Review: Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
4 Stars , Reviews / May 16, 2016

Children of Earth and Sky is Kay’s latest novel, set in war torn lands. The cast is comprised of a variety of characters, characters that are unlikely companions, crossing paths only by chance. As with Kay’s other books, this is set in a fictional land/world, but quite closely matches our own. There are a good number of characters in this, but I think it works extremely well as it helps give perspectives and information from a variety of sources. This always helps paint a broader picture. As one might expect, this world can brutal, and there are great hardships that help steer our characters onto their current courses. Danica is a determined young woman, set of on vengeance for the loss of her family. She is fiercely independent and not afraid of calculated risks. Honestly, she does not seem to fear much in this world. Perhaps that comes from losing so much. At some point, what is left to fear when everyone you love is dead or taken? She is also extremely talented with the bow and has worked to earn her place among the raiders (pirates) of Senjan. This sets her on her course for the book, her life…

The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
5 Stars , Reviews / February 12, 2014

  Guy Gavriel Kay has been on my “must try” list for years. I have heard him recommended so many times and I have come across devoted fans that will praise his prose endlessly. And on top of that, he writes stand-alone novels, so there is no fear of commitment here. With all of that, I have no idea why I have not read one of his novels previously. But, I nominated The Lions of Al-Rassan for one of my book club reads and happily it won. No more excuses, it was time to actually read. So, now that I have read it, do I think it is worthy of the praise I have heard? Absolutely. Kay’s prose is just wonderful to read. Lions of Al-Rassan is a historical fantasy with very little magic. Similar to K. J. Parker’s work, this one is a fictional world that mirrors ours. But the strengths of this book are different than Parker. Kay’s prose has a more fluid feel, while Parker has more mystery/layers. I don’t think one is better than the other; they just have a little bit different feel reading them, even though in some ways they are similar. One of…

The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker
5 Stars , Reviews / September 7, 2013

The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker is so spectacularly different; I can’t help but love it. But, unfortunately, I am certain that this is not a book everyone will love. K. J. Parker delves into the intricacies of war and economics in detail that will lose some readers. As much as I enjoyed the book, I have to admit it could get almost a bit dry at points. Almost, but not quite. It could have very easily been dry if done by a different author, but Parker managed to balance all the information, made it interesting, and also inserted a  sardonic sense of humor that really gave the book an edge.  Honestly, I think that detail is part of the reason why I loved the book. To me, this story is so much closer to reality than any other fiction or fantasy book I have read. Yes, Basso and his world do not exist, but the concepts and the way they were presented were so relatable to our world you’d have to actively make an effort to stay blind to it. “I’m corrupt and ruthless and I change the world for my own personal gain. Which is why it’s so good…

The City by Stella Gemmell
4 Stars , Reviews / May 24, 2013

This review was originally posted on Wilder’s Book Review   Simply put, Stella Gemmell’s The City is awash in blood. The story lays out the gory ravages of a centuries old war to both citizens of the city, as well as all those that oppose it. This war has come to a point where there can be no winners. Each side has dehumanized the other and will fight until there is no one left to lift a sword. Which does not seem far off. Generations have been lost and life within the city walls has become so harsh and abhorrent that children have been relegated to a hard life in the underground tunnels, passageways, and sewers, fending for themselves.   The City is more about the city than any one person and it is very much a good vs. evil tale without moral ambiguity. At least that is how it seems. The Emperor encapsulates the role of ‘Evil’. All though, it is an Evil somewhat unknown because he has been sheltered and isolated from even his own people. He has been ruling since before anyone can remember and appears to have lost all compassion for his people, if he ever had any.   The individuals…