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Friday, November 15, 2019

The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar (reviewed by Łukasz Przywóski)

Order The Violent Century over HERE (USA) & HERE (UK)

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Lavie Tidhar was raised on a kibbutz in Israel. He has traveled extensively since he was a teenager, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and the small island nation of Vanuatu.

Tidhar began publishing with a poetry collection in Hebrew in 1998, but soon moved to fiction, becoming a prolific author of short stories early in the 21st century.

He lives with his wife in London

FORMAT/INFO: The Violent Century is 332 pages long. The book was originally published in 2014. Tachyon reprinted it in 2019. Cover art by Sarah Anne Langton.

OVERVIEW: The Violent Century defies easy categorization. It’s as much a romance as a spy novel or a murder mystery. It’s also a memoir of a meaningful friendship. It revolves around deeply flawed Übermenschen (superheroes). So… let’s call it an alt-historical superhero thriller with romance and murder mystery?

Yeah, that fits. More or less.  


What makes a hero? A hero stands up to injustice. A hero triumphs over odds. A hero fights pirates, sails a raft down a volatile waterway, a hero is a boy and a boy is a hero, good triumphing over bad.

Every Superhuman has an origin story, telling how they gained their powers and decided to fight crime or become criminals. You’ll find nothing so obvious in The Violent Century. German scientist, Vomacht, created a machine that sent a probability wave of changes across the entire world. Random people gained unusual abilities and superpowers. 

British Henry Fogg, for example, can control fog. It doesn’t sound impressive, but you should never underestimate him. British intelligence services found his powers interesting enough to recruit and train him on a Farm. As a British agent, Fogg observes and experiences crucial parts of WWII. His loyalties are tested when he meets a beautiful and superpowered woman. 

A word of caution here. The story isn’t complicated, but the writing style is. The narrative moves forward and backward through time using rapid scene shifts. It opens with Oblivion delivering a message to Fogg - The Old Man wants to speak with him about what happened in 1946. Immediately after this, the story jumps to the mid-1930s and from there to the 1940s and further along the way.
Trinity College, Cambridge. The Rolls comes to a stop. A sea of grass. Students in groups, sitting in the sun. Samuel comes around and opens the passenger door, The Old Man climbs out. Stretches. Sun on his face.
Tidhar’s prose is minimalist, composed of short and sharp sentences with almost no exposition. His fractured writing style makes it rather difficult to read in the beginning and requires a bit of trust from the reader. Tidhar knows what he’s doing and once you get used to his writing, you’ll appreciate how powerful it can be. 

I think Tidhar played with the powers attributed to the Übermenschen. Not only are they exaggerated, but they also express, mockingly, their national identities (Fogg, a Londoner, controls Fog; Nazis are evil incarnated, Soviets tragic, Americans flashy and arrogant). Somehow, though, they give each historical era a distinctive feel and remain believably human.

The Violent Century is both demanding and rewarding. It won't appeal to everyone and I understand why some readers will put it aside because of time jumps and fractured writing style. I've almost done it myself; luckily I've persevered. If you give it a chance, you may discover it's one of the rare books that stay with the reader long after they finish the last page.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: Crisis of Fate The Madness Wars Companion Novel by Jesse Teller (by Mihir Wanchoo)

Today we are mucho excited to present a cover reveal for a series that’s sure to strike many a chord in fantasy fans hearts everywhere.

The Madness Wars series is a saga that’s close to Jesse Teller’s heart and is sort of the main opening salvo of his magnum opus in-the-making. So checkout the cover by Jenny Zemanek below, she also did the cover for Onslaught Of Madness and is well known to those who follow the SPFBO contest editions.


Crisis of FateThe Madness Wars Companion Novel

Pre-order Crisis Of Fate over here

Release Date: April 15, 2020

Official Blurb: To save her sanity she must give up her soul.

With rare exception, Raendel took everything she ever wanted. Now her vicious thieves guild is festering around her. Through paranoia and insomnia, her grip on reality crumbles, and a crisis leads her to a desperate choice—face retribution or serve a creation of pure evil.

Praise for The Madness Wars:

"If you’re a reader who loves following multiple, complex, crisscrossing, narratives that jump around in time and space—Teller’s work is for you." — Fantasy-Faction

"Jesse Teller has done a magnificent job so far with this new series and I can't wait to see what's next." — Forever Lost in Literature

"Fascinating subplots, earthy characters, violence, magic and through it all, you know you have left reality behind and entered into the magical realm of an epic storyteller." —Tome Tender Book Blog


Official Author Website
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Legends Of The Exiles
Read "Writing About Difficult Topics" by Jesse Teller (guest post)

Author bio: Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy.

His writing influences include Stephen King, Steven Erikson, Robert E Howard, George RR Martin, Piers Anthony, and Paulo Coelho. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to understanding the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Forever Fantasy Online: The Once King by Rachel Aaron & Travis Bach (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Rachel Aaron Website
Order “The Once King HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Forever Fantasy Online"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "FFO: Last Bastion"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Nice Dragons Finish Last"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "One Good Dragon Deserves Another"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "A Dragon Of A Different Color"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Last Dragon Standing"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Minimum Wage Magic"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Part-Time Gods"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "The Spirit Thief
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Rebellion” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Eater” & “Spirit’s Oath” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit War” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Spirit's End"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Fortune's Pawn"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Honor's Knight"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Heaven's Queen"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's joint interview with Rachel Aaron & Travis Bach
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Eli Monpress series completion interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Bach
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Heartstrikers interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Second Heartstrikers interview with Rachel Aaron
Read "Why A Nice Dragon" by Rachel Aaron (Guest post)

ABOUT RACHEL AARON: Rachel lives in Colorado with her family. She has graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in English Literature. She has been an avid reader since her childhood and now has an ever-growing collection to show for it. She loves gaming, Manga comics & reality TV police shows. She also posts regularly on her blog about publishing, books and several other intriguing things.

ABOUT TRAVIS BACH: Travis is a nerd who loves gaming, reading, writing & hiking. He’s Rachel Aaron’s husband as well as one of her strongest pillars. He shares her fascination with gaming and reading fantasy. He lives in Colorado with his wonderful family.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Leylia’s secret could unite them all or lead them to an eternity of undeath.

After the loss of Bastion, everyone who’s not a zombie has holed up in FFO’s sole remaining safe haven: the lowbie town of Windy Lake. But the undead armies never rest, and it’s only a matter of time before the Once King’s forces come to crush what’s left of life in this world.

But Tina, James, and the rest of the players are facing a crisis of their own. After so long in this world, their human bodies are dying on the other side. If they don’t find a way home soon, they may have nothing to go back to.

With time running out in two worlds, Tina and James face a horrible choice: do they spend their final days looking for a way to get back to their old bodies, or join the NPCs to fight for their new ones. But just when things look impossible, James learns a secret that might change everything. Only one catch: to pull it off, they’re going to have to fight one raid boss no one, not even Tina, has ever beaten.

The Once King.

FORMAT/INFO: Forever Fantasy Online: The Once King is 443 pages long divided over sixteen numbered & titled chapters with a glossary of terms and a content warning note. Narration is in the third person via Tina Anderson aka Roxxy, James Anderson aka Heal-A-Hoop and a singular POV chapter. This is the third volume of the Forever Fantasy Online trilogy.

November 12, 2019 marks the e-book publication of The Once King and it was self-published by the authors. Cover art is provided by Daniel Schmelling and cover design is by Rachel Aaron.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Trilogy endings are hard, you got to tie all the loose ends and threads while giving a solid ending that will resonate with almost (if not all) the readers. The Forever Fantasy Online story has been a very intriguing LitRPG trilogy, which focuses on an estranged brother-sister duo. Over the past two books we have seen how much growth Tina and James have had to do.

When The Once King begins, we find both of them having left Bastion and are now in Windy Lake readying to take on the last final task of defeating the Once King (the final Boss of FFO). As has been the norm, we find that they both have different ideas about it. But after the events of the last two books, they are more simpatico than they ever were. For Tina, things have changed for the better. She has become a beacon to not only just the Roughnecks but to all the players and native population of the world of FFO. She has become a champion around whom everyone can rally and know that she will do whatever’s necessary to save all of them. Tina or Roxxy in RL hasn’t had the same responsibilities placed on her and it’s become quite apparent how capable she is.

James’ journey on the other hand has been a less physical one but no less exciting. Many readers including me have a preference among the siblings and this book will further cement readers’ choices. James’ actions in this book as well as the previous two volumes have led to a lot of revelations within the trilogy and within this book, James & Ar’bati take another journey to meet with the main titular character. Their journey is kind of a reverse “Mines of Moria” sequence but no less thrilling. They both after their actions in the preceding volume have brought much fanfare to the clan and themselves. However now they are alone and their actions might bring a lasting doom from which there’s no escape.

Both James & Tina get one final chance to shine and they bring their A-game as we find out what truly has happened. Haruto/SilentBladye also gets his moment and we understand what has been the reasons for his reticence. Lastly the other characters such as Anders, Nekobaby, Ar’Bati get their moments as well but for me, it was a solid amount of fun to watch king Gregory coming out of shell and showcasing why he’ considered such a dangerous boss. The characterization is something that has been a solid positive and we get a final reminder why we want to keep following all of these characters.

The book’s main plotline deals with what had been revealed in the climax of Last Bastion. We the readers got to know more about Leylia’s and why certain gamers faced that risk. There’s a lot more revelations in this book:

- What caused the Nightmare to occur?
- Who is the Once King and why is he hell bent on destroying all lifeforms?
- What happened to the world and how did it come to being?
- What is the origin of ghostfire?
- Who or what is Leylia?
-
All these questions and more are revealed in this final volume and this is where Travis and Rachel’s planning really comes to the fore. I loved how it all came together and how the ties were apparent from the first book.

The book’s pace is also of the kind that will make you turn pages as you will be wanting to see what happens next amidst the twists and turns of the book. The twin portions of the book have their own charms as on one end we are thrown along with James and the journey he takes. On the other we have Tina and all the troubles she faces. There’s the lingering tension with SilentBladye/ Haruto, the management of all the guilds who knowingly follow her orders as well the final battle that’s upcoming with the Once King. All of this weighs heavily and as things lay, it’s nigh impossible to defeat the Once King due to a certain move called the Million HP Blast. This and more troubles await all of the players as well as the NPCs who now along with King Gregory of Bastion are now the final host that seek to prevail against the progenitor of the ghostfire.

The action levels are seriously amped up in this volume and while it’s the final battle, I must say the preceding volume The Last Bastion had more of action than this one. The Once King has a concentrated sequence towards the end which really was a hoot to read. The major part of this book is figuring out how James & Tina will combine their talents to save the world. Lastly the ending is epic to say the least and is a solid combination of James’ empathy and Tina’s never say die attitude. I loved how the authors capped off the story and gave us a proper ending as well.

The only couple of complaints about this book was that there’s a big revelation in the start of the book and then we never hear more about it till the epilogue. Also the book has a very focused narrative and skips on many other action-packed events which occur elsewhere. I understand why this was the case as both the main protagonists are in the same place. However I thought it would have been cool to get a view into those events as well.

CONCLUSION: The Once King has an action-packed and multi-twisted plot that is sure to win the fans of this trilogy as it gives an emotionally resonant climax. The book’s pace and action heavy sequences give it the precise oomph that make it such a surefire success. The FFO trilogy has been a different genre beast and is another feather in Rachel Aaron’s already resplendent plumage. Travis Bach mightily impresses in his debut vehicle as well. I can’t wait to see when the both of them collaborate again.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Construct by Luke Matthews (reviewed by Lukasz Przywoski)



Order Construct over HERE (USA) & HERE (UK)

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: An unabashed geek, Luke is a fervent reader, poker player, cinephile, board and video gamer, and comic book fan. A life filled with so many hobbies doesn’t lend itself to easy devotion to a craft, but when the beginnings of CONSTRUCT found the page, those words pulled him inexorably toward writing, now the primary passion in his life.

Luke lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, a lazy cat, and two rambunctious German wirehaired pointers. You can find more of his words on his blog at geekelite.geekerific.com, or check out his board game upgrade obsession at www.pixelartmeeple.com!

FORMAT/INFO: Construct is 374 pages long and is the first book of the Chronicler Saga. The book was self-published by the author in 2014. Cover art by Carmen Sinek.  

OVERVIEW: Better late than never. It took me almost two years to read Construct. Don’t repeat my mistake. If you already have this book in your library, start reading it. If you don’t, consider getting a copy.

Here’s why.

Samuel is a construct - an animated anthropomorphic being magically created from inanimate matter. He looks ancient, but it’s difficult to say for sure as Samuel’s memories were wiped out. He doesn’t know who he is, where he came from and what’s his history. One thing is sure, though. Samuel isn’t a regular construct. He experiences genuine emotions - the one thing that no construct is supposed to be capable of. Additionally, he’s tormented by flashbacks and visions of a gruesome murder and premonitions of his death.

Construct is, essentially, the story of self-discovery of a unique protagonist. While the plot is rather linear and straightforward, there’s a good deal of twists and surprises. Good guys are chased for unknown reasons. To stop the bad guys, they have to learn to trust each other, discover forgotten past, and survive. There’s also a murder mystery that needs to be solved to discover why a pair of cruel and relentless hunters pursue Samuel.

The writing is clear, well-edited and utilitarian. Also, it’s very directed and purposeful. There were very few places where I could have said that something in the book might not be essential to the story at large. There’s no filler here.

Samuel is a strong, memorable protagonist. Despite being a construct, he acts intelligently and feels how things really are. Intellectually, it’s fascinating that an artificial, non-biological system gives rise to conscious experience. Emotionally, it’s incredible that it’s so easy to relate to this strange, magically animated creature that looks for answers amidst people who treat constructs as a property. Samuel will need to decide if he can trust others and his relations with people are an essential part of the story.

Secondary characters feel distinct, but compared to Samuel, they remain slightly underdeveloped. On the other hand, his three main “side-kicks” have compelling backstories, and I want to learn more about them. Especially about Jacob - a thief with translocation powers (a sort of teleportation), and Eriane - a gunslinging teenage girl with anger management issues.

Both Villains are terrifying and nicely sketched. While their motivations aren’t too deep and they lack complexity, they’re effectively terrifying. Not only are they cruel, but they also have some dope magical powers. Some scenes involving villains, like the one in which protagonists and villains observe each other with hatred through a snowstorm, may feel a bit cliche, but trust me, they immerse the reader in a way good action movies do.

I rarely appreciate irredeemable villains because of their flatness. Here, though, both bad guys remain terrifying without being ridiculous. That said, I feel characterization could be better. When I think back at them, they’re portrayed as a sort of villains who drown puppies recreationally, and there’s not much more to them.

The ending is satisfying and doesn’t involve any nasty cliffhanger but it leaves many questions unanswered.

Why does Pare hate guns that much?

What’s the deal with him, anyway?

Despite some minor complaints, Construct is absolutely worth the read and the purchase. I’m surprised it doesn’t get more hype.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Kickstarter Q&A with Dyrk Ashton (interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)



Official Author Website
Order Paternus: Rise Of Gods OVER HERE (US) & OVER HERE (UK)
Order Paternus: Wrath Of Gods OVER HERE (US) & OVER HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Paternus: Rise Of Gods

Dyrk Ashton has held a special place in our hearts since I first read his debut Paternus: Rise Of Gods back in the 2nd edition of SPFBO. The book won me over and since then I’ve only gotten to know him better. I consider him a special author and a good friend. His books hold a special place in my heart for a different reason altogether. His books are the only one in the entire UF genre that successfully manage to combine most world mythologies and make sense as well. His Paternus trilogy has also richly tapped into Hindu mythology and several characters have intriguing pan-mythological roots. >

Dyrk has also successfully run the kickstarter for the hardcover edition of the first Paternus book and after meeting the first two stretch goals, Dyrk was gracious enough with his time to answer a few questions of mine.

Welcome to Fantasy Book Critic Dyrk & thank you for your presence. How does it feel to have a successful funded debut Kickstarter as well as acing the first stretch goal? 
DA: Thank you for having me! I am absolutely amazed, to be honest. This is my first Kickstarter, and I had no idea what to expect. It’s been a tremendous amount of work, which made it even scarier to think it might not fund. I’ve followed and back friends who have had, great success, but also some who failed to fund. It’s a scary thing! The relief and elation of having funded so quickly is truly a wonderful feeling. It launched on Oct. 29, funded in just over 24 hours, and we’re already on the second stretch goal. It still has weeks to go, too, since it doesn’t close until end of day on November 18. The response has blown any expectations I might have had right out of the water.


Talk to us about why you decided to go the KS route for the Hardcover publication of the first Paternus book?
DA: I’ve always wanted to have hardbacks done, but could never afford printing them myself. To get a good price, you have to do a lot of them. Unless you go the Ingram Spark POD route, that is. The quality of IS is very good, but there are no choices in the materials or foil stamping. They are sturdy and quite nice, but they have the look and feel of a library binding to me. I wanted something more special, for me and for my readers, and the only way I could really afford to do that was to go with a Kickstarter. Friends have been encouraging me to do it for awhile, so I figured it was about time.

How did you prepare for it? I think the prep for a KS is almost like an iceberg. The time & energy spent promoting it is about a third or less than the same factors which go in the background and the prep work?
DA: You are absolutely right. The amount of time it took to set it up was much more than I expected, and I expected quite a bit. The budgeting is the hardest part, trying to figure out what the breakeven might be, and determining the pledge levels. Then there’s all the graphics that have to be made for the story page, and the writing that goes into that. The great thing now, though, is that the next one will be SO much easier.

What do you credit your success to? Your love for sloths? Michael J. Sullivan’s archery lessons? Or Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO?
DA: All of the above! The Mike and Robin Sullivan have been a tremendouse help in so many ways, not the least being their advice on the Kickstarter. I can’t thank them enough. It all goes back to Mark’s SPFBO, though. I honestly believe wouldn’t know most of the people I know without it (including you wonderful folks at FBC), and that no one would have heard of my book today if it hadn’t been for my being a finalist and taking third place in SPFBO 2016.

Did Michael Fletcher and any of his doppels try to foil your attempts at it?
DA: YES! Michael kept stealing my pants and putting grill-cheese sandwiches in my shoes. The doppels aren’t so much of a problem since I kidnapped them a couple years ago and have them all in my basement.


What are some of the other stretch goals which you have in mind. Care to give us a hint?
DA: I honestly don’t know. We’ve already met the first two stretch goals of having art by Ed Binkley for the hardcover, and I am simply amazed about having the  art and book printed in color, but I hadn’t really thought beyond that. Those things are everything I would have hoped for to have with the hardback, making it a truly cool collectors item. Since I work a day job and have to keep up with my writing, I’m terrified of taking anything on anything else that will take more time to coordinate or produce.

Still, one thing I’m considering is writing another short story in the world of Paternus. I wouldn’t be able to write it until next summer after Book 3 releases, and it would have to be delivered in eBook format. I could include it in that back of the hardback of Book 2, Wrath of Gods, when I do that Kickstarter.

When can we look forward to Paternus: War Of Gods’ release?
DA: May 19, 2020!

Success begets success & so can we expect more Kickstarter from you for books 2 & 3?
DA: Absolutely! Now that this one has done so well, I’ll definitely be doing one for Book 2, Wrath of Gods, and probably late next summer, once the dust has settled from the release of Book 3 in May.

Thank you for your time Dyrk. I can’t wait to get my hands on the finale knowing how much epicness you are going to combine in it. Any parting words for your fans who await its release?
DA: Thank YOU. And I really can’t thank my readers, the backers of the Kickstarter, and all the wonderful people who have shared about and supported the books enough. I have the best friends and readers ever!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Djinn-son Duology by Sami Shah (reviewed by Łukasz Przywóski)


Order Djinn-son duology over HERE (USA) & HERE (UK)

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Pakistani Comedian and writer Sami Shah has been profiled in the New York Times and ABC's The Australian Story. His autobiography, "I, MIGRANT" has been nominated for the NSW Premier's Literary Award WA Premier's Literary Award, and the Russell Prize for Humour Writing.

Sami is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Ordshaw Vignettes Blog Tour: The Homeless by Phil Williams


To celebrate the release of The Violent Fae, the closing chapter of the Ordshaw seriesThe Sunken City Trilogy, Phil Williams is sharing twelve short stories from the city of Ordshaw. The Ordshaw Vignettes are tiny insights into life in the UK’s worst-behaved city, each presenting a self-contained mystery. .

We at FBC are proud to be a part of Phil William’s Ordshaw Vignettes blog tour. You can read today’s story THE HOMELESS below. For the full dozen, visit all the previous wonderful blogs in the tour which are hyperlinked at the end.....

(Noir City art courtesy of Eddie Mendoza)

The Homeless 

Horace came round the concrete column under the ring road and gave the foreigner a no-nonsense stare. The gypsy was smiling stupidly at the crumpled beer can in his hand, sitting amongst weeds in the overpass shadows.

“She was laughing, don’t tell me you weren’t sharing some joke,” Horace said. The guy looked up with bright eyes behind long straggly hair, grin just visible within his birds’ nest beard.

“What’s that?”

“I heard her bloody laughing, I ain’t crazy.”

“So you heard her, I never said you were crazy.”

“What – don’t play smart – Big Clive heard it too, tell him.” Big Clive grunted at Horace’s shoulder, warning the foreigner to stop pissing about. He was great mass of filth, Clive, wrapped in blanket scraps because it was hard scavenging clothes that fit. That’s why Horace did the talking, in his dinner jacket, never mind the holes – better than the gypsy’s shaggy leathers. Horace said, “You got a girl over here, when we’re sharing this space – only polite for you to share and all.”

“Didn’t realise this was yours to share.” The gypsy stood, a kind of cheer-filled madness in his eyes. High on something. He was bigger than Horace but not up to Clive’s shoulder. Thick around the middle, too, well fed. The girl wasn’t all he was keeping to himself.

“Got a lot to learn, you do,” Horace said. He tried to spot the girl’s hiding place. Lot of dark shadows here, but not much space, unless she dug off under the fence. He eyeballed the foreigner. “No god-damned manners, you know that?”

“Friend, I’ve only sat here enjoying my own company.”

“And a girl’s,” Big Clive said.

“And a girl,” Horace agreed.

“Gentlemen, please.” The gypsy turned on the spot, almost like a dance move, one hand swinging about the grotty lair. “Say there was talking, and that your eyes don’t trick you, then this woman must be quite hard to see. That don’t worry you?”

“The hell is he talking about?” Horace demanded. Clive looked like he’d lost this train three stops ago.

“This city!” the gypsy said brightly, a finger suddenly pointing Horace’s way. “I’ve seen such strange, almost beautiful, ever-terrifying things. Do you want to see them? Are you sure?”

“Bloody mad.” Horace shook his head. Brains fried on whatever powder was putting people in the gutter this month. “You gonna tell us we imagined the boy, too? Where’s he at, now? Maybe we share him, instead.” The stranger’s smile finally failed. Yeah, carefree till you’re not. Horace showed his remaining teeth in a mocking grin. “Girl, boy, don’t matter none to us.”

“Don’t talk about my son,” the gypsy spat.

“Your son?” Horace laughed. “Hey, Clive, he has a son. One he’s not even looking after, now, what’s that say? Left him digging through trash while you’re with the lady?”

The guy’s fists were clenched. Tough looking hands, must’ve scrapped some, same as all of them. But he was a joker. An out-of-towner. What the hell did he know? Horace took out the blade. Not something you could call a knife, broken off an old toaster, but sharp enough to damage. It surprised the gypsy – too fool to expect a tool. Horace assured, “Welcome to Ordshaw, moron. Not gonna give us the lady? We’ll have the boots. And the jacket.”

But the gypsy relaxed. Hands loose. “Ah. You’ve done it now.”

“Huh?”

“She would’ve allowed a fight, but won’t stand for weapons.”

“What the bleeding hell are you –”

There was a firecracker bang, making Clive leap a foot off the ground, and a clang as the blade hit the dirt. Horace rotated his empty hand, stunned. A little bead of blood swelled to the surface. On both sides. Something had gone right through. It took a second for the pain to register.

“Next one’s in your fucking head,” a small woman’s voice said.

Horace screamed.

Clive was away, thumping off in useless fear. Horace clamped his good hand over the injured one with pained gasps. He looked desperately to the gypsy. “What was that – what you do – shit –”

The man shrugged. “I apologise. They mostly stay out of the way, but they are a violent people. It’s best I go – I am very sorry.”

Rooted to the spot, unable to comprehend the wound that gripped him, Horace whimpered at the stranger’s back. The gypsy strolled away, slipping back into conversation with his unseen companion: “You didn’t have to shoot him.”

“A bit of Fae wisdom, beardo: when we can, we do.”

                                          *---------------*---------------*---------------*

Previous Blog Tour Spots:

Lynn’s Books - 22-Oct -The Banker

Space and Sorcery - 23-Oct - The Troubled Child

Bookshine & Readbows - 24-Oct - The Concierge

Brainfluff - 25-Oct - The Crane Driver

The BiblioSanctum - 28-Oct - The Chemist

Paper Plane Reviews - 29-Oct - The Neighbours

Out of this World SFF Reviews - 30-Oct - The Artist

RockStarlit Book Asylum - 31-Oct - The Family

Jon Auerbach - 01-Nov - The Composer

Fantasy Book Review - 02-Nov - The Gang

Whispers & Wonder - 03-Nov - The Fixer

Fantasy Book Critic 04-Nov The Homeless

About Ordshaw and The Violent Fae:  The Ordshaw series are urban fantasy thrillers set in a modern UK city with more than a few terrible secrets. The Violent Fae completes a story that began with Under Ordshaw and its sequel Blue Angel – following poker player Pax Kuranes’ journey into the Ordshaw underworld. Over the space of one week, Pax unravels mysteries that warp reality and threaten the entire city.

The Violent Fae will be available from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback from November 5th 2019.



Order The Violent Fae over HERE (US) & HERE (UK)

Official Book Blurb: They hid among us, until she exposed them.

They'll destroy everything to be hidden again.

Pax is discovering that the smallest mistakes can have the deadliest impact. To protect her city, she's uncovered monstrous truths and involved terrible people. The consequences are coming for her.

The Sunken City is unstable. The Fae are armed for war.

Can Pax stop the coming disaster?

In this closing chapter of the Sunken City trilogy, Williams weaves the complex strands of Pax's misadventure into a truly thrilling conclusion.



Official Author Website

Official Author Information: Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle.

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