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Monday, March 1, 2021

One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky Review

Official Author Website
Order One Day All This Will Be Yours over HERE

Exclusive Cover Reveal: HEAVY LIES THE CROWN by Ben Galley + Giveaway (guest post by Ben Galley)



ON THE SUBJECT OF DRAGONS


I promised Mihir I would be on my best behaviour if he let me talk about the cover for Heavy Lies The Crown. In writing and everything. Specifically, I swore I wouldn’t push any propaganda. Well, I’m sorry, Mihir. But that’s not just who I am.

*surreptitiously puts on elaborate dragon hat*

I’m a man obsessed with dragons. I’d wager I’ve watched Dragonheart more times than most. I have dragon tattoos. I once kept a rock for three years because I thought it was a dragon egg. (I was also six), and I’ll die on a hill for the theory that dragons actually existed. And yet, peculiarly, it’s taken me 14 books to put a damn dragon on one of my book covers.
Sunday, February 28, 2021

SPFBO Finalist: A Wind From Wilderness by Suzannah Rowntree review

Official Author Website

Order A Wind from The Wilderness: USA/UK


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Towers and Fever Dreams - a Guest Post by Yaroslav Barsukov


Order The Tower of Mud and Straw HERE
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

COVER REVEAL Q&A: A Game Of Gods ( The Great Hearts II) by David A. Oliver (by Mihir Wanchoo)



Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Timberwolf by Dominic Adler review

Official Author Website
Order Timberwolf over HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: an ex-London policeman turned writer. Dominic is inspired by writers like Jack Higgins and Len Deighton, Mark Timlin and Philip Kerr. The stuff of hard-boiled thrillers and Sunday afternoon war movies, full of action, suspense and dark humour.

FORMAT/INFO: Self-published by the author in 2019, Timberwolf is 490 pages long. 
Monday, February 22, 2021

SPFBO: Interview with Suzannah Rowntree


Official Author Website
Order A Wind from The Wilderness over here: USA/UK

COVER REVEAL: Dances Of Deception (new edition) by J. C. Kang

 

Like Songs of Insurrection and Orchestra of Treacheries, Dances of Deception (Book 3 of the Dragon Songs Saga) has a brand new cover.  The new edition has several small changes, as well as new internal narratives to take into account the events of Complete Tales of the Floating World.
Sunday, February 21, 2021

Interview with Dorian Hart, author of The Ventifact Colossus & Giveaway



Order The Ventifact Colossus HERE.

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Dorian Hart is the author of the Heroes of Spira epic fantasy series, which currently includes The Ventifact Colossus, The Crosser’s Maze, and The Greatwood Portal. The fourth book, The Infinite Tower, should be out in February or March of 2021. 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

SPFBO Finalist: Nether Light by Shaun Paul Stevens

Order Nether Light over here USA / UK
Monday, February 15, 2021

Cover Spotlight Q&A: Shards Of Earth (The Final Architects #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky (by Mihir Wanchoo)

 

(Author picture courtesy of Pan Macmillan)

Official Author Website

Pre-order Shards Of Earth over HERE (USA) & HERE (UK)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bear Head by Adrian Tchaikovsky review

Official Author Website
Order Bear Head over HERE

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Interview with Krystle Matar, author of Legacy of the Brightwash


Legacy of the Brightwash is scheduled to be released on February 18, 2021! Pre-order it here
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)


Official Author Website
Order the book HERE
Read Caitlin’s review of City Of Lies

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Sam Hawke
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

SPFBO: Interview with Shaun Paul Stevens




AUTHOR INFORMATION: Born in London in 1972, Shaun spent his formative years in the shadows of the dreaming spires of Oxford, before moving to Nottingham where he graduated with a degree in English and Media.

Shaun lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, where he splits his time between fiction, geekdom, and garlic bread.

Find out more at shaunpaulstevens.com
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhoarse review



AUTHOR INFO: Rebecca Roanhorse is the New York Times bestselling author of Trail of Lightning, Storm of Locusts, Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, and Race to the Sun. She has won the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards for her fiction, and was the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (formerly Campbell) Award for Best New Writer.

FORMAT: Published on October 13, 2020, by Simon&Schuster in USA & due on January 21, 2021 in UK (published by Solaris). Length - 464 pages (HC). Available in all formats. Cover art by John Picacio.

OVERVIEW:

Yeah, it was dark.

Black Sun focuses on the cost of vengeance, religious corruption, generational trauma, and politics. It features fascinating (and fun!) characters on their paths to change the balance of powers in their world. 

Serapio, a young boy raised (and maimed) to become the vessel of the god Grandfather Crow, has one goal - to end the Sun Priest’s reign. To do so, he needs to get to the city of Tova before the solar eclipse. Almost impossible, unless you can count on someone with the right skills. Enter Xiala, a foul-mouthed and hedonistic Sea captain, and general badass. Only she (and her magic) can make the seafaring adventure possible. 

Sun Priest Naranpa, the highest religious authority in the holy city of Tova, is a decent woman caught in political and religious machinations. Others judge her for her low birth and resent her drive to make priests more accessible to Tova’s people. Their stories, set on a collision course, reveal their layered and compelling personalities. Also, each POV character has a different perspective on the story’s events; highly appreciated, as it adds complexity to the world and characters’ fates.

Roanhorse digs into the worldbuilding right away. Ancient powers, god’s avatars, sentient crows, gigantic insects, mysterious powers don’t even begin to cover it. We get lots of detail and symbols that draw inspiration from the indigenous cultures of North and Central America. It felt fresh to me; while we observe a welcomed shift from pseudo-European settings, I haven’t read another epic fantasy inspired by the pre-Columbian culture and beliefs

Even more impressive, however, are Roanhorse’s characters, who keep her tale from getting bogged down in details, no matter how fantastical. Each is an outsider. Serapio is an avatar of the god, but he’s also a young boy speaking to crows and playing with shadows. Raised as a vessel destined to revenge his people, he deals with trauma and a rather narrow outlook on life. I mean, he is a chosen figure, only he’s not here to save the world... Xiala is a Teek, and most people loathe Teeks and see their value mostly as body parts worth a decent price (paid in cocoa). She’s brash and impulsive, but the story reveals her more vulnerable side. Naranpa, despite her high rank in the religious structures of Tova, doesn’t belong there because of her poor background. 

The ensemble of characters feels inclusive–we get queer, trans, and non-binary characters (Roanhorse uses neopronouns xe/xir/xirself to address them), as well as impaired or members of minorities. There’s no social stigma coming with gender-identity or sexual orientation.

I found the worldbuilding impressive, but Roanhorse takes her time to set the stage for the next books in the series. As a result, Black Sun ends on a lackluster cliffhanger and leaves many unresolved loose ends. Readers craving a satisfying closure won’t find it here. I found the characters’ interplay, magic, and the world engrossing and I have no problem with waiting for another fix.
Thursday, February 4, 2021

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY: Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer

 



M.L. Spencer is one of the hardest working indie authors whom I know. Her newest book is an ode to classic epic fantasy and one that I’ve enjoyed immensely. We were privileged to do the cover reveal for it and today we have something even more exciting.

We at Fantasy Book Critic along with the author are ecstatic to be giving away one signed paperback edition of Dragon Mage!!!

To enter, please send an email to "fbcgiveaway@gmail.com" with your Name, Mailing Address, and the subject: Mage

Giveaway will end on Friday (02/19/20) 12:01 PM and is open to participants WORLDWIDE! Thank you for entering and Good Luck! 

GIVEAWAY RULES:
 1) Open To Anyone WORLDWIDE
 2) Only One Entry Per Household (Multiple Entries Will Be Disqualified)
 3) Must Enter Valid Email Address, Mailing Address + Name
 4) No Purchase Necessary
 5) Giveaway will end on Friday (02/19/20) 12:01 PM
 6) Winner Will Be Randomly Selected and Notified By Email
 7) Personal Information Will Only Be Used In Mailing Out the Prizes To the Winner
 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Combat Codes (new edition) by Alexander Darwin review

 

Official author website

Order The Combat Codes over here: USA/UK
Read Fantasy Book Critic's interview with Alexander Darwin
Read Q&A with Alexander

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Companion - Cover Reveal and Q&A with Luke Matthews


Pre-Order Companion: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Monday, February 1, 2021

The Book of Dragons by Jonathan Strahan



Order The Book of Dragons over HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Jonathan Strahan is an award-winning editor, anthologist and book reviewer. He co-hosts the multiple-award nominated Coode Street Podcast.

FORMAT: The Book of Dragons is 576 pages long and it contains 29 short stories and poems. Published on June 7th, 2020 by Harper Voyager (a division of Simon & Schuster) it's available in all fortmats from most retailers.

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)


Official Author Website
Order the book HERE
Read Caitlin’s review of The Guineverve Deception

OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE: Kiersten White
Thursday, January 28, 2021

SPFFBO Finalist: Voice of War by Zack Argyle review

Order Voice of War over HERE

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Mask Of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)



Official Author Website
Order the Book HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE: M.A. Carrick
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

SPFBO: Interview with Zack Argyle, SPFBO 2020 Finalist


Order Voice of War over HERE

Pawn's Gambit Release Interview with Rob J. Hayes (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order Pawn’s Gambit over HERE (USA) and HERE (UK) 
Monday, January 25, 2021

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay review

New Cover Reveal: The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin



Official author website
Order The Combat Codes over here: USA/UK
Read Fantasy Book Critic's interview with Alexander Darwin


Friday, January 22, 2021

Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

 

Official Author Website
Pre-order Pawn’s Gambit over HERE (USA) and HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Along The Razor's Edge
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Lessons Never Learned
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of From Cold Ashes Risen

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Interview with Sean Gibson, author of The Part About The Dragon Was Mostly True


Order The Part About The Dragon Was Mostly True over HERE
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Cover Reveal: Orchestra of Treacheries (New Edition) by JC Kang

 

Like Songs of Insurrection, Orchestra of Treacheries (Book 2 of the Dragon Songs Saga) has a brand new cover.  The new edition has several small changes, as well as new internal narratives to take into account the events of Complete Tales of the Floating World.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Last Exit by Michael Kaufman review

Crooked Lane Books (January 12, 2021); 

Official Author Website

Order The Last Exit 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Q&A with Phil Williams, the author of Kept From Cages and Ordshaw series


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Kept from Cages by Phil WIlliams review


Order Kept From Cages over HERE

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

SPFBO Finalist: Last Memoria by Rachel Emma Shaw review


Official Author Website

Order Last Memoria over HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)

Read FBC's interview with Rachel

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

SPFBO: Interview with Rachel Emma Shaw (by Lukasz Przywoski)


AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rachel Emma Shaw is a London based author. She started writing as an escape from her PhD in neuroscience and has never stopped. She lives in a house slowly being consumed by plants and loves being outdoors. She will frequently attempt to write her books in local parks, only to inevitably end up falling asleep in the sun. If you want her to hurry up and write more books then wish for rain. Her best work is done when it's stormy outside.

Exclusive Cover Reveal & Chapter Excerpt: Oh, That Shotgun Sky (A Novella of The Songs of Sefate) by Sarah Chorn (by Mihir Wanchoo)

 


As a reader and a fan, I can certainly say it’s an extraordinary amount of pleasure to be able to interact with authors and to hear them talk about their craft, their books and what plans they have for the future. During one such recent chat with Sarah Chorn, I happened to mention how much I had enjoyed her prose and worldbuilding skills in Of Honey And Wildfires

Monday, January 11, 2021

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)



Official Author Website

Pre-order Blood Heir over HERE

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for the husband-and-wife writing team of Ilona Gordon Andrew Gordon. Together, Andrew and Ilona are the co-authors of the New York Times bestselling Kate Daniels urban fantasy series and several other series. They live in Texas with their children.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley review


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Mihir's Top Reads of 2020 (by Mihir Wanchoo)

2020 was a year that almost all of us would like to put behind us for good. A global pandemic and working from home while trying to manage young-uns, made more me than a tad morose. I only managed to read to about 60-odd books (still need to update my GR account about many of them). This isn’t counting the re-reads as I found myself jumping back a lot to my comfort reads when certain events occurred. Overall I wasn’t able to read as many debuts as I have done in the past years. Hence I’m listing only the top 5 this year. So here we go:


1) Kings Of Heaven by Richard Nell – Richard Nell has rapidly made strides with each book of his debut trilogy and with this trilogy, he did something spectacular. He wrote a book that’s smaller than its predecessors in word count but easily had more epic story and magic. It was an ending that David Gemmell would be proud of. This easily made it the best book I’ve read in the entire year.


2) Black Tie Required by Craig Schaefer – Craig Schaefer’s reinvention of his spinoff series has been nothing short of incredible. When the books were being published by 47North, they were dark & thrilling but after Craig got the rights back. The series has become a marvelous amalgamation of thriller, fantasy & spycraft. Black Tie Required is also one of the best thriller stories that I’ve read in my life and easily takes the silver medal.


3) Paternus: War Of Gods by Dyrk Ashton – This last year was one for some great indie trilogies. We got to see what Dyrk Ashton had planned for his immortals and man what a climax it was. Stupendous in a single world, War Of Gods does have it all epic magical battles, one of one fights between immortals and an ending that outdoes everything that has come before. Dyrk Ashton proves himself to be the Tolkien for the 21st century with his debut trilogy.


4) The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan – The Shadow Saint takes all the amazing magical stuff introduced in The Gutter Prayer and takes it to another level altogether. I loved Gareth’s imagination in his debut and this book further solidifies his reputation as an imaginative storyteller. I can’t wait to read the future entries of the Black Iron Legacy which will be must reads whenever they release.



5) The Fires Of Vengeance by Evan Winter – This was another sequel that really really expanded on the world and characters while never comprising on the prose and action sequences. Evan Winter’s epic fantasy series gives us a taste of tropes which we have loved but packaged in a new non-European world and with Dragons because you know fantasy is always that much more exciting with dragons.  Evan Winter’s the Burning Quartet promises to be a future epic fantasy classic.



6) The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens – The Stone Knife is the start of a new epic fantasy saga that is styled on a world that’s drawn from Mesoamerican culture and topography. Combined with Anna Stephens’ vivid characterization, this dark fantasy epic was one hell of a read and promised a saga that I can’t wait to read more about.


7) We Ride The Storm by Devin Madson – Devin Madson’s traditional publishing debut was first self-published and we at FBC count ourselves lucky that we were able to recognize its magnificence early on in SPFBO. Combining a Spartan approach in prose and a quick-paced plot, We Ride The Storm is one hell of a ride and should be on everybody’s radar (if it isn't already).


8) Race The Sands by Sarah Beth Durst – I must confess this book originally wasn’t on my radar but thanks to my blogmate Caitlin & her effusive praise, I was drawn in. Telling a standalone story is something of a novelty in the epic fantasy and Sarah Beth Durst does it with aplomb. Writing a story about bonds between a mother & her daughter, a master & an apprentice, a racer & her beast, she manages to combine all these old tropes in a fresh way that made me love this story a lot.


9) From Cold Ashes Risen by Rob J. Hayes – From Cold Ashes Risen was a fascinating end to an experimental trilogy by one of my favourite authors. It focused on an anxiety ridden, self-loathing protagonist who was the exact opposite of Kvothe. This book brought things full circle and made realize what an intricately planned ride it was.


10) Of Honey And Wildfires by Sarah Chorn – Of Honey And Wildfire is Sarah Chorn’s sophomore effort and a completely different story than her debut. It still has her gorgeous prose, three dimensional characters and a story that combines aspects of a western with financial colonialism. It is a dark story but an important one and highlighted what a terrific storyteller Sarah is.

There were three other titles that almost made the list, hence I have to give them a shoutout:
 

Top 5 Debuts:



1) The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin – This was genuinely one of the best debuts I’ve read in the last couple of years. It combined dystopian SF elements with martial arts and a very light touch of fantasy. With echoes of Ender’s Game and Red Rising mixed in with regular  martial art tropes, this debut by Alexander Darwin was easily the top choice amidst all the debuts I read.


2) The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart – The Bone Shard Daughter was a book that narrowly missed out of top spot. It had some of the creepiest and most detailed magic system which I have had the pleasure to read in recent years. Andrea Stewart’s prose skills as well as the plot shine amidst a bit of uneven pacing and made the sequels a must read for me.


3) The Sin In The Steel by Ryan Van Loan – The Sin In The Steel is a wonderful mix of gender-flipped Sherlockian tropes, high fantasy & loads of action sequences. This debut was so much fun in a year filled with darkness that I was genuinely sad when it ended. However I can’t wait to read the sequel and to see where Buc and Eld end up in a world filled with dead (& resurrected) gods, pirates & shapeshifting mages.


4) The Boy Who Walked Too Far by Dom Watson – I must confess this is another title which I was privileged to read earlier thanks to SPFBO. However this past year, Dom Watson was able to re-release it with a smashing new cover as well a much more streamlined plot thanks to a cracking edit. The first volume of the Xindii chronicles showcases a world and story unlike any other out there. Remember the name as this is another future classic.


5) The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood – The Unspoken Name came with a lot of hype and it did justify most (if not all) of it. This debut gave us magical races, a magical academy settings and an epic fantasy plot. However the amalgamation of these elements wasn’t entirely smooth (eg. the uneven pace & anti-climatic ending) but I’m still excited for the sequel and I hope the author can improve upon some of the book’s minor deficiencies. 

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