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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SPFBO: Fantasy Book Critic's Round II Finalist (by Mihir Wanchoo)


SPFBO II has been quite a reading event for me, this time around there were 30 books in my lot. From which I narrowed it down to six titles. All of them have been reviewed as of today morning & three of the authors were very kind to answer a few questions as well (a big Thank You to Kristal Shaff, R. J. Blain, & R. D. Henderson for indulging my queries).

Now I must say, this year it was a very tough decision for me as three of those six were tied with each other and edged out the rest. I had a hard time in choosing the eventual winner and so here it is:


The Moonlight War by S. K. S. Perry

What made me choose The Moonlight War was the sense of adventure it conveyed as well as the efficient characterization. Among all the books, it was the book that reminded me of why I started reading fantasy to begin with. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its flaws, it does. But overall it was a close tie between TMW and the other 2 books and this title narrowly won out because of the enjoyable reading experience it provided. I’ll be interested to see what the other judges think of it.


Powers Of The Six earns a silver star and is a solid runner up among all the books I read in my lot. It was right up there besides The Moonlight War with regards to the epic nature of the story and a fun reading experience. Kristal Shaff’s opening salvo is a solid fantasy story that features worthy teenage protagonists who aren’t whiny and will be fun to read for adult readers as well. Be sure to check this book out and keep an eye out for her future works.


Hondus Pointe is my bronze finalist because it is a dark gem of a story. Dealing with gray protagonists and murder and betrayal. This novella was right up my alley and showcased R. D. Henderson to be quite terrific. This book came third because it was of a much shorter length and felt that there was much more (the story continues in six sequel novellas). I think had it been a longer form story, it would have given a tough run to the aforementioned winners. R. D. Henderson marked himself out with his brutal storyline and vicious characters which made for such an enticing noir read.

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