Tag Archives: science fiction

the painted man

The Painted Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V Brett

From Goodreads:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings riseβ€”demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wardsβ€”symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This is my second time to read this book. The first was a couple of years ago but for some reason I didn’t go on to read the rest of the series. I don’t understand why as this is an excellent book and the best fantasy story I’ve read for quite a while.

There is a solid core of well defined main characters aided by interesting minor characters. Together they are used in a really good way to create the back story of the main characters and bring them together.

It’s a far from predictable story without being too shocking, just the right blend to keep the story believable but still interesting.

Looking forward now to reading the rest of the series.

a discovery of witches

All Souls Trilogy #1 by Deborah Harkness

From Goodreads:

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

My Rating: 🌟🌟

Came across this author while browsing around Easons looking for inspiration for some new Science Fiction or Fantasy authors to read. The story looked sufficiently interesting to add to my list but I really wish I hadn’t bothered!

It’s a sloppy romantic novel with poor plot design and character creation, trying to be a fantasy novel with a gothic twist. I can only imagine that the author is a Twilight fan or is trying to cash in on the vampire genre.

There are a few good scenes scattered through the book that did give me hope that it would improve but barely enough to keep me there to the end and definitely not enough to make me want to read another one.

Disappointing as I think the author had a good and reasonably original idea, just very poorly executed.


The Runelords Series #3 by David Farland

From Goodreads:

Wizardborn continues the story of the struggle of Gaborn, now the Earth King, who has lost his powers but continues to lead his people. He must contend with the threat of the huge, inhuman Reavers, whose myriads Gaborn and his forces must now pursue across the nation. It has become Gaborn’s fate to follow, even into the depths.

Raj Ahten, the great warlord endowed with the strength and qualities of thousands of men, once the primary threat to Gaborn, now struggles to retain his own empire. His war of conquest thwarted, his very life is now threatened by the Reaver thousands.

And a young girl, Averan, who has eaten a Reaver and absorbed some of its memories, becomes a keystone in the search for the dark Reaver lair.

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I started reading this series looking for a traditional fantasy story that I hadn’t discovered before. Book 1 was OK but a bit difficult to read. Book 2 was much better and this book has continued in the same vein.

Some of the concepts behind the story are very unusual especially the type of magic that is the central theme and the main protagonists called “reavers” that remind me so much of “walkers” from “The Walking Dead“. I was pleased to see characters like Spring and Myrrima continued in this book, even though they aren’t developed much further. The main theme of this book is to develop the character of Averan who looks set to become a central character. There are some interesting teasers about the role she will play later in the story that may be less ordinary than expected. I guess eating reaver brains isn’t enough!

As a 3rd book in a series it’s inevitable that much of the story is consumed with setting up the rest of the series but despite that this is a good read, although it did take the story a while to get going and even then did bog down in battles a bit.

Another book with strong female characters and considering the genre and age of the book that makes it quite unusual.


Stormwarden (The Cycle of Fire #1) by Janny Wurts.

From Goodreads

The first novel in the The Circle of Fire trilogy. As a new plot threatens mankind’s survival, three children stand at the crux. All possess extraordinary talents, but each of them is flawed. In need of all their help is the Stormwarden, last Vaere-trained sorcerer, condemned now and trapped in a desperate quandry.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

This is the second book that I’ve read by Janny Wurts that she has written on her own. I’ve been determined to like her as an author as she co-authored one of my favourite all time series of books with Raymond E. FeistThe Empire Trilogy.

The previous book was To Ride Hell’s Chasm and although this is a very different story, the two of them are based around sorcery and a conflict between demons and humanity.

I’m not sure if it was me that found this book hard to get into or if it’s the style of her writing but I found it hard work. The characters of Taen, Emien and Jaric have all the potential of many classic fantasy characters as do supporting characters Tathagres and Telemark but bringing the elements together felt formulaic and forced. The whole mind training of Taen and the concept of the Vaere felt wrong. This blending of fantasy and science fiction has worked really well for other authors (Anne McCaffrey in particular) but not for me this time.

I think I’ll read at least one more book in the series as it has potential and it may just have been the wrong time for me to read this book.