Saturday, 15 August 2015

Friday, 14 August 2015

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Shard: Chronicles of Xax by Ted Cross

Yo guys!
Joe here with another review for you all! :D

Today we’re going to be reviewing ‘The Shard: Chronicles of Xax’ by Ted Cross.

Here’s the blurb to get you intrigued:
A dying king. A mysterious invader. The seer's vision was clear: find the lost shard from the Spire of Peace or the realm would drown in blood.

The problem: eight hundred years ago the elven hero Kathkalan took the shard with him into the lair of the most vicious dragon ever known to mankind...and he never returned. 

Reluctantly drafted to lead the quest is the minor noble Midas, torn between his duty to the realm and the desire to protect his sons. With an unlikely band of heroes, including two elderly rangers and a young tinker’s son, Midas must risk losing everything he loves if he is to locate the shard and save the Known Land

I received a copy of this E-Book from the author for an honest review 

This is possibly one of the best fantasy stories I’ve read to date.

The story that the author created was put together so creatively and it moved so smoothly that I don’t really have any negative judgment about it.
Normally when I read a fantasy book, I notice elements of external media influences and other types of influences, be that a video game, film, etc, that normally kicks my review or my enjoyment of the book down a notch, because I start thinking about characters or scenery and lose creative imaginational pleasure from the book.

In this story everything felt so fresh!
I mean, yes it was your High Epic Fantasy that involved wizards and dragons, Long journeys into lush forests and castles, but even then the author added extra elements, which made the journey fun and thrilling to a person who enjoys Fantasy books and stories.
I think I have stated on the blog before that I am a huge fan of Tolkien’s work, I also really enjoyed the LOTR films that Peter Jackson created; ‘The Shard’ has honestly topped The Fellowship of the Ring for me in terms of detail and the character development within the book.
The stories are on par with each other to me though haha.
Just to add in; Yes it did remind me a little of a mash between LOTR and The Hobbit, but I was able to push those pieces back and imagine this story without falter.

The story itself is full of so many different settings and feelings. Action is a huge substance within this book, of course, but it is sweetly and superbly counter-acted with doses of reality and honest love from each character.
As the book was separated into three or four of the main characters POV’s, I felt very aware of the surroundings and the actual pace of the story; so for example instead of it jumping wildly to night or day between characters, the transitions would be scripted and allowing for the time to pass if a character who hasn’t been relevant for a few chapters to still exist properly in the same time zones instead of doing silly flashback sequences and ‘2 days prior’ situations.
Which increased the realistic values of this story dramatically!

How the author wrote and chose his words really helped impact this book to a five star review.
The entire book was beautifully described and awesomely paced, it was a definite quick read, though I do have to add here that during the time I read it I was super ill so it took me stupidly long to read it! (Bright lights and headaches apparently don’t go together, who’d of thunk it!)

Another thing that helped a-lot with the story was the map that the author sent me a copy of. As many Fantasy books, ‘The Shard’ had a bunch of cities, areas, forests with (sometimes) complicated names to remember.
The map was an amazing help and such a fun add-on! More books should come with a downloadable code on the back or a fold out map that allows you to follow the journey of the companions you’re reading about; this added a ton of fun while reading, it generally made me feel more immersed and attached to these characters! Thank you to the author for sending me a file for that!

That Intro! The intro for this book was possibly the first time I’ve had to re-read an intro to fully understand what had happened because it happened so quickly that I had no time to process it.
Kudos to the author!

Now for the characters!

I won’t go into detail about all the characters, as there were quite a few.
So! Instead I’m going to write a short paragraph about three of them!

First off we have Midas the Lord of Welby; even though he may be a small-time lord, Midas has connections towards the highest nobles in the Known Lands.
Midas to me is the ultimate father figure; caring, smart, strong, emotional and understanding.
His compassion towards his sons, the people who lived on and around his lands and external people such as the elves, dwarves and other lords was unquestioned and powerful.

The next character I want to discuss is Alvanaria.
I really liked her! Alvanaria is an Elf who joins Midas’s companions on their journey to find The Shard; she slowly became one of my favourite characters in this book.
She had a awesome sense of humour, deep compassion, respect and understanding of situations that sometimes other Fantasy books fail to capture; for example there was a scene which followed the company travelling through Battle-Wood, which was a Dwarven, Elven and Orc battlefield, now a burial ground, while walking through Alvanaria and Geldrath discuss how she knows some of the deceased in this woods. I really did like this scene as it showed how someone who is a skilled warrior and has a strong willed heart can be easily hurt and holds deep pain.
I did enjoy her relationship with Midas, especially the way that they spoke to each other, making it a more intellectual friendship then just having fun.
She is also pretty damn Badass!

The last character I am going to talk about is Edo!
Edo is a ranger from the East Gate, it doesn’t really discuss how old he is, but I would guess he’s around his late 40’s or early 50’s, as he is older than other rangers but younger than Orcbait (His best friend).
Edo’s character to me was a tricky one to figure out honestly; I thought he was going to be a bit mischievous and trickster-like, but as his chapters went on he became this loyal, honest, gripping character who I was rooting for till the end!
He (And Orcbait, you can’t have one without the other) became my favourite character(s) just because on how interesting their stories were.

This story was one of the best Fantasies I’ve opened in a long long time!
The story was strong, driven and to the point!
The characters were believable, loveable, fun and gripping!
I liked this book, if you didn’t guess already.
I’m hoping there’s going to be some sort of continuation to this book, as I want more Alvanaria and Geldrath and Midas and the rest! :D

If you are into Fantasy books with Wizards, Elves, Dragons and more check this book out because you will not be disappointed!

A massive thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this E-Book!

And a huge thanks to you for reading this!
See ya on the flip side guys!


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Lament of Sky by B.B. Wynter

Yo Guys!
Joe here with another review for you all!

Today I’m going to be reviewing Bb Wynter’s dark fantasy book ‘The Lament of Sky’!
Here’s a little bit of the blurb to get you intrigued:
Lilyth, the last remnant of the Rhai-Angof, fights to survive against the ruling, tyrannical Vildarii regime. Her journey leads to encounters with William, the only remaining Duwaiu God; Sky, an ethereal being of otherworldly magic; and a philandering sky-pirate named Vergo. 

I received an E-copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

I didn’t think this story would be as good as it was honestly.

The story to me was very well created and implemented over the entire read, the way the Epic-Fantasy styled influences intertwined with highly erotic scenes (Which I generally didn’t expect to get so in-depth haha…) really made the reading more interesting and clever?

The way the story flowed along was very fluid-like and very natural; you can tell that the author spent a-lot of time delving ways to create such an intense and fun story that will capture so many emotions at once.
The world building was really well done; some of the areas the author created were unique and quite distinctly different from areas of the same style in other books.

The plot was a simple one honestly, though it worked perfectly for what it needed!
The main character suffers from memory problems and decides to go on a journey to retrieve her memory of why these people are trying to kill/save her, meeting companions along the way who would become friends until the end.

Yes, it does seem super simple and very ‘un-imaginative’; but the author worked around this and made the plot become slightly clever and unexpected. I honestly have read better story lines which contained large twists and turns (The Mistborn books for instance) but this one does work and it works well.

The characters to me were well developed.
There were only a few characters, which I liked and disliked about the book.

The reason I liked there being only a few characters is because we wouldn’t get lost in an expansive world filled with so many people we forget what happened to someone three chapters ago.

But the reason I don’t like it is because it sometimes limits the character to broaden their development? Instead of focusing on a few characters every other chapter it would focus on the feelings of one or two at a time in some chapters that threw off the engrossment of me as a reader.

Lilyth (Genuinely the nicest way of spelling that name I’ve ever come across) is a Rhai-Angof, a race of women warriors with long silver hair who are able to contact the Duwaiu Gods, until they were and the Duwaiu were all hunted and executed by the evil Vildarii.
Lilyth is a really well done character in my opinion. She’s serious, funny, at points quite ‘sexual’ and super fearless and brave!

Lilyth was my favourite character just because of how funny she was; always making jokes about people or situations; for example one of the other characters, Sky who introduced himself as a Caraid, was known to Lilyth as ‘The Cabbage Fairy’, which I found quite funny!
Her way of speaking and wording was quite peculiar as well; it was like… An intelligent but yet serious Steam-punk Pirate who was brought by constant innuendo jokes, I liked it honestly!

The other characters in this book made an impression, but none lived up to Lilyth’s wit and humour.

Overall, this book was a fun little read and one that will be remembered for a long time :)
If you enjoy Dark Fantasy with great characters and a story/plot/design worthy of great imaginative fun, you’ll really enjoy B.B. Wynter’s book ‘Lament of Sky’
And who knows, maybe we’ll see a sequel to this book! I would jump straight onto it!

Thank you again to the author for sending me an E-copy of this book!
And thank you to you for reading this review!

See ya on the flip side guys!
Joe :)