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The Fallen Knighthood (Guest Post)

THE FALLEN KNIGHTHOOD

 

Nobody mourns the collapse of chivalry as they should. The regression of knights from their historical roles as mounted heroes, nobles, and stewards of the king’s justice to common gutter trash riding in wrinkled, red uniforms is a symptom of a greater disease. When we lost our knights in shining armor, we lost that which shines within ourselves.

 

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It was not always thus, although few now are old enough to remember. But I can still close my eyes and feel the warm breeze on my back, hear the pennons snapping in the wind, smell the scent of oiled leather, and see the sun shining off that brilliant, burnished armor as the knights paraded down the street, waving to the crowd. I must have been a lad of five or six, but the memory lingers.

The sun set that day and never rose again. The knights rode to battle one last time, perchance to kill an upstart duke for the glory of their monarch. But now that duke sits upon the throne, a cold chair washed in the blood of our king while the blood of our knights polishes the flagstones at his feet.

We have replaced a kingdom with an empire, glory with greed, and chivalry with cavalry. When the imperial soldiers ride through the streets, it is no gay parade, but a grim patrol. The neighboring kingdoms fear us now, and well they should, for we have conquered two of them and soon we shall conquer the rest. Only Corel, by the grace of her dragons and her mountains, remains secure. But the others? Farse, the land of Graceful Mountains? Kindar, the quiet Kingdom by the Sea? They are shackled to the empire, reduced to mere provinces.

Remember the knights. Remember the brilliant knights in shining armor. A darkness is spreading across the land and we will never shine again.

The empire is harsh to those who refuse to conform. The Artifice Mage is coming. Will he bring new light to the empire or his own brand of darkness?

 

 

Look out for Book 0.5 of The Artifice Mage Saga (PROMO post & Giveaway coming soon!)

TITLE: Rotten Magic     |     AUTHOR: Jeffrey Bardwell     |     GENRE: fantasy/steampunk
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Shadow Eyes (A YA Fantasy Review)

Iris has seen shadows for the past three years of her life and since then, her life has been one dramatic train-wreck after another.

The story starts off in a mysterious way, having the reader question why Iris hates her  own birthday. What could possibly be that bad?

15733491.jpgThe presence of light figures as well as shadows gives the reader a sense of good vs evil. While it made for an intriguing concept, I have read several books very similar to this one.

What was refreshing about Iris’ character was her unique violet eyes. I have yet to read about another character with such features (with the exception of the witches in Roald Dahl’s famous children’s classic.)

As Iris battles the growing maze of shadows in her life, we see her at war with her own emotions. Two teen boys battle for her attention, which while somewhat unoriginal, always makes for good drama.
Although I found the story interesting as a whole and couldn’t stop turning the pages, there was one thing that made me dislike Iris’ character.

The treatment of Sam’s character (though he only plays a minor role) made me want to slap her.  With Iris being a bit of an outcast herself with her abilities, you would think she’d be kinder to those that are different. Instead, her character showed a rather judgemental side that didn’t feel like her at all.

Would I recommend this book? Probably, depending on a reader’s preferences. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy with teen drama, then yes, I probably would recommend.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

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Zephyr: The West Wind (Book One), by R. J. Tolson

 

I was amazed to discover, having finished this book, that author R. J. Tolson is just eighteen years of age. Zephyr’s story is a complex one, one of loss, vengeance, greed, and ancestry. It is a true credit to the author.

517p-0wwM5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgHaving finally completed his three trials into adulthood, seventeen year old Zephyr is sent on a special quest, which leads him to discover new friends and foes. R. J. Tolson’s first person narrative is friendly and holds a personal tone, as if Zephyr were confiding in the reader like a friend or journal, holding nothing back. Their style is descriptive, yet does not waste words.

I enjoyed the plot and found it fast-moving, with plenty of twists and turns, in addition to deadly secrets. The characters were well-rounded and for the most part, likeable. We see Zephyr develop from a shy young outcast, into a strong and courageous young warrior that will stop at nothing to save what he holds dear.

Find the Book HERE

What I liked most about Zephyr’s story was the imagination behind the complex magical system. I found myself willing magic to be real once more as I did back in my childhood. The principles and inner-workings of the magic were easy to understand and beautifully described.

I was also particularly taken with the idea of a soul mirror, a paradise where a few hours in real time can be weeks within the mind.

As far as dislikes, I had but one. I hated Leon’s character from the start and never grew to like him.

Overall, this was a thrilling tale by a talented young author. I would recommend this to any book lover, no matter what your preferred genre.

Rated  5 out of 5 stars.

Daccari Buchelli is now a registered reviewer on Novel Blogs. Find his personal Novel Blogs site below:
Buchelli Books Novel Blogs

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Secrets Cover Reveal, by Bella Emy

Good morning from a drizzly England. I hope you’re all A-Okay.  🙂

18471499_413350395717650_510766015_n.jpgToday, I would like to share with you from a favourite author friend of mine, the incredible Bella Emy. Bella specializes in the Romance genre, bringing life to a multitude of unforgettable characters and gripping story-lines.

Madly typing away at a desk or cuddled up in a corner reading are the most common places where you’ll find Bella Emy. Writing started something special within her that she just could no longer stay away from.

Some of her favorites authors these days include: Nicholas Sparks, Kristin Hannah, and Lili St. Germain. Bella Emy also loves discovering new authors. One thing that she always says is that if she’s not writing, she’s reading, and if she’s not reading, she writing!

Are You Ready for this?

Secrets

Bella Emy

Blurb
From her very early teen years, Bella Emy has always had a fondness of writing.In this compilation of poems, you will find some of her earliest works.She has handpicked each one of her favorites to share with you!

Here it is…

Thank you for joining us today.

Have an awesome weekend and keep on reading.  🙂

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Devil’a Blood, by B. B. Morgan (Review)

Alice Malone, branded the best thief in all of Bell City, is about to
have her world turned upside-down. When a heist goes wrong,
she will be forced to befriend her enemies and must re-consider
the values that she holds dear.

516yF-GdbmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis was one of those ‘take it or leave it’ reads for me. I did love the concept as a whole, with the devil’s blood lending people unique and at times terrifying super-abilities.

Malone’s character was particularly fascinating and although I didn’t relate well to her, I did admire her level of determination and courage in the face of danger.

There wasn’t much to dislike in my opinion, although I felt that some of the main characters could have been more well-rounded, e.g. Clearwater. Such characters lacked depth and were difficult to read.

Other than that, the story was sound, with an intriguing plot that kept me reading. I did note that there were quite a few missing connective words mid-sentence, which if fixed would improve the overall quality of the reader’s experience.

All in all, this was a fun, action-packed tale that will have me on the lookout for the sequel, as well as other works from B. B. Morgan.

Superb and imaginative.

My rating: 3.5 Stars
(Light editing really is needed for those missing connective words as there were a LOT.)

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Broken Branches Goes LIVE

To celebrate the official release of Broken Branches, by M. Johnathan. Lee, I thought we’d take another look at the review I gave it a few months back.

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Published by the unique Hideaway Fall comes
Broken Branches, a remarkable tale of an ancient family curse. Ian Perkin’s story is told through a reliable third person perspective. As a loving husband and father, he seeks to uncover the truth of the curse that has plagued his family for generations.

Author M. Jonathan. Lee has a way with expression and imagery, drawing particular attention to the gnarled tree in Ian’s family garden, which becomes a character in its own right. It acts as a sinister metaphor throughout the novel, a symbol of the family’s curse.

Buy it HERE     |     Find it on GOODREADS

At times, Ian’s character appears vulnerable, left emotionally scarred by the loss of family members over the years. At other times, he stands as a courageous father figure, hell bent on solving the mystery of the family curse and any obstacles that may arise.

This was a dark and sinister tale that held my attention from the first page. If you enjoy stories shrouded in mystery, deeper meaning, with sudden twists and good tension building, then I would recommend Broken Branches.

Rated 5 stars.

Thank you for joining me in celebrating the official release of Broken Branches.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.

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The Magician’s Curse (Paranormal/Urban Fantasy- 5 Stars)

The Magician’s Curse is a fun Paranormal / Urban Fantasy mix that offers readers the experience of true love from an outside perspective, looking in. Young Herman is happy to accept a job offer from the mysterious and charming Stephen Dagmar, but does not expect to find herself falling deeply in love with a man hiding a dark secret.

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Herman and Stephen share a relationship that starts off as beautifully as one could imagine. Their sense of humour is similar and both characters bring out the best in each-other. Although I’m not a fan of instant chemistry between two main characters as soon as they meet, I actually found that it worked in this case. I loved how their relationship progresses, with each of them completely devoted to the other.

The plot was engaging and at points surprising, with a complex array of characters that I came to love, except for Nina, of-course. The author’s style is light and elegant in parts, with a fair use of drama in between. The book is easy to read and spoke to me personally, of loss and of love, as well as of the personal sacrifices we must sometimes make.

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Mystery, family history, and love at first sight are just a few themes that made this an incredible read for me. I would recommend The Magician’s Curse to lovers of the paranormal, magic, and of urban fantasy.

Rated 5 stars.

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Adam, by Shari Sakurai (Sci-Fi Review)

Set in London of 2115, where a troublesome new council reigns over all, we follow young Adam, a genetically-engineered ‘perfect’ son. Yet, Adam is far from perfect in his father’s eyes.

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Adam presents as a mentally unstable young man who craves affection and understanding. His third person perspective seems cold and calculating at first, painting him as a villain, before we eventually get to know his character better. I felt great sorrow for Adam at times as he only appears to seek two things in life- love and approval.

The story itself was dark, with plenty of tension and a cime-driven plot. It moves quickly, seeing us from one drama to the next. Non-stop action, betrayal, and secrets circle Adam.
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I would recommend to lovers of crime and thrillers.
Rated 4 stars.

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The Witches of Ravencrest (A 5 Star Review)

From Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross comes The Witches of Ravencrest: Books Two of an extraordinary series. I rated this 5 stars, unable to put the book down once I’d started.

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Ravencrest is far from the perfect manor house that you see from outside. One might go so far as to call it haunted.

I LOVED this book. From the onset, we are introduced to a variety of quirky characters. each with their own complicated pasts.

Belinda, having shown evidence of having unusual powers, does her best to help counsel the restless spirits of the estate, all while falling for the current master of the house, Eric. Her character is a breath of fresh air- intelligent, charming, and intuitive. Reading her story was a fun and enlightening experience.

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The story swept me along in its wake. The plot was well constructed and had me hooked more and more as I read. I liked that one of the main characters, Grant, is in an openly gay marriage. I feel that more LGBT+ friendly books are needed in the world and this book in particular had a wonderful representation.

Murder, vengeance and love, combined with ghouls, ghosts and witch-craft make this story an unforgettable read. I would recommend The Witches of Ravencrest to all lovers of fantasy, mystery, and magic.

I rate this 5/5 stars.
A good quality book, above and beyond most others I’ve read this year.

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Dark Matter: The Secret Revealed (Romance-Mystery Review)

In Dark Matter, a mixture of Romance and Mystery by author Deborah Ann Gordon, we see a young immortal, Belinda, travel back to a past life, in order to save Damien- the love of her life.

I was drawn into the story by its fast pace and shifting tone. While some parts felt quite tense, others were light-hearted and romantic, providing what I see as a perfect balance.

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There were plenty of surprise twists, which had me eagerly turning the pages. I could imagine myself in Belinda’s shoes, desperate to try and save not just her true love, but her religion as well.

The plot itself was intriguing, centres around two core religions, being Paganism and Christianity. As a Pagan myself, I detested the way in which some characters (namely Mordecai) sought to abolish the Pagan practices, only to replace them purely with those of the Christian faith.

 

Find out more about Dark Matter HERE:

Belinda’s determination to save the religion of her people, as well as its traditions and the love of her life, is beyond admirable. In her position, I would be just as determined to right such wrongs.

If you like dark, twisted schemes and the sort of ‘love conquers all’ tales that snatch your breath away, then I would definitely recommend Dark Matter.

Rated 5 stars.

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The Cyborg at the end of the Universe (Sci-Fi)

The Cyborg at the end of the Universe,
by Emerson Daub & Richard Daub:

Children have always flocked to the idea of superheroes, with powers so incredible that they defy the very laws of nature. From Emerson and Richard Daub comes one such tale, a sequel- The Cyborg at the end of the Universe.

Here, we follow the adventures of Morgan Wallace, aka Hyperkid as he plans to save the universe from a maniacal alien cyborg. The book includes a series of colourful illustrations that help to bring the story to life. It uses realistic patterns of speech for its nine year old protagonist, making Hyperkid that much easier for kids to connect with.

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Learn more at Goodreads


Action lurks round every corner. I like that the plot moves swiftly along and found that it held my attention well.

The main message of the story revolves around the perspectives of yourself and others. To quote, ‘You must understand someone’s situation before branding them a good, or a bad guy.’

This is wonderful advice for young people and supports the idea that we should all get to know someone before making any snap judgements.

A secondary message that sprang to mind while writing this review is to, ‘Just be yourself- if you can accept who you are- you’ll be fine.’

I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of sci-fi, fantasy, and superheroes. I think it would also make an ideal read for young kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as it shows hyperactivity in a positive light, branding it as part of a superhuman set of abilities.

My rating: 5 stars.

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I Have a Friend on Jupiter, by Celine Rose Mariotti (5 Star Review)

You may have read my recent interview with author Celine Rose Mariotti. Since then I have had the privilege of reading her book, I Have a Friend on Jupiter, and I have to say that it’s well worth a read.

I was pleasantly surprised at the way it indirectly shows children that being different is okay.

20567587.jpgWhen twelve year old best friends Carlos and Indiana contact two citizens of Jupiter via a special emailing website, they form a bond for life.

The author’s style is unique and not one that I have come across before, which makes a welcome change. The book is aimed at children and teens and moves at a brisk pace so as to hold the reader’s attention.

The language used was easy to understand and flowed well. The enthusiasm of the main characters was hard to miss and lent a powerful series of emotions to the author’s work. I honestly felt like a kid again while reading this, experiencing that same child like sense of wonder that we often lose as we grow up.

I would like to personally thank Celine Rose Mariotti for taking me back to my childhood.
This is a fascinating read that I would recommend for all lovers of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, regardless of age.

Rated 5 stars.