Book Review – Darkstorm by M. L. Spencer

 

So I finally got to finish Darkstorm by M. L. Spencer today (only took me 2 months thanks to work and my own writing).

Darkstorm for me has a bit of a special place on my shelf as it is not only very, very good, it is also the first full length kindle book I’ve read and it’s by a self published author.

M. L. Spencer’s first installment of the Rhenwars Saga has really impressed me for a number of reasons.

First and foremost is obviously the quality of her writing, she’s accomplished, professional and has a knack for character voices – I particularly enjoyed Quin.

Her world building is also something to be admired, it’s multifaceted, rich and complex, with a depth any other writer would be sure to nod appreciatively of as they read. Of particular note is her Tolkien-esque attention to detail when it comes to scenery, her descriptions of her characters’ various surroundings are vivid and clear but never feel overblown or forced, and on the whole she manages to give everything in the book an impression of scope and grandeur. I was also fond of her penchant for skilled and elaborate descriptions of magic use throughout the book, something lacking from a lot of the books I’ve read the last few years.

Spencer’s plotweaving is also something to be commented on, as while her writing style most certainly has a foot planted firmly in high fantasy, she blends it seamlessly with characters and themes that could only come from a grimdark tome for their profound levels of assholery.

I was left with a ton of questions after reading Darkstorm, and I’ll be grabbing Darkmage asap to follow this up with, the sure sign of a solid series debut. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Spencer’s writing and world develop over this series, as all the signs from this starting point are definitely full of promise.

5/5

The April Book Cover of the Month Bracket Begins!

Matthew Leistikow’s book cover contest is running again!

M.L.S. Weech

APRIL_Cover_CollageApril’s bracket has 30 new covers.  Age of Myth is fighting more than I’ve ever seen a cover fight. Michael J. Sullivan finished with the top most votes in the semifinals, which earned him yet another shot in this month’s bracket. Frank Dorrian’s To Brave the End was last month’s runner up, so he gets another crack at the bracket as well.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I…

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Announcing the March Book Cover of the Month!

To Brave the End came runner up, well done Steen Jones, and thanks again to Matthew Leistikow for the opportunity – I’m looking forward to next month’s contest! 🙂

M.L.S. Weech

The March Book Cover of the Month bracket has just wrapped up. This was a very tough bracket from my point of view. We had some heavily-supported authors and some tight races. We didn’t break a ton of records, but still had a solid month. We had a total of 2,808 votes. The last round had 190 votes. It was a pretty close contest, but someone has to win.

The March Book Cover of the Month is…

61MLsjUA0iL This image and all associated images are used for review purposes under fair use. The intent is to draw attention to the product.

The Door Keeper by Steen Jones! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

I’d have to say this is a bit of an…

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The March Book Cover of the Month Bracket Begins!

M.L.S. Weech

I’m happy to say February was pretty darn successful. It only came a few hundred away from breaking a record! This month has 31 outstanding new covers and Age of Myth has another chance to seize the day! I’ve been tracking this set of books for a while, and I honestly think it’s the strongest so far. Look, I know I might say that every month, but isn’t that the point?

If you know the authors or the artists, please share this and tag them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is…

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Forsaken by Eric S. Fomley

forsaken by Eric Fomley

So I’ve been meaning to post this for ages (again, I’ve been busy sorry, I work too dang much), and finally got the time to do it tonight. So! From Goodreads:

An uber-short piece of gristly grimdark flash-fiction by Eric Fomley, and while I’m not normally one for short stories (my read history will point you in the general direction of the sprawling tomes I usually drift towards) I was very, very impressed by Forsaken. Consider me swayed to Team Short Story!

Eric’s first installment in what I’m hoping will be a long series is like a short, sharp shock, a lightning bolt of action, violence and bloodshed where the reader is thrust right into the middle of the goings-on. It’s graphic, visceral and overall extremely intense. I’m a sucker for brutally violent scenes and there’s plenty in Forsaken right from the off.

The world of this book is told more through glimpses and suggestion, and it very much reads episodically to me, almost like the pilot episode to a TV series in a lot of ways.

Eric has a knack for interweaving important plot dialogue around and between scenes of colourful, chaotic violence, and overall I found Forsaken extremely entertaining. I’ll be picking up the second book, Stormwitch, soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this series develops.

5/5

Guest Blog: The Grimdark Reality of the Human Mind by Frank Dorrian author of To Brave the End.

My guest post on James Schmidt’s awesome book blog, MightyThorJRS, where I talk about the grimness and darkness of mental illness 🙂

Mighty Thor JRS - Fantasy Book News & Reviews

As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Frank Dorrianthe author of To Brave the End has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Frank for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

To Brave the End: A Tale of the Blackshield Dogs

(Tales of the Blackshield Dogs Book 1)

by Frank Dorrian

Is due out February 28, 2017!

So go get yourself a copy!

 


The Grimdark Reality of the Human Mind

by Frank Dorrian

The world of grimdark fantasy, while the term itself is still obscure outside its own circles, is growing at a pleasantly steady rate each year. While the big names of the sub-genre continue to craft their next monoliths of the niche’s definition (Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister being the…

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Featured Friday! Frank Dorrian

A little interview I did for Zealot Script 🙂 Thanks again dude!

Zealot Script

Frank Dorrian was born in 1987 in Liverpool – his hometown, a post-industrial cityscape, frank-dorrianserved as poignant inspiration for his creative efforts. He would commence writing in earnest during his teenage years, composing stories to sate desires of both expression and introspection.

Today, Frank is a qualified mental health nurse. He works in the field with people suffering severe psychiatric and psychological disorders, and additionally offers private mind coaching sessions for those needing a refreshing take on life’s trials.

When not writing, Frank spends his spare time reading, playing computer games and attending a martial arts gym. He has previously competed as a fighter domestically in the UK and abroad in Thailand.

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