In this post I announce my finalist for the next round of the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off, as well as talk about what you can expect on the blog going forward.
Well... here it is, I guess. After spending the last few months not being as active as I would have liked to, mainly due to exams/coursework stuff hitting me towards the end of my first year of my foundation degree, work and a two week stay in France taking up a lot of my time, but during those mostly internet free two weeks I was able to devour and finish off a lot of the self published books on my TBR pile from the list below, leaving us with only one winner. But first, let's take a look at the books that I was assigned to read, and you can find them in this list if you're so interested in checking them out for yourself to find out what I had to sort through.
1. Karen de Lange – Beneath Starlight
2. LJ Cohen – Time and Tithe
3. SM Barrett – The Halloween Host
4. Patty Jansen – Fire and Ice
5. KJ Tantardini – God Striker
6. William Dickstein – A Tale of Gems
7. Jeff Goelz – The Rightful Queen
8. Daniel Aspden – Hero the Killer
9. Robert Courtland – Jack of Troubles
10. Daniel Quigley – Thunder Struck
11. Violet Patterson – Emerald Seer
12. Mary C Moore – Angelus
13. Milo Woods – Rupture
14. Seth Lindberg – Spawn of Dyscrasia
15. Robert Luis Rabello – Ceremonies and Celebrations
16. T.O Munro – Lady of the Helm
17. Brad Carsten – Riftwalkers
18. Jack Thane – Forsaken
19. Jonathan Walles – The Little Girl and the Shadow
20. Plague Jack – Sins of Sovereignty
21. Trip Ellington – Game Alive
22. Daniel Ionson – After Life
23. David Moton – Chama
24. Peter Fugazzotto – Black River
25. Ellis L Knox – The Garden of Hugo Vuerloz
26. JM McDermott – Straggletaggle
27. Astra Crompton – Firstborn
As mentioned above, let’s have a look at the novels that I was assigned to read. There were unfortunately a few of which I were not able to finish, either because they didn’t grab my interest enough or were sequels in a series and I didn’t have the first book available. So that was an automatic disqualifier. You can read more on why your book didn't quite make it to the final round however, here - if you're so interested and haven't checked it out already, and many of the other awesome blogs have talked about it across the board. Something else that's worth mentioning, If you’re interested in my previous reviews for the Blog Off, you can find them here and here.
Also, a side note, apologies for the delay in getting this post up. As mentioned, I was away in France for the last two weeks, and I only got back late last night when I originally intended to put this up but due to arriving back later than planned (I stopped by a relatives' house on the way back and the traffic was hell getting there), I was unable to do so and thought it would be better saved to the morning. But I’m back now, so everything should be sorted and you can expect more reviews on a regular basis. Going forward I’ll aim to put up at least two reviews for this site a week, because I’m also regularly reviewing comics, Fear The Walking Dead and a fair few comic related TV shows (namely Arrow & The Flash when they return) for All Comic (comics fans, go check out the site, it’s awesome), and I’m covering a bunch of TV shows including Netflix’s Narcos (Review up soon), Manhattan and The Knick on Spoiler TV. So if TV’s your thing you can check that out ASAP where I’m already doing Hell on Wheels and Murder in the First reviews. But I guess you’re probably not interested in me rambling anymore, and I’ve dragged this out for a bit longer than I intended, so here it is, at last, my nomination for the final round of the Great Self Published Fantasy Blog Off. Go forth and read.
Ten years ago a terrifying superweapon left one of Amernia’s most illustrious cities permanently shrouded in poisoned fog. Over the past decade, three great evils have haunted the Amernian people. First is the elusive Blood Queen, who holds Amernia in an iron grip. Second, are the entombed old gods, who speak only to a chosen few. Third is the nation's scar, a seemingly endless expanse of green miasma that has claimed the north. The rift between rich and poor, human and nonhuman, divides the kingdom more every day. As a spectral rider streaks across the sky, heralding the death of kings, foreign nations circle like vultures hungry for a feast. Legendary veteran of two wars, Sir Clark Pendragon, is sent north to quell the rising chaos. New alliances will be forged and broken as a Wild War threatens to tear Amernia asunder.
I really enjoyed this dark, gritty fantasy that fits the same sort of tone of A Song of Ice and Fire and Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy. I won’t spend a lot of time talking on it here, because I’ve already covered it in this review, but one thing’s for sure, it’s something that I think should appeal to a fair amount of readers and provided a pretty solid read for those looking for an alternative to the big name writers, or just another good fantasy novel.
So, that’s it for this round, I guess. But before I sign off, I’d like to thank Mark Lawrence for hosting this contest and inviting me to participate, as well as the awesome writers for submitting their books for me to read, because you can never have too much books and plenty are always welcomed. I’d like to have reviewed more for the blog as part of this blog off, and I probably should have, however, as mentioned above, I’ve been a fair bit busier this summer than I was in past years so was unable to do so. Maybe I’ll do a brief (and significantly late) round up of the books that didn’t make the cut further down the line, however that’ll depend on various things like how busy I am with work and the start of my 2nd year of my foundation degree (one down, two to go) just around the corner. But one thing’s for sure is that I’ve had loads of fun participating in the blog off (which still isn’t over, this is just the selection for the finalists, and you can see the selections that the other bloggers have put forward here), and it’s a fantastic experience, and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. For those interested, I'll have a book haul post up by the end of the week, and then things will resume normal scheduling from there.