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Saturday, February 6, 2016

SPFBO Second Round Mini-Reviews (by Mihir Wanchoo)

I've been delayed with these reviews so here's the first bunch of mini-reviews. The scores are updated on Mark's original post. So without further adieu, here are first four:


The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClungThis was a debut, which I came across thanks to the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. Combining Sword and sorcery elements but with a dark flair akin to Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard books. Michael McClung gives us Amra Thetys and the world she inhabits. This is a tale about a thief with some morals and what happens when she indulges them.

Michael McClung has to be lauded for giving us a story that not only showcases the best of a sword & sorcery tale but also gives us a protagonist that we can root for entirely. Yes the protagonist is a grey one but Amra is written so well that I couldn’t stop reading about her plusI'm sure other readers like me will be left wanting more tales about her. The story ends with a revelation of an impending apocalypse; and yet the tale feels complete. I absolutely am stoked for the forthcoming sequels and this scores a solid 8/10 from me.


Blood Rush by Ben Galley My original introduction to Ben’s writing was via his debut  Emaneska series. With Blood Rush though, Ben takes an entirely new approach and gives us an alternate historical book that also acts strongly as a western. The story focusses on Tonmerion Hark, a 13-year old who is (sort  of) banished to a foreign frontier land called Wyoming. Wanting to return to his British homeland, Tonmerion will have to try to fit in with his extended family in Wyoming while also trying to figure out secrets about the land.

What I enjoyed about this book was that the author doesn’t quite dwell too much into the world setting and gives s a story that is entirely dependent on the characters present within.  What I mean by that is that there are strong hints and secrets scattered throughout the story, however the readers will have to piece them together to figure it all out. Plus the book’s pace will keep the readers glued and the ending is one that will leave you waiting for the sequel instantaneously. Blood Rush gets 7.5/10 for its ingenious plot approach.


The Weight Of A Crown by Tavish Kaeden The Weight Of A Crown is epic fantasy that shines a strong light on all its glorious trappings. Muti-POV structure & solid characterization, check, a complex geo-political storyline, check, various nations/lands in strife check, a magic system that’s not quite explained properly, check. Tavish Kaeden’s debut is something that struck a chord with me. I’m a lover of epic fantasy and this book did its best to keep me enthralled.

One thing that sort of a drawback with the title is that, because the author gives such an in-depth story, the pace of the story is something that isn’t of the fast variety. So for readers looking for a short, well-paced read might not enjoy it. For those lovers of epic fantasy who want to be immersed in a world and three-dimensional characters, Tavish’s debut hopefully will strike a strong chord with you as it did with me. TWOAC also gets 8/10 for its solid epic fantasy approach.


Shattered Sands by W. G. Saraband Shattered Sands is a book that had me excited a lot based on its description. The book’s setting was one that hearkened to a Middle Eastern frame. Plus the book has two main female POV characters as well. However this book didn’t quite work for me, I’m not sure what the exact reason was. It could be that the book has a sluggish pace or that this book definitely needs a better editing pass. The world settings are quite dark and usually that’s a plus point for me in my reading. However with this story, it was a tad depressing and the main characters really didn’t strike my fancy. Overall I thought this was an interesting book by the author but it was one that wasn’t to my liking. A 6/10 for Shattered Sands.

2 comments:

STUART FLYNN said...

Some very good scores here

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I think I picked up The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble’s Braids as a freebie on Amazon. But I'm not sure. It sounds like a neat book. And a few others I'll have to think about. :)

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