And I Darken by Kiersten White

I confess I have never read anything by Kiersten White - and this book, And I Darken that is the opening salvo into an alternate history epic, The Conqueror's Saga - was a complete surprise package for me.

I picked this up on a whim - wherein I read that the book is a twist on the historical facts about Vlad the Impaler and the tyrannical rule of the Ottoman Empire. What if Vlad had been female? But as I read the sampler, I realized Kiersten digs much deeper than just alternating the gender of Vlad, building up an entire world around these characters that are nothing more than just side-notes in the annals of history. There is rich detail, vivid imagination and scrumptious world-building at hand as Kiersten peels off the layers from that age of history where women were relegated to the Harems and siblings killed each other for the throne, bringing us a well-thought picture of what could have been.

The first book follows the life of Ladislav Dragwlya known as Lada, daughter to the…

Daredevil Season 3

The Marvel universe within Netflix is hinged around this blind man, who knows no fear and is fighting tooth and nail everyday to save his city, Hell's Kitchen, either from mysterious ninja-gods or larger-than-life villains orchestrating moves from within prison walls. And I daresay, Season 3 is a welcome comeback for Daredevil, possibly the best outing yet. In many ways - bringing us back to the streets of Hell's Kitchen that becomes the bloody chess-board for a game of cat and mouse, between the Devil and hold your breath, the Kingpin [ The villain we love!] and the introduction of Bullseye as the King's daring key-piece to upset the whole board.

See, apart from Daredevil, the other "superheroes" haven't really set our pulses racing quite like Matt Murdoch's alter-ego. There's something heart-breaking and immensely loveable about Charlie Cox's brilliant portrayal of this vulnerable man, questioning his faith in God and his own abilities, time an…

Aquaman - Extended Trailer

The DC is pinning a lot of hopes on the Aquaman to take off and salvage the tottering universe. And after having watched this, I totally love the feel that comes out of this whole extended trailer and can't wait to watch the movie. Hopefully this one delivers. Jason Momoa is in bristling form!

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Book choices, are especially hard for me. With so many new books and authors coming out, it's usually a struggle. But when a Brandon Sanderson book comes out, the choices become simple. You drop everything else and just dive into it. 

Skyward - is a Young Adult novel about a young girl and her starfighter. Based on Top Gun, How to Train Your Dragon and Ender's Game, as claimed by Sanderson himself. If you have been fans of these ‘originals’, then you realize that the influence of these references are pretty strong as you tear through the book. But Brandon hasn't just referenced these stories. In true mastercraft form, he's created yet another blazing masterpiece - in terms of the standout characters, the worldbuilding and the amazing plot. Be it Spensa “spin” nightshade, the rebellious young fighter pilot, or Detritus - the abandoned planet that has become the only world for the future of the humanity or that rollicking plot featuring mysterious alien races, hair-raisin…

The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

Armored Saint by Myke Cole is his first foray into the world of epic fantasy - Having read his previous works, I know that Myke can spin a yarn well enough and make us care. And this being something of a dream project for him, our expectations as readers familiar with his class, were stratospheric to say the least. Does he deliver or what. No punches pulled, this turned out to be a gut-wrenching tale of reluctant heroism, forbidden love, blind faith and heady rebellion in a well realized world that I cannot wait to get back into.

In Armored Saint, Myke sets his story in a quasi-medieval European world where life is hard and ruthless, men and women living in constant fear of either the devils breaking through the Veil that protects the world or of being branded as heretics by the religious order of knights, left to guard the world against evil. We encounter this world on the weary dusty roads with sixteen year old Heloise Factor, who loves her father fiercely enough to challenge or que…

Waiting on Wednesday

Continuing on with our (ir)-regular feaure focused on highlighting eagerly anticipated SFF novels, this week we shine the light on Empire of Sand ( First in the Books of Ambha series) by Tasha Suri.
Why am I so amped up about this one? It's based on South Asian myths and influences. [ I stalk Tasha on twitter and I know her interests in Mughal Empire and period bollywood movies should have sparked off some ideas :D]

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every…

Time's Children by D B Jackson

Angry Robot books are usually a safe bet, them having almost perfected the art of perhaps spotting the next big talent and getting it right a lot of times. I enjoy their books because of two reasons, exciting new talent and also the breakthrough original storylines that push the boundaries of the genre and make you think. I can sense a pattern - and so with Time's Children as well, the latest from DB Jackson ( Who is popular for the Thieftaker series writing as David B Coe)

( Those covers are absolutely gorgeous, ain't they?)

A time-travel concept melded with flintlock fantasy? Wohoo, reel me in. D B Jackson wastes no time in setting us up for a complex web of time-travel ( with of course the complexities that arise with parallel time-lines), political intrigue and conspiracies galore. Things can get hairy soon with the world going topsy-turvy on parallel time-lines but the focus of Jackson's tale never wavers from the central plot. Of conspiracies being thwarted to save t…