lastkingdomBernard Cornwell is one of the master storytellers in historical fiction today. I first learned about Cornwell via his Sharpe series based on his books, which take place during the Napoleonic wars (when the show first came out–this probably dates me). Sean Bean played the title character, and after watching the first episode I was hooked, watched the rest of the series, and then had to go back and read Cornwell’s books. When I learned he was writing a series about the formation of a unified Anglo-Saxon England in the 9th Century, I started with THE LAST KINGDOM and have been keeping current with the series ever since.

So imagine my glee when I learned there is a TV series for these books, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharp Ends

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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SE_EBRIt is unsurprising and yet somewhat telling that when I received this book in the mail from Amazon, I was completely surprised not only by the fact that it was a small book but also that it was a collection of short stories. When I’d found out about “Abercrombie’s next book” I instantly pre-ordered the thing and eagerly anticipated the date of its arrival. Unphased in the slightest (though slightly disappointed, if I’m being honest, by the fact that it wasn’t a full novel) I dove into it’s pages and lost myself in the world of the First Law.
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Time Siege

Posted: August 23, 2016 by spikethesurfdog in Books We Love
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You know what?  I hate writing reviews for sequels.  I enjoy reading sequels very much.  I love talking about book series with my friends and speculating on what might happen in the next volume.  I actually really enjoy the time between books in a series to let it sit and soak in.  I like to reread previous volumes before a new one comes out.  But I hate writing reviews about sequels!!!!  Have you read the first book?  I don’t know.  If you did, did you enjoy it?  Again, I got nothing.  Should I spoil the first book for you here to tell you about the second volume? I don’t think I should. But then how do I tell you about this book if I can’t even talk about the events of the last book? You see the bind I’m in.

So, let’s set some ground rules right from the start. I’m going to assume you’ve read the first book (TIME SALVAGER, very fun, quick paced, action packed). I’m going to assume you enjoyed it like I did and want to talk about the next book. If that doesn’t apply to you then I’m going to give you a short quick review of the series right now: It’s good. You should read it.

Are we good? Have we gotten rid of anyone who doesn’t want spoilers? Ok then. Onward we go. Read the rest of this entry »

The Burning Isle

Posted: August 19, 2016 by criticaluniverse in Books We Love
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BURNING-ISLE-CoverLast week I travelled to Savannah on a business trip and while packing my bag the night before I left I made sure to include the latest ARC I’ve received, THE BURNING ISLE by Will Panzo. My flights were supposed to be short jaunts and I didn’t suspect I’d have much free time to spend reading, but if I’ve learned anything in my 24 years of life it’s this: take a book with you wherever you go because you never know when you’ll be stuck wishing you had one. This maxim came in handy when Delta Airline’s servers went down, sending the whole system into chaos and I spent the next 24 hours in airport limbo. The good news is that I had THE BURNING ISLE on hand and an unexpected surplus of free time to read so that’s what I did. I wound up finishing all 417 pages before I boarded the flight to my final destination.

As bored as a day at the airport has the potential to be any halfway decent book would have been better than nothing at all but fortunately THE BURNING ISLE isn’t just halfway decent — it’s quite good. Like, early contender for debut fantasy of the year good and likely to become a new favorite amongst the grimdark fantasy crowd. Expect to see THE BURNING ISLE on the short list for the Gemmell Morningstar Awards next year. Read the rest of this entry »

vendettaCassidy has magic: the emotion and events in which items are involved give them a history she can see. Her friend and co-worker Teag uses his magic to weave power into fabric or other items. They are employed by the vampire Sorren and are part of a larger magical community of good guys called the Alliance. Cassidy and Teag’s job is to find magical items they encounter during their work as antiques dealers in the heart of Charleston and take care of the dangerous items. Of course the nature of their work means they sometimes go up against some nasty things.

Sorren has been around for about 600 years and as a result of his work has made his share of enemies. And after a strange series of events where Charleston ghosts are acting strange and random people are disappearing, Cassidy and Teag begin to think that an old nemesis of Sorren’s may be the culprit. Read the rest of this entry »

Morning Star

Posted: August 11, 2016 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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EBR_MSI like movies. They’re fun and entertaining and worthy of our time as consumers. Well, at least some of them are. Books are much the same, and we here at EBR are more than willing to tell you which of them you should be willing to give your precious time to. In this aspect, books and movies are quite similar. They are also quite different though. For instance, story-telling techniques that work well in a movie, don’t always work good in a book, and vice versa. Sometimes catastrophically so. I was reminded of this fact quite pointedly while reading this book. Mainly because I know they’re working on the movie for Red Rising, the first book of this series. A movie that, in my opinion, cannot come soon enough, but better not come before it is absolutely perfect, dangit. Because this series deserves a perfect movie.
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destinybluesLife was going just fine for Mattie when on her meter-maid route she discovers that a demon is following her. This is bad news, since the FBI considers demon masters potential terrorists. She’s desperate to find someone to get rid of the stinky little guy when…another one seems to attach itself to her. That’s impossible, isn’t it?

Mattie feels like she messes up everything: she gets put on probation from her job, hurts herself and totals the moped she uses on her rounds, misses her demon-banishing appointments, and now has to babysit her niece for a few days while her brother Lance is out of town. Friend Karen takes her out for lunch and helps Mattie get some much-needed perspective–and a potential date from the hunky waiter. But then Mattie discovers that Lance is up to his old gambling problems again, more demons start following her around, and she learns that the FBI wants to talk to her.

DESTINY BLUES by Sharon Joss is one of the books from Mark Lawrence’s Blog-Off given to EBR. LARCOUT, which I finished before this book, is a better novel overall, so alas DESTINY won’t make it to the next round here at EBR, but I wanted to point out that despite its failings, this book was fun to read and it’s easy to see this author’s potential. Read the rest of this entry »