#SPFBO 6 – Cover love (7)

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300 books           10 Judges            1 winner

The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  My Introductory post is here.  This year I’m aiming to shine a little bit of focus on some of the books either through posting excerpts to act as teasers for potential readers or through posting some of the covers and highlighting the book that way (not just for my own books but other entries).  The invitation is open to all authors from the competition – if you’d like to post an excerpt then give me a shout in the comments (also, if you’ve contacted me recently and I’ve not responded please give me a(nother) shout, I’ve noticed recently that a lot of my comments have gone straight to Spam or Pending so I may have overlooked something.

As part of the competition there is a cover contest.  The details can be found here.

So, this week’s chosen SPFBO covers are below, this week I’ve gone for some rather darker images. Feast your eyes and, of course, let me know if you have a favourite:





River of Thieves by Clayton Snyder


RiverofRiver of Thieves is one of the titles on my list of books for the fifth SPFBO competition and was one of the books that I decided to roll forward after having read the first 30% with the idea of reading and reviewing fully.  In this respect this is my final review from the books I rolled forward. My next post, hopefully Wednesday, will reveal my semi finalists and finalist. So, straight to my review of River of Thieves.

River of Thieves kicks off to an immediately intense start.  One of the characters is cursed – and although the very nature of a curse is to be something bad – he and his partner Nenn seem to have turned it into something advantageous.  Although, I can’t deny it’s not the most pleasant scheme that they’ve come up with! There is stabbing, blood and plenty of ick.

Cord and Nenn are the two central characters, and Nenn is our storyteller.  They’re always on the lookout for that ‘one last job’ that will really set them up.  Although, at the same time they barely seem to care about money.  Cord eventually lands upon that ‘one thing’, he has a plan in mind, a heist, the king of heists in fact.  The two set off, Nenn barely knows what’s going on from one day to the next, Cord keeps his cards close to his chest, but the first step is to gather other members to their little crew before setting off to find trouble.

Again, I’m not really going to go into the plot, it’s best discovered whilst reading.

So, what I really liked about this book.  It’s harsh, it’s dark, it’s grim but it has some great banter to bring some light relief between events.  Cord and Nenn make a great pair and just continually snipe at each other.  It’s highly entertaining – in between the other goings on.  The start is fast and furious, it pulls you in immediately and leaves you in no doubt that you must continue to find out what’s going on.

It’s very imaginative, in fact a little bit horror filled and gory – but this is offset somewhat by the funny aspects and constant references – which I’m sure I missed a good deal of.

The writing is also strong.  I’ve not read anything by Clayton Snyder before but I would definitely love to read more and hopefully from this series?  I’m not sure if more books are intended but I have my fingers crossed.

Without elaborating on the plot the action is split into three distinct sections, each dealing with different adventures which keep the story fast paced and intense.  Briefly, monsters, pirates, unusual spiders! magic, corruption and the fight to do right – even if it’s kind of wrong at the same time.

In terms of criticisms. Well, the only issue I had was I think I kind of lost the plot a little bit in the middle, I still don’t quite understand how or why but I seemed to lose the thread.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew what was happening  with each of the individual sections but kind of lost the bigger picture.  That’s my bad to be honest and I feel like I should go back and reread what was going on.  To be fair – I did not skim any part of this but maybe I was just reading it too fast with that dose of eager anticipation that sometimes occurs when you’re all cranked up as a reader.

Overall, I had a really good time reading this.  It’s dark humour and quite near the knuckle but it feels really fresh, like the author just thought ‘what the hell, I’m doing this and lets see what happens’ it’s a little bit liberating in some respects and shocking in others but it works.

The strangest tale of not-heroes, they’re out their righting wrongs and injustice, kicking ass and getting themselves into a lot of danger.

I also absolutely have to call attention to the cover – which is awesome.

I received a copy courtesy of the author for which my thanks.  The above is my on opinion.