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Cover Art for next fantasy book

The next Aegis of the Gods book is almost ready. There’s something to be said about good covers, and I have worked to try come up with covers that will draw my reader in. I hope my fans appreciate the effort. Covers have always been a drawing point for me, even now when I read primarily on my tablet. When browsing, I always go cover first before I read the blurb and a sample. I just feel the cover is important. Not as important as the contents of the book, as you truly can’t judge a book by it’s cover (sorry, I had to), but a good cover might tell you that the author or publisher cared about what his book looked like to his potential reader.

having said that, here’s some early work on my latest cover.

 

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Epic Fantasy Review: The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent Read. Right now for me, it’s a 5.

In the Black Prism, Weeks betters what he did with Night Angel.

The Prism offers a wealth of fantastic worldbuilding, good characters, action, war strategy, political intrigue, and plot twists to keep one coming back for more.

The magic system is well laid out. Simply put, a percentage of the populace known as Drafters have the ability to harness colors through light in a skill called Chromaturgy. This basically takes a force of will and belief to create Luxin which then can be used for everything from buildings to machines to weapons to fireballs. There are other subtleties. Let’s say I enjoyed it very much.

The characterization is good. The characters feel real and are engaging. You can sympathize with some and others you want to kick in the butt. At times, one of them can get annoying with his personality traits, and well almost a second personality. They more than served the story, the plot, the politics and scope of the world.

As usual from Weeks, when the action gets going, it gets going. The clash of Drafters reminds me of the Secret Wars comic books, as they do incredible things. Of course there are touches of mundane fighting, but when you have the magic embedded in this world, that takes a back seat.

The end was well worth the ride, adding another twist in a book chock full of them. Some people might carry on about tropes or cliches, but for me, it’s all about how they’re presented. After all, there’s just about nothing that can be done that is completely original. This is why I base my reviews of my enjoyment, rather than technical merits.

That is to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. Well done, Mr.Weeks.

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Deathspeaker – New Fantasy novel

This is an excerpt from my newest WIP that I started today. A nice little tease if I do say so myself. It’s set in Denestia but several thousand years after the current events in Aegis of the Gods.

Deathspeaker

 

When the dead spoke to Marius, he listened. Not that he often had much choice. They were persistent that way. And annoying.

Today, they’d told him whom he needed to visit here in the city of Pante. They seemed to enjoy these trips and the ensuing results as much as trying to goad him to take the power they offered without the necessary protection. He always resisted no matter how enticing he found the proposition. After all, if he partook of their temptation, one like himself would be paying him a visit, maybe even his own brother. If that happened, someone would die.

He smiled. What a dilemma. Tricky bastards.

For a moment, he waited for their agitated whispers in rebuke of his thoughts. He cocked an eyebrow when none came. Unusual for them considering they were as pompous and overbearing as most monarchs. Still no response. Not even a muted rustling in his head. He frowned as he stored that tidbit of information.

His old mentor would have scolded him for considering the voices to be something as mundane as the dead. Master Dorn would have said they were the murmurs of the essences that made up the world. Marius found it easier to accept them as random lost spirits able to speak in his mind. Much simpler than to believe the rainbow bands and swirls of color he saw, which represented the essences, were somehow alive. Talking colors. Imagine that. He gave a derisive snort.

 

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Among Thieves – Epic Fantasy Review

Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin, #1)Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Recently, I’ve been reading quite a bit of thieves and assassins and the like. All of them have been good. Among Thieves does not disappoint.

I would consider this book more of a medieval style spy fantasy with a generous helping of sword fights and some well used sorcery. The main character Drothe is well done and so is Degan. Loved them both.

The sense of danger and intrigue is littered throughout this book and the prose style made me feel like I was Drothe. I could relate, his voice was that distinct. There are a lot of books that I don’t find that and when I do, I’m quite pleased.

The plot is deep and at times runs along at a breakneck speed which I quite enjoyed. Unlike a lot of fantasy, our main character isn’t very good at much besides spying, therefore when he’s in a sword fight, you tend to wonder, how will he get out of this now. But he manages, which at times left me smiling.

All in all, a good book and I look forward to more.

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Shadow’s Master – Epic Fantasy Review

Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga, #3)Shadow’s Master by Jon Sprunk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this series and this final book. While the first book was my favorite, Shadow’s Master had a lot going for it. Sprunk’s action as always is top notch and so are his descriptions and setting. Caim, I got into right away and was totally engrossed, watching as he follows blindly into the teeth of danger.

This time around, I found myself less attached to Josey. Something about her felt lacking. This may have been because I was so into Caim. Then there was the questionable feats she managed considering her state. Despite this flaw, by the time I got to the meat of her situation when her major obstacle arose, her PoV made for better reading that caught me up, although I did find myself wondering “How did she do that and not …” I’ll chalk it up to what Hirsch tells her at the end.

Beyond that, the battles were thrilling and the magic at the climax was something to behold. Some may find a fault with Caim’s grasp of being able to do what he did, but the man was special in many ways. This time around there were no great plot twists, but the unfolding events were nicely put together at a pace that should keep any reader going.

I would recommend this series to any of my fantasy friends. Thank you for the good read, Mr. Sprunk. I look forward to what you write next.

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Character Interview: Aeon of The Between

Terry: Who are you?

Aeon: I am Aeon. Oberon calls me his mad gardener, but I don’t belong to him. He may have bound me here, but he doesn’t know everything about me. Come, walk with me a bit, but mind your step. My pets can be clingy.

Terry: Where do you live?

Aeon: Why here, in the maze. Is it not a wondrous place? Even I don’t know all its twists and turns.

Terry: Are you the hero of your own story?

Aeon: Oh, you are an amusing fellow. All stories are my story. My roots go back to the very beginning of Fairie. And I am an old tree, indeed. You could even say that Lydia’s story is just a continuation of my own, even if she does not yet realize it. If my trees could talk, they would tell you stories that would hold you spellbound, lost within Faerie. Lucky for you, they are sleepy today.

Terry: How do your friends see you?

Aeon: Until Lydia wandered into my maze, I had not understood how someone with power could offer friendship. We have so long been bound by our hatreds, our petty jealousies. I think Lydia is my friend. It is dangerous to offer such a precious gift to the Fae, and I fear for her. If that means I am her friend, then yes, it must be so.

Terry: How do your enemies see you?

Aeon: That is a much more interesting question. Oberon sees a broken, beaten little man, his power contained in a maze he thinks he created. I let him believe his lovely Faerie tale because it suits me. I wasn’t always his tame gardener. But the green and growing things here have always been my allies. Oberon would do well to remember that.

Terry: How does the author see you? Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Aeon: She is an interesting one. I think she sees me as clearly as anyone Mortal can, though perhaps that is unfair. Just because she is ephemeral does not mean her vision is wrong, only limited. She is beginning to be troubled by dreams of my past. Perhaps once, she thought of me as benign, a rare ally for her Lydia, but now she understands that like my garden itself, I am wild and twisted. It will not be easy for her to find my story, but now that it has started to take root inside her, well, I suspect I know how this will end.

Terry: What do you regret?

Aeon: The Fae have no regrets. We are creatures of impulse and power. If there is something we desire, either we take it or will it into being. And yet, I envy Lydia. She is so refreshing in her loyalty. If I regret anything, it is that I cannot give her back that which Oberon has stolen.

Terry: Have you ever betrayed anyone?

Aeon: Have you learned nothing about the Fae? Do not place your trust in us, Mortal. All the stories you tell your littles about us and you still don’t understand. We are not bound by such relationships as you prize. We take lovers, but without the childish expectation of love that you chase all your brief lives. You speak of betrayal as if it were some terrible offense. To us, it is merely another turn in a game of power.

Terry: Do you keep your promises?

Aeon: Ah, well that is a different story. What I bind my name to, takes a payment, a tithe if you will. And if I break that oath, I will forfeit a part of myself. We take our word seriously; it is our very selves. You Mortals, who talk of the pain of betrayal, you break your word without thought, without consequence. For all the centuries I have known the ephemerals, this I will never understand. Raised among you as she was, Lydia still understands the weight of a promise, though it would be easier for her if she did not.

Terry: What is your favorite scent? Why?

Aeon: The scent of a just ripe peach. At the heart of my maze, there is a garden. At the heart of that garden, is my peach tree. It is the oldest tree in Faerie and its fruit reminds me of my life before this punishment. The only time the thorns do not torment me is when I am beneath its boughs.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Announcements, Authors, Characters, Interviews

 

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YA Fantasy Review: The Between

The BetweenThe Between by L.J. Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Often, if a book doesn’t capture my interest within the first few pages, I lose interest. That wasn’t the case with the Between. It’s really my first YA book and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

The beginning grabbed me with intrigue and action. In Lydia, I could tell there was a character for me to care about. Clive gave me that added mystery of a man battling to be more that what he appeared. Watching these two characters grow was fascinating to say the least. Their challenges, frustrations, losses, and triumphs were woven so well into the story that you could not help but feel for them.

I’m one who loves magic and a great world. Sprinkle in some mystery and a great story and I’m in. This book gave me all of that. The world created here in Faerie was one of political intrigue, darkness, all things magical, and one that was so well thought out that you will believe you are there. You will believe in the glamours you see upon the pages. You will feel the tenseness of the world, the grip of its King, the fear those of power instill upon others.

As for style. LJ has it nailed. Her prose flowed well. Not once did I get bored or wished to put the book down. Her descriptions were crisp and rich and kept you right there, living in the world of the Between.

From beginning to end, the Between makes for good reading. As I often do when I read a good book, all I can say now is: go get your copy.

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