Review Round-up October

October has come and gone again so time for the Review Round-up. The past month has been very busy for me, a lot of new things have happened and of course I was gearing up for my one big event this year, the Amsterdam marathon (which I ran in 3h08min), so I had been a bit off of focus in the last weeks and couldn't really read how I usually do it, I had a break after the marathon just to get some rest and actually planned to read quite a lot but just somehow my focus was off, I will be upping the ante for the last two months of the year, want to try to get at least another 40 book through the review pipeline so fingers crossed! And just a note up front, with the holidays around the corner, the blog will be getting a break in the last weeks of December till the first weeks of January. Oh and did I tell you that I ran the marathon in 3hour and 8 minutes? A full post on me experience on running it will be up later this week (I hope). But I will stop blabbering now, here are my picks of last month:

1. The Sword and the Throne by Henry Venmore-Rowland (Bantam Press)

Earlier this year I read Henry Vemore-Rowland's debut The Last Caesar and I was literally blown away with what he managed to put down in his debut. It was a strongly character driven story with a unique point of view. I was therefore quite eager to start with The Sword and the Throne and I must admit that this story lived up and went way beyond what I could have ever hoped for. I have been catching up with a lot of Roman fiction of late but hadn't encountered such a written story. It's catchy and with the strong focus on Caecina you really start to feel for the guy. The Sword and the Throne goes much deeper on the personal state of Caecina and in the later parts of the book you see just how "messed up"he is by all his actions and that just in the bottomline he doesn't know what to do. It's a superb story. 

Read the full review here
 

2. King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Harper Voyager)

The second book in the highly appraised Broken Empire series! I read Prince of Thorns a few weeks back and this is the fantasy that you want to read as an fantasy fantasist like me. It's dark, epic and complex. The focus is still on Jorg and how he is now King by taking over his uncle's kingdom. jorg is an amazing character and if you had thought that he was invincible, well your wrong. Mark Lawrence starts to show that Jorg isn't everything, he has some serious flaws, but through his sheer determination and perseverance he always manages to pull through. His younger self is wreckless and vicious but the adult version that we start to see shows more maturation. These kind of character "evolutions" if you can call them, is what you want to see. Emperor of Thorns will be review this month! Really looking forward to it.

Read the full review here

3. Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton (TorUK)

Drakenfeld is the latest book by Mark Charan Newton, who is known for his Legends of the Red Sun series. Now I haven't been able to read this series so can't be the judge of that, but I can safely say that Drakenfeld is a great read. It is a new direction for fantasy. An emerging trend is to take the crime investigation into new direction, the first was with Urban Fantasy but now you see it emerging in other fantasy genres as well. Drakenfeld is I think best described as an alternate history story inspired by Roman themes, but eventhough you have the influences the world does stand completely on its own and this makes the whole world that more dynamic. It feel vibrant and alive. To top it all off, The lead character Lucan Drakenfeld, an investigator isn't the standard Sherlock Holmes but has some other quirky habits of his own, he is great lead into the Drakenfeld series

Read the full review here

4. The Plague Forge by Jason M. Hough (Titan Books)

The Plague Forge is the conclusion of the Dire Earth Cycle. The first book of the Dire Earth Cycle, The Darwin Elevator, introduced us to many memorable characters and an interesting concepts. All throughout that book and the second book, Jason M. Hough kept you on the edge of your seat, there was this one thing that just kept bugging me. What are those Builders up to?? Events kept on unfolding, but never were you allowed to see the Builders and there plans. I can imagine it was hard keeping everything in line until the end, and I have to say that the ending of the series is just something that was unexpected. The true reasons of the Builders are revealed in the end and I thought they were playing nasty mind games with the humans, but it something quite different. Also with this ending, Jason M. Hough does allow for a series of tie-in books, I hope we will see what happened in between. 

Read the full review here

5. Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan (Orbit)

One of the my most anticipated books of this year. Promise of Blood is by far one of the best debuts that I have read. Talking about taking a genre further. There are some many new and cool things that Brian McClellan introduces in his series that are just so cool. Introducing Powder mages and all they can do. The story itself is told from a quite unique point of view, the overthrowers of the king instead of the king that is being overthrown. But if you think that the story would cool down now that the king is gone, you are far from wrong, the story is just picking up pace. ANd to top all this of BAM you have gods thrown in the mix! and all this just works full colours, this is definitely a story not to be missed this year!

Read the full review here

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I also did a couple of author interview you can find the October edition below. Read what they have to say about their book! I love how eager authors are to talk about their books!
  

I'll try to stop the slack and pick up pace with some reading for November!

All best,
Jasper 

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