Teaser Tuesdays: August 08


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: August 08 |

Malice

Book One of The Faithful and the Fallen

by John Gwynne

Fantasy | 672 Pages | Published by Tor in 2012


“Veradis walked quickly away from the weapons court, fastening his cloak around his shoulders as he went. A thin layer of snow now crunched under his boots and he pulled the cloak tighter. He was still sweating, blood pumping and various aches and pains only now making themselves known. He took a deep breath, slowly calming after his exertions on the court and touched a knuckle to his cheek, the skin swollen.”

~ 55% | Malice by John Gwynne


| Synopsis |

A black sun is rising …

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday Firsts: Malice by John Gwynne


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: August 04 |

Malice

Book One of The Faithful and the Fallen

by John Gwynne

Fantasy | 672 Pages | Published by Tor in 2012


| First Paragraphs |

Forest litter crunched under Evnis’ feet, his breath misting as he whispered a curse. He swallowed, his mouth dry.

He was scared, he had to admit, but who would not be? What he was doing this night would make him traitor to his king. And worse.

He paused and looked back. Beyond the forest’s edge he could still see the stone circle, behind it the walls of Badun, his home, its outline silvered in the moonlight. It would be so easy to turn back, to go home and choose another path for his life. He felt a moment of vertigo, as if standing on the edge of a great chasm, and the world seemed to slow, waiting on the outcome of his decision. I have come this far, I will see it through. He looked up at the forest, a wall of impenetrable shadow; he pulled his cloak tighter and walked into the darkness.

He followed the giantsway for a while, the stone-flagged road that connected the kingdoms of Ardan and Narvon. It was long neglected, the giant clan that built it vanquished over a thousand years ago, great clumps of moss and mushroom growing between crumbling flagstone.

Even in the darkness he felt too vulnerable on this wide road, and soon slithered down its steep bank and slipped amongst the trees. Branches scratched overhead, wind hissing in the canopy above as he sweated his way up and down slope and dell. He knew where he was going, had walked the path many times before, though never at night. Nineteen summers old, yet he knew this part of the Darkwood as well as any woodsman twice his age.

Soon he saw a flicker amongst the trees: firelight. He crept closer, stopping before the light touched him, scared to leave the anonymity of the shadows. Turn around, go home, a voice whispered in his head. You are nothing, will never equal your brother. His mother’s words, cold and sharp as the day she had died. He ground his teeth and stepped into the firelight.

An iron cauldron hung on a spit over a fire, water bubbling. Beside it a figure, cloaked and hooded.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

First impressions? Well first I have to admit that I started this book a long time ago and for reasons I fail to remember, put it down and haven’t picked it up again until now.

Re-reading the opening however, which is brimming with dark tension and mystery, has drawn me back into The Banished Lands and I’m already hooked. While the slow build-up of the opening chapters is almost certainly what made me put Malice down to begin with, it’s detail and character development on second take is a joy to read. I certainly won’t be putting it down again until it’s finished!                   

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday: The Ember Blade


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 26 |

The Ember Blade

by Chris Wooding


A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.

Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questioned it; that’s just the way things are. But then his father is executed for treason, and he and his best friend Cade are thrown into a prison mine, doomed to work until they drop. Unless they can somehow break free…

But what lies beyond the prison walls is more terrifying still. Rescued by a man who hates him yet is oath-bound to protect him, pursued by inhuman forces, Aren slowly accepts that everything he knew about his world was a lie. The rules are not there to protect him, or his people, but to enslave them. A revolution is brewing, and Aren is being drawn into it, whether he likes it or not.

The key to the revolution is the Ember Blade. The sword of kings, the Excalibur of his people. Only with the Ember Blade in hand can their people be inspired to rise up . . . but it’s locked in an impenetrable vault in the most heavily guarded fortress in the land.

All they have to do now is steal it…


To be published by Gollancz on 15th February 2018

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: July 25


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 25 |

The Three-Body Problem

Book One of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past

by Cixin Liu

Science Fiction | 400 Pages | Published by Head of Zeus in 2015


“No. Many of the best scientists can be fooled by pseudoscience and sometimes devote their lives to it. But pseudoscience is afraid of one particular type of people who are very hard to fool: stage magicians. In fact, many pseudoscience hoaxes were exposed by stage magicians. Compared to the bookworms of the scientific world, your experience as a cop makes you far more likely to perceive such a large-scale conspiracy.”

~ p. 136 | The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu


| Synopsis |

1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China’s Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind.

Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang’s investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable and unpredicatable interaction of its three suns.

This is the Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists’ deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the extinction-level threat humanity now faces.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Plot


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 19 |

The Lost Plot

Book Four of The Invisible Library

by Genevieve Cogman


A covert mission

A royal demand

And a race against time

The fourth title in Genevieve Cogman’s witty and wonderful The Invisible Library series, The Lost Plot is an action-packed literary adventure.

In a 1930s-esque Chicago, Prohibition is in force, fedoras, flapper dresses and tommy guns are in fashion, and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon vs dragon contest. It seems a young librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him there could be serious political repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai find themselves trapped in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail and fiendish security systems. And if this doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences for Irene’s job. And, incidentally, for her life…


To be published by Pan Macmillan on 14th December 2017

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: July 18


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 18 |

The Immortals

by S. E. Lister

Fantasy | 328 Pages | Published by Old Street Publishing in 2015


“This was the centre of it all, the sun around which she had spent seventeen years in motion. For a moment Rosa wanted desperately to feel the pull of it as Robert did: to be overwhelmed and consumed by it, to the exclusion of all else. To feel so thunderingly alive, so present, even if it was only for a few brief hours.”

~ 58 % | The Immortals by S. E. Lister


| Synopsis |

Rosa Hyde is the daughter of a time-traveller, stuck in the year 1945. Forced to live through it again, and again, and again. The same bulletins, the same bombs, the same raucous victory celebrations. All Rosa has ever wanted is to be free from that year — and from the family who keep her there.

At last she breaks out and falls through time, slipping from one century to another, unable to choose where she goes. And she is not alone. Wandering with her is Tommy Rust, time-gypsy and daredevil, certain in the depths of his being that he will live forever.

Their journeys take them from the ancient shores of forming continents to the bright lights of future cities. They find that there are others like them. They tell themselves that they need no home; that they are anything but lost.

But then comes Harding, the soldier who has fought for a thousand years, and everything changes. Could Harding hold the key to staying in one place, one time? Or will the centuries continue to slip through Rosa’s fingers, as the tides take her further and further away from everything she has grown to love?

The Immortals is at once a captivating adventure story and a profound, beautiful meditation on the need to belong. It is a startlingly original and satisfying work of fiction.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday Firsts: The Immortals by S. E. Lister


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: July 14 |

The Immortals

by S. E. Lister

Fantasy | 328 Pages | Published by Old Street Publishing in 2015


| First Paragraphs |

Rosa came home after seven years, in the same year she had left. It was the beginning of the wet spring she knew so well. She found their cottage on the edge of a village, the latest Hyde home in a string of many, tucked out of the way behind a disused cattle barn. There were sandbags stacked against the steps, blackout curtains in every window. Bindweed framed the doorway. Beyond the fields a church spire rose into the dusky sky, lashed by rain, its chimes silenced.

A glossy blackbird shook its wings in a tree above her head, its liquid song filling the evening air. Everything was green, fat raindrops sliding from oak leaves and splashing onto the newly sprouted daffodils on the side of the road. There was a bicycle leaning against a silver birch. The grass at her feet was thick with snails.

She knocked, and after a few moments the door clicked open. A fair-haired girl blinked up at her politely. Rosa stared at her sister, now ten years old and tall for it, and felt the whole breadth of her own absence.

Bella ducked halfway back into the hallway. She peered out from behind her hair, plainly confused as to why this ragged stranger was familiar. Rosa’s words, rehearsed across many miles and decades, caught in her throat. She had nothing to say.

“Who is it?”

Footsteps, and then Bella had been pulled aside, making way for an apron-clad woman with her hair in curlers. She had a tea-towel in one hand and a mug in the other. Her mouth grew small and tight. The mug began to shake, spilling a slick of coffee onto the floor.

“Come in. Hurry! Come in…” Her mother’s hands did not touch her, but beckoned urgently. The door was pulled closed. In the hallway Rosa looked at Harriet Hyde, who had grown thinner, her face lined and her fiery hair dulled with grey. The softness around her edges had been replaced by a strained, brittle look. She bent to dab at the stain on the floor, shooing Rosa away when she tried to help. Bella clung to her apron.

“Did you walk through the village dressed like that?” Harriet asked at last, straightening up. Rosa nodded. “Were you seen by anyone?”

“I don’t think so. It’s dark, mother.”

“Yes, yes, I know. But busybodies at their windows…” Harriet’s eyes were bulging.

“Nobody looks out of their window at this hour.” Rosa lowered the pack from her shoulders. She peeled off her raincoat, and untied the scarf from around her hair.

“You might at least have changed your clothes.”

Rosa felt her jaw clench. “That wouldn’t have been easy.”

The whitewashed hallway was lit by a single bulb, umbrellas stacked beside the door, shoes in a neat line. No pictures on the walls, no peg for visitors’ coats. She had forgotten that they always had this feel, the Hyde homes, this stale, unloved impermanence. The carpets were worn only by other peoples’ footsteps, the pencil-scratches by the door marking the heights of other peoples’ children. Occupants long-gone, each place a borrowed shell.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

Having heard little about this book or its author prior to opening it up – indeed I hadn’t even read the synopsis! – I dived in head first with no expectations. From the opening sentences this book gripped with its beautiful style and somewhat melancholy air and, with little to go on but the writing itself, I fully expect this to be an enchanting if somewhat haunting tale which I am already eager to continue.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday: The Core


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: July 12 |

The Core

Book Five of The Demon Cycle

by Peter V. Brett


Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Peter V. Brett brings one of the most imaginative fantasy sagas of the twenty-first century to an epic close.

The war begun…

For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them.

Two heroes arose—men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal. Arlen Bales became known as the Painted Man, tattooed head-to-toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat—and emerge victorious. Ahmann Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka—the final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear—a Swarm. Now the war is at hand, and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen’s wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil—from which none of them expects to return alive


To be published by Harper Voyager on 28th September 2017

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: July 11


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: July 11 |

The Vagrant

Book One of The Vagrant Trilogy

by Peter Newman

Fantasy | 400 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2015


“Giant fists raise, open and plaster themselves over her face. Her body shakes with sadness, each sob ringing the armour like a dolorous bell. Harm edges closer, reaching out to rest two fingers on her exposed skin. He is careful to pick a place where the green is unbroken. In time, quieter tears spill.”

~ p. 186 | The Vagrant by Peter Newman


| Synopsis |

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other.

Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach.

Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde.

His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war.

What little hope remains is dying. Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust.

But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin