Moon’s Artifice by Tom Lloyd
4.5 Stars , Reviews / April 21, 2014

  Tom Lloyd’s Moon’s Artifice may very well be the least talked about book from the last 6 months that people really should be talking about. At least of the books I have read. Earlier this year I deemed a new release over-hyped. This one is the opposite. It’s under-hyped. After reading it, I decided that I have not heard nearly enough people recommend or review it based the quality of writing and the enjoyability of the story. I have not read anything else by Lloyd, so really did not know what to expect. One thing that this book did very well was hooked me in early. We are dropped into the middle of “something”, but pretty much have to read the book to figure out exactly what it was that happened. And from there, I stayed hooked. There is mystery, assassins, Gods, Demons, conspiracy, secret sects, in other words, there is plenty going on here to keep the reader going. Our protagonist, Narin, is an Inspector who by some chance sequence of events happens to knock an unknown man unconscious. From here, the story starts to unfold. A God appears and asks Narin a question, “Who is the Moon?”…

Dreams and Shadows by Robert C. Cargill
4 Stars , Reviews / October 25, 2013

  Dreams and Shadows by Rober C. Cargill will open your eyes to the darker side of the fae as it illustrates a very interesting take on fairy tales. The creepy, disturbing, and frankly terrifying nature they bring to the human world.  The story follows the life of two boys. Ewan, who was raised among the magical and mystical creatures in the Limestone Kingdom and Colby, who lived a more normal human life. Each boy lived in a separate world than the other has ever known. That is until their paths cross. Cargill has crafted an eerie setting where familiar beings of folklore are introduced to and interwoven with a world that on the surface appears much like ours.  In this world however, a suspicious look, a glimpse of movement in the shadows, or just a feeling that something is terribly wrong could be much more than just your imagination. Ewan, born to an idyllic family should have led a normal happy life surrounded by love and nurtured by his adoring parents. But, that was not the path his life took. Instead that picturesque life was stolen from him after he caught the eye of someone from the fairy world….

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan
4 Stars , Reviews / October 13, 2013

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan is a beautifully written epic fantasy. I enjoyed Altered Carbon, but I can’t say I noticed Morgan’s prose as much as I did in this. There are three points of view in this, and I have to admit to a strong preference for Ringil. I feel like he is the star of the book and the other two POVs are there just to support his story. Initially I had trouble connecting with either Archeth or Egar’s chapters. I did come around, but never lost my strong preference for Ringil. There were places that felt the story lagged, so between that and not connecting as strongly with Archeth or Egar I gave the story 4 stars out of 5. Ringil is a fascinating character. He would have been a hero in his world, if not for his open homosexuality. He is every bit the strong warrior, every bit the motivating leader. He is sharp, good with people, but determined to not allow himself to be confined by the restriction of accepted societal norms. Sitting down to write this review, I debated how much to discuss Ringil’s sexuality. Honestly, as a reader and a person,…

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
5 Stars , Reviews / September 23, 2013

  The Republic of Thieves is one of those books that make me second guess all the other 5 star ratings I have doled out this year. In some ways it felt very familiar (in a good way) to go back to reading a story by Lynch. Once again, I love his prose. I love the irreverent nature of the Bastards. In addition to the scheming and thievery, each book so far has shown Locke grow in his relationships with people around him. Lies of Locke Lamora showed Locke grow from independent orphan out for his own survival, to learning to become part of (and lead) a tight knit group of thieves. He evolved and learned to think beyond himself and towards the good of his comrades as well, he learned to appreciate strengths possessed by others and that working together is mutually beneficial. He learned his actions on his own could also have severe results on his allies if he doesn’t take the time to look at the larger picture. In Red Seas under Red Skies, Locke adjusted from being part of a group to becoming part of a pair, a team of two. We saw evolutions in Locke…

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron
4 Stars , Reviews / July 26, 2013

This review was originally posted on Wilder’s Book Review Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder. It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it. The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery it’s just another job. The abbey is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with. Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war… I’ll be honest – it took me a while to read The Red Knight by Miles Cameron. Before I say anything…

Poison by Sarah Pinborough
4 Stars , Reviews / May 26, 2013

  Poison by Sarah Pinborough will take you for a wicked ride through fairy tales as you have never before imagined them. It is a fresh, and slightly naughty twist on the stories we all know and have grown up with. It has a comfortable familiarity as many different characters, tales and settings are twisted, bent, and woven back together with Pinborough’s signature on them. A signature that brings the characters to life and makes them much more real and relatable while retaining their fantastical traits that have always defined them. No longer are the dwarves a people happy to mine all day for the benefit of others. Now they are lower class citizens, enslaved by the kingdom, taking on a rougher, dirtier appearance than we are used to. But Pinborough manages to still portray them as a people full of fun and camaraderie. And of course, their beloved friend, the princess called Snow White is still much loved by people and nature, but now she has a more carefree, reckless way to her fun in the forest. And a penchant for enjoying all of the earthy pleasures afforded her. What fairy tale could be complete without an evil, wicked witch of a stepmother?…