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Avenge the Silenced

Avenge the Silenced (Reverence Book 8) by [Landeros, Joshua]

It has been a full trilogy of books, since we have come back to the main timeline of Joshua Landeros’ Reverence series. Having established an entire prequel series to flesh out his world, Landeros has come back to deal with the fallout and what is left of the UNR. Both sides have taken huge losses, but neither will retreat. And it will be up to the last Marconi, Damien, to rally the surviving UNR Cabinet to lead the country into this brave new future. Meanwhile, the Crimson Angels are in a difficult place, despite their successful strike on the International Summit. Gabriella will have to pick up these pieces and decide who she trusts more. All of this coming to a head to see who will end up in a grave or standing astride it, in this new installment of an epic military science fiction saga.

It is refreshing to be back in uncharted waters, having spent so long in the past, and Landeros ensures readers hit the ground running and wondering where all of our heroes of the past have landed after the last battle. The tension ramps up with little effort and with trademark pacing. The story unfolds with our cast of characters struggling against one another as they seek to either win the upper hand or to make sure they enforce justice.

Landeros’ prose continues to improve with each installment and his stories are becoming more and more complex, rather than a simple military sci-fi thriller they initial books were when the series began years ago. It is a pleasure to see how an author has not only grown, but developed his own flavor in the genre as well. This is another solid entry in the ongoing series and it shows little sign of slowing or stopping anytime soon!

Fans of military fiction or military science fiction should already have Avenge the Silenced on pre-order. Readers, who enjoy gritty action among thought provoking themes would also find themselves quite intrigued with this book.

Pages: 366 | ASIN:B07NNV7GKB

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It Might Be Magical

Sherry Leclerc Author Interview

Sherry Leclerc Author Interview

The Dragon Shifters at Southgate is the second book in your Seer Series. Was this a natural continuation of the first book or did you want things to develop organically while writing?

All the novels in The Seers Series are part of the same over-arching story. While they each have a complete storyline in themselves, they leave a bigger question open to be answered down the road as the series ties up. They are all pieces of the puzzle that will come together to form a complete picture in the end. Readers will see this especially in the last planned book of the series.

That said, there are some things I don’t plan down to the minute details while I am outlining and planning, because there are aspects I want to occur more organically. This is especially true for conversations between main characters, for example. I know where I want a scene to go, but I try to let dialogue occur naturally, so to speak. How would this one character, for example, respond to what another character says of does? Obviously, there is “craft” in the formulation of every scene, but I don’t want to force words or actions on a character who wouldn’t naturally say or do them just for the sake of meeting a certain end.

The lore surrounding the ley lines and dragonkin is intricate and well developed. What is your strategy for building your world?

To bring it right down to the basics, it all needs to make sense to me. Even if the readers don’t get to see all the details or know all the background, I need to answer those questions for myself—the ones I wonder about when I read fantasy novels with different characters and magical systems.

I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and the intricacies of his world-building. If you read his lesser known works, such as The Silmarillion, you can see the detail he goes into, right down to how/why Middle Earth was formed, why humans and elves are different, why elves are immortal and so on. The Silmarillion reads almost like a history book. While I don’t believe today’s readers need to know all the details and history of the world and the magic system you are building, if an author has a solid grasp on those elements themselves, they can create better and more realistic worlds—and with fewer plot holes. It might be a magical, impossible world, but if it makes a kind of logical sense then the reader will be more able to relate to it and it will feel more believable.

This was a belief I’d formed over time, being a fan of authors who themselves create well-developed and intricate worlds and magical systems, such as Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. Then, while I was writing The Dragon Shifters at Southgate, I came across Brandon Sanderson’s Laws of Magic. It was a concise way of verbalizing what makes a magical system work. I try to keep these laws—and all the lessons I’ve learned from the masters over time—in mind when I create my own worlds and their lore.

What served as sources of inspiration for you while writing?

Inspiration comes from all over, really. I write in the fantasy genre, but I am often inspired by real-world issues. For example, I try to make gender a non-issue in my books because I believe it should be a non-issue in the real world. Discrimination and segregation based on race is also an issue in my books, because I want to express my belief that we are all equal. Yes, people have differences, but people should be judged on their merits, not on some preconceived notions that don’t really have a place in our modern world. Yes, there may be differences, but why not look to how those differences can compliment each other and add strength to the whole?

If you’ve been following politics and have been active on social media at all, I’m sure you can see that there are a number of things that have taken place over the past couple of years—and things that are still taking place—that have inspired me to make that point even more.

I also find inspiration in books I read, interactions I see at home or on the street, music I hear and so on. Anything from the smallest little details to the largest world issues can be inspiration, really. You never know when inspiration will strike. You just have to be open to seeing it and to using it when it happens.

Where will book three in the series pickup and when will it be available?

Book three picks up with the third seer champion, Edan Carr, and his journeys and struggles as he attempts to fulfil his part and his responsibilities in preparing the realm for what’s to come. As the champion of Westgate, he will be traveling to that gate-town to protect it and its keystone, but he will get waylaid along the way.

There will be a lot of internal angst in this book, as there was in the first two books, but it will be of a different sort. We will meet shifter species that weren’t seen in the first two books. We will also see a lot more of the Dark Sorcerer and learn a lot more about him. We’ll see the beginnings of the “full” story and get a deeper peek into what drives him.

The third book, The Warrior of Westgate, will be available in the fall of 2019.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

The Dragon Shifters at Southgate: Book Two of the Seers Series by [Leclerc, Sherry]A Seer Champion sworn to protect Southgate. A Dragon Shifter Lord sworn to protect his clan. Can they bring their peoples together to defeat the evil forces that threaten to destroy them all?

Seer Champion Talwyn Sevi must protect Southgate and its keystone against the evil forces that threaten their destruction. Knowing she cannot do it alone, she seeks help from a group of reclusive Dragon Shifters. In return, she offers them information vital to their survival. Can Talwyn gain the Dragon Lord’s trust in time to save Southgate and the dragonkin?

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Traveller Inceptio

Traveller Inceptio by [Shackleford, Rob]

If you only read the first few lines of this review, the most important things you should know is that the story being told is both unique and interesting and the writing style is long-winded and full of fascinating detail. The author of this book is clearly adept at delivering a believable scene that has the power to bring readers directly into another world. Readers who read both science-fiction and historical fiction for the sake of reading – that is to say, readers not in any particular hurry to reach the end of the book – will revel in the amount of content delivered in this book.

The plot unfolds over time through the development of three connected story lines, and there is more than enough time for the author to build in strong connections between the story lines that make sense and are believable. The element of time travel is a driving force for the storytelling and it is done with great care. The reader can easily feel when they are exploring Saxon England in the middle of the 11th century and when they are in the present day.

The attention to detail in this book goes beyond what other writers in this genre are able to achieve. The historical accounts throughout the book are rich and the scenes taking place 1000 years ago are clearly laid out. Not only is achieving that level of believability a feat of literary skill, but also displays good historical knowledge. Anyone who reads this book will receive a history lesson, whether they are after one or not.

The detail and depth that Shackleford goes into while taking his readers through this historical fiction/science-fiction novel is something that some might take to be a challenging task but are features that fans of epic fantasy will appreciate. This book is for those who prefer to dig deep and really get into the world of the characters they are reading about. This is, therefore, a book preferred by those who enjoy the journey rather than reaching a destination. Rather fitting, actually, for the type of story that this is.

The character-building is  a central focus in the book. While there is not much to make the characters stand out or seem like they are anything other than ordinary individuals put through extra-ordinary situations, Shackleford ensures his readers feel what the characters are going through.

The skill and research that went into creating this story is commendable but not everyone is a fan of meandering prose. While I may be a fan, it will probably take a lot of people by surprise. In either case, this is an exceptional book that I truly enjoyed.

Pages: 431 | ASIN: B07NZ59G8Y

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The Reflection Backward

R.L. Dean Author Interview

R.L. Dean Author Interview

Greater Things Than Thou is an exciting mix of fantasy and science fiction. What was the inspiration behind this fascinating story?

For me the science-fiction and fantasy element was merely an impetus for the main character’s emotional state. The important element for me is the reflection backward. Old man Patrin spends a lot of time looking back on his life, but more than a summary of events he was involved in we instead get his feelings. Patrin is a person that was never able to move beyond the emotions of his childhood.

Patrin is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some themes you wanted to explore with his character?

The primary theme that runs through Patrin’s life is loss. I think it’s a feeling that we can all relate to, and for the story to be a success it must be relatable to the reader.

There is some deep world building in this book. What were some driving ideals behind the creation of your world?

The world building technique comes from my youth spent playing RPGs. I was always more concerned with the larger picture, because you can paint many stories in it, depending on government, culture, demographics, and so forth. In this our primary setting is the Kingdom of Denion, with roots in a ‘Great Migration’ that took place in the distant past. That past is very important in upcoming novels, because it also explains the origins of the ‘Gift’.

This is book one in the Blood of the Prince series. Where does book two pickup and when will it be available?

Blood of the Prince Book 2: ‘All Things Ruin’ is currently out, at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and some ancillary sites. It picks up about a week after the end of ‘Greater Things than Thou’ and continues Patrin and Xadik’s mission.

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Greater Things Than Thou (Blood of the Prince Book 1) by [Dean, R.L.]

An orphan is told he is meant for greater things …

Gray eyes are the mark of those with the Gift: an inherent ability to connect with otherworldly technology. In a dangerous world filled with thieves and bloodshed, the Gift can change your entire life.

Patrin is one such gifted person, and he knows it’s the only reason he’s alive. As a teenager, rescued from bloodthirsty bandits, Patrin gives his loyalty to Galin, a deposed Crown Prince, promising to help him seize power.

As Galin teaches him about technology, history, and the shifting moralities of man, Patrin must choose where fate will take him. Galin intends for him to assassinate the current king, but Patrin does not know if he can carry out the bloody task.

With the help of new friends and the beautiful Lady Lena, Patrin will have to decide between helping one of the few people who have ever valued him, or forging his own way in a dark and treacherous world.

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The Love of Gods

The Love of Gods (The Legends of the Pale Series Book 1) by [Smith, Tarrant]

 

The Love of Gods, written by Tarrant Smith is the first book in the paranormal romance series, The Legends of the Pale.

The story is an intriguing combination of a murder mystery and love story. As with any good romance, the story has a masculine hero – Lugos.  Despite being a god, Lugos prefers the company of humans. Whilst Lugo is investigating the death of a high-ranking witch his relationship with Keely Ann Lee, a Southern bar tender develops from a simple friendship into romance. Unbeknownst to Keely, Lugos has loved her over several different lifetimes. This time, he will do all he can to protect this mere mortal.

The story is set in Pale, which are a group of supernatural communities, but the characters are spread over different physical locations including Ireland and America.

There is a large and daunting cast of characters, which appear and disappear throughout the book. The author provides a comprehensive character list at the beginning, which is appreciated, but flipping back and forth gets a bit disruptive. The number of characters is further complicated by the fact that these are paranormal characters such as demons, witches, gods, shifters, demigoddesses and familiars. Each character has their own special powers as well as personality and location. That said, it did not take long to get my head around the number of characters and any fan of epic expansive fantasy novels will appreciate the intricate backstory that Tarrant Smith ha created.

Interwoven into the story are both paranormal and human experiences. Characters constantly move from using human technology such as cell phones, luxury cars, classic cars, security systems and Google maps to teleportation and shape shifting. They move from the mundane such as using passports to shifting from human form to animal form. This adds interest and intrigue and ensures the story is fast moving.

The dialogue between characters is rich and realistic and enhances the relationship between characters. The tale is also enhanced with some interesting metaphors, for example, Keely is described at one point as “a puddle of need”; which is my new favorite phrase.

The Love of Gods is a well written story. The dialogue is engrossing and most of the characters and their loyalties are intricate but explained in depth. Both the love story and the mystery will keep you guessing until the end.

Pages: 268 | ASIN: B07PWB8V36

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The Immortal Queen

The Immortal Queen by [Marshall, S. L.]

The Immortal Queen follows first, the life of Endya, an elven warrior with demon magic. Although plagued with prejudices, Endya finds her soulmate and becomes a leader that the kingdom of Sundregham never wanted. Elizabeth, on the other hand, grew up on Earth with a normal life. Her own nightmares reveal to her that life on earth is about to be thrust into chaos. Both women are needed as dark forces seek to end all of existence. Worlds collide and every kind of magic imaginable is released on Earth as war begins. Even the gods themselves are on the edge of their seats as the final encounter arises.

The Immortal Queen has the potential to be a best selling fantasy novel. Complete with magic and guns, queens and intrigue, even gods and demons. This book combines lore from several fantasy sub-genres and mashes them into one, making this a highly ambitious epic fantasy novel. However, at times I felt that there was too much going on in this story and felt like some things were not explained completely. While the magic in itself isn’t always meant to be understood, I would have liked to have a better understanding of how things worked because what is presented is intriguing.

As the story jumps from scene to scene with little background information, I spent my time trying to figure out where and when a scene took place. This is exacerbated by the fact that halfway through the story all the main characters names were changed.

The Immortal Queen has huge potential to be on par with other high fantasy novels, which is a genre I enjoy. I love it when worlds collide and there are seemingly infinite types of magic. Near the end of the book, dragon riders were even introduced and I almost squealed in delight. There is a constant stream of action throughout the story that kept me interested and was one of the main factors in getting me flipping pages.

Pages: 426 | ASIN: B07N1PW8KL

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Journey to Osm: The Blue Unicorns Tale

Journey to Osm follows the story of Blue, a young unicorn with a big destiny. Blue is part of a tribe of unicorns going extinct under the harsh rule of an evil sorcerer. A prophecy foretells that Blue will save them but when he is born without metal in his horn, and thus without magic, all hope is lost. When Blue comes of age at 12, he is faced with destiny but how can a magicless unicorn have any hope of saving his tribe?

The book is a fun and unique YA fantasy novel. I really loved the unicorn-centric view of the story. Unicorns are often left out or less significant in fantasy stories, and I think this is a waste of a fun and interesting creature. Author Sybrina Durant furthers this by taking an intriguing twist and really exploring the magic of the unicorns as well as what unicorn civilization looks like. I really loved the world she created with the metal symbol of magic and the hierarchy that creates and the different powers that the magical unicorns possess. With an evil sorcerer, a prophecy, a fight against good and evil, this all adds up to an imaginative and exciting fantasy world.

The plot of the book is that of the underdog character finding strength against evil. Blue is a very sympathetic character through this journey as he is young, sweet, and very strong-willed. From the very beginning of the book you can see how hurt he is that he doesn’t think he can save his people, reciting his mantra ‘No Metal, No Magic.’ But even with this, he does not give up. He trains hard even when he thinks there is no chance. This self-determination in the café of certain failure really endeared Blue to me as a character. Silubhra was also a character that I grew very fond of as she was so compassionate and kind. There are a lot of characters in the story, but I think the author did a good job of making them unique and interesting and I liked how we get to see multiple perspectives.

This book is an exciting fantasy story. Filled with adventure, magic, love, loss, hope, action, and destiny. The story came together well and kept me engaged in the plot from beginning to end. The book is a great read, particularly for young adult readers who love fantasy stories.

Pages: 353 | ASIN: B07LDKX25N

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The Winter of Swords: A Grimdark Epic

The Winter of Swords: A Grimdark Epic (Overthrown Book 1) by [Bunce, Aaron]

What begins as a carefree adventure among siblings turns deadly in a heartbeat when Eisa is left alone following the violent deaths of her loved ones. Snatched from the scene and carried away by what can only be described as a monster of epic proportions, she is left wondering why she was allowed, or perhaps chosen, to live. A story seemingly unconnected to the tumultuous lives of Julian, Roman, Dennah, DaeGeroth, Balin and Gladeus soon becomes much more clearly interwoven into the experiences of all of the them. None of them could have predicted the evils that lie beyond the wide expanses of beautiful countryside they all know so well.

The Winter of Swords, by Aaron Bunce, is a stunning visual of fright-filled fantasy, old world charm, and a wide assortment of well-developed characters. From the moment I began reading of Eisa’s experience in the wilderness, I was swept into a world of creatures and hidden realms from which I found it difficult to separate myself–the hallmark of effective writing. Eisa’s entire ordeal set the stage for some of the most fantastic imagery I have read in a long time. Not many books can boast such horrifying beings so vividly described and so dreaded by even the reader.

Roman, one of the chief characters in Bunce’s work, has the most poignant subplot in my opinion. His backstory tugs at the heartstrings. The scene set by Bunce at the farm owned by Garon is a step-by-step reveal of one heart-wrenching horror after another. It is an artfully written chapter that has the feel of a slow motion movie scene set to an emotionally-gripping score.

Though Bunce’s book is filled with delightfully terrifying images, for me, there was none quite like the scene that takes place involving Julian in the simple town of Craymore. When an author can conjure up a visceral reaction with the mere mention of the sound of a horn in the distance, you know you have found an author to follow. More unsettling than the beastly gnarls was the powerful commandment of the horn’s sounding–wonderfully ominous and capable of provoking a sense of mystery.

Bunce has managed to give readers a novel rich with dialogue. Not every book of this genre is able to carry out a plot so heavy with character interactions. Many books rely on narrative to tell the story, but Bunce is more than capable of telling the tale via characters’ thoughts and exchanges.

While it is solidly based in fantasy, the element of mystery is strong throughout the plot, and that is one of many striking factors in Bunce’s work. Bunce has created a spectacular work of fiction which will appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy with incredible creatures, high drama, and an assortment of strong lead characters.

Pages: 818 | ASIN: B07MCX4CFD

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The Return of Ka-Ron the Knight – Trailer

When Dark Ships invade the skies over the “Nown” World, the invaders bring with them horrendous terrors for which no one is prepared to face. As entire villages begin to disappear, the world enters a new Dark Age. King Jatel and Queen Karen join forces once again with their friends and awaken ancient magic, giving them their only chance at freedom. Amid war, vampires, dragons, and widespread genocide, the “Nown” World welcomes the glorious return of the most valiant warrior it’s ever known!

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Greater Things Than Thou

Greater Things Than Thou (Blood of the Prince Book 1) by [Dean, R.L.]

His first memories were of his town burning to the ground. He doesn’t remember his parents or where he lived, only flames, death, and fear. Baler, a mentally unstable ‘king’ to his community of bandits, takes him to raise as his own son. In this bandit camp he is known only as boy. On a raid several years later Galin and Garret save him and give him a real home, hone his skills and give him a name, Patrin. A mix of medieval style living and culture with an alien technology thrown in to add a unique twist to the tale of an exiled king recovering his thrown.

Greater Things than Thou by R. L. Dean is well written with each chapter starting out with a sort of monologue / overview from his perspective as an old man. On the surface the setting and time period is that of medieval style though not from standard Europe. There are clear class systems from farmers to royalty. Most technology, for the non-Gifted, is what you would find in Medieval times, horses, carts and crossbows. The world that R. L. Dean has created involves the addition of an alien technology. This technology allows them to heal at remarkable levels and see things within their mind that no one else can see. It increases their intelligence and augments their bodies based on their individual packages and their jobs. Patrin is trying to destroy all remaining tech to prevent further use of it by anyone. The remainder of the story is his life from a small boy to young adult. I really liked the detail that went into Patrin’s thoughts and how he processed everything. How he adapted to each new situation life throws at him, and the technology that is implanted into his body. He is genuinely a character that wants to see the good and morality in all people and do the right thing. He eludes to his oath to Galin as being the cause of his moral missteps and failings later in life. The reader can get a real feel for the people he develops emotions for, Garret, Serin, Xadik and especially Lena. His relationship with Lena is one of young love, the awkwardness of first loves, and highlights the complications of his life thanks to his oath of loyalty to Galin.

As the first book in the series, Blood of the Prince, it is a great introduction to the main characters and how Patrin gets his start in life. Based on the monologues at the beginning of the chapters, I can tell the rest of this series is going to be full of adventures, plot twists, and action. It is a story about loyalty even to a fault, finding your way, and redemption of character. This is going to be an exciting series to follow.

Pages: 283 | ASIN: B077BVF5HT

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