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Masters of Blood and Bone

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Holland's a man who's good with death. Good at death.

When his daughter goes missing, he finds himself pitted in a deadly game against the Gods themselves. Powerful enemies surround him—a changeling, a mage, and a god who wants to destroy the world.

With silver bullets in his gun and death on his mind, Holland aims to set things right...or die trying.

For the captors of Holla
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Darkfuse (first published January 1st 2015)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
It's impossible to fake being a wizard. You can fake many, many things: Tans, orgasms, speeding car and fart noises for small children.
But true wizards are not prestidigitators, just as books are not lies. They are magic.

So begins this book.
Now my rating for this book in my case is the it's not you book it's me. I loved the first 25% of the book and then I got quite bored.
Holland is a character that I truly adored. Large man, smokes too much, eats too much and just happens to see dead
Paul Nelson
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
‘Blackness, absolute. No sense of sight at all. Nothing to see. No glimmer, no glow, no spark. No color, not even from her eyelids. She was accustomed to dark— she lived, isolated, by the sea. Darkness there, on a clouded night, she’d thought was the most complete dark in the universe.
She’d been wrong’.
Craig Saunders is now on my must read author list and hopefully this next year he rises to prominence because he certainly deserves to be read by the masses.
Now Masters Of Blood and Bone is one
Edward Lorn
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
All the imagination of a Clive Barker novel in a succinct, easy-to-read package. All fun. Zero filler. Craig Saunders has done it again. 
Holland and Ank are two of the coolest, most lovable characters I've read. These two alone make the book hard as shit to put down. Add in the crazy, over-the-top fantasy/wizardry/mythology plot and you're bound to read this novel in a single sitting. The chapters are uber short, and Saunders's writing it lightning fast. But don't let the easy reading fool you.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To start out with, the writing in this novel is incredible potent and fluid! This was a book that I had to sit back and just truly appreciate the writing style, as it was honestly THAT good. Saunders uses descriptions and words that make you FEEL what the characters are going through. This is the type of story that you don't just read, you become a part of....I can't think of any higher praise than that.

Not your "conventional" horror story, we start out with a mysterious man, Holland, who is kno
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
“...he hadn’t died, and he kept on not dying, until it had become kind of a habit, like cigarettes and bacon.”

(view spoiler)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Holland is an ex-cop who now works as a paranormal investigator and has been given the task of retrieving a rare book. Once found, he soon realises the book is dangerous and is horrified when his daughter, Ank, reads it, unleashing a dark wizard to the world.

Ank is imprisoned within the book and with this act the wizard sets in motion a series of events that will end with the ultimate fight between good
Andi Rawson
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review of Masters of Blood and Bone by Craig Saunders I'm not big on fantasy novels but I am big on Craig Sunders and I have to say that he pulled this one off quite well. The story is complex but not incomprehensible, which I appreciate. The writing is deep and thoughtful, witty and amusing, and all of Saunders that I am used to.
The story centers around Holland, a big fat ex-detective who can see dead people. Yes, like in The Sixth Sense. Sent by "Jane" to investigate a murder, he discovers a
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads, arcs
I received an ARC copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Another very good title from Darkfuse, which is publishing very original dark fiction that defies any genre categorization with each new work.

Very unusual book that plays fast and loose with mythological figures in an alternative realistic setting. Gods and Demigods appear among mortals in what at first appears to be a noir mystery, with our main character, a detective of course, being a personification of Death hims
Keith Deininger
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
There's this phrase I've seen in blurbs on old King paperbacks that I've always wondered about: "compulsively readable." I've never been sure what that phrase means, but I want to use it now...

Masters of Blood and Bone by Craig Saunders is compulsively readable. Saunder's writing style is snappy and fluid. It is fast-paced and violent, yet there's also depth. Great storytelling and characters. An excellent dark fantasy.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was the third book by Craig I have read. The other two being Deadlift and Bloodeye. I would say that Master of Blood and Bone is a Dark Fantasy book. I'm not the biggest fan of Fantasy but I did enjoy reading this. The story is centered around a man named Matthew Doyle Holland and his daughter Ank. Holland is a ex cop who sees dead people. Who lives in a cottage near the North Sea in Southern England. He is sent to find a book. Which he finds hid in a PC and brings home and leaves on table. ...more
Frank Errington
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

I am close to a loss for words. Masters of Blood and Bone is a stream of consciousness adventure that lives up to the quote from Franz Kafka at the beginning of the book. "I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?" After reading this latest work from Craig Saunders, that's pretty much how I feel.

Craig sets the mood for the rest of his work with the first three pa
Michael Hicks
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought
Masters of Blood and Bone is a hard work to pin-down, so steeped is it in a multitude of genres that it defies simple categorization. Craig Saunders has taken the detective genre, by way of urban paranormal noir, and run it through the blender with a strong measure of high fantasy, and written with a deft, contemplative style ripe with intense imagery.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I can adequately write about this work, because it’s one of those books that you just need to read for yourself and ex
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a fantastic book. About 25% into the story it took a sharp left turn into the realm of wizardry. Be sure you keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times. This is one wild ride!

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ready to enter a horrifying, dark and sometimes humorous world filled with demons, gods, magic and one mortal man on a mission? Meet Holland, a man whose daughter has been taken and someone is going to pay, in ways far beyond their wildest imaginations. A dangerous book has been recovered by Holland, his daughter sees it, speaks the words inside and the world becomes ground zero for death and destruction as evil is unleashed through her words. So this crazed god, a changeling and a mage come int ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
As a fan of Saunders' work and a completest by nature, I've been trying to read as many of his books as I can get my hands on. This one was, by far, the strangest one yet. As an author, Saunders does seem to evolve and/or vary, which can be good variety being the spice of lie and all that, but this, his most varied one so far, just didn't really sing to me. It had much to offer, an absolutely wild plot with mythology and all kinds of strangeness, stunning imagery, interesting characters...but ov ...more
Camly Nguyen
Holland's a man who can sense dead people. He can talk to them too.
When his daughter goes missing and is found to be in a book (yes, you read that right), he finds himself pitted in a deadly game against a God and an psychopathic Mage that want to destroy the world.
Now, he has save his daughter and the world...

After reading this book, I couldn't help myself but wonder if Saunders is an extremely creative person or was just writing this book while being high. But it's the result that counts right
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

This was a strange tale, full of darkness and eerily fascinating, bordering at times on grotesque regarding the way some characters were depicted. A tale of gods walking the Earth, of legendary characters come back to life, of cruel deeds from the past done for a vision that was already corrupted before it ended. A tale of craziness, of people bigger than life, of exaggeration and little things all thrown together, in which mages
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, reviewed, darkfuse
Craig Saunders's "Masters of Blood and Bone" is a dark fantasy mystery thriller, where men, mages and Gods collide, and it had me captivated from the very first chapter:
"It's impossible to fake being a wizard. You can fake many, many things: Tans, orgasms, speeding car and fart noises for small children. 

But true wizards are not prestidigitators, just as books are not lies. They are magic. 

Greed, violence, love, compassion and innocence are weaved masterfully by the author in a gloomy
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This is definitely a very original story. The quotes at the beginning of each section of the book set the tone for that part and give a sense of what will happen. The short chapters set the pace for the novel and draw you forward, wanting to know what’s coming next. This is one of those rare novels that make me think in colours. Various scenes seemed to be splashed or overcast by a colour that suited its mood and tone. Everything felt red or a muted mossy green to me. Sanders’ descriptions bring ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-dark-fuse
January 9 to January 12
Dark Fuse per-publication read

Hmm...I'm not sure where to start. I enjoyed this book, mostly. It was well written. I liked the short chapters and the descriptive writing that had an almost lyrical quality. The characters were well developed and love was in the air.

There was a lot of killing, destruction and bloody guts in the book, but I still really do not consider it a horror which sounds odd due to the horrors I previously desc
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
In Craig Saunders' Masters of Blood and Bone, we meet Matthew Doyle Holland, a man who knows death and hurried many to their death. He has a daughter named Ankh who may be the only person he really has feelings for. But Ankh is soon trapped, in a book of all places, by a vengeful God who is out to conquer the world. Holland is set to battle the Gods and save his daughter.

If only this book was so direct and clear. And if only I could care.

Masters of Blood and Bone was a drag for me to read and th
Dec 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unable-to-finish
DNF at 25%

This just wasn't my cuppa. The writing style I didn't jive with from the beginning but I was trying to push through it. Then he started with the crude descriptions. Now, I'm no prude. But the wording felt like it was thrown in there for shock value only. It did nothing to augment the story. This was by no means the book's fault and I don't have any hard feelings. Moving on!
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hard to categorize this novel but very indicative of what DarkFuse has to offer novel might crime fiction, the next novella might straight up horror and Masters of Blood and Bone, to me, is a wonderful dark fantasy novel. Highly recommended......I want more back story on Holland, Ank, Holland's wife and the other characters.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC courtesy of DarkFuse through Netgalley in exchange for a free review. Thank you!

This book was, within the first five chapters, a five star book in my head. Then, around the middle, I hit a spot where I thought it would only be 4.5 (not a bad rating, still). At the end, though, there was no way this wasn't getting all five of its hard-earned stars. Easily my favorite book of the year, especially my favorite book of the month: I loved it.

I was wary of it; I had seen
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, arc
I picked out Masters of Blood and Bone as my next review, because I honestly think it is a little piece of genius expounding the gluttony of power, disguised as a dark fantasy novel. Which was a bit of a blind sight, considering I picked it up thinking it was a Harry Dresden/John Taylor-esque paranormal noir.

It certainly contains all the norms, but there was a message in there slightly more socially conscious than simply angry gods, mentally instable wizards and a grumpy, fat, arse sore detectiv
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This is...a weird book. The story follows two characters: Holland, an assassin that works in the supernatural world (though it's never made clear whether he himself is supernatural or just an extraordinary human) and his daughter Ank (who is definitely supernatural). Holland has let himself since the death of Ank's mother, but he is still a formidable individual. The story opens as Holland is investigating a brutal murder and discovers some definite supernatural elements. As he continues to look ...more
Rowena Hoseason
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shocking and gripping from the get-go, this tightly wound tale of gods and monsters had me hooked from the opening pages. The writing veers from slick, Tarantino-style dialogue and rapid narrative to surreal, bewildering sequences, which gradually coalesce into an ambitious plot involving ancient deities, their appalling servants, demons of the abyss and the apocalypse itself.

In the midst of all this we meet a father and daughter; no ordinary parent and child. They see dead people… among other
Heather Lawson
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. Originally posted here:
Going into this book, I didn’t have much of an idea as to what it was about. I’m going to be honest and say that I requested this book from NetGalley based purely on the cover (I mean, doesn’t it look awesome?). So, the story itself was a great mystery that I was eager to jump into.

Holland is a big man, ex-cop, and on the good
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read constantly and books start to seem very similar in plot and theme, even predictable. It’s when you find something extraordinary like Master of Blood and Bone that breaks the monotony and invigorates the passion of reading. There are some books that have that spark and you can’t help but be pulled in.

This story is about Matthew Doyle Holland, a fat man, Holland’s missing daughter Ankh, a God, a powerful wizard, and a killer all merged to create an epic piece. What initially attracted me to
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Masters of Blood and Bone is, quite simply, a wonderful and surprising novel. Craig Saunders sets the hook from the first few paragraphs, drawing the reader in to a mysterious world of magic and characters that are much more than they seem.

As the novel progresses, events unfold that expand the scope of the story. This process happens slowly, building to grandiose levels that I never expected when I started. A familiarity with mythological figures increases the impact of the narrative, but isn't
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Craig Saunders is the author of over thirty novels and novellas, including 'Masters of Blood and Bone', 'RAIN' and 'Deadlift'. He writes across many genres, but horror and fantasy (the 'Rythe' tales) are his favourites.

Craig lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and children, likes nice people and good coffee. Find out more on Amazon, or visit: