#Review Highfire by Eoin Colfer

About the Author
Eoin Colfer is the author of the internationally bestselling Artemis Fowl series, which has been translated into more than forty languages,as well as the WARP, Benny and Omar, and the Half Moon Investigation books, which have won numerous awards, including British Children’s Book of the Year, The Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year and The German Children’s Book of the Year. He has also written two adult crime novels, Plugged and Screwed. A Disney film adaptation of Artemis Fowl will be released in 2020, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Dame Judi Dench.

Born in Ireland, Eoin was educated at Dublin University and qualified as a primary school teacher, before turning his hand to writing in 2001. Highfire is his first adult fantasy novel.

About the book
Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

Review
I think it’s fair to say when it comes to dragons Vern is in his own league. Vodka swigging, shorts wearing, cigarette smoking dragon who likes to get comfy in his La-Z-Boy. He is hiding in a bayou, because humans are his mortal enemy, so it’s death to anyone who discovers his existence.

Squib Moreau runs moonshine in the very same bayou, planning a way to keep the local cop Hooke away from his mother and his future success at the same time. He inadvertently sees something he shouldn’t, which is the beginning of a bayou full of trouble.

It’s more than fantasy it is a new sub-genre of dragon lore. Rural swamp inhabitant takes on the criminal underworld. Not because Vern is interested in saving the humans who are plagued by the insidious nature of the criminal world, but rather because they did something that irritated him. Whatever you do don’t irritate him or he will rain hellfire on you or is that highfire?

There is no mistaking Colfer’s trademark snarky humour and excellent talent for telling a story. It has a gritty urban crime feel mixed with the doubtful charm of a rural area. An area where dragon and alligators vye for equal space.

I do hope this isn’t the last time we hear from Vern. He has made his very distinctive mark on the world of fantasy and dragons. 

Buy Highfire at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books  pub date 28 Jan. 2020. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

Follow @eoincolfer on Twitter, on Goodreads,on Amazon, Visit eoincolfer.com and worldofhighfire.com

#BlogTour Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody

Today is my turn on the BlogTour Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody. It is the third and final part in the Shadow Game series.

About the Author

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After a double life as an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, she now spends her free time brewing and fermenting foods much more easily obtained at her local grocery store. She lives in Boston, MA with a hoard of books guarded by the most vicious of feline companions, Jelly Bean.

She is the author of The Shadow Game series and more. Her middle grade debut, Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice, hits shelves March 30, 2021, and All of US Villains, co-written with Christine Lynn Herman, releases in September 2021.

Subscribe to Amanda’s newsletter here, Follow @AmandaFoody on Twitteron Goodreads, on Instagram, Visit amandafoody.comBuy Queen of Volts

About the book

Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…and monsters.

Review

This is the third book in The Shadow Game series and also unfortunately the conclusion to this fantastic Young Adult fantasy trilogy. I would absolutely recommend reading the other two in the series just to get the whole gist of it and experience the pleasure of the entire story.

It was interesting and also important given the age group this is marketed to for the author to take the time to insert scenes with certain characters engaging in discussions about toxic relationships. You can love each other till the cows come home or be attracted to each other like a bee to pollen, but when your relationship is toxic you eventually have to realise that being apart is sometimes the best for both of you. Looking at you Enne and Levi, and Bryce and Henry. When the toxicity becomes abusive, which it is because Bryce is a lost soul with a lack of compassion – Henry needs to just find the strength to sever those really tight ties.

The Shadow Game takes on an even sinister feel, and every time the players think they have played and won – there is actually no winning when it comes to this game, just saying – then a knife is twisted and the cards are reshuffled once more.

A few pages in I remembered why I love this series so much, and why I need to go back and re-read the first two in the series. I absolutely adore the complexity of this plot, the writing, the world-building, the depth of the characters and just in general the story overall. Also the way Foody took the opportunity to address certain tropes in the Young Adult genre.

This has a bit of a Caraval vibe and is most certainly one of those series that has slipped under the radar a little bit – underrated. Foody needs to be right up there with the best. Not quite sure why her talent for storytelling, weaving a plot and writing doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I’m hoping this isn’t her last venture into this genre, perhaps an off-shoot of this series or a step up beyond young adult. Either way she is an author to keep an eye on.

Buy Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Young Adult; pub date 1 Sept. 2020. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

Read my reviews of Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) and King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody.

#BlogTour Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the last part of the Shadow of the Fox series, Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa.

About the Author

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, Talon, and Shadow of the Fox series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two obnoxious cats, and a pair of Australian Shepherds that have more Instagram followers than she does.

Follow @Jkagawa on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit juliekagawa.comBuy Night of the Dragon

About the book

All is lost – In a desperate last-chance attempt to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into darkness and destruction – Yumeko and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild cliffs of Iwagoto.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome.

And now there is another layer in the battle, a player who has been watching and waiting for the right moment, that no one even realised existed…until now.

As darkness rises and chaos reigns, a fierce kitsune and her shadowy protector must face down the greatest evil of all in the epic conclusion to the Shadow of the Fox trilogy.

Review

This is by far the best series of books Kagawa has ever written. The last few chapters are simply superb and bring this absolutely riveting story to a stunning conclusion.

Although this is YA fantasy it is as intricate and as complex as the majority of high fantasy I have read. When it comes to fantasy I think there should be an extra sub-genre for the more complex body of work that comes under the young adult category.

This book begins where Soul of the Sword left off, the dragon scrolls in the hands of the Master of Demons, who is on his way to set everything in motion to receive the Wish, with destruction and death left in his wake.

Yumeko, the kitsune, has helped Kage Tatsumi regain a decent level of control of his body, despite the demon Hakaimono living inside him. It’s almost as if the demon lets Tatsumi use his power where needed, which is completely unlike the true nature of the powerful demon.

The merry band of fighters, the ragtag group of unlikely friends – and they have become friends after everything they have been through – are determined to stop the opening of the floodgates. Power corrupts and corrodes the soul.

It’s young adult fantasy – a complex myth and culture driven story with extraordinary world-building.

Kagawa is a spectacular writer. This is hardcore evidence of how talented and creative she is, and although plenty of her readers will know how good some of her previous books/series are, with the Shadow of the Fox series she steps it up a notch.

Without going into too much detail, the last few chapters are powerful, heartbreaking, vicious and ultimately they also heal. It’s a read I highly recommend.

Buy Night of the Dragon at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Young Adult; pub date 2 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa.

#BlogTour Legacy of Light by C.D. Tavenor

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Legacy of Light by C.D. Tavenor, it’s the first in The Compendium series.About the Author

C. D. Tavenor is a science fiction and fantasy author based in Columbus, Ohio and the Director of Editorial Services for Two Doctors Media Collaborative!

He’s excited to tell stories that engage readers beyond a desire for entertainment, whether through philosophical inspiration or social inquiry. And he’s a firm believer in connecting every piece of fiction to reality, whether through their themes or their settings.

When not writing, Tavenor enjoys the more than occasional board game, his favorite being Eclipse.

To stay in touch and receive some great free books, go here: https://mailchi.mp/a6b48c582759/welcome-to-two-doctors-media-collaborative

Follow @tavenorcd on Twitter, on Facebookon BookBubon GoodreadsBuy Legacy of Light

About the book

If only they knew us as more than accursed.

The Holy Empire hates the People of Light. Maripes, arriving in its capital, seeks to save his people from certain destruction. The Inquisition seeks theocratic justice, and it will stop at nothing to rid the world of those it considers evil.

Still, Maripes must try. For if he fails, doom will certainly befall his people. Standing in his way? The High Inquisitor, the Empress, and a million subjects all indoctrinated to believe he is evil incarnate.

Should be an easy task. Otherwise, his son Mono, a soldier in the legions of their people, will face the fight of his life . .

Review

The story or rather the stories are narrated by Maripes, his son Mono and then lastly by Ermo – the granddaughter and daughter of the aforementioned. As a whole the book feels as if each person isn’t given enough time to expand upon their individual story and everything moves quite quickly.

However that is absolutely explained away by the fact that these are three short stories combined together to make the first novel in the Compendium series. It explains why there is such an abruptness in between each narrative and why the author doesn’t delve deeper, although I do think each of them was worthy of a longer story.

Maripes is full of optimism when he approaches the Holy Empire and believes they can all live together in harmony. His son Mono seeks to keep his people safe, even if it means the ultimate sacrifice, and Ermo isn’t really sure what fate she is being driven towards.

I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t easy to write high fantasy and draw readers into fictional worlds that bear no relevance to their own, although I do think some aspects of the worldbuilding lend themselves to modern society. That includes the dialogue, certain words and most definitely some of the underlying issues between the two warring societies.

It’s an intriguing fantasy – a compelling battle to free the People of Light from oppression.

It often left me feeling as if Tavenor was just getting started and hadn’t really gotten to the nitty-gritty and finer details of his worlds yet. Just letting us take a quick glimpse before slamming the door in our faces. In fact his Ned Stark shock moments were a bit naughty.

Buy Legacy of Light (The Compendium #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Two Doctors Media Collaborative; pub date 3 Dec. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Three Hares: The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder and David Ross

Today it’s my turn and the end of the BlogTour for The Three Hares: The Jade Dragonball by Scott Lauder and David Ross.

About the Authors

Scott Lauder was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Having taught in Greece, Japan, and England, he now lives with his wife and four cats in the UAE where he teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and drinking good coffee. His other books include The Right Thing, A Single Shot, and The Boy-King Tutankhamun.

David Scott Ross has traveled and taught throughout Asia since he first moved there in 1987. He currently teaches in upstate NY, where he lives with his wife and two sons. When David is not writing or teaching, he dreams about becoming a chef, a rock star, maybe an actor, but probably not all at once. At present, he is wrapping up two projects: Pastimes, encounters with a Stone Age people, and Dim, a detective novel.

Follow Scott Lauder @sctlauder on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit meanderingscott.com, Follow David Ross on AmazonBuy The Three Hares: The Jade Dragonball

 

About the book

Sara Livingstone’s school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum takes a terrifying turn when an encounter with the ancient Qingming Scroll thrusts her a thousand years into China’s past. With secrets in the shadows and danger around every corner, Sara must take her place in a cosmic battle and find the courage to face an unworldly ancient magic.

Review

From the very beginning there is this question of reality, imagination or perhaps even hallucination. Young Sara isn’t quite sure herself. Nobody else seems to be able to feel or see these odd moments that are throwing her completely off-kilter. The people in her vicinity think she is distracted and has her head in the clouds.

Strange events start happening a few days before Sara goes on a school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum. Occasional blips that feel as if she is being drawn into something or some being is waiting for her. Sounds seem to be louder and she is seeing things that just aren’t there or are they? These odd events come to a head when she encounters the ancient Qingming Scroll on her trip.

The story goes back and forth in time from present to the ancient past, as the reader meets Sara in the present and young boy called Shan Mu/Wu in the past. Their worlds collide when Sara comes across the scroll, however the strange events start before that, which suggests there is something much bigger at play.

It’s a fantasy read interwoven with Asian and Chinese culture, folklore and ancient magic. It’s suitable for both younger and older readers. Based on the last chapter I think this just the beginning of Sara’s adventures and the story of The Three Hares.

You know I am going to have to find out who the other two Hares are, right? That’s definitely a wee bit of a cliffhanger.

Buy The Three Hares at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Neem Tree Press, Paperback pub date 5 September 2019 – £10.99 / $12.99. EBook / Epub, Mobi, PDF pub date 5 September 2019 £9.99 / $9.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

This is one of my favourite fantasy series, so it is my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Winter of the Witch, the last part of The Winternight Trilogy (a damn shame) by Katherine Arden.

About the Author

Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature.

After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briançon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

She is the author of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. These novels make up the first two parts of The Winternight Trilogy.

Follow @arden_katherine @EburyPublishing on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit katherinearden.comBuy The Winter of the Witch

About the book

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.

Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders. But she may not be able to save them all.

Review

This is the third and final part of The Winternight Trilogy. I really wish it wasn’t, perhaps there will be a spin-off one day. Then again why mess with a perfect series of books. If you are just stumbling on this author or this book then I recommend you go back and read the other two books. You won’t be disappointed.

At the end of book two a huge fire rips through Moscow. Vasya finds herself exposed and revealed, which leads to her nearly being killed by a frenzied mob, all thanks to the meddling of her old nemesis Konstantin. There are plans to burn her as a witch, but her life comes at a terrible price and sacrifice.

Everything that has gone before, every creature, demon, witch and tale comes together to bring this majestic and magical story to its conclusion. Vasya must face peril without the safety-net of Morozko and the two of them must finally come to terms with the obsessive pull of their relationship.

The entire story is like a magical spiderweb that is spun by Rumpelstiltskin like figures and spread over the Russian landscape by the magic that floats in the air and lives in the shadows.

Arden combines the artful storytelling skill of an old Russian master with fairytales, folklore and myth. The result is a fantastical vision of nightmares, daydreams and reality. It’s innovative and compelling fantasy fiction written with a passion for folklore.

Arden manages to bring consistency to the table with each of the three books. they are all equally poetic, beautiful, well-written and breathtaking.

Buy The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Publishing; pub date the 3rd October 2019 – Paperback • EBook • Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Winternight Trilogy #1 – The Bear and the Nightingale Buy here

Read my review of Winternight Trilogy #2 – The Girl in the Tower Buy here

#BlogTour The Ruined Land by Clare Rhoden

Today it’s my turn on this three book BlogTour for The Chronicles of the Pale series. Today it’s the third book – The Ruined Land by Clare Rhoden.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

About the Author

Clare Rhoden is a writer, speaker and reviewer inspired by politics, culture and the march of history. Her thought-provoking stories and popular characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times, with novels ranging from wartime history to the dystopian world of the Pale.

Follow @ClareER on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram,Visit clarerhoden.comBuy The Ruined Land

About the book

Exiled from the Pale, humachine Hector has found a home with the tribes Outside. Or has he?

While the canini struggle to care for the human twins, Feather travels Broad Plain to reunite them with their father. But his own family is scattered as the Pale sends out its terrifying army and the land itself buckles beneath them.

Can anyone survive the ruination of the land?

In this gripping conclusion to the Chronicles of the Pale, the citizens of the mighty Pale have as much to lose as the communities of the Outside.

Review

This is the third book in The Chronicles of the Pale series. I would suggest reading all of the books to get the full gist of the plot and the characters.

In The Ruined Land everyone faces the same dilemma. The one aspect of their existence they can’t control or manipulate – the environment. It is stronger than the battles between the groups, and it is much more unpredictable.

For a moment it appears as if the tribes, the groups, have finally understood that survival means collaboration and seeking common ground, however pride and possession gets in the way. It seems as if the most human element of all of the groups is what leads them closer to extinction and destruction. Food for thought.

The foundling twins play a big role in this part of the story. They way they are accepted into the inner fold by some and yet completely rejected by others for being different. Diversity is a non-factor in this game of survival. There is no trust and plenty of paranoia. This lack of compassion threatens to tear the groups apart.

This is an ambitious post-apocalyptic series with elements of sci-fi and speculative fiction. Rhoden brings plenty of 21st century fears to the table and combines them with a futuristic plot. In a strange way it makes the story more relatable, because the traits, actions and fears are things we recognise at a base level.

Buy The Ruined Land at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Odyssey Books; pub date 31 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Amazon Au.

Read my review of Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden

Read my reviews of Broad Plain Darkening (The Chronicles of the Pale #2) and The Pale (The Chronicles of the Pale #1)

Enter the Giveaway to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour Broad Plain Darkening by Clare Rhoden

Today it’s my turn on this three book BlogTour with the second book in The Chronicles of the Pale series, Broad Plain Darkening by Clare Rhoden.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

About the Author

Clare Rhoden is a writer, speaker and reviewer inspired by politics, culture and the march of history. Her thought-provoking stories and popular characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times, with novels ranging from wartime history to the dystopian world of the Pale.

Follow @ClareER on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram,Visit clarerhoden.comBuy Broad Plain DarkeningAbout the book

The safe world of the Pale is under threat.

Inside the policosmos, the new Regent Adaeze strives for dominance over the all-powerful Senior Forecaster, but the Pale’s humachine citizens are unaware that their city is close to collapse.

Outside on Broad Plain, the exiled human Hector undertakes a dangerous trek to find a safe haven for the orphaned twins. How can anyone survive as their world shifts underneath them?

Review

This time I got my map and glossary, which made me a lot happier, but then I discovered via the map that the world of the Pale is much more complex than I thought. This is the second book in The Chronicles of the Pale series. I highly recommend reading the first book, the Pale, to get a better understanding of the story.

The policosmos, which is ruled and run by machine augmented humans, find themselves in a similar predicament as those outside the walls when a catastrophe causes a supply and demand problem. Unfortunately they still have to rely on certain items and elements to survive and function properly. It looks as if the situations are being evened out a little.

One of the highlights of the first book was the toppling of the dictator by Adaeze, and in true absolute power corrupts absolutely fashion, she would do well to watch her back. Not everyone is as enamoured with her leadership skills as she is. Considering how she got to the top of the hierarchy pyramid I would spend more time keeping an eye on her alleged allies.

I have to admit the canini perplexed me a little. I kept forgetting that they are genetically enhanced dogs, because they have such a structured and human-like way of interacting. It’s like, wait… that’s not a person.

It’s post-apocalyptic fantasy fiction with sci-fi elements and leans towards speculative fiction. Rhoden manages to create characters with humane traits, despite  the genetic or technological components of each group, and in a strange way this is what appears to bring the very different groups closer together. I wonder if the next book will feature the downfall of the policosmos or the integration of tribes in order to survive. One can only hope.

Buy Broad Plain Darkening at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Odyssey Books; pub date 20 Oct. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Pale (The Chronicles of the Pale #1)

Read my review of  The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden

Enter the Giveaway to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour The Pale by Clare Rhoden

Today it’s my turn on this three book BlogTour starting with book 1 in The Chronicles of the Pale series, The Pale by Clare Rhoden.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)About the Author

Clare Rhoden is a writer, speaker and reviewer inspired by politics, culture and the march of history. Her thought-provoking stories and popular characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times, with novels ranging from wartime history to the dystopian world of the Pale.

Follow @ClareER on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram, Visit clarerhoden.comBuy The PaleAbout the book

The Outside can be a dangerous place. But so can the inside.

It’s been years since the original cataclysm, but life has been structured, peaceful, and most of all uneventful in the Pale. The humachine citizens welcome the order provided by their ruler, the baleful Regent.

However, when one of their own rescues a human boy, Hector, from ravenous ferals on the Outside, their careful systems are turned upside down.

As Hector grows more and more human-strange, the citizens of the Pale grow uneasy. What will happen when the Outside tries to get in?Review

The idea of machine-augmented humans is interesting, especially because they appear to show a lack of empathy and emotion, which suggests the machines are more dominant than the humans. Technology supplants any humane element, which is plenty of food for thought.

The humanoids live in a walled colony called the policosmos, which is ruled by the Regent. The policosmos is controlled by technology, and that in itself differs from the tribes and colonies living outside of the policosmos. There are strict rules and guidelines when it comes to interacting with any non-policosmos inhabitant.

The world of the Pale consists of multiple groups, each of which have their own way of surviving the threats of this new world. It’s very much in vein with tribal living and thinking. Collusion and interactions between the different groups isn’t considered the norm, but the plot shows how a resurgence of human traits leads to new structures and relationships.

I definitely think this series needs a map and a glossary. It’s quite complex and added bits of information would make it easier to slip into the read or perhaps having something to refer to now and again would be helpful for readers who are new to the genre.

Rhoden has obviously put a lot of thought into what a possible advancement in Artificial Intelligence, robotics and the combination of those elements with the human race could look like in the future. Then she has taken survival of the fittest, in whatever shape or form life evolves after a catastrophe, and created a stimulating and intriguing read.

It’s a fascinating post-apocalyptic fantasy with a leaning towards speculative fiction. It has plenty of room for development and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Buy The Pale (Chronicles of The Pale #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Odyssey Books; pub date 15 Sept. 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden

Enter the Giveaway to Win Signed Copies of all three Chronicles of the Pale books & wolf-dog toy made by Borchetta Plush Toys of Australia (Open INT)

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#PublicationDayPush The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson

It’s Happy Publication Day for the third part in the Silent Sea Chronicles, The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson. It’s fantasy with a compelling plot and intriguing characters.

To celebrate publication day, all three books of the Silent Sea Chronicles series are 99p today! 

Buy The Lost Sentinel #1 Silent Sea Chronicles, Buy The Sentinel’s Reign #2 Silent Sea ChroniclesAbout the Author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Follow @rogersonsm on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazonon Bookbub,

Visit suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com,  Buy The Sentinel’s Alliance

About the book

Can new alliances save the islands of the Silent Sea from the murderers stalking their shores?

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

The Sentinel’s Alliance is the final book in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.

Review

This is the third and final book in the Silent Sea Chronicles series. I recommend reading the other two books in the series to get the full background of the characters and the storyline.

In the first book the search is on for the new sentinel. In the second book the new sentinel has to prove their worth and establish themselves, which isn’t an easy thing to do, because the Elders like everything to stay the same. In this third book the users of magic have to trust they are making the right choice for their people. Hate seems to be everywhere and fear of magick threatens their lives once more.

It’s ironic that after all of the trials, deaths and tribulations Tei and her people have been through, they still aren’t safe. After bringing the hatred in Kalaya to a halt they now find they have become a target for the Stone Haven people. Their hatred, mistrust and fear of magick, makes them an even bigger threat to magick users.

Rogerson puts a focus on the relationships, especially the romantic ones and bonds of friendship. The problems Callisa and Tei have to deal with, whilst the adventure and battles continue all around them. Tei is finally able to allow her true feelings to flourish and Callisa realises it is quite lonely at the top.

At the heart of the series is a group of people who are trying to survive the oppression and annihilation of their people. Magick is considered dangerous and not trustworthy. The only thing the Sentinel and her people want is to live in peace and safety. The question is whether it is possible.

It’s fantasy with a compelling plot and intriguing characters. Rogerson threads an undercurrent of romance throughout the fantasy, which then invites readers of other genres in for a read.

Buy The Sentinel’s Alliance, book 3 of Silent Sea Chronicles at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Buy The Lost Sentinel, book 1 of Silent Sea Chronicles

Buy The Sentinel’s Reign, book 2 of Silent Sea Chronicles

Read my review of The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign.