’t read about farming and furniture making but so long before my mind tends to wander to other things.

A lesser complaint but still one nonetheless is the characterization of Captain Ryba and Engineer Nylan. As the story progresses, the former’s single minded implement of a matriarchy grew tiresome. Her explanations for her discriminatory behavior half-hearted. Her rationalizations regarding her gender being held back in Angelic society ringing somewhat false. And Nylan really did not act as a counterpoint to Ryba. The fact he spent most of his time engrossed in his self-doubt and self-loathing, making no attempt to confront Ryba’s behavior, left the struggle between the two gender avatars without any true conflict.

All in all though, Fall of Angels was a fine Recluce adventure filled with detailed world building and a compelling look at the clash between the patriarchy and the matriarchy. If you are already a longtime reader of Modesitt’s saga or just someone interested in taking a peak at this fantastical place, then this legendary tale in the history of Recluce will certainly be an entertaining one which you shouldn’t pass on.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that as part of the Recluce celebration Tor will be re-released the first three Saga of Recluce books October 2018 with stunning new artwork by artist Marc Simonetti. Check all the news about the saga at Tor.com or take a look at the awesomeness below!

RecluceSaga-covers

Purchase the book at Amazon

Posted in 4 Stars, Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments