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You can now download Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Ursula K. Le Guin's groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to Winter, an alien world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants can change their gender whenever they choose. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for only 3.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Two magicians shall appear in England.

The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me...

The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 21st)

In hardcover:

Rebecca Yarros' Fourth Wing is down one position, ending the week at number 3. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Rebecca Yarros' Iron Flame is down one position, ending the week at number 4. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Danielle L. Jensen's A Fate Inked in Blood is down three spots, finishing the week at number 11. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Sarah J. Maas' House of Flame and Shadow is down four positions, ending the week at number 14. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

In paperback:

Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem is down three spots, finishing the week at number 10. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Silver Flames is down three positions, ending the week at number 11. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now download C. S. Friedman's In Conquest Born for only 0.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The sweeping science fiction epic of two interstellar civilizations—locked in endless war—that launched C.S. Friedman’s phenomenal career.

“Space opera in the best sense: a combination of high-stakes adventure with a strong focus on ideas and characters an intelligent reader can actually care about.” —Newsday

Braxi and Azea—two interstellar civilizations fighting an endless war over a long-forgotten cause; two peoples descended from the human species and bred over countless generations to embody opposing ideals, seeking opposite paths to power.

The Braxaná—dominant tribe of the fierce Braxin Holding—are brilliant, powerful, and aloof from the society they rule. They were bred by their primitive forebears to be aggressive, competitive, and secretive beyond all prior human norms. The mysteries of their internal society are legendary even among the people they rule.

The Azeans—masters of genetic science-have redesigned their own race to reflect ancient ideals. Now they seek to unlock the powers of the human mind, using telepathy to penetrate where mere weapons cannot.

But Zatar and Anzh—master Braxaná and Azean generals—have exceeded all genetic expectations of their opposed cultures, and have made this endless war a personal vendetta. Who can say what will happen when these ultimate warriors use every power of mind and body to claim the vengeance of total conquest?


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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Kristen Britain's Spirit of the Wood for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

This short novel set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Green Rider series tells the backstory of fan-favorite character Laren Mapstone.

Perfect for longtime Green Rider fans eager for more of the world or new readers discovering the realm of Sacoridia for the first time, this action-packed, feminist fantasy is a must-read for lovers of the genre.

After years of leading the battle against the vicious Darrow Raiders, Lieutenant-Rider Laren Mapstone has built a fortress around herself to conceal her emotions and the deep scars she carries. When she is made mentor to Tavin Bankside, a Green Rider trainee on his first message errand, her cold and brooding exterior quickly earns her the moniker the “Ice Lady.”

Only after Laren is severely wounded in an attack on the North Road by a gang of bandits—including some former Darrow Raiders with vengeance on their minds—do the fortress walls fall. Even as they seek refuge from danger in a Rider waystation, Tavin’s natural empathic gift leaves him vulnerable to the assault of the lieutenant’s emotions. Tavin must save Lieutenant Mapstone’s life and master his empathic gift before it destroys them both.

However, an ancient power lurks deep within the Green Cloak, and its aid or hindrance could mean survival for the Riders or the downfall of Sacoridia and all the free lands.


Empire of Silence


Though the novel didn't get much traction upon initial release, Christopher Ruocchio's Empire of Silence and its sequels have been making a lot of noise these last few years. So much so that I knew I had to give the Sun Eater series a shot sooner rather than later.

And though the book is not without its shortcomings, it is still a good read. After all, one must not forget that this was the author's debut. There are definite Dune vibes and the structure is very similar to that of Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind. And yet, even though it's quite different in style and tone, Empire of Silence is more akin to Brandon Sanderson's bloated Stormlight Archive works.

Here's the blurb:

Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives—even the Emperor himself—against Imperial orders.

But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier.

On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe starts down a path that can only end in fire. He flees his father and a future as a torturer only to be left stranded on a strange, backwater world.

Forced to fight as a gladiator and navigate the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, Hadrian must fight a war he did not start, for an Empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.


The worldbuilding appears to be the most fascinating aspect of this work, but as things stand it's impossible to say whether that's the case or not. Rucchio introduces a lot of seemingly cool concepts and ideas, many of them borrowed from other franchises, yet he fails to elaborate on most of them. Hence, it's difficult to judge if this is a universe that resounds with depth and originality, or if it's simply an homage to other great SFF minds or just a poor imitation. The love garnered by the series implies that there's a lot more to come in the subsequent sequels, so I'll reserve my judgment in that regard. The presence of a lexicon at the end of the book also seems to imply that Ruocchio's creation has a lot more depth than meets the eye. Still, it would have been beneficial to the story to expand a bit more on the Holy Terran Chantry, the Sollan Empire and the other polities and societies living across the galaxies, the Cielcin, etc.

Stylistically, Empire of Silence is a medieval fantasy-esque space opera. In a day and age when you can turn a planet to slag from orbit, I found it a bit weird that most spacefaring societies use swords and other such weapons in combat. But it's kind of cool. There are a lot of Dune vibes, especially early on, with hints of an AI apocalypse which led to technological restrictions enforced by the fearsome Inquisition and which led to Rucchio's own version of Herbert's mentat. Many of the societies depicted in the novel are based on feudal hierarchies whose cities boast grand Romanesque and Gothic architectures. Not entirely original by any stretch of the imagination, but somehow the author makes it work. I have a feeling that Christopher Rucchio may have been a little too ambitious with this debut and that he sort of overextended himself in several facets of the tale. Still, overall the first installment is a fun and entertaining read.

I've always said that first-person narratives can be tricky. Absolutely everything lies on the shoulders of the main protagonist and the absence of any other perspectives can make or break the story. Done well, as was the case with Jacqueline Carey's Phèdre and Robin Hobb's Fitz, it can make for unforgettable novels/series. A first-person POV allows you to leave vicariously through the character's recounting of his or her tale. Then there are the unreliable narrators like Patrick Rothfuss' Kvothe and Rucchio's own Hadrian Marlowe. Their credibility often compromised, you never know how much you can trust their own rendition of events. I found Hadrian interesting, but I was more engaged with the seemingly immortal man writing his memoirs than the teenager/young adult whose story makes up Empire of Silence. Young Hadrian is so emo, I found myself wanting to fling the book across the room on more than one occasion. I definitely want to discover more about the tyrant who will destroy a sun and make billions of victims, but here's to hoping I won't have to put up with all that teenage angst and emo crap for another novel or two. I'm not sure I could handle that.

Ruocchio went for lyrical prose, which is not bad per se. Problem is, he definitely went over the top with this aspect and it hurts the novel in significant fashion. Everything is overwritten, every scene overlong. Rucchio uses a paragraph where a sentence would do, a page where a paragraph would do. This makes for a bloated and often repetitive narrative. There are signs of brilliance throughout Empire of Silence. But not unlike Sanderson's epic Stormlight Archive installments, one has to sift through page after page after page of superfluous scenes and storylines, overwritten to boot, to get to them and that can be extremely exhausting. How you can cope with this will likely impact how much you enjoy this book.

Given the author's propensity to overwrite and dwell on extraneous plot points that bring little or nothing to the story, as you can expect the pace for the bulk of the novel is exceptionally slow. This is no page-turner, believe you me. And yet, for all of its meandering and occasional boring ways, Christopher Ruocchio's debut nevertheless manages to keep you interested. No matter how atrocious the rhythm and no matter how redundant or pointless the sequence, there is always a little something that makes you want to keep on reading and find out what happens next.

Which is why, regardless of its shortcomings, and in that regard your mileage may vary, you should give Empire of Silence a shot. I will definitely be reading the second volume, Howling Dark. Whether or not I'll continue beyond that point remains to be seen. . .

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now download Tad Williams' The Witchwood Crown for only 0.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.

Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard.

Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs…

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of R. F. Kuang's Babel for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal retort to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.

Babel is the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.

For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?


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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Alex Marshall's A Crown For Cold Silver for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

"It was all going so nicely, right up until the massacre."

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.

Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner.

FIVE VILLAINS. ONE LEGENDARY GENERAL. A FINAL QUEST FOR VENGEANCE.

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You can now download James Islington's The Shadow of What Was Lost, first volume in the Licanius trilogy, for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale. It's supposed to be a must for fans of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.

Here's the blurb:

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.

As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything.

To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian's wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is...

And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 14th)

In hardcover:

Rebecca Yarros' Fourth Wing maintains its position at number 2. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Rebecca Yarros' Iron Flame is up two positions, ending the week at number 3. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Danielle L. Jensen's A Fate Inked in Blood is down one spot, finishing the week at number 8. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Sarah J. Maas' House of Flame and Shadow maintains its position at number 10. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

In paperback:

Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem returns at number 7. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Silver Flames is down one position, ending the week at number 8. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Ali Hazelwood's Bride is down two positions, ending the week at number 12. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

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You can now download Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny -- a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

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You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Benedict Jacka's An Inheritance of Magic for only 2.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

The wealthy seem to exist in a different, glittering world from the rest of us. Almost as if by . . . magic.

Stephen Oakwood is a young man on the edge of this hidden world. He has talent and potential, but turning that potential into magical power takes money, opportunity, and training. All Stephen has is a minimum wage job and a cat.

But when a chance encounter with a member of House Ashford gets him noticed by the wrong people, Stephen is thrown in the deep end. For centuries, the vast corporations and aristocratic Houses of the magical world have grown impossibly rich and influential by hoarding their knowledge. To survive, Stephen will have to take his talent and build it up into something greater—for only then can he beat them at their own game.


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You can now download Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge -- an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (April 7th)

In hardcover:

Rebecca Yarros' Fourth Wing maintains its position at number 2. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Rebecca Yarros' Iron Flame is down two positions, ending the week at number 5. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Danielle L. Jensen's A Fate Inked in Blood is down two spots, finishing the week at number 7. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Sarah J. Maas' House of Flame and Shadow is down two positions, ending the week at number 10. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

In paperback:

Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Silver Flames is up two positions, ending the week at number 7. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

Ali Hazelwood's Bride is up one position, ending the week at number 10. For more info about this title, follow this Amazon Associate link.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Guy Gavriel Kay's All the Seas of the World for only 1.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

Returning triumphantly to the brilliantly evoked near-Renaissance world of A Brightness Long Ago and Children of Earth and Sky, international bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay deploys his signature ‘quarter turn to the fantastic’ to tell a story of vengeance, power, and love.

On a dark night along a lonely stretch of coast a small ship sends two people ashore. Their purpose is assassination. They have been hired by two of the most dangerous men alive to alter the balance of power in the world. If they succeed, the consequences will affect the destinies of empires, and lives both great and small.

One of those arriving at that beach is a woman abducted by corsairs as a child and sold into years of servitude. Having escaped, she is trying to chart her own course—and is bent upon revenge. Another is a seafaring merchant who still remembers being exiled as a child with his family from their home, for their faith, a moment that never leaves him. In what follows, through a story both intimate and epic, unforgettable characters are immersed in the fierce and deadly struggles that define their time.

All the Seas of the World is a page-turning drama that also offers moving reflections on memory, fate, and the random events that can shape our lives—in the past, and today.


More inexpensive ebook goodies!


You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Ian McDonald's Time Was for only 4.99$ by following this Amazon Associate link. This OneLink will take you to the nearest Amazon site serving your country and you'll see if you can take advantage of this sale.

Here's the blurb:

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.