The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer
4 Stars , Reviews / August 13, 2013

This review was originally posted on Wilder’s Book Review The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer was something fresh and different from much of the fantasy I have been reading lately. There were no swords, mercenaries, knights or many of the other standards currently so common in fantasy. But there was prevalent magic, mages, charms that could contain magic to be used by anyone, and in addition to magic wielding mages, there were children who were Tainted. These children had abilities of their own that defied explanation of the mages which is an interesting concept. I quite enjoyed the magic in this book, it was more along the lines of a Sanderson novel than a Martin or Abercrombie novel and I found that to be a refreshing change of pace. Another component that I think makes this book stand out are Schafer’s vivid descriptions of the mountains and climbing. The author is a Mountain Climber herself and her first hand experiences really enabled her to do a superb job illustrating the mountain setting and the perils of climbing. Obviously when we deal with worlds of fantasy, we can’t expect authors to have first hand experience in all of therir settings. But in this…

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan
5 Stars , Reviews / August 9, 2013

This review was originally posted on Wilder’s Book Review I have to confess I had a copy of Blood Song by Anthony Ryan for over a year before I finally got around to reading it. It is very much my type of book, so I had to wonder why. Really, I think the answer is simple. This book had received so much praise that I was worried my expectations were too high. On top of that, this book was originally self-published and I had to wonder if the praise was because readers had lower expectations of it. Well, now that I have read it, all I can say is: Wow. I have drunk the Blood Song Kool-Aid and join the others in saying this book absolutely deserves the praise and high ratings based on sheer quality. It’s not hype, it’s not based on lower expectations. This book is just an amazing read whether it is self or traditionally published. The setup of this book feels quite familiar. The story starts with Vaelin Al Sorna, a child who is destined to earn himself many names in many legends. That certainly gives potential for a reader to feel like they’ve been there before, read that book. Also…

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
4 Stars , Reviews / August 6, 2013

  This review was originally posted on Fantasy Faction I’ll start off by saying that I am a big fan of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations. Most of the books I prefer are dark, gritty and have characters, that are at best, morally ambiguous. Riyria Revelations is not that. (Although a strong argument could be made against Royce’s moral compass, so perhaps he does hit that check mark.) Seriously though, Riyria Revelations is a straight up adventure story with a very fun duo of thieves in the middle of it. You could try to label them with the typical roles that duos fall into Good Cop (Hadrian), Bad Cop (Royce), Brawn (Hadrian), Brains (Royce), and so on. However, Sullivan turns the characters into more than just the generic stereotypes, and the interplay between the two is great fun. Because of my high opinion of Riyria Revelations, I was very excited to hear about Riyria Chronicles.Riyria Chronicles is a duology that consists of The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn. The pair of books serve as a prequel story, telling the tale of how Royce and Hadrian met and became the team of thieves we are familiar with from Riyria Revelations. My review covers the first of those books, The Crown…