Tag Archives: Fantasy

Blood And Poetry

A short while back I noticed that several authors whose works I enjoy were talking about a new book that was coming soon, and everything I read about this book sounded fascinating! Y’all know I enjoy a quality GrimDark Fantasy read, and so when authors who excel at GrimDark say you need to pay attention to a book you should pay attention to that book!

The Court Of Broken Knives written by Anna Smith Spark is poetry written in blood. That’s the best description I think I can use for this beautiful tragedy.

Hidden truths behind histories, ancient empires seeking their former glory, dark gods, powerful magic, love, hate, betrayal, twists, turns, death, ruin, blood, war, and dragons. This Fantasy delivers.

One of the aspects of this story I enjoy so much is the style of writing the author uses. So rich and descriptive! You feel each page! Each paragraph comes to life and draws you in deeper to the story. This is a powerful tale told well. This is poetry written in blood. This is a story you will want to read!

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Hello, Thank You, And Books!

Allow me to start by saying thank you for staying with me even when it has been a little while since my last post. Life has been a bit busy! A few months back my wife and I welcomed our beautifully amazing daughter into our lives and I also started a new position at work. Both of these life changing events have reduced my reading and writing time, but both have also been very rewarding. One day I’ll post more on being a father but today I can say there is nothing more amazing that holding your child in your hands. It is as if you are holding your heart in your hands. Simply amazing. But this post is about books isn’t it? On to the post!

Once upon a time when I was a young lad with a library card I discovered a few authors who managed to capture my attention and fire up my imagination! Robert Jordan was one such author. Wheel Of Time has just reached its fifth volume (The Fires Of Heaven) and I devoured the series! I read through the first five books three times before book six had a chance to be published and then with each new release I would reread the entire series. I loved it. I discovered friends in the pages of those books that I identified with more than I did the people around me. As a result those first five books are intensely special to me and I’ll forever be thankful to Robert Jordan for them.

Around that same time I also discovered an author by the name of Tad Williams and I leapt into his Memory Sorrow And Thorn trilogy! I was young so I thought I identified with young Seoman Snowlock and I sadly rushed through the trilogy trying to get past all the other bits to enjoy the adventures of Seoman. I loved the story, and I know I appreciated it at the time in my limited way, but just this past year I returned to Osten Ard (the land the books are set in) with a reread of the trilogy. My first time returning to those books in about 25 years! What did I discover? Beauty. This trilogy is a beautiful work of marvelous art and I can’t sing its praises enough! I truly identify with the side characters. The ones whose stories I couldn’t get past quickly enough to get back to what I thought was the main story. Now I see the beauty in their inner struggles and understand how very human they are and how amazing of a work Tad Williams created.

You never know what treasures you might find when you open a book, even if you’ve read that book before! Rereading Dune Messiah gave me a deeper appreciation for Frank Herbert because when you realize just how much he packed into this tiny book you are amazed! Such a short work yet so powerful!

Those are my bookish musings for the moment. I wanted to say hi to everyone and to continue our conversations on books! I intend to be a little more present here but I know you’ll understand if the posts aren’t as frequent as we’d all like. However I do intend to announce something here soon so do keep checking RedStarReviews for some fun upcoming news! 😊 I appreciate you all so much!

You’ll Love When You Read

We interrupt this unintentional period of silence with good news: You’ll love when you read You Die When You Die by Angus Watson!


Every so often a book comes along and completely interrupts your currently reading pile and all your carefully made to read plans! Angus Watson has written such a book! The title caught my eye, the cover interested me, the premise intrigued me, and the story delivered even more than I had hoped for. 


You Die When You Die is a Fantasy set in a world similar to North America prior to the Europeans, except that a small group of people similiar to Vikings have somehow made their way far into this land and created a settlement where they lived mostly in peace. That is until their settlement is massacred and the few survivors set off on an epic journey to try and cross the land and find the safety that has prophesied far off to the West….


This story is excellent. It’s a fun page turner of a book! The chapters are short and action packed, the characters are interesting, the conversations witty, the blending of possible history and fantasy is well done, and this all works together to draw you in to an incredible story! How much did I enjoy it? Well since I have to wait until 2018 for the sequel I went ahead and bought Age Of Iron which is a separate trilogy the same author wrote before writing You Die When You Die. The two stories are unrelated, I just wanted to read more by Angus Watson immediately! 

Awaken To An Incredible Tale! 

When you review books you often encounter very pushy people who only talk to you because they want their book reviewed. It happens! I can even understand it from their perspective. It helps to get your name out there. But there are right ways and rude ways to go about getting reviews. Let me tell you about how much of a class act Edward Lazellari is and say if you want to gain someone’s interest: Edward is an author to model your approach after! 


Here’s an author who is published by Tor (and if you don’t know who Tor is then suffice to say it is one of my most favorite and trusted publishing companies) who talked with me as a person with shared interests and just politely asked if I’d be interested in reading his book. I normally don’t accept submissions as I’m trying to work through my unread books on my shelves, and I cautioned him that I was very backed up in my reading stack, but he was very polite and sent me an autographed copy of his book AWAKENINGS. A class act from start to finish!


Awakenings joined my currently reading stack and I also purchased a copy for my Kindle to be able to read while on trips. This book is an Urban Fantasy and it’s the first book of The Guardians Of Aandor trilogy. It’s also incredible!


Awakenings is a take no prisoners kick ass fast paced all out battle of a book! Right from the start you’re deep in the action and striving to learn what is happening around the characters just as they are! You see it spans across multiple worlds and the primary characters have unfortunately lost their true identies along with their memories and they’ve lost their purpose. That past quickly charges up at them and threatens to destroy them before they have the chance to learn who they are….


As I said this is a kick ass story! I took it around town to read and was quickly drawn into the world the author created. The characters are strong, the action first rate, the world building interesting, the plot compelling, the drama engaging, and the story is great! 

This is a book I not only recommend, it is one I have purchased the sequel to and look forward to reading more!

If I Believe Beyond Redemption Is The Best Book Then It Is!

When I first saw Michael R Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption I was interested. Both the title and the cover art caught my eye. The premise captured me. I knew I’d be reading it soon and started shuffling my book plans to include it in! I’m very glad I did!


Beyond Redemption has become one of my favorite books from 2016 and will stay one of my favorites for a long time! This Dark Fantasy is rich in character, plot, and concept development! A very well executed story that draws you in. 


The premise of the story (Belief shapes Reality) is one I’ve often thought about, and I’m happy to see it dealt with in a Fantasy setting. The comparisons made between great power and great delusion are so interesting to see as they play out in the story. 


This is not a book for those who want clean cut heroes with stories that end happy. As the name implies these characters are bloody, gruesome, rough, dark, and difficult to be friends with; but you end up loving them anyways. Some stories TRY VERY HARD to be dark and in so doing become ridiculous or grotesque. This story doesn’t try to be dark, it is beautifully dark. It grips you and compels you to read on, from the quotes that start off the chapters, through the twists and turns of the story, and on to the final page. I couldn’t be happier with it and I have already purchased the sequel to go on further in the story! 

You can find the author on twitter here and you can find the book for sale here. Give it a read and see if you can figure out who the title refers to! Just be prepared for a beautifully dark and thought provoking story! 

An Excellent Tale In A Different World

Children Of The Different by S.C. Flynn is an excellent book! Set in a post apocalyptic Australia this story of twins being thrown into an adventure will draw you in right from the start and hold onto you until (and beyond) the ending. 
I was asked by the author to read and review this book prior to its upcoming release on September 10th and to give my honest opinion. Not only was I honored to do so, I was excited to do so once I read the description of the story. 

Nineteen years prior to the story a disease known as The Great Madness almost wiped humanity out, leaving few survivors spread out amongst the ruins of civilization. All children born since that day enter a trancelike state known as the Changeland and either emerge with strange new abilities or as dangerous killer Ferals. Our heroes are about to face the Changeland and have their lives forever altered by the dangers they encounter there. 


From start to finish Children Of The Different keeps you engaged and turning page after page as you follow the heroes on their adventures. The primary and secondary characters have depth and history to them. The story is well laid out, yet just when you think you’ve figured it all out the author masterfully throws in a good twist to the plot just to keep you guessing and moving along to the resolution at the end of it. 

I truly enjoyed this story and I hope to see these characters and this world again in another book soon! The concept of this story is so interesting that I want to read more about this new world. I do strongly recommend Children Of The Different to you, and look forward to hearing what you think of it! It is available for preorder before the 10th or order after the 10th here. Children Of The Different is a bright star in the sky that will light up your imagination. Enjoy! 

Notes On Notes From The Shadowed City

Jeffrey Alan Love has created a beautiful work of art in his book Notes From The Shadowed City. This book is GORGEOUS. 


I still recall the first time I encountered Love’s artwork on a SciFi book cover and how amazed I was by it. Everything about his style grabs my attention and draws me to the books featuring his cover illustrations. So when I first heard he was working on a book of his own that would prominently feature his artwork I knew I would be purchasing it. I had high expectations and expected the book would meet them. It exceeded them. 


Mike Mignola describes it best. “Plain brilliant” This work is lovely and dark with ominous tones. The book is a journal of an adventurer who has lost his own identity but discovered a city residing beneath the dark shadows of a floating city of magical beings. Having no idea as to who he is he decides to use the journal he has with him to illustrate his discoveries within the Shadowed City. Masked swordsmen, bandits, warriors, giants, mages, powerful swords, and secrets abound. 


This book really brings out and engages the imagination of the reader. After each page you’ll find your thoughts wandering along with the adventurer’s, imagining what wondrous things you might encounter in so magical a city. I couldn’t be happier with this amazing work of art and highly recommend you order a copy for yourself! You can do so here: FleskPublications and you can get a glimpse of the artist’s work on his  Instagram page or on his Twitter account. I’ve truly been amazed by his art and the dark beauty captured within the pages of this book.