Daniel Abraham's The Spider's War cover

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Orbit Books revealed the US cover art for the fifth and final book in the Dagger and the Coin series, titled The Spider's War. There's still not synopsis, not surprising with The Widow's House just out of the oven. The novel will be out next year.


What do you think?  I think it looks nice. Here's the other books from the series:


The Wurms of Blearmouth review

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


The Wurms of Blearmouth is the fifth novella by Steven Erikson featuring the infamous necromancers from the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Korbal Broach and Bauchelain (from Memories of Ice). The first three novellas were also released in omnibus edition (titled Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, including Blood Follows (released originally in 2002), The Healthy Dead (2004) and The Lees of Laughter's End (2007)) and Crack'd Pot Trail was released after that. I didn't read this last one since the necromancers are only present as some kind of cameo... maybe I'll pick it up in the future...
Tyranny comes in many guises, and tyrants thrive in palaces and one-room hovels, in back alleys and playgrounds. Tyrants abound on the verges of civilization, where disorder frays the rule of civil conduct and propriety surrenders to brutal imposition. Millions are made to kneel and yet more millions die horrible deaths in a welter of suffering and misery.  
But leave all that behind and plunge into escapist fantasy of the most irrelevant kind, and in the ragged wake of the tale told in Lees of Laughter’s End, those most civil adventurers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, along with their suitably phlegmatic manservant, Emancipor Reese, make gentle landing upon a peaceful beach, beneath a quaint village at the foot of a majestic castle. There they make acquaintance with the soft-hearted and generous folk of Spendrugle, which lies at the mouth of the Blear River and falls under the benign rule of the Lord of Wurms in his lovely keep.  
Make welcome, then, to Spendrugle’s memorable residents, including the man who should have stayed dead, the woman whose prayers should never have been answered, the tax collector everyone ignores, the ex-husband town militiaman who never married, the beachcomber who lives in his own beard, the now singular lizard cat who used to be plural, and the girl who likes to pee in your lap. And of course, hovering over all, the denizen of the castle keep, Lord—Ah, but there lies this tale.
Even if Wurms is a novella featuring Bauchelain and Korbal Broach in a self-supporting story, I would strongly recommend reading the first three novellas beforehand. To fully benefit from all the insights and characters appearance from the other novellas, here's the reading order:

Blood Follows
The Lees of Laughter's End
The Healthy Dead
The Wurms of Blearmouth

Despite the fact that the necromancers have an important part to play in Wurms, there's a whole new cast to consider and the brightest gems of Erikson's new humorous novella are clearly the weird and weirder inhabitants of the town of Spendrugle.  Who are we meeting?

Lord Fangatooth Claw the Render and his dutiful scribe Coingood, ruling narcissistically from the keep
Spilgit Purrble the deposed Factor and Felittle, a girl with dubious habits concerning her urinary habits
Hordilo Stinq, one of Fangatooth's men patrolling with curiously named Golems and becoming friend with a dead man who doesn't seem to be able to actually die like a real dead man
Comber Whuffine Gaggs, a lonesome herder with hidden powers
Felittle's mother, Feloovil Generous, who holds the inn and has some strange... body parts...

I'll stop enumerating here but with this list alone, you get an idea of the tone of The Wurms of Blearmouth.  Spendrugle citizens have seen their share of oddities and eccentricities since the town resides at the specific spot where most, and possibly all, of the ships sailing the region are wrecked, for their sincere pleasure. However, this time, things will change.

To reiterate, even if it's a novella, different storylines are established and recurring characters from the previous books are coming back.  In the end, everything revolves around the new opportunities presented by the arrival of the necromancers and their pursuers. With each new relationships developed in this short time, new characteristics emerge from the funny and original protagonists and a whole lot of grins made easy appearances on my lips.

If you have already read a Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novella, this one is a no-brainer.  For everyone else, even if you haven't read Erikson or if you were disconcerted by his more heavy writing in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, this is the time to discover a whole new perspective presented by the author, one at which he excels as much.

Cover: The Tor cover (by Steve Stone who's behind other Malazan covers) looks good with the necromancers and the violet coloring!
Release date: July 8th 2014
Map: No
Number of pages: 208 (paperback edition)
Acquisition method: courtesy of Tor
Other: No appendices, dramatis personae or glossary

I liked...Was disappointed by...
The weird charactersWanted more!!!!
The humor
The return of the three-handed sword!!!


The Wurms of Blearmouth review rating :

Kick ass moment #14

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's been a while since I have posted one, not for lack of grins while reading but simply because I always forget about it. Anyway, here's one I read today!




[...]
"What the hell are you doing here?" I said.
"As it appears, waiting for you."
"And Degan just happened to show up right outside my door while you were in here?"
"I've been waiting for a long time," he said. "We need to talk."
"You talk; I'll sleep. Feel free to make up my side of the conversation in case you get bored. I recommend throwing in the occasional 'fuck you' on my behalf, just to keep things true to life." I bent down and, after succeeding in not falling over, began undoing my shoes.
[...]

Douglas Hulick - Sworn in Steel

September releases

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 2014 is upon us and it's the time for my spotlight for the Fantasy novels released this month!

What will you read this month?

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Grudgebearer
The Grudgebearer Trilogy book 1
J.F. Lewis 
September 2nd
Kholster is the first born of the practically immortal Aern, a race created by the Eldrennai as warrior-slaves to defend them from the magic-resistant reptilian Zaur.  Unable to break an oath without breaking their connection with each other, the Aern served the Eldrennai faithfully for thousands of years until the Sundering. Now, the Aern, Vael, and Eldrennai meet every hundred years for a Grand Conjunction to renew their tenuous peace. 
While the tortures of slavery remain fresh in Kholster's mind, most of the rest of the world has moved on. Almost six hundred years after the Sundering, an Eldrennai prince carelessly breaks the truce by setting up a surprise museum exhibit containing sentient suits of Aernese armor left behind, never to be touched, lest Kholster kill every last Eldrennai. Through their still-existing connection with their ancient armor, the Aern know instantly, and Kholster must find a way to keep his oaths, even those made in haste and anger. While Kholster travels to the Grand Conjunction with his Freeborn daughter and chosen successor Rae'en, his troops travel by sea, heading for war.
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Age of Iron
Angus Watson
September 9th
LEGENDS AREN'T BORN. THEY'RE FORGED.
Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people. 
First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who's vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution. 
Now Dug's on the wrong side of that thousands-strong army he hoped to join ­- and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one rescued child and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that's going to get them all killed . . . 
It's a glorious day to die.
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The Falcon Throne
The Tharnished Crown Quintet book 1
Karen Miller
September 9th
In the distant past, the Kingdom of Harcia was torn apart by royal brothers who could not accept a lesser inheritance. Now, the consequences of their actions are coming to light. 
Balfre, son of Aimery, Duke of Harcia, is his father's heir. But he has dreams of a crown, not a coronet. He dreams himself the king of a Harcia re-united, but his brother Grefin, their father's favorite, stands in his way. 
Harald, debauched Duke of neighboring Clemen, is feared and despised by his nobles. He thinks he can trust his bastard-born cousin Ederic ... but Ederic fears for the duchy and will do what he must to save it. 
And caught between dangers is Harald's infant son, Liam. Stolen by his nurse, vanished into the lawless Marches, he is the spark that will grow to set the world on fire.
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The Knight
High Kingdom book 1
Pierre Pevel
September 18th
When the King dies his will, to everyone's surprise, leaves the throne to the second of his three sons. It's a surprising choice, and a worrying one as it coincides with a prophecy: that the succession will lead to war, chaos and the undoing of the entire nation. It's something his eldest son can't allow to happen . . . so he challenges his brother's right to rule - as does the youngest son, with the full support of the Church behind him. But while the prophecy itself is clear, it's not so clear which prince it's referring to. 
Lorn knows which side he's on: his King chose a sucessor, and Lorn is going to fight to the last to place him on the throne. Honouring that last wish is the right thing to do; Lorn is also fighting for his best friend and the man he believes should be king. But belief is one thing, victory in politics and war is another and the odds are against them. Worse: with every passing day the prophecies grow darker, and a land already torn by civil war is easy pickings for an invasion... 
The High Kingdom is facing its darkest hour. Its King has been weakened by illness and many are discontent with the Queen’s regency. As rebellion rumbles throughout the land, new threats are massing forces at the realm’s borders. 
Desperate, the King decides to free Lorn, who has spent the past year locked away on trumped-up charges in the citadel of Dalroth. Acting on the advice of a mysterious emissary of the Dragon, he dubs Lorn ‘Knight of the Onyx Throne’, making him the upholder of royal authority. 
Lorn accepts the King’s mission but also hunts those responsible for his imprisonment. Reinstating the Onyx Guard, a once-powerful elite force, he becomes a new figure of hope for his people. But some take a dim view of his growing popularity and influence, and they are busy plotting his downfall. 
If he foils his enemies, will he assume the role of champion that the Dragon’s Council of Emissaries have been seeking, the one capable of facing the Black Prince ? He must first confront an evil that gnaws at him ever since he was exposed to the Obscure at Dalroth, which now threatens to overwhelm him.
***


The Relic Guild
Edward Cox
September 18th
Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us. 
It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls a hundred feet high. 
Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.
The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.
***


The Prophecy Con
Rogues of the Republic book 2
Patrick Weekes
September 23rd
Who would have thought a book of naughty poems by elves could mean the difference between war and peace? But if stealing the precious volume will keep the Republic and the Empire from tearing out each other’s throats, rogue soldier Isafesira de Lochenville—“Loch” to friends and foes alike—is willing to do the dishonest honors. With her motley crew of magic-makers, law-breakers, and a talking warhammer, she’ll match wits and weapons with dutiful dwarves, mercenary knights, golems, daemons, an arrogant elf, and a sorcerous princess. 
But getting their hands on the prize—while keeping their heads attached to their necks—means Loch and company must battle their way from a booby-trapped museum to a monster-infested library, and from a temple full of furious monks to a speeding train besieged by assassins. And for what? Are a few pages of bawdy verse worth waging war over? Or does something far more sinister lurk between the lines?
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Mapping!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let the cartographers feast begin!

All the maps were also added to the index.

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First is the map of Grania from the novel The Mirror Empire, first book of Karmeron Hurley in the Worldbreaker Saga series.  The map is the work of Steff J. Worthington and you can find out more about the creation process here.




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Next is the map (from an image of the book itself) of Joe Abercrombie's Half a King.




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The Prince of Fools, first book of the Red Queen's War series by Mark Lawrence is set in the same world as the Broken Empire trilogy starring Jorg. However, Lawrence offered a new map!




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With the release of his second novel, Anthony Ryan added new maps for Tower Lord (from the Raven's Shadow series).




   


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It's the same thing as Ryan for Django Wexler.  Here's the maps added with The Shadow Throne, the second book in the Shadow Campaigns series. Both depicts Vordan, the first being the work of Courtney Skinner and the second Lu Huan.






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