September 30, 2016

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick (Tales of the Kin #2)

Blurb: It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...

August 3, 2016

Short Read Recommendation: For the Glory Set Before Them by Matt Karlov

Here is a short 100 word review for a wonderfully written Military Fantasy short story I was recommended. It's only .99 cents over on Amazon and well worth the read.

For The Glory Set Before Them is a first person military fantasy short story in the spirit of Glen Cook. The tale is written in journal entry style addressed to the main character’s (Barais) brother and serves as a snapshot from Barais’s campaign and exploration of the reality of the war. Barais is a sorcerer and member of a small squad. Despite the short format, the various personalities within the squad are explored and well developed over the course of the story. The tale has excellent prose, a solid story, and has left me with the desire to know more.

July 1, 2016

My Writing

Greetings fine people!

I wanted make a small 'self-promo' type post, which is something I don't really do and probably won't really do again. But anyway, I have been writing small stories here and there for a good long time. Recently I made the decision that I want to make my work public and inevitably work towards publishing my own eBooks. I love writing in Science Fiction and Fantasy and I hope to be able to connect with readers in a very different way than I have in the past in the Blog space. 

That being said, I wanted to invite you as my blog readers to follow me over at Wattpad. If you don't know what Wattpad is, it's basically this cool website where aspiring writers can post their stories for readers to read for free and get feedback. Over the next several months I plan on rolling out several stories on my Wattpad page and I hope to see some of you there for some feedback.

Now, of course, I don't want the good 'ol blog becoming some weird self-promo space. I will make a separate website for that when the time comes. But as of now on my Wattpad page you can find a single Drabble (101 word story) I've written titled 'The Astral Queen' (linked here and below). I also am pleased to announce that on August 10th I will have a flash fiction piece published in The Flash Fiction Press. I will probably end up posting this one as well on Wattpad as soon as I can. 

Be on the lookout for plenty more stories in the coming weeks and months. I look forward to your feedback. 

Many thanks!

June 30, 2016

ARC Haul: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
Release Date: July 5th by ACE
Length: 592 Pages
Series: The Draconis Memoria #1

I've been a fan of Anthony Ryan's work since the release of Blood Song, the first novel in the Raven's Shadow trilogy. I've been pretty eager to get my hands on this one and was very pleased to find an ARC laying on my doorstep! I'll work to get through this one (my TBR is every growing) and I'll let you know my thoughts!

Blurb: Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.
But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate's last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.
Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.
As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

About the Author: Anthony Ryan was born in Scotland in 1970 but spent much of his adult life living and working in London. After a long career in the British Civil Service he took up writing full time after the success of his first novel Blood Song, Book One of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. He has a degree in history, and his interests include art, science and the unending quest for the perfect pint of real ale.

Author's Website: Anthony Ryan's Website

Buy the Book: The Waking Fire on

June 16, 2016

Chains of the Heretic by Jeff Salyards

Blurb: Emperor Cynead has usurped command of the Memoridons—Tower-controlled memory witches—and consolidated his reign over the Syldoonian Empire. After escaping the capital city of Sunwrack, Captain Braylar Killcoin and his Jackal company evade pursuit across Urglovia, tasked with reaching deposed emperor Thumarr and helping him recapture the throne. Braylar’s sister, Soffjian, rejoins the Jackals and reveals that Commander Darzaak promised her freedom if she agreed to aid them in breaking Cynead’s grip on the other Memoridons and ousting him.

Imperial forces attempt to intercept Braylar’s company before they can reach Thumarr. The Jackals fight through Cynead’s battalions but find themselves trapped along the Godveil. Outmaneuvered and outnumbered, Braylar gambles on some obscure passages that Arki has translated and uses his cursed flail, Bloodsounder, to part the Godveil, leading the Jackals to the other side. There, they encounter the ruins of human civilization, but they also learn that the Deserters who abandoned humanity a millennium ago and created the Veil in their wake are still very much alive. But are they gods? Demons? Monsters?

What Braylar, Soffjian, Arki, and the Jackals discover beyond the Godveil will shake an empire, reshape a map, and irrevocably alter the course of history.

June 7, 2016

The Builders by Daniel Polansky

Blurb: A missing eye.
A broken wing.
A stolen country.

The last job didn't end well.

Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.

Format: I am reviewing the Kindle edition of this novella which was 226 pages in length. The novella was originally published by in November of 2015. The novel is told in 3rd person limited POV with a fairly small cast of characters. 

June 4, 2016

Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner

“Life or death decided by a hairbreadth. That's just the way it was.” 
― Marc TurnerDragon Hunters

Blurb: The sequel to When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods

Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles. 

Emira Imerle Polivar is coming to the end of her tenure as leader of the Storm Lords, but she has no intention of standing down graciously. As part of her plot to hold on to power, she instructs an order of priests known as the Chameleons to sabotage the Dragon Gate. There’s just one problem: that will require them to infiltrate an impregnable citadel that houses the gate’s mechanism — a feat that has never been accomplished before. 

But Imerle is not the only one intent on destroying the Storm Lord dynasty. As the Storm Lords assemble in answer to a mysterious summons, they become the targets of assassins working for an unknown enemy. And when Imerle sets her scheme in motion, that enemy uses the ensuing chaos to play its hand.

May 24, 2016

Giveaway: Two Copies of Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont!

The generous publicity team over at Tor Books have offered me two copies of Dancer's Lament to giveaway! If you haven't heard or read my review of Dancer's Lament, it's the first in a prequel trilogy set in the popular Steven Erikson/Ian C. Esslemont Malazan universe prior to the events of The Malazan Book of the Fallen and the founding of the Malazan Empire. Dancer's Lament is not only a good backstory of Dancer and Kellanved for fans of the series, but also a great place for new readers to start too!

So how can you enter to win a copy? 

1. If you're already a fan of the Malazan series, simply comment on this post or the associated reddit post with what your favorite book in the series is and why.

2. If you've not read any of the Malazan books, simply comment on this post or the associated reddit post with what's got you interested in the series and why.

3. The giveaway will be open until Friday, May 27th at 11:59PM.

4. On Saturday, May 28th, I will select two winners by inputting names into a randomizer.

5. I will reply to the comment (or PM on reddit) of the two selected winners with instructions to send me the mailing address they would like the copy sent to. I will then forward this info to Tor for fulfillment.

You do not need to follow the Deviant Worlds blog to be eligible for this contest. Though you are more than welcome to join the community. Good luck on the giveaway, and don't forget to share!

Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont

“If you corner him there will be bloodshed. And I do not like bloodshed.’ 
Dorin arched a brow. ‘Really. You don’t like bloodshed.’
‘No. It’s messy and unsophisticated. There are better ways of doing things.’
‘Such as?’
Wu brightened, flashed his yellowed crooked teeth. ‘My ways. Lying, trickery, deceit, cheating, or just plain patience. He will come to us.” -Ian C. Esslemont, Dancer's Lament

Blurb: Esslemont's all-new prequel trilogy takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire. Dancer's Lament focuses on the genesis of the empire, and features Dancer, the skilled assassin, who, alongside the mage Kellanved, would found the Malazan empire.

May 23, 2016

Interview: E.J. Stevens

Welcome E.J. Stevens to Deviant Worlds!

To start things off, do you read much science fiction or fantasy? If so, what are your favorite authors and favorite books by those authors?

I love speculative fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy. My favorite authors include Glen Cook (Black Company), William Gibson (Neuromancer), Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space), Jim Butcher (Dresden Files, Codex Alera), Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), and Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega). I also have an enduring love of Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Do you have a favorite sub-genre that you find you gravitate to? 

My favorite sub-genre is Urban Fantasy, with Grimdark a close second.

May 19, 2016

The Friday 5: Popular Series I Want to Read

The saddest part about this week's top 5 list? I own the first book in every single one of these series already. I've heard such good things about each of these that over the last couple years I've picked up these titles and they've been in my TBR. But alas, I get distracted so easily in my reading. So without further ado, this weeks list is 5 Popular Series I Want to Read. Be sure to leave me you're top 5 in the comments below!

May 15, 2016

(Graphic Novel) Michael Moorcock's Elric Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne by Julien Blondel

Blurb: Elric, the albino emperor, has ruled Melnibon√© for millennia - a feat made possible through magic and various herbs that serve to strengthen and prolong his life. However, Elric's empire is crumbling before him and now his envious cousin and prince of Melnibon√©, Yyrkoon, plots to claim the Ruby Throne for himself. 

     Yet when Elric's people come under the threat of a pirate attack, Elric believes that he can once again restore his authority and regain their faith by defeating the pirates. However, the true cost of this task will force him to reveal his allegiance to the dark Arioch, the most dominant of the Lords of Chaos...

Format: Elric Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne is a graphic novelization by Julien Blondel of Michael Moorcock's hit series beginning with Elric of Melnibone. I am reviewing the Kindle ebook version of the graphic novel which was 64 pages in length. The course of the 1st volume takes place with the events of the first Elric novel in beautiful artistic detail.

May 12, 2016

The Friday 5: Authors that Deserve More Attention

The Friday 5 is a weekly event here on Deviant Worlds. Every Friday I present a top 5 list related to the science fiction or fantasy genre. This week's Friday 5 is Author's that Deserve More Attention. These are authors that have found traditional publishing success, but aren't the buzz their good work should be in the fantasy circles. Basically, these are the authors I wish were more popular in the genre. As always, leave me your list in the comments below!

May 8, 2016

My Favorite Fantasy Quotes - Part 2

I previously posted part 1 of My Favorite Fantasy Quotes in which I shared some of my favorite lines from fantasy books I've read. Below I've listed more great lines I've read and saved over the years. Some of them are words of wisdom and some just give me chills every time I read them. As always, leave me some of your favorite quotes in the comments below!

May 6, 2016

The Friday 5: Great Fantasy Sites I Follow

The Friday 5 is a weekly event posted here on Deviant Worlds. Each week I create a personal top 5 list relating to the genres of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This week's topic is my Top 5 Great Fantasy Sites I Follow. These are other fantasy based sites around the web I love to lurk on and do not contribute content to.
Here they are: