Favorite Fantasy Books: The First Half Of 2019

Hey guys, I meant to post this yesterday. I like alliteration.

Unfortunately, I also like doing absolutely nothing.

Guess which one won out, hahaha….yea I was lazy.

Okay so I decided this was only going to be about books released this year that I’ve read thus far as it’s just over the halfway point so what better time?

Alright, let’s get these down, in no particular order.

 

6. The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston

 


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs? 

Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans, The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous house and gardens dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ by the Sunday Times. 

It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us – the power to live extraordinary lives.

 

 

5. The Ice House

 


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

WAR DOESN’T END. IT SLEEPS.

Delphine Venner is old, but she remembers everything.

She remembers what it is to be a child of war, she remembers fighting for her life and what the terrifying creatures from another world took from her all those years ago. She remembers the gateway, and those she lost.

And in that other world, beast-filled and brutal, someone waits for her. Hagar, a centuries-old assassin, daily paying a terrible price for her unending youth, is planning one final death: that of her master, the Grand-Duc. A death that will cost her everything. A death that requires Delphine.

Voyaging into this violence and chaos, Delphine must remember who she really is and be ready to fight, before war reawakens. But in the battle to destroy an ageless evil, will both worlds be saved – or will every mortal creature lose everything?

 

 

4. Dark Shores

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

 

 

3. Soul of the Sword

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

 

 

2. Descendant of the Crane

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

 

 

1. Crown of Feathers

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

 

All of these books have enraptured me and while delighting me they’ve also possibly broken my heart. *Glares at Joan He and Nicki Pau Preto in particular*

Two of these are the second books in series, the rest are either first or standalone and anyone of these I would highly recommend to a fantasy lover ❤

My gushing fan-girl squeal filled posts can be found by clicking on the links on the titles of the books.

I’ll have some new Charity Finds for you all tomorrow, and closing in on my second Comparing Notes soon-ish, it’ll be over Stalking Jack the Ripper.

In the meantime….what are some of your fantasy faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

 

Books VS Their TV Series

Hey guys, decided to do something new again.

I’m going to go through a few Books and their TV adaptations, tell you which one I prefer or if it’s a tie (or neither, who knows, maybe I’ll go crazy with it)/

I’ll do 6 today.

 

1. Good Omens

Verdict: It’s a Tie

Don’t judge me one way or another, they’re both brilliant, damn it.

 

2. The Mortal Instruments

Verdict: Books

I actually do like the TV series, wouldn’t say I love it beyond all anything but let’s face it, Magnus gives me life in that. I still prefer the books at the end of the day though.

 

3.  How To Train Your Dragon [Dreamworks Dragons]

Verdict: TV Series

I haven’t read all the books yet, daughter and I are reading the first, but so far I’ve gotten the idea the characters may be better in the show [and movies too of course but this is about TV todaaaaay]. Not to mention. Astrid.

 

4. Watership Down [LOST]

Verdict: It’s a tie

Okay, hear me out. It’s not noted as an adaptation but it basically is, the directors used Watership Down as a heavy influence and source of inspiration and if you’ve watched the show and read the book, it makes total sense. Despite people hating the last season of LOST, I really enjoyed it, though I would say it definitely deviates from the book after about season 4/5.

 

5. Thirteen Reasons Why

Verdict: Book

I don’t hate the TV series, and in fact, don’t yell at me please, I haven’t read the book but part of the reason for that is because I assumed it was like the TV series until someone told me the differences. I think the TV Series could be something important for YA, I just think that the book is enough…but…hey, sometimes people need the show.

 

 

6.  Game of Thrones

Verdict: TV Series

Reasoning? I love the books, but I am that bitter that the series isn’t finished yet. I mean the author doesn’t owe us anything, but despite the ending to the show [and I still need to watch the final season], I just feel like at least the show has an ending! Not to mention the first couple of seasons are dead ringers for the books, it’s kinda incredible.

 

Alright guys, that’s it for me today, expect six more at some point, eventually, in some future.

What are shows or books you prefer? Any of these you agree or disagree with? Tell me in the comments!

Toodles!

Charity Shop Haul

So…

It’s been a minute with this. To be fair it’s because we go shopping so often for books in charity shops that it would be too repetitive on the blog, so, here we are, and I’ve just gathered up some of my favorite buys recently so that I can share them.

IMG-4575.JPG

IMG-4573.JPG

IMG-4572.JPG

IMG-4571.JPG

IMG-4570.JPG

Most of these were 50P! The Lord of the Rings was 5, but the retail is 35, sooo I didn’t do too shabby! That means my old school LotR movie book with all three is now donated, and I also had an older cover of Maze Runner but now that I have matching covers, well, that’s gone to donation as well! I’ve also been wanting the Magnus Bane Chronicles but I had one on the kindle and it was one they were sold separately so I like this much better, looks like that’s one ebook I don’t have to keep on the Kindle anymore. I know. I have a problem.

I’m also going through my books once again, it’s time to clear some out now that we’re moving. It’s about time too as I really should be conscious of what books I might never read. I don’t plan on doing a huge cull, just taking into account what I truly never plan on reading, haha, that way someone else has a chance to read it.

It’s time for me to dive back into the neverending TBR. [Sidenote: Why you approve things so last minute NetGalley people? Do you hate me??]

Tell me what deals/books you’ve bought lately!

JSS Bach- Blog Tour

JSS Bach Cover Image
ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconhafrating

Blurb:

J

SS Bach is the story of three generations of women from either side of Germany’s 20th Century horror story – one side, a Jewish family from Vienna, the other linked to a ranking Nazi official at Dachau concentration camp – who suffer the consequences of what men do. Fast forward to 1990s California, and two survivors from the families meet. Rosa is a young Australian musicologist; Otto is a world-famous composer and cellist. Music and history link them. A novel of music, the Holocaust, love, and a dog. The author’s writing is a wonderland, captivating and drawing the reader in to the presented world. Time becomes no object as a literary universe unfolds and carries the reader through eighty years, where emotions are real and raw and beautifully given.

Book Information:
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: Wrecking Ball Press; Hardcover edition (4 Mar. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1903110629
ISBN-13: 978-1903110621

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

 

Where do I start? This holds all the horrors and beauty of mankind. The fact that even when someone isn’t good they can still do good. It’s a book that shows how the past echoes on in the future, how it really affects people rather than the imprint it just leaves in history books.

Goodman immediately drops you into the story, he doesn’t waste time on flowery prose and shows you the heart of the matter, the journey he wants to take you on. It’s one that’s not for the faint hearted. He also is brilliant at describing history in such a modern and stark way. He shows how ugly things were, how brutal it was, and yet his words are elegant, poignant, guiding you through brutal honesty and lyricism of music.

Three generations of women from the same family have been entangled in Otto’s life, whether they know it or not. Katja is the origins of it all and her character is not an easy one to appreciate, but, Goodman does a good job showing you enough about her to at least have some understanding on certain parts of her workings. I can appreciate the struggles she went through though they are justified in many ways.

Her daughter Uwe broke my heart, if there was ever a character that I wanted to reach out and cherish, it’s her. The child of two Nazis, and yet just an innocent life herself. She bears the burden of the shame brought on to her by her parents, hated by others for simply being born to them. It’s a hard life to live, and really it was a heartbreaking read overall but especially for her, Otto, and Greta. In fact the reason I rated this 4.5 instead of 5 is simply because I wish there would have been more to Uwe’s story, and the women in general but this story in reality is about Otto more than anyone else in my opinion.

Otto himself is a character full of turmoil, tragedy, and isolation. Goodman breathes him to life, there’s not one moment where his actions are believable, the way he lives his life, the choices he’s made. The only thing I struggled to believe was a certain moment that occurs in the book once it’s back to 1994, but I won’t say it and spoil it, it was quite a small issue, and one though I don’t agree with, it makes sense why Goodman put it in. In fact the rest of the story is pretty flawless, I just wanted more because I think it needed more about the women but it’s hard to argue with the choices Goodman has made. Otto though, he is the true main character in my humble opinion, and your heart will be gripped by him.

Rosa is Katja’s Granddaughter and Uwe’s daughter, raised by Katja, she’s grown up in a world knowing the stark truth about her grandparents but never knowing her own past entirely, told that her father had died, and not at all knowing who he was. She is tugged by the past onto a path that will eventually lead her to Otto.

And at the heart of everything, the main reason I wanted to read this, is music.

Otto is a brilliant cellist and composer, Katja was a musician until she went deaf (not a spoiler as you find out within the first few pages she is indeed unable to hear), and Rosa is a musicologist. Fun fact, My postgrad is in Musicology, so I was a bit critical of the musical aspects of this, and Goodman certainly did his research, I was pretty impressed and he didn’t overreach, it was a perfect balance. Music connects Otto to his family and to Katja, to Rosa later on, and it draws people in and strips them down to the bare bones of their pain and joy, its something that can’t be quantified or explained but I loved the way Goodman wrote about it, the sensations it brings in emotions and to our bodies.

As I stated earlier, this book is not for the faint hearted. This shows the brutality and violence of WWII, there are Nazis before and after the war, there are people who are cruel, but it’s never needless cruelty or violence in Goodman’s writing, it all adds purposefully to the story.

4.5/5 Cups of coffee and I tip my hat to Goodman. This was a brilliant novel that broke my heart in the best ways. Thanks to Anne for letting me be part of this tour and thanks to Goodman for the copy of his book. [I don’t typically write this in blog tours but of course my honest opinion was given in exchange]

 

About the Author

Martin Goodman Author Picture

Martin Goodman was born in Leicester, and has lived and worked in China, Qatar, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and France. Travel forms a large part of his writing: both for strictly travel-related books and also for novels and biographies. His first novel ON BENDED KNEES was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, and his most recent biography SUFFER AND SURVIVE won 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine in the BMA Book Awards 2008. He is the Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He lives in Hull, London and the French Pyrenees. ‘Such narrow, narrow confines we live in. Every so often, one of us primates escapes these dimensions, as Martin Goodman did. All we can do is rattle the bars and look after him as he runs into the hills. We wait for his letters home.’
– The Los Angeles Times

Author Links

Website Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

JSS Bach Blog Tour Poster

 

 

Thriller Thursday

 

 

Hey Guys! So, I’ve decided that with all the thrillers I’ve been reading lately I will use Thursdays when I feel like it to highlight and recap/review some of my favorite thriller reads.

That being said, I am going to do TWO this week. Why? Because I can. It’s my blog. I do what I want.

 

 

Also I read both of these ARCs and LOVED them, and since they came out this month, I want to share them both.

**Thank you to the publishers, Point Blank – OneWorld Publications for the ARC of The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone and to Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of The Starter Wife. I received these in exchange for my honest review(s).**

First up?

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

 

Blurb: ‘We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’ 

Tikka Molloy was eleven years old during the long hot summer of 1992, growing up in an isolated suburb in Australia surrounded by encroaching bushland. That summer, the hottest on record, was when the Van Apfel sisters – Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – mysteriously disappeared during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert. 

Did they run away? Were they taken? While the search for the sisters unites the small community, the mystery of their disappearance has never been solved. 

Now, years later, Tikka has returned home and is beginning to make sense of that strange moment in time. The summer that shaped her. The girls that she never forgot. 

Brilliantly observed, spiky, sharp, funny and unexpectedly endearing, THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – a perfect summer chiller with a dark shimmering unexplained absence at its heart. 

My Review

 

Want an amazing summer thriller read?? This is pretty much it, I read this in a night, I couldn’t put it down and it was brilliant.

Three girls have gone missing, and in their wake they leave unanswered questions and one friend struggles I accept their disappearance. Going home again, will she unravel the mystery, will anything change after so long?

The ending to this is really what struck me the most. I won’t give anything away but it was not at all expected and Felicity McLean really impressed me. The story she weaves for us is quite the tangled web and in the end, there’s no black and white, just the facts as they are. I really love things that delve into the morally gray and better yet they have no clear answers. The point of this book wasn’t as much to solve a mystery as it was for Tikka to face her past.

The Van Apfel girls are all different and though they may all have blond hair, the similarities stop there. They are sisters and have to rely on each other more than their parents who are too embedded in their church and religion and only care about the daughters also becoming as ‘holy’ as they are. Except for the fact that our middle Van Apfel girl Cordelia who seems to attract her Father’s special attention.

Cordelia is complex, mature for her age and yet still ver much a young teenager (really a child at 13) and when you delve more into her own particulars you understand her more. I thought she was brilliantly written.

Even Ruth, the youngest, is so well fleshed out and McLean gives amazing descriptions for her (and the others). In fact as you read this, it’s hard not to imagine Australia, she paints a picture of the landscape and the suburbia perfectly.

McLean does a great job presenting all of the characters and describing what makes them all different, there are no hollow characters, even the side characters are given depth and everyone plays their part in this unsolved mystery.

Great debut novel and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us!

Content/Trigger Warning: Child Molestation/Rape (though not detailed, very very strongly hinted at), Child Abuse, death of a child.

image001

 

About the Author

FELICITY MCLEAN was born in Sydney Australia. She graduated at Sydney University with a BA in English and Australian literature and worked as a book publicist before embarking on a freelance career. Her journalism has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail and the Big Issue, among others, and she has ghost-written celebrity autobiographies. She lives with her English husband and two young children in Australia. THE VAN APFEL GIRLS ARE GONE is her debut novel. 

 

Next…

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Blurb:

Can you ever really know what goes on between a husband and wife? 

Claire Westcott tries to be the perfect wife to Byron but fears she will never measure up to his ex, Colleen. After all, it’s hard to compete with the dead. 

Colleen went missing eight years ago. Her body was never found but the police ruled it a suicide. So when Claire receives a phone call from a woman she believes is Colleen, it opens up a million terrifying questions. 

Claire discovers the couple weren’t as happy as they would have people believe. And now she’s worried Byron hasn’t been completely honest with her. 

There are secrets in every marriage, but Claire is about to find out that sometimes those secrets are deadly. 

My Review

I love creepy reads, and this, this was a brilliant and creepy read.

A true thriller with a fabulously well done antagonist. So, be prepared. There was a nice twist that slowly worked its way in, you may be able to spot it early on but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Laurin also doesn’t give too much away, at the end you’re still left wondering with a couple of questions and I absolutely love that, though, all the important things are answered so don’t worry about having an unsatisfying ending.

There’s something about having a character that you just can’t quite tell if they’re the hero or the villain that just makes it great, and Laurin gives you more than one character to wonder about! The little ‘cut’ scenes are brilliant as Laurin uses them for her own benefit, and continually manipulates the reader and I absolutely love that! I think it speaks for a writer, especially a thriller writer if they can twist and turn a story to their liking and throw a reader off track, even if it’s only for a moment. For those who read this sort of book more often it may be an easy guess for you, but I think you’ll still enjoy the read. I know I really did.

This was another book I consumed in a night, I actually tried to put it down too! I saw it was getting late, set the book to the side and turned off the light. 30 minutes later, I was still awake and wondering what in the world was going to happen next, so I made my way to the living room to finish the book without disturbing the husband with the light, and it was completely worth it!

I love that even the ‘good’ characters aren’t even that good, like McLean, Laurin is giving us this sort of gray area, and you’re left wondering ‘what could this person have done to make things better.’ Honestly, I enjoyed Claire as a character, and thought Laurin did a great job hashing her out.

Content/Trigger Warning: Violence, deaths, psychological manipulation, drugged drinks, stalking.

About the Author

 

Nina Laurin studied creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal, where she currently lives. She arrived in Montreal when she was just twelve years old, speaks and reads in Russian, French, and English but writes her novels in English. 
Nina is fascinated by the darker side of mundane things, and she’s always on the lookout for her next twisted book idea.

 

Alright there we have it! My first thriller Thursday! Both of these books are out now, so go check out your local bookstore/book depository/amazon/whatever you cool cats use these days!

Toodles!

 

How To Email A Book Blogger

Hey all,

I was going to post another review today but decided on pushing that back till tomorrow and trying to help some indie authors in the process of emailing us fantabulous book bloggers.

So let’s see what suggestions I have and at the end please feel free to comment with your own suggestions, every little bit helps!

*Use our names in the emails*

We really like this, it means you didn’t just send us something you copied and pasted…[which you totally could but adding our names makes it feel personal!] We’re not bots and showing us you actually know who you’re emailing goes a long way.

 

*Check to see if there’s a review policy*

Chances are if there’s a review policy there’s somewhere on the page to easily direct you to it, and if you look and look and can’t find one, don’t be afraid to email and ask ‘I was wondering if you had a review policy for requests, I couldn’t seem to find one on your page’ this way we know you at least took a glance, and there’s important information in those things!

 

*READ the review policy. READ IT.*

Seriously, please, we put those up for your benefit and ours. Some people are very genre specific, some people are closed to requests, some may say how long it takes to get back to you, some may tell you the answers to life because quite frankly we know most people don’t read them so we can tell all the secrets we like.

It’s helpful especially if someone isn’t accepting review requests, they’ll only be annoyed if you email and ask as it’ll be clear you didn’t go look at their policy.

Someone could hate Sci-Fi, and guess what, they’re not going to accept your book. Not only that, but, you probably don’t want them to because what are the chances they’ll give your book a stellar review if they hate the genre? You’re the rule not the exception.

[Five points to your house of choice if you know what that reference is from]

 

*Do Not Badger*

There’s some unspoken thing in some book blogging communities, if we don’t respond to your email…well…we’re not interested and if we’re busy sometimes it’s easier to not respond and let the silence be our answer. Other times…like in my case, your lovely request gets stuck in my promotions folder so it may take a few days or a few weeks depending on how adamant I am about clearing out the folder. If you don’t get a reply, there’s like a gazillion of us, we won’t be hurt if you move on to another book blogger…as long as you read their review policy and use their name. And for the love of all shiny things please don’t send us multiple emails especially if we’ve never responded, or worse, if we have and have politely declined. Keep track of who you’ve emailed so this doesn’t happen, I have to do it for publishers, I don’t want to get blocked cause I forgot I emailed them and just annoy them lol.

 

*R-E-S-P-E-C-T*

Find out what it means to meeeee. Okay I know this sounds like a no brainer, but hear me out, sometimes in an author’s excitement they just forget to do any of the above steps and just email you from the seat of their pants because they have a great book and they want to share it. Which is great. But. We are people, and not everyone has the same reading tastes. Not answering is maybe not seen as professional to some, but just like you lovely writers/authors, we’re super busy. A lot of other book bloggers have jobs and other commitments or may just quite frankly not be able to be bothered some days. That’s okay. We try not to badger and disrespect you all and publishers when we ask for requests so we ask please give us respect as well, we do our work for free too.

 

*Your Request has been accepted….now what?*

 

Oh you poor soul. Now it’s the waiting game. If you’re wanting a quick review, make sure to talk about that in your request, and check their policy -if they have one- to see if they mention anything about how long you may have to wait. But rest assured we’ll get to it. *Whispers* Eventually.

[First off if you’ve emailed me and I’ve accepted, I’m so sorry. I’m like two months behind, but I do warn if you have a time range to let me know. Unfortunately I have been swamped recently but this month I made major headway and plan on clearing this list of requests. Many to be in July but it’ll stretch until probably forever.]

 

Do not argue the rating.

…Please…please don’t try to correct someone on their interpretation of your book. These things are very subjective and know that when you put your book out there, you’re putting out there knowing not everyone will love it. I know I’m a pretty easy rater, I round things up on GoodReads and try not to read anything that doesn’t sound like I’d love it off the bat, but, even if I didn’t, that’s still my opinion. Most are not out to make it personal when we don’t like a book, and if someone does get personal…well that’s a time for another post but know that emailing the blogger that YOU’VE asked to review your book and argue their rating will not get your rating raised. If it does, you got lucky because most people do not play that game and it’s a dangerous one. The best thing you can do is try to take any constructive criticism into mind and push on and find other people who will hopefully love your book and write spectacular reviews.

[I’ve mentioned this before but if someone is attacking an author on a personal level and tagging them in negative reviews, that’s on them. That’s not nice, and hopefully it’s not something that happens too often. If I don’t like a book, that’s all it is unless the author has been harmful to others in their writing. Then that’s another ballpark.]

 

*Anything Else??*

You should be generally all set but look in the comments to see what others have to say about this! Everyone is different, but I can say if someone has a review policy there is the wealth of your knowledge for them if you want to send them a request.

I love my writer and author friends and I’ve never had anything other than polite and lovely requests but I do have friends who have had to deal with some interesting things so I’ve made this post out of inspiration…though…it wouldn’t kill you all to use my name when you email. Seriously. It makes me very happy.

Haley. [I’ll accept Hayley or other variations but know I’ll be giving your email a dirty look when I see the wrong spelling]

 

The Heart of Stone [Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour!]

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

Where to Buy

 

Amazon

 

My Review

When asked to join this tour I was perusing all the books, they all sounded good but for those of you who have been keeping an eye on my blog a little, well, I’ve done 10 tours so far this month with two more to go. So. even though I wanted to read all of them, I had to limit myself and pick one and just read samples off Amazon of the others to satisfy my curiosity. In the end I went with ‘The Heart of Stone’ and I have not one regret in having picked this book. It floored me, I figured I was going to like it [I mean, hello, that’s why I chose it] but I didn’t think I was going to absolutely love it.

Golems are scarce now, and that’s being optimistic. The tools have war have been widely down to a rare few, and Task is rare than most. He is a golem who upon his ‘birth’ dared to ask ‘Why?’ It was in that first part of the prologue alone that I was hooked. I knew Task would be the sort of character I would love.

Ben Galley gives us some really diverse character personalities; Task the golem who defies his creator long after his death by having emotions, Lesky the girl who seems to be more than just a ‘slip of a girl’ and not just in her inner strength but down to her very roots -and one that shows compassion-, and Alabast. Alabaster is the knight who has been, he slew a dragon, made a name for himself, and then coasted on that name and reputation until there was nothing but fumes to coast on and now he’s forced into a role or face the consequences of over borrowing.

Alabast certainly had the most character development out of all of them and Lesky the most actual growth in terms of what she thinks she’s capable of and what she is, while Task proved that his emotions and being can be used more than just as tools by a Master. He is his own and he can decide his fate. The journeys they all went on were so personal and deep and you felt as if you were there along side them, but even the side characters were fleshed out so well that I was left beyond impressed. Galley has used his style in all the best ways, highlighting his strengths by writing a deep immersive fantasy. His world building is incredible and I only wish I could have gotten to know more, to have more of a backstory to what was going on, but I still gave it five cups of coffee so obviously this fact is just me being greedy rather than being an issue.

By the end of this book I couldn’t help but pause and reflect on everything that occurred within its pages and I realized before I hit the halfway mark this might be a new favorite, and well, my intuition was correct. This book will forever hold a place on my favorite fantasies lists and Task will remain one of my favorite protagonists of 2019. If you’re wanting a bit of a slow building fantasy with deep storylines and fluid writing, I suggest Task and his crew to you all. If you have a chance, go read The Heart of Stone.

 

About the Author

4522335

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

Twitter Facebook Website

 

The Tour

Heart of Stone Banner 2Azqrwrcq.jpg-small

I want to thank @WriteReadsTours for inviting me to be part of this tour. This was such a fun thing to be a part of and I have to say, in my opinion, Ben Galley deserves this massive tour. His writing is great and his style and stories have really impressed me. I’ve already ordered the short story Shards, mostly because I need more amazing Task in my life! To see who else is on the tour for the other books, go ahead and click on the link for WriteReadsTours and check out the other books/bloggers!