In my mailbox

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Lost Covenant: A Widdershins Adventurewill be available December 3rd, just in time for Christmas — funny how that works out *wink*. It is the third edition of the young thief Widdershins. I doubt that I will have time to read this one before Christmas, but the YA crowd seem to enjoy it.

It’s been six months since Widdershins and her own “personal god” Olgun fled the city of Davillon. During their travels, Widdershins unwittingly discovers that a noble house is preparing to move against the last surviving bastion of the Delacroix family. Determined to help the distant relatives of her deceased adopted father, Alexandre Delacroix, she travels to a small town at the edge of the nation. There, she works at unraveling a plot involving this rival house and a local criminal organization, all while under intense suspicion from the very people she’s trying to rescue. Along the way she’ll have to deal with a traitor inside the Delacroix family, a mad alchemist, and an infatuated young nobleman who won’t take no for an answer.

I gave the previous Widdershins Adventures 4 stars out of 5 so let that be your Christmas shopping guide.

Review: In Thunder Forged

in thunder forgedIn Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael Book One)
by Ari Marmell
http://mouseferatu.com/

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Pyr
ISBN-10: 1616147733
ISBN-13: 978-1616147730

Available for purchase now through Amazon
In Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael Book One)

(Barry’s score 3 1/2 stars out of 5)

Product description:
The first novel based upon the award-winning WARMACHINE® steam-powered fantasy wargame and the world of the Iron Kingdoms™ Role Playing Game is an action-packed steam-tech fantasy that combines elements of epic wartime adventure with thrilling cloak-and-dagger espionage.

The Iron Kingdoms are at war-a war fought with machine guns and magic, knights of valor, and earth shaking titans of steam and steel. And now that war may hinge entirely on nothing more than a sheaf of papers.

An alchemical formula, stolen by an ally they thought they could trust, could cost the brave soldiers of Cygnar everything. Their only hope: a cunning spy, a knight out of her element, and a frighteningly small unit of the best that Cygnar has to offer.

Arrayed against them is not only a single, devious enemy, but the combined intelligence apparatus-and possibly the full military might-of the most brutal martial power Cygnar has ever known.

My thoughts:

Ari Marmell always provides an entertaining summertime read packed with tons of action. Last summer, I enjoyed reading his Widdershins Adventure fantasy series.

I really didn’t know very much about the Iron Kingdoms gaming system or the the Iron Kingdoms’ milieu. Essentially the “Iron Kingdoms” are at war and are contesting over military plans.

Steampunk elements are mixed with fantasy …

Nearly ten foot in height, they were only vaguely humanoid. From an almost spherical torso protruded a narrow waist, piston-driven legs, and spindly arms, one grasping an oversized harpoon, the other a massive scatter-gun. From their backs, protruding smokestacks blackened the surrounding air. An almost demonic visage, wrought in the iron of the thing’s ‘chest,’ glowed with the fury of internal fires.

If you are unfamiliar with the Iron Kingdoms, do yourself a favor and check out the descriptions at the back of the book before starting In Thunder Forged. There is also a section covering the Morrowan calendar. Each chapter begins with a date which will mean nothing to you if you don’t consult the calendar. Bring your own bookmark, because the chapters are not numbered.

All in all, In Thunder Forged was a pleasant diversion on a hot summer day.  I give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5 .


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pyr. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: False Covenant

False Covenant
by Ari Marmell
Hardcover: 250 pages
Publisher: Pyr
ISBN-10: 1616146214
ISBN-13: 978-1616146214

(Barry’s score 4 stars)

Product description:

A creature of the other world, an unnatural entity bent on chaos and carnage, has come to stalk the nighttime streets of the Galicien city of Davillon. There’s never a good time for murder and panic, but for a community already in the midst of its own inner turmoil, this couldn’t possibly have come at a worse one.
Not for Davillon, and not for a young thief who calls herself Widdershins.

It’s been over half a year since the brutal murder of Archbishop William de Laurent during his pilgrimage to Davillon. And in all that time, Widdershins has truly tried her best. She’s tried to take care of Genevieve’s tavern and tried to make a semihonest living in a city slowly stagnating under the weight of an angry and disapproving Church. She’s tried to keep out of trouble, away from the attentions of the Davillon Guard and above the secrets and schemes of the city’s new bishop.

But she’s in way over her head, with no idea which way to turn. The Guard doesn’t trust her. The Church doesn’t trust her. Her own Thieves’ Guild doesn’t trust her.

Too bad for everyone, then, that she and her personal god, Olgun, may be their only real weapon against a new evil like nothing the city has ever seen.

My thoughts:

False Covenant is the second installment of the Widdershins series, you can check out my review of the first book Thief’s Covenant here (link). While book 2 picks up shortly after the end of Thief’s Covenant, I really don’t think that you need to read the first book to enjoy False Covenant.

False Covenant doesn’t jump around with a lot of back story as the first book did, but the story did wander off a little too much with secondary characters. Having said that, I did enjoy watching Adrienne Satti’s, (aka Widdershins) character grow throughout the book.

I guess what I really like about Ari Marmell’s Widdershins series is that I am reading a YA novel that doesn’t feel like a YA novel. It is simply a well-written fantasy novel. I recommend it and I give it 4 stars.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pyr. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Thief’s Covenant

Thief’s Covenant (A Widdershins Adventure)
by Ari Marmell

Hardcover: 273 pages
Publisher: Pyr (February 14, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1616145471
ISBN-13: 978-1616145477

Product description:

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city’s aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder.

Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon’s underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It’s not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it’s hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon’s political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she’s built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go. Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don’t finish the job first.

My thoughts:

While “Thief’s Covenant” is written for the YA crowd, I have to admit that this 53 year-old enjoyed this novel. I admit that I was a little concerned with the structure of the book. The novel began with a double flashback, first two years in the epilogue then eight years in Chapter one.  In time, I slipped into the story and anticipated the multiple chapters of flashbacks.

The pace of the book was great and I really had empathy for the main character. The Renaissance-like setting was a nice change. The minor deity tagging along with Widdershins was handled very well.

There is something very nostalgic about reading High Fantasy fiction. I couldn’t help but think of my Dragonlance books and my old Dungeon and Dragons days. I can certainly feel a Dungeons and Dragons vibe in Marmell’s work.

All in all, I highly recommend “Thief’s Covenant” for the YA (young adult) crowd. Having said that, I have no problem recommending this book for those who want to tackle something a little different.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pyr. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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