Guest Review: FALL OF THE DAGGER by Glenda Larke (Orbit)

LarkeG-FL3-FallOfTheDaggerThe Forsaken Lands Concludes

Excommunicated cleric Saker returns from exile in the Spice Islands to find his homeland in chaos.

A dark sorcerer controls the ear of the King, turning him against his own son and heir, while a corrupted army gathers in the shadows.

With the illusionist Sorrel and islander Ardhi, armed with magic from Ardhi’s homeland, Saker now must stand between his city and the corruption that threatens to cripple it before it is too late…

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

The Forsaken Lands series has been my favorite fantasy series of the past year or so. The first two books of this series were so good that I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the final installment, The Fall of the Dagger. Easily my most anticipated book of 2016, I’m happy to say that Larke more than delivered the goods with this finale. Continue reading

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New Books (March)

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Featuring: Daniel Abraham, Jason Arnopp, Stephen Aryan, Madeline Ashby, Adrian Barnes, Terry Brooks, Steve Cavanagh, Catherine Cerveny, Curtis C. Chen, Jennifer Close, Brenda Cooper, John DeCure, Christopher Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Deena Goldstone, Jack Grimwood, Aidan Harte, Nathan Hill, L.S. Hilton, Roger Hobbs, Trevor Hoyle, Richard A. Knaak, Spencer Kope, Giles Kristian, Robert Kroese, Jason LaPier, Glenda Larke, James Lovegrove, Drew Magary, Gail Z. Martin, Malka Older, Melissa F. Olson, Stephanie Saulter, Jon Skovron, Sam Sykes, Laura van Den Berg, Dan Vyleta, David Wingrove, Ben H. Winters, John Wray

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Guest Review: THE DAGGER’S PATH by Glenda Larke (Orbit)

LarkeG-2-DaggersPathThe second novel in the Forsaken Lands series

THEY FOLLOW WHERE THE DAGGER LEADS

Ardhi, Sorrel and the excommunicated cleric, Saker Rampion, stow away on a ship to the Spice Islands. They must return stolen items of great power to Ardhi’s home, but there are ruthless men after this power, men who will kill to possess it.

At home in Ardrone, an army of demonic origin runs amok while Saker’s superiors in the church struggle to quell it. And the young queen Mathilda struggles with the possibility that her newborn child, the heir to the throne, may be linked to the corruption that has erupted throughout the land.

Sorcerers, lascars, pirates and thieves collide…

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

Think of a time when you thoroughly enjoyed the opening installment of a series… It’s probably not too hard a task, and honestly, not all that uncommon. Now, think of a time when you enjoyed the second installment of a series more than you enjoyed the first. For me at least, that’s more difficult. Sure, it happens, but once I’ve mentally checked off Empire Strikes Back, Deadhouse Gates, and… um, The Drawing of the Three, I’m forcing my brain into action, and who needs that? Suffice it to say, the second installment in a series is a tricky thing. That fresh, clean smell is gone, the characters are no longer new and exciting, and often (especially if we’re talking a trilogy) the characters tend to do a lot of moving around so that things are set up for the finale.

Well, The Dagger’s Path just so happens to be a second installment in a trilogy, it also follows a first-in-series, The Lascar’s Dagger, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So how did this second volume fare? Quite well in fact. Continue reading

Guest Review: THE LASCAR’S DAGGER by Glenda Larke (Orbit)

LarkeG-1-LascarsDaggerA good start to a new series

Faith will not save him

Saker looks like a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. It’s a dangerous job, and more lives than merely his own depend on his secrecy.

When Saker is wounded by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility that comes with it, Saker can only follow its lead.

It will put him on a journey to strange shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he saves, and likely lead to his own destruction. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

From the blurb provided above, I honestly had some doubts about reading Glenda Larke’s The Lascar’s Dagger. Buzz words like spies, magical daggers, and empires harboring dark secrets give rise to a few red flags for this reviewer. I’ve never gotten into the whole bad-ass hooded assassin thing. And empires/kingdoms with dark secrets, and sketchy politics have become ubiquitous within the epic fantasy genre. As a result, I try to outright avoid, or at least limit to some degree those genre themes in my fantasy reading. That being said, I’d read some positive reviews of the book from trusted sources, and I had a feeling that I needed to give this book a shot. I’m glad I listened to that feeling. Continue reading

Books Received: December #2 (Or, “It Rained Books Just Before Xmas…”)

BooksReceived-20141220

A nice wave of new titles arrived or were purchased just before Christmas. I’ve just been slow about posting this, which means I’ve already read a couple (and dismissed a couple). Some more have arrived since, too, but I’ll post about those at the beginning of January.

Featuring: Kate Atkinson, Belinda Bauer, Gregory Benford, Douglas Brunt, Chelsea Cain, John Connolly, Christopher Farnsworth, Helen Giltrow, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Lev Grossman, Glenda Larke, Karen Lord, Alex Marhsall, Peyton Marshall, Brian McClellan, D.J. Molles, Syliva Moreno-Garcia, Mark Morris, Larry Niven, Claire North, Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Pearl, D.B.C. Pierre, Jennifer Ridyard, Jeff Somers, Gabriel Squailia, Mark Sullivan, S.J. Watson, Jaye Wells Continue reading