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James Tivendale profile

Place of birth: Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Now living: Stourbridge, United Kingdom

3 favourite authors

3 favourite books

3 favourite films

James Tivendale's 99 reviews

Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

I received a review copy of Season of Storms in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Andrzej Sapkowski and Gollancz for the opportunity. Season of Storms begins with the Witcher successfully completing a contract to eradicate the threat of a monster known as an Idr. Upon receiving payment Geralt opts to travel to Kerack where ...

7.8/10

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The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire)

I would like to thank Melissa Caruso and Orbit Books for sending me a prerelease copy of The Unbound Empire in exchange for an honest review. Following on from the conclusion of The Defiant Heir we find Lady Amalia now at home in Raverra. In addition to the other political duties that the Cornaro heir would have to perform, she is lo...

9.2/10

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Master of Sorrows by Justin Call (The Silent Gods)

A lot can happen in a few days. Just ask Ainnevog (just call him Annev), a deacon acolyte in the tiny, remote village of Chaenbalu. One minute, Annev is juggling duties at the Church with his mentor while training for his final shot at passing the grueling Avatar test. The next minute, he discovers he’s being hunted by a fallen evil god be...

9.0/10

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Dawn of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan (The Infernal Guardian)

I was sent a review copy of Dawn of the Exile in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mitchell Hogan for approaching me and 47North for the NetGalley widget. Set ten years after the conclusion of Shadow of The Exile, the second novel in The Infernal Guardian series sees Tarrik Nal-Valim, one of the most well-crafted and likeab...

9.1/10

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Candide by Voltaire

Voltaire's novel introduces the reader to Candide, a wide-eyed, calm and slightly bland young gentleman who resides at Castle Westphalia and who believes in the philosophy that "everything in the world is for the best." One of the first scenes is filled with two emotional opposites for Candide who first gets to kiss his love, Cuneg...

9.0/10

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Battle Spire by Michael R Miller

I received an advance reading copy of Battle Spire in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Michael R Miller and Portal Books.In the year 2053 our protagonist Jack Kross is an average geeky guy and the narrative starts whilst he is taking his genetic engineering examination at Xen Tech University. He is an avid gamer but wh...

8.9/10

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Tales From Ashen Falls by Paul S Lavender (The Ashen Falls Trilogy)

In exchange for an honest review, I received a free copy of Tales From Ashen Falls from the author when I met him at BristolCon in 2017. It has taken me a while to get to it which has become an in-joke between myself and the author on certain fantasy forums. Well, 15-months later I finally finished reading it!Tales From Ashes Falls is a p...

6.5/10

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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (James Bond)

"Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles." He laughed. "But don't let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine."James Bond, Secret Agent for M16, 007 with a license to kill. This was the 1st entry in Ian Flemi...

8.3/10

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The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

The narrative begins with a very bored Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street. With nothing to focus his incredible powers of deduction on at the present time, he decides to spend his days injecting a seven-percent-solution of cocaine. Conveniently a client with a particularly peculiar and complex case appears that very day. The potential customer...

8.0/10

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The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle (Professor Challenger)

“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes then I will have considered my life a failure.” - Sir Arthur Conan DoyleThis review will contain minor spoilers. Although Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, and Professor James Moriarty...

9.2/10

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Kellanved's Reach by Ian C Esslemont (Path to Ascendancy)

Anyone who pays attention to the Fantasy Book Review Twitter account (@FanBooRev) in early January might have seen a burgeoning contest to see who would write the first review for the much-anticipated Kellanved’s Reach by one of our favourites, Ian C. Esslemont.I h...

8.5/10

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Never Die by Rob J Hayes

This story is pure adrenaline. From the very first line through its twisty conclusion, Never Die showcases Rob Hayes’ talent in creating interesting and memorable characters while placing them in ever-escalating life-or-death situations. This is a story of vengeance and honor, delivered with the style and speed of an expert katana...

8.7/10

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The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

I received a review copy of The Tower of the Swallow in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Andrzej Sapkowski and Gollancz. Minor spoilers may follow for this book and the previous entries in the saga. The narrative begins with a hermit called Vysogota finding what he believes is an injured boy in a forest. I...

8.8/10

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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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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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Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

Minor Spoilers May FollowMy adventure with The Witcher novels continues at a breakneck pace as, like the previous books, I devoured this story in two days. This series has shown moments of utter brilliance but with certain plodding and info-dumping sections, it's never quite ascended to the heights that it truly could...

9.5/10

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Bound by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor Companion)

I received a review copy of Bound in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to thank Mark Lawrence for the opportunity.Bound is set in between the events of Grey Sister and upcoming novel Holy Sister and clocks in at sixteen thousand words. It's an excellent bite-sized addition to the already brilliant Book of the Ances...

8.0/10

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Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

"I mistook stars reflected in a pond at night for those in the sky."Minor Spoilers May Follow ~The narrative commences at what seems like a time of contempt indeed. The Kings aren't conversing with the Mages as they have previously, the Nilfgaardian army is still planning for war, a...

8.0/10

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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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The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft (The Books of Babel)

Have you heard of the podcast Crit Faced? It’s the one where five fantasy authors record themselves playing Dungeons and Dragons each week. Josiah Bancroft is one of them. His character, Jean Mallerme, is a bard – one of the more challenging occupations to role play, but one of great versatility. Through Bancroft’s ful...

9.6/10

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Many Are The Dead by Anthony Ryan (Raven's Shadow)

I received a review copy of Many are the Dead in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Anthony Ryan and my good friend Adrian Collins at Grimdark Magazine.This tale is set approximately ten years before the action that takes place in Blood Song. The gentleman who becomes Master Sollis, the dude who trains Vaelin Al Sorna is at the f...

8.2/10

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Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

Much like The Last Wish before, Sword of Destiny is a collection of short stories following a talented witcher called Geralt of Rivia. Although you can start the series with Blood of Elves which is where the full-length novels commence, I can't recommend enough that even though a handful of these short stories are hit-and-miss, that they wil...

7.8/10

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Drake by Peter McLean (The Burned Man)

I received a free copy of Drake from the author in exchange for an honest review. I would like to express my gratitude to Peter McLean and Angry Robot Books.Don Drake is a London-based alcoholic magician hitman. This story starts as all narratives should with the first person protagonist playing this stories equivalent of poker whilst ine...

7.8/10

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Rosewater by Tade Thompson (The Wormwood Trilogy)

I received an uncorrected bound proof copy of Rosewater in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Tade Thompson and Orbit books for the opportunity. Set in Nigeria 2066, we follow Kaaro in the first person perspective. He is a complex yet interesting protagonist who is a psychic. He has two jobs. One is where he st...

9.0/10

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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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Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

Short fiction – be they short stories or their longer cousins, the novella – is an artform that not everyone can master. It requires the ability to tell a self-contained story that feels as if it has been taken straight out of the middle of a book whilst at the same time giving it its own three-act structure – beginning, middle...

6.5/10

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One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence (Impossible Times)

"Ugliness multiplies, and hurt spills over into hurt, and sometimes good things are just the fuel for evil's fire"I received an uncorrected proof copy of One Word Kill in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Mark Lawrence and 47North for approaching me to read this early. On the 8...

9.2/10

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

Every family has a secret... and every secret tells a story.I received an advanced reader copy of The Sisters of the Winter Wood in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Rena Rossner and Orbit Books for this opportunity.The titular sisters and their parents live close to the village of Dubossary and ...

8.0/10

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Shadow of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan (The Infernal Guardian)

I received a bound proof manuscript copy of Shadow of the Exile in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Mitchell Hogan and 47North for the opportunity. Tarrik Nal-Valim is a demon of the 37th order. Extremely powerful and currently resides in Shimrax where demons of unsavoury character, criminals and exiles live. Tarr...

8.5/10

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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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Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames (The Band)

I received an advanced review copy of the well sought after Bloody Rose from Orbit Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Nicholas Eames and Nazia.Even Eames himself said that the success of Kings of the Wyld was like a guillotine to his neck. Metaphorically of course. With an exceptional, original award-winning debut there ...

9.3/10

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The Boy Who Said Nothing by Mirsad Solakovic

Disclaimer: This is not a fantasy book. Cass Pennant (look up the film Cass) who has been a hero of mine for a while asked me if I'd like to read his newest project (he is the co-author) so I jumped at the chance. Although it's a memoir and not fantasy this story has many traits that fantasy fans should adore. A young hero who conquers a...

8.0/10

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King of Assassins by RJ Barker (The Wounded Kingdom)

I received an advanced copy of King of Assassins in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to RJ Barker and Nazia and Jenni at Orbit. *This may contain slight spoilers for the trilogy*Well, The Wounded Kingdom trilogy. Where should I start? I can safely say in the (almost) two years I have been reviewing that this is my favourite t...

9.7/10

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City of Kings by Rob J Hayes

I received an advanced reader copy of City of Kings in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Rob J. Hayes for the opportunity. After having thoroughly enjoyed Hayes' Best Laid Plans duology I jumped at the chance to read City of Kings early - which is set in the same world. The action here follows the events of Hayes&#...

8.7/10

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The Deathless by Peter Newman (Deathless)

I received an advanced reader copy of The Deathless in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Peter Newman and Harper Voyager for the opportunity. Newman's first entry into a new fantasy series presents a world with floating castles which are connected by roads of crystal alongside which human settlements are erecte...

8.8/10

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Death March by Phil Tucker (Euphoria Online)

I was lucky enough to read a beta version of this trilogy, so thank you to Phil Tucker for providing me with early access. This review is of the final product. This was my first foray into the LitRPG (literary role-playing-game) subgenre, and I'm glad I waited. Phil's books are a pleasure to read because t...

8.4/10

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The Poppy War by R F Kuang (The Poppy War)

I received an advanced reader copy of The Poppy War from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank R. F. Kuang and Harper Voyager for this opportunity. Rin is a war orphan who works at her foster parents' shop and their main income is created by dealing drugs. Only just into her teenage years, Rin is o...

9.4/10

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FALL by JP Ashman

I received a review copy of FALL in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank J.P. Ashman for the opportunity. As this is a short story I will keep my musings brief too. FALL is an excellent cyberpunk action thriller that follows a female soldier called Senfel. As the only survivor of her prior mission, she is still badly ...

8.0/10

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The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire)

I received an advanced copy of The Defiant Heir in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Melissa Caruso and Orbit Books. *Minor Spoilers May Follow*In the second entry to the Swords and Fire trilogy, we pick up events approximately a month after the finale of The Tethered Mage. Everybody seems pretty content in the world of...

8.8/10

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The Way Into Chaos by Harry Connolly (The Great Way)

I read The Way Into Chaos for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off as it was promoted to the final stage by Ventureadlaxre. The city at the heart of the empire was preparing to host a festival full of song, merriment, and martial contests. As the event is about to get underway a swarm of powerful, nimble, and intelligent bearlike bein...

7.5/10

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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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The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French (The Lot Lands)

Jonathan French's The Grey Bastards is an emotional, exciting, and unique story told from the viewpoint of half-orcs, living in the badlands with their fellow 'hoof' members, defending their desecrated colony by riding their war pigs into crossbow-and-javelin battles. The "biker gang" analogy is smartly developed, as h...

9.0/10

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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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King of Ashes by Raymond E Feist (The Firemane Saga)

Sometimes, as a reviewer, the job of analysing a book and crafting a review is the simplest job in the world. The author has crafted a beautiful tale and written it wonderfully, fleshed out the characters beyond a two-dimensional stereotype, kept the pace upbeat without being hurried, and told a tale worth telling. Other times, the job is a litt...

6.1/10

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Jack Bloodfist: Fixer by James Jakins

Jack Bloodfist: Fixer has made it to the final stages of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and I read it as part of Fantasy Book Review's contribution to the contest. Jakins' entry is an urban fantasy novel that's set mainly within the city of Summervale. Jack is a suit-wearing and likable half-orc and half-goblin. He i...

6.5/10

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Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft (The Books of Babel)

I received an advance reader copy of Arm of the Sphinx in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Josiah Bancroft and Orbit Books. Bancroft's second outing in The Books of Babel series was originally self-published in 2015 and has recently been re-released through Orbit. Following on from Senlin Ascends, Thomas...

9.0/10

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Art of War: Anthology for Charity by Petros Triantafyllou

I received a review copy of Art of War: Anthology for Charity in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to thank Petros Triantafyllou for this opportunity but also for his amazing efforts in putting this exquisite anthology together. All the proceeds will go to Medecins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Having already compiled 40 of...

8.5/10

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An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington (The Licanius Trilogy)

I received a review copy of An Echo of Things to Come in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Orbit Books and James Islington.The narrative picks up events one month after The Blinds' brutal assault on Ilin Illan which concluded ...

8.0/10

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The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington (The Licanius Trilogy)

I received a review copy of The Shadow of What Was Lost in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank James Islington and Orbit Books.To begin with, I really thought this was going to be a "run of the mill" chosen one in a magic school sort of fantasy adventure. Thankfully only about 5-10% takes place at said establish...

8.5/10

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Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker (The Wounded Kingdom)

I received an advanced review copy of Blood of Assassins in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank RJ Barker and Orbit Books.*May include minor spoilers*The second novel in The Wounded Kingdom trilogy picks up the action five years after the climactic events of Age of Assassins. The assassin Girton Club-Foot and his m...

8.5/10

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Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe (Arcane Ascension series)

I read Sufficiently Advanced Magic for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. It was promoted to the finalist stage by Bookworm Blues and is the first novel in the Arcane Ascension series. It sits nicely within the LitRPG subgenre of Fantasy and it gripped me from the very start.In similar fashion to books such as The Magician's Guild, ...

8.0/10

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Blackfish City by Sam J Miller

I received an advanced readers copy of Blackfish City in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Sam J. Miller and Orbit Books.The results of the climate wars were that the majority of the Earth was either flooded or burnt to rubble leaving very little in the way of habitual environments. In this futuristic and dystopian world...

7.5/10

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Jade City by Fonda Lee (The Green Bone Saga)

I received a review copy of Jade City in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Fonda Lee and Orbit Books.Although presently at a time of an uneasy peace, the city of Janloon is controlled by two rival groups which are the No Peak Clan and the Mountain Clan. The families that run the clans are powerful and world famous as th...

8.0/10

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Mage Slave by RK Thorne (The Enslaved Chronicles)

R.K. Thorne's Mage Slave, #1 of The Enslaved Chronicles, is one of Fantasy Book Review's allocated thirty books to judge for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and after completing it I can announce that it is one of our semi-finalists.At the start of the story, we are introduced to the two main Point of View characters. Firstly,...

7.0/10

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Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton (The Paternus Trilogy)

I received a review copy of Paternus in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Dyrk Ashton and Paternus Books Media for the opportunity. Like many, I found out about Ashton and Paternus by following 2016's Self Published Fantasy Blog Off where this book was awarded third place by the panel of recognised and influential bloggers...

8.0/10

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The Fifth Empire of Man by Rob J Hayes (The Best Laid Plans)

I received a review copy of The Fifth Empire of Man in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to thank  Rob J. Hayes for his generosity. This is the second and final book in the Best Laid Plans duology. It continues the adventures experienced in Where Loyalties Lie which is a current semi-finalist in the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off...

9.2/10

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Deadhouse Landing by Ian C Esslemont (Path to Ascendancy)

While J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and his wider ‘Silmarillion’ remains the most impactful and influential fantasy work ever written, I think it is not that difficult to argue that the combined efforts of Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont will be marked as the most important contribution to fantasy literatu...

8.6/10

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Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis (Reign of Secrets)

I read Cage of Deceit for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and can confirm that it has progressed through to Fantasy Book Review's internal semi-final stages. The opening episode of the Reign of Secrets trilogy is set a generation after the events of the True Reign saga. The author advises us that there won't be a 'neat, tidy wrap...

7.5/10

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Faithless by Graham Austin King

I received a free copy of Faithless in exchange for an honest review and would like to thank Graham Austin-King for this opportunity.Faithless is set in a dark and claustrophobic subterranean environment. The action mainly takes place within the temples, the underground cities, or within the literal darkness of the mines. Everyone within ...

8.7/10

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Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords by Benedict Patrick (Yarnsworld)

I would like to thank Benedict Patrick for kindly sending me an advanced reader copy of Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords in exchange for an honest review. The City of Swords is the home of the Bravadori. These warriors, that are divided into different factions, have the Knack, which grants them special capabilities that equate ...

8.0/10

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Weaver's Lament by Emma Newman (Industrial Magic)

I received an advanced copy of Weaver's Lament via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Emma Newman and Tor for the opportunity.Following on from Brother's Ruin, Ben is now in Manchester fulfilling his stu...

6.5/10

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The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire)

Melissa Caruso’s The Tethered Mage is one worth picking up. If you love complex political plots, deep world building, and fun magic then this one's for you. The world that Caruso has crafted is complex and interesting. Magic users are incredibly powerful. As a result, they are either killed as soon as their mage mark manifests or they ...

8.3/10

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

I received an advanced copy of A Time of Dread in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank John Gwynne and Pan MacMillan for this opportunity.The story places readers within the Land of the Faithful approximately 120 years after the conclusion of the novel Wrath, which was an epic, brutal, and fulfilling climax to one of my fa...

9.0/10

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Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J Hayes (The Best Laid Plans)

Where Loyalties Lie is the first book in The Best Laid Plans duology and will be followed up by The Fifth Empire of Man shortly. This novel was assigned to me as part of Fantasy Book Review's contribution to the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and it has progressed to our internal semi-final stage. I think many fan...

8.5/10

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The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon by JA Andrews (A Keeper's Tale)

I received a free copy of A Keeper's Tale in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to JA Andrews.Set in the world of The Keeper Chronicles which includes SPFBO semi-finalist A Threat of Shadows, this is an enjoyable fantasy fairy tale told to a crowded inn full of enthusiastic patrons, by a Keeper. The story progresses as follows. ...

7.5/10

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The Shadow Crucible by TM Lakomy

I received a review copy of The Shadow Crucible in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank T.M. Lakomy and Select Books Inc. for this opportunity.  This novel was influenced by the scriptures found within the Nag Hammadi scrolls which were written sometime between the 2nd and 3rd-century A.D. and resurfaced about 65-year...

8.5/10

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Winter's Reach by Craig Schaefer (The Revanche Cycle)

Winter's Reach is Craig Schaefer's entry for this year's Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and is Fantasy Book Review's first semi-finalist. Although he is mostly known for the Daniel Faust series, this is Schaefer's foray into writing complex dark fantasy.It starts by following a young nobleman called Felix who has a pl...

8.0/10

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Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft (The Books of Babel)

Josiah Bancroft's debut novel is a huge deal in the world of fantasy fiction right now. I truly regret being late to the party but can safely say the hype is well deserved. Seeing only unanimously positive reviews from my blogging peers, I had to check out this 2016 #SPFBO's entrant as soon as I could.Thomas Senlin planned a seemi...

9.0/10

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The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark (Empires of Dust)

"Not sure I really feel like fucking someone who's part god and part suicidal drunk, you know"I received an advanced copy of The Court of Broken Knives via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Anna Smith Spark and Harper Voyager.2017 has been a stunning year for adult fant...

8.9/10

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Darien by CF Iggulden (Empire of Salt)

I received an advanced copy of Darien: Empire of Salt via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank C.F. Iggulden, Michael Joseph, and Penguin Random House UK. C.F. Iggulden is an alias of Conn Iggulden. The master of historical fiction who has released the critically acclaimed Emperor series and Conquero...

8.0/10

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River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

I received an advanced copy of River of Teeth via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Sarah Gailey and Tor. River of Teeth is an alternative history/fantasy Western adventure where the cowboys and mercenaries ride hippos instead of horses. Winslow Houndstooth is the main protagonist and he has been ...

6.0/10

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Age of Assassins by RJ Barker (The Wounded Kingdom)

I received an advanced copy of Age of Assassins in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Orbit Books, Nazia, and R.J. Barker for this opportunity. Age of Assassins was simply unputdownable. It has been a long time since I have devoured a book so fast. From the quality of this tale, it is almost unbelievable that t...

8.5/10

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Ghosts of Tomorrow by Michael R Fletcher

"Virtuality is the new reality"Within my online social circles, I have heard many amazing things about the writer Michael R. Fletcher. My peers were so influential that I decided to check out one of his books and I chose this one because of the completely stunning cover, the fact that it is a stand-alone novel a...

8.4/10

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Godblind by Anna Stephens

“The Red Gods Are Rising”*Contains minor spoilers*I received a free advanced copy of Godblind in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Anna Stephens and Harper Voyager.To begin with, I must admit that after reading the excellent Godblind I think I will be eternally afr...

8.8/10

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Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (The Band)

I received a free copy of Kings of the Wyld in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Nicholas Eames, Nazia, and Orbit Books.Saga were a world famous band containing five legendary mercenaries who were feared, respected and completely admired. Bards' sang their praises, ladies wanted their babies, and children wanted to ...

8.7/10

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Danse Macabre by Laura M Hughes

"All angels are men, all men are crows, and all crows are liars."Danse Macabre is Laura M Hughes's debut outing and at only 56 pages I was able to read this novella in about an hour. It follows a seemingly innocent and shy young girl called Blue who has to complete a mission given to her by a disfigured being claiming to be ...

7.0/10

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Blackwing by Ed McDonald (The Raven’s Mark)

I received an advanced copy of Blackwing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Ed McDonald, Orion Publishing Group and Gollancz.*Minor spoilers may follow*McDonald begins this tale by placing the reader in the Misery - following the action of Captain Galharrow and his crew of Bla...

9.1/10

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Cold Counsel by Chris Sharp

I received an ARC of Cold Counsel in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Chris Sharp and Tor.The Troll, Slud of the Blood Claw Clan was born amidst the most intense storm that the world had ever witnessed. The narrative of Cold Counsel is about his bitter revenge following on from the eradication of the Troll race in a br...

7.0/10

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Brother's Ruin by Emma Newman (Industrial Magic)

I received an ARC of Brother's Ruin through NetGalley. Thank you to Emma Newman and Tor.Brother's Ruin is the first novel in Newman's Industrial Magic series. This is an urban fantasy story set in an alternative London circa 1850 where people who have magic within themselves become members of the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts...

7.0/10

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Inheritance by Adrian G Hilder (The General's Legacy)

To begin, I would like to Adrian G. Hilder and Camdaw for sending me a copy of The General's Legacy, Part 1: Inheritance in exchange for an honest review. This is the excellent and highly polished first part of Hilder's debut outing. Part 2: Whiteland King will complete The General's Legacy when it is released shortly.The tale...

7.0/10

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Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is a new story in a new world by an author who is trying (and succeeding in my opinion) to stand out as one of the premier fantasy storytellers of the last few years. It is a story set in a world of great challenge, where the environment itself works against the people who rely on it, about a bunch of gifted individua...

9.5/10

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Strungballs by Mike Russell

I received a copy of Strungballs in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author and also, Jay the Strangebooks secretary for this opportunity. This review will contain minor spoilers.     This is a short novella, numbering only 66 pages and when it commences, we are introduced to a young gentleman c...

6.0/10

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Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

Skullsworn's narrative is set in the same world as Staveley's previously released Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy and it follows Pyrre, a character from those stories. However, it is being marketed as being a standalone adventure in the same environment. I, unfortunately, have to admit that this is the first book of Staveley&rsquo...

8.4/10

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Wrath by John Gwynne (The Faithful and The Fallen)

If you follow the frequency of my reviews then you will be able to analyse that I have devoured the stories from John Gwynne's fantasy epic saga, The Faithful and the Fallen, at an inhuman pace, and the reason for this is that they are spectacularly envisaged works of art. I always find the final book in a series that I have committed about ...

9.8/10

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Ruin by John Gwynne (The Faithful and The Fallen)

Ruin is Gwynne's third novel in his stunning epic fantasy saga, The Faithful and the Fallen. The fabled God-War is no longer a mythical looming prophecy; it is very real and the events unfolding within The Banished Lands are presented to us by a plethora of vivid and dramatic characters. The perspectives we follow are the previous characters...

9.6/10

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The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

When the majority of individuals think about Stephen King's credentials; it is generally about his amazing work-rate at producing memorable and top quality horror stories. With that in mind; in addition to The Dark Tower saga, this novel is one of Mr. King's lesser known creations that is definitely more Tolkien than Tommyknockers....

8.1/10

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The Red Heir by Holden R Johnson (The World Reborn)

The Red Heir is the first fantasy novel from the ambitious World Reborn series, the debut outing from Holden R. Johnson. This tale follows the extraordinary and ice-cool assassin Vall Red as he travels through the peculiar magical doors that are mysteriously dotted around Elemor. All we know is that the doors have something to do with the power ...

6.7/10

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Valour by John Gwynne (The Faithful and The Fallen)

"One thought circled in his head like the black birds swirling about the mountain peaks. They must be stopped." - CorbanValour carries on literally minutes after the action when Malice presented us such an amazing breathless finale. We witness the so-called Bright Star Corban; and his bizarre accumulated band of all sor...

9.0/10

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Gilded Cage by Vic James (The Dark Gifts Trilogy)

Gilded Cage is the first book in The Dark Gifts Trilogy. It has an intriguing premise, where the UK has been split into two, with a very rich and privileged minority ruling the country, this minority are quite archaic in nature and are known as Equals (or those with Skill). The rest of the population, those without Skill, live quite similarly to...

9.2/10

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Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd (The God Fragments)

I received a free copy of Stranger of Tempest in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Tom Lloyd and Gollancz.I am not ashamed to admit that I was drawn to reading this book by how stunning Jon McCoy's cover artwork is. The second thing that made me think this novel was well worth my time is that it has one of the best ...

8.0/10

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The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

The Wheel of Osheim was the only book I could have possibly read next following on from the ultimate cliffhanger at the conclusion of the previous story. So, apologies to other authors whose books I have still to review but I simply had to find out what events would follow the prior outing and also, to see how The Red Queen's war against a m...

9.9/10

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The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

** This review contains minor spoilers **The Liar's Key is the second book in Lawrence's The Red Queen's War trilogy. I adored Prince of Fools which followed Jalan's escapades across The Broken Empire and therefore picked up this book as soon as I could.The survivors from the quest to the Black Fort are Jalan, Snorr...

9.5/10

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Half a War by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea)

'A warriors place is at Death's side' said Raith as he stood. 'So he can introduce her to his enemies.'Half a War is the conclusive third book in Joe Abercrombie's Shattered Sea saga. It follows on smoothly from the events at the conclusion of Half a World and we find ourselves witness to the politics and events su...

8.2/10

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Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (Red Queen's War)

This review contains minor spoilers."I'm a liar and a cheat and a coward, but I will never, ever, let a friend down. Unless of course not letting them down requires honesty, fair play or bravery."Prince of Fools, the first story in The Red Queen's War trilogy is set in The Broken Empire and introduces readers to P...

9.4/10

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Malice by John Gwynne (The Faithful and The Fallen)

"That is my prayer, what use is prayer to a God that has abandoned all things..." - HalvorGwynne's debut is the foundation of what will arguably be a perplexing but ultimately breathtaking fantasy saga. One that is flowing with age-old and perhaps cliched elements preparing for the ultimate battle. Good vs. Evil. It...

7.6/10

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Blood Of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski (The Witcher)

Blood of Elves is chronologically the 3rd entry within The Witcher saga. Whereas previously all the short stories followed Geralt of Rivia working on certain monster assassination assignments, within Blood of Elves he is one of 3 or 4 main characters that we share the minds of. For the novels, you can start here but I wouldn't recommend it. ...

8.3/10

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Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell (Trojan War Trilogy)

Lord of the Silver Bow is the first story in Gemmell's Troy trilogy and it was a joy to read. Although this is the first Gemmell book that I have read, I know that he is often heralded as the King of writing Heroic Fantasy. His skill in this field mixed with a story incorporating some of the greatest mythological heroes of all time seems to ...

8.5/10

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Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (The First Law)

"We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged" - Heinrich HeineBefore They Are Hanged is Abercrombie's second entry into the twisted and grim world of The First Law. It follows on from the three story arcs that The Blade itself stylishly led towards. Bayaz, the first of the Magi is venturing to the end of th...

8.9/10

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (The First Law)

I was up until half five yesterday morning reading intensely to finish off this story. I didn’t write the review then as it would have been a tired, mumbled mess with little to no eloquence and it wouldn’t have included any cool sounding words. Let’s see how I get on now after a good night's sleep…Prior to rea...

8.5/10

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