Age of Assassins by R J Barker

Think Assassins in fantasy fiction - and you have a handy number of names that pop into your head. Brent Weeks Angels Trilogy, Robin Hobbs' Assassin series and of course, for those of you who have played the games, the Assassin's Creed.

Girton Clubfoot is possibly another name you want to add to that pantheon of greats having had a fantastic opening with the Age of Assassins by R J Barker. I just finished the first book and I really, really enjoyed this one. I had been meaning to get into the Wounded Kingdom trilogy by R J Barker for a while now - This whole series comes highly recommended by a few of my favourite bloggers and so I bought the book one the first chance it came up on sale.

The Age of Assassins is a low-fantasy story featuring familiar traditional setting of knights, squires, sorcerers and assassins set up as a murder mystery within a castle in a land plagued and soured lifeless by the use of sorcerous magic. The Tired Lands is almost a post-apocalyptic dust bowl…

Waiting on Wednesday

Been a while since I posted anything on this meme ( Looks like it's been discontinued?) but would like to go ahead anyways and post my anticipated books for this year ( and the next!) in the speculative fiction space.

This week - we are focusing on The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan, another remarkable debut that has generated all the right buzz and has just the most amazing premise, for a dark fantasy novel.

In the ancient city of Guerdon, three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul and a cursed man – are accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Their quest for revenge exposes a perilous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

A centuries-old magical war is on the verge of reigniting and in the tunnels deep below the city, a malevolent power stirs. Only by standing together can the three friends prevent a conflict that would bring total devastation to their city – and the world beyond.

Coming from Orbit books, this one is set to hit the shops early next year.

Tower of Living and Dying by Anna Smith-Spark

Anna Smith-Spark, the queen of grim-dark is back at it again, with this viscerally ambitious follow-up to the dark salvo, Court of Broken Knives (that I enjoyed, ah so much!) that introduced us to the Empires of Dust and a motley crew of dark, broken damaged characters headed by Marith Altrersyr, King Ruin and his queen, Thalia. Book One was a study in violence and darkness but one that shone bright with the raw beauty of Anna's writing that was punchy, moving and just so immersive in it's unpredictable quality to enthral and shock.

This one, Book Two was an emotional drain on my senses. In a good way, really. An overload of vicious no-holds-barred violence underlined by a disturbing brooding sense of darkness - Book Two in the Empires of Dust, Tower of Living and Dying is still full of those very same unforgettable characters who made book-one such a pleasure to read. They still worm and storm their way into your hearts, squirm under your skin and truly truly go through an ev…

War Cry by Brian McClellan (Novella)

Brian McClellan is among my favourite epic fantasy authors having given us door-stopping tomes like the Powder Mage trilogy and his new one, Wrath of the Empire, second book in the series set in the same world that started off with Sins of the Empire coming out this year as well.

When I got the ARC of his new novella, War Cry - I had no idea it was a novella. I expected it to be a full on, tour de force epic fantasy novel. A epic fantasy based on the World War was indeed pretty intriguing and then Brian had me reading this at one stretch, this whole Saturday wrapping it up early evening. It is that good, damn addictive.

So War Cry introduces us to a world, in the state of a perpetual war, an area called Bava or Bavares high plain, possibly one of largest plateau in the world - through the eyes of this shape-shifter called Teado. He is a Changer ( and I will just let you experience what he really is, through the book without divulging much details!) and he holed up in a small canyon wi…

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Every once in a while there comes along a well executed, darkly comic and exuberantly horrific story that forces you to just drop everything else, stay up way past your bedtime reading - dunking coffee to stay awake, looking over your shoulders all the time, grinning like an idiot while your heart is hammering away like a jazz concert on boosters till you hit the last line and then again, stay up all night just thinking about this book.

This. Was. That. Book.

I know I am perhaps two years late in reading this phenomenon of a book but good books persist beyond years. And hey apparently there's a movie being made on the book (and heck, I am not surprised as to how well this lends itself to being movie fodder! And Jason Arnopp himself is a scriptwriter with some serious credits to his name)

So the Last Days of Jack Sparks is sort of an autobiographical account of this pop journalist Jack Sparks who is out to debunk the myths around the phenomenon of supernatural horror/ ghost sightin…

August Books for Review

August looks like an 'august' month indeed with noteworthy sequels to some of the biggest debuts of the last year. The ones I personally am most kicked about are the following: 

Tower of Living and Dying by Anna Smith Spark: The 'queen of grim dark' is back with the second installment to the series, Empires of Dust (I thoroughly enjoyed the mad caper that was book one!) that continues the doomed tale of the unbalanced heir, Marith as he wields the power of the throne of the White Isles. Promises to be bleak, grim and sordidly dark. Right up my alley!

Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames : if you thought that the bunch of oldies  reunion was the great band ever in the Band Series, then wait until you read the next instalment that tells the story of the daughter Rose and her band. I have heard it tops the first book and that is saying a LOT.  Even if its just a speck of dust on that first book, then hells come alive, I would love it. 

Moons of Barsk by Lawrence M Schoen: Set years…