Synopsis: For all her reign the Red Queen has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.
The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Content with his role as a minor royal, Jal pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war with the undead is coming, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks that nothing that will affect him. He’s wrong..
Continue reading “Prince of Fools – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.
The problem isn’t the killing. The problem, rather, is love. For to complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.”
Pyrre isn’t sure she’s ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love . . . and ending it on the edge of her sword. Continue reading “Skullsworn – Brian Staveley”
A missing eye.
A broken wing.
A stolen country.
The last job didn’t end well.
Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain’s company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain’s whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score. Continue reading “The Builders – Daniel Polansky”
Synopsis: At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.
Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Continue reading “Red Sister – Mark Lawrence”
Synopsis: King Jorg Ancrath is twenty now—and king of seven nations. His goal—revenge against his father—has not yet been realized, and the demons that haunt him have only grown stronger. Yet no matter how tortured his path, he intends to take the next step in his upward climb.
But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced—a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King. Continue reading “Emperor of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
I drive my knife in low, at the base of his scrotum. I leave it there. I don’t want it back. Also, if I pull it free he will bleed to death quickly. I think he should linger.
I am in love with this series! Mark Lawrence is a new favorite, for sure. This is a violent story told in a grim future, but with Lawrence at the helm there is a haunting elegance about it which makes my senses tingle in all of the best ways! Continue reading “King of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
“Dance!” laughed the Bloody-Nine, and the sword reeled around him. He filled the air with blood, and broken weapons, and the parts of men, and these good things wrote secret letters, and described sacred patterns that only he could see and understand. Blades pricked and nicked and dug at him but they were nothing. He repaid each mark upon his burning skin one-hundred fold, and the Bloody-Nine laughed, and the wind, and the fire, and the faces on the shields laughed with him, and could not stop.”
Continue reading “Last Argument of Kings – Joe Abercrombie”
The town-square ran red. Blood in the gutters, blood on the flagstones, blood in the fountain. The corpses posed as corpses do. Some comical, reaching for the sky with missing fingers, some peaceful, coiled about their wounds. Flies rose above the wounded as they struggled. This way and that, some blind, some sly, all betrayed by their buzzing entourage. Continue reading “Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
“When cutting out a heart-and I speak from experience here-expect to be crimson head to toe.”
This is the first book in Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy, and my first-ever Mark Lawrence book! And fuck, it was awesome! It’s a first-person narrative, and centers on Jorg Ancrath, a 14-year-old prince, coming of age on the road with his merry band of murderous and treacherous brothers. Continue reading “Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence”
“No need for discussion or justification, for introductions or etiquette, for guilt or excuses. Only the incredible release of violence. So powerful that he felt this golden-armoured man must be his best friend in all the world. I love you. I love you, and that is why I must smash your head apart.”
-Joe Abercrombie, The Heroes
Fucking hell, Joe Abercrombie. I am running out of superlatives to describe these books. This is the fifth book in Abercrombie’s series of brutal and brilliant fantasy novels, The First Law. The Heroes is unapologetically a war novel, grisly, horrific, and frequently hilarious. While this book is technically a standalone, reading this before the previous four books would be a grievous mistake. Continue reading “The Heroes – Joe Abercrombie”