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Orlind (The Draykon Series Book 3)
Orlind (The Draykon Series Book 3)
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good end to a good series, 20 Sept. 2012
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*Spoilers*

Orlind is the final instalment of the Draykon series, a fantasy trilogy that follows the adventures of two main characters: Landry Sanfear and Eva Glostrum. The series is more of a fantasy mystery than an epic and charts the story of how the accidental discovery of a gemstone called istore leads to the rebirth of a race of beasts thought long extinct and a cosmic power struggle to control them that spans three worlds.

I enjoyed Orlind. It was an entertaining read and tied up all the loose ends of the trilogy. The author is very good at creating characters and relationships that come alive. I liked how Landry has developed from a shy, insecure girl to a powerful young woman. I also enjoyed the relationship between Eva and Tren and its evolution through the books. The story flits between several different worlds, with characters and plot lines going on in each. This could easily become confusing but the author handles it in such a way that I never felt overwhelmed by the jumps in time and space. There is a mix of fantasy and science elements in the story and they worked really well together.

There were a couple of things that didn't quite work for me. First, Devarry. He's quite an enigmatic character in the first book and the amount of airtime he's given led me to think he'd be important. He isn't, really. I would have liked to see him play a larger role. Secondly, the relationship between Landry and Pensould. Pensould, is, at the end of the day, a dragon. And Landry is going to be his mate. Hmm. I know both can flit between human and dragon form and all that but it just didn't quite work for me.

Overall though, this is a cracking series. It's well written, funny and exciting. Give it a whirl, you'll be glad you did.


Lokant (The Draykon Series Book 2)
Lokant (The Draykon Series Book 2)
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel, 22 July 2012
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Lokant is the second book in the Draykon series. It follows directly on from where the first book, Draykon, left off. We get to know more about Llandry, the draykons and the relationship between Eva and Tren. But the mystery also deepens as well. There was some kind of link between Draykons and humanity in the past which is gradually revealed through the book and there is also a mystery surrounding a scheming sect which wants to get its hands on the Draykon bone (and Llandry) for some dark, as yet unknown purpose.
The writing, pace and characterization were all very good. It's an original and enjoyable story that I found difficult to put down. Miss English is a very talented writer who manages to make her worlds seem very real and convincing. Her world building is complex. There are several different realms: the Uppers, Lowers and the middle realm where humans live. In the human world, half is always in darkness whilst half is always in light. Add to this the complex mixing of scientific and magical systems and it could all get a bit confusing as to which world you're in and the strange rules that govern each. But it doesn't get confusing. The author handles the story in such a way that it all fits together seamlessly.
I really enjoyed Lokant and would highly recommend it. I give it four bookworms.


The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy)
The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy)
by Jonathan Stroud
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 22 May 2012
Bartimeaus and Nathaniel make a welcome return in The Golem's Eye. We meet a new character, Kitty, and the plot deepens, letting us see much more of the world that Bartimeaus and Nathaniel live in.
It seems that the totalitarian regime of the magicians isn't without its opponents. Kitty is a member of the Resistance, whose goal is to bring the magicians rule to an end. She provides a great mirror to Nathaniel's character. Were Nathaniel is scheming and self-centered, Kitty is brave and loyal. Needless, to say, sparks fly between these two.
Bartimeaus remains as acerbic and witty as ever. With the addition of a new character, Bartimeaus's screen time is cut down a little, which is a shame as he definitely steals the show, but the book just about pulls it off. We also get to know more of Bartimeaus background - the author gives us some tantalizing glimpse of this adventurous djinni's past.
The book is another exciting fantasy romp, but with some darker undertones. There's definitely a bit of social commentary that makes you think about deeper issues, from Nathaniel enslaving Bartimeus for his own ends to the totalitarian state with a strict social structure based on power. There are also some truly chilling moments and others where you will hold your breath.
All in all, a great read. I recommend this to any fantasy reader. You'll enjoy it!


Draykon (The Draykon Series Book 1)
Draykon (The Draykon Series Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it, 26 Mar. 2012
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This book illustrates the beauty of indie publishing. It's as good as any book you would pick up from one of the big six, and if not for indie publishing, it might never have hit the shelves. That would have been a loss to any fantasy reader. Draykon is well written, well edited, and a gripping story. I'm used to reading epic fantasy with big battles and fights between good and evil. Draykon is very different, more like a murder mystery in a fantasy setting. The world English portrays, with its colourful trees and strange animals made me think of Pandora in the film Avatar. But the societies are more like ones you might find in a 19th century classic, with carriages and markets and high society women shopping for jewellery. You might think these ideas would clash, but they don't. The world of the Seven Realms is entirely convincing. I found myself liking all the characters and really wanting to know what happens next. The story didn't pan out how I was expecting at all, which I liked. It ends at a great point for the sequel, which I'm looking forward to reading.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who likes a bit of originality in their fantasy.


The Colors of Qua
The Colors of Qua
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 12 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Colors of Qua (Kindle Edition)
Wow, what can I say? This was a great short story. It gripped me from start to finish. The Colors of Qua is a tale about a girl who becomes a reaper when she dies, someone who appears at the moment of a person's death to help them transition to the afterlife. The story follows the main character, Sophia, as she is constantly buffeted from one death to another. She thinks her fate is punishment for what she did in her life, but we discover throughout the story, that this is far from the truth. It's beautifully written and quite moving in places and the ending is just great. I really enjoyed it.


Dragonscale Leggings
Dragonscale Leggings
by Freya Pickard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, great laughs!, 14 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dragonscale Leggings (Paperback)
Writing comedy is very hard to get right. I can count on the fingers of one hand the writers of fantasy comedy I can think of that do it well. Now I've read Dragonscale Leggings, I'd have to add Freya Pickard to that list. I have to admit, when I first started reading Dragonscale Leggings I wasn't sure what to expect. I often find that the jokes in comedy fiction fall flat and that somehow, it misses the mark. Dragonscale Leggings though, is a great read, and very very funny.

The reason it works so well is that we have a combination of great storytelling and great characters. Dracomagan is a kick ass 21st-century gal who winds up in a land of Arthurian legend with the job of being a dragon slayer. But she doesn't let this get in her way, and goes about her business with a blatant disregard for the rules of the day and with a witty sarcasm that often had me laughing out loud. This is a heroine who knows what she wants and how to get it. There is a great supporting cast as well, including some very delicate dragons and some less than chivalrous knights. But the best supporting character has to be Tygar, Dracomagan's horse who could easily have a book all to himself. The interplay between Dracomagan and Tygar provide lots of the laugh out loud moments in the book.

I would have liked the story to be a little longer as I really wanted to see more of Dracomagan and Tygar's adventures. Luckily, the book ends at a perfect point to allow for sequels and I hope in time Freya Pickard will add to Dracomagan's adventures.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who likes fantasy and a good laugh into the bargain.


Watcher Of The Dead: Book 4 of the Sword of Shadows
Watcher Of The Dead: Book 4 of the Sword of Shadows
by J. V. Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this down!, 29 Aug. 2011
JV Jones is one of those writers who gets better with every book. Her earlier series were good but didn't leave a lasting impression. The Sword of Shadows series is different, and Watcher of the Dead, the fourth book, particularly so. From the moment I picked it up, I struggled to put it down. And it's all because of the awesome characters. Within the series there is an overarching plot about the Endlords escaping their prison in the Blind and destroying the world. But within this, each of the different characters has their own story. Raif, Ash, Raina, Vaylo, Angus, Bram, Effie - the list goes on. Each character is brilliantly drawn and you laugh, cry, hate with them all. Ash isn't in this story much but Raif, Vaylo, Raina, Bram and Effie's stories are moved on a pace, with Effie's being particularly interesting. Jones manages to create an incredibly intricate world full of colour and detail that brings it alive. You can smell the treachery in Spire Vanis, feel the cold of the Want, see the beauty of the Sull Heartfires. This is a great book. I just hope we don't have to wait so long for the fifth one.


The Magician's Apprentice (Black Magician Trilogy)
The Magician's Apprentice (Black Magician Trilogy)
by Trudi Canavan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Like watching paint dry, 5 Aug. 2011
First of all, I'd like to point out that I'm a huge fan of Trudi Canavan' s work. I loved the Black Magician Trilogy and was looking forward to this prequel and a return to the world of Sonea, Akkarin and Cery. Unfortunately, this book was nothing like what I was hoping for. The traits that made me love the first trilogy - the depth of character and the twists and turns of an exciting plot are sadly lacking.

First of all, the characters are dull. On one side you have the Kyralians: Tessia, Jayan and Dakon. They are the goodies. Then on the other side you have the Sachakans: Takado and his cronies. They are the baddies. That's it. There's no real depth to any of them. This is offset slightly by the two characters Stara and Hanara, whose own stories could have been interesting had they been followed through properly. They weren't. The rest of the book is populated by a host of magicians, identifiable only by their names. We get to know none of them, not even Tessia (the main character's) master , Dakon, in any great depth. There is nothing to distinguish them from each other, no personality quirks, no specific way of speaking. They are a bunch of cardboard characters running round the countryside chasing enemy magicians. I found that I couldn't care less what happened to any of them.

Now to the plot. To be honest it's boring. It seems Trudi Canavan has a bit of an obsession with female characters who accidentally discover their power then set about trying to prove themselves in a patriarchal society. I felt I'd seen all this before. I would have liked to see something fresh, a new angle , a new challenge, and Trudi Canavan had the chance to do this by exploring the use of High Magic (or black magic as it's called in her earlier trilogy) but she doesn't. The ritual is glossed over and gives us no insight whatsoever. How does High Magic effect the giver? What are the moral implications? None of this is explored. And one thing that bugged me no end: "Dakon chuckled." "Tessia chuckled." "Jayan chuckled." Everyone in the damn book is always chuckling! This is just lazy writing.

The end of the book does answer some questions raised in the earlier trilogy but instead of this being satisfying, I felt it was rushed and contrived. Overall, it was a real effort to get through this book. Unfortunately it smacked of a money making exercise without Ms. Canavan's heart really being in it.


Against All Things Ending: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
Against All Things Ending: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
by Stephen Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does anything actually happen in this book?, 4 July 2011
What was Mr. Donalson thinking of with this book? His bank balance perhaps? Certainly not his readers. Like so many others, I have been a huge fan of the Thomas Covenant Series since I was a child and was very excited when I heard a new series was coming out. And, like so many others, I have bought and read each of the books in the new series in the vain hope that they will get better as they go along. How wrong I was. Quite simply, Against All Things Ending, is boring. Nothing happens. At one point, I realised I had reached page 50 and absolutely nothing had happened that would move the plot forwards. The whole first 50 or so pages is Linden and her friends standing around having a conversation about what they are going to do next. I mean, what were Mr. Donaldson's editors thinking? Didn't anyone say to him, "Stephen, the idea of a book, is to have a plot. Perhaps you need to put some action in here?" So, that's my first quibble. My second quibble is quite a biggie - Linden Avery. I don't think there has ever been such a whinging, self-obsessed, self-pitying character in the history of fantasy fiction. And Mr. Donaldson seems obsessed with her. Doesn't he realise what a fundamentally unlikeable character she is? Didn't we all start reading these books because we loved Thomas Covenant? So why is he almost entirely absent, not only from this book but from the whole series? My third quibble - the support characters. There is a whole host of support characters in this - giants, ramen, haruchai, stonedowner, waynhim, ur-viles, which gives an amazing oppurtunity to add depth and breadth to the story. Instead we get carboard characters who just stand around waiting to be told what to do by Linden Avery. Part of the beauty of the first two trilogies was the host of supporting characters who brought such colour to the stories. This is completley missing in this book. I feel Mr. Donaldson has become completly out of touch with what made his first trilogies so popular. Maybe he'll rediscover it in the last book but I'm not holding my breath.


Year of the Mountain Lion
Year of the Mountain Lion

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really entertaining story, 4 July 2011
First of all - the cover art. Fantastic. I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let's be honest, we all do. You get exactly what the cover leads you to beleive - a story with a strong female lead set in a harsh, desert world. Jolan is being hunted by her clan who now want her back after realising they made a mistake by exiling her in the first place. Jolan has learned to survive on her own and now doesn't want to go back. Seeing both Jolan's resourcfullness and her compassion made this a really engaging story. I liked the ending and was glad she does what she does (no spoilers!). Well written with great characterisation.


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