Tag Archives: Coming of age

Ghosts In The Yew by Blake Hausladen : Review

11987187

A novel of violent magic, intrigue, and statecraft, Ghosts in the Yew is the story of four who are banished beyond the edge of the map to a land of gnarled forests, ancient magic, and the site of a terrible murder. Their struggles to survive will put them at odds with their families, their nation, and the very powers that shaped the world.

I have decided that when everyone you meet at a convention is telling you to meet this author and to read his book that you should definitely listen to them. I was worried that they had set the bar just a little too high with everything they had said about it, but I’m glad I was not disappointed in the least. I think Blake Hausladen is going to be an author to keep an eye on, his first book Ghosts in the Yew was everything people told me it would be and more. It has been weeks since I finished it and I still catch myself drifting off into daydreams about it as I walk to or from work.  Ghosts in the Yew is what I wish every self-published book I’ve read could be.

I don’t know if it’s what the author intended, but at its heart I found this book to be the coming-of-age story of Barok, one of the many selfish and self-centered princes of Zoviya. When one of Barok’s political schemes to ruin his brother Yarik goes awry Barok finds himself exiled to the the long abandoned and ill kept  boundaries of the kingdom. He’s joined by his new drunken Alsman Leger and the beautiful but naive Dia as they struggle to survive without the support of the rest of the kingdom and they soon find themselves preparing to fight a secret war at the same time.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book for me was the fact that is told in the first person, but from the perspective of four separate point of view characters, something I don’t think I’ve seen done outside of a few YA books. I was a bit worried that the view points would just blend together and I would find myself struggling to keep track of who’s view point I was reading at the time, but Blake does a great job of giving each of the characters their own unique voice that stands out from each of the others.

I found it just a little too easy to get lost in the story that Ghosts in the Yew was telling, which to me, is one of the greatest signs of a good story and author. I remember sitting down to read a little bit of the story and get an early feel for what I would think of it and got hooked. Fast forward five or six hours and you would see the panic set in when I realized I had to be to work in just a couple more hours. It was not the panic for the lack of sleep though, it was the panic that sets in when I realize I would have to stop reading a good book and go join the real world once again. I really did not want to be left wondering just how the story ended all day at work.

.I ended up taking the book with me to read on my lunch break– something I haven’t done with a physical book in a very long time. I would strongly suggest this book to just about anyone who enjoys fantasy, it is both money and time well spent in my opinion. I’ve been eying the sequel sitting on my book shelf since I finished it, but I feel the need to ration out the story over the weeks to come, or I may regret reading it so fast.


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett : Review

This post may contain slight spoilers for earlier books. Read my review of the first novel, The Warded Man here

On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.

Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.

Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all—those lurking in the human heart. – source

I was admittedly sceptical of this novel, because while I absolutely loved Brett’s debut novel, The Warded Man, the sequel to it — The Desert Spear failed to live up to my expectations, and was an unsatisfying read in comparison to the first; falling short of the novel’s potential. Fortunately, my scepticism wasn’t needed as Brett’s latest novel proved to be a gripping read, and a fantastic addition to its predecessors’, with its great back story and fantastic battle scenes.

One thing that I have to mention though, was that my main issue with The Desert Spear (which continues to be an issue in this latest instalment in the Demon Cycle) was the imbalance of power.

There are characters which (for lack of a better word) are perfect. They’re strong; they can deal with anything, and do absolutely anything. Arlen is especially vexing at times due to that, especially as some of his abilities begin to manifest and gain potency.

An example of this is the Corelings — in the first book, they were invincible, impossibly strong and deadly creatures, by the end of the second book they can pretty much be killed with a look. He does remedy that a bit in this novel, reintroducing the element of fear, even from the “super-powers”.

That imbalance of power can be a bit of a stint when reading Brett’s Demon Cycle. Despite this, it’s enjoyable to follow along their adventure, and his characters are ones that are easy to care about and they’re fun to read,

The Daylight War is easily one of the top 5 novels I’ve read this past year. Readers of Brett’s Demon Cycle have a lot to look forward to in February. I can say with complete confidence that Brett has outdone himself, and this latest instalment surpasses The Desert Spear, and is perhaps even better than The Warded Man (which is one of my favourite fantasy novels).

With his breath-taking descriptions, epic battle scenes (that’ll make you say “Damn! That’d look epic on the big screen” — Rojer and his music continue to be an amazing addition.), the powers that shape the world, and of course, keeping with the theme of the series, Brett tells yet another amazing coming of age story, this time of Jardir’s wife, Inevera.

The Daylight War, Book Three of The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett is a fast-paced, action-packed and exhilaratingly detailed novel that will leave readers breathless and in eager anticipation for more.

The Daylight War will be released February 12th.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 


%d bloggers like this: