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Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights. 
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb

This is the fourth and sadly final book of the Rain Wilds Chronicles.   If you have not read the Live Ship Traders Trilogy I strongly recommend you read it.   It isn’t necessary to read it first but I think it helps.  This book chronicles and finalizes the journey of epic efforts to get the dragons to their ancient homeland.

Once again Hobb entrances.   The dragons and their keepers have reached the end of their quest or is it the end.   The lost city is found but the dragons are failing as they cannot find the mysterious silver wells.   The dragons are changing but so are their humans.   Without the silver wells they may all perish. 

The fate of Kelsingra may possibly determine the fate of dragons, humans and the Rain Wilds communities.  The fate of the Duke of  Chalced may have a distinct bearing on all of the other fates. 

Ms. Hobb keeps you on the edge of your seat once again.   I have found her books a delight. I have listed the ones I have read below and everyone of them was well worth reading.

I highly recommend the book. 

Ship of Magic                                   Liveship Traders Trilogy #1
Mad Ship                                           Liveship Traders Trilogy #2
Ship of Destiny                                Liveship Traders Trilogy #3
Dragon Keeper                                 Rain Wild Chronicles #1
The Dragon Keeper (2009 )           Rain Wild Chronicles #1
Dragon Haven (2010)                     Rain Wild Chronicles #2
City of Dragons (2012)                    Rain Wild Chronicles #3
Blood of Dragons                             Rain Wild Chronicles #4
Shaman's Crossing (2005)                        Soldier Son #1
Forest Mage (2006) Soldier           Son #2
Renegade's Magic (2007)              Soldier Son #3
Fool's Errand                                    Tawny Man Series #1
Golden Fool'                                     Tawny Man Series #2
Fool's Fate #3                                   Tawny Man Series #3
Assassin's Apprentice                    The Farseer Trilogy #1
Royal Assassin                                The Farseer Trilogy #2
Assassin's Quest                             The Farseer Trilogy #3
Alien Earth                           

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dark Children of Naor by Justyna Plichta-Jendzio

This seemed like three very loosely connected short stories.  I guess that is the gist of the title, they were the dark children. 

The cover illustration was very nice and will entice people into purchasing.   The book has three chapters which as I stated seem to be stand alone stories.   The Hunter, The Burden of Inheritance and Second Wife.  

Stories one and two fit together well. 

Each story has merit and frankly I think each story could be expanded into its own book.   One of the reasons I am not fond of short stories are that they are over too quickly.   The author created some good characters that you wanted to get to know with more depth. 

The copy I received for review purposes had some of the formatting problems that I have had in conversion of my own books to Kindle.  Nothing insurmountable and I suspect the finished version will have corrected that issue.  

I do like dragons and they figure prominently in each story.

 Web Site:  
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prince of Sunset by Steve White

This is a tale of undying friendship and the impact true friends can have on the fate of the known universe.

Basil Castellan is followed throughout the book as the main protagonist.   Basil is an idealistic supporter of a failing Imperial system.   As a teen, he has a startling encounter with a mythical being that, unknown to him, will be carried with him the rest of his natural life.

As often seen in military science fiction, there is exemplary loyalty among friends.  This loyalty includes camaraderie, trust and sometimes even love.

White does a nice job crafting likeable characters.  He could have made a multi-book series out of this but chose to limit it to one book that cries out for a sequel.

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.

Web Site: http://www.authorstephenwhite.com/    
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blood and Bone by Ian c. Esslemont

I’m conflicted in writing this.  In some ways it was one of the better fantasy I have read.  In other ways it was one of the more confusing books I have encountered.  A quest of sorts is taken by myriad groups for differing reasons.   The book follows the parallel quests.   I have to assume that anyone who read the books in the series that preceded this might have a clue as to each group and their goals.  Sadly I was pretty clueless about the overall plot. 

The book abounded with interesting characters and groups.  The Crimson Guard, the Thaumaturgs and the Malazans are just a few of the groups in the story.   A presumed dead, in this book that presumption is premature, king, elder gods, younger gods, shape stuck shape shifters and blood thirsty vagabond priests  compete with nomadic horsemen and water sprites to provide color and aroma to the story. 

If I had the book digitally, I think I would have searched out each quest and their pages and combined the resultant pages into short stories for each group.  I think it might have been easier to follow that way.  

My conflict seems to center on the fact that the author writes compelling prose but the structure, to me, is confusing.   I refer again to previous books and the thought that perhaps if I had read them, my confusion would abate.

Overall I enjoyed the book but I would highly recommend reading the books that preceded it so you have some idea who all these people are. 

I recommend the book.   

Web Site: http://www.malazanempire.com/site/authors/2-esslemont

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oberon’s Dreams by Aaron Pogue


Captain Corin is a likeable scoundrel who runs afoul of his own pirate crew and finds himself a stranger in a strange land and time.

Captain Corin sees himself as an unmitigated blackguard but his actions say otherwise.   Since actions speak louder than words, I found myself enjoying his attempts to portray himself as an evil villain.

Pogue crafted an interesting setting and added a twist to what otherwise could have been a standard fantasy setting.  I’m never sure how much to say when I diligently try to avoid spoilers.  

The involvement of Druids in an otherwise Luxor valley type of setting provides some thought provoking moments.  Pogue did a nice job here.

I recommend the book.

Web Site: http://aaronpogue.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready

Romantic horror is a fascinating new genre.  Of course it may not be new, just new to me.  Scary stuff with lots of lusty behavior seems to rile the natives.  Look at Shades of Gray, sadomasochism porn for the masses.  In this case we have vampire human lust and rock and roll with a leavening of zombie.

This is the third book in the series that I have read.  I guess I am getting tired of them as this one just didn’t grab me.  Ciara is still a loveable klutz who seems to like being flotsam in the stream of life.  Ironically, Shane a vampire, is the most likeable and poignant character.  

The “Men in Black” or control are back and just as mysterious.   The curtain does get pulled back a hair to see what they are really like. 

This book ties well with the first two and continues the saga of lust, magic and the undead.

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Jeri Smith-Ready</a>

Web site: http://www.jerismithready.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Assault by Brian Falkner

Earth is invaded, the invaders are as biologically as close to us as chimpanzees and they are winning our planet.  A team of teenage commandos infiltrate their most secure facility and wreak havoc. 

My first reaction to the age of the commandos was tainted by the reality of child soldiers in the African conflicts.  After I scrubbed that image from my mind I was able to focus on the story.  

The story line is fine.  The political logic regarding the arrival of the aliens seemed highly plausible.   The behavior of the aliens was akin to the behavior of the European assault on colonial America.  
Teenage abilities are often overlooked.  I found nothing outlandish about the capabilities of teenage commandos.  Kids are talented and far more resilient than what is commonly believed.   I also liked the way Falkner showed the innate optimism and nobility of the young.  Their unwillingness to randomly kill and their resistance to the “collateral damage” attitude was comforting.   

This was a good, entertaining YA book. 

I recommend the book. 

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" > Brian Falkner</a>
Web site: http://www.brianfalkner.com/Book_detail.asp?bk_id=8

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.