A Gamble of Gods (The Order of the Dragon #1) by Mitriel Faywood

My Five Word TL:DR Review: Right book/Right Time.  Happyface

AGamble

I read A Gamble of Gods a short while ago but wanted to await the release date before posting a review.  To be honest, when I picked this book up I was having something of an ‘off’ reading month, I was busy, a bit stressed and definitely not up to my usual reading and blogging.  So in some respects I felt a little guilty picking this book up during that period as my reading can be moody at times and feeling as I was, well, lets just say I was going to be a tough audience.  Actually as it happens, I got completely caught up in the story and instead of getting worried about other deadlines I simply went with the flow and enjoyed reading this, often picking it up late at night to devour a few pagers before sleep.  Before I go further, the short version of this review reads ‘a great mix of fantasy, sci-fi and romance’.

In terms of plot.  The story involves three characters from very different backgrounds.  I think in terms of driving the story I’d say that Kristian plays the lead role.  He lives on a far flung planet in the dim and distant future and is a scholar and lecturer.  Then we meet Conor who lives on a world that appears to be from the past, positively mediaeval-feeling with castles, swordplay, horses as the main form of transport, etc.  Conor is a would-be womaniser and thinks himself something of an expert thief.  Finally we make the acquaintance of Selena, an office worker based in a contemporary London.  Selena is perhaps my favourite of the story although all three play key roles I felt like she brought a strong emotional sensitivity to the story.  It’s not that Selena is unhappy so much as she doesn’t really fit in, like there’s something in her life that hasn’t quite fallen into place yet – that’s about to change though.  To put it bluntly the three are destined to meet in the most unusual bringing together of three less likely stories than you can imagine.  The catalyst is murder, the objective to stop an assassin, the journey will see them all go from strength to strength, finding friendship, love, magic and much more.

I really enjoyed the writing.  There’s a good deal of adventure and some crazy world hopping.  I mean, there’s so many things that I’d love to throw into this review,  not least of all an AI, talking, robotic horse, but I feel like I would muddy the waters if I was to try.  The pacing is, well, lets just say there’s never a dull moment and on top of this the author manages to throw in a healthy dose of humour to temper the read.

The three main characters are easy to like although, as I mentioned earlier I would give a little shout out to Selena.  Kristian and Conor stumble upon each other accidentally and come to form a mutually beneficial partnership in the first instance which eventually evolves into friendship, more than that the two seem to help each other develop in subtle ways bringing out the best in each other.  At this point the two are essentially on a quest which eventually leads them in a very unexpected fashion to stumble upon Selena.

To round this up I think this is an exciting start to series and an impressive debut. It’s no small feat to bring together three characters from completely different times and places and weave their stories together in such a satisfactory and coherent way, not to mention teasing out a mystery that promises more yet to come all whilst defying the realms of possibility by creating a fantasy/sci-fi romance that shouldn’t work but just does.  I look forward to the next instalment.

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

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

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It’s Cover Lover time: A GAMBLE OF GODS (THE ORDER OF THE DRAGON, #1) BY MITRIEL FAYWOOD

So, today was the cover reveal for Mitriel Faywood’s debut novel A Gamble of Gods, the first in the Order of the Dragon series.  Petrik, over at Novel Notions revealed the cover earlier today (stop over to his blog because he’s got all the information going on and an absolutely delicious looking post), and, it’s had a rush of interest on Twitter and Facebook.  Obviously, given my affection for covers, I wanted to continue to help spread the love.  This is going to be a short post mainly focusing on the new design plus the book description to whet your appetite.  I’ve read this one and will be posting a much more comprehensive post shortly in which I’ll go into my thoughts on the book (spoiler alert – it’s good!).

Let’s look at the cover then…

AGamble

Firstly, I love the font for this. Secondly, take a look at the jacket below which looks downright classy. Thirdly, two dragons depicted – me likey some dragons.  Fourthly, and perhaps I should have mentioned this first, the characters expressions are perfect, I mean literally it’s like the artist was in the author’s head – which, ouch, but also good (or maybe bad – what a dilemma).  

The description off Goodreads:

“Life used to be good. I had money. I had fame. I had respect. The same thrill during work every day. A different woman in my bed every night. Best fighter to hire for dangerous jobs. Most famous thief in the Nineteen Kingdoms. Half the world sought my services when they needed the impossible done. The other half wanted to sleep with me.

Then one day this strange guy showed up with his even stranger pet, the latter a bit of a gift horse by all accounts, and turned it all upside down. They claimed to have come to save my life, and while they were at it, I got them to help out with the most important quest of my existence: finding the Supreme Key of the Dragon. Needless to say, none of it turned out quite how I expected. But we had fun, even if it was hell sometimes. In the end, what we found was worth it all.

My name is Conor Drew, the Gods destined me for great things.

But I turned them down.”

The description from the Jacket (which did I mention already looks downright classy – twice can’t possibly hurt after all):

Jacket

“Kristian del Rosso has led a quiet life, burying himself in research and teaching at the University of St Mark. The arrival of a mysterious killer with supernatural abilities and the bloody massacre of a group of Kristian’s students changes all that. Kristian’s grief and a need for answers drives him to set out after their murderer, prepared to face the man but unprepared for what awaits him at the source of it all.

Conor Drew lives for the thrill of adventure and to explore the delights of as many beautiful women as one man can in a lifetime. Between dangerous jobs for the wealthy aristocracy and powerful figures in the underworld of the Nineteen Kingdoms, he’s seen more than most. And yet it isn’t until his greatest friend and biggest enemy both find him on the same day that his true odyssey begins.

Selena Soto is a woman lost in her own world. She struggles to fit into her existence, to find meaning and purpose—even progress at work eludes her. Meeting the right man might be a good first step, or perhaps just defining what it is she really wants from life. Little does she realise that only her own fears keep her from a destiny that’s greater than she could imagine.

The trio will soon learn that only by working as a team can they solve the puzzle that has drawn them together.”

So peeps – whaddya think?

 

FYI: Important ‘stuff’ that you need to know:

The Cover artist is KarrahE  https://www.artstation.com/karrahe

The Cover designer is Shawn T King  http://www.stkkreations.com/

 Check them out – they’re talented so and so’s – it makes me quite pea green with envy.