Mark Lawrence's Reviews > We Ride the Storm

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read December 24, 2019 to February 14, 2020.

This book came joint 2nd out of 300 entries to the 4th Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off contest from a field of 300 entries!

It's a pretty long book so it has taken me a while to read, but I really enjoyed it! I think for me the defining feature that raises it above almost all the SPFBO entries I've read and above most books in general is the quality of the prose. For those that care about such things - and many readers do not - it's a really well written book. The language never descends into flowery but is used to excellent effect painting evocative scenes, capturing reactions, delivering thoughts and emotions that ring true, and generating excitement where needed.

To back that up we have an engaging story told through the eyes of three interesting characters. Princess Miko is the least original of the three but manages in many ways to be the most entertaining - the Asian influence is strong here and I got some echoes of Feist & Wurts' Mistress of the Empire with a female protagonist using her intelligence and other prowess to navigate a political court and later to gather power and engage in battle.
Rah is a minor leader in a nomadic horse tribe whose people become a kind of slave-mercenary force for the empire opposing the one Miko inhabits. Madson does some nice world-building here, centred on their horse-culture and tradition of decapitating the corpses of fallen friends and enemies alike.
Cassandra is the most unusual, an assassin / prostitute who has a novel form of split personality and strange powers over the dead.

I've enjoyed historical fiction like James Clavell's Shōgun, and Asian inspired fantasy like the aforementioned Mistress of the Empire, and this carries shades of both while being its own, highly entertaining thing.

The story reaches a crescendo but it's very definitely book 1 of a series with scads of questions left demanding answers. So, I look forward to the next instalment.

Definitely one of the best books to come out of the SPFBO and certainly worth your attention. It's being re-released, so I think you have to pre-order it at the moment, so do that! Madson's an exciting new (to traditional publishing) author who should do well.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 16, 2018 – Shelved
December 24, 2019 – Started Reading
January 14, 2020 –
page 59
11.17% "Off to a very strong start."
January 20, 2020 –
page 125
23.67% "This is really good! Exciting tale, great writing."
January 31, 2020 –
page 225
42.61% "Continues to be really good. Great writing."
February 13, 2020 –
page 415
February 14, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Chris I'm about two-thirds through this one, pretty enjoyable so far! Amazingly well written and composed for a self published book

David Samuels Agreed on the spectacular prose!

message 3: by Jamie Gunn (new) - added it

Jamie Gunn At this point the majority of my consumption of fantasy is just me following you around on Goodreads and reading the books you rate highly. You've yet to give a bad recommendation. Thank you for your service :D

Mark Lawrence Jamie Gunn wrote: "At this point the majority of my consumption of fantasy is just me following you around on Goodreads and reading the books you rate highly. You've yet to give a bad recommendation. Thank you for yo..."

I recommend all MY books highly :D

message 5: by Jamie Gunn (new) - added it

Jamie Gunn I guess I've probably read them all then!

message 6: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark I don't understand as a reader how you can't love exceptionally good prose. However, I have seen it happen myself. The Shadow of What Was Lost, while it may be an entertaining story, it's not well written. That hasn't stopped it from getting four star after four star review.

message 7: by James (new) - added it

James O'Keefe If you haven't, I'd highly suggest reading The Vengeance Trilogy. It really lays the groundwork for the currently trilogy.

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