Happy Canada Day to me and my fellow Canadians and Happy 4th of July to my American readers and pals!!!
So I didn't quite hit my pledge to do a full review or two but I do have some excellent books to tell you about. I decided to delve into one of the SPFBO 4 books that Qwill recommended and then I got on a roll and decided to read a couple of sequels to these books. So anticipation over...this is what I read
I started by reading Aching God
by Mike Shel. This book was the Qwillery's finalist
and one of Qwill's fave books of 2018. High praise indeed! I am not going to give you an exhaustive review as that has already been done
but I will tell you what I thought. I really, really enjoyed Aching God
. Shel has created great characters, an interesting world for them to live in and a 'can't put down' action adventure. My only very, very petite criticism was that 90% of the book is setting up the big dramatic ending, 5% the big dramatic ending and then 5% of epilogue. It kind of feels that you spend quite a long time getting to the end and then it is over in just a few pages. This is really very minor however. It's a great story.
Hot on the heels of Aching God
I practically ran to Amazon (figuratively, of course) to buy Sin Eater
which is book 2 of the Iconoclasts trilogy. Set a year after the events of book 1 Auric Manteo finds himself back on another adventure with the Syraeic League and back in the Djao ruins. He has been summoned by the Queen to try to avert an unknown threat to the Kingdom by travelling to lands far away with his Syraeic brothers. Armed with the sentient sword that he received by a mad duke in book 1 Auric is the only man for the job. The group have everything to lose but the Kingdom has far more to lose if they don't succeed.
I absolutely LOVED this book and it will definitely be at the top of the list for 2019 for me. The characterisation is exceptional, the plot is completely gripping, and the pace is near perfect. The relationship between Auric and Agnes is genuine and poignant, as are the relationships between the other characters we meet along the way. The story is as much a story of personal journey and human frailty as it is about the journey to the Djao ruins. The ending had me immediately searching for book 3. I can't believe I have to wait until 2020 to find out what happens next.
You will know that I read Orconomics
by J. Zachary Pike for SPFBO 4 and really enjoyed it. As I was on a SPFBO sequel reading quest I decided to buy Son of Liche
which continues The Dark Profits series. In this instalment Gorm and friends are on the run after being blamed for the deaths of a settlement of Orcs and of two of their friends. When a liche, leading an army of undead, threaten the kingdom Gorm and his band of fallen heroes decide to take action and bring down the liche and restore their honour. Needless to say this does not go smoothly. While the undead threaten to take over there is still money to be made and loot to seize!
I have to say I didn't enjoy Son of Liche
nearly as much as its predecessor. I didn't find the story half as witty as book 1 and in parts it was a bit of a drudge to read. When it was funny....it was very, funny. Pike sets up book 3 and I really hope there is a happy ending for Gorm and his raggle taggle band of misfits.
The final book I am going to tell you about is In Dreaming Bound
by J. Kathleen Cheney. I loved book 1, Dreaming Death
which was one of my fave books of 2016. I was really looking forward to find out what happened next to Mikael and Shironne. I did start to read a few of the chapters that Cheney posted on her Patreon site but it was a bit hard to follow so I stopped. The story has quite a dramatic start when Shironne has been kidnapped and cut off from her connection with Mikael. Desperate to find her Mikael risks everything to get her back. After she is rescued she is placed in the Fortress with the Family and forced into a more regimented life away from her mother and sisters. Her only connection with her previous life is through her bond with Mikael which gets stronger and stronger every day. As Shironne tries to adjust, Mikael is determined to find out who wanted to try to sell Shironne and, more importantly, who wanted to buy her.
I did enjoy In Dreaming Bound
but perhaps wasn't quite as enthralled as I was with book 1. I am not quite convinced by the piety of the Families and their tightly governed society. As you may know I have read the 'families' books and thought they were just OK. I don't think this setting really supported the plot point established in book 1 that Shironne is very sensitive to touch and could barely eat or wear clothes that had weren't specially laundered for her. She couldn't do this while living in a barracks! Overall, it was enjoyable but I was a bit underwhelmed.
Well that is it for me and for June. I hope you found some great books to read. I am going to be busy reading books for SPFBO 5 but I will try to find time to read some books to tell you about. Until next time Happy Reading.