#SPFBO 2018 : Batch 2, Books 4-6

Posted On 16 September 2018

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As mentioned in my post here as part of the SPFBO competition I’ll be randomly choosing six books per month for the next five months, which I will then aim to check out at least the first 30% of each book during that month.  I’ll post information about the first three books at the start of the month and then about the remaining three during the mid way point with a conclusion around the end of the month about which books will be going forward or eliminated.  The conclusion for my first month’s reading can be found here.  Ultimately, the aim is to choose one book from the thirty I’ve been assigned – that chosen one will then be my finalist.

Books 4-6 in my second batch are:

the lost1. The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles

 

Rebel's2. Rebel’s Blade by Frost Kay

NOTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE

Secretly trained, swordsmith Sage Blackwell steps up to run her family’s forge when her father falls ill. Sage desires to help the neglected Aermians but is bound by duty to provide for her own… Until, that is, she’s offered a chance to make a difference.

THE REBELLION

Sage knows the risks; imprisonment or death, and yet, she’s still willing to take them to protect her family. But when plans unravel, Sage finds herself facing the devils themselves, her sworn enemies, the princes of Aermia.

THE CROWN

Tehl Ramses is drowning; crops are being burned, villages pillaged, and citizens are disappearing, leading to a rising rebellion. As crown prince, and acting ruler, Tehl must find a way to crush the rebellion before civil war sweeps through his beloved kingdom. He’ll do whatever is necessary to save his people. Yet, his prisoner is not at all what he expected.

ONE STORY. TWO SIDES. ONE GOAL: SAVE AERMIA.

 

3.Savage Swords Savage Swords by Viel Nast

This is the first tale of my tribute to the great old one series, where I will honor writers and artists that cultivated my love for heroic fantasy, while I present my fantasy world Land of Oyr.

The character created will be used in more stories and play a further role (as well as their descendants) in the history of my world and the kingdom of Tarantis in particular.

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#SPFBO 2018 : Batch 2, Books 1-3

Posted On 3 September 2018

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As mentioned in my post here, I’ll be randomly choosing six books per month for the next five months, which I will then aim to check out at least the first 30% of each book during that month.  I’ll post information about the first three at the start of the month and then about the remaining three during the mid way point with a conclusion around the end of the month about which books will be going forward or eliminated.  The conclusion for my first month’s reading can be found here.  Ultimately, the aim is to choose one book from the thirty I’ve been assigned – that chosen one will be my finalist.

The first three books in my second batch are:

1. Crossfire by Andrea Domanski

crossfireBirthdays suck!

For her eighteenth, Mirissa Colson receives a package from the mother who abandoned her over a decade ago. The family secret it reveals transforms her life from trying on prom dresses to battling an ancient race of demons. Thanks, Mom.

Her nineteenth brings forth an even more treacherous foe—one maniacal demi-god bent on ruling the world. So much for dating. Thankfully, the years of martial arts and sharpshooter training her ex-Navy SEAL dad put her through gives her the perfect skill-set to build upon.

When she’s called on to save the world—literally—Mirissa finds she has a lot more in her arsenal than just a mean roundhouse kick. Burgeoning powers she previously thought impossible, like controlling the elements and sensory expansion, give her some confidence. But when she is propelled into a world teeming with preternatural beings—all with powers of their own—she finds herself outmatched and outgunned.

CROSSFIRE is a coming of age tale that bridges the gap between the world we think we know, and the one that lies just beneath the surface

 

2. Dark Oak by Jacob Sannox

dark oakHumanity has finally defeated the Dark Lord, but Morrick fought on the wrong side. Though he was a slave, he is branded a traitor and must earn the trust of new lords in order to return to his family – if they are still alive…

Now that their common enemy is dead, the nobles begin to forget old loyalties, and Queen Cathryn’s realm looks set to plunge into war once more. But there are older and more terrible powers dwelling within the forest, and when they are awakened, Morrick will decide who lives or dies.

 

3.  Shadow of a Slave by Saffron Bryant

ShadowIn the Known Kingdoms, Twins are killed at birth.

Twins harness energy in an unpredictable and dangerous way.

Twins almost destroyed the world.

Ash and Rae have always claimed that he is a year older to hide themselves from the ruthless Faceless Monks.

An order who’s apparent benevolent mission to keep the world safe, is a mask for nefarious intentions.

Energy can’t be created or destroyed… but it can be harnessed…

When Ash and Rae’s secret is discovered, Rae is taken by the monks. Ash must learn to harness his natural ability to manipulate the energy of his world to save her.

Two rules must always be observed. Two rules everyone knows.

Do not use energy from the living.

Do not reanimate the dead.

Ash will do anything to get Rae back…even breaking their sacred laws.

Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little #SPFBO

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Unwilling SoulsToday I’m reviewing my chosen book from the second batch of books.  For the SPFBO I split my books into 6 batches of 5 with the aim of choosing one favourite book from each and then to pick an overall winner from those final 6.  When I wrote my original update for the second set of books I had two potential books that I wanted to continue to read: Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little and Vergence by John March.  I’ve revisited both these books now and read further and having done so my book choice from batch No.2 is Unwilling Souls and today’s post is my review of that book.

I originally had a bit of a slow start to Unwilling Souls and in fact in my original post I mentioned that I had a few niggles but as I read on the author managed to iron most of those out and did a good job of keeping my attention in what turned into a very enjoyable read with a complex and unique world.

At the start of the story we make the acquaintance of Ses Lucani.  Ses is being trained to forge wrightings, tools that help to keep imprisoned the Gods that were banished many years earlier.  She lives at the core of the planet, a strange hollowed out cavernous place where the gravitational pull seems to be more akin to what you would expect in outer space.  As the story commences Ses is forced to flee the prison after a terrorist attack throws suspicion on her.  Ses is the daughter of two powerful people.  Put in very simple terms her father is the iconic leader of a terrorist network and her mother is one of the top officials of the centrality which basically means they are on opposing sides and when her parentage comes to light obviously Ses falls under suspicion.

On the run Ses returns to the home of her grandfather but finding that this is unsafe she is forced to move on and seek out the parents who have, for most of her life, denied her existence.  Ses has a dangerous road to travel, pursued by the government and a host of their operatives, attacked by cultists and befriended by a boy from a shady network her adventure is going to go a little wild and she will encounter revelations, home truths and treachery along the way.

This is an intriguing world and one that I would definitely like to revisit.  I don’t think I fully have a grip of everything, even now at the conclusion of the story, but I think that’s because there is quite a lot going on and the author has had to make a decision about not slowing things down by trying to cram in too much information.  I would like to have a bit of a trip down memory lane, as it were, and find out some more about the strange cities and the way that they have grown out of the bones of mammoth beasts – I was especially intrigued by Arach Arbor – which is the realm of spiders – and spiders there are aplenty!  I’d also like to know more about the war and subsequent imprisonment of the Gods.

In terms of the characters I found myself liking Ses.  She’s a very believable protagonist, she isn’t perfect, she’s not totally kick ass and she certainly isn’t capable of getting out of every situation without help but she’s resourceful and determined and it makes a great combination.  We also meet Ses’s parents and a young man called Murien who befriends Ses in her hour of need.  I can’t say too much about those at the moment as they’re not quite as well developed as Ses but nonetheless they’re a good supporting cast.

Overall I found this a well written and enjoyable story, I found Ses easy to like, there’s intrigue and deception and lets not forget walking skeletons, soul driven magic and huge spiders – really, what more could you possibly want.

My books so far:

  1. Batch 1: Rebel’s Honor by Gwynn White
  2. Unwilling Souls by Gregory D Little
  3. As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe – review to follow
  4. The Amber Isles by Ashley Capes
  5. Outpost by F T McKinstry – review to follow
  6. My book from batch 6 to be forthcoming soon!

My aim is to review As The Crow Flies/Outpost and my final book from batch 6 over the next 3 days so that I can then announce my final book.