As per usual, I haven’t had a lot of time for reading, but what I have read has been wonderful (except for two DNFs). Below I’ve jotted down some thoughts (and links) to those I’ve read.
“Oathbreaker’s Guild” is a continuation of D. Wallace Peach’s luminescent and magical world of powerful Influencers, downtrodden peasants of The Warrens, and a cast of enigmatic characters led by now-young-woman, Catling. “Oathbreaker’s” picks up the story where “Catling’s Bane” left off and follows Catling and a number of key characters as they maneuver through a land of intrigue and tension as war threatens on the horizon. I will not give away any spoilers here except to say Peach pulls no punches in this second installment, and often leaves her characters reeling in dangerous or fraught situations. “Oathbreaker’s” is an enthralling read, and wonderful continuation of this series. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the third part!
Whether it was because I read “He Was Weird” as a paperback (not ebook), or because of the story itself, I found myself unable to put the book down. This is a gut-wrenching, frank portrayal of schoolyard bullying that pushes a child to the brink, so much so he commits an unspeakable act in response to the years of bullying and abuse. Lefevre writes main character Marvin with such an authentic voice it’s hard not to feel anything but sorrow and pity for him – which creates an interesting emotional dilemma when faced with the final chapters of this book where he commits his atrocity. Thought provoking, emotional, and troubling, “He Was Weird” only takes on even more clout when the reader learns the book was partly based on the author’s own childhood. Well worth a read.
Fans of the very awesome computer games “The Witcher”, will recognise these titles (and Sapkowski’s moniker) as being the books that inspired the CD Projekt’s epic trilogy of games.
Sapkowski’s gritty world, populated by greedy kings, power-hungry sorcerers, and vile monsters, is dark, brutal, and complex (don’t expect black and white, good and evil polarity here). The series follows Geralt, a Witcher (a mutant swordsman who hires himself out to slay monsters) and his adopted ward, Ciri, a child with powerful blood in her veins and a huge destiny before her.
Beginning with two books of short stories based in this world (“The Last Wish” and “Sword of Destiny”), the series is long and complicated, peppered with intrigue, violence, sex and some of the best humour and dialogue I’ve ever read.
The funny thing is, the writing at times, isn’t the best writing I’ve ever read – POV jumps around, there’s head-hopping, tense shifts, and passive language galore, however, the story is ridiculously engaging, and, as mentioned above, when Sapkowski gets his dialogue right, he gets it RIGHT. Rarely do books make me chuckle out loud – these are ones that do.
This is one of my favourite book series out there and I’d strongly recommend you give them a go if you like a bit of dark fantasy. Be warned though, there are another four books in the series after these three, so you’re going to be committed for a while!
Small WIP update – I haven’t been writing (have lost my mojo) and am still waiting on feedback from betas before I can do anything else with Guns of Perdition. Maybe that’s part of the reason I haven’t been writing?