Blog Archive

View My Stats
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

SPFBO 8 Finalists, some stats, and Our Approach


As avid fantasy readers, we love discovering new voices and hidden gems. SPFBO contest gives us such a possibility, and we’re thrilled to participate in it for the eighth time. The first stage of the contest has just ended, and ten blogs have picked their champions. We’re excited to read all of them and would love to encourage you to do the same.



OUR APPROACH

Each of us (Jen, Jonathan, Łukasz, Michael, Mihir) will read all books from cover to cover. That's 4401 pages and approximately 1 025 433 words! Then each of us will score every book, and the average score will appear in Mark Lawrence's SPFBO results table.

Reviews

We'll post one review in November, December, and April and two reviews in January, February, and March. We'll also post interviews with finalists who will agree to answer our questions.

If you decide to read along with us, consider dropping your review on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or Reddit. Reviews are hugely beneficial for an indie author trying to draw attention to their recently published book. Help us to spread the word about the books you love.

Some stats

As of October 31, 2022, the books had the following results on Amazon. We plan to see how it changes throughout phase 2. As you can see, some of the finalists are heavy hitters doing well on Amazon (and Goodreads), but we also have three relatively unknown titles in this year's finals. Exciting!


  • Seven books are female-authored
  • Cozy and lighter fantasy dominated SPFBO 8 finals
  • In two books, people have pet dragons
  • Three books have the audiobook version
  • Six finalists are Amazon exclusive

FINALISTS

And now, let's take a look at SPFBO 8 finalists listed in alphabetical order.



A SONG FOR THE VOID by Andrew C. Piazza
361 pages, Published July 15, 2020, Goodreads/Amazon
Fantasy-Faction's Finalist


1853. South China Sea. While on patrol between the Opium Wars, the crew of the steam frigate HMS Charger pursues a fleet of pirates that have been terrorizing the waters surrounding Hong Kong.

But now the hunters have become the hunted. Something else has come to the South China Sea, something ancient and powerful and malevolent.

Now, the crew of the Charger must face their worst nightmares in order to survive the terrible creature they come to know as the Darkstar.

A Song For The Void is a haunting, terrifying historical horror novel that will keep you turning the pages and jumping at the shadows.




A TOUCH OF LIGHT (The Ashes of Avarin #1) by Thiago Abdalla
454 pages, Published March 1, 2022, GR/Amazon


A sprawling epic fantasy where religion and politics are one, griffin riders roam the skies, and a looming blight threatens to tear everything down.

How far would you go to resurrect someone you love? Would you change who you are to show you belong?

The world of Avarin is tearing itself apart. The Domain worships life, its rulers lead eternal lives and death is a shame that must not be mourned. For the clans to the south, however, death is all that keeps the Earth alive.

But old enemies are rising.

A madness spreads throughout the Domain, and Lynn, a rogue griffin rider in hiding, might be the only one who knows how to fight it, while Adrian, a Domain prince seeking to bring his dead loved ones to worthiness, leads the Domain armies against the madmen.

The clans suffer a madness of their own. As the land itself begins to wither away, Nasha, a cursed hunter and lifelong outcast, desperately fights for belonging in the Ronar, while her clan seeks to heal the land.

Old beliefs will be challenged as the people of Avarin fight to save it… before death comes for them all.




FIRE OF THE FOREBEARS (Heritor's Helm #1) by L.E. Buck
540 pages, Published February 22, 2022, GR/Amazon


Pitted against one another, with the people and country they love in jeopardy, the daughter of a deserter and the son of the king have a chance to fulfill their forebears’ legacy—or destroy it entirely.

Twisted monsters called saja lurk in the shadows of the mountains. Rumors say the Fidelis, human wielders of an ancient elemental magic, again walk the plains. Not all in Avaron believe, and not all welcome the return of legend.

Kura’s a skeptic. But, she’ll cross and befriend centaurs, talking animals, and worse to save her family after the rebellion mistakes her for the land’s prophesied savior. And, while he’d rather negotiate with rebels than fight them, Triston can’t ignore prophecy. That was the sham his father used to steal the crown in the first place.

Over a century ago, their ancestors sailed the oceans in search of peace and died as heroes fighting for it. But heroes—and villains—aren’t always what they seem to be.


MISS PERCY'S POCKET GUIDE TO THE CARE & FEEDING OF BRITISH DRAGONS by Quenby Olson
421 pages, Published October 26, 2021, GR/Amazon

Miss Mildred Percy inherits a dragon.

Ah, but we’ve already got ahead of ourselves…

Miss Mildred Percy is a spinster. She does not dance, she has long stopped dreaming, and she certainly does not have adventures. That is, until her great uncle has the audacity to leave her an inheritance, one that includes a dragon’s egg.

The egg - as eggs are wont to do - decides to hatch, and Miss Mildred Percy is suddenly thrust out of the role of “spinster and general wallflower” and into the unprecedented position of “spinster and keeper of dragons.”

But England has not seen a dragon since… well, ever. And now Mildred must contend with raising a dragon (that should not exist), kindling a romance (with a humble vicar), and embarking on an adventure she never thought could be hers for the taking.




MYSTERIOUS WAYS by Abbie Evans
273 pages, published on August 23, 2021, GR/Amazon

The Goddess works in mysterious ways, and Isabella Varselak intends to find out exactly what those ways are.

As the commander of the 7th Unit of the Solistopian City Watch, Isabella Varselak has dealt with many a mystery. Murderers, burglars, con artists, and troublesome demons have given her a multitude of crimes to solve over the years.

But injustice in the way the world works is all around her. Innocent people suffer, guilty people triumph. When this is questioned, the only answer she receives is that the Goddess works in mysterious ways.

Determined to get to the bottom of what these ways are and solve the ultimate mystery, she sets off on a journey to find answers — but she’ll have to go through hell to get them.

Mysterious Ways is a fantasy novel set in a matriarchal world. Women are in power, they worship a Goddess, and same sex relationships are common and socially acceptable.




SCALES AN SENSIBILITY (Regency Dragons #1) by Stephanie Burgiss
307 pages, published on October 4, 2021, GR/Amazon


Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless - but surprisingly sweet - fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures.



However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her.

A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies.



SMALL MIRACLES by Olivia Atwater
286 pages, published on May 6, 2022, GR/Amazon


A little bit of sin is good for the soul.

Gadriel, the fallen angel of petty temptations, has a bit of a gambling debt. Fortunately, her angelic bookie is happy to let her pay off her debts by doing what she does best: All Gadriel has to do is tempt miserably sinless mortal Holly Harker to do a few nice things for herself.

What should be a cakewalk of a job soon runs into several roadblocks, however, as Miss Harker politely refuses every attempt at temptation from Gadriel the woman, Gadriel the man, and Gadriel the adorable fluffy kitten. When even chocolate fails to move Gadriel’s target, the ex-guardian angel begins to suspect she’s been conned. But Gadriel still remembers her previous job… and where petty temptations fail, small miracles might yet prevail.

Olivia Atwater explores love, grief, and the very last bit of chocolate in this sweet modern fantasy, full of wit and heart. Pick up Small Miracles, and enjoy a heavenly faerie tale from the author of Half a Soul.




TETHERED SPIRITS (Curse of Shavhalla # 1) by T.A. HERNANDEZ
554 pages, published on December 14, 2021, GR/AMAZON

A man with an unknown past

For years, Amar has traveled the Kavoran empire, seeking a way to recover his lost memories and end the curse that plagues him. With support from loyal friends, Amar may finally be on the verge of finding answers, but to do so, he’ll need to enlist the help of an unexpected guide.

A girl afraid of her own powers

Kesari is a Tarja, granted magical abilities through her Bond with a spirit named Lucian. Haunted by past mistakes that have left her desperate to sever her Bond, Kesari has her own reasons for agreeing to help Amar. But in doing so, she may finally have to face the fears she’s carried ever since leaving home.

A woman on a vital mission

Meanwhile, a young refugee named Aleida is in hot pursuit, hoping the secret behind Amar’s curse can save her brother from a fatal illness. With so much at stake and little left to lose, Aleida will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

And when their paths collide, all three are set on a journey to unravel a mystery far deeper than they ever suspected.



THE THIRTEENTH HOUR (The Cruel Gods #1) by Trudie Skies
487 pages, published on October 13, 2021, GR/Amazon

WHEN THE SAINTS FAIL, THE SINNERS STEP UP.

Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.

Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.

To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.

For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.



THE UMBRAL STORM (The Sharded Few #1) by Alec Hutson
656 pages, published on May 22, 2022, GR/Amazon


A thousand years ago the Heart of the World was shattered, its fragments scattered across the lands. In the chaos that followed, martial orders arose to gather these shards, for it was found that great powers were granted when these pieces were bonded to the flesh of the chosen. These are the Sharded Few, warriors imbued with the divine energies that once coursed through the Heart, and driven to absorb enough fragments to claim godhood.


Deryn has known nothing in his life except suffering. Orphaned at the edge of the realms, indentured to a cruel slaver, he can see little chance of escaping his circumstances. But elsewhere in the world ancient powers are stirring, new alliances threaten the peace of the old order, and in the cataclysms that are coming a slave will become a hero.


0 comments:

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Cardinal Black” by Robert McCammon!!!


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Cyber Mage” by Saad Z. Hossain


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
Order HERE