Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence - Book Review
14, Nov

Red Sister is the first instalment in the Book of the Ancestor series. And it is just incredible! Character arcs are intricate and wonderful, the plot is  unguessable, and the prose is incredible.

"A book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the same one that opened the front one. Treat them with respect."

I read this series a few months ago and absolutely loved it! Red Sister was the first book I read by Mark Lawrence, and he instantly arose to being one of my favourite authors. It is a brilliant book, filled with action and intrigue, and warrior nuns, and a training school. What else could you ask for?

It has a consistency fast pace with a constantly developing plot and a well balanced spread of character building and plot. 

The prose of Mark Lawrence is fluid and easy to read. While being compatible for all readers, there is a poetic edge to it that is brief and beautiful. Definitely one of my favourite writing styles that I have encountered.

Each character is unique with an interesting and diverse personality which disallowed any dull moment, varying from Abbess Glass, the cunning leader of the Sweet Mercy Convent. To Nona Grey, the young girl who features as the main character of Red Sister. I girl with mysteries and questions following her to the last page. 

"Trust is the most insidious of poisons. Trust sidesteps all of your precautions."

Red Sister was a definite five star rating for me due to the combination of every fantastic aspect that immersed me into this fascinating world with incredible characters and stunning prose. I found that my mind kept wondering to the plot when I was parted from the book, and for me, that is the mark of a great book.

I assure you that Grey Sister and Holy Sister are as good as if not better than this introduction to the series. Any lover of fantasy should read this series!




Interview with SPFBO Author Steve Turnbull
13, Nov

Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

The Dragon's Banker by Scott Warren
13, Nov

Published by: Scott Warren (Self-Published)
Genre: Fantasy (Economic Adventure!)
Pages: 255
Format: e-book
Review/Purchased Copy: Provided through NetGalley, in return for an honest review.

Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Sweetblade (Heretic Gods) by Carol A. Park
23, Oct


Carol A. Park’s Sweetblade is the dark origins story of Heretic Gods heroine Ivana, chronicling her loss of innocence and fall from grace as the weight of the guilt this young woman carries proves too much to bear, setting her down a path of blood and death.

The Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1) by Anthony Ryan - Book Review
21, Oct

The Wolf's Call marks a fantastic return to the magnificent character Vaelin AL Sorna. A riveting journey with amazing battles and an immersive world.

"Mercy requires strength, compassion demands courage and wisdom compels truth."

The Wolf's Call is the first book in the Raven's Blade series, a new book back into the life of Vaelin Al Sorna, one of my favourite characters of all time!

I love that Anthony Ryan has returned to a 1 PoV that stuck with Vaelin, as you just can't get better than the warrior himself. His character is so developed now. His honourable nature conflicts with the haunts of his past, especially when he finds that one of his few loved ones are in imminent and potentially fatal danger. 

Ryan's prose is great as usual, straight to the point with a fast pace that was constantly enjoyable and made a lot happen in this 400 page novel. Not only were there masterfully written battles, but the political aspects were intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable as well.

This series travels to a different continent of the world that has a completely different culture, where nomadic hordes pose the main threat. Ryan efficiently depicted this new land and made this novel very different to his former books. 

"Betrayal is always the worst sin."

This was a very strong opening novel to a new series, with great action, and one of my favourite duels that I have ever read! The large scale conflict was brilliantly described and formed a vivid picture in my mind. 

I would recommend that you read Blood Song, and possibly Tower Lord in the previous series to enjoy this book to its optimum level. I did not read Queen of Fire, and did not feel like I was missing out particularly on any major aspect. 

I look forward to the next book coming out, it will be a frustrating wait until then. I shall wait for Vaelin to return!

4.25/5 STARS


Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

Welcome to! Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

I'm a fantasy author of five books. Some people agree that they aren't all awful.

Editor’s Note: Your name is known to the hive mind, Graham Austin-King.

What book did you enter SPFBO with, and is it your debut?

I entered with The Lore of Prometheus which is my fifth novel.

Tell us a few things about it. What should the Judge you'll be allocated to, expect from it?

Prometheus is a military/urban fantasy. Imagine Jason Bourne meets X-men.


You'll compete against 299 other books. Do you believe your book will stand out against the competition, and if yes, why?

I think it will. Prometheus is very different to anything I've written before and it's hard to classify into a subgenre which I think probably benefits it. It has a level of humour in it as well, which I think helps any book flow.


In Dyrk Ashton's pants.

Editor's Note:  You are not the first to level these complaints towards Dyrk. We are taking steps to investigate the matter in full.

Why did you decide to enter SPFBO in the first place?

SPFBO is an amazing opportunity to gain exposure for a novel. Not only have several authors signed major publishing deals as a result of this exposure, but also the stigma of self-publishing is being slowly eroded. The question is why wouldn't I enter?

Are you working on a book right now? What should we expect from you next?

I'm working on the sequel to Faithless right now.

Anything else you would like to add? A message to the other contestants, the Judges, or Mark Lawrence himself?

Good luck everyone!

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

An African or a European swallow?

Editor's Note: Thanks for telling us a little about The Lore of Prometheus, Graham! I know for a fact Lynn loved your book and I myself am looking forward to digging into it later down the line! Good luck in the coming months! 

Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick – Book Review
03, Oct

Self-Published ;
Genre: Portal Fantasy, Adventure, Exploration;
Format: e-book;
Review Copy, Provided by the author;
Release Date: October 7, 2019.