Posts that have been tagged with: "Dark Fantasy"
Emperor of Thorns
I think it’s pretty rare for an author to end a series in a strong and convincing manner. Be it ten novels or two, it just seems like I’m nearly always let down once I get to the end. When I first read Mark Lawrence’s PRINCE OF THORNS, you’ll remember that I was completely blown away. In terms of dark and gritty fantasy, it was pretty close to the top of the list. I was worried when KING OF THORNS arrived in my mailbox. It couldn’t possibly live up to the first book. Except it did. Then I received the final book in the series, EMPEROR OF THORNS. I didn’t even start reading it right away (hence the delay in this review), because, stupidly, I didn’t want to be let down. Again, how often does an author blow it? Pretty frequently.Read the rest of this review »
I love Westerns. LOVE them. I grew up reading Louis L’Amour and watching John Wayne movies. When I got older I found I loved the more mature stories in the genre. You know, Unforgiven and the like. Can you even begin to imagine how excited I was when Joe Abercrombie announced his next novel would have Western themes in it? And it would be called RED COUNTRY? If that doesn’t scream Western-styled violence, I don’t know what does.Read the rest of this review »
The King of Thorns
Once I’d finally managed to get past my irrational dislike of anything with hype attached to it, I gave Mark Lawrence‘s THE PRINCE OF THORNS a read. You may remember from that review that I was completely and utterly blown away. It was just soooooo good. Then the sequel, THE KING OF THORNS showed up in my mail box.
I may, or may not have wept from the joy I felt. Then I may, or may not have babbled excitedly at my wife while thrusting the book in her face. She may or may not have wondered why she married me.Read the rest of this review »
Scourge of the Betrayer
The Sword & Sorcery sub-genre is currently the most important facet of my reading life. This is the sub-genre that got me back into Fantasy after a five year hiatus where I read nothing but Science Fiction. With that in mind, I take the authors and novels of this genre very, very seriously. At first glance SCOURGE OF THE BETRAYER by Jeff Salyards failed to catch my eye. I didn’t find the cover immensely appealing (don’t give me that look, we all judge books by their cover) and the synopsis sounded like somewhat standard fantasy fare. At second glance, however, one might notice a quote by an esteemed fantasy author, comparing this novel to the works of Joe Abercrombie and Richard K. Morgan. Name dropping of that caliber is the surest way to stroke my curiosity.Read the rest of this review »
Prince of Thorns
I’d heard so much about Mark Lawrence‘s PRINCE OF THORNS. In fact, I’d heard so much that I was starting to fall into the “There is so much hype that it is bound to be terrible” camp. I finally caved and went out and bought the novel. And holy crap…wow. Didn’t catch that the first time? Let me restate that. Holy Fraking Crap! This novel was AWESOME!Read the rest of this review »
The Cold Commands
What a truly disappointing task it is to write a mediocre review for a highly anticipated sequel. I finished reading Richard K. Morgan‘s THE STEEL REMAINS a short time ago. The book had some rough edges that needed some buffering but it was a promising start to series by a well established author. I read the book as quickly as possible so that I could start THE COLD COMMANDS the moment it arrived. Sadly, this is one sequel that left me unfulfilled. This review contains some things readers may consider SPOILERS, so please read at your own risk.Read the rest of this review »
Sophomore novel. You know the term. And if you don’t, then here. Hmm. That didn’t work very well. Did anyone else know there wasn’t a wiki for the term “Sophomore Novel”? Who’d have thought? Now I have the urge to go write one. Perhaps I will. Oh look. There’s a wiki for haiku. How about a haiku on sophomore novels:
Great debut, I say,
but then this lackluster. Why?
It is the way. [[sigh]]Read the rest of this review »
The best part about this February? No, it isn’t the manufactured holiday of Valentine’s. No, it isn’t the fact that there are only 28 days in it, thus making this work-month blissfully shorter. The best part of this February is Joe Abercrombie‘s THE HEROES.
THE HEROES is about a hill called The Heroes. It is a useless hill that both the armies of the Union and the North want…mainly because the other side wants it. Before you ask why these groups are fighting over this useless hill, there are two things you should know. First, Bayaz is in this novel (if you’ve read the First Law trilogy, you know why this is important). Secondly, this is a Joe Abercrombie novel. People in war make stupid decisions.Read the rest of this review »
A while back I read and reviewed a collection of short stories titled SWORDS & DARK MAGIC (read the review here). Hopefully after reading that review you went out and grabbed a copy, because it was fantastic. One of the surprise stories contained in that anthology was The Deification of Dal Bamore by Tim Lebbon. It was a dark, grim and violent tale that impressed me and left me with the desire to read more of Lebbon’s work.
Set in the same created world as Dal Bamore, Lebbon’s new novel, ECHO CITY took some of the interesting concepts from the short story and twisted them even more. The short answer is that ECHO CITY is a great read…for a certain kind of reader.Read the rest of this review »
The Wolf Age
After reading a ridiculous number of novels, we’ve managed to glean a few morsels of wisdom. The key to reading and enjoying novels of different genres and sub-genres is to know what to expect. With Epic Fantasy you prepare for large novels, and slow-paced sections punctuated by sprawling battles. With Mystery/Thrillers, you expect contrived dialogue, and a mandatory twist. Hard SF? You have a dictionary handy for those unavoidable moments where the author makes you feel completely dumb. When it comes to Heroic Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery, however, you need to be prepared for something completely different.Read the rest of this review »