I make no bones about announcing that Brian Staveley is my go-to-author when it comes to reading some seriously crunch-worthy fantasy books, that are original, thought-provokingly jarring ( and I mean like bone-deep!) and swathed in enough grim-dark to keep it dialed way beyond 'just interesting' for me. His first series, that started with The Emperor's Blades was suitably epic but didn't exactly set things on fire. But the amazing follow up in the next couple of books, really blew things over in a true-blue kettral-style explosion, concluding a fantasy series in one of the best possible manners.
His writing is modern in it's sensibilities. With the first series books that feature an expansively rich world with a hefty twist to it's history, epic in it's sheer scale (Gods, men both mortal and immortal, empires clashing and the world balanced on a knife's edge), we knew there were more stories lurking in the depth of this beautiful world.
Mark Lawrence's name springs to mind, two of the bloodiest and the most enthralling protagonists sketched in modern fantasy. Jorg, the prince of thorns, a cunning and deadly player of politics and Jalan, the laid-back self-centered young man forced to the ways of magic and politics to save an empire.
Both these series are very dear to me. For numerous reasons but the special manner in which Mark writes about the grim truths of life laced with dry acerbic wit and fantastically violent action is just amazingly compelling. And it's his dramatic departure from using the tropes of this genre, spinning his own original stamp on the twists and turns of the events in these remarkable stories that makes him stand tall above others writing today.
With Red Sister, the first in the Book of Ancestors, Mark's chosen protagonist is a young girl, growing up in a convent, learning the ways of faith and war simultaneously and also discovering truths about herself amidst all the brutal cold …
I have already been crooning about my die-hard love for Blake Crouch - His latest, Dark Matter - a twisted dark pretzel of a delightful science-fiction thriller was the icing on a noteworthy career full of glorious books. I first came across him before Wayward Pines became a TV Series.
And now this - Good Behavior hit the small screens across America on TNT a month back and is raking up the TRP's, purportedly one of the best shows after Southland. I picked up the collection of three novellas after I came across this news but hey, it's a rule now! Anything Blake Crouch, sign me up for the ride baby! This man sure knows how to write a thriller, get your blood pressure roaring and ratcheting up the tension to levels often sharp enough to cut diamonds.
So this one features Letty Dobesh, a thief, a meth-addict and a functioning alcoholic - fresh out of prison and looking to redeem herself. She has a young son, being taken care of by her own mother and probably wants to come clean, …