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Paddy samurai maybe 50 books in a year



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    In the Zombie apocalypse the last Vampire on Earth has a hell of time keeping his food alive.
    Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn’t much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead—but not dead like him, oh no.
    See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector—after all, a man has to look after his food supply
    Highly entertaining read with its own unique view of the Zombie Apocalypse. A mix of Mad Max and The Walking Dead centered around Coburn ,the coolest Vampire ever.

    I will definitely be trying a few more of Wendig’s books.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    William Gold comes into the world as his family slides down the social ladder. His head filled with tales of chivalry, instead he is branded a thief, and must make do with being squire to his childhood friend Sir Robert, a knight determined to make a name for himself as a man at arms in France. While William himself slowly acquires the skills of knightly combat, he remains an outsider - until the Battle of Poitiers when Sir Robert is cut down by the greatest knight of the age, Sir Geoffrey de Charny, and William, his lowly squire, revenges him. But with his own knight dead, no honour accrues to William for this feat of arms, and he is forced to become a mercenary. Scavenging a mismatched set of armour from the knightly corpses, he joins one of the mercenary companies now set to pillage a defenceless France, and so begins a bloody career that sees William joining forces with the infamous Sir John Hawkwood and immersing himself in a treacherous clandestine war among the Italian city states. But paradoxically it is there, among the spies, assassins and hired killers serving their ruthless masters, that William finally discovers the true meaning of chivalry - and his destiny as a knight.
    Highly entertaining Adventure set during the 100 years war. Although I have read a good few books set in this time period , the main characters POV was unique from anything I had read previously.

    Cameron does a great job at immersing the reader in the time period , you don’t so much read about the story/time period as live it. Cameron knows his stuff and I probably learned more from this one book .about the practicalities of being a squire/ knight and living as one .The addition of Chaucer throughout the story is also a nice touch.

    The book itself gives a insight into the brutality suffered by non-combatants that was so much a part of medieval warfare. At times throughout this book I was reminded of Martin’s Game of thrones and Ken Folletts The pillars of the earth. .

    A great read IMO, I was sorry when it ended.

    Part 2 out in November :)

    Full review:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    A novel based on a Zen Myth.

    The violence of twelfth-century Japan explodes in this half-legendary, half-true story of a violent ronin who becomes a folk hero. Told with humor and irony, The Ronin ranges from the pleasantly colloquial to the brutally satiric. This brief tale will shock, confound and ultimately inspire readers.
    Depending on what review you read “The best ending of a book ever” or “The worst ending ever”. In my case I will have to think about it some more before making up my mind .The LOL ending while thought provoking was totally unexpected and I am still trying to get my head around it. I would love to know
    who won the fight considering how messed up the boys head was in the end
    , despite all his training.
    The multiple rape and the idea of the victim’s eventual response is pretty disturbing ,hopefully thats reflects a 12th century viewpoint .

    A short interesting read that will appeal to those interested in Japan and its culture.

    The first part of The Ronin resembles nothing so much as A Clockwork Orange brush-painted on silk by a Zen master


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    It is 1536, and the expert swordsman, Jean Rombaud, has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn.

    But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen - to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it...

    From a battle between slave galleys to a black mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony's Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.

    This is my second Humphreys book ,and while for me ,it was not as good as Vlad , I still enjoyed it big time. The execution of Anne Boleyn by the central character who was apparently a real life executioner, was a great way to kickstart the story. The larger than life characters along with the plot line reminded me a bit of a Shakespearean play . The only minor complaint I have is that I thought the overall story was longer than it needed to be.

    Lots of great adventures/settings along with the top notch characters ensure that I will be reading more of Humphreys books in the future.

    I had never heard of St Anthony’s Fire (Ergot poisoning) until reading this book , but found the whole thing fascinating in its historical context.
    Wikipedia mentions it in relation to bewitchment and the Salem Witch Trials.But a more recent occurrence took place in 1951.For those interested…..

    On 15 August 1951 one in twenty of the 4000 inhabitants of another village in France called Pont Saint Esprit (Bridge of the Holy Spirit) went mad. They had hallucinations, writhed in agony in their beds, vomited, ran crazily in the streets and suffered terrible burning sensations in their limbs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    London, 1861. Sir Richard Francis Burton - explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne - unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade, for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin! Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn't exist at all!
    I can see this book appealing to a lot of readers , but for me it was an ok read. I flew through the first third of the book ,but after that became bogged down in different parts.

    The book setting of an alternative Steampunk/Victorian world involving a time traveller was entertaining and well developed. The steam mechanical robots ,the different flying machines ,and the genetically altered characters all added to the overall atmosphere.I also liked all the historical characters intertwined throughout the story. Sir Richard Burton in particular was my favourite.

    Reading the reviews and blurb previously I was really expecting to love this book ,but that did’nt happen. I liked parts of it , but I was glad when I finished it so that I could start something new.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    (Part 5 of 10.)


    The year is 1703. The place: the Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball.
    What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation. A sixteen-year-old girl has been stabbed to death on the grounds of a local plantation. The suspected killer is a slave who has escaped, with two family members, into the dubious protection of a nearby swamp. Troubled by certain discrepancies and determined to see some sort of justice done, Matthew joins the hunt for the runaway slaves. He embarks on a treacherous journey up the Solstice River, also known as the River of Souls. He discovers that something born of the swamp has joined the hunt...and is stalking the hunters with more than murder in mind…………

    Compared to the first four books in the series ,this the weakest , is a short story that does’nt have the “Epic adventure” feel that the previous ones had. Overall I did enjoy the book and flew through it in no time. I just wonder is McCammon running out of ideas for this promised 10 book series .
    I’m really disappointed that Prof Fell and previous main characters were not included in this one.
    An intriguing ending that shows great promise for the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    After following the outlawed Earl of Locksley in his many adventures as Robin Hood, Alan Dale feels ready to settle down in his manor of Westbury, with his beloved wife at his side. It soon becomes apparent, though, that if he thinks he is done looking for trouble, trouble is not done looking for him, in the shape of the French Templars he once helped cheat and rob in France. With his manor burned down, and his wife ailing and likely cursed, Alan has little choice but to join in a quest for the Holy Grail, the mystical cup rumoured to cure all illnesses – that also happens to be the object of Locksley’s obsession. Latest in a series that re-imagines the legend of Robin Hood, this novel brings on board the myth of the Grail, together with evil Templars in the way of Walter Scott. The result is a vivid, colourful, adventurous page-turner, in which well-loved characters face old and new foes.
    It you like a good story you owe it to yourself to read this series. Even if you are not mad on the subject matter ,as Donald is a great “storyteller” ,and here again he weaves an enjoyable tale of the Templars, Robin Hood and the grail legend ,linked through his main character Alan Dale trouvere and swordsman . What I like about Donald is that he makes all these well known characters/historical factors his own and you get to read about them again for the first time. :) .
    The image of the final battle at monsegur with the mutilated witch Nur leading the charge with axe and “decapitated head “mace was epic.
    I flew through this in a few days, and although I am not mad on long book series I will get his next one as they are so easy to read, and highly entertaining.

    Review Link:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    The world is broken...

    Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin's rule - to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood.

    Evnis has sacrificed - too much it seems. But what he wants - the power to rule -- will soon be in his grasp. And nothing will stop him once he has started on his path.

    Veradis is the newest member of the warband for the High Prince, Nathair. He is one of the most skilled swordsman to come out of his homeland, yet he is always under the shadow of his older brother.

    has ideas - and a lot of plans. Many of them don't involve his father, the High King Aquilus. Nor does he agree with his father's idea to summon his fellow kings to council.

    The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, but now giants are seen, the stones weep blood and giant wyrms are stirring. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. For if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind's hopes and dreams will fall to dust...

    ...and it can never be made whole again.

    MALICE is a dark epic fantasy tale of blind greed, ambition, and betrayal.
    I’m a bit behind in my reading log at the moment …………

    Another great fantasy debut. Malice IMO is a top notch fantasy read .I loved this book big time and flew through it over a few nights .A real page turner.i can think of nothing negative about this one. Part two is in the post and I am counting the days till I can get started on it.

    Does the sword on the cover remind anyone of anything?.:D
    Its not the only one.

    Full Review :

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    At the edge of the Judaean Desert, bandits are menacing the stability of the kingdom of Herod the Great. Alarmed at the unsteadiness of its aging ally and the threat to the security of its gateway to the East, Rome dispatches Tribune Ulpius Crus and a single cohort of the Twenty-fifth Legion to the Judaean wasteland. The tribune asks Centurion Quintus Flavius Rufio to lead the cohort with him to Judaea to establish a temporary Roman presence as a deterrent near the edge of the Salt Sea. Veteran of eastern campaigns, Rufio recognizes that the threat of bandits is an illusion and that Rome faces a far superior danger.
    While I liked this book ,I got the impression that Atimari was using it as a showcase for his considerable knowledge about training and caring for horses. The main character Rufio’s sage advice on caring and training men while interesting ,also went on a bit .There’s not a ton of action in this book ,but there is enough to keep the story ticking along at a decent pace .Although only a minor character in the book ,I liked Altimari’s character development of Herod . So much so that I would be first in the queue if he wrote a book with his Herod as the main character.

    Overall a easy enjoyable read ,but nowhere as good as his book “Legion”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend.

    More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man's time is over.

    A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity's last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters - or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct - the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price.

    VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro's best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.
    I love post apocalyptical stories ,so this one set in the metro stations /tunnels beneath moscow was a pleasant surprise.. I liked this book a lot and apart from some translation/grammar problems I would recommend this book big time.
    Glukhovsky does a great job of setting the claustrophobic scene beneath ground level .All the different politicalgroups nazis,communists etc,along with the underground economy ,shortages of food ,cannibals , weird creatures and the thrilling journey above ground into the irradiated city all added up to a top notch adventure for me. I would love to see A HBO version of this similar to the “WALKING DEAD”. Series.

    Full Review :

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Normandy Ablaze
    AD 1203: England and France are locked in a brutal struggle for power. The fate of the embattled duchy of Normandy is in the hands of the weak and untrustworthy King John. Facing disaster, he calls for help from a former outlaw - Robin Hood.

    The Earl of Locksley
    As King Philip II's army rips through the Norman defences, Robin - the Earl of Locksley - leads a savage mercenary force into battle under the English banner, supported by his loyal lieutenant Sir Alan Dale. But defeat is only one castle away.

    The IronCastle
    The most powerful fortress in Christendom, only Château Gaillard can resist the French advance. Robin and Alan must defend this last bastion against overwhelming force - for if the Iron Castle falls, Normandy will fall with it.
    The above blurb does not do this book justice or indicate what a great storyteller Donald is. The high amazon ratings/reviews ( 34 x5 stars and 6 x 4 stars )might give you an idea. Although I love this series I would like to see it come to a conclusion and Donald apply his storytelling talents to something else. Having said that I will get the next one as his writing is addictive ,and easy to read. Its a great way to learn about this interesting period of history ,just after the death of Richard the Lionheart, and how England lost its French territories.

    Great characters, great adventures and very entertaining……..

    Some of the images on-line really add to the story and show how impressive the castle was.

    Château Gaillard link:âteau_Gaillard

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Blake makes excellent use of historical fact and legend to chronicle the life of John Wesley Hardin (1853-95), the most infamous mankiller in history. Although Hardin was too young to be a soldier in the Civil War, he grew up an unreconstructed Confederate. He killed his first man when he was 13; he later slew as many as 25 others (maybe even 40). Some were Union Occupation Troops, sent to Texas after the war; some were the detested state policemen who replaced them. But many of Hardin's victims were merely men who had insulted him, his family, or friends, or who sought to kill him to enhance their own reputations. Hardin claimed he never killed a man except in self- defense. Imprisoned at 25, pardoned at 40, he became a model citizen: a lawyer and a family man. Soon, though, he reverted to his old ways, drinking, gambling, whoring. Then, in August 1895, he was shot in the back by John Selman, a policeman, in the Acme Saloon in El Paso Blake tells Hardin's story through the individual voices of 50 people who knew him: kinfolks, lawmen, bartenders, prostitutes, friends, and enemies. Some encounters are brief, some extended. But every monologue offers an opinion as to the true character of this legendary gunfighter. The result is an astonishing series of vignettes, each revealing a period of Hardin's life, each rendered honestly and in a unique, evocative voice. Blake's mastery of historical detail, vernacular, and idiom makes for an entertaining chronology, spiced with personal revelations and biases. Interspersed with legal documents, newspaper reports, and excerpts from Hardin's autobiography, this is more than fictional biography; it's also a fascinating and accurate revelation of the time, place, and people who settled a frontier.

    I enjoyed this book bigtime. What was interesting was that as I read the book and googled his life my opinion of him changed back and forth. Admiration, anger, and finally sorrow. But IMO Blake does a great job as portraying him as a human being with all the flaws that entails , althought the glasses Blake are wearing might be slighly rose tinted. While it is evident that Blake is sympathetic to hardin ,it is obvious that online there are many diverse opinions regarding his life. Certainly as they said “ he had Sand” . Facing down another man in a gunfight takes plenty of that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens.

    The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring their youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including a brain-implanted computer. But all too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry must fight for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds.
    'Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master, Robert A. Heinlein' Publishers Weekly

    'Delivers fast-paced scenes of combat, and pays attention to the science underpinning his premise' San Francisco Chronicle

    It’s a good few years since I have read any Sci-fi ,but given that this is a series and that part two is already in the post I hope to be reading a lot more of it in the future.:)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Presenting the desperate conflict of the First World War through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier, Ernst Jünger's Storm of Steel is translated by Michael Hofmann in Penguin Modern Classics. 'As though walking through a deep dream, I saw steel helmets approaching through the craters. They seemed to sprout from the fire-harrowed soil like some iron harvest.' A memoir of astonishing power, savagery and ashen lyricism, Storm of Steel depicts Ernst Jünger's experience of combat on the front line - leading raiding parties, defending trenches against murderous British incursions, and simply enduring as shells tore his comrades apart. One of the greatest books to emerge from the catastrophe of the First World War, it illuminates like no other book not only the horrors but also the fascination of a war that made men keep fighting for four long years. Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) the son of a wealthy chemist, ran away from home to join the Foreign Legion. His father dragged him back, but he returned to military service when he joined the German army on the outbreak of the First World War. Storm of Steel (Stahlgewittern) was Jünger's first book, published in 1920. Greatly admired by the Nazis, Jünger remained at a distance from the regime, with books such as his allegorical work On the Marble Cliffs (1939) functioning as a covert criticism of Nazi ideology and methods

    Sometimes referred to as “a good war” if such a thing can be said about WWI, then this author had one. The fact he survived the horror and carnage of WW1 while accumulating 14 wounds , and receiving the iron cross and the knights cross ,speaks volume’s about the man himself. That along with going back for more again and again.A great memoir about WW1 from the POV of a german soldier. I loved this book and unlike the soldiers of WW1 I was sorry when it came to a end. A great read , not to be missed it you have a interest in WW1 or would just would like to read a great story about human survival in the cauldron of battle. Or as I call him………….one lucky bastard!.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    A brand new novella set in the engrossing world of The Demon Cycle from bestselling fantasy author Peter V. Brett.

    Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons. Bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace.

    Briar Damaj is a boy of six in the small village of Bogton. Half-Krasian, the village children call him Mudboy for his dark skin. When tragedy strikes, Briar decides the town is better off without him, fleeing into the bog with nothing but his wits and a bit of herb lore to protect him

    Enjoyable enough novella set in the Demon Cycle world , but does’nt really add a lot to the main book series IMO. Also I think this is way overpriced for what you get , a 5 euro book at most.

    Buy it if you’re a completest like me , or if its cheap on kindle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    The Banished Lands are torn by war as the army of High King Nathair sweeps the realm challenging all who oppose his holy crusade. Allied with the manipulative Queen Rhin of Cambren, there are few who can stand against him. But Rhin is playing her own games and has her eyes on a far greater prize . . .
    ]Left for dead - her kin have fled and her country is overrun with enemies - Cywen fights to survive. But any chance of escape is futile once Nathair and his disquieting advisor Calidus realize who she is. They have no intention of letting such a prize slip from their grasp. For she may be their one chance at killing the biggest threat to their power.
    Embroiled in struggles for power and survival, the mortal world is unaware of the greatest threat of all. In the Otherworld, dark forces scheme to bring a host of the Fallen into the world of flesh to end the war with the Faithful, once and for all.

    Top notch fantasy IMO.I am Loving this series big time and as a bonus Gwynne will have RUIN (part 3) out in July. I know some people have complained about the amount of POV character chapters ,but for me the story is good enough that I did’nt really notice it. Well worth a read for those that like fantasy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai



    Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He's fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home.

    Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life. Nothing will stop her from exacting bloody vengeance - not even the threat of invasion from the greatest enemy the Realm has ever faced.

    Yet as the fires of war spread, foes become friends and truths turn to lies. To save the Realm, Reva must embrace a future she does not want - and Vaelin must revisit a past he'd rather leave buried.
    I like this series big time ,but Imo this one was not as good as part 1. The story for me did’nt flow as smoothly as it did in Blood Song. I felt the multiple POV just did’nt work as well as it should have making the story/characters at times hard to follow. I found it necessary to check the character list at the back ,more than I would have liked to. Still for all that I am still looking forward to part 3.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Furgul is a puppy born in a slave camp for racing greyhounds. But he has a terrible secret - he is only part greyhound. When the cruel owner of the camp recognises Furgul's impure origins he takes him to be killed, but Furgul manages a spectacular escape. Now Furgul must confront the indifference, complexity, and ferocity of the greater world, a world in which there seems to be two choices: live the comfortable life of a pet and sacrifice freedom; or live the life of a free dog, glorious but also dangerous, because every man will turn his hand against you.
    When I bought this I did not know it was a young adult/teenager read .I also got off to a bad start in that I did’nt like the first couple of chapters and found it boring. I thought big time about giving up , as I decided the book story or writing style was’nt for me. But because Tim Willocks is one of my favourite writers and it was a short book I decided to keep going.

    I am glad I did as in the end , the book surprised me with a feel good emotional journey. The week following my reading of this book I noticed that I was't looking at my local dogs the same way and now give them a second look of inquiry as they pass by. ;)

    While not perfect , this is a must read for anyone who has a dog , has a interest in them or is thinking of getting one in the future. Also I would recommend this for all teenagers as a top notch read.
    "Doglands is one of those epic tales of animal courage and adventure, which, like Black Beauty and Watership Down, may change the way we see a species or breed. Anyone with a dog should read this gripping and remarkable story." (The Times)
    This is a book that every dog lover should read. It's a book that every teenager should read. It is full of violence but it's also full of love and a touch of humor. It's really full of inspiration and hope -- Furgul's inspiration and hope.

    And it's absolutely wonderful
    Full review below

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    (Part 8 )


    The forces of Wessex and Mercia have united against the Danes, but instability and the threat of Viking raids still hang heavy over Britain’s kingdoms. For Aethelred, Lord of the Mercians, is dying, leaving no heir and the stage is set for rivals to fight for the throne.

    Uhtred of Bebbanburg, Mercia’s greatest warrior, has always supported Athelflaed to be Mercia’s next ruler, but will the aristocracy ever accept a woman as their leader? Even one who is Aethelred’s widow and sister to the king of Wessex? As the Mercians squabble and the West Saxons try to annex their country, new enemies appear on the northern frontier. The Saxons desperately need strong leadership, but instead they are fighting for an empty throne and threatening to undo the unity and strength they have fought so hard to achieve.

    This is one book series I could read to infinity ………………and beyond!.

    Long live Uhtred! :)

    I will never forget the day I turned those initial pages and started the very first book in the Warrior Chronicles for the very first time. It was many years ago now and was the beginning of a wonderful journey for me.................

    Full review:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker's wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone's business, may know more about the town's true origins than he's letting on.
    A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

    Highly entertaining mad stuff !. But my kind of Mad stuff. J

    Stuck for words on this one .I can't remember reading a fantasy book like this one before. Not really sure how to explain this book or storyline while doing it justice . All I can say it that I loved it and that I have just ordered part two. Read the review if your interested in a mind blowing roller coaster fantasy ride. Or better yeah just read the book.
    Six Gun Tarot might be an odd sounding name and may seem to be an odd story however it is a gem frankly. An amalgamated gem that manages to blow expectations and showcase amazing skills on the author’s part, and making itself a strong contender for my year-end lists. Very very recommend for those who like epic fantasy, weird fiction, western historicals or basically an amalgamation of all these with a few more twists and turns to make this debut special indeed.

    Those yearning for something different, something devilishly outré enough to whet their starved and ever-hungry imaginations, but most especially for those who enjoy dark fantasies suffused with the likes of a seductive, evil goddess, an ancient tome, ichor-oozing zombies, and a cosmic cult of Lovecraftian evil, should enjoy first-time novelist R.S. Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot. The fact that it's set in the Old West of 1869 in an out-of-the-way semi-ghost town named Golgotha only adds to the initial curiosity factor………………………..

    There is more to The Six-Gun Tarot than meets the eye and I recommend it to those with an interest in the dark, macabre side of fantastic literature

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Computer has been acting up the last few mths ,and preventing me from updating my log in the format I usually do.I have read about 3 or 4 new books and hope to update log soon....................fingers crossed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    From the critically acclaimed author of THE BROKEN EMPIRE series comes a brilliant new epic fantasy series, THE RED QUEEN’S WAR.

    'If you like dark you will love Mark Lawrence. And when the light breaks through and it all makes sense, the contrast is gorgeous' ROBIN HOBB

    The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other.

    Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axe man, and dragged against his will to the icy north.

    In a journey across half the Broken Empire, Jalan flees minions of the Dead King, agrees to duel an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath, and meets the ice witch, Skilfar, all the time seeking a way to part company with Snorri before the Norseman’s quest leads them to face his enemies in the black fort on the edge of the Bitter Ice.

    PRINCE OF FOOLS is the first book in the series.
    I enjoyed this book a lot ,probably even more that the first series by Lawerence and I liked that one big time. I loved cowardly Jaran’s view point on life which supplied me with lots of LOL moments. Also Jaran’s blackout during the final battle hints at interesting future events ,so much so that part two was ordered two chapters before the end.
    I hope that Lawerence keeps up the momentum this time right through to the end ,as in the first series I found the 3rd book to be the weakest and in hindsight maybe a bit of a cop out regarding the main characters dark side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    I liked part one so much I decided to read the second one a s soon as I got it.. More great crazy mad stuff . Roll on part 3.

    R. S. Belcher's debut novel, The Six-Gun Tarot, was enthusiastically greeted by critics and readers, who praised its wildly inventive mixture of dark fantasy, steampunk, and the Wild West. Now Belcher returns to Golgotha, Nevada, a bustling frontier town that hides more than its fair share of unnatural secrets.
    1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party...and the dawn of humanity.
    Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day's time, the town and its people will be tested as never before-and some of them will never be the same.
    The Shotgun Arcana is even more spectacularly ambitious and imaginative than The Six-Gun Tarot, and confirms R. S. Belcher's status as a rising star.
    This is a sweeping tour-de-force of imaginative storytelling and steampunk technology that is more off-beat western than historical. R.S. Belcher swirls a cauldron of philosophical reasoning with a dash of steampunk science and dark violence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    I liked this big time and while IMO it was longer than it needed to be, this is still a well written engrossing historical novel set in the Assyrian empire. Its great to read something new with superb characters that immerses you in such a unique and fascinating time period. The only down side is that I thought this was a stand alone book.

    Now because of the cliffhanger ending and liking it so much I have to order part 2, which is the last thing I need…….…another book on my shelf waiting to be read.:mad:

    From Publishers Weekly

    Set in ancient Ashur (called Assyria by Greeks), this absorbing epic novel dramatically portrays two royal half-brothers whose childhood camaraderie later gives way to acrimony and violence. Tiglath and Esarhaddon, sons of aging King Sennacherib, grow up amicably and share rigorous military training. Their friendship dissolves when the king's priest proclaims the gods' decree that Esarhaddon will be the next monarch. Resentful of Sennacherib's preference for Tiglath and not eager to assume his prospective duties, Esarhaddon dreads his fate, while noble Tiglath unhappily refrains from usurping the throne out of a concern for his country's well-being. Even more disturbing to Tiglath, however, is the certainty that his lover, comely Esharhamat, must become the future sovereign's bride. Reeling with grief, Tiglath leaves Ashur to become a seasoned conqueror worthy of his compatriots' homage, yet a momentous clash between him and Esarhaddon still awaits. Guild masterfully describes court intrigues and the feverish panorama of the battlefield, but the book's abundant merit lies in its timelessness and universality. This story of a passionately moral man torn among amorous longings, the seductiveness of power, fraternal emotion and cognizance of his nation's welfare holds many contemporary implications.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    Part 2 in series.

    If you like historical fiction then IMO this book series is a must read. I only started reading Cameron recently and I have to agree with others that he is one of the top historical writers around. I will be ordering part 3 as soon as it becomes available.
    I love that he based the series around a real life character called William Gold, who apparently was a fairly senior officer of the White Company under the command of Captain John Hawkwood linked to the massacre of Cesena.
    Also the fact that Cameron takes part in battle re-enactments and trains with the armour and weapons of the period is really noticeable in the book. This brings a unique detailed realism to the battles and daily life that other authors neglect because they are not involved with the practicalities of wearing armour and fighting with particular weapons. I only have a minor complaint , that although he try’s not to be too overbearing with his in depth knowledge of medieval fighting techniques ,terminology and tactics , he does come close once or twice. IMO a great read and a great series ….roll on part 3.

    One of the finest historical fiction writers in the world' Ben Kane Pisa, May 1364. Sir William Gold is looking forward to a lucrative career as a hired sword in the endless warring between Italy's city states. But when a message comes from the Grand Master of the Hospitaliers, William is forced to leave his dreams of fame and fortune behind him. The Hospitaliers are gathering men for a crusade, and Sir William must join them. Yet before they set out for the holy land, the knights face deadly adversaries much closer to home ...In the twisting politics of Italy, no one can be trusted. And there are those who would be pleased to see the crusade fail ...Can Sir William and his knights survive this impossible mission into the heart of the enemy? The history is impeccable, the story compelling and every character superbly drawn. I devoured this book in three sittings and cannot recommend it highly enough. It will be a long wait for the next book in the series.

    Full Review:

    Author Interview & Character Link:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    World Fantasy award-winning, bestselling author Robert McCammon makes a triumphant return to the epic horror and apocalyptic tone reminiscent of his books ''Swan Song'' and ''Stinger'' in this gripping new novel, ''The Border'', a saga of an Earth devastated by a war between two marauding alien civilizations.

    But it is not just the living ships of the monstrous Gorgons or the motion-blurred shock troops of the armored Cyphers that endanger the holdouts in the human bastion of Panther Ridge. The world itself has turned against the handful of survivors, as one by one they succumb to despair and suicide or, even worse, are transformed by otherworldly pollution into hideous Gray Men, cannibalistic mutants driven by insatiable hunger. Into these desperate circumstances comes an amnesiac teenaged boy who names himself Ethan--a boy who must overcome mistrust and suspicion to master unknowable powers that may prove to be the last hope for humanity's salvation. Those same powers make Ethan a threat to the warring aliens, long used to fearing only each other, and thrust him and his comrades into ever more perilous circumstances.

    A major new novel from the unparalleled imagination of Robert McCammon, this dark epic of survival will both thrill readers and make them fall in love with his work all over again.

    Some good set pieces , ideas and characters set in a post-apocalyptic earth after a alien invasion. Overall a enjoyable read , but I did not like the ending which IMO could have ended with a better storyline idea. There is a lot of online debate about the ending including the review below , which holds the opposite opinion to myself.
    If you like post-apocalyptic novels ,give it a try.

    I'm sure there's going to be a massive audience divide when it comes to the ending. I can't recall reading such an obviously divisive ending since Brian Keene's THE RISING. Personally, I loved the ending of both books, and I honestly can't imagine any other way McCammon could have possibly ended this story. I'm eager to see what others think once they've had a chance to read it for themselves.

    THE BORDER is a staggering achievement in post-apocalyptic fiction, and another home run for McCammon, one of the most important genre authors that we have.
    Full review:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Highly enjoyable adventure where the main character an ex-soldier and highwayman chases down a serial killer in the plague ridden alleys of London .
    Nothing mindblowing but still a real page turner .Flew through this one ,a easy one to read.

    London, 1665. The Plague is back.
    Thousands are dying, thousands more imprisoned in their own houses, red crosses painted on their doors announcing the pestilence within. While on a dark road outside London, a simple robbery goes horribly wrong – when the highwayman, Captain Coke, discovers that his intended victims have been brutally slaughtered.
    Suspected of the murders, Coke is forced into an uneasy alliance with the man who pursues him – the relentless thief-taker, Pitman. Clues lead them to the theatre and to the players who entertain Charles II and his libertine courtiers. There, two actresses – the spirited Sarah Chalker, the beautiful young Lucy Absolute – help to uncover a plot by a fanatical cult planning to kill King Charles and replace him with King Jesus. Love grows between the captain and Sarah – only for both murderer and plague to come between them. And as Death moves remorselessly through the glittering court and the fetid alleys, from the raucous playhouse to the barbarous prisons, can a highwayman, an actress and a thief-taker unite to stop him?
    An epic, suspense-filled journey through a great city’s nightmare, Plague has enough mystery, history and romance to entrance every historical fiction fan.

    “Beautifully written, pacy and exciting..... A brilliant depiction of seventeenth-century London in all its glory and grime against the grim backdrop of the eponymous plague.”
    —Simon Scarrow

    “Fast, exciting historical adventure, to be read in huge gulps. A runaway carriage of a book.”
    —Conn Iggulden, author of War of the Roses

    “Humphreys brings to bear all his dramatic skills on this compelling tale of mayhem and murder. . . . [He] lightens the intensity with his characters’ warmth and period-flavored quips; despite the danger at every turn, we cannot help but root for these hardy survivors, though we know going in that not everyone will make it out alive. Humphreys is well known for his talents in the historical fiction arena, and Plague may be his best work yet—a triumphant tour de force that is part adventure, part drama, and full of unexpected thrills.”
    Historical Novel Society

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    The Ally is there, but only ever as a shadow, unexplained catastrophe or murder committed at the behest of a dark vengeful spirit. Sorting truth from myth is often a fruitless task.”

    After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except, to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark—and take the war to her enemy’s doorstep.

    Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties. For the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to her servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song, the mystical power which has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent…
    Overall I liked this book and overall I would definitely recommend the series. In hindsight part one was by far my favourite of the trilogy. For me personally , I found this one (part 3)to be a tough read. There are a lot of characters with similar names and not all distinguishable from each other as much as in other books. This slowed down my reading as I could’nt remember who they were or their place in the story. I did’nt find the glossary at the back till near the end of the book ,after much time wasted online googling characters.:(
    Also I feel like there was a big change from the first book of this trilogy and that Vaelin (the main character) , in the end almost became inconsequential.As it was his character that appealed to me the most that soured it a bit for me.
    If I was to read these again or recommend them to somebody ,I would say it would be best to read them “back to back”. I would also say that while I enjoyed this trilogy ,I did not enjoy it as much as I expected to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    (The Faithful and the Fallen part 3)


    The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos.

    The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. He has choices to make, choices that will determine the fate of the Banished Lands. Elsewhere the flame of resistance is growing - Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Here he will witness the birth of a rebellion in Nathair's own realm.

    Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. He has suffered, lost loved ones, sought only safety from the darkness. But he will run no more. He has seen the face of evil and he has set his will to fight it. The question is, how?

    With a disparate band gathered about him - his family, friends, giants, fanatical warriors, an angel and a talking crow he begins the journey to Drassil, the fabled fortress hidden deep in the heart of Forn Forest. For in Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun.
    I love this series big time and this one part 3 was top notch. Although I usually prefer a book series to end with a trilogy , so that I can move on to new things . Here I look forward to book 4 , as this is a series I just do not want to end. A real page turner IMO with great characters both good and bad and some brilliant story threads. Maquin although not the main character is my favourite and I can’t wait to see what happens to him next. and also the rest of the gang. This is one fantasy series where I even feel sorry for the bad guy , and I can’t remember that happening before.
    Love, love, love this series :D

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    The Red Queen’s War: Book Two


    More of the same,but theres nothing wrong with that ,when the same is Top notch. Lawerence has developed a interesting world here ,with some great characters and while I love his sense of humour , I would love to see that world fleshed out more. Given that this is set in a post apocalyptic world ,I would like to see more interaction/discoveries with the past ie cities, articfacts etc .
    Roll on part 3 ,which is out in June.:D
    After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s Key, an artefact capable of opening any door, and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including The Dead King.

    Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

    And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen continues to manipulate kings and pawns towards an endgame of her own design…
    The Liar's Key shows a Mark Lawrence writing at the top of his game. Vaster in scope than any of his previous endeavors, this book cements the author's place among not only the very best grimdark authors on the market today, but the best fantasy authors out there, period. Writing with panache and aplomb, with The Red Queen's War Lawrence continues to make a name for himself. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, his name will become synonymous with fun and compelling reading experiences. Hearing people discussing Lawrence's books at a recent convention, George R. R. Martin asked if they were talking about "that thorn guy?" Well, if Lawrence keeps this up, everyone will soon know who that thorn guy is!

    Definitely one of the fantasy novels to read in 2015!