#SPFBO Spotlight : the first five books: update

Posted On 4 June 2016

Filed under #SPFBO, Book Reviews

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So, as part of the SPFBO (details here) I chose my first five books to look at during the course of May.  I’m going to be honest and say from the start that I’m taking a different approach to the way I tackle the competition this year.  I’m aiming to read about a fifth (or five chapters) of each book.  Thats not to say that I’m not giving all the books a fair chance, I’d say I’ve read about 20% of each book (more for some) but, if one of the books is impressing me more than the others then really it’s time to leave the others behind.  That probably sounds harsh because with a ‘reviewer’ head on I would try and complete all the books that I’m enjoying, however, with my ‘publisher’ head on I’m taking the view that if one of the bunch of five stands out – that’s the one I’m reading – like I keep saying, there can be only one so it really is a determined process of elimination.  And, if none of the bunch of five really appeal to me I will move on to the next five, and so on.

Last month I made my five choices which are below.  I’ve added underneath each synopsis (taken from Goodreads) my thoughts, albeit brief because I haven’t completed any of these at this stage) – I’m not providing full reviews because I haven’t read the whole book and also i don’t mean to be blunt or mean with any of my comments so I hope they don’t come across that way.

The book that held my attention, and kept me reading well beyond my established cut off point, was Rebel’s Honor.  I’m enjoying this so far, so we’ll see how that goes.  With that in mind my choice for the month of May is Rebel’s Honor – now I need to complete this and see how it pans out.  Review to follow.

Rebel’s Honor by Gwynn White:

Rebel'sHonor

Warrior princess Lynx was helping her brother through a rite of passage into the raiders—the band of rebels who protect their nomadic tribe from imperial guardsmen—when she received a summons to marry her sworn enemy, Crown Prince Lukan. The command cannot be denied. Not when it’s backed up by one thousand guardsmen, each armed with superhuman powers, stationed near her tribe’s desert encampment.

With nothing but her wits and her mundane fighting skill to aid her, Lynx is now on a crusade to destroy Lukan, his all-powerful guardsmen, and his evil empire. If she fails, she forfeits not only her own life but the lives of every person in her tribe.

Unbeknown to Lynx, the only thing the beautiful, brooding Lukan fears is the curse that says Lynx, his warrior bride, will destroy him and his world-conquering empire. Armed with secret but diabolical, mind-controlling technology, Lukan is confident he’s safe from her threats. Unfortunately, no high-tech device can protect him from his lust for her. And it’s his lust that will trigger his downfall.

A story of curses and prophecy, Rebel’s Honor is an intrigue-filled, romantic steampunk adventure. Warning: Don’t start reading at bedtime. Rebel’s Honor will keep you turning the pages all night.

Kindle Edition, 367 pages
Published October 20th 2015

Crown of Blood#1

This book has caught my attention so far.  It’s easy to read, in fact I went far beyond my initial five chapters/20% cut off point and found myself quite caught up.  It’s still early days but I intend to continue with this book and will provide a fuller review once/if complete.

Soul Stealer by Joseph J Bailey:

Soul Stealer
Heaven has fallen.
The legions of Chaos have overrun the world.
Uërth is in ruins.With the Heavenly Host’s fall, Angel Swords rained from the heavens, littering the world in what was.Only the most honorable and purest of heart are able to take up the Angel Swords and wield them against the throngs of Chaos. These mighty Empyrean Knights are all that stand between Uërth and annihilation.Saedeus is neither pure of heart nor honorable. Nor does he wish to wield an Angel Sword.
He just wants to be left alone with his mushrooms.
And his pet rock.
But he might not have a choice.

When he inadvertently takes the soul of a dying Empyrean Knight into himself, his world, and his obligations, grow forever larger.

With the help of his pet rock, the spirit of a heavenly knight, and the sword of a fallen angel, he might be able to make all the difference.

If he doesn’t die first.

Soul Stealer is a dark fantasy

Kindle Edition, 324 pages

Published October 7th 2015 

This book was quite intriguing.  It got off to a decent start with a healthy dose of wit injected into the writing.  The only issue I would say about it so far is that some of the descriptions can be a little bit over elaborate which, given that I’ve read about 25% so far, gives it quite a slow feel.  The soul stealer concept is an interesting idea.  

Assassin’s Quest by Jon Kiln

Assassin's Quest
Royal assassin, Rothar, is on a routine mission. Tasked with quietly eliminating a lecherous merchant with a penchant for young children, Rothar’s blade strikes without hesitation. 

But when more children go missing, Rothar digs deeper and discovers an insidious network that reaches high up into the echelons of nobility. 

What started as a simple mission has become a dangerous quest for justice. Rothar must call upon all his skill to punish those responsible, and rescue the innocent before it’s too late. 

“A fast-paced, full length, heroic fantasy novel.”
Paperback, 250 pages
Published June 30th 2015
Original Title

Assassin’s Quest (Veiled Dagger, #1)

Again, it’s a book that I had no problem reading past my cut off point and indeed I’m curious about what’s going to happen next. My issue with this book is that the main character reads a little bit like a ‘wishlist’ character, he doesn’t seem to have any flaws and the ‘bad’ characters seem too easy to identify at this point.  A bit cliched and the setting feels a bit generic.

Into the Sky by Erica Converso

Into the Sky
“Five gems there are to act as keys
For the gate to the land of death.
In silver, over mountain, beyond the trees,
At journey’s center, across the seas,
To pass the door where no man draws breath.”Alcione wants more than anything to join her father and brother as one of the Talaria, the riders who defend the King on their flying mounts, the arion. She dreams of soaring up into the sky to protect her land. But as a girl, she will never have a chance to become a hero.After her family is killed in a revolution, Alcie is determined to bring them back. She sets out with Romi, her brother’s arion, towards the capital, where it is said rests a legendary crown with the power to enter the land of the dead. But if she can’t conceal her identity as a former noble, her quest could end before it even begins. Alcie must hide everything she is to survive in this new, dangerous world. But only as her true self can she ever hope to find the crown of five stones and bring her family home.Kindle Edition, 256 pages

Published February 17th

This book got off to a fairly quick start.  However, elements of it felt a little predictable to me which makes me wonder if this is aimed at a younger audience.  A quest adventure with a young girl at the centre trying to recover her family.  For the portion I read it was quite interesting although the dialogue felt a little bit ‘clunky’.

The Tarot Cards by Christina Maharaj

The Tarot Cards

The cards have been released.

They’re draining the world of its magic.

A new master has been chosen.

Only she can capture the cards.High schooler Clara Marsters was on Summer break when it happened. She found the card that would change her destiny. Thrust into Gaia, a dying world filled with magic, she meets Alex, the mysterious yet familiar talking tiger, who came to assist her on her journey.

In order to save the world and get back home, they must travel through the kingdom of Burkhart, solving puzzles and braving the trials of the cards. It’s not just the trials she has to worry about though. Others want the cards magical power, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.

How far would you go, to save a world that isn’t your own?

Kindle Edition, 173 pages
Published June 30th 2015
This book has a good concept and I like the idea of basing a quest on somebody travelling through an adventure world with challenges based on tarot cards.  However, for me, this felt like the puzzles (so far) were too easily resolved and the story telling could perhaps be a little more polished.  It could be this is aimed at a younger audience.  
That’s it for my first five.  I’ll post shortly with my next five books.
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22 Responses to “#SPFBO Spotlight : the first five books: update”

  1. Tammy

    That’s great that you’ve already found a couple of the books that make you want to keep reading. Sounds like it might be a strong group:-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      It looks like there were quite a few good books this year – I can’t wait to see what everyone puts through.
      Lynn 😀

  2. sjhigbee

    The standard seems very high – I’m so glad you’re the one having to make the cut! Thank you for sharing the contenders with us.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m being much stricter with myself this time. 30 books after all! And only one final entry.
      Lynn 😀

  3. jessicabookworm

    I am pleased to hear your enjoying Rebel’s Honor by Gwynn White – I remember picking it out as an interesting one from your initial list 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’ve not finished it yet so I hope it stays on track.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Great job, Lynn! I think your new approach is totally understandable, I believe a lot of the bloggers this year are also tackling it this way with the increased number of books in the schedule. I’m glad you’ve found a couple promising books already!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think last year each time I picked up a book I felt I had to keep just giving it another chapter – this year it really dawns on me that I need to give all the books a chance up to a point and then choose which ones to continue with. After all, if I read 20% of all five and one or two stand out then the other three are no longer in the running. It just feels more sensible – I don’t know what I was thinking last year!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Danya @ Fine Print

    I do love a good warrior princess story, so I hope that Rebel’s Honor continues to impress! I’m very intrigued to see how the rest of the SPFBO books turn out, too.

  6. #SPFBO Spotlight : the second set of five: update | Books and travelling with Lynn

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