Mark Z. Danielewski contest winner!

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Pantheon Books, our winner will receive a copy of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Brett Jamen, from Highland Village, Texas, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Until June 12th, you can download the first volume of Bradley P. Beaulieu's The Lays of Anuskaya, the excellent The Winds of Khalakovo, for only 0.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Among inhospitable and unforgiving seas stands Khalakovo, a mountainous archipelago of seven islands, its prominent eyrie stretching a thousand feet into the sky. Serviced by windships bearing goods and dignitaries, Khalakovo’s eyrie stands at the crossroads of world trade. But all is not well in Khalakovo. Conflict has erupted between the ruling Landed, the indigenous Aramahn, and the fanatical Maharraht, and a wasting disease has grown rampant over the past decade. Now, Khalakovo is to play host to the Nine Dukes, a meeting which will weigh heavily upon Khalakovo’s future.

When an elemental spirit attacks an incoming windship, murdering the Grand Duke and his retinue, Prince Nikandr, heir to the scepter of Khalakovo, is tasked with finding the child prodigy believed to be behind the summoning. However, Nikandr discovers that the boy is an autistic savant who may hold the key to lifting the blight that has been sweeping the islands. Can the Dukes, thirsty for revenge, be held at bay? Can Khalakovo be saved? The elusive answer drifts upon the Winds of Khalakovo. . .

The second installment, The Straits of Galahesh, is also available for 1.99$ here, as is the third volume, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh here.


In addition, you can also download Beaulieu's collection of short fiction, Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten, for only 0.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

With The Winds of Khalakovo, Bradley P. Beaulieu established himself as a talented new voice in epic fantasy.

With his premiere short story collection, Beaulieu demonstrates his ability to weave tales that explore other worlds in ways that are at once bold, imaginative, and touching.

Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten and Other Stories contains 17 stories that range from the epic to the heroic, some in print for the first time.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Garth Nix's Sabriel for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Game of Thrones fans will love the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen series. Sabriel, the first installment in the trilogy, launched critically acclaimed author Garth Nix onto the fantasy scene as a rising star.

Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . .

Anthony Ryan contest winner!

This lucky winner will get his hands on my ARC of Anthony Ryan's Queen of Fire! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Colin Sawyers, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


I don't know why the digital editions of Guy Gavriel Kay's novels are so expensive, but that's the way it is. =( One of his signature works, The Lions of Al-Rassan, is available for a limited time for 6.99$ here. Considering that all of his other books go for 10$-16$ a piece, it's a very good deal!

Here's the blurb:

The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan -- poet, diplomat, soldier -- until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.

Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites' most celebrated -- and feared -- military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.

In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve -- for a time -- the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate -- and increasingly torn by her feelings -- is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.

Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is both a brilliant adventure and a deeply compelling story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake -- or destroy -- a world.

John Birmingham contest winners!

These lucky winners will receive a copy of John Birmingham's Emergence: Dave vs the Monsters, compliments of the folks at Del Rey. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winners are:

- Andrew O’Higgins, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

- Jonathan Williamson, from Keller, Texas, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


For a limited time, you can get your hands on the digital edition of Martha Wells' Stories of the Raksura for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

In “The Falling World,” Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort, Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

“The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With two brand-new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell . . .

Quote of the Day

"Kid," I said, smiling, "no one loves broccoli. No one even likes broccoli. All the grown-ups just agree to lie about it so that we can make kids eat it, in vengeance for what our parents did to us."

- JIM BUTCHER, Working for Bigfoot (Canada, USA, Europe, and Subterranean Press)

The Liar's Key


With The Broken Empire, Mark Lawrence instantly established himself as one of the most prominent grimdark authors out there. So when I heard that his next trilogy would be "lighter" and feature a more endearing main character than Jorg Ancrath, I was concerned that this new series wouldn't be as interesting and satisfying as its predecessor. Needless to say, I was relieved when Prince of Fools turned out to be Lawrence's most accessible and fun-filled novel to date.

My only complaint was that the first installment in The Red Queen's War wasn't as as complex and multilayered as The Broken Empire. Hence, I was looking for the author to up his game and raise the bar in the second volume, and boy did Lawrence take the ball and ran with it. The Liar's Key is Mark Lawrence's most solid effort thus far!

Here's the blurb:

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s Key, an artefact capable of opening any door, and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including The Dead King.

Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen continues to manipulate kings and pawns towards an endgame of her own design…

Worldbuilding didn't play much of a role in Prince of Fools. Probably due to the fac that a lot of groundwork had already been laid out in the original series, the author didn't let the setting intrude on the storytelling. And though acting thus helps with characterization and in setting a fluid pace, I felt as though the first volume didn't resound with as much depth as the previous trilogy. But The Liar's Key is Lawrence's longest work to date, so I was hoping that he would flesh out most of the plotlines and the back story, and by doing so demonstrate that this second series shows as much depth as Jorg's tale. Once again, Jalan and Snorri embark on a long and perilous journey, one that will bring them close to the dangerous Wheel of Osheim. There are several flashback scenes that elaborate on the Red Queen's past and the death of Jalan's mother, and it's in those particular sequences that Lawrence truly shines. Not only does it provide more depth for the entire series, it confirms that the overall story arc is as intricately plotted and multilayered as the one which made The Broken Empire such a memorable tale. The author expands on the legacy of the Builders and we are introduced to some of their artifacts such as fones, devices that allowed their bearers to talk to the gods. While Prince of Fools turned out to be an introduction meant to establish the characters and the various plotlines, The Liar's Key elevates this series to new heights and sets the stage for what should be an unforgettable finale in The Wheel of Osheim.

Prince Jalan Kendeth, a heavy-drinking coward, gambler, and womanizer, was a world away from Jorg. Being such a flawed characters made Jalan easy to root for. Not the sharpest tool in the shed and with a knack to turn most bad situations into even worse ones, following his misadventures was a veritable joy! Tempered by the events chronicled in Prince of Fools and their aftermath, Jalan is shocked to discover that he is developing somewhat of a conscience from time to time. Which will land him in trouble time and again. Devastated by the death of everyone he holds dear, Snorri's disposition remains gloomy and melancholy throughout the book. After all, he is now on a quest to open Death's door to be reunited with his family, even if his own life is forfeit. The back-and-forth between the giant Norse warrior and Jal may not be as fun as in the first installment, but Jalan's first-person narrative continues to be as entertaining as ever. A number of interesting characters make up the supporting cast, chief among them Kara, Tuttugu, and Hennan, who accompany them on their journey. And even though we only see her in a number of flashback scenes, Alica Kendeth, whose gamble would earn her the name of Red Queen, leaves an indelible mark on this story.

Although The Liar's Key is Lawrence's longest book to date, this doesn't have any influence on its rhythm. Indeed, this novel is a real page-turner! It's everything Prince of Fools was and then some! The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, but one that will have every fan clamoring for the final volume!

As was the case with its predecessor, The Liar's Key shares the same dark roots which gave The Broken Empire its unique flavor, yet it's not as dark and grim in its execution. Grimdark fans will nevertheless get their fill, while the lighter style and tone will appeal to those who usually find grimdark titles off-putting.

The Liar's Key shows a Mark Lawrence writing at the top of his game. Vaster in scope than any of his previous endeavors, this book cements the author's place among not only the very best grimdark authors on the market today, but the best fantasy authors out there, period. Writing with panache and aplomb, with The Red Queen's War Lawrence continues to make a name for himself. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, his name will become synonymous with fun and compelling reading experiences. Hearing people discussing Lawrence's books at a recent convention, George R. R. Martin asked if they were talking about "that thorn guy?" Well, if Lawrence keeps this up, everyone will soon know who that thorn guy is!

Definitely one of the fantasy novels to read in 2015!

The final verdict: 8.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Probably due to the new TV trailer, once again you can download Lev Grossman's The Magicians for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Quentin Coldwater is a brilliant but unhappy young man growing up in Brooklyn, NY. At 17, he remains obsessed with the fantasy novels he read as a child, set in the magical land of Fillory. One day, returning home from a college interview gone awry, he finds himself whisked to Brakebills, an exclusive college for wizards hidden in upstate New York. And so begins THE MAGICIANS, the thrilling and original novel of fantasy and disenchantment by Lev Grossman, author of the international bestseller Codex and book critic for TIME magazine.

At Brakebills, Quentin learns to cast spells. He makes friends and falls in love. He transforms into animals and gains powers of which he never dreamed. Still, magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he thought it would, and four years later, he finds himself back in Manhattan, living an aimless, hedonistic existence born of apathy, boredom and the ability to conjure endless sums of money out of thin air.

One afternoon, hung over and ruing some particularly foolish behavior, Quentin is surprised by the sudden arrival of his Brakebills friend and rival Penny, who announces that Fillory is real. This news promises to finally fulfill Quentin’s yearning, but their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than Quentin could have imagined. His childhood dream is a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, THE MAGICIANS pays intentional homage to the beloved fantasy novels of C. S. Lewis, T.H. White and J.K. Rowling, but does much more than enlarge the boundaries of conventional fantasy writing. By imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions, Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

Win a copy of Mark Lawrence's PRINCE OF FOOLS


I have five copies of the mass market edition of Mark Lawrence's Prince of Fools up for grabs, compliments of the folks at Ace. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Here's the blurb:

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that will affect him—but he is wrong.

After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war—and the Red Queen controls the board.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "FOOLS." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

The Problem With the Backlash to the Game of Thrones Rape Scene


Time.com recently posted an interesting article titled "The Problem With the Backlash to the Game of Thrones Rape Scene" by Cathy Young.

Here's an extract:

Gender issues in popular culture are a valid topic of discussion, and feminist discourse can be a corrective to sexist cultural clichés; but when such discourse becomes one-sided and driven by knee-jerk outrage, it can turn into an ideological diktat that is bad for art and bad for gender fairness.

[...]

The contrast between the outrage on behalf of female victims and the blasé attitude toward violence (even sexual violence) toward males ironically replicates a quintessentially patriarchal trope: the assumption that women are fragile creatures who deserve special protection and greater sympathy if they are mistreated.

[...]

Should we disregard sexism in entertainment? No, of course not. But awareness should not turn into obsessive hyper-vigilance, or selective (that is, sexist) concern with the pain and suffering of female characters.

Follow this link to read the full piece.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


There's a pretty good deal on the other side of the pond. You can download the first volume in Bernard Cornwell's The Warrior Chronicles, The Last Kingdom, for only £0.95 here.

Here's the blurb:

The first book in Bernard Cornwell’s number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault.

The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance.

The Last Kingdom, like most of Bernard Cornwell's books, is firmly based on true history. It is the first novel of a series that will tell the tale of Alfred the Great and his descendants and of the enemies they faced, Viking warriors like Ivar the Boneless and his feared brother, Ubba. Against their lives Bernard Cornwell has woven a story of divided loyalties, reluctant love and desperate heroism. In Uhtred, he has created one of his most interesting and heroic characters and in The Last Kingdom one of his most powerful and passionate novels.

And you can also get your hands on the second installment, The Pale Horseman, for only £0.99 here!

Extract from Chris Beckett's MOTHER OF EDEN


Here's a teaser extract from Chris Beckett's Mother of Eden, compliments of the folks at Broadway Books! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”

Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.

Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.

Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all. When young Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no inkling that she will become a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s fabled ring on her own finger—or that in this role, powerful and powerless all at once, she will try to change the course of Eden’s history.

Enjoy!
-------------------------

Glitterfish Brooking

The trouble began on the waking I left Mikey with his dad on the Sand for the first time, and went out gathering bark with my uncle Dixon, my brother Johnny, and my sister Starlight. Johnny had just come back over from Nob Head, and as we paddled through the trees, he told us the news he’d heard there.

“I’ll tell you a really interesting thing,” he said.

Hmmmph hmmmph hmmmph went the tall trees in the water all round us. Everything was the same as it had always been. The sky was black above us. The treelanterns shone. The wavyweed glowed beneath the water.

“Yeah, a really strange thing,” Johnny said. “I didn’t know what to make of it. I was speaking to that guy Harry over there—you know, old clawfoot Harry with the missing fingers?—and he said that blokes have been coming over to Mainground lately from right across far side of Worldpool. Not to Nob Head itself, mind you, but further down alpway to places like Veeklehouse and Brown River. And, if you can believe this, he said they bring metal with them. Not bits of metal from Earth, but metal they’ve found for themselves in the ground here in Eden.” “Oh, Gela’s heart,” I whispered, suddenly full of dread.

Johnny’s news felt to me like the breeze that came in from Deep Darkness before a storm: It was nothing in itself—all it did was make the lanternflowers sway a little on their branches—but you knew it was just the start. Metal meant change. Metal was some thing to fight over, like the followers of John and David used to fight and fight over that metal ring from Earth. I thought of my little Mikey back on the Sand, and I imagined a storm of blood breaking over him.

But Dixon just laughed.

“You don’t want to believe everything Harry says. He’d tell you a starship had come from Earth if he thought you’d swallow it.”

Splash splash splash went our paddles. And behind the rhythm of our paddles, which was a sound that stopped and started, came and went, was that older rhythm, which never never changed. Hmmmmph hmmmmph hmmmmph went the trees, as they pumped their sap down to the heat of Underworld, far far below.

“It could be true, Uncle,” Starlight said.

She looked at our uncle with those beautiful, sharp gray eyes of hers that always seemed to see right through you. People told me mine were the same, but of course I’d never seen them.

“We know John Redlantern set out to cross Worldpool, don’t we?” she pointed out. “Him and some other Johnfolk. When they got tired of all the fighting on Mainground after Breakup.”

Dixon snorted.

“Yeah. They set out in little log-boats to cross Deep Darkness. But you know what it’s like out there, Starlight. You know how big the waves are. No way could they have made it. No way. Their bones are somewhere out there on the bottom, no doubt about it, along with John’s precious ring.”

“We’ve always thought that,” Starlight said, “because no one has heard from them since. But perhaps they made it after all?”

A little jewel-bat came darting by us just above the water, trail ing its tiny fingertips in the smooth surface.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” said Johnny. “And it wasn’t just Harry who told me. Another guy said the same thing: John and the others did make it across Worldpool, and they figured out how to get metal from the ground.”

“And who was this other bloke, exactly?” Dixon asked with a knowing smile. “Not Harry’s batfaced friend Dave, by any chance?”

Johnny’s face went a bit red.

“Well, yeah, it was Dave, actually. But still. It could be true.”

Again Uncle Dixon snorted.

“It could be. Anything could be, but I’m sure it’s not. Even if John’s lot did make it to the other side, which I’m sure they didn’t, why would they come back? Whole point of going there was to make a new start without the Davidfolk to fight against.”

Splash splash splash. We paddled on. All around us the tall knee trees rose up, straight at first, then bending over toward Main ground and letting down their greeny-yellow lanternflowers over the shallow water. They made me think of mothers bending down over their children. But that waking, when I’d left Mikey behind for the first time, everything made me think of mums and kids.

Johnny had had me worried for a moment, but Dixon made me feel better. It was just a silly story, I decided, and I started to enjoy myself again, out on the water with the lanternflowers and their reflections all around me.

When we were kids, Mum used to tell us to half close our eyes and pretend we were in a starship with the lanternflowers as stars. And in few wombtimes, I would play that same game with Mikey. I imagined him screwing up his little eyes, just like Starlight used to do when she was little. It felt good good, thinking about those childhood pleasures coming round again, specially when I knew I’d give Mikey many many more of them than our mum had been able to give to us.

Uncle Dixon stopped paddling.

“That’s the first one,” he said. “That ought to be good and ready.”

There was a tree ahead of us that had a long oval cut into its bark right at the place where the trunk bent over: the knee, as we called it. We took the boat up to it and Uncle Dixon heaved himself over the side while the three of us leaned the other way to keep the balance. “Come on then, you lot,” he said. “Let’s get on with it.”

Reprinted from MOTHER OF EDEN Copyright © 2015 by Chris Beckett. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (May 18th)

In hardcover:

Charlaine Harris’ Day Shift debuts at number 15.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian maintains its position at number 6 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up one position, ending the week at number 6.

Stephen King's Revival debuts at number 8 (trade paperback).

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is up six spots, finishing the week at number 10 (trade paperback).

Quote of the Day

The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

- NEAL STEPHENSON, Seveneves (Canada, USA, Europe)

Hannu Rajaniemi contest winner!

This lucky winner will get his hands on my ARC of Hannu Rajaniemi's Collected Fiction! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Joshua Carter, from Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Mark T. Barnes' The Garden of Stones for 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

When the Shrīanese Empire explodes into civil war, fighters of all kinds flock to the banners of their lords. Indris, a skilled swordsman and brilliant sorcerer, seeks to end the bloodshed once and for all. He knows this war is simply a ruse—a power play by a ruling Family desperate to take control of the Empire by any means necessary. Indris cares little for the politics except to see that justice is upheld. But even he can't see the terrible price his opponents are willing to pay to secure their legacy.

A true epic, the first book in the Echoes of Empire series creates a spellbinding new world. With its twisted politics, new races, compelling heroes and villains, and unique magic, The Garden of Stones is a lyrical fantasy on the grandest scale.

And you can also get your hands on the sequel, The Obsidian Heart, for the same price here, as well as the third volume, The Pillars of Sand, here.

Extract from Lou Anders' NIGHTBORN


Thanks to the folks at Crown Books for Young Readers, here's an extract from Lou Anders' Nightborn. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Enjoy
-----------------------------

“Greetings, Mouse,” said the dragon with a smile.

Karn’s hand instinctively dropped to the pommel of his sword. Orm’s large eyes followed the motion. The dragon’s pupils narrowed. Karn realized how useless Whitestorm would be against the enormous creature. Orm could roast him alive or swallow him whole before his blade even cleared its sheath. He forced his fingers to relax, staring back at the dragon and waiting to see what would happen next. The dragon’s response was the last thing he’d expected.

Orm laughed.

“Your pardon, Karn Korlundsson,” the great linnorm said, the rumble of his humor echoing off the coliseum walls and setting all the stonework vibrating, “but you should see your face.”

“My face? What?” stammered Karn. His cheeks burned as he realized the dragon was having him on. He felt both relieved and embarrassed. “You mean you’re not—?”

“Hungry?” said Orm with a wicked smile. He laughed again. “No, why would I go through the bother of fetching you all the way from Bense just to eat you? Don’t flatter yourself you’re that appetizing a meal, young Norrønur.”

“I guess I can live with not being tasty,” Karn said. “But why bring me here? What do you want?”

“Why, to talk,” said Orm.

This was another surprise in a day full of surprises. And while Karn was glad not to be on the dinner menu, conversations with dragons weren’t exactly known for being risk free. Still, he was curious. One question presented itself immediately. He gestured to the wyvern where it perched in the coliseum stands, watching them both.

“How did you get that one to catch me? How did you even know where it was?”

“Good, good,” said the dragon, clapping his foreclaws. “Intelligent questions. I expected no less, and I do hate being disappointed. I used the Horn of Osius, of course.”

“You know its name now?” said Karn, who didn’t recall that Orm had ever been told the name of Thianna’s horn. Also, the horn had been destroyed. Thianna said that Orm had taken care of it quite permanently. “But didn’t you—?”

“Swallow it? Yes.” Orm shifted, showing off more of his long, snakelike body. “And I have learned a good deal about the hateful thing since I devoured it. I discovered its name, a bit of its purpose. . . . . I have even absorbed a little of its power. What is it that they say? You are what you eat, after all.”

“You can do that?”

Orm just flicked a tongue in response.

“Okay, you can. So you used the horn’s power to call this wyvern. Then you compelled it to go after me.”

Orm smiled.

“Bravo. I knew not roasting you in flame was a good idea.”

“I’m glad you think so,” said Karn. “But why? I don’t mean about the roasting. I mean the fetching and talking bit.”

For answer, the dragon ran his great tongue around inside his lips, worrying at something lodged in his enormous teeth.

Orm leaned forward—Karn jumped a little at this; he couldn’t help himself—and thrust his snout close to Karn’s own face. Karn felt the heat and rotten-meat smell of the dragon’s breath. Then Orm curled an upper lip aside and spat something out sideways at the boy’s feet.

Karn looked down at the saliva-drenched mess before him. It looked like clothing, no, armor—black leather armor with yellow patterns. He recognized it.

“That’s Svartálfar armor,” exclaimed Karn. “Dark elves.”

The dark elves—actually they had pale white skin but dark eyes and dark hair—were a subterranean species who dwelled deep under the mountains in southwestern Norrøngard. They were rarely seen on the surface. In the past, open wars had been fought between the humans of Norrøngard and the elves of the Svartálfaheim Mountains. These days there was an uneasy truce, and encounters with the elves were rare.

“The Svartálfar came poking around my coliseum,” explained Orm. “Something they haven’t dared do in centuries.”

“So you ate them?” said Karn, his stomach churning at the thought.

“Naturally,” said the dragon. “Though not before I learned what they were after.”

“The horn?” guessed Karn. “You’re sure? They told you?”

The dragon smiled. “Well, as you yourself know from experience, I do so like to play with my food.”

Karn gulped. He did know this was true.

“They must have been disappointed to learn you’d swallowed the only horn.”

“I’m sure they were,” said the dragon. “Though I supposed that in a way they found what they were looking for.” Orm chuckled at his own joke. “But that’s not the important bit,” he continued. “What you should be paying attention to is this: they didn’t believe it was the only one.”

Karn stood straighter at this revelation.

“Not the only one? You mean there’s another Horn of Osius? Oh no!”

“Oh no, indeed.” Orm’s eyes narrowed. The previous horn had allowed Thianna to get inside Orm’s mind. This had made the dragon uncomfortable. But if someone were to really master the horn, they might be able to control Orm the way he compelled the wyvern. The great linnorm had destroyed a city and devoured legions of soldiers in his youth. If the dark elves—or anyone else—got their hands on another horn, they could turn Orm into a weapon of devastating, unstoppable power.

“Before it went down, my food told me that a second group of dark elves have been sent south to search for another horn.”

“Where?”

Orm nosed at the gnawed armor at Karn’s feet. Karn looked again and saw a metal scroll case amid the debris.

“Open it,” said the dragon.

Frowning at the wet, warm spit on its surface, Karn took the scroll case and popped the lid. Reaching in, he withdrew a yellowed parchment. “Can you read?” Orm asked.

“Yes,” said Karn, irked by the question, even though literacy wasn’t common among the Norrønir.

“Then do so now.”

Karn squinted his eyes at the rune markings. The daylight was fast ending, and the setting sun had dipped past the edge of the high coliseum walls.

“It’s a little dark.”

Orm spat again, and Karn really did jump as a small fireball erupted from the dragon’s mouth. The flame burned where it struck, a wad of sizzling, molten spit that cast a circle of reddish light.

“Is that adequate?” Orm asked with mock politeness.

“It’ll do.” Glaring first at the dragon for startling him, Karn turned his attention to the paper. Neither the parchment nor the writing was particularly old. So it wasn’t ancient or valuable. Someone had copied this down recently. That meant what it said was more important than what it was. He studied the words.

“It looks like a riddle,” Karn said.

“Read it aloud,” Orm commanded.

Karn did so.

“First to a Castle in the Briars,
Where ends all of life’s desires.
Over Oak and under Corn,
There to seek the soundless Horn.”

Karn looked up.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “What does this mean?”

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Dave Hutchinson's Europe in Autumn for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Rudi is a cook in a Kraków restaurant, but when his boss asks Rudi to help a cousin escape from the country he’s trapped in, a new career – part spy, part people-smuggler – begins. Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation Les Coureurs des Bois, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested and beaten, and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue.

With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him. With kidnapping, double-crosses and a map that constantly re-draws itself, Europe in Autumn is a science fiction thriller like no other.

Win a copy of Neal Stephenson's SEVENEVES


I have three copies of Neal Stephenson's Seveneves up for grabs, compliments of the folks at William Morrow. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "SEVENEVES." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now download Chris Beckett's Dark Eden for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family take shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark...and discover the truth about their world.

Already remarkably acclaimed in the United Kingdom, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature: part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty and rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.

Melanie Rawn contest winner!

Our winner will receive a full set of Melanie Rawn's Glass Thorns series, courtesy of the folks at Tor Books.

The prize pack includes:

- Touchstone
- Elsewhens
- Thornlost
- Window Wall

The winner is:

- Jamieson Cobleigh, from Ashland, Maine, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Maurice Druon's The Accursed Kings King was an inspiration for George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. And for a limited time, you can download the digital edition of the omnibus containing the first three volumes of the series -- The Iron King, The Strangled Queen, and The Poisoned Crown -- for only 3.99$ here.

Here's the blurb for the first volume:

‘This is the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin

From the publishers that brought you A Game of Thrones comes the series that inspired George R.R. Martin’s epic work.

France became a great nation under Philip the Fair – but it was a greatness achieved at the expense of her people, for his was a reign characterised by violence, the scandalous adulteries of his daughters-in-law, and the triumph of royal authority.


You can now download Charlie N. Holmberg's The Paper Magician for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

Ken Liu contest winner!

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Saga Press, our winner will receive a copy of Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Troy Pollex, from Macomb, Michigan, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (May 11th)

In hardcover:

Paul S. Kemp's Lords of the Sith debuts at number 17.

In paperback:

Andy Weir's The Martian is down one position, ending the week at number 6 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones maintains its position at number 7.

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is down eight spots, finishing the week at number 16 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can get your hands on Robert Jackson Bennett's The Company Man for only 3.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The year is 1919.

The McNaughton Corporation is the pinnacle of American industry. They built the guns that won the Great War before it even began. They built the airships that tie the world together. And, above all, they built Evesden-a shining metropolis, the best that the world has to offer.

But something is rotten at the heart of the city. Deep underground, a trolley car pulls into a station with eleven dead bodies inside. Four minutes before, the victims were seen boarding at the previous station. Eleven men butchered by hand in the blink of an eye. All are dead. And all are union.

Now, one man, Cyril Hayes, must fix this. There is a dark secret behind the inventions of McNaughton and with a war brewing between the executives and the workers, the truth must be discovered before the whole city burns. Caught between the union and the company, between the police and the victims, Hayes must uncover the mystery before it kills him.

Extract from Mark Lawrence's THE LIAR'S KEY


Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Ace, here's a teaser extract from Mark Lawrence's The Liar's Key. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s Key, an artefact capable of opening any door, and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including The Dead King.

Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen continues to manipulate kings and pawns towards an endgame of her own design…

I have less than one hundred pages to go and thus far it's been Lawrence's best novel to date!

Enjoy!
----------------------

Two men in a room of many doors. One tall in his robes, stern, marked with cruelty and intelligence, the other shorter, very lean, his hair a shock of surprise, his garb a changing motley confusing the eye.

The short man laughs, a many-angled sound as likely to kill birds in flight as to bring blossom to the bough.

“I have summoned you!” The tall man, teeth gritted as if still straining to hold the other in place, though his hands are at his side.

“A fine trick, Kelem.”

“You know me?”

“I know everyone.” A sharp grin. “You’re the door-mage.”

“And you are?”

“Ikol.” His clothes change, tattered yellow checks on blue where before it was scarlet fleur de lis on grey. “Olik.” He smiles a smile that dazzles and cuts. “Loki, if you likey.”

“Are you a god, Loki?” No humour in Kelem, only command. Command and a great and terrible concentration in stone-grey eyes.

“No.” Loki spins, regarding the doors. “But I’ve been known to lie.”

“I called on the most powerful—”

“You don’t always get what you want.” Almost sing-song. “But sometimes you get what you need. You got me.”

“You are a god?”

“Gods are dull. I’ve stood before the throne. Wodin sits there, old one-eye, with his ravens whispering into each ear.” Loki smiles. “Always the ravens. Funny how that goes.”

“I need—”

“Men don’t know what they need. They barely know what they want. Wodin, father of storms, god of gods, stern and wise. But mostly stern. You’d like him. And watching—always watching—oh the things that he has seen!” Loki spins to take in the room. “Me, I’m just a jester in the hall where the world was made. I caper, I joke, I cut a jig. I’m of little importance. Imagine though . . . if it were I that pulled the strings and made the gods dance. What if at the core, if you dug deep enough, uncovered every truth . . . what if at the heart of it all . . . there was a lie, like a worm at the centre of the apple, coiled like Oroborus, just as the secret of men hides coiled at the centre of each piece of you, no matter how fine you slice? Wouldn’t that be a fine joke now?”

Kelem frowns at this nonsense, then with a quick shake of his head returns to his purpose. “I made this place. From my failures.” He gestures at the doors. Thirteen, lined side by side on each wall of an otherwise bare room. “These are doors I can’t open. You can leave here, but no door will open until every door is unlocked. I made it so.” A single candle lights the chamber, dancing as the occupants move, their shadows leaping to its tune.

“Why would I want to leave?” A goblet appears in Loki’s hand, silver and overflowing with wine as dark and red as blood. He takes a sip.

“I command you by the twelve arch-angels of—”

“Yes, yes.” Loki waves away the conjuring. The wine darkens until it’s a black that draws the eye and blinds it. So black that the silver tarnishes and corrupts. So black it is nothing but the absence of light. And suddenly it’s a key. A black glass key.

“Is that . . .” there’s a hunger in the door-mage’s voice” . . . will it open them?”

“I should hope so.” Loki spins the key around his fingers.

“What key is that? Not Acheron’s? Taken from heaven when—”

“It’s mine. I made it. Just now.”

“How do you know it will open them?” Kelem’s gaze sweeps the room.

“It’s a good key.” Loki meets the mage’s eyes. “It’s every key. Every key that was and is, every key that will be, every key that could be.”

“Give it to—”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Loki walks to the nearest door and sets his fingers to it. “This one.” Each door is plain and wooden but when he touches it this door becomes a sheet of black glass, unblemished and gleaming. “This is the tricky one.” Loki sets his palm to the door and a wheel appears. An eight-spoked wheel of the same black glass, standing proud of the surface, as if by turning it one might unlock and open the door. Loki doesn’t touch it. Instead he taps his key to the wall beside it and the whole room changes. Now it is a high vault, clean lines, walls of poured stone, a huge and circular silver-steel door in the ceiling. The light comes from panels set into the walls. A corridor leads off, stretching further than the eye can see. Thirteen silver-steel arches stand around the margins of the vault, each a foot from the wall, each filled with a shimmering light, as if moonbeams dance across water. Save for the one before Loki, which is black, a crystal surface fracturing the light then swallowing it. “Open this door and the world ends.”

The Border


After finishing up that Alastair Reynolds novella, I was in the mood for something different. And when the Subpress ARC of Robert McCammon's The Border showed up in my mailbox, the premise immediately piqued my curiosity and I knew that this was the next book I'd read. I really enjoyed McCammon's The Five a few years back, so I was keen to give his newest work a shot.

Here's the blurb:

World Fantasy award-winning, bestselling author Robert McCammon makes a triumphant return to the epic horror and apocalyptic tone reminiscent of his books Swan Song and Stinger in this gripping new novel, The Border, a saga of an Earth devastated by a war between two marauding alien civilizations.

But it is not just the living ships of the monstrous Gorgons or the motion-blurred shock troops of the armored Cyphers that endanger the holdouts in the human bastion of Panther Ridge. The world itself has turned against the handful of survivors, as one by one they succumb to despair and suicide or, even worse, are transformed by otherworldly pollution into hideous Gray Men, cannibalistic mutants driven by insatiable hunger. Into these desperate circumstances comes an amnesiac teenaged boy who names himself Ethan—a boy who must overcome mistrust and suspicion to master unknowable powers that may prove to be the last hope for humanity's salvation. Those same powers make Ethan a threat to the warring aliens, long used to fearing only each other, and thrust him and his comrades into ever more perilous circumstances.

A major new novel from the unparalleled imagination of Robert McCammon, this dark epic of survival will both thrill readers and make them fall in love with his work all over again.

The premise of this tale feels a bit clichéd at first, what with the post-apocalyptic setting of our world having been devastated by an alien invasion. Planet Earth lies at the border between the territories of two warring species whose conflict is rapidly bringing mankind on the brink of extinction. That's the aspect which differentiate The Border from the panoply of dystopian and post-apocalyptic zombie/vampire novels on the market today. Still, early on, this one does indeed feel like déjà vu. Yet as the story progresses, you realize that the author has more than a few surprises up his sleeve.

In addition, one of the best facets regarding The Border is that it defies the usual genre labels. It's not just a science fiction tale. It's a mashup of scifi, horror, dark fantasy, and thriller. Being so disparate in style and grim in tone keeps you on your toes, as you never really know what will happen next. It's sort of a mix between H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, Stephen King's The Stand, and Max Brooks' World War Z.

What makes this tale work is the characterization. Robert McCammon came up with a great cast of three-dimensional men and women. The more the plot moves forward, the more the author manages to flesh them out. It all begins with Ethan, a young boy with no memories of who he is, sporting injuries that should have killed him. He narrowly escapes death during an alien attack and his being rescued by a group of survivors will set him on a path that could lead to humanity's salvation, or to its utter destruction. I particularly enjoyed how McCammon gave us glimpses of the characters' past in order to give them more depth. Although Ethan takes center stage throughout the novel, the story would never have been as good and entertaining without a supporting cast comprised of memorable people like Dave, Jefferson Jericho, Dr. John Douglas, Olivia, or Nikki. They all remain true to themselves, for better or worse.

The Border is a fast-paced affair, almost like a blockbuster movie. There is something decidedly cinematic about its structure and its rhythm, and I wonder if it was ever meant to be a movie script before it became a novel. At times thrilling and at times poignant, it is also a fun, high-octane read. It sure looks as though the author had a ball writing this one!

The ending sort of comes out of left field and is totally unpredictable until you reach the very last chapter. Some readers might find that off-putting, but it does cap off the book in an original fashion. All in all, The Border is an enjoyable and compelling read that should satisfy genre lovers looking for something special, something different.

The final verdict: 7.75/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, and Subterranean Press

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award for best novel, you can now download Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven for only 5.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of Chris Beckett's MOTHER OF EDEN


I have three ARCs of Chris Beckett's Mother of Eden up for grabs, courtesy of the folks at Broadway Books! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”

Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.

Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.

Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all. When young Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no inkling that she will become a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s fabled ring on her own finger—or that in this role, powerful and powerless all at once, she will try to change the course of Eden’s history.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam)gryphonwood.net with the header "MOTHER." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Sympathy for the Devil, an anthology edited by Tim Pratt, for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The Devil is known by many names: Serpent, Tempter, Beast, Adversary, Wanderer, Dragon, Rebel. His traps and machinations are the stuff of legends. His faces are legion. No matter what face the devil wears, Sympathy for the Devil.