Tales of the King’s Blades – Book 2: Lord of the Fire Lands – By Dave Duncan

Hey Jared,

I could have sworn I’d read this before and I remember the beginning vividly……but not the middle…..or much of the end. In fact, the end I mostly remember from reading the next book in the series.

Lord of the Fire Lands.jpgTitle: Lord of the Fire Lands
Series: The King’s Blades #2 / Tales of the King’s Blades #2
Author: Dave Duncan
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: AU, Medieval, No Higher Magic (sort of)
Synopsis: Young Wasp never intended to be a rebel. Yet, at the sacred ceremony of binding, he follows the lead of his friend Raider, and together they spurn the wishes of King Ambrose himself. Now Raider and Wasp are outlaws hunted by the very Blades whose ranks they were a breath away from entering, and joined together by a destiny that binds them more securely than any knot tradition and sorcery might tie. Amid the turmoil their “treachery” has inspired, Wasp and Raider must undertake a desperate journey into the heart of the dreaded Fire Lands. And the outcome of their terrifying confrontation with dark truth and darker magic in this realm of monsters, ghosts, and half-men will ultimately determine the fate of two kingdoms.
Recommendation: This book is intended for Adults. I highly recommend it.

Continue reading “Tales of the King’s Blades – Book 2: Lord of the Fire Lands – By Dave Duncan”

Tales of the King’s Blades – Book 2: Lord of the Fire Lands – By Dave Duncan

The Trials of Apollo – Book 3: The Burning Maze – By Rick Riordan

Hi Jared,

Ok, maybe it was me but I kept thinking this book was going to end the series….and it didn’t. So my feelings are a bit conflicted.

burningmazeTitle: The Burning Maze
Series: The Trials of Apollo; Book 3
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth/Teen
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Magic, Mythology/Supernatural
Synopsis: The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, DadWith the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .
Recommendation: Still recommended, but only barely.

Continue reading “The Trials of Apollo – Book 3: The Burning Maze – By Rick Riordan”

The Trials of Apollo – Book 3: The Burning Maze – By Rick Riordan

The Memoirs of Lady Trent – Book 1: A Natural History of Dragons – By Marie Brennan

Hi Jared,

I am thoroughly impressed by this book. The cover, the font, art and even how the pages were cut. Everything was spot on and I hadn’t even read the first line.

A Natural History of Dragons.jpgTitle: A Natural History of Dragons
Series: The Memoirs of Lady Trent; Book 1
Author: Marie Brennan
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Dragons, Science, Pre/Industrial Era
Synopsis: All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Recommendation: I highly recommend this book. Suitable for adults and older teens.

Continue reading “The Memoirs of Lady Trent – Book 1: A Natural History of Dragons – By Marie Brennan”

The Memoirs of Lady Trent – Book 1: A Natural History of Dragons – By Marie Brennan

The Keys to the Kingdom – Book 2: Grim Tuesday – By Garth Nix

Hi Jared,

I’ve been extremely inconsistent in my reading and reviewing of late and for that I can only apologize. There was a few hiccups with a book or two combined with a broken habit and I’ve been just trying to keep a book open.

GrimTuesdayTitle: Grim Tuesday
Series: The Keys of the Kingdom; Book 2
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth
ROTS Setting: EU, Magic (sorta)
Synopsis: Arthur doesn’t think he will ever have to return to the strange house that nearly killed him on Monday — the house that contains an entire world. But Tuesday brings new challenges — in the form of an enemy named Grim Tuesday, who threatens the well-being of both Arthur’s family and his world. Arthur must retrieve the Second Key from Grim Tuesday in order to save everything — an adventure that will include stealing a Sunship, surviving a very weird work camp, befriending a bearlike spirit, fighting the voidlike Nithlings, and traveling to the scary Far Reaches for the ultimate showdown.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book for youth, 8-12yrs.

Continue reading “The Keys to the Kingdom – Book 2: Grim Tuesday – By Garth Nix”

The Keys to the Kingdom – Book 2: Grim Tuesday – By Garth Nix

Temeraire – Book 4: Empire of Ivory – Naomi Novik

Hey Jared,

Once again, I press on……..and it is glorious.

empire-of-ivoryTitle: Empire of Ivory
Series: Temeraire; Book 4
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Alternate History/Fantasy
Audience:Young Adult/Adult
ROTS Setting: Alternate History: Early 1800s, Dragons, Naval Ships
Synopsis: Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks–forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected–and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France’s ever bolder sorties. Bonaparte’s dragons are already harrowing Britain’s ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.
Recommendation: I surprisingly/not surprisingly have fallen in love with this series. Highly recommend it.

Continue reading “Temeraire – Book 4: Empire of Ivory – Naomi Novik”

Temeraire – Book 4: Empire of Ivory – Naomi Novik

DNF – Convergence by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, & Andy Tong

zodiaclegacy

I just couldn’t get into it. The characters were a touch “blah” and the premise is a bit vague. Lastly, the general plot is a bit tenuous. I didn’t get far, admittedly, so I can’t be super specific. There was no one thing wrong and my minor points of dissatisfaction could easily be resolved. It’s just not for me, right now.

That said, the artwork was really good (why I picked this image instead of the actual cover) and it’s got Stan Lee’s fingerprints all over it.

I might try this again in the future.

Robert

DNF – Convergence by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, & Andy Tong

Dragonlance Second Generation – Book 1: The Second Generation – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Hey Jared,

I am so behind on getting some reviews out. There’s no real excuse for it. In general I’ve just been oddly stressed and life here in Washington state has just been very, very different than Phoenix. I’ve found myself either fixating on something or needing to push relentlessly to get something finished. But enough about me!

secondgenerationTitle: The Second Generation
Series: Dragonlance Second Generation; Book 1
Author: Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: Years have passed since the end of the War of the Lance. The people of Ansalon have rebuilt their lives, their houses, their families. The Companions of the Lance, too, have returned to their homes, raising children and putting the days of their heroic deeds behind them. But peace on Krynn comes at a price. The forces of darkness are ever vigilant, searching for ways to erode the balance of power and take control. When subtle changes begin to permeate the fragile peace, new lives are drawn into the web of fate woven around all the races. The time has come to pass the sword — or the staff — to the children of the Lance. They are the Second Generation. 
Recommendation: Adult, maybe late teens. Any admirer of high fantasy should be familiar with this series.

Continue reading “Dragonlance Second Generation – Book 1: The Second Generation – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman”

Dragonlance Second Generation – Book 1: The Second Generation – By Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Animorphs – Book 11: The Forgotten – By K. A. Applegate

Hello Jared,

I’ve always liked this book…. and I don’t really know why. It might be the cover, or that Jake is the POV, or jaguars, or just the way it’s written.

theforgotten.jpgTitle: The Forgotten
Series: Animorphs; Book 11
Author: K. A. Applegate
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Youth
ROTS Setting: CU, Modern, Aliens
Synopsis: There’s been an accident. Someone crash-landed a Yeerk Bug fighter. And the Yeerks have been trying to cover it up – quickly. But not before Tobias spots it. So the Animorphs and Ax decide to steal the ship to show the world that Earth has been invaded.
Recommendation: Highly recommend this series.

Continue reading “Animorphs – Book 11: The Forgotten – By K. A. Applegate”

Animorphs – Book 11: The Forgotten – By K. A. Applegate

Exo – Book 1: EXO – By Fonda Lee

Hey Jared,

It’s a decent book, but it didn’t stand-out. And as it turns out the second book just came out a couple of months ago.

exoTitle: EXO
Series: Exo; Book 1
Author: Fonda Lee
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: YA
ROTS Setting: CU, Future, Aliens, Technology, FTL, Dystopian
Synopsis: It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience, determined to end alien control. When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip . But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another intergalactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one…
Recommendation: I recommend this series. It’s nothing special, but not bad.

Continue reading “Exo – Book 1: EXO – By Fonda Lee”

Exo – Book 1: EXO – By Fonda Lee

The Inheritance Cycle – Book 4: Inheritance – By Christopher Paolini

Hey Jared,

Even having endured three previous books, and basically zero expectations, I’m still surprisingly disappointed.

inheritance

Title: Inheritance
Series: The Inheritance Cycle; Book 4
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: Youth/Teen
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval/Renaissance, Dragons, Magic, Higher Magic
Synopsis: Not so very long ago, Eragon — Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider — was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance. The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost
Recommendation: I recommend this series (not really) for pre- and early teens.

Continue reading “The Inheritance Cycle – Book 4: Inheritance – By Christopher Paolini”

The Inheritance Cycle – Book 4: Inheritance – By Christopher Paolini