The Friday Face-Off: Renewed Shall Be Blade That Was Broken


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie


Welcome to this week’s Friday Face-Off – and apologies for the lack of posts, it’s been a crazy few weeks! This Friday we’re looking at covers which feature the word ‘blade’ in their title.

And there’s one book which immediately came to mind! The Blade Itself, the first book in the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, is a firm fantasy favourite. Published by Gollancz, this week I’m taking a look at the two wonderful UK covers (as the US edition is incredibly similar to the original UK cover!) Take a look and see which one gets your vote.


Gollancz – UK Cover #1

Artwork by Laura Brett

Gollancz – UK Cover #2

Artwork by Chris McGrath


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Chris McGrath’s artwork for the Dresden Files has made me a fan of his for life – and his work on the recent covers for The First Law Trilogy is unquestionably stunning. Atmospheric and full of character, this simplistic but gritty cover for The Blade Itself is an excellent addition to Abercrombie’s ever expanding repertoire. However, though the balance almost swings in McGrath’s favour, I can’t help but love the Laura Brett covers for this trilogy – every time I see the burnt parchment and blood spatters I’m reminded of the first time I opened this book and began my love affair with this bloody and brilliant world. So two wonderful covers but this week I have to reminisce – Gollancz #1, this week’s heart-shaped-trophy-thing goes to you!

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext week’s theme is: In The Beginning There Was Nothing, Which Exploded

A cover which features an explosion

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek – Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books  – Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

S J Higbee @ Brainfluff – The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron

DJ @ MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape – A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish

Nick V. Reys @ ThePaperDragon – Heirs of the Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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The Month Ahead: May 2016


In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

This month I’m embarrassed to say that NOS4R2 and Emma are still on my currently reading pile – one day they’ll leave it, I promise! – but this month they’re in the wonderful company of Lustlocked by Matt Wallace and Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| May Events |

Here are the upcoming themes for this month’s Friday Face-Off:

06th May 2016 | You Got The Blues

A cover which is predominantly blue

13th May 2016 | Which Witch is Which?

A cover which features a witch and/or witchcraft

20th May 2016 | Just Then Flew Down a Monstrous Crow

A cover which features a bird

27th May | Renewed Shall be Blade That Was Broken

A cover which features the word ‘blade’ in its title


The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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For this month’s Read Along we’ll be reading the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. If you’re interested in joining in then head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| May Goals |

This May I’ve decided to mix up my usual goals (which inevitably fail) and set a challenge I may actually complete. Having been a member of the Goodreads Group for a while now but having yet to participate, this month I will be starting my RMFAO Genre Challenge. I’ve put together quite a large list – intention is everything after all – so hopefully I’ll tick at least a few off and actually get some classics read this year!heart

| The Target |

Level 5

Bookiopath

5 books or more (challenging)

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| The Books |

Bulldog Drummond by Sapper (PB)

Service with a Smile by P.G. Wodehouse (PB)

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham (PB)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (PB)

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (PB)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (EB)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (EB)

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For a list of the rules, levels and each month’s genres, head on over to the Goodreads page


| May Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this May – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

10th May

Too Like The Lightning

by Ada Palmer

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Children-of-Earth-and-Sky-Guy-Gavriel-Kay1

Children of Earth and Sky

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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19th May

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

by Claire Northheart

TheTowerofTheSwallow

The Tower of the Swallow

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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medusa-chronicles-cover-reveal

The Medusa Chronicles

by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxterheart


24th May

26239013

A Blade of Black Steel

by Alex Marshallheart

Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… SFF Books That Will Make You Laugh


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… SFF Books That Will Make You Laugh |

After something of a break, I’m returning to Top Ten Tuesday with my top ten comedic reads in the world of science fiction and fantasy. From the outright comedic to the darkly humorous, this is a list of those books that never fail to put a smile on my face!
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| 1. |

Envy of Angels

Book One of Sin du Jour

by Matt Wallaceheart

In New York, eating out can be hell.

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings?

Welcome to Sin du Jour – where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish.heart

| 2 |

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

by David Wongheart

Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements.

An all-seeing social network that tracks your every move.

Mysterious, smooth-talking power players who lurk behind the scenes.

A young woman from the trailer park. And her very smelly cat.

Together, they will decide the future of mankind.

Get ready for a world in which anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star, in which human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. A world in which at least one cat smells like a seafood shop’s dumpster on a hot summer day.

This is the world in which Zoey Ashe finds herself, navigating a futuristic city in which one can find elements of the fantastic, nightmarish and ridiculous on any street corner. Her only trusted advisor is the aforementioned cat, but even in the future, cats cannot give advice. At least not any that you’d want to follow.

Will Zoey figure it all out in time? Or maybe the better question is, will you? After all, the future is coming sooner than you think.heart

| 3 |

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

heartSeconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. heart

| 4. |

The Colour of Magic

A Discworld Novel

by Terry Pratchett
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In the beginning there was… a turtle.

Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different. Particularly as it’s carried though space on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown). It plays by different rules.

But then, some things are the same everywhere. The Disc’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the world’s first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land. Unfortunately, the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death, is a spectacularly inept wizard…heart

| 5. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

by Lewis Carroll
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Weary of her storybook, one “without pictures or conversations,” the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground–to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature.

The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat–each more eccentric than the last–could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll.

In penning this brilliant burlesque of children’s literature, Carroll has written a farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, an arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up.

Carroll was one of the few adult writers to successfully enter the children’s world of make-believe: where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal–real, and where the height of adventure is limited only by the depths of imagination. heart

| 6. |

The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence

by Scott Lynch
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In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…heart

| 7. |

The Blade Itself

The First Law Trilogy

by Joe Abercrombie
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Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.heart

| 8. |

The Palace Job

Book One of the Rogues of the Republic

by Patrick Weekes
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The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.

With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family’s treasure.

It’d be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.

But hey, every plan has a few hitches. heart

| 9. |

Rivers of London / Midnight Riot

Book One of the Rivers of London / Peter Grant Series

by Ben Aaronovitch
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Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic. heart

| 10. |

Storm Front

Book One of The Dresden Files

by Jim Butcherheart

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed. heart

Which books make you laugh? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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The Month Ahead: April 2016


The Month Ahead - April 2In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

I was going to remove Emma and NOS4R2 from my currently reading list… just because it’s slightly embarrassing them having been there for so long! But hey, I might actually get around to reading them this April so, for now, they’re here to stay! Added to that we have Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic (because I have read woefully few of his books!), The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, and this month’s Read Along, An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. So all in all, plenty to be getting on with!

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| April Events |

Friday Face Off Meme - whiteTurning The Friday Face-Off into a weekly meme proved to be marvellous fun last month, so thank you for reading and participating! So for those of you who fancy joining in or are interested in what’s coming up, here are the upcoming themes for this April:

08th April 2016 | Peace is Poor Reading

A cover which features war

15th April 2016 | Metropolis

A cover which features a city

22nd April 2016 | Dead Men Tell No Tales

A cover which features something or somewhere relating to death

29th April 2016 | Like One, That on a Lonesome Road

A cover which features a road

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An Artificial Night - white

An Artificial Night Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Saturday 9th April)

Chapters 1-7 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 16th April)

Chapters 8-17 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 3 (Saturday 23rd April)

Chapters 18-24 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 4 (Saturday 30th April)

Chapters 25-End – hosted by TBA

heartWith Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation already under our belts this year, it was only a matter of time before the next October Daye novel was added to our Read Along shelf. Both the previous two novels have been tremendously good fun and have managed to spark an addiction that I can’t see ending soon. If anyone would like to join in with the third book in the series, An Artificial Night, head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children – and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm – home of the legendary Wild Hunt – and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye – the harbinger of Toby’s own death – has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…

An Artificial Night is the third installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.heart


| Upcoming Events |

|May |

The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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In May we’re going to be enjoying the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. I’d never heard of this series before the Read Along cropped up but I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it. If you’re interested in joining in with this read along, go over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| April Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this April  – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

5th April

ItLoD

In the Labyrinth of Drakes

by Marie Brennanheart


7th April

Fellside

by M.R. Careyheart

BurnedUK300

Burned

by Benedict Jacka

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Saint's Blood

Saint’s Blood

by Sebastien de Castell

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12th April

masks-and-shadows-cover

Masks and Shadows

by Stephanie Burgis

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26th April

Sharp-Ends-FC2-3

Sharp Ends 

by Joe Abercrombie

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| April Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Roll over!

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books When You’re in the Mood for Axe-Wielding Maniacs


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books When You’re in the Mood for Axe Wielding Maniacs |

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is looking at a wondrous array of books for when you’re in the mood for… well just about anything really. So if you’re in the mood for some axe-wielding, blood-raging, battle-crying maniacs then look no further! Some of them may look nice, some of them may even be nice, but you sure as hell don’t want to be within arm’s reach of these bastards when all hell breaks loose. With more battle-axes, hand-axes and axe axes than you can shake a stick at, here is this week’s top ten:

| 1. |

JA 944076

Black Dow

The First Law

by Joe Abercrombie

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| 2 |

The Grim Company

Jerek the Wolf

The Grim Company

by Luke Scull

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| 3 |

Jean Tannen ( & The Wicked Sisters )

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence

by Scott Lynch

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| 4. |

Druss ( & Snaga )

The Drenai Saga

by David Gemmell
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| 5. |

Perrin Aybara ( & a Moon-Bladed Hand Axe )

The Wheel of Time

by Robert Jordan
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| 6. |

Barkus Jeshua ( & Brenda)

Raven’s Shadow

by Anthony Ryan
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| 7. |

Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs

The Silmarillion & The History of Middle Earth

by J.R.R. Tolkien
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| 8. |

Fitz

The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb
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| 9. |

Shagga

A Song of Ice and Fire

by George R.R. Martin

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| 10. |

Dwarves

From Everything!

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Who are your favourite axe-wielding maniacs? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Cover Reveal: Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie – US Edition


Cover Reveal


| Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie |

Last week we saw the darn right beautiful cover for Joe Abercrombie’s forthcoming collection of short stories, ‘Sharp Ends’, and this week (hurrah!) Orbit and Mr. Abercrombie have revealed the wonderfully eye-catching US edition. They’re both completely different yet manage to capture the  spirit of his writing. I love them both! The US cover, designed by Lauren Panepinto, is incredibly striking and is an edition I would love to have on my shelves… but that UK cover is hard to beat and will remain a definite favourite for some time. Take a look and see what you think.



Sharp Ends

by Joe Abercrombie

Design by Lauren Panepinto | Map by Tim Paul

Orbit – 26th April 2016


| Synopsis |

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.

Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.

Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.

And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .

Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue’s gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.


| The First Law Covers – Orbit US |


| Sharp Ends – UK vs US |


| The First Law – UK vs US |

| UK |

Sharp Ends

| US |

Orbit Covers 2


What do you think of the US cover reveal for Sharp Ends? Which is your favourite?

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Cover Reveal: Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie – UK Edition


Cover Reveal


| Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie |

Finally! We have another cover reveal and oh my, this really is a good ‘un. Gollancz and Lord Grimdark himself have recently revealed the UK artwork for Sharp Ends, a collection of short stories from The First Law Universe, and I fully expect to be overwhelmed by a multitude of bastards, rogues and dubious characters. And if that wasn’t enough, we also get to return to one of my favourite characters (from one of my favourite authors) of all time – Sand dan Glokta. Just take a look at this beautiful cover… it might just be my favourite of Abercrombie’s ever expanding repertoire.



Sharp Ends

by Joe Abercrombie

Artwork by Laura Brett and Dave Senior

Gollancz – 26th April 2016


Sharp-Ends-wraparound


| Synopsis |

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.

Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.

Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.

And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .

Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue’s gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.


| The First Law Covers – Gollancz UK |


What do you think of the cover reveal for Sharp Ends? Excited?!! Stay tuned for the US cover reveal.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Thanksgiving Bastards


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Thanksgiving Bastards |

Nothing makes a good book like a good bastard which is why, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’m choosing ten of the most greedy, selfish and devious bastards to grace my bookshelves. And I’m thankful for every single one. These are the pirates, felons and twisted torturers; the characters who do the wrong thing at every opportunity, who lie and cheat and steal yet somehow always manage to come out sunny side up. In no particular order, give thanks for these magnificent bastards:

| 1. |

Sand dan Glokta

The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

Crippled war hero. Torturer. Complete bastard. Glokta is an Inquisitor in the Union’s House of Questions who uses his cunning and intelligence to extract more than just fingernails from his guests, and he does it all with a good dose of cynicism. He is one man you do not want on the other end of the thumb screws… unless, of course, he is on your side.

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| 2. |

acok

Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Littlefinger is a sly manipulator. Cunning and ruthless, he has worked his way up from nothing to become a master of coin and court intrigue. Unfortunately for those who either cross or underestimate him, Petyr Baelish is at his best when he’s dancing his puppets on their strings… take care that you’re not one of them.

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| 3. |

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‘Gentleman’ Johnny Marcone

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Johnny Marcone, the crime lord of Chicago and ruler of its dark and (almost) human underworld is not a man you cross lightly… unless your name is Harry Dresden. Marcone is a skilful and ruthless ‘business’ man who’ll stop at nothing to get his own way. Only be careful who you cross, he might just have something which resembles a heart beneath his slick, suited and deceptively ordinary exterior.

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| 4. |

Nicomo Cosca

The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

Nicomo Cosca – soldier of fortune, womaniser, drunk. Beneath the flamboyant exterior, flaking scalp and drooping moustaches lies a treacherous snake who would sell his own mother for an extra coin. With damn good luck and a surprising talent for warfare, this repulsively lovable rogue always seems to find himself on top… with  a bottle of Styria’s finest in hand, of course.
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| 5. |

Victor Vale

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Victor Vale is not just a bastard, he’s a super-human, pain-wielding, morally deficient bastard. Sure, he might just keep you alive… if it suits him… but he’s the best of a bad-bunch-of-evil-bastards and needs must. Or so they say.

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| 6. |

Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

And you certainly can’t have a list of Bastards without including at least one Gentleman Bastard. Locke Lamora is a thief and a con-artist, a cunning liar skilled in the art of deception, and a man who could have Camorr, Tel Verarr and Karthain in his pocket if he wasn’t far better at losing all his gold than he was at making it.

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| 7. |

Thalric

Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Aggressive, driven and unflinchingly loyal to his ideals, Major Thalric of the Rekef Outlander will stop at nothing to paint The Lowlands in stripes of black and gold. With an impressive résumé which includes back-alley murders, political assassinations and a penchant for torture, this is one (of many) Wasps you don’t want in your path.

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| 8. |

Jerek Mace

Morningstar by David Gemmell

Jerek Mace is the Morningstar – a legendary hero whose defeat of evil has long been prophesised. Except Jerek Mace is a liar, a thief and a complete bastard. When avoiding his heroic duties you may find him womanising, pilfering, murdering and shamelessly running away after committing wanton acts of banditry. Behold! The hero of old!

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| 9. |

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Darian Frey

Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

Womaniser. Morally bankrupt. Thief. Bastard. Captain Darian Frey is rogue and a pirate who would quite literally steal candy from a baby… with the deepest of sympathy, of course. But be warned, accuse him of the one crime he didn’t commit and you’re going to have a whole heap of trouble on your hands.

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| 10. |

Mulch Diggums

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

And bastards aren’t just limited to books for adults either. Mulch Diggums is a kleptomaniac dwarf who comes in handy in a tight spot but not without making you pay for it again… and again… and again. Under a myriad of aliases Diggums, his repulsive body odour and what can only be called a ‘bum-flap’ take breaking and entering to a whole new level. Easy-Breezy.

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Who is your favourite literary bastard? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See |

Having not read half the books which are soon to become films, this week’s Top Ten will be looking at the book to movie adaptations I would love to see. These are the books that would make incredible films, fantastic TV series and fill that empty hole left when you finish them. So without further ado, here are this week’s Top Ten:

| 1. |

Dissolution

by C.J. Sansom

The Matthew Shardlake novels would be an amazing series of films. Murder, mystery and a crime solving lawyer in the heart of Tudor England – what’s not to love?! This would make a cracking series too.

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| 2. |

The Blade Itself

by Joe Abercrombie

Couldn’t resist throwing in The Blade Itself. How awesome would Glokta be?! And surely we need a great anti-hero movie, everything’s always a bit Mary Sue on the big screen.

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| 3. |

Rivers of London

by Ben Aaronovitch

A film following Peter Grant as he discovers there’s an even darker and more dangerous side to London – yes please! Gods and goddesses, riots and rebellions, wizards and vampires – I can see the whole series of films!

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| 4. |

Red Rising

by Pierce Brown

This book would just have to work on the big screen! It’s got everything – an awesome angst filled hero, an abundance of oppressed masses and more evil overlords than you can shake a stick at.heart

| 5. |

Vicious

by V.E. Schwab

What an awesome movie this would make! The super-anti-hero needs a place on our screens and Eli Cardale and Victor Vale fit the bill perfectly.

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| 6. |

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A Darker Shade of Magic

by V.E. Schwab

And of course A Darker Shade of Magic would make the cut too! I would love to see Schwab’s Londons up on the big screen – the sumptuous and rich Red London, the gritty and bleak Grey London, the harsh and cruel White London, and the mysterious and dark Black London.

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| 7. |

Company of Liars

by Karen Maitland

It’s 1348, England, and nine strangers are trying to outrun the plague. Except they’re being picked off one by one and the most likely villain is already part of their group. Everyone’s a liar, no one can be trusted, and this would make an awesome film!

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| 8. |

The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

A swashbuckling, sword-fighting, rip-roaring tale of misadventure – this would be an incredible adaptation. Not least because Camorr would be like Venice on acid.

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| 9. |

Ship of Magic

by Robin Hobb

The Liveship Traders trilogy is a beautiful fantasy adventure. With (Live)ships, pirates and a courageous heroine, this would surely be a fantastic adaptation.

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| 10. |

The Final Empire

by Brandon Sanderson

And my list of movies wouldn’t be complete without throwing the Mistborn series in there. With one of the most unique magic systems in fantasy fiction, one which would showcase the most amazing fight scenes, this film would surely be a hit. Even if the film was only half as good as the books.

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Which books would you love to see made into movies? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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