OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Blood Song is another of those books that I discovered a fe Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic [Plus Analysis by Liviu]
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Blood Song is another of those books that I discovered a few months earlier, thanks to Amazon’s cool algorithm for suggesting titles I might like based on my previous “Buying and Search” history. Previously I had stumbled upon Zero Sight by B Justin Shier the same way and the way that book turned out to be, I have learnt to keep an eye out for such Amazon recommendations.
Blood Song begins with a first person narrative featuring Lord Verniers Alishe Someren, a chronicler that has been chosen to write about the main character Vaelin Al-Sorna and about the journey that they both will undertake. The story then begins Vaelin’s past as when as a child he’s commanded to join the Sixth Order of the Faith of the Unified Realm. Thus begins Vaelin’s journey wherein he will learn to wield weapons and become a famed warrior of the unified realm that will also earn him many names all across various nations and regions. Friends and foes alike will be drawn to him in differing amounts. But when all is said and done, Vaelin’s journey has only begun as the reader will learn more about his past as well as that of his realm.
One searches for the next best thing in fantasy, often going through many books in search of the book that will enthrall you completely. I almost missed on this beauty by buying it but then never getting around to reading it. I owe thanks to Michael Sullivan for reminding me about this book and what a book it is. Beginning from the events in the past to the current story going on currently, this setup has been explored in various fantasy, historical and other genre novels.
The most recent famous example being The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. In fact a similarity between those two books can be seen in regards to the protagonist's story and their growth via a university/military school setting. What differentiates these two books is a terrific conclusion to the book as well as themes about war and its follies. Also this was my observation but I found some shades of David Gemmell in Anthony Ryan’s storytelling style and prose. It is heartening to see a Brit take up the mantle of heroic, epic fantasy from one of fantasy’s most distinguished writers as well as a fellow British writer.
This book is more akin to a traditional epic fantasy wherein it’s set in a pseudo-European setting and with a world history that is unveiled slowly and tantalizingly. At the same time, there is a core mystery at the heart of this plotline, why was Vaelin sent to the sixth order? What really happened with his parents? Who is the One Who Waits? These questions and much more abound this volume and will tempt readers into coming back for the later parts of this trilogy. The book focuses in the past as well as the present and the author has tantalizingly kept both time periods shrouded in mystery. This thread is what powers the book throughout and makes the story such a strong one.
Characterization is also a strong point in this opening volume, even though we get a singular narrative voice for the majority of the book. The author has created a fascinating side character cast particularly King Janus, Princess Lyrna just to name a few, these characters make the story even more fascinating and with the increase in POV character cast in "Tower Lord" (book II). I can't wait to see which other characters get their own narrative voices. The book ends on a strong note and with a twist that is hard to anticipate, giving the readers a complete story if they want to read just this book however I’m sure once the readers finish this book they will want to read “Tower Lord” the next in the Raven’s Shadow trilogy.
Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song is a tremendous debut; it has a fast paced, action packed and character driven story. Qualities to admire in any genre story and most of all in an epic fantasy one. Give this book a read, if you have ever felt that Indie books have no quality to them, give this book a read if you are tired of the same morass of stories in the epic fantasy genre, give this book a read if you want a well written story by a newbie author and lastly give this book a read if you want to read a story that’s closest to those written by David Gemmell....more
PLOT OVERVIEW & ANALYSIS: This book wasn’t a review request and I would have missed it, had it not been Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic
PLOT OVERVIEW & ANALYSIS: This book wasn’t a review request and I would have missed it, had it not been for Amazon’s recommendations. Whilst I was searching for some other title, Zero Sight popped up on my screen as a book I might like, based on my previous buys and search history. Never having heard of the book or the author before hand, I looked up some of the reviews on Amazon as well as Goodreads and got myself a copy.
The book was tremendously funny, managing to capture my interest from the first few pages and had me rooting for the main character like no other. Dieter Resnick is the narrator of the story and is infact one of the main draws of the plot. He’s a sixteen year old kid who’s street smart as well really intelligent. He knows he’s in a shitty situation but is also mature enough to ride it through and get out to a good college. He lives with his alcoholic dad in Las Vegas and while being a physical abuse victim; he doesn’t let it deter him from figuring out his life plans which mainly includes a good college education with a full scholarship. However fate has other plans as the school bully Tyrone Nelson hurts one of his friends, Dieter’s conscience will not let it slide. Things soon take a downturn and after an accident of sorts, Dieter discovers that there’s something kooky about the accident as well as his role in it.
He returns to school and is fixated upon a college with a full scholarship and things seem to be heading his way when he receives an acceptance from Elliot College with the terms he wanted. Feeling full of joy, he sets about on his bus trip from Vegas to New Haven, Connecticut wherein he has no idea what he’s about to get into. On the way he meets Rei Acerba Bathory, a strikingly beautiful female whose looks have him floored but as such stories go, there’s more to her than meets the eye. Thus begins the crazy story that is Zero Sight and one which will have more fans over the years.
I absolutely loved this debut novel as it’s very rare that you discover a book which makes the story come alive, have a great narrative voice and inspite of the obvious tropes utilized, still manages to make the reader oblivious to them. Zero Sight does all of this and then goes on to end in a way that makes you covet the next volume essentially. For me this book was a complete winner and here’s why: The story begins with a rush and Dieter manages to convey his intelligence, charm and spunk all in the very first chapter. The narrative voice is a youthful one and the energy which is abundantly presently in the main character comes across and touches the reader as well. We share his enthusiasm, feel his pain and marvel at his antics. The book’s humor quotient is one which will have readers frequently chuckling along and to add to it Dieter seems like a junior version of Harry Dresden with his geeky references and snappy monologues.
Thus by having the reader root for the protagonist, the author moves onto his next hook namely the location and the plot twists, the story opens up in Las Vegas, then through a bus journey moves cross country and ends in Elliott College, New Haven. The story never slackens and pulls the reader constantly forward and with the plot twists that keep the reader entertained. There is an infectious charm to this story which is inexplicably alluring and adding to its effect is the fact that it was the author’s debut.
The story utilizes some common fantasy tropes but due to the author’s writing, effectively manages to not hinder the reader and gives them a story which will make them engrossed in figuring out what’s going on and at the same time having quite a bit of fun along with and at Dieter’s expense. The addition of the magical college settings which are very reminiscent of Hogwarts as well as Kvothe’s University are a definite plus however the author does his best to differentiate Elliott College from the aforementioned places in many small but significant ways. The magic system is a bit generic but then once the rules are laid out it does make sense, in its pattern and schematics.
Another aspect which I want to highlight is that it doesn’t shy away from violence or the darkness of its characters and thereby makes this story score some points over the Harry Potter & Kingkiller Chronicles. There are quite some scenes of gore and violence, their presence is justifiable in relation to the plot. This story though having a teenage protagonist as well as many young characters is far away from being a YA book and that was another point which I thought should be highlighted as many readers might assume so from its blurb. There’s also the character cast which begins with Rei and she’s the second most developed character behind Dieter, however the rest of the cast gets very less presence however since it’s the first book, the author had very less time and space to do justice to them. I expect this to be rectified in the future volumes and more to be revealed about the rest of the characters as well the world they inhabit.
The sole point which kind of detracted a bit of awesomeness from this book was its ending and in this it coincidentally shares this quirk with Patrick Rothfuss’s amazing debut. The ending is a bit ambiguous in the sense it just ends and leaves the story hanging. The Name of the Wind also faced a similar complaint from its fans that the story just ended instead of having a strong climax. Some might disagree with me on this point but I felt with the aces that the story delivered, it faltered a bit in the ending. This was the only drawback experienced by me.
CONCLUSION: An excellent Urban Fantasy debut which will amaze readers with it narrative voice, plot energy and fun twists. This book is definitely one of the best debuts and will possibly herald Brian J. Shier’s ascent into future authorial stardom. This is a book heavily recommended for all fans of Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne, give it a try and find out why I think Zero Sight deserves to be counted as one of the best urban fantasy debuts of the year and possibly of this decade as well....more
Tim Marquitz’s debut novel, Armageddon Bound, introduced the world to Frank Trigg—the ex-Antichrist, Satan’s Nephew, and all-round snarkophile. I readTim Marquitz’s debut novel, Armageddon Bound, introduced the world to Frank Trigg—the ex-Antichrist, Satan’s Nephew, and all-round snarkophile. I read the book with almost no expectations and was rewarded with a darkly humorous and action-packed story, which ended up being one of my favorite debuts in 2009. So when I got the chance to read the sequel, I was very excited. Of course, this time around, my expectations were much higher as I wanted to see more of the world created by Tim Marquitz and how life was treating Frank Trigg.
Tim Marquitz opens Resurrection with a zingy quote, which is one of the most hilarious ones I have ever read. The book itself is set roughly two months after the events of Armageddon Bound and finds Frank interrupted by a group of zombies just as he’s getting all cozy with a lady friend. After the zombie debacle, Frank meets with Katon—the vampiric DRAC enforcer—to try and figure out where the zombies came from. Before the night is over, Frank also receives a visit from Veronica—a succubus and his ex-wife—with a message from Balaath. Balaath wants Frank to repay his debt by killing a masked figure who’s already defeated Marcus D’anatello and Alexander Poe—Balaath’s top enforcers. Faced with no other option, Frank agrees to take care of it, but not before being saddled with a companion who’s more adversarial than required. Frank’s troubles are compounded by surreptitiously revealed enemies, unknown agendas, and unanswered questions including the masked figure who is trying to resurrect the Antichrist Longinus; Satan’s ex-wife/companion who wants something from Frank; Balaath with his own dark game; and the mystery of Frank’s origins, his mother’s death, and Frank’s sire...
Despite my high expectations, Tim Marquitz does not disappoint with his sophomore effort. Not only has the author’s writing significantly improved, but the action is non-stop and the book’s humor has been jacked up led by Frank’s sarcastic monologues and witty dialogue. At the same time, Tim Marquitz delves deeper into Frank’s mysterious background, while the cover art is much more eye-pleasing. Lastly, the author seems to have learned from one of his idols—Jim Butcher—by ending Resurrection with a compelling moment that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the third Demon Squad installment.
Negatively, the juxtaposition of the magical with the mundane remains a bit over-the-top and not always explained properly, but the author has taken some pains in Resurrection to flesh out the world and its rules. The story and characters are not that well-nuanced, but that is expected in a book where action and quick pacing take precedence.
CONCLUSION: With improved writing coupled with non-stop action and wildly witty character dialogue and zingy one-liners, Tim Marquitz proves that he’s no one-shot wonder in “Demon Squad: Resurrection”. So if you loved Armageddon Bound, you won’t be able to keep yourself from finishing Resurrection in a single sitting! For those readers who weren’t so impressed by Tim Marquitz’s debut, definitely give the sequel a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised. For myself, “Demon Squad: Resurrection” is a book that will certainly be included in my Best of 2011 list......more
I first noticed Devil’s Cape when it was released more than three years ago, but never got around to rea Original review over at Fantasy Book Critic
I first noticed Devil’s Cape when it was released more than three years ago, but never got around to reading the book. Recently, I came across a signed copy in a bookstore and decided to buy it and see how the novel was. The cover blurb didn’t give a clear picture of the story, so I thought Devil’s Cape would turn out to be an average novel. Boy was I wrong on that count and on multiple levels.
The story in Devil’s Cape is spread over a vast period of thirty-five years and twenty days with the narrative switching between the past and the present with each chapter timestamped. For the first few chapters of the book, the author introduces the three main characters—Kate Brauer, Cain Ducett and Jason Kale—and their backstories: Jason Kale is trying to distance himself from his family’s past; Kate Brauer came to Devil’s Cape to regain something which she lost and possibly carry on her family legacy; and Doctor Cain Ducett is targeted by someone from his violent past. In the first 150 pages, the author also introduces various secondary characters and the city’s history, which might be a bit confusing, but proves to be important in terms of the story. The novel’s main event is a large-scale murder that propels the three protagonists in different ways. Overall, the story has multiple threads that slowly start to coalesce into a fine tapestry, which helps make this book so special and exciting to read. To top it off, after the action-packed climax, the author one-ups himself by dropping a huge twist, which sets the stage for round II.
Besides the story, the novel also succeeds due to excellent characterization with every single character presented in Devil’s Cape wholly three-dimensional. This includes the three main protagonists, the secondary POVs, both good and evil, and even the characters who reside in the background . . . each get their chance to differentiate themselves in the reader’s mind. Simply put, characterization was the MAIN reason why the plot was brought to life so vividly.
Another major plus point of the novel is the city itself which is its own character thanks to the author slowly building up the image, history & geography of Devil’s Cape by providing random and specific tidbits here and there, including intriguing vignettes, quotations or recaps that open each chapter. Not only does this help make the city feel real, but it allows readers to become acclimatized with Devil’s Cape, while also adding various layers to the story. Like the origins of Devil’s Cape which is an important part of the novel.
I also liked how the novel is grounded in reality. Yes, Devil’s Cape is full of super-powered people, but the world presented is dark, gritty and violent, while the physics and limitations of each superhero and supervillain is realistic, bringing to mind the kind of realism found in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. In other words, nothing is off limits. Everyone has a weakness and even heroes can be killed, which makes it fun to see who survives and who doesn’t.
Lastly, Devil’s Cape is brimming with terrific symbolism. For instance, the novel can be construed as a parable of the corruption, avarice and basic human nature we live with in our lives today. On the other hand, Devil’s Cape can be looked at as an origin story where legends are made and epic events occur. Finally, readers can view the book as an odyssey where characters must go through various trials and tribulations in order to get whereever it is they want to go in life. In short, Devil’s Cape is a multi-faceted gem that offers a unique reading experience that can vary depending on the reader.
Negatively, there were only a few drawbacks in Devil’s Cape. The first is the pacing, which can be a bit languid for the first 100-150 pages as characters are introduced and the story is being set up, but it’s not a major issue since things steadily pick up afterwards and stay that way until the terrific climax. Secondly, the large cast of characters can be a bit troublesome to remember, but the author does his best to make sure the reader doesn’t get confused. Lastly, the author has a tendency to repeat certain facts and aspects about the city which can get repetitive after awhile.
CONCLUSION: Random chance gave me another opportunity to read Devil’s Cape, and I’m very glad it did. Rob Rogers’ debut is a fantastic gem, the kind of novel that one fervently searches for, but rarely finds. In fact, Devil’s Cape has now become one of my favorite UF books of all time and I find it a cruel shame that the book is not more popular amongst SFF readers. After all, it’s one of the best superhero fiction novels in the current market. So do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Rob Rogers’ vastly underappreciated debut, Devil’s Cape......more
This is my favorite of all the Shannara series, focusing for the first and only time on a land which isn't Shannara. The series features Walker Boh t This is my favorite of all the Shannara series, focusing for the first and only time on a land which isn't Shannara. The series features Walker Boh the last druid who is still trying to form a council of druids. He receives a message from the elves that a past expedition has returned with some news about a new power. Walker soon decides on an expedition however faces a new enemy called Ilse witch who is also striving to similar ends.
Mixing magic, good characterization and the quintessential fantasy voyage, Terry Brooks gives the reader an excellent trilogy giving new characters to follow. ...more
ANALYSIS: I read this book last year however due to certain personal reasons could not get the review published. While I was reading it, I
ANALYSIS: I read this book last year however due to certain personal reasons could not get the review published. While I was reading it, I was certainly struck by its fast pace, constant plot switches and mainly the unpredictability it brought to the table. A bit of history before one reads this book, the tale is set in the world of Dezrel, the same one of the Half-Orc series however any new reader can jump into this book and have no problem with it [I did the same]. It focuses on the character of Aaron Felhom who is in line to be the heir to Thren Felhom, the leader of the Spider Guild and a thoroughly deadly individual.
This book originally a standalone was supposed to show how Aaron became the person whom some readers have already met in Book 2 of the Half Orc series. Secondly the author was heavily impressed by George R.R. Martin’s "A Game of Thrones" and therefore was inspired to create a world wherein nothing is ultimately safe and the reader will be forced to turn the page to find out what happens next. It is safe to surmise that David has indeed accomplished what he set out to do.
Firstly there are four primary story threads ongoing in this tale, the first one focuses on Thren and his relentless march to wipeout the Tri-fect and secure a kingdom for himself, the second one focuses on Aaron, Thren’s heir and who is rather forced to learn how to become an effective ruler, the third thread focuses on Maynard Gemcroft, who is worried about his daughter Alyssa and about the precarious nature of his house and lastly Alyssa who is willful and faces danger through her choices. There are a few more characters and I feel to spell it all out would ruin the charm of this book. For most characters, nothing goes out as planned and the atmosphere prevalent is one wherein the reader will be forced to think about each character’s motives and plans.
The author does a fine job of constantly switching the tale focus and keeping the reader hooked with various twists and new POV characters. I was very surprised by this book as I simply went in without any assumptions, and yet I was completely blown away by the writing and overall plot. The prose is very good and draws the reader in and then keeps them hooked. The world setting is not explored much beyond the city of Veldaren but then you hardly notice as the action and intrigue never lets up. The world is much deeper than imagined and we do get glimpses and conversations of other things rummaging on the background but readers who have read the Half-Orc series might be able to glean more from them.
Negative points if any were almost negligible, not that this book is a masterpiece and will be counted as the next “A Game of Thrones”. What it is though; a fine book from an upcoming writer who read the aforementioned book and crafted a worthy tale set in his world. There are a few tropes which have been utilized here but again they have been presented in such a way that you do not cringe. Some readers might be a bit thrown off by the number of POV introduced especially during and just before the climax, also a couple of characters make an appearance after being introduced in the earlier half, but then again its not difficult to read and find out what they are up to. Another thing the author is guilty of; is that of finding the tale is longer than he imagined it to be, but considering his inspiration, this can be easily forgiven.
CONCLUSION: A Dance of Cloaks is a gritty book with intriguing characters and has a plot which will keep you hooked till the end. David Dalglish will definitely be gaining new fans with the release of this book and if he can continue his form with the next two releases in the Shadowdance trilogy, I can foresee him ascending new heights and being counted as one of fantasy’s rising stars....more
I read this book on a whim, I hadn't heard much about the author but I had seen the previous book "Mr. Clarinet" on the shelves. So when I got to kno I read this book on a whim, I hadn't heard much about the author but I had seen the previous book "Mr. Clarinet" on the shelves. So when I got to know that this was a prequel book set in 1980 in Miami, I picked it up and immersed myself in it.
First in Hardcover, it a nice big book & secondly it has a very meaty story. The main character Max Mingus is the protagonist of this tale, however we are given views from other characters such as his partner Joe Liston, the pimp and some other characters. The world of 1980 Miami with its rampant drug abuse, social dysfunction & racial overtones is very vividly portrayed. The plot takes a while to get running as the strory often veers into different sides when new characters get a voice however this enriches the story & the world(imo) and makes this book that much stronger. There's also a vivid Haitian Voodoo element which is a fascinating to read about and gives the antagonists a very dangerous hue!
This book is a good thriller however the only element going against it is its languid pace in the earlier half however readers who persevere will a get a wholly rounded tale. Since this is a prequel story I'll be definitely checking out Mr. Clarinet & this series in the future as well ...more
The Folding Knife by K.J. Parker is my introduction to her books. I happen to LOVE this book. This book begins in the city of Vesani and is about Bas The Folding Knife by K.J. Parker is my introduction to her books. I happen to LOVE this book. This book begins in the city of Vesani and is about Basso, citizen and prime politician of the city-state. What he's upto, no-one can sincerely guess other than, he will profit as well as succeed. The book begins from his birth detailing the title of this book and how his childhood shaped him to a certain extent.
The real fun begins as Basso becomes a young man and goes about his ancestral vocation of becoming the first citizen, whilst also controlling a bank and thereby the financial economy of the city, Basso rules fairly and profitably. Basso as a character is one whom the reader can never takes his/her eyes of! always scheming and with Machiavellian wiles as he consorts and configures to expand and strengthen Vesani. The reader will be completely engrossed by Parker's prose as it is succinct as her reputation.
The book has some action scenes however they are slightly off-center as the main draw are the characters and their interactions. This book is truly of the best of this year for me. And with such a grand opening to K.J. Parker's style, I can't wait to read more of her books. Lastly I think this book can be wonderfully expanded as a TV series possibly akin to DEXTER. ...more
ANALYSIS: In “Magic Bleeds” we see the fall out of the climax of “Magic Strikes”, while Kate has b Full review originally over at Fantasy Book Critic
ANALYSIS: In “Magic Bleeds” we see the fall out of the climax of “Magic Strikes”, while Kate has been recuperating from her ordeal at the Midnight Games, she also happened to lose a certain bet which has dastardly consequences for her in terms of Curran's plans. Though Curran has given her a time and date for the event to occur, secretly it seems Kate is looking forward to the same event as well. However due to certain events occurring with the Pack, a huge misunderstanding is created, leaving our favorite couple jumping back to their earlier status quo.
Nearly eleven weeks have passed since the events of Midnight games & Kate is called to investigate a weird breakout fight in a bar which shares boundaries with the People & the Pack. At the bar Kate finds out that there was a person/ group who caused the fight by their presence however no one can remember anything about him besides his cape. What’s more there’s supposedly a monster trapped in the cellar that turns out to be a big surprise for everyone and launches a very funny sub-plot within the tale. The main turn of events leads Kate to check for mythological origins of a disease spreading entity which she does narrow down and therein begins the plot for this book.
Also around the same time, this entity keeps on hitting other spots as well, thereby escalating the tension felt through Atlanta & shapeshifters seem to be mortally terrified around the entity’s presence. Another sub plot sees the return of Saiman who wishes to get one up on Curran for his (alleged) humiliation in the previous volume however he fails to reason with Curran’s wild love for Kate & the situation he puts both of them in. Kate also has her own ax to grind with Curran over their date fiasco and this causes a terrific confrontation. With these various subplots ongoing, Ilona Andrews really ratchet up the tension as the series arc is finally coming into play. We see a person from Kate’s mysterious past & that person doesn’t seem to have any fondness for reunions & this means even bigger trouble for Kate.
This is another standout book from the authors as after last year’s volume which was so action packed and moved the series into a new way, we get another salvo in the similar direction and this one is even more forceful. The actions of this book will have far-fetched repercussions for both Kate & Curran, who at the end of the book go through a powerful change in status. Not only is Kate’s past laid bare to Curran, he also gets an inkling as to what he and the Pack might be up against. The climax of this book is its highlight as Kate has to fend off a variety of attacks on herself and her status and basically revert back to mercenary days while at the same time retaining her dignity.
Similar to Magic Strikes, the entire cast is featured nicely with the exception of Derek. [The authors noted this and so we’ll get to see more of him in Book 5]. Now with all the set pieces rolled up I can’t wait to see what Ilona & Andrew have in store for us in Magic Slays which will see the evolution of Kate & Curran’s relationship & also possibly the first appearance of Roland (Kate’s nemesis)....more
ANALYSIS: Ilona Andrews has proven that they have gotten a sure thing with the Kate Daniels "Magic" series Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic
ANALYSIS: Ilona Andrews has proven that they have gotten a sure thing with the Kate Daniels "Magic" series after the release of the 2nd book "Magic Bites". In Magic Strikes, we are reintroduced to Kate's world as her life is now much more comfortable financially due to her affiliation with the Order, her status with the Pack and the Beast Lord Curran seem to be on reasonably good terms as well.
With such smooth sailing Kate figures its only time before her past starts intruding on her present. She gets a call from Saiman who tells her that he has something important to her in his custody and it will be crucial that she recover it before he has to take precautionary measures. When she meets Saiman she realizes that he has Derek in his possession who was trying to get passes to the "Midnight Games" a series of supernatural gladiatorial games.
Once she absolves Derek of his intrusive mistake with Saiman, she has to partake to Saiman's request and also Derek's which puts her in a very awkward position. However she does manage to fulfill both and that leads to a pivotal encounter which leaves Derek savaged & thereby begins the dark journey for Kate into the Midnight games. This book utilizes many of the side characters who have had smaller roles so far such as Jim, Andrea, Dolittle, Ralph, etc & going with the trend of past books utilizes a mythology from a different country.
The villains so as to speak in this book are truly frightening and may be connected with Kate's past. The climactic battle and its ruminations trigger off many new things for Kate in her personal & professional life. Primarily being her relationship with the beast lord as Curran since his ascent to the title of Beast Lord, has forbade any pack member from ever participating in the games.
Thus with such an explosive set up Ilona Andrews begin the third magic book, the pace in this book is tremendous as the story zooms along and the reader is pulled into the plot. The mythological aspect used in this tale is a very clever one and hats off to the writers for utilizing this one. The writing and characterization is spot on in this book & the reader can see how the authors are getting comfortable with this set up & it just goes to show in their writing which is improving tremendously.
The interaction and banter with Kate and Curran is an ever present highlight however in this book the rest of the cast is also used prominently and we get a very action packed and character heavy book. Much of Kate's past is revealed in this book and it spurs on to a nice resolution and has a tantalizing hook set up for the 4th book. "Magic Bleeds".
What differentiates this series for me amidst the many urban fantasies is that the authors have taken care to substantiate their world in small but significant ways. Yes there are vampires and werewolves however the vampires aren't the Twilight kind, they are more akin to the actual legends and to add a twist in these stories are frequently controlled by necromancers[The People] who telepathically guide/control them. As for the werewolves they are a small set of Shapeshifters who form a massive Pack and who have seven animal clans [namely Wolf, Nimble, Rat, Hyena, Heavy, Cat & Jackal] to get a further idea about the pack and its internal workings check out the official author page.
With these minor but crucial differences and along with the Crumbling world setting, this series has become one of my favorites and to add to that the main protagonist Kate Daniels is shown to be smart, snarky & a whole lot of fun to read about. Since I discovered these books a few months ago....more
I managed to read this book after searching for it for nearly 3-4 years. The English translation is a bit clunky as some sentences are directly tran I managed to read this book after searching for it for nearly 3-4 years. The English translation is a bit clunky as some sentences are directly translated and therefore they do not hold the same impact. That being said this book is a work of genius.
Shivaji Sawant has written about Karna and re-imagined the Mahabharata around him. The book is made of nine section with 4 of them being from Karna's viewpoint, and the rest from the Viewpoints of Duryodhana, Kunti[His biological mother:], Vrishali[Karna's 1st wife:], Shon[his foster brother:] & Shri Krishna.
The book is not entirely canonical and gives us a rather humane viewpoint into the happenings of the Mahabharata. Karna's valour, his thoughts, his behaviour is entirely laid bare in this book. He's a not a shining knight as this book shows us the grayness of his actions. The Pandavas are also shown in a more humanistic light as most other MBH books often paint them in all bright and Godly colours however they were humans and they too had their bad sides.
The original beauty of the Mahabharata is that the epic showcases humanity in all its glory and viciousness & no characters are truly good or bad. This book has epitomized this principle and has given a rather stark and beautiful picture of the life of one of the greatest human beings who ever lived....more
The start of a fantastic hybrid-genre series & a book which has made me into a LW-phile. The setting of this book is in a city called Singapore t The start of a fantastic hybrid-genre series & a book which has made me into a LW-phile. The setting of this book is in a city called Singapore three & it stars Inspector Chen who's married a demon & now polices a world wherein Heaven & Hell are equally inept bureaucracies based on Chinese mythology.
Superb atmospheric tale & possibly the most unique one in the Urban fantasy genre...more