MANIFEST DELUSIONS MADNESS: MICHAEL R. FLETCHER’S TOP TEN FAVORITE GEISTESKRANKEN

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Earlier today, I posted my Top 5 Geisteskranken, but the Doppels were not completely satisfied with my picks (Those guys can get so damn picky at times.), which is why they instructed me to go directly to the source of their madness: Michael R. Fletcher.

fletcher-madnessAfter much begging, pleading, and more than a few threats from my Doppels, Mr. Fletcher was more than willing to manifest some of his delusions for your reading pleasure.  Sure, he had to don the robe and cool glasses to get into the right frame of mind, but, eventually, the madness took hold and his list materialized before my eyes.  So with that I (and my Doppels) encourage everyone to sit back and enjoy this list from the Master of Madness himself!

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The mad Wraith of Books has demanded my top ten favourite Geisteskranken (delusionists) and I must obey!

Realistically, this list changes depending on who/what I’m writing. But at this very moment…


10) Mirrorist (Catoptrophobia)

mirror-mirrorSome believe the reflection in a mirror is someone other than themselves. Some Mirrorists believe their reflections know things, can see the future, or travel freely between different mirrors (useful for long distance communication). Others believe mirrors are portals to other worlds or dimensions. Some Mirrorists fear their reflections are trying to escape where others fear their reflections are trying to drag them into the mirror.

9) Körperidentität

Body Integrity Disorder: The belief life would be so better as an amputee. The feeling is accompanied by the actual urge to amputate one or more healthy limbs to actually follow through on those feelings.

8) Befallen

(Ekbom’s Syndrome): Believe they are infested with parasites, bugs, or insects crawling on or under the skin.

7) Kleptic

(Kleptomaniac): Are compelled to steal things (usually of little or no value). They are often not even aware they’ve committed the theft.

6) Getrennt

depersonalization(Depersonalization Disorder): Disconnected from one’s body, detached from own thoughts and feelings. Disconnected from reality. These folks often feel as if they live in a dream state (some will deny reflection in a mirror is theirs, and can be confused with Mirrorists. Some have out-of-body experiences. Depression, low self-esteem, panic attacks, self harm, and extreme phobias often result. Some feel as though time is ‘passing’ them by and they are not in the notion of the present. Getrennt are also often comorbidic and suffer from Unwirklichkeit (Derealization). Typically caused by: traumatic experiences including childhood abuse, accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, panic attacks and bad drug experiences. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions. (from wikipedia).

5) Dysmorphic

(Dysmorphic Syndrome): These folks are overly worried about a perceived defect in their physical features. They want to look different so badly their appearance actually changes. Due to their obsession, they are unable to see the changes and still think themselves defective. Many believe they are so unspeakably hideous they are unable to interact with others. This will eventually spiral out of control. Most Dysmorphics eventually withdraw from society and end in suicide. Many become abnormally thin, muscled, large-breasted, or exaggerated specimens of physical perfection…in one area.

4) Hassebrand

(Pyromaniac): Set fires as an outlet for their repressed rage and loneliness.

3) Doppelgangist

doppel(Syndrome of Subjective Doubles): Believe a double (called a Doppel) of themselves is carrying out independent actions. It is possible for a powerful Doppelgangist to manifest more than one Doppel. Doppels are aspects of the original person’s personality. Sometimes parts of themselves they hate, or manifestations of who they wish they were. Sometimes Doppels appear as exact copies of the original, whle others can manifest as twisted versions or even look like completely different people–depending on the delusions of the insane. In outward appearance Doppelgangists and their Doppels can be mistaken for Mehrere as both manifest as multiple people. Mehrere, however, are true schizophrenics and suffer from multiple–and often completely different–personalities.

2) Cotardist

(Cotard’s Syndrome): Believe they are dead. Often combined with the belief they are rotting or missing internal organs.

1) Gefahrgeist:

sociopath(Sociopath): Sociopaths have limited ability to feel for the pain and suffering of others. They are driven by their need to achieve and rule in social circles. Sociopaths make such great characters! I love trying to get into that frame of mind, writing a character who is continually looking for a way to spin every encounter to their advantage.

Hope you enjoyed yet another installment of the Manifest Delusions Madness.  Keep checking back for even more demented fun!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

Of if you can’t wait for that then purchase the books at Amazon

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MANIFEST DELUSIONS MADNESS: TOP 5 WEDENSDAY

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Most every Wednesday, I participate in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group topic meme, but this week I’ve decided (with lots of help from my the Doppels) that since they are in charge, we are going to do a top five dedicated to one of the most amazing aspects of Michael R. Fletcher’s Manifest Delusions series: the Geisteskranken (crazy people capable of warping reality with their delusions).  So enjoy . . . and don’t stare into mirrors too long.  You’ve see why in a second.

pyromaniac5. Hassebrand: (Pyromaniac) 

These guys can set fires to anything using their delusions of repressed rage and loneliness as fuel for the burning inferno they create.  The only problem is the fire inside is burning them up faster than the outside one they create.

mirrorist4. Mirrorist: (Catoptrophobia)

These individuals believe the reflection in a mirror is someone other than themselves. Most Mirrorists believe their reflections know things, can see the future, or travel freely between different mirrors (useful for long distance communication). Some others even believe mirrors are portals to other worlds or dimensions. The Mirrorists featured in Manifest Delusions generally live inf ear that their reflections are constantly planning, scheming and preparing to escape at any time, determined to drag the real person into the mirror and the reflection take their place in the real world.

plastic-surgery3. Dysmorphic: (Dysmorphic Syndrome)

These Geisteskranken are consumed with worries over perceived defects in their physical features. They want to look different so badly their appearance actually changes. Due to their obsession, they are unable to see the changes and still think themselves defective. Many believe they are so unspeakably hideous they are unable to interact with others. This will eventually spiral out of control. Most Dysmorphics withdraw from society and end in suicide. Many become abnormally thin, muscled, large-breasted, or exaggerated specimens of physical perfection…in one area.  Think today’s celebrities.

werewolf.png2. Therianthrope: (Therianthropy)

These guys believe they are possessed by (or sometimes were born with) animal spirits. Many believe they can transform partially (or completely) into their animal form.  All of which means that their dreams of being a dragon or unicorn or anything else will become a reality the more they slip into complete insanity.

doppels1. Doppelgangist: (Syndrome of Subjective Doubles)

My favorite of the crazy bunch is the Doppelgangist, who believe their double (called a Doppel) is running around the world living their own independent life. Hell, some powerful Doppelgangist don’t stop with jsut one copy of themselves but manifest more than one Doppel. Doppels are aspects of the original person’s personality. Sometimes parts of themselves they hate, or manifestations of who they wish they were. Sometimes Doppels appear as exact copies of the original, while others can manifest as twisted versions or even look like completely different people—depending on the delusions of the insane. In outward appearance Doppelgangists and their Doppels can be mistaken for Mehrere as both manifest as multiple people. Mehrere, however, are true schizophrenics and suffer from multiple—and often completely different—personalities.

And that short list is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg folks, because Michael R. Fletcher’s mind has dreamed up a whole world of psychotic users of magic.  These Geisteskranken turning the world into their own mad playground.

You can learn more about these guys and discover even more Geisteskranken if you read through the author’s Rules of Responsive Reality, which starts in Part I: Defining Geisteskranken, continues with Part II: Explaining the Scope of the Power, and ends here at Bookwraiths with Part III: Types of Geisteskranken (though Mr. Fletcher’s mind keeps coming up with even more bizarre types).

Purchase the books at Amazon

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MANIFEST DELUSIONS MADNESS: BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY

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RUN! RUN! THE DOPPELS HAVE ESCAPED AND THE MADNESS IS COMING! IT’S COMING!

Oh, hell, it is already here. And that is a good thing.  You see, Manifest Delusion Madness has arrived at Bookwraiths and is going to be with us through Christmas. Each and every day dedicated to letting everyone know all about Michael R. Fletcher’s amazing grimdark series, Manifest Delusions. So keep checking back each day as we try to fill this week with tons of interesting and intriguing information for you!

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the-mirrors-truthThe Mirror’s Truth by Michael R. Fletcher

Genre: Fantasy — Grimdark

Series: Manifest Delusions #2

Publisher: Self Published (December 15, 2016)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 455 pages

Where belief defines reality, delusions are both strength and curse: The deeper you sink into madness the more powerful you become. But that power comes with a price. Your darkest nightmares hunt you at night. The face in the mirror hates you and wants to be free. Your fears manifest and plot your destruction.

******

Bedeckt defined himself by the list of crimes he was unwilling to commit. It was such a short list. How could straying from it have gone so wrong?

Now Bedeckt must undo the damage caused by wandering from his precious list. The Geborene god seeks to remake the world with his obsessive need for cleanliness and perfection, but Bedeckt is going to bring him down. Nothing can stop him. Not even death.

The two friends he abandoned in the Afterdeath chase after Bedeckt, bent on revenge. Psychotic assassins hunt him. Something cold and evil follows, lurking in the clouds above, shredding reality with its delusions. Madness and sanity war, stretching and tearing the very fabric of existence.

The dead shall rise.

MICHAEL FLETCHERAuthor Bio

Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author. His novel, Beyond Redemption, a work of dark fantasy and rampant delusion, was published by HARPER Voyager and has garnered much praise among reviewers everywhere.  The Mirror’s Truth is the continuation of the story begun in Beyond Redemption.

His début novel, 88, a cyberpunk tale about harvesting children for their brains, was released by Five Rivers Publishing in 2013. 88 is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and elsewhere.

Swarm and Steel, the next novel set in the world of Manifest Delusions, is set to be released by Talos Press (an imprint of Skyhorse/Night Shade Books) in August of 2017.

Follow Michael Fletcher at: Website | Twitter

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With thanks to the author, this giveaway will be for one autographed copy of Beyond Redemption and The Mirror’s Truth. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. To enter, check out the Rafflecopter giveaway.  The winner will be randomly selected, then be notified by email of your great victory!

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THE LAST WISH

the-last-wishThe Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Witcher #1

Publisher: Orbit (December 14, 2008)

Author Information: Website

Length: 388 pages

My Rating: 4 stars

Before picking up The Last Wish, I was briefed by my friends on what to expect, prepared to experience a pulp fiction story similar to Robert E. Howard’s Conan and Michael Moorcock’s Elric, so I was not surprised to find this novel a “frame” tale collecting a series of unrelated short stories.  Certainly, I could see that there was an overarching plot right under the surface, but the fascinating thing about this volume was the unique spin on old fairy tales, the compelling introduction to the main character.  And so — for the type of book it was — this initial installment of The Witcher series was was a damn fine read.

The protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is a witcher: A man trained and transformed to hunt and destroy monsters.  In his world, monsters — few though they may be — still torment humankind, and to be rid of their threat, nobles and commoners alike are willing to employ witchers to hunt down and destroy these creatures.  But though he and his fellow witchers are useful, Geralt’s kind is not loved, but viewed as a necessary evil at best, charlatans at worst.  Even worse is the reality that as witchers go about ridding the world of vile threat, they are, in reality, slowly creating a world which does not need or want them in society.  This inevitable situation leading Geralt to struggle to find a balance in life, second guessing his decisions and, ultimately, causing him to look for a new place to create a new life.

Obviously, my favorite part of The Last Wish was getting to know Geralt; the tidbits of information about his past and his hopes for the future delectable morsels that I savored, even as I was thrilled by his pulse-pounding monster hunting adventures.  The horror infused and moody atmosphere of many of his adventures especially compelling.

As for criticisms, I don’t have any important ones.  Certainly, the translation from Polish into English did result in a few rough edges and problematic prose here and there, but it wasn’t too distracting.  And, no, I personally did not love Dandelion very much (though I realize other readers seem to adore him); his more humorous personality detracting from the moody atmosphere which otherwise prevailed around Geralt at all times.  But these were minor issues in the scope of the reading experience.

Overall, The Last Wish was a great introduction to The Witcher series.  This book delivering a nice collection of stories which introduced me to this world, entertained me with intriguing adventures, and inspired me to carry on with Andrzej Sapkowski’s well loved fantasy series.  Definitely, I want more of the dark, brooding magic of the initial stories in this volume, but I am willing to endure more Dandelion if that is the only way I can see where Geralt’s path takes him.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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BOOK TRAVELING THURSDAY: A FAVORITE BOOK FROM 2016

booktravelingthursdays5Book Traveling Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Catia and Danielle.  Each week everyone picks a book related to that week’s theme, then you write a blog post explaining explain why you choose that book and spotlight all the different covers from different countries. To find out more check out about BTT go to the Goodreads group!

This week’s theme is: A Favorite Books from 2016!

There were a lot of great books I discovered this year.  Some I had a feeling I’d love, while a few were total surprises.  Many of these novels were new releases, but more than a few were older stories that I had somehow missed or overlooked when they were initially released.  One in the later category is the book I’ve chosen to highlight today.

ORIGINAL COVER

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There were many covers to choice from which could have been the original version.  Obviously, there was an original Polish cover, but there were many more from other countries as well.  Ultimately, I attempted to find the original English language book.  Hopefully, I picked the correct one, if not, please let me know.

FAVORITE COVERS

All of these covers capture the sword and sorcery vibe of The Last Wish.  Certainly, they are all similar in style, but I suppose since I like the image of the Witcher they are presenting that fact does not bother me very much.

LEAST FAVORITE COVERS

There is nothing horrible about any of these covers.  I mean, they are certainly serviceable, if not eye-catching.  For whatever reason though, I do not really like any of them.  It isn’t that I hate them, but they are fairly MEH to me.

So what do you think?  Agree or disagree?

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WAITING ON WEDNESDAY — EMPIRE GAMES

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Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let readers share their excitement for books coming out soon, and the novel I’m eagerly awaiting is . . .

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empire-gamesEmpire Games by Charles Stross

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Empire Games #1

Publisher:  Tor Books (January 17, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 336 pages

The year is 2020. It’s seventeen years since the Revolution overthrew the last king of the New British Empire, and the newly-reconstituted North American Commonwealth is developing rapidly, on course to defeat the French and bring democracy to a troubled world. But Miriam Burgeson, commissioner in charge of the shadowy Ministry of Intertemporal Research and Intelligence—the paratime espionage agency tasked with catalyzing the Commonwealth’s great leap forward–has a problem. For years, she’s warned everyone: “The Americans are coming.” Now their drones arrive in the middle of a succession crisis—the leader of the American Commonwealth is dying and the vultures are circling.

In another timeline, the U.S. has recruited Rita, Miriam’s estranged daughter, to spy across timelines and bring down any remaining world-walkers who might threaten national security. But her handlers are keeping information from her.

Two nuclear superpowers are set on a collision course. Two increasingly desperate paratime espionage agencies are fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a solution to the first contact problem that doesn’t result in a nuclear holocaust. And two women—a mother and her long-lost, adopted daughter—are about to find themselves on opposite sides of the confrontation.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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REMNANTS OF TRUST

remnants-of-trustRemnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Genre: Science Fiction – Military

Series: Central Corps #2

Publisher: Harper Voyager (November 8, 2016)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 528 pages

My Rating: 3.5 stars

 

Remnants of Trust, the second installment in Elizabeth Bonesteel’s Central Corps series, is a military science fiction story not to be overlooked by fans of the genre.  Certainly, readers who enjoyed book one, The Cold Between, will find more to love here (able to be better appreciate the evolution of the returning characters), but anyone can pick this novel up and be fully engaged in a rousing and complex scifi story without any prior experience with this universe.

Right out of the gate, the trouble begins brewing; Captain Grey Foster and Commander Elena Shaw finding that the quiet sector of space they were assigned to patrol (as punishment for previous activities) isn’t quite so quiet, as another Central ship is attacked by pirates.  Unlooked-for, a PSI ship called the Orunmila comes to the rescue, helping to stop the Exeter from being completely destroyed.  Immediately, though, the victory begins to loose its luster: political machinations and hidden traitors seeming to multiply by the second, casting a pale of tension and fear over everything.

Built upon multiple points of view, Remnants is a story about characters.  Lots of them, in fact.  The narrative constantly shifting focus between all the diverse cast of people portrayed here.  At times, these people are focused on individual feelings, concerns, or relationships; other times they are focused on the swirling events slowly mounting around them.  Elizabeth Bonesteel slowly piercing together the overall plot from these personal scenes, tying all of them together with an interlocking story of two ships and crews caught in a difficult situation, surrounded by hidden dangers.

Other than the realistic tone of this military scifi (which is wonderfully done), the most praiseworthy aspect of Remnants is its complete diversity.  Different races, sexes, sexual orientations and more integrated together, creating an ultra modern and enlightened society, which many readers will appreciate tremendously.  All this accomplished in such an organic, seamless manner that,at no time, does it feel forced or stilted.

My main issue with this book was the romance/relationship aspects of the narrative.  Not having read book one, much of the background circumstances which led our cast to their individual places in life was lost to me, but what I did fully grasp made me want to say “Enough already!” with the feelings.  I mean, in dangerous situations, I just found it hard to swallow that emotional, romantic thoughts would be at the forefront of a person’s mind, but, perhaps, I am merely being a cynical, middle aged white guy.

Regardless of my dislike of certain plot lines, I would recommend Remnants of Trust to all military science fiction fans.  This novel has several dynamic action sequences, hits the target with the military tone, fills you up with nefarious suspense and mystery, and has a diverse cast of characters.  Sure, love is in the air (or, at least, pangs of it), but it is an engaging story nonetheless.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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FUNDAY MONDAY, OR THE BOOKS THAT WILL HELP ME SURVIVE THE WEEK AHEAD (DECEMBER 12, 2016)

funday-monday

The work week begins. I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. But while I try to fool myself into being excited about the grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by reading some great books.

Well, work, shopping, and holiday celebrations are tiring me out, which means my reading is getting impacted.  I’m trying not to get frustrated with all the rushing around though and doing my best to enjoy all this holiday cheer.  Hope you are as well!

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alien-morningAlien Morning by Rick Wilber

Genre: Science Fiction — First Contact

Series: S’hudonni #1

Publisher: Tor Books (November 8, 2016)

Author Information: Website |  Blog |  Facebook

Length: 304 pages

Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media with sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, immersing the audience in another person’s experience.

By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S’hudonni.

The S’hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for, Heather Newsome a scientist chosen by the S’hudonni to act as their liason. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she seems. But Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over long-standing family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed.

Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about the S’hudonni, and about his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.

Purchase the book at Amazon


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one-night-in-sixesOne Night in Sixes by Arianne “Tex” Thompson

Genre: Weird Western

Series: Children of the Drought #1

Publisher: Solaris Books (July 29, 2014)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 464 pages

The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient earthly gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

If he ever wants to go home again, he’d better find his missing partner before they do. But if he’s caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth that lives in his own flesh – and discovering just how far he’ll go to survive the night.

Purchase the book at Amazon

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THE SPIRIT WELL

Return to Windemere in THE SPIRIT WELL!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Born from the light and darkness, Dariana can no longer avoid her fate.

The final corrupted temple stands between the champions and Baron Kernaghan having their great battle. Only one problem: the Compass Key refuses to work with Dariana, who long ago wiped all memories of the Spirit Well from her mind. Now, they are forced to follow a trail of clues that Dariana’s former self left behind centuries ago. It is a path that will lead the champions into a part of their friend’s past that could tear them all apart.

Will the bonds of friendship be stronger than the call of blood?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: I’m Sorry . . . Again

“I’m sorry, but I told you that my powers make the Compass Key argumentative when it comes to the Spirit Well,” Dariana sheepishly explains while rubbing her clear ring. She smiles when Fizzle lands on her head, the drite’s cool tail running down her spine. “This is very scary for me. None of the champions have made it to this temple, much less the final battle with my father. It’s hard to take in after this destiny being my entire life for so long. I used to always dream of how I would handle my temple, but things are different now that it’s no longer a distant dream. What if I make a mistake and get someone killed?”

“We trust you, my friend, and know that you will not fail,” Timoran whispers as he slides the Compass Key across the table. He is confused when the relic sparks at her touch and gets pushed back into his hand. “That is fairly disheartening. If you cannot use the Compass Key then there is no way to find this Spirit Well. Perhaps it does not like your physical touch and will respond to your telepathy. I wonder why the gods would create this obstacle.”

“It’s possible that we did this,” Delvin suggests while using one of his enchanted rings to create a delicious cup of coffee. He gestures for the barbarian to throw the relic over to him, but the red-haired barbarian refuses. “You’re right, Timoran. Probably not a good idea to toss something like that around. Anyway, we had the Compass Key warded against agents of the Baron. They aren’t able to see it, which means they can’t find or use it. The decision made sense at the time, but things are different now. Maybe our spell has a small effect on Dariana. Not saying you’re working with the Baron, but there could be enough of an aural touch to cause this problem. Do you think we should cancel the spells, Nyx?”

The channeler heats up a cup of tea, which she sips at while considering the possibility of her magic being the issue. “They should stay because I don’t think they’re the problem. Dariana said this has happened before, which means the gods made a mistake. Sorry for how that came out. Gabriel, who better not get angry at this conversation, created the Compass Key first and then turned Dariana into a champion. He couldn’t fix the problem thanks to the Law of Influence, so it’s remained all this time. Though he had to have created something to help us move on.”

“Maybe we have to find Isaiah and he’ll lead the way,” Sari says from the couch. Flipping to her feet, she joins her friends and immediately takes a strawberry off Luke’s plate. “He hasn’t been much help since the first temple, so one has to wonder what his purpose is. I doubt we need his protection any more, which means he has to have another role to play. What do you think, Dari?”

The telepath rubs her temples while scanning the city for a sign of the fireskin, part of her praying he is not nearby. Dariana finds evidence that Isaiah has been spying on them until recently, but the caster is long gone. She considers tracking the faint trail and goes as far as the outer wall, which is where the psychic tracks make an odd leap into the sky. The strain of following Isaiah any further makes Dariana pull back and return to find that everyone is staring at her again. Realizing that she can no longer delay the inevitable, she gets out of her chair and kneels to her friends. Fizzle is still clinging to her head, which makes the apologetic bow both amusing and awkward.

“I know I say this a lot, but I really am sorry, my friends,” Dariana states while keeping her forehead pressed to the stone floor. She looks up at the sound of rustling feet and is surprised to see that everyone is approaching her. “Long ago, I managed to avoid being put back to sleep long enough to track down the Spirit Well. My curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to know where my path would meet its end. I was still forced to wipe my memory of the location, but I do know that I left a map behind. There are a few clues that I buried in my subconscious where even I could not dislodge them after erasing the original discovery. More may come to me as we get closer, but all I know now is that we should go to Rodillen. I was hoping the Compass Key would work and we could avoid this extra journey.”

“Like our luck would be that good,” Nyx mutters while she helps Dariana stand.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
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Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

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Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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THE LAST SACRIFICE

the-last-sacrificeThe Last Sacrifice by James A. Moore

Genre: Fantasy — Sword and Sorcery

Series: Tides of War #1

Publisher: Angry Robot (January 3, 2017)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Length: 400 pages

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

As a huge fan of James A. Moore’s Seven Forges series, I was beyond excited to get my hands on an advanced reading copy of his new series.  Now, I won’t lie: At first, every page, every new character, every new adventure I read in this new book made me wish I was reading another Seven Forges story.  This wasn’t because The Last Sacrifice was boring or less compelling, but because I just love that other sword and sorcery series so much.  As I continued on with the novel however, I soon grew to appreciate this tale just as much; the narrative fast paced, inventive, and infused with enough horrific elements to make this one wild ride!

Everything gets rolling when a tough-as-nails mercenary named Brogan returns home to his family.  Killer he may be, but Brogan loves his wife and family more than anything.  So when he dismounts at his abandoned house, he is immediately alarmed.  When he is told by a neighbor that the Grakhul — immortal servants of the gods — took his loved ones away, he is terrified to the core, for the Grakhul only take people they intend to offer to the gods as human sacrifices!

In spite of his overwhelming fear and a life time of awe of the Grakhul, Brogan puts together a rescue party, determined to steal back his family from certain death.  The whispered fears from his companions that an attack on the Grakhul is an act of defiance against the gods of no concern to our mercenary.  What difference does it make to him if the whole world suffers if he is made to live without his loved ones.

Immediately, innumerable ripples spread across the world from Brogan’s actions.  People and places unknown to our bereaved husband and father engulfed in the rising tide of divine wrath.  The world itself beginning to teeter upon the edge of ruin, as the anger of the divine pours out upon it!

I hope that description peaks your interest, because The Last Sacrifice is a sword and sorcery tale not to be missed.  Another genre blender from James A. Moore, this story pushes the normal limits of standard sword and sorcery, creating a unique and addictive concoction.

First, Mr. Moore provides a heaping dose of horror with his fantasy.  Not gore or gloom like so many grimdark offerings, but true horror elements of brooding tension and suspense, terrifying creatures, and skin crawling scenes of good and bad people meeting their end.  All of this so perfectly integrated into the mix that they never seem out of place.

Second, the characters are much more than cardboard cut out good guys and bad guys.  Each person here is portrayed in their own shade of grey.  Good guys do questionable deeds, while villains’ actions are not always evil.  Each person given an opportunity to showcase (even if only briefly) the “why” of who and what they are.

Third, while there is action, combat, and supernatural elements galore, the real focus of the narrative is the plot itself.  Sure, an author being concerned with the plot isn’t anything unusual, but, in my experience, too many sword and sorcery stories have suffered from the plot being subservient to the action, which might have been fine decades ago when fantasy was more along the lines of pulp fiction, but it does not work today.  Readers today expect quality fantasy stories, demanding more from their reading experience than merely a muscle-bound hero with mighty sinews throwing a terrified maiden over his shoulder, as he fights off magical horrors.  And Mr. Moore understands this, delivering compelling individual stories along with an epic, overarching adventure tale.

As for deficiencies in The Last Sacrifice, I would point to the over abundance of point of view characters.  I personally found there to be too many of them.  So many, in fact, I never felt as if they were getting enough page time from their creator.  Sure, they all did get repeated turns in the spotlight, but the duration was too short for me to build a strong bond with any of them, which meant I found myself not as emotionally involved in their lives as I would have wished to be.  Others might find this a minor issue however, but I felt I should, at least, mention it.

With The Last Sacrifice, James A. Moore has triumphed yet again, delivering a modern sword and sorcery tale to delight old and new fans of the genre.  With its intriguing premise, stellar cast of characters, and flavorful horror elements, this is damn good stuff.  So good in fact, any reader, whatever genre they prefer, can’t go wrong with picking this novel up and letting themselves be swept up in this epic struggle.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

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Posted in 4 Stars, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments