Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: "The Grey Bastards" by Jonathan French

I started reading Jonathan French’s “The Grey Bastards” a few days before it was named the winner of this year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off. Like its predecessor in the contest, it’s a most worthy recipient.

Numbers-wise, “The Grey Bastards” scored impressively in the second year of Mark Lawrence’s contest. It pulled down an average rating of 8.65 of 10, and scored the only perfect 10 awarded by any blog in the two years of the contest. If I awarded stars or scores here, mine would definitely be in that range.

The book follows the story of Jackal, a member of the half-orc hoof known as The Grey Bastards. After the last incursion of full-blood orcs, the hoofs, formerly kept as slaves, were granted the barren lands known as the Lots for their service to the kingdom of Hispartha. They exist to serve as the last line of defense against another orc invasion.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Review: "Son of the Black Sword" by Larry Correia

I’ve enjoyed Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter novels quite a bit, so I decided to give his more traditional fantasy, “Son of the Black Sword” ($8.99, Baen), a go. It’s a bit different from what I’m used to from Correia, but still highly entertaining.

Ashok Vadal is perhaps the most fierce Protector that the world has ever seen. His devotion to the Law and its caste system is unrelenting and unquestionable. Unusual among the Protectors, Ashok wields the ancestor blade Angruvadal, a semi-sentient sword that retains the memories of all of the warriors who have ever carried it. The black steel ancestor blades can only be used by those that they find worthy and dishonoring the blade can destroy it. That’s why their numbers are dwindling, and they are highly valued by the houses that own them.

Ashok has never questioned his orders and never flinched from doing his duty, no matter how brutal, but a deathbed confession from the Lord Protector of his order could shatter all that he has ever known.