the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Mark Chadbourn’ Category

Jack of Ravens  (Kingdom of the Serpent, book 1), by Mark Chadbourn

published in 2012 by Pyr books

where I got it: received advanced readers copy from Pyr











His memory shattered,  Jack Churchill (who goes by “Church”) wakes up in the middle of a fantasical battle.  Magically glowing sword in hand, he fells a giant, laughs at the nickname “Jack giantkiller”, and is sent by the local sorcerer on a spirit quest. Along with a few other villagers, Church learns he is a Brother of Dragons – a champion for existence. There must always be five Brothers and Sisters of the Dragon for existence to be victorious. Still, he can’t remember how he got there. All Jack remembers is that he is a man of our time, and he needs to get back to Ruth, the woman he loves.   When he is a approached by a few woman who promises him everything his heart desires, how could he say no?

(disclosure: This is my first Mark Chadbourn, but I believe it is linked to some other series/trilogies he has written? Let me know in the comments)

So starts Church’s adventures, whisked to the fey world, where all the creatures of our collective myths exist, and then to different time periods in Earth’s history, all on a mission as a Champion of Existence, all to stop the mysterious Army of Spiders.  His allies include Niamh, a Queen of the Fey courts;  Jerzy, a deformed and tortured jester; Will Swyfte, an infamous spy, and whatever mortals that can be awakened into their destinies of being brothers and sisters of the Dragon.

There is a war on, and it is between hope and despair, between existence and the end of all things.  What hope does Church have, if he can’t seem to ever catch up with the leader of the Army of Spiders, known only as The Libertarian? When you are fighting against despair itself, the enemy can and will be hiding anywhere. In this kind of fight, hope will only get you so far.

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something old and something new,

something borrowed and something, umm, not blue.

Here are some recent goodies purchased, borrowed, and otherwise acquired:

oh wait, look! There is something blue!

All blurbs are yanked from Amazon. We’ve got:

The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman – a not quite sequel to Kushner’s Swordspoint (which I adored), The Fall of the Kings takes place in the same world but follows different characters. It promises sword fights, intrigue, strumpets, witty repartee, and probably some damn good drama.:

This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner’s cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society’s smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it….

Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown – It’s super shiny cuz it’s a library book.   I’m about half way through, and so far the plot feels like a traditional fantasy, but with some added complications of racism, religious propaganda and secret societies.  There’s some neat magic here, so I’m curious to see how the author wraps it all up:

Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal days from man and beast, know the secrets of this power.

Now a being of awesome power, whose Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle, feeding on their souls, has arisen in secret. And her monstrous, murderous pawn, a soul-bound creature created of wood and grass and rock roams the land. A massive and mis-directed hunt for soul-eaters is launched and Talen finds himself a target.  Trapped in a web of lies and secrets, Talen must identify his true enemy before the new Mother takes back what is rightfully hers.

Cast in Shadow, by Michelle Sagara – After meeting Ms. Sagara at ConFusion in January,  I knew I needed to start her Elantra series, so when I saw this copy at the used bookstore, I grabbed it! Like, I didn’t want to let go of it long enough for the lady at the counter to ring it up!  It looks to be some nice and edgy urban fantasy thriller/mystery:

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowingthat something was after her. Children were being murdered — and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin.…

Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she’s made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can’t trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers — powers that no other human has. Her task is simple — find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies!


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.