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Emma Davis profile

Place of birth: Cambridge
Now living: Peterborough

3 favourite authors

3 favourite books

3 favourite films

Emma Davis's 67 reviews

Priest of Gallows by Peter McLean (War for the Rose Throne)

We're in a state of regression. In addition to the pandemic crippling our economies, the world's collective mindset seems to be facing backward, leaning into the old behaviors that divide us. While social injustice, disgraceful political leadership, and basic intolerance of our neighbors continue to plague us, we are once again on the ro...

8.0/10

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The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne (The Bloodsworn Saga)

Living in the shadow of dead Gods isn’t easy. In a world shattered by divine anger and jealousy, it takes everything you have to survive. And to thrive? Well, that takes a hell of a lot more. A will to win. The skills to kill and not be killed. Plus a war band of extremely dangerous friends so you never have to tackle bloody murder and lif...

10.0/10

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Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels World)

OK, I’ll admit it, when I heard there was going to be another Julie story, I was less than enthused. Who wants to see more of her? Where’s my new Hugh instalment, dammit?! Come on! PRIORITIES Ilona. (My priorities being the most important, obviously). I certainly didn’t think a new name and some time away was going to ...

9.5/10

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She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan (The Radiant Emperor)

She Who Became the Sun reimagines the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang, the rebel leader who fought the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty and eventually went on to found the Ming dynasty in 14th century China. I don’t know enough about the period to identify how much of this was based on the history and how much was Shelley Parker-Chan’s fiction...

10.0/10

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Temple of Sand by Barbara Kloss (The Gods of Men)

The secret is out and Imari is on her way back to Istraa to face the music…She’s certainly not expecting this homecoming to be a warm and celebratory affair, but things are worse than she could ever have imagined. A rebel leader is killing their way through the countryside causing chaos and bloody destruction, a terrifying ex...

9.5/10

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Battle Ground by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files)

I stayed up till 1 am to read this epic battle and I don’t regret it at all.If there's one word to describe this book it's 'change'. Some things have been ticking over in the series for a long while now and at times it seemed like Jim Butcher wasn't sure which way he wanted to take the story. Or even what he want...

10.0/10

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Forged by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

Now that we’re close to the end, it finally feels like Alex Verus has found his sense of purpose; in this book his true self is revealed. And it is incredible.Alex has been faffing around for a while now. Before things started to come together in Book 10, it seemed like either Benedict Jacka or Verus, or both, didn’t really kn...

9.5/10

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The Stitcher and the Mute by DK Fields (Tales of Fenest)

It doesn’t take long for the story that Detective Cora Gorderheim’s been telling to gain weight... and a heavy one at that... in the form of a body with a familiar face. Turns out someone important, perhaps even a Chambers, needed their connections to the Wayward killing kept quiet and it seems that bloody murder is a small price to ...

8.5/10

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Widow's Welcome by DK Fields (Tales of Fenest)

Everyone knows that stories have power. The telling of stories is something that connects every generation both to their own time and each one that came before, right back to the very beginnings of humanity’s own tale. There’s no doubt that we enjoy a good yarn. But here in Fenest, it all works a little differently. In this world the...

8.5/10

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Shadow of a Dead God by Patrick Samphire (Mennik Thorn)

Mennik Thorn just wanted to help out a friend, pay back a favour owed. Well, he didn’t want to as such, but Benny won’t take no for an answer. And Nik doesn’t have enough friends to lose even one. Unfortunately, one person’s ‘just give me a hand with this, would ya’ is another person’s nightmare. So when...

8.0/10

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Peace Talks by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files)

Peace Talks picks up right after Skin Game, quickly setting up the first in a whole new set of challenges. Considering this instalment follows the best book in the series by far and a seriously long break, there were a lot of expectations to live up to. Butcher’s answer is to offer the typical Dres...

9.0/10

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Chaos Vector by Megan E O Keefe (The Protectorate)

I loved Velocity Weapon, but since a decent part of the entertainment factor of the first book was having my jaw hit the floor with each successive reveal, I did have to wonder whether that format would be used again and whether it could work as well the second time around. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. What Megan O’Keefe did i...

9.0/10

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Rise Against by Hailey Edwards (The Foundling Series)

Luce: ‘Didn’t your mother teach you to wait until you’re invited in to enter a room?’Santiago: ‘No. My mother ate one of my siblings because she wasn’t a fan of uneven numbers.’After what felt like a slight wobble in Death Knell, this is a blinding return to form. Fourth a...

9.4/10

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Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova (Hollow Crown)

Renata Convida has a special type of magic. The kind that can rip your memories away. She can take a little: your first kiss, your biggest loss, the secret codes of a rebel army… Or she can take it all. Make you a ‘hollow’, nothing more than a shell of who you used to be. Ren is everyone’s nightmare. But now she works fo...

8.0/10

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Books and Bone by Victoria Corva

Ree is not like other girls. Or like anyone in the city of the dead actually. Because even though necromancy is Tombtown’s thing, she knows in her heart that it’s just not for her. Instead, she dreams of something lost, a form of shapeshifting magic called therianthropy. Forgotten by everyone living, and most of the dead too, Ree mus...

8.0/10

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Devolution by Max Brooks

Despite the horror framework, the real strength of this book is not in the monsters, but in the character development. Bet you weren't expecting that. When you first meet Kate Holland she's a neurotic mess and her voice is annoying enough that if I hadn't known people were going to die excitingly awful deaths sometime soon, I might h...

8.5/10

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The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Nerrim lives in the Ward. It's a district of limitations, of danger and drudgery. Hers is a near colourless existence made bearable by her found family and the secret work she performs to help other Half Kith live free. When the Elysium bird appears one day, it brings change with it, triggering a series of events that transforms Nerrim&rsquo...

9.0/10

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Blight Marked by Josh Erikson (Ethereal Earth)

Gabe and company are back for more banter-filled adventures in this third installment in the Ethereal Earth series. Picking up shortly after Fate Lashed left off, Blight Marked wastes no time hooking the reader and speeding to a satisfying - and epic! - conclusion. Along the way there is plenty of humorous banter, lots of adventure, more puns th...

9.4/10

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A Time of Courage by John Gwynne (Of Blood and Bone)

Now THIS is the way you end a series. Readers and writers beware, a new standard has been set.A Time of Courage closes the story arc first begun in Malice, a tale of good and evil recounted by the many loved and hated voices of the Banished Lands. It culminates in a battle so visually and emotionally impactful that I ha...

9.5/10

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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I can’t remember the last time I wanted to step into a book so much, be part of a world so desperately. Even with all the danger, with the pain and darkness and death, it’s a place that feels like possibility……..‘She always told me there’s no doorway the devil does...

9.6/10

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Wrath of Storms by Steven McKinnon (The Raincatcher's Ballad)

How do you describe Steve McKinnon’s Wrath of Storms, the sequel to FantasyBookReview’s SPFBO4 finalist Symphony of the Wind? I’ve tried comparing it to everything from “a fantasy Die Hard” to “Indiana Jones with airships, siege battles, and psychic powers,” and all the comparisons I us...

8.9/10

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The Wolf's Call by Anthony Ryan (Raven's Blade)

Robin Hobb meets Joe Abercrombie in a story that delivers so many gut-wrenching blows. This is fantasy with a totally legendary feel; it’s epic in every regard and certainly something that needs to be added to your reading list.The best part for me was the villain. The Darkbalde is a rather enigmatic figure and his story is slowly r...

8.4/10

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Jade War by Fonda Lee (The Green Bone Saga)

Sixteen months have passed since the violent and tragic events of Jade City and the No Peak Clan are far from safe. But it’s not just the Clans at war. The outside world wants in. Jade is a commodity right at the top of everybody’s list and they’re willing to pay for it, in bundles of cash or oceans of blood. Trying to prevent ...

8.5/10

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A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie (The Age of Madness)

‘War? It’s a fight so big almost no one comes out of it well’First of all, this is not fantasy as we know it. In fact, this is barely fantasy at all. Undoubtedly epic, with more than a hint of magic, this is a high fantasy world with a low fantasy feel. It's a sign of the times- even the big hitters are pursing influ...

9.8/10

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Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe (Conspiracy of Magic)

Finn and Rocio come from different worlds. One has money, status, and blue blood family connections that guarantee a place in society, but limited magical talent. The other is everything in reverse, a fiery power that can paint dragons in the sky for fun, but has had a life filled with pain and struggle, including losing an older brother to the ...

6.0/10

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Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas (The Purification Era)

Sowing is one of those books that seems problematic on the surface and then just gets more and more so the deeper you get into it. Most of those issues stem from the fact that it comes across as rape/oppression fantasy. It seemed to me that the author was trying to write a grimdark YA, but her version of that is framed specifically thro...

4.5/10

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Velocity Weapon by Megan E O Keefe (The Protectorate)

I can’t remember the last time I read a book that got me with so many ‘Excuse, me, WHAT?’ moments. This is one tricksy author. And she’s put together more than just a well crafted story, it’s a genuinely fun reading experience that has you smiling at your own shock as much as what’s happening on the page....

8.8/10

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The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss (The Gods of Men)

The pairing of music and magic has always fascinated me. I believe that there is a type of magic in music, as it can stir emotions and inspire imaginations like nothing else can. When I learned that Barbara Kloss’ The Gods of Men featured a music-based magic system, I set my expectations high. Although music didn’t have quit...

8.0/10

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Priest of Lies by Peter McLean (War for the Rose Throne)

It’s been six months and Ellinburg is a changed place. But not enough and not where it counts. The Godsday butcher’s bill had been far too high, the war wasn't even won. And Tomas Piety is starting to realise that it might never be, especially while ensnared in the political machinations of the Queen’s Men. He’s trapp...

9.1/10

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The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

Dietz’s family were destroyed in the Blink, wiped out in an instant. Nobody thought anything like that could happen, nobody knew tech like that existed. But the proof is in the absence of millions of souls, a whole city disappeared. All that’s left now is revenge, so Dietz signs up for the corporate military, the best way to take the...

9.0/10

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The Poison Song by Jen Williams (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy)

All the stars for this. ALL. First, a warning. This review is spoiler free for this book, but not The Ninth Rain or The Bitter Twins. Look away now if you haven’t read them. Or better yet, go buy them and come back when you’re done. Trust me, you won’t regret it.For those that have...

9.5/10

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Fate Lashed by Josh Erikson (Ethereal Earth)

If Gabe thought getting a God out of his head was going to solve all his problems and let him get back to a normal life, he has another thing coming. Magically bulldozing the plans of all kinds of evil people means he’s still on their lists. And not for Christmas cards. If he didn’t have Heather, he’d be running close to empty,...

7.5/10

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By Raven's Call by J A Devenport (The Blackwing Cycle)

Every time you fail, we shall tear off a piece of your soul until all that is left is us.-Sychoral, AengannaiThe Raven is as much a rumour as a man, tall tales of daring and assassination that couldn’t possibly be true. They say he killed the last king, but nobody knows why. Actually, there’s a lot ...

8.9/10

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Grim Solace by Ben Galley (Chasing Graves)

There’s been a lot of talk about grimdark in recent years: how to define it, what its qualifications are, and what value these stories offer. I think grimdark works best when it presents a harsh environment with morally ambiguous characters fighting for some aspect of hope – an endgame that aims to improve a given situation, or the w...

8.0/10

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Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor)

"The sound of a battle can be described as a roar, and sometimes it truly is. When a thousand warriors charge, a roar precedes them and swallows up all other noise. But in between charge and counter-charge there is the screaming of those too wounded to hold their peace and not yet close enough to crossing the Path that they fall silent. The...

9.6/10

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Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer (The Wisdom's Grave Trilogy)

First of all, to read this book and/or trilogy you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with Craig Schaefer’s other series, but it can give an extra perspective if you’ve read his Daniel Faust or Harmony Black books (characters from both will play a part in the events described in the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy), but especia...

7.5/10

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A Time of Blood by John Gwynne (Of Blood and Bone)

Following on from the catastrophic finale of A Time of Dread, this is a high action, high tension blinder of a read. When you pick it up that first time, be prepared not to put it down until the last page. It follows standard film sequel rules: bigger, bolder, bloodier. There are all kinds of monstrous creatures chucked in, perhaps running ...

8.4/10

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The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons (A Chorus of Dragons)

Kihrin is many things: orphan, thief, long lost son of a prince, destroyer of the world? Whatever else he is, he’s also having a really bad time of it. Everything he’s ever believed is lies, new truths discovered through violence and death. But since his new life involves evil magicians, a death cult, a war between gods and demons, t...

8.6/10

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Dark Touch by Elle Lewis (Glass Star Trilogy)

On a night like any other, on nothing more than an off-chance, Sloan sees someone who might be in trouble and decides to do something about it. She was just trying to help, reaching out with a few dollars to someone down on their luck. Except the hand she touched wasn’t human, the man she thought was homeless morphing into an otherworldly ...

6.0/10

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The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan (The Black Iron Legacy)

I received an uncorrected bound proof copy of The Gutter Prayer in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Gareth Hanrahan and Orbit Books for the opportunity.Hanrahan's highly anticipated fantasy debut is a real breath of fresh air. We follow three thieves who are affiliated with the underground Brotherhood. The gang'...

8.6/10

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The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin King

Graham Austin-King knows how to challenge conventions with his storytelling. He’s not afraid to write about uncomfortable themes and the depravity of human nature. His last novel Faithless was an absolutely fantastic read centered around a subterranean dungeon based society. It was a dark claustrophobic nightmare of a book.I was sen...

8.6/10

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Death Knell by Hailey Edwards (The Foundling Series)

Third in the Foundling series, Death Knell has Luce trying to get to grips with her new life. Whatever place she had in the normal world is over, this is her new reality. When dead bodies start washing up on the banks of the Mississippi River trying to talk to her, it signals that she’s not got a lot of time to get used to ...

7.8/10

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Behind the Vale by Brian D Anderson (The Vale)

Although I read this for Fantasy Book Review's contribution to The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off it was a book that had been on my horizon for some time so I was thrilled when it was placed in our group. I am happy to announce that Behind the Vale was my first semi-finalist from this year's competition. What is it with awes...

8.0/10

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Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard (Obsidian and Blood)

Welcome to Tenochtitlan, home to Acatl, unenthusiastic High Priest of the Dead and now, due to circumstances beyond his control, equally unenthusiastic lead investigator in the bloody disappearance of a priestess. Unfortunately, it’s too close to home to ignore, especially once a family member is arrested for the crime. But that doesn&rsqu...

6.8/10

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Thin Air by Richard K Morgan

Most of the people that want to kill me barely have the budget for a nice knife.Hakan Veil, an ex-Overrider and now muscle for hire, is running hot after coming out of his four month hibernoid sleep rotation. All systems are cranked high, with emotion and aggression responses dialled right up to max, and tha...

8.2/10

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Chasing Graves by Ben Galley (Chasing Graves)

Although I haven’t read many works by Ben Galley, his previous SPFBO entry Heart of Stone is one of my favorite standalone novels I’ve read this year. It presented a world ravaged by war, with an enslaved golem bound to serve ...

7.3/10

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The Second Collected Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach by Steven Erikson (Collected Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach)

Mages, [Reece] concluded, were obnoxious in so many ways it was almost pointless listing them.With all the high drama and world-shattering battles, it’s easy to forget that Steven Erikson also writes comedy that borders on insanity. Whilst there are more than a few snippets in the Malazan Book of the F...

7.0/10

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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (Founders)

This book was so much goddamn fun, I can't even describe it...But I will try.Sancia Grado is about to take on the biggest job of her life. The details: steal a small box, contents unknown, from a safe in the warehouse on the Tevanni waterfront guarded by the Waterwatch, return it to her fence, Sark, and get paid serio...

8.8/10

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War Criminals by Gavin G Smith (The Bastard Legion )

Miska and her criminal crew are on a planet in the Epsilon Eridani system, fighting to protect colonists from violent corporate interests. If that sounds a bit well, moral, then remember that she’s getting paid and using smash and grab tactics to procure handy enemy tech for her outfit. Never one to waste an opportunity, Mis...

7.5/10

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Cold Iron by Miles Cameron (Masters & Mages)

Aranthur is just another student on the way home for the holidays, but the inn in which he chooses to break the journey turns out to be the very wrong place, and it’s certainly the very wrong time. The bloody episode that follows has ramifications which spread vine-like through the narrative, including significant changes for all those who...

6.7/10

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Revenant Winds by Mitchell Hogan (The Tainted Cabal)

There’s an old Yiddish saying, “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” that translates to “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” It warns that life is full of surprises. In one moment, you may think you have a solid grasp on who you are, where you’re going, and your value in society. Then you find out that everything you’ve ...

7.9/10

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Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels)

So now concludes one of the best, if not THE best, urban fantasy series of all time. Kate Daniels got her ending. And worry not, fellow fans, her creators have done her proud.Firstly, if you haven’t read the other 9, don’t bother finishing this review, just go get Magic Bites and enter the world so many of us have loved for ov...

9.8/10

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The Mage Team by David J Normoyle (Dragongods Saga)

Slate Blackthorn is a helsing, trained warrior and member of one of the gypsy families tasked by the dragongods to keep the monsters, and particularly vampires, at bay. Sent to a mysterious fortune teller in the city, he discovers his mission and a whole lot more besides. His primary objective: become part of the mage team hoping to protect a po...

6.5/10

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Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (The Books of Ambha)

I received an uncorrected proof copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Tasha Suri and Orbit Books. In Empire of Sand, the original and excellent South Asian influenced fantasy debut of Tasha Suri's we follow the action of Mehr who is an illegitimate but highborn daughter of a governor of the Ambham Empire. It be...

8.2/10

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Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon (The Raincatcher's Ballad)

Dalthea is recovering from the war with the Idari, parts of the city still closed off due to the horrifyingly destructive power of an ignogen fusion bomb, dropped on what will be known forevermore as the Night of the Amberfire, when thousands died and the Dalthean fleet was destroyed. Even now, the threat of the Idari’s return feeds the po...

9.0/10

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Hero Forged by Josh Erikson (Ethereal Earth)

Imagine you’re living a normal (ish) life, conning people and stealing stuff, when you take the wrong job and end up in a creepy basement in the middle of some kind of supernatural ritual involving body snatching and death and the crossing of worlds. Some bad day, huh? Gabriel Delling is just that unlucky. Except it’s even worse than...

8.3/10

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Friendly Fire by Gavin G Smith (The Bastard Legion)

‘Never popular in high school. Steal a prison barge and suddenly everyone wants to know me.’Miska’s first outing with her legion was FUBAR, but most of them managed to make it out okay (ish). They might even come out ahead if she can sell the stolen spaceship in Maw City, making the whole thing a re...

8.0/10

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Marked by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series)

At book 9 in the series, we’re all getting to know Alex Verus pretty well. As usual, he’s stuck right in the middle of all the drama, with any number of people out to kill him and he is having more than his fair share of bad days. While Morden’s cooling his heels in prison awaiting trial, Alex has taken over the Dark Mage seat ...

6.5/10

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The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding (The Darkwater Legacy)

773 pages. 2 days to read. 1 review to write.On a day that changes his life forever, Aren sees his father knifed to death in the dining room of their own home by a watchman of the Iron Hand, inquisitors who deal with only the gravest threats to the Krodan Empire. Removed to a prison mine with his best friend, Cade, his conviction tha...

9.6/10

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The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

Just like Peter Pan, the people in Peng Shepherd’s novel, The Book of M, are having trouble with their shadows. For reasons that never become known, shadows are disappearing, sometimes from an individual, sometimes whole cities at once. Told by four linked characters, with a multitude of diverse experiences threaded through their stories, ...

6.0/10

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CIty of Lies by Sam Hawke (Poison Wars)

First in the Poison Wars series, and the debut novel by Sam Hawke, City of Lies starts out as a kind of murder mystery- the Chancellor of Silasta is fatally dosed with a substance unknown to his closest friend, secret guardian and master of poisons, Etan. His death, and the subsequent arrival of a similarly mysterious army outside the gates, see...

7.5/10

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Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews (The Iron Covenant)

The first in a new trilogy, set after Magic Binds, book 9 in the Kate Daniels series, Iron and Magic is wonderfully, brilliantly, finally…. all about Hugh. Hugh d’Ambray, Roland’s former Warlord and all round murder boy. First introduced during Magic Strikes and responsible for all kinds of bad things in the Kat...

9.5/10

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Redemption's Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky (After the War)

This is a book about ‘what comes after’. After the big battles and the world-shaking events, when life is supposed to go back to normal, whatever that is or can be once the land is drenched in blood and everywhere death stands triumphant. Celestaine played the biggest of roles in that ‘before’ time, her sword raised again...

5.5/10

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Bone Driven by Hailey Edwards (The Foundling Series)

Second in the Foundling series, Bone Driven picks up about a week after the violent and emotional finale of Bayou Born. There isn’t any kind of leisurely intro and if you haven’t read the first book, there’s no way you’ll get all the nuances of this one. Even if you have, initially there’s still that slight feeling ...

9.0/10

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The Wolf by Leo Carew (Under The Northern Sky)

A book much stronger in the blood of war than in the quieter machinations of politics.Split into three main parts that cover the events of a single Autumn, Winter, and Spring, the book sees the Sutherners of Albion (which just so happens to be the oldest name of Great Britain) demolish a long-held peace and bring war to the ancient r...

4.0/10

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Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor)

I received an advance reading copy of Grey Sister in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Mark Lawrence and Ace Books for this opportunity. The second entry within the Book of the Ancestor trilogy picks up events approximately two years after the exceptional and breathtaking finale of Red Sister. Nona Grey: the black-...

9.5/10

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Priest of Bones by Peter McLean (War for the Rose Throne)

The war at Abingon is over, but the scars remain. Thomas Piety and his small band of war brutalised ex-soldiers have no more use to the Crown now the conflict has been won- they have been set adrift, one group among many let loose in a land already devastated by famine and plague. However, these may just be luckier than most, for Thomas Piety, l...

8.7/10

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