To steal some of my favourite Glen Cook words from the first Black Company novel: Port of Shadows is misery curdled, but also new and interesting. The series of events in-between these covers are like a bottomless well filled with murky water. For a week now, I’ve amused myself plumbing this latest Glen Cook novel’s shadowy depths, trying to isolate fact from fiction, legend, and myth. No easy task, for the book’s damn author deals with the history of his fictional characters as a mad jester would, fully intent on confusing and providing no answers whatsoever on the one mystery I care about, above all others: just what is the deal with the Senjak sisters?
If you’ve read the original Black Company trilogy, Senjak will doubtlessly be familiar to you – it is the last name not only of the taken known as Soulcatcher but also of the Lady herself. The dynamics in the Senjak family have fascinated me for the whole duration of my two-year long romance with The Black Company series. Port of Shadows mercilessly strings the reader along in building a series of assumptions that will often go against the assumptions built in previous titles of the series. Alas, Glen Cook has never been one to say things outright, and I fear many of the questions we seekers of truth have, will remain unanswered.
But that’s enough bitching and moaning from me, at least on the topic of the Senjaks. Let’s talk about Port of Shadows in a wider context!
When I read ‘They Mostly Come out at Night,’ the first in Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld novels, I was well impressed with what he did. I haven’t had the good fortune of reading up on the second and third books set in that world, but I would be little surprised if the fourth one isn’t the best one yet.
This novel is the first in the Yarnsworld series, a fictional universe created by Benedict Patrick. It’s also Patrick’s first ever self-published novel. As beginnings go, it’s pretty damn impressive…but it is not without its issues. That said, buckle up and read on as I discuss this thrilling mix of fantasy and fairy tale in another edition of The Good, The Bad, and the Meh!
DISCLAIMER: I received an e-ARC of Priest of Bones in return for an honest review.
I’ve never taken up reading so many books I knew next to nothing about as in the past half-year. This new way of reading for me has proven itself a most positive experience– I’ve discovered a number of fantastic new authors, indie and ‘mainstream’ alike! Sure, now and then I’ll read a book that is mired in errors, bad characterization and worse, but I find myself excited about so many novels to come from all these new names!
I was offered an e-ARC of Finding Baba Yaga in return for an honest review and took it on a whim due to a life-long fascination with the old witch. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I have a great fondness for Slavic and Russian folklore, and when I heard about a reimagining of the Baba, I was all too happy to take a very close look. Novels written in verse are not my usual cup of tea, however -- I’m much more comfortable with prose. That said, I’ve been hard at work to familiarise myself with poetry lately, and there’s no mistaking good verse when I read it.
Disclaimer: I listened to the Thrawn: Alliances audiobook, as narrated by Marc Thompson.
Timothy Zahn’s original Thrawn trilogy was the first work of science fiction I ever read… in so far as any Star Wars product can be called sci-fi. When Zahn returned to his arguably most popular character, introducing him to Marvel’s newly retconned continuity. I was truly and well excited about the possibilities, and 2017’s Thrawn did not disappoint. It introduced the Grand Admiral, told the story of his rise to power in the Empire, and offered the reader a look at Coruscant during the Empire’s heyday.
Disclaimer: I received this novel for free thanks to the r/fantasy TBRindr initiative, in return for an honest review. The purpose of this initiative is to showcase the works of independent authors.
City of Kings is a tale of siege, dark necromancy and bloody betrayal. It’s the sixth book in Rob J. Hayes’ First Earth setting, but it works well as a stand-alone. I should know since I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading any of his previous works. And I don’t use ‘pleasure’ lightly.
Let’s jump straight into what I loved about this book!
Naomi Novik spins gold in this excellent new standalone novel, which perfectly captures the essence of Slavic fairy tales while doing an excellent job of turning the classical Rumplestiltskin tale on its heels.